MEFL has partnered with the Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS) and Multicultural Development Association (MDA) to deliver Bright Actions, a Low Income Energy Efficiency Program (LIEEP) project designed to improve the lives of people from a refugee background. The project is based around increased knowledge of energy efficiency practices and improved understanding of the financial options and impacts of the energy and appliance choices people make.
MEFL managed the delivery of the Victorian Government Sustainability Fund project Delivering Clean Energy Solutions (DCES). The project provided bundled energy products and services to residents across the northern suburbs of Melbourne (The region covered by the
Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action).
Solar panels and solar hot water systems were available through DCES, along with additional lower cost efficiency options throughout the year.
The project built on our experience of community bulk buys and resulted in a business model for delivering energy services. It developed a social marketing strategy to facilitate the rapid adoption of clean energy solutions into the mainstream community.
DCES emerged from NAGA’s Towards Zero Net Emissions Action Plan and was a partnership with NAGA, Manningham, Darebin, Melbourne and Nillumbik Councils and the Yarra Energy Foundation.
MEFL’s CEO Paul Murfitt is currently in Paris at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.
He sent this report late in the evening on Monday 7 December (our time).
While the draft agreement reached in Paris over the last week has some promising elements, particularly the momentum for limiting temperature increases to 1.5 degrees, many big issues remain to be resolved in the upcoming second week of negotiations. Elements such as target review processes, the legal status of country commitments, paying for action and compensation for loss and damage, amongst other issues, will be exercising and testing our collective ability to reach a meaningful international agreement on climate action. For some great analysis and commentary on progress, have a look at this blog from the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute at Melbourne University.
Academy of Science clears up any confusion
There’s no longer any excuse for anyone to be confused about climate change! The Australian Academy of Science has produced an excellent report titled The Science of Climate Change.
No, not another long obscure report with words and graphs you can’t understand. This report is written in everyday language and is broken down into nine “question and answer’ sections. There’s a choice of a downloadable PDF or an online version.This is a great resource to fill in the gaps in your knowledge of the issue, or to refer to if you find yourself debating the issue with ‘climate change sceptics’.
The introduction to the report reads:
MEFL CEO Paul Murfitt was invited to Malaysia in September to share the MEFL story at the Penang International Green Carnival.
Paul reports on his experiences:
The Carnival was a smaller version of Melbourne’s Sustainable Living Festival; a showcase of local sustainable products, services, community groups and projects. Alongside the carnival, a conference program featured a diverse range of speakers from Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Japan and Australia (represented by MEFL). It was great to interact with those working on local sustainability from the Asian region and to create links for future collaboration.
Last year MEFL partnered with Adopt-a-Tree for Communities for Nature, an exciting project where residents and schools in Brunswick planted a nature corridor from Merri Creek to Moonee Ponds Creek.
We’re pleased to say this project is continuing through Brunswick Communities for Nature, with support from Moreland City Council and ourselves.
To give you an update on the continuation of the project, Brunswick Communities for Nature has prepared this short Q&A.
Implications of Federal Government carbon emissions policy developments
MEFL considers that the Renewable Energy Target is critical to maintaining our trajectory towards a cleaner energy industry and that moves to abolish it are not founded on reasonable assessment. There are several campaigns underway to advocate for retention of the RET, notably groups such as the Community Power Agency, the World Wildlife Fund, Friends of the Earth and the Climate Institute. MEFL strongly advocates everyone who is interested in seeing a greener, and prosperous future for Australia to support these initiatives.
There have been substantial shifts in the climate change and carbon emissions policies adopted by the Federal Government over the last few months. Due to independents and minor parties holding the balance in the senate, moves to eliminate ARENA and the CEFC have faltered, and these organisations are continuing to operate (albeit in reduced capacity.) However, the government has successfully repealed legislation on carbon pricing, and current indications are that it may seek to revoke the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
What are the policy priorities?
- Continuing and expanding support for renewable energy, including support for community-owned solar, and ensuring a fair price for solar-generated electricity
- Continuing and strengthening the existing Energy Saver Incentive scheme, including specific support and targets for low-income households, rental housing and small-medium businesses.
Beautiful setting underlines urgency
To state the obvious: Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef is a beautiful place to spend the weekend. At the end of May, MEFL CEO Paul Murfitt participated in ‘Camp Earth Hour’; a workshop on Heron Island which brought together community representatives from around Australia to build on the “Lights Out for the Reef” campaign from earlier this year.
The workshop was the next stage in the rollout of a new look Earth Hour which will involve year-round community action on climate change. MEFL is one of the community groups working with Earth Hour to (re)build climate change as a major political issue, through community action and alliance building.
The recently published IPCC report Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerabilities, makes for sobering reading. The report says that the impacts of climate change are already being felt all around the globe, and it’s going to get worse. The report warns that it’s time to start adapting to climate change.MEFL and local councils in Melbourne’s north are already taking action. Through the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA), they are collaborating on the Integrated Regional Vulnerability Assessment
project.The project combines “big-picture” expertise on climate change with local knowledge about who is most vulnerable. This will enable the nine NAGA councils to better understand common needs and how to address them on a joint basis.