In 2018, there is a growing momentum to accelerate our collective response to climate change.
As a part of 350 Australia’s work to ensure climate change remains firmly in the public arena, Bill McKibben, co-founder of the global 350.org movement, embarked on a speaking tour of Australia throughout April and May to drive a global effort to accelerate climate action. Bank Australia was proud to sponsor these events in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.
Providing a solemn insight into the localised effects of climate change, former local independent MP and writer Jo Dodds shared the experience of her small community in Tathra NSW, in the wake of the bushfires that destroyed 69 homes in March 2018. It was a timely reminder of the importance of McKibben’s address and the work of 350.org globally and locally.
The 350 movement
McKibben began each night by highlighting the well-documented effects of global climate change such as diminishing summer ice in the Arctic and other alarming statistics. He also referenced his 1989 book The End of Nature, hailed as the first piece of literature to acknowledge global warming. When this book was published, it became a platform that saw McKibben become one of the first climate change campaigners. His breakthrough came when he realised that the greatest vehicle for change is a social movement.
Now his work is devoted to activating and mobilising the message of climate action around the world through the work of 350.org.
Bill McKibben advocated for three tangible actions to accelerate action on climate change:
1. Support the transition to renewables
The price of solar has fallen in price from $76 USD in 1977 per cell to around $0.50 USD per cell in 2016. This provides an economic incentive as well as an environmental one, to accelerate the shift to renewable energy in our homes, businesses and communities.
2. Avoid creating new fossil fuel projects
“Keep the carbon in the ground”, was Bill’s message on the night. Hand-in-hand with supporting renewables is the importance of moving away from investment in oil, coal and gas projects.
3. Switch your finances to finance change
By convincing individuals and institutions such as banks and super funds to move away from fossil fuel investment and redirect funding to support the renewables sector, we will see an increasing shift towards a more sustainable future.
The end of the event saw thousands of attendees engaging in democratic action – letter writing to politicians to spark action.
Bank Australia were delighted to sponsor 350.org’s tour and attend the events in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide last week.