~~ UPDATE on MP lobbying blitz for the Safeguard Mechanism ~~ How to run a successful local MPEG ~~
Hello MPEG hosts and supporters,
I hope you’re doing well and getting into the swing of this year. There’s plenty of government action to commend and inaction to be working on. And our local MPEGs have been taking up the challenge with MP meetings and actions galore!
MP meetings about the Safeguard Mechanism
Members of our local MPEGs around Australia have been emailing their MPs and Senators to talk about this important policy. There have been at least three constituent meetings with our groups so far, and there are more in the pipeline. It’s not too late to get involved – shoot off an email today to request a meeting with your MP, and see our issue briefing below for more detail on the issue.
Here’s the lowdown from one such meeting in the electorate of Cooper, VIC.
“Our constituent meeting last week with Ged Kearney MP for Cooper went quite well. We had 5 local groups represented including Darebin Climate Action Now, Newlands Parents for Climate Action, Newlands Friends of the Forests, Friends of the Earth, Neighbours United for Climate Action (NUCA) and of course Climate for Change.
We sent Ged an agenda with our requests around the loopholes in the Safeguard Mechanism, and so she was prepared to respond to them in detail, and had spoken to Minister Chris Bowen about some of them already.
The first 15 minutes were spent going around the table and introducing ourselves, which groups we are part of and why we care. Then we got into the details of our asks. We asked her to report back to us on her advocacy within the Labor party for what we want.
You can see our 4 asks in this petition from Newlands Parent for Climate Action. We asked Ged to record a message for the people who signed it, which she did there and then, and said she'd take this petition to Minister Bowen and the PM.”
You don’t even need to have a formal meeting with your MP to be able to talk about this important policy right now – Helen from South-East Naarm/Melbourne MPEG caught her MP Josh Burns at a meet & greet one morning recently. She didn’t waste the opportunity and chatted with him about a few key points, and grabbed this great photo! Nice work Helen
In the news
A few weeks ago Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek rejected Clive Palmer's proposed coal mine in Queensland due to the risk of damage to the Great Barrier Reef, freshwater creeks and groundwater. This is great news that shows the EPBC Act is working! But there is no formal climate trigger in the Act, so we still have a way to go before new projects are blocked due to the risks of climate change.
Minister Plibersek also recently approved a project by Santos to open 116 new coal seam gas wells in Queensland’s Surat Basin. See below for more recent fossil fuel project approvals and how you can put pressure on MPs and Ministers to stop them going ahead.
Current actions to take with your groups – National
Act now to strengthen the Safeguard Mechanism: There is still time to influence how effective this important policy will be in safeguarding our climate and not polluter profits. The policy will affect 215 of the biggest fossil fuel companies operating in Australia including Santos, BHP and Shell, urging them to decarbonise so we can meet (and beat!) our 2030 emissions reduction target of 43%. Write to your Federal MP, Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen and Prime Minister Albanese using our issue briefing.
No new coal and gas: You may have written to your MP about this before, but it is worth a follow up to include these recent concerning project approvals (see above). There are still over 100 new coal and gas projects in the pipeline awaiting federal government approval, including eight new coal mines and expansions in NSW this year. Write to your Federal MP, Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek, and others listed on our issue briefing.
NSW – Take action before the state election on March 25
Do you live in NSW or know someone who does?
Email, call and/or meet with your state MPs and candidates in the next TWO WEEKS! Remind your current state MP that climate should be a top priority if they want to stay in office, and let all candidates know that their policies on climate change will decide your vote.
- Then speak to everyone in your networks – tell them you did this and why!
Keep your emails or calls simple and to the point. Say that as a constituent you’ll follow up with the MP or candidate should they win their seat.
- You can use our issue briefings on the topics below (or any others you are passionate about) to guide you – keeping in mind that the templates are for emails to Federal MPs, so you will have to adjust accordingly.
Stop new coal mines in NSW: Use our ‘Keep it in the Ground’ issue briefing for inspiration when you write to State MPs and candidates.
"NSW is now staring down the barrel of the biggest climate bomb from coal mine expansions since the Paris Agreement - putting our future at risk"
Campaign to Save the Bulga Forest: Local residents and activists have launched a protest against native forest logging in the area. Logging in NSW is set to be a major election flashpoint in the lead up to the state election. Use our issue briefing and Bulga Forest Key Messages to write to NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet, NSW Opposition leader Chris Minns, and all State MPs and candidates before the election. Remind them that saving forests is climate action and you'll be voting with this in mind. Use the hashtag #SaveBulgaForest on socials.
All of our issue briefings, templates and tips can be found on our website: Writing to MPs. Check it out!
Click on the button above every time you or your group write a letter, make a call or visit your MP. This will help us track the impact we have as a collective, and inspire more people to step up to action!
Add this link to your browser bookmarks for future use
- Add this link to your browser bookmarks for future use
- Following up on your MP: Don't forget to follow up if your MP doesn't reply – and to keep the conversation going when they do! Tips for this are in the speech bubbles at the bottom of our briefings page.
Webinars & resources from the Climate Integrity Summit 2023
In mid-February the Australian Institute held a Climate Integrity Summit in Canberra, with speakers from around Australia and across the political and economic spectrum. View their speeches and panel recordings here.
“I'm an economist, so I can tell you that every million dollars Australia spends on offsets is a million dollars that we didn't spend on something useful. The fact that we're spending money on low integrity offsets rather than decarbonisation is about the most economically inefficient thing I can think of. Rather than investing in renewable energy or electric buses or First Nations-led, community owned renewable energy projects, we're spending money helping companies to greenwash their pollution. But to be clear, this is a choice.
And it's a choice that will soon be before the Senate.”
— Richard Denniss, The Australia Institute
Last but not least!
THANK YOU to our amazing volunteer team for all your ongoing work! Catherine Lo and Clare Wan have joined the MPEGs admin team in the last month, and we are so grateful
- And a big thank you to Helen who has come back to join our issue briefings team after a bit of a break so lovely to have you back!
If you would like to join our team and assist us with writing issue briefings, monitoring public policy, or calling and emailing folks who are interested in MPEGs, please reply to this email
- If you would like to join our team and assist us with writing issue briefings, monitoring public policy, or calling and emailing folks who are interested in MPEGs, please reply to this email
MPEG Community webinar: How to run a successful local MPEG
Wednesday 15th March, 7.30pm-9pm AEDT
Zoom MPEG email-writing sessions
Wednesday 5th April, 7.30pm-9pm AEST
Tuesday 13th June, 7.30pm-9pm AEST
That’s it from us – have a great month, take care of yourselves and keep up the pressure!
Carly, on behalf of the MPEGs team