Saturday, November 9, 2019

Chile marches for Dignity and social justice in this time of climate crisis and social crisis


Mass gathering calling for social justice in Plaza Italia, re-christened Plaza De la Dignidad, in Santiago


My friday activity was joining the hundreds of thousands of Chileans demanding dignity, after 3 weeks of protest and social upheaval.

There can be no climate justice without social justice.

East Coast of Australia literally on fire, #bushfires driven by global heating



The east coast of Australia is literally on fire, in early November, with bushfires spread up and down the east coast of Australia, particularly New South Wales. This is not normal for early November.

Fire conditions are exacerbated by the rising temperatures of global heating and change in rainfall patterns, and higher evaporation rates.

Professor David Bowman, a bushfire expert, commented "As a society we are running out of time to adapt to climate change driven bushfires, and policy failure will lead to escalating disasters that have the capacity to eclipse the worst disasters we have experienced."

Friday, November 8, 2019

Santiago walking tour and why just transition important for addressing social crisis and ecological crisis



November 7: Today I did a 3 hour walking tour of Santiago with Marcela from Tour4Tips. They are only running walking tours in the morning due to the social protests.

Many of the museums are closed due to workers being on strike as part of the protest demanding a new constitution and the government address the social crisis with meaningful progress.

Marcela knows her city, and also it’s travails, it’s problems. She is part of the movement for change, but she told people these were her views, to ask other Chilean people. Yes it was a little bit of social and political history combined with culture and food.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

New Zealand zero carbon Bill shows bipartisan leadership



Historic moment for New Zealand as the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern calls near unanimous support for a Zero Carbon bill as acting on the biggest challenge of our time.

"I continue to stand by the statement that #ClimateChange is the biggest challenge of our time and for us here in Aotearoa New Zealand that means for this generation, this is our nuclear [free] moment."

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Reflections on memory, human rights, the Chile Coup, and implication for climate action



So today I went along to Todas las Mujeres Contra todas las Violencia (All women against all violence) Hosted by Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos (Museum of memory and human rights) in Santiago, Chile. It made me reflect on the human rights of all the people that will obliterated by accelerating climate change, unless we all act, and act fast.

Friday, November 1, 2019

COP25 to be hosted in Madrid, Spain under presidency of Chile

It seems the merry-go-round with the UN climate conference COP25 continues.

It appears the Spanish government has offered Madrid as the venue for the next COP 25 climate change summit. This was announced on Thursday by the president of Chile , Sebastián Piñera. The conference would retain the same dates of December 2 to 13.

"Yesterday I spoke with the president of Spain , Pedro Sánchez , who made a generous offer to organize the COP 25 summit in Madrid, Spain, on the same days it was scheduled to take place in Chile; that is, between on December 2 and 13, " Piñera said in a statement at La Moneda presidential palace.

Update 1 November: It is confirmed that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Bureau has met and decided to hold COP25 in Madrid, Spain between December 2 to December 13.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Chile civil society NGOs reject reasons for Piñera decision to cancel hosting APEC summit and COP25 climate summit following social unrest



In a brief statement the UNFCCC announced that COP25 would not be held in Chile as advised by the Chilean President, Sebastián Piñera.

Chilean civil Society climate organisation rejected the decision of the President not to carry out COP 25 in Chile, highlighting that the climate change summit was a great opportunity to relieve the social and environmental problems that affect Chilean people and ecosystems, and to lift some of the leadership lost internationally.

President Piñera indicated that Chile will continue to hold the COP presidency, responsible for shepherding leadership in the UN climate negotiation process for the next year.

Cancellation of the COP has thrown the organisation of the annual UNFCCC climate conference in disarray. With only a month to organise the conference, very few locations would have the ability to stage the event in it's current timetable. Bonn, Germany, where the UNFCCC is headquartered, is a possibility. The conference could very well be delayed, pushed into 2020.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Social unrest in Chile at structural inequality and repression in leadup to COP25 climate conference



There was an estimated one million people on the streets of Santiago, Chile, and large numbers in cities up and down Chile on Friday 25 October, in peaceful protests calling for social justice, better pension system, addressing social inequality, resignation of President Piñera, and a new constitution.

This was triggered just over a week ago by a second fare hike to the Santiago Metro, with school students taking up the protests initially that broadened to general social protest at the cost of living and social inequalities with a deeply neoliberal economic system.

The social crisis is also an ecological crisis.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Escalating social unrest met with tanks and military on the streets of Chile in leadup to COP25


The last week has seen protests escalating in the streets of Santiago and other Chilean cities. This was triggered initially by students reacting against Santiago metro fare increase, the second increase this year. But it highlights poor pensions, a deteriorating health care system, and major social inequalities.

The situation in Chile is tense with a state of emergency declared and curfews imposed, tanks in the streets and troops using live rounds. Reminiscent of the junta years under General Pinochet.

Chile is nominally a constitutional democracy since early 1990s, with the present President Sebastián Piñera a member of the centre right National Renewal Party and a billionaire.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

“We all need to become everyday climate warriors” says John Englart Climate Action Moreland Convenor


John Englart accepting his award from Mayor Cr Natalie Abboud


John Englart, Convenor of Climate Action Moreland, received the annual Moreland Award for Environmental Sustainability at the Moreland Awards on 1st October, 2019 for his advocacy in climate action. More than 200 people attended the awards event at the Coburg Town Hall. Article originally published at Climate Action Moreland website.

Previous to his award, John Englart's name was mentioned during the evening ceremonies as part of three advisory groups: Sustainable Moreland Advisory Group, Moreland Transport Advisory Committee, Community Advisory Reference Group (on level crossing removal).

John has been a resident of Brunswick, Coburg North and Fawkner for 29 years, publishing on climate science and the need for action since 2004, and active in Climate Action Moreland since 2012. He has attended as an NGO Observer for Climate Action Network Australia the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Annual conferences in Paris in 2015 (COP21), Marrakech in 2016 (COP22), and Bonn in 2017 (COP23).