The federal government recently launched a formal review of Australia's 20% Renewable Energy Target (The RET), headed by a well know climate change sceptic - Dick Warburton.
Given that the RET and its associated instruments have been the single biggest driver of renewable energy uptake in Australia, any reduction or modification to the RET will dramatically effect the fragile and battered domestic renewable industry and significantly hamper our national approach to addressing climate change.
With this very real existential threat to the RET at hand we thought it would be timely to have a discussion about the current renewables landscape and the potential consequences of any reduction to the existing targets.
To shed some light on this we invited Dr Mark Diesendorf of the Institute of Environmental Studies at UNSW and Lindsay Soutar, National Director of Solar Citizens and 100% Renewable, to attempt to enlighten us and guide us through some of the murky and confusing issues around our national energy policy and the future of renewables in Australia.
Mark Diesendorf is the Deputy Director of Institute of Environmental Studies at University of New South Wales. He teaches and researches on ecologically sustainable and socially just development and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. He is the author of 'Greenhouse Solutions with Sustainable Energy' (2007) and 'Climate Action: A Campaign Manual for Greenhouse Solutions' ( 2009). His new book, 'Sustainable Energy Solutions for Climate Change', has just been published by UNSW Press in Australia and New Zealand, and will be published for the rest of the world by Earthscan in April 2014.
Lindsay Soutar is the National Director of Solar Citizens - Lindsay became familiar with the hopes and challenges of households (and community groups) going solar through her work at renewable energy organisation 100% Renewable of which Solar Citizens is an offshoot. There she experienced first hand the continual solar-coaster of changes to solar programs to Australia, and the efforts of the big power companies trying to stop the further expansion of solar. She recently started the process to install solar on her Sydney home and thinks it just makes sense that Australia puts a panel on every rooftop!
For our final event of the year we're throwing a bit of a christmas cocktail shindig at the forecourt of the Prince Alfred Park Pool complex. So frock up an and enjoy sustainably sourced fare by Meadow Cafe and local winemakers Cake Wines, with help from the team at Real Food Projects who've also put together a wonderful local artisan produce hamper as a lucky door prize for us to give away on the night.
The theme for the event will be Biodovercity - and we'll be celebrating the wonderful new park + pool in all it's biodiverse summer glory - so bring your swimmers too if you want to have a dip (as the pool will be open).
Among the music and entertainment planned, we're delighted to have the Architect and Landscaping team behind Prince Alfred's award winning facelift, Sue Barnsley + Rachel Neeson, as guest speakers. They'll be sharing some of the design and biodiversity secrets and challenges of the project, and for those who come early Sue and her team will guide you on a tour of the Wildflower Meadow.
Also hear from Lucy Sharman, City of Sydney's Green Roofs and Walls Senior Project Officer, about some other great green surfaces both old and new and the many social, climatic and biodiversity benefits green roofs and walls bring to the city, and we'll also hear about the 202020 Vision Project ,which is a great new campaign advocating for 20% more green spaces in urban areas by 2020 from 202020 Vision advocate Sacha Coles Director of ASPECT Studios - landscape architect lead for The Goods Line in Ultimo - a future green space within the city.
We'll also have a live music performance from pop duo Divine Union. Luke Dixon and Lindsay Drummond bring together messages of wisdom, hope and inspiration through music that crosses geographical and stylistic borders. The husband and wife duo merge radio friendly Western Pop Music with Eastern Philosophy, Spirituality and New Age themes. You will be taken on a musical and spiritual journey that will lead you back home…to you.
Food, Drinks & Prizes:
GreenUps is delighted to hold our November event in conjunction with the inaugural national Change Makers Festival running across the country.
As a social-networking evening that has run for almost 5 years GreenUps has showcased, inspired, facilitated, connected and supported change-makers passionate about making the world around them more sustainable.
Every GreenUps we pick a theme drawn from the sustainability movement, framed by the context of 'change making', this month we thought it might be interesting to explore the concept of personal sustainability - the set of tools practices and rituals needed in ones life to nurture the personal wellbeing required to sustain a committed and flourishing life able to creating positive change in the world.
To nurture your mind we've invited three leaders in their respective fields to share what the concept of personal sustainability means to them and what they do to nurture their own lives.
Giselle has practised wholistic & integrative medicine since graduating in Medicine from the UNSW in 1979. After training in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western Herbalism, Nutrition and Ayurveda. Giselle is the author of two books and innumerable health articles, she appeared regularly on national radio, has lectured at universities and naturopathic colleges and international conferences. Giselle is currently doing research in nutrition and gynaecology.
Mike is the founder of Evolution to Wellbeing a holistic fitness program that promotes community, accountability and commitment as part of a daily group exercise regime. Mike is also a co-founder of mensgroup.info a community dedicated to promoting real conversations amongst men enabling them to talk about life's challenges, purpose, direction and fulfillment. Mike is also a proud father of two boys, with another baby on the way!
Urban Permaculture Permaculture design is for much more than gardens. "I share design tricks that help us get more out of our ‘inner’ life - inside our homes, our relationships, and our thinking". Cecilia is bilingual and integrates Japanese Zen practices into her permaculture design thinking, which she then applies to enable "people to become pro-active, and overcome those obstacles to taking good care of ourselves and our world".
Daragh started Guerrilla Mindfulness to raise awareness of the value of putting mindfulness practice into everyday life. "I can see the relationship between mindfulness and personal sustainability - mindfulness is a tool I use to help me direct my attention and energy in a more considered and therefore sustainable manner!" Daragh will take the group through a mindfulness meditation exercise.
This month GreenUps heads to the East Sydney Hotel, a wonderful heritage establishment in the heart of Woolloomooloo tucked in behind William Street on the city fringe, opened in 1856 the East Sydney also known as "the pub with no pokies" is the oldest continually licensed drinking hole in Sydney, and has steadfastly held out against the pressures of gambling machines.
Harald and Trish who ran the pub for over 30 years until this year saw pokies as a "moral issue" believing there was "enough gaming in NSW with the TABs and the dogs, without turning the pubs into mini casinos to rip off working people." We've invited the new licensees to share their thoughts on the future of the 'the pub with no pokies'.
Also joining us on the night are Corrine Fisher from the Better Planning Network who will explain the current situation with the NSW State parliaments recently proposed plans to aggressively wind back essential environmental protection laws.
The Clovelly Road Better Block team will also be making an appearance to share a few project stories and drum up some more interest for their transformative day of direct action at the end of the month.
Connect with Sydney creatives and sustainability professionals at the monthly GreenUps networking evening.
This September well be down in the funky industrial basement of the Assembly Bar in the CBD exchanging creative juices, sharing tall stories and radical strategies for how we can repair our broken world.
So if you'd rather spend your tuesday evening meeting & mingling with folks immersed-in or curious about making what they do more sustainable then please come along an join us for what is always a memorable evening.
GreenUps, always on the first tuesday of the month, is an informal drinks night that is fun, diverse, inclusive, creative and lively. See you there!
An election is looming. The nation has mandated they want action on climate change but the recently enacted Greens-led price on carbon is a political hot potato and both Rudd’s newly re-formed Government and Abbott’s poll-leading Opposition are positioning themselves to ‘tax the axe’ if they form government. This message does seem to have traction with electorate, and yet would be expensive, regressive and reactionary. So is the hollow rhetoric of the politics drowning out the vision and purpose of the policy?
For this month’s Greenup’s we invited the three major parties (ALP, The Libs and The Greens) to come and share their party’s environmental and climate change platforms and their personal sustainability vision.
Some of our guests are still being finalised (actually we are just waiting to hear back from the ALP as to whether that can have a candidate present) there are also some ongoing discussions about the the format but regardless this is going to be a memorable GreenUps! So please make sure you RSVP and make sure you tell your friends.
NOTE: We will be asking for a small donation (optional) on the door to cover costs (with any remaining proceeds going to charity), and if you have specific questions you would like to ask our guests please email me.
With Abbott sending clear signals that he intends to fast-track approval for large scale coal mines if elected to power later in the year and with Rudd’s position on the Carbon Tax still unclear it’s vital that Australia’s coal export industry and domestic coal based Energy industry be put on the political centre stage in the lead up to this election.
Big Coal knows the writing‘s on the wall, and that they only have a limited time-frame in which to lock in investment in future coal production before it is no longer cost competitive.
The finance and investment sector are at a tipping point too. Forward thinking investors are beginning to realise investing in coal long-term does not make economic sense (let alone equate an act of environmental suicide).
Inspired by the recent Bill McKibben Do The Maths tour there’s a grassroots momentum growing across Australia calling for financial institutions to divest from coal in the name of economic risk management and in the cause of Environmental Responsibility - Greenup’s invites you to join this growing crowd calling for their Banks, Superannuation and Investment Funds to divest from coal.
At this month's GreenUps we will be discussing the Maths, the Politics and Divestment Strategies. We will also be engaging in some Digital Activism so bring your smart phones, tablets and other socially connected devices so you can help get your message out.
If you can’t make it along tonight I encourage you to show your support and do your bit to Divest.
Please sign this open letter to the heads of the big four banks urging them to adopt critical change in their investment policies.
Send a message to your banks putting them on notice that they must end loans to new coal and gas mining, transport and export projects or you will withdraw your business.
For more info on this campaign
Go Fossil Free Australia
The Conversation – Do the Maths: Bill McKibben argues for divestment
Renew Economy - Will financial markets veto Australia’s mega coal mines?
GreenUps is doing Vivid for June. Come and hear from some leading creatives as they talk about how they incorporate re-use, re-purposing and sustainability principles into their work.
Zev Bianchi is an industrial product designer who has spent much of his professional career living and working in New York City, Berlin Germany and of course Sydney. He is passionate about creating the best living environments in the least space, focusing on sustainable materials and compact design.
At Vivid GreenUps Zev will talk about how sustainability and smart design influences his practice as well as his Protohub concept, a community project to encourage like-minded designers to design, create & collaborate in a shared workshop and show case their fruits of labor, designs and prototypes in Protohub’s ever changing showroom.
Belle Flaneur and two of her collaborators will talk about the changing consumer attitudes to waste. Natalie Coulter, principal of the visual merchandising and education group Belle Flaneur, uses unlikely urban treasures for her window displays, art installations and more. Two of her frequent collaborators are Milk Crate Events, who will present their astounding work involving recycled milk cartons and crates, and architect Sophie Hoppe, who will discuss her architecture and jewellery crafted from construction waste.
As part of the Rocks Windmill project, May GreenUps is co-curated by Rekindle Projects. We will present an intimate evening where GreenUppers will learn about the Rekindle Project. We will be encouraged to think about the types of skills we would like to learn or share to provide us with sustainable cross-cultural and cross-generational solutions that are practical and effective.
So think about what Grannies and our elders from around the world have done to be ‘sustainable’ without meaning to be, i.e. preserving, pickling, jamming, knitting, seed saving, gardening, fixing things. We hope to celebrate these connections and think about applying them to our current sustainable practices and life.
Guests speakers on the night include:
Refreshments care of The Apple Thief Cidre and Wok on Inn.
Ticket price Includes & a tasty glass of Apple Thief Cider.
If you'd like to stay informed about all that's going on at GreenUps, including what's happenig at upcoming events, please register below:
GreenUps – green drinking to inspire green thinking.
Green Drinks International happens in more than 45 countries and 448 cities around the world. The Sydney Chapter, GreenUps is an informal monthly drinks night that helps support the creative, inspired and lively community of people who already immersed or curious about sustainability.
The first GreenUps was held at (our spiritual home) The Falconer Cafe in March 2009 and we’ve painted Sydney-town green every first Tuesday of the month (except the Januaries) ever since.
Most months we choose a GreenUps theme. Themes have included food, fashion, film, art, design, business, investment, activism, bikes as well as our less formal ‘grab-a-drink-and-hang-out’ nights.
People generally rock-up at around 6.30, grab a drink or two, listen to our speakers and get to know each other. Great things have come out of GreenUps events – jobs, new projects, new wardrobes, prizes, inspiration, and even true love.
Not usually. GreenUps is hosted by an independent committee of diverse individuals, no-one (except maybe the venues) makes any money from GreenUps so on the few occasion that we ticket an event or ask for a donation it is to cover costs like food or drinks at a non-pub/bar venue.
Anyone and everyone! Artists, filmmakers, scientists, lawyers, gardeners, Government folk, corporate folk, Not-for-profit folk, fashionistas, foodies, hippies, media and just about everyone in between come to GreenUps – that’s the whole point.
More than anything GreenUps should be fun. So we kindly ask that if you have an idea for a speaker, event theme, cause, event or product to promote that you get in touch with one of the committee members well ahead of time.
We not so keen on the idea of GreenUps being a great big spruik and want to maintain it’s uniqueness. So please don’t bring fliers or other promo material to events, you are of course more than welcome to post discussion topics and other relevant info to our facebook or meetups pages.
When is it?
GreenUps is always the first Tuesday of the month – except for January (imagine if it fell on New Year’s Day!)
Where is it?
Wherever possible GreenUps chooses to support independent bars and venues, however due to our ever-increasing numbers we can’t always fit everyone in.
If you have a cracker idea for a venue we want to know about it! We can’t afford to hire the place, but we can certainly bring a bunch of business on a Tuesday evening.
GreenUps kicks-off at around 6-6.30pm and winds-up around 9.30-10pm.
If we have speakers they will usually take the floor at around 7pm. We try to keep the formal parts of the evening to an hour maximum so that you get to talk to people.
GreenUps is an Encoporated Not-for-Profit Association. It's overseen by a board of volunteers from diverse backgrounds. We are passionate about sustainability and truly believe that it takes all types of people and interesting ideas to solve the big complicated problems with which we are all faced.
GreenUps Board Members:
The GreenUps events are a collaborative process. We rely on the help of a dedicated core of volunteers and often co-host events in conjunction with other creative and passionate groups.
Special Thanks must go to:
Dan Cass, Dave Gravina, Phill Stubbs, Kate Betwell, Mell Flanigan, Merissa Guber, Shelby Burns, Katherine Lustig, Bethan Harris,
At the moment we’re giving a lot of thought as to how we make GreenUps even better.
We’re looking for ways to formalise the group so we can do even cooler things (things that require public liability insurance and some money), have volunteers involved, Co-Curators, and perhaps pay someone to help us with the day-to-day admin.
We’re really open to your ideas and feedback as to how this could happen (and also what you wouldn’t like to see happen). So please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
You can contact us via email: email@example.com Join the GreenUps facebook group. Follow GreenUps updates on twitter. The GreenUps on the International Green Drinks: See you at GreenUps!