2020 has been such a challenging year – making it even more important to acknowledge and celebrate people-powered wins.
It’s been a huge few months for the 350 movement, and I want to share 10 ways our movement has had an impact:
Our Islands Our Home
Torres Strait Islanders are leading the powerful campaign, Our Islands Our Home, to call for action to protect their homes from climate change, and bringing the first climate change case against the Australian federal government over human rights.
1. In September, Torres Strait Islander claimants in the UN court case came together with partners and volunteers for a Yasagul A Miratager (talk/meeting) in Cairns. It was an incredibly powerful two days, and everyone has left with stronger relationships and a plan for the year ahead.
2. The claimants submitted their official reply after the Australian Government shamefully tried to get the complaint dismissed in August. This moment gained significant media coverage – you can read the ABC story here, watch the ABC TV news clip, and read about it on NITV.
3. In case you missed it in August, check out this powerful opinion piece in the Guardian from Yessie Mosby, Kulkalgal man, claimant in the UN complaint, and 350 Torres Strait Islands Organiser.
4. Solidarity flowed across Australia and the Pacific and the campaign now has more than 24,000 petition signatures, and in September hundreds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous supporters of the campaign have taken to social media to declare that they support the #TorresStrait8.
Polluters Out of Politics
The 350 movement is campaigning to take back our democracy from the hands of the big polluters so that we can get on with the job of solving the climate crisis – transitioning away from fossil fuels and investing in an economic recovery that puts people first.
5. Our grassroots network has been active at a local and national level, putting pressure on PwC, local politicians and mobilising their communities for the #FundOurFutureNotGas day of action. Our 600-person webinar with journalist and author of the new book “The Carbon Club” Marian Wilkinson resulted in more than 60 participants joining to organise MP meetings.
6. Our investigation into the $1.2 billion proposed Hunter Pipeline uncovered several potential conflicts of interest making it more difficult for the Morrison Government to fund the pipeline.
7. We highlighted conflicts of interest in Scott Morrison’s hand-picked, gas-executive stacked Covid-19 Commission driving significant media coverage in the ABC, the SMH & the Guardian. A number of new Commissioners without connections to the fossil fuel industry have now been added to the Covid Commission.
8. We worked with lower house Independents to publicly call for a clean recovery and oppose subsidies for gas companies – as covered in this story. And although the Government has announced $50 million to support “gas-fired recovery” plans, we believe without our interventions this would have been much higher.
9. We made sure that the head of the Covid-19 Commission, gas industry executive Neville Power appeared before the Senate Select Committee and our briefings to Senators resulted in greater scrutiny and further media coverage.
10. The Queensland Resources Council ran some extremely partisan ads during the QLD election that forced both BHP and Origin Energy to suspend their membership. This wouldn’t have happened without the pressure we put on member companies, or our work exposing the dirty tactics of lobby groups.
This is people power in action!