Tag: Australia

CAN-International Director says goodbye

Dear friends,
As you may recall, today marks my last day as Director of the CAN-International Secretariat.

I said a lot in my announcement to CAN members at the end of last year about how much I've learned and grown in this position. If I could somehow express those sentiments even more strongly now I would, having continued to learn so much from so many of you in the last few months of my post here. I'll be carrying with me wonderful memories from Durban, of touching moments reminiscing with friends, of whispering in our outdoor meeting so a certain bug-eyed climate denier couldn't hear us, of dancing on the beach, hugs and handshakes, smiles and frustrations.

There are, as could be expected, things I will not miss from the past few years -- those 6am conference calls, the countless hours spent in airplane lounges or trying to find that one elusive comfortable posture on cramped airplanes. I won't necessarily miss arguing with the UNFCCC for more intervention slots or negotiating where a comma should go to avoid a dreaded "byline" on CAN positions. But, by a large margin, there are many more memories, lessons, and experiences that this position has afforded me that I will cherish.

When I'm asked what I've enjoyed about my job I almost universally tell the same story -- how it all boils down to the people I've been privileged to get to know, to work with, and to call my friends. We at the Secretariat often say CAN is only as strong as its members. If that hypothesis holds, I can safely say -- having gotten to know so many of you so well -- that CAN is an incredibly strong coalition. It's a crazy moment to be sitting in the back of a plenary of a UN negotiation at 4am in a foreign country and look around the room and feel like you are surrounded by family. It's those moments walking down the halls of the Maritim where you feel like you will never make it to your destination because you feel compelled to stop every four feet to talk to someone you bump into. The idea that I literally can go to any continent on the globe and find someone that is part of this family is something that I don't think I'll ever wrap my head around. It's something I'll always hold dear, perhaps even more so than our successes along the way.

And for these experiences, the friendships, and all the lessons I have taken from so many of you, all I can say is thank you.

One of the things I've been struck by is how personally invested CAN members are in this work. This isn't a job to many of us; it's not a 9 to 5 thing that we can set aside from our "normal" lives. For better or worse, it's our life's work and it's something we are all truly passionate about.

With that in mind, it becomes clear that our enemies are not eachother (despite the fact that sometimes it might feel that way), or the more radical or conservative colleagues we find in the network. Our enemies are out there. They are the fossil fuel interests who are making more money than ever known to man, and spending equal amounts on making sure they can continue to make that money. They are the conservative politicians who have either been bought off by those corporations or somehow otherwise genuinely fear government policies and regulations, when we know that for a truly global problem, a comprehensive government approach is needed. There are those who choose to turn the other way -- perhaps aware that the problem exists, but not willing to admit it because doing so would make their lives inconvenient.

Our enemies are not eachother and they never will be...and that's what makes CAN so important. We need our fellow CAN members not just for support, but because it's only together that we can win. This is why I'm so happy to know that I am leaving CAN in as strong a position as I could ever have hoped to leave it. We have an amazing Secretariat that works tirelessly with the full understanding that their efforts will often be left out of the limelight, but knowing how important they are all the same. We have more members from more countries and constituencies than could have been dreamed of 20 years ago, and our positions, analyses, and strategies reflect this in the most positive of ways. We have the respect and attention of governments all around the world, even if sometimes it feels as though they choose to ignore us.

A friend of mine in the movement once wrote that she knows we're going to win because we're cooler than they are. And I couldn't put it better myself. Putting aside the fact that we're have the truth on our side...we're more fun, more dynamic, more challenging, more passionate, more inspiring, more critical, more friendly, more caring, more creative than THEY are. And sometimes we throw some wicked parties too.

I know you all aren't going anywhere from my life and my heart--and this cause--and you can rest assured I'm not going far. This is a fight we're in together, no matter what roles we play. And I know, like you, I plan on seeing it to the end.

As I leave this role, I'm so tempted to use that clichéd phrase, "it's not goodbye, it's see you later." But I won't...instead, I'll just say:

Onwards, friends.


-David Turnbull

CAN-International Director, October 2008 - February 2012


350.org Australia

350.org Australia is:

  • Part of an international movement dedicated to uniting people globally around the call for climate change action.
  • Committed to spreading an understanding of the science and a shared vision for the need for bold solutions to climate change.
  • Open-sourced and interested in working with anyone and any organisation that shares our committment to climate change action.
  • A lean and effective group of people with a big vision for change.
  • An independent and not-for-profit project.

In Australia, we have worked with dozens of organisations and thousands of people to organise national events and activities to call on our leaders to act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 350 parts per million – the number scienitsts say is the safe limit. In 2009, some 200 events were held around the country just before the United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen culminating with an event at the Sydney Opera House that made world news. We followed up with hundreds more events on 10/10/10.

We continue to grow and to take part in global 350.org campaigns to raise awareness and bring about positive change.

Contact Information: 

Wodonga and Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH)


What is WATCH ?

WATCH is a local, non‑political, community group.

WATCH actively advocates foraction on human‑induced climate change.

WATCH assists people of the Albury-Wodonga region to clarify concerns about climate change and effectively express them to community leaders and decision‑makers.

WATCH has a core committee of about 10 people and our monthly e-mail newsletter WATCHWORD goes out to over 500 people.


What does WATCH do ?

WATCH promotes activities and events for people like you in the local community to meet, discuss, establish informed views and take appropriate action on climate change. We have:

- Periodic social events on climate change topics;
- Community actions on climate change issues;
- E-mail information and discussion on climate change;

We then communicate this collective voice to community leaders and decision‑makers by meeting them in person and writing letters, and encouraging others to do so.

WATCH also produces WATCHWord, the highly‑regarded monthly e‑mail newsletter with information on local and national climate change issues, as well as the events and activities of local environment and sustainability community groups.  It is circulated to over 500 subscribers across the border region.

Contact Information: 

Lighter Footprints



Lighter Footprints is a local Climate Action Group which aims to be a leader in stimulating action to ensure a safe climate future, influencing a paradigm shift in the attitudes and opinions of the community and all levels of government.


To do so it will construct links with the community, support the formation of new groups and be active in significant projects that are moving with urgency to prevent a global catastrophe.





Lighter Footprints aims to influence national, state and local decision makers and Australian citizens to take action to halt global warming as a matter of urgency.
Who we are
We are a small but growing group of concerned residents from Boroondara and Whitehorse who came together in 2006 to see what we could do about climate change. 

We aim to reduce our own carbon footprints but also to work for change at local, state and federal levels. 

Our approach: making a difference

We seek to act rather than to debate. We recognise that climate change has been flagged for years and we are impatient for effective action. 

We wish to encourage those who are just beginning to get the message and who wish to change their practices to understand more of the underpinning climate science. 

We value action close to home that we can more easily undertake, control and promote. 

We seek to influence the wider political debate about climate change action. We believe that individual action can make a difference but strong policy action from local, state and federal government can make an even greater difference.

We welcome new members who share our concern and who are keen to make a difference.

We are not aligned to any political party, business or commercial interest.


Contact Information: 

Mount Alexander Sustainability Group

The Sustainability Group has over 1000 voting members: local people taking action to combat climate change. We employ four staff, supported by volunteers at the MASG office in Castlemaine, central Victoria.

Our members are householders and local schools, businesses, and community organisations. MASG staff and dozens of volunteers are working on positive responses to climate change and peak oil; and are seeking ways to get renewable energy systems in place in this region. Castlemaine is close to the centre of Mount Alexander Shire, home to around 18,000 people and 120km north west of Melbourne. Our initial focus is on reducing our carbon emissions through improving energy efficiency and increasing the supply of renewable energy.

Contact Information: 
233 Barker St, PO Box 1043
3450 Castlemaine VIC

Mackay Conservation Group


Mackay Conservation Group

Mackay Conservation Group is the peak environmental organisation in the Mackay region in Queensland, Australia.

We work within the Central Queensland Coast and Brigalow Belt bioregions in the area from Bowen in the north, west to Clermont and South to St Lawrence, as well as the off-shore islands of the Great Barrier Reef.

Our Vision

Mackay Conservation Group recognises and strives to promote awareness of the value of our natural environment.

We represent people's desires to protect and maintain our region's natural assets and encourage moves towards sustainable systems. We achieve this by education, research, advocacy and action in cooperation with other community groups, industry, and government.

Mackay Conservation Group receives some funding for specific projects from government, but relies on volunteers & donations for its advocacy work.

Contact Information: 
PO Box 826
4740 Mackay Qld

Climate Action Sydney Eastern Suburbs (CASES)


Climate Action Sydney Eastern Suburbs (CASES) is a growing coalition of climate-concerned individuals and community groups in Sydney’s eastern suburbs.  Our members hail from Dover Heights to La Perouse, and from Coogee to Waterloo.

CASES activities include:
- raising community awareness about the climate crisis
- taking action to reduce our own carbon footprints
- calling upon our governments to set policies for a zero carbon future

We invite you to join together with us in driving a community-led response to climate change, in collaboration with 150 similar community climate groups around Australia, which together form the Community Climate Network 

Contact Information: 

100% Renewable Energy


People in communities across Australia share a vision for a 100% Renewable future: an Australia powered entirely by clean renewable energy.

In a country like Australia, where the sun beats down every day, the wind always blows, hot rocks under the ground create heat, and where waves on our long coast lines keep rolling in, renewable energy just makes sense.
Renewable energy means clean, safe power that will never run out. It means new investment, new industry and lots of new jobs. It means a safer climate for ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. And with our natural advantage in sun, wind and wave it means Australia could be a clean energy leader.

Right now Australia faces a choice: we can continue our dependence on fossil fuels, keep mining and burning coal, keep polluting our air and water. We can keep damaging our farmland and heath, be left behind the rest of the world on investment and face an uncertain future with an unstable climate. Or we can make the switch to 100% clean renewable energy, creating a safer, healthier happier future for all. 

Contact Information: 
PO Box 360
2042 Newtown NSW

Queensland Conservation Council



Our story

In 1969 a small group of people got together to share ideas. They were bushwalkers, divers, nature lovers and geologists who shared a growing concern that the things which made Queensland unique were being lost.

More than forty years later the group they founded is Queensland’s leading voice for environmental protection. We’re plugged in to what conservationists want and how government works. We’re fiercely independent and totally focussed on protecting, conserving and sustaining the nature of Queensland.


What we do

We consult with our member groups. We talk to business, government and communities. We apply the latest scientific research to develop policies which we use to convince government to take action. We hold meetings and summits to bring together experts and get people talking. We monitor progress and we rate the performance of governments and their programs. 



Contact Information: 
166 Ann Street
4000 Brisbane Qld


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