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HSI activities      

Climate Change

HSI Climate Campaign history

  • As a member of the Commonwealth Environment Minister's first `State of the Environment Reporting Council', HSI warned the Government back in 1996 of the climate change dilemma (First National State of the Environment Report) and the lack of sufficient progress in dealing with it
  • HSI successfully listed ' climate change'  as a ' key threatening process'  under the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act, 1995 requiring a ' threat abatement plan'  to be developed
  • Successfully listed ' climate change'  as a ' key threatening process'  under the Victorian Flora & Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 requiring appropriate conservation action
  • Successfully listed ' climate change'  (Loss of climatic habitat caused by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases) as a ' key threatening process'  under the Commonwealth's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999
  • HSI is campaigning hard at the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change (UNFCCC) to ensure protection for important terrestrial carbon stores (forests, peatlands, wetlands and tundra) is a major part of the next global climate change agreement ' “ and the ' REDD mechanism'  for Reducing Emissions from Forest Deforestation and Degradation that is being negotiated as part of this agreement is as effective as possible. This involves us having a team at the multiple negotiating sessions that take place every year.
  • Through advocacy at the UNFCCC and at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), HSI is promoting strategies to ensure bio-diversity co-benefits are maximised during efforts to conserve forest and other terrestrial carbon.
  • HSI is a founding member of the Ecosystems Climate Alliance www.ecosystemsclimate.org an alliance of NGOs campaigning at the UNFCCC for a well designed REDD mechanism to keep forest ecosystems intact and their carbon out of the atmosphere.
  • HSI is submitting policy positions at every opportunity to influence the development of carbon pricing schemes in Australia to ensure they include strategies to protect Australian and international terrestrial carbon stores and biodiversity. In 2009 we were successful in ensuring the Coalition led by Malcolm Turnbull negotiated amendments to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme for terrestrial carbon conservation which the Rudd Government later adopted as policy. Incentives for terrestrial carbon protection is now accepted Government policy and included in the Gillard Government' s Carbon Farming Initiative and Clean Energy legislation.
  • HSI is demanding the Australian Government commit to ecologically defensible emission reduction targets that would contribute to a global strategy for stabilising atmospheric carbon levels at well below 450ppm so that Australian biodiversity and natural icons such as the Great Barrier and Ningaloo Reefs are not destroyed.
  • Working to promote climate change mitigation programs are taken account of at other international conservation treaty meetings attended by HSI. For example, tabling of climate change lobbying documents with the Antarctic & Southern Ocean Coalition (ASOC) at meetings of Antarctic Treaty nations.
  • Campaigning to ensure the Government meets its 2007 election commitments to ban imports of illegally logged timber to Australia and to ensure all timber imported is from ecologically sustainable sources.
  • Lobbying for the inclusion of a climate change ' trigger'  (matter of national environmental significance) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Protection Act, 1999, to allow the Commonwealth to intervene in major new greenhouse gas emission projects, i.e. coal mines/power stations/Sydney desalination plant
  • Successfully worked with the office of the Commonwealth Environment Minister, to require the development of a National Biodiversity and Climate Change Action Plan. Now seeking to have it upgraded to a legally binding Threat Abatement Plan in the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act
  • Submitted detailed submission to Environment Minister for climate change considerations to be better incorporated into all decision making under the EPBC Act and for climate refugia for threatened species to be protected.
  • Touring international experts such as Dr Tom Lovejoy and Professor Norman Myers, promoting the need for action on climate change in relation to biodiversity conservation and effective energy use
  • Seeking the establishment of specific climate change mitigation programs as a part of HSI's Future Proofing Australia proposal (a new national and comprehensive national biodiversity conservation program concept)
  • Through HSI's membership of the National Oceans Advisory Group (NOAG) we are raising the issue of ocean acidification due to the effects of climate change and seeking government responses
  • Through the legislative protection of over three million acres of wildlife habitats in Australia, and through campaigns with other NGOs to reduce land clearing, we have contributed significantly to the containment of climate change gas emissions
  • We have been financially supporting reforestation programs in Indonesia (Kalimantan) working with our colleague organisation the Friends of the National Parks Foundation, helping to store more carbon
  • Under a recent contract to the Federal Department of the Environment (DEH) as a peer reviewer, HSI heavily criticised the climate change text in the Government's draft ' 2006 National State of the Environment Report'  as being far too weak and evasive
  • HSI has run a national radio advertising campaign to alert the public and pressure governments over climate change, and offering easy and practical ways that individuals can help save energy
  • HSI ran a national, regional and international TV advert campaign in 2007, to promote the need for real action on climate change
  • HSI took every opportunity to urge the former Howard Government to ratify the Kyoto Protocol
  • Through all policy publications, national policy critiques, report cards and lobbying in Canberra, HSI has been assessing government action and promoting programs to mitigate the effects of climate change upon Australia's biodiversity
  • HSI will continue to pressure the Australian Government to commit to effective climate change abatement and adaptation strategies at the international level and at home in Australia.
  • HSI continues to be a regular advocate for forest protection at all the many international negotiating meetings held several times a year at the UN Framework Convention for Climate Change.

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