In the wake of Bill McKibben’s Do the Maths tour of Australia, the movement is moving so fast it’s hard to keep up with. Here’s an update from one of our team on the ground there, Georgia Bamber.
After an amazing tour in Australia by 350 founder, Bill McKibben, 350 Australia has hit the ground running. We are so excited about our new divestment campaigns and the opportunities we have to make a real difference in Australia towards mitigating the impacts of climate change.
We now have 7 hubs operating across Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, Perth, Hobart and Byron Bay. Each is a hive of climate activity with post tour meetings being held, ongoing volunteer recruitment and the initial planning phases of our divestment campaigns underway. If you are interested in joining one of these groups we would love to hear from you (just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org). The more the merrier!
On the divestment front things are already getting exciting. Three city councils/local governments have already signaled their interest in divesting. Our message is clearly getting out there and we are not the only ones talking about the carbon bubble. Australia’s Climate Commission released a report earlier this week agreeing that 80% of fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground if we are to avoid disastrous and catastrophic climate change. Of course the coal industry could not let this pass and were quick to jump in to debunk the report but despite herself, Nikki Williams only seemed to strengthen the argument for the ‘carbon bubble’. If you want to have a listen to what she has to say check it out here.
Next week is going to be a big week, with the international day of action against coal planned for 29 June. Events are being held all around the world to demonstrate the strength of the global movement calling for an end to coal. If you would like to lend your support check out this website and help end the age of coal. Here in Australia we are joining with our friends from Market Forces and will be releasing an open letter to the big 4 banks, ANZ, the Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac letting them know that it is no longer OK to continue to fund the climate destroying coal industry. We will keep you posted of developments but in the meantime if you bank with one of the big 4 in Australia, put them on notice and let them know where you stand.
Over the next few months we will be running divestment training courses, divestment forums in each of the major cities and ramping up our campaigns. There is a lot of work to be done but we are energised and ready to fight.
To check out how you can join the campaign from Australia, visit gofossilfree.org/australia