Thursday, September 13, 2018

Report on Darebin Climate Emergency Conference



The last two days - 11-12 September - I attended the Darebin climate emergency conference in northern Melbourne suburb of Northcote. I was one of 350 people that registered and attended. Some good speeches and presentations, interesting panel discussions and useful one-on-one conversations.

This was Darebin Council hosting and facilitating this conference as part of it's climate emergency strategy and plan. There were a small number of councillors from other cities present including the Deputy Mayor of neighbouring municipality of Moreland, and other organisations. But mostly local people and people from neighbouring suburbs. I saw Lidia Thorpe, the local Greens State MP there, but no other state or federal politicians.



There were four objectives presented which the conference workshoped using a digital app and workshop time on the afternoon of day 2, into 3 resolutions per objective, 12 resolutions in all. (there are photos of each objective and the associated resolutions)

Objective 1: Identify opportunities to work with other councils and organisations on actions/solutions which address the climate emergency

Objective 2: Build understanding of the climate emergency and possible responses to this.

Objective 3: Identify opportunities for local community climate emergency action

Objective 4: Encourage commitments from participants and participant organisations to act on the climate emergency

And after the final plenary I played a small part that evening in asking a question on the Climate Emergency motion moved by Cr Dale Martin at the Moreland Council meeting. After some debate Moreland Council passed the resolution unanimously acknowledging we are in a state of climate emergency and starting a framework for implementing this decision.

It is Important to build and campaign from the grassroots, not be afraid of bold messaging, because we are rapidly running out of time to have agency. The last couple of years I have attended council meetings in the public gallery, asked occasional questions, and built up a rapport with Councillors to varying extents. My presence provides witness to all decisions needing to take into account possible climate mitigation and adaptation impacts.

I encourage others to attend Council meetings, engage with Councillors on issues related to climate mitigation and adaptation. Because we are dealing with concrete impacts, and concrete solutions you can often find common ground no matter the ideological background. It's all about having the conversations about public safety and duty of care.

Here are some photographic highlights from the 2 days of Climate Emergency Darebin conference:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/takver/albums/72157671201710667

Darebin Climate Emergency Conference




TUESDAY 11 SEPTEMBER



Pacific Climate Warriors | Darebin Climate Emergency Conference
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
As an activist through her work as a Pacific Climate Warrior, Jacynta uses her voice to elevate stories from frontline communities impacted by climate change. We can learn from existing communities that are active in the climate movement. The lessons we can take from frontline communities (diaspora communities) not only add value but also send a powerful message of solidarity and unity, thus empowering culturally diverse communities. It is not an easy task to mobilise a community to support a cause without investing quality time in forming relationships in them; this builds trust which is valuable. In this presentation Jacynta will share some stories and reflect upon ways we can work in solidarity across organisations in our networks to demonstrate climate leadership.

Presenter: Jacynta Fuamatu, Melbourne Coordinator, 350 Pacific





Beyond urgent: the science of climate warming as existential risk
Published on 18 Nov 2018
Climate change is already dangerous, and the projected warming in the wake of the Paris Agreement in 2015 poses a threat to human civilisation unless the pace and scale of action to decarbonise society and return to a safe climate is radically increased. This presentation looks at recent observations, projected warming and impacts on key features of the climate system, and analyses how the understatement of climate risks has become incorporated in the communication of scientific research and in policymaking. Parameters for returning to a safe climate are elaborated on.

Presenter: David Spratt, Research Director, Breakthrough - National Centre for Climate Restoration





Climate change as a global emergency | Darebin Climate Emergency Conference
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
If climate change poses an existential risk to society, what does it mean to have an emergency response, technologically and politically? How should we act?

Presenter: Paul Gilding, Independent writer and advisor on sustainability





Climate emergency response | Darebin Climate Emergency Conference
Published on 18 Nov 2018
In this presentation Philip Sutton explores what it will take to deliver maximum protection of the climate vulnerable and the restoration of a safe climate. He sketches an action framework to cool the planet fast, via zero emissions and carbon dioxide drawdown, through emergency mode action by government, businesses and the community, and building on key historical case studies of large-scale, rapid restructuring of economies.

Presenter: Philip Sutton, Manager and Strategist, Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation



Panel session:


Climate emergency action vs climate change action: what is the difference?
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
Panel Presenters: Philip Sutton, Manager and Strategist, Research and Strategy for Transition Initiation; Susan Rennie, Councillor, Darebin City Council; Luke Taylor, Managing Director, Breakthrough – National Centre for Climate Restoration





Emergency management and the climate emergency | Darebin Climate Emergency Conference
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
Drawing upon examples from the disaster relief and recovery sector, this presentation will explore ways we can develop and implement a whole of government and community focused approach to the climate emergency. In addition, this paper will extrapolate from experience in the disaster relief and recovery sector, elaborating some
guiding principles and lessons learned which can be applied to the climate emergency.

Presenter: Adam Lawson, General Manager, Relief and Recovery, Emergency Management Victoria





Building Civic Power in Capital | Darebin Climate Emergency Conference
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
Australia’s superannuation funds are now responsible for more than $2.6 trillion, with which they invest in companies across the country and the world. Through activist shareholdings, Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility seeks to make super funds accountable for ensuring a safe climate future, by amplifying their influence over listed companies. In this presentation Brynn will explore strategies for responsible businesses as well as opportunities for shareholders to use their power to ask companies to improve their performance on issues you care about including climate emergency.

Presenter: Brynn O’Brien, Executive Director, Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility



Panel Discussion


Mapping Darebin Council’s climate emergency journey
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
Panel Presenters: Bryony Edwards, Member, Community Action for the Climate Emergency; Susan Rennie, Councillor, Darebin City Council; Gavin Mountjoy, Coordinator, Energy and Adaptation, Darebin City Council



Panel Session:



Climate Emergency Darebin: who, what, why and how?
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
Panel Presenters: Adrian Whitehead, Member, Climate Emergency Darebin and Founder, Beyond Zero Emissions; Vanessa Petrie, Member, Climate Emergency Darebin and CEO, Beyond Zero Emissions; Madeleine Brennan, Member, Climate Emergency Darebin and Principal, MWrite Communications



WEDNESDAY 12 SEPTEMBER

Panel Discussion:



Climate emergency communications and engagement: different perspectives
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
Panel Presenters: Jane Morton, Convenor, Darebin Climate Action Now; Giselle Wilkinson, Outreach Manager, Breakthrough – National Centre for Climate Restoration; David Meikeljohn, Executive Director, Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action





Embracing a plant-rich diet: the intersection of environment, politics, economics, and health
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
Unhealthy environments, climate change, and poor diet are major contributors to both chronic and acute illnesses. Changes to the way we produce our food, and the type of food we eat, are urgently required for both human and planetary health.

Presenter: Karen Kiang, Paediatrician, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne





Moving people to action: communications and engagement solutions | Climate Emergency
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
This presentation will focus on insights and results from research undertaken for Darebin City Council’s Climate Emergency / Communication and Engagement Solutions project, using evidence based story structure. Tips on how to apply the research in practice will also be covered.

Presenter: Angela Rutter, Co-Director, Common Cause Australia





Emotional awareness, psychological skills and personal mobilisation in a climate emergency
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
There is a growing body of evidence on the range of emotional impacts of climate change; both from people affected by extreme weather events, and those coming to grips with the scale and complexity. Yet while people will generally agree climate change is happening, there is a reluctance to wholeheartedly accept the difficult news of the scale and urgency of action required. This talk will share three common challenging emotional experiences. A model will be shared to understand the emotional systems activated. The word ‘emergency’ will be explored through reflecting on our personal experiences, to consider the meaning and inform application.

Presenter: Bronwyn Gresham, Clinical psychologist & volunteer, Psychology for a Safe Climate





The benefits of biochar in combatting the climate emergency
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
Earth Systems has been engaged with Manningham City Council for the past 2.5 years diverting their internal parks and gardens tree prunings and green waste from landfill and converting it to a carbon sequestring product called biochar. Biochar is a true form of carbon sequestration, locking up the carbon of the original tree for 1000 years plus in a stable carbon form. Normally biochar is used for soil applications adding carbon to poorly performing soils to improve their performance with increased surface area, water holding capacity, nutrient holding capacity and other benefits. In this presentation Adrian will share the biochar development story including the research which highlights the carbon sequestration capacity of biochar, the EPA approval process, the working relationship with Manningham Council and lessons learned along the way.

Presenter: John Sanderson, Principal Environmental Engineer, Earth Systems





Talking climate change with friends, family and colleagues
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
Social research tells us that most people process information and form opinions through conversations with others. How can those of us who understand the climate emergency and how humanity
needs to respond have more effective conversations with those around us to get them on board too? Climate for Change has facilitated conversations in the communities of Melbourne and now Brisbane with over 5000 people. In this presentation Katerina Gaita will share her experience as a climate communicator, reflecting on what has been learned and the social research that informs the Climate for Change approach.

Presenter: Katerina Gaita, Director, Climate for Change





Mobilising to take climate action at work and at home (lessons from the Green Impact program)
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
The Green Impact program is a change and engagement program piloted for the first time in Australasia at The University of Melbourne in 2017. Learn how UoM has implemented a program that gets staff and students working together to create the change they want in their departments. Teams can focus on their strengths and change their workplace from within. The program is about ensuring sustainability is fun and inclusive. In reflecting on the Green Impact program Sue will share strategies, tips and innovative ways to raise awareness about sustainability, and collaborate, to deliver real change within complex organisations.

Presenter: Sue Hopkins, Sustainability Engagement Coordinator, University of Melbourne





The benefits of regenerative agriculture in combatting the climate emergency
CityOfDarebin
Published on 18 Nov 2018
As the Earth moves further into the Anthropocene and ongoing destabilisation of seven of its eight regulating systems, constructive solutions seem hard to find in the face of an ongoing commitment by business and political leaders to economic rationalism. However, emerging out of the pack is one field of collective endeavour providing some exciting solutions to these Anthropocene problems: that of regenerative agriculture. By healing key landscape functions, there is now powerful evidence (supported, for example, by Hawken’s book ‘Drawdown’) that collective regenerative agriculture can drawdown carbon from the atmosphere by more than a factor of two compared to the next best method. In this talk Charles will explain the background to this exciting potential and to possible future pathways.

Presenter: Charles Massy, Farmer, Teacher, Author, Agricultural Innovator