Transition Decade launched

February 20, 2010

More than 1200 people attended a mass public meeting at Melbourne Town Hall on February 14 to launch the Transition Decade (T10)

The Transition Decade was organised by the newly formed T10 Alliance, which includes Beyond Zero Emissions, Friends of the Earth, Sustainable Living Foundation, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Climate Action Moreland, Yarra Climate Action Now, Locals into Victoria's Environment, Darebin Climate Action Now and the Climate Emergency Network.

The T10 website explains that "the Transition Decade sets out a ten year timeline for action; guided by a goal of a sustainable world, in response to the climate emergency, recognising the social and structural transition scale required to restore safe climate conditions.

"The campaign will link local, regional, national and international programs, campaigns and resources to help inform and activate citizens across Australia."

The T10 launch was supported by the Melbourne City Council and the Australian Greens.

In the lead up to the event, journalist Andrew Bolt attacked the Victorian governor, Professor David de Kretser, for agreeing to speak at the event.

Launching the campaign, De Kretser spoke of the importance of scepticism in science. But he highlighted that the risk of not acting on climate change far outweighed the risk that the science was wrong.

Other speakers included Uncle Bob Randall, Yankunytjatjara elder and traditional owner of Uluru; Professor Will Steffen, director of ANU Climate Institute; Joe Herbertson from Safe Climate Australia; Cam Walker from Friends of the Earth; Mark Ogge from Beyond Zero Emissions; Philip Sutton from the Climate Emergency Network; and Greens Senator Christine Milne.
Ogge presented a summary of the soon-to-be-released Stationary Energy Plan — one of five reports planned under the Zero Carbon Australia 2020 initiative.

The report shows how Australia could convert all of its stationary energy (such as power stations) to renewable energy by 2020, through a combination of concentrated solar thermal power, distributed wind power and an upgraded high voltage transmission network.

The report estimates such a transition would cost about $367 billion — amounting to 3% to 3.5% of GDP a year.

Milne, Walker and Sutton all outlined the need to begin the campaign with a political struggle to win a government with the political will to make a 10-year transition possible.

A main aim of the launch was re-energise the climate movement after the failures of Copenhagen and the continued lack of commitment by the major political parties to address climate change.

The goal of the T10 alliance is to improve collaboration and focus the movement on the central tasks needed to bring about the necessary transition, while creating a sense of urgency amongst the community.

[Copies of the executive summary of the Stationary Energy Plan are available online. More details on the Transition Decade.]

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