June 2023 was another big outreach month for Climate Action Burwood-Canada Bay highlighted by our first schools event.
Presentation to Drummoyne Probus
On June 1 Ken and Steven visited Drummoyne Sailing Club, where Ken gave a presentation to about 70 people from the Drummoyne Probus Club. He spoke for about 15 minutes, outlining the bad news on climate change and the good news on renewable energy. This was followed by a lively question time, which seemed to pass very quickly even though it actually lasted about an hour. Ken commented on how enjoyable it was to address such a great crowd. It was also great to have Steven there, to answer questions about electric vehicles. [Steven is active in the Australian Electric Vehicles Association (AEVA), as well as in CABCB.]
During the presentation, Ken took the opportunity to outline some recent figures about the renewable energy revolution that is now underway. For example, in the first four months of 2023, China installed 84.4 gigawatts of electrical generating capacity, 70.6GW of which was renewable energy (mainly solar and wind). To give you some idea of how much power this represents, at the end of 2017 Australia’s total generating capacity was just 66.5GW. China is now five years ahead of its target of 1,200GW of renewable energy by 2030, meaning it is also well ahead of its emissions reduction target. [It should be noted that China also installed 12.7GW of thermal capacity (i.e. coal and gas), which represented 15 percent of the total. It is clear that renewables are swamping fossil fuels in China.]
Of course, China is not the only country spending big on renewables. In the United States, over 80 percent of new investment in electrical capacity is now on solar, wind and batteries. Almost all the rest is on gas. There is no new spending on coal! Interestingly, annual global investment in renewables is now greater than investment in fossil fuels. Renewables are clearly the way of the future!
Speaking 4 The Planet
Speaking 4 the Planet (S4P) is a schools’ competition that invites students to submit work in four broad areas: speaking, writing, visual arts and drama. The finalists present their work at a special event on World Environment Day (June 5th). These entries are then judged by a panel of experts, and prizes awarded.
One of the objectives of the competition is to get students thinking about environmental issues, especially climate change and the role humans are playing in causing it. Another is to “help them see that they are not alone in their concern for the planet and for their future.”
Each year the competition has a theme. This year’s was ‘One Planet, Our Future: Consume with Care’.
More on the Speaking 4 The Planet day here
Burwood Council Grant Presentation
June 20, CABCB received a grant from Burwood Council to translate some of our materials into Chinese and other community languages.
In his address at the presentation, Burwood Mayor John Faker spoke about the need for councils to take practical action to cut emissions and promote renewable energy. Last year Burwood Council took the lead on this by purchasing all of its electricity from renewable sources.
The grant was gratefully accepted by CABCB secretary Billie Ayling, who is a member of Burwood Council’s Sustainability and Environmental Advisory Committee.
Move Beyond Coal action at the SCG
June 24, CABCB took part in an another action by Move Beyond Coal at the Sydney Cricket Ground, prior to the Swans 171 point win over the Eagles in their AFL match. As we know, NAB is the major sponsor of the AFL. It is also the biggest lender to fossil fuel projects in Australia. The signs we held up had a simple and effective message: ‘Thank you NAB for sponsoring the AFL. No thanks, for lending to Whitehaven Coal!’
By standing outside the Moore Park light rail station before games, we’ve been able to get the message across to thousands of people. The response from passers-by has been very positive, although there are always a few climate deniers who cannot resist sharing their ‘insights’. One proceeded to tell us that all our efforts were a waste of time, as Mozambique is buiding a new coal-fired power station. He seemed to think that this power station would completely negate all the trillions being spent on renewable energy in China, Europe and United States! Another cranky fan assured us that it was impossible to make steel without coal. When told that zero-emissions steel was already being made in Sweden, he refused to believe it! Ken even offered to send him articles on the subject, but the guy wasn’t interested. Of course he wasn’t! ‘You’re deluded,’ was all he could say by way of response. That seems to be the only argument climate deniers can make these days. [Interestingly, almost all hardline climate deniers are older men. If we wait long enough, climate denial will literally go extinct!]
We will be back at the SCG on August 12th, for more MBC action.
Burwood community battery forum
June 25th, the state member for Strathfield, Jason Yat-Sen Li, held a forum on community batteries. This was an event organised by Jason as part of his Wellbeing Strathfield program.
He opened proceedings by outlining the magnitude of the task facing the nation, if we are to reach net zero emissions by 2050. He then explained how community batteries fit into this.
Next up was Nicolas Zurstrassen, CEO of Echidna Renewables, who outlined the submission his company would be making to ARENA at the end of June. Finally, we heard from Dr Glenn Platt, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Sydney University.
Unlike the community battery earmarked for Breakfast Point, which will be owned by Ausgrid, the Echidna proposal involves ten community batteries, with an ownership structure that financially benefits end-users. It semms a very exciting proposition.
If you would like to watch these presentations, you can do so on the CABCB YouTube channel, by clicking here.