Australia’s political class is addicted to fossil fuels. We will need to build a people-powered movement capable of proposing and winning clear demands to break that addiction. Zane Alcorn looks at 21 proposals that could pave the way for the kind of just transition away from coal that the current climate emergency demands.
Divest from fossil fuels
Moreland City Council voted unanimously to divest from fossil fuels on October 7. It is the first Australian council to do so. Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton, who has been working with 350.org and Climate Action Moreland on the campaign, said it was a “tribute to their hard work over almost three years”. Greens councillors have also supported the campaign from the start. “Last night, we crossed the final hurdle and decided to divest. Without the grassroots campaign, councillors would never have done this,” Bolton said.
“To change everything, we need everyone.” That is the slogan of the People’s Climate March being held globally on the weekend of November 27-29. The rallies will coincide with the upcoming UN climate talks in Paris and will demand a transition to a safe climate that ensures jobs and social justice. But the rallies are not just about appealing to politicians to make a strong agreement in Paris — there is very little chance of that happening.
Three passengers were removed from a Qantas flight from Melbourne to Darwin on February 2 after refusing to take their seats in protest against the transfer of an asylum seeker on the same flight. A 25-year-old Tamil man known as Puvaneethan was being transferred from Maribyrnong detention centre in Melbourne to Darwin. He was distressed about being separated from his family in Melbourne.