The climate crisis has intensified this year, underscoring the urgent need to cut emissions in the 2020s. We have seen harrowing weather extremes across the world, and more records broken as the year progressed.
But there is hope: with many nations and parts of our society and economy stepping up their climate commitment. Momentum for positive change is growing around the world, and here at home we are seeing more homes and businesses go electric, more solar and wind power being added to our grid and more people choosing cleaner transport options.
As we ring in a New Year, join us in committing to resolutions that will help to reduce Australia’s emissions, positively influence the national conversation on climate change, and pressure decision-makers to step up their climate game.
Here’s our top eight suggestions for your 2024 New Year’s resolutions:
Here’s our top eight suggestions for your New Year’s resolutions:
1. Take collective action
Community-led action has historically been a great catalyst for systemic change. Banding together with others in our community to join a petition or protest, or contact your local MP with an email or phone call can all be powerful ways to spark important climate conversations, and keep climate action in the public eye. Everyday Australians speaking up to support necessary climate policies and calling for far greater action will help shift the dial. It’s going to take all of us.
Here are a few things you can do right now to encourage strong and decisive climate action that will benefit all Australians, our economy and way of life.:
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- Sign our petition to ask our Federal Government to pause fossil fuel project approvals until we’ve fixed our environmental protection law.
- Find out when/where the next School Strike for Climate protest is in your area and make a plan to go with your friends, family and neighbours to support the youth-led movement demanding better from our Governments.
- Take the pledge to get your home off gas. The gas we use to cook and heat our homes is a polluting fossil fuel that’s dangerous to our health and is overheating our planet. Join over 1000 others in committing to clean, electric alternatives.
2. Move your money so it doesn’t support the fossil fuel industry
Do you know where your personal finances are invested? Many banks, super funds and share portfolios are still investing in coal, oil and gas projects. Making informed choices about where to invest your hard-earned cash will put pressure on financial institutions to do better.
Thankfully, there are options out there for banks and super funds that avoid financing fossil fuels and support renewable energy and the environment. Find out where your bank stands here, and find out more about the future your banks and super are funding here.
3. Change how you get around
Personal transport is the fastest growing source of carbon pollution in Australia, so rapidly reducing emissions calls for a re-think of how we get around. Cars are responsible for more than 60% of Australia’s transport pollution, and while electric vehicles (EVs) are an important piece of the puzzle, we won’t achieve our climate targets with them alone. The way Australian cities and towns have been designed to move cars, not people and that means many of us are reliant on cars to get around. Nevertheless, there may be some car trips you can swap out for a walk, ride, scoot or a trip on a bus, train or tram.
Choosing active ways of getting around – like walking, using a wheelchair or bike riding – and shared transport can drive down emissions while also making our streets quieter, our neighbourhood less congested and polluted with car traffic and our communities much more liveable..
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Here are some tips to help:
- Write down a list of your most common trips, and work out if there are any that are less than two kilometres. Set a goal to walk, ride, skate or roll that route more often.
- Consider your plans for the weekend – is there anywhere you could walk, ride or catch public transport to? Could you ask to meet friends closer to public transport hubs that are easier for everyone to access?
- Already using public transport? If you drive to your train station, is there any way you could catch the bus, or ride your bike there?
- Do a shoutout to your colleagues, peers or school friends to check if anyone would like to carpool – it makes the trip way more fun, after all!
- Check if you’re eligible for any public transport discounts.
- Make getting around fun by getting active together – why not ride your bike to the cafe, shops or beach, and pick up your friend along the way?
- Encourage your local council to invest in safe footpaths and cycling paths.
- If you can, consider shopping around for an electric bike, to get you further, faster. (Upside? They cost an average of $20 a year to run!)
When we’re on our feet or on wheels, we’re getting exercise, moving in more climate friendly ways, and feeling more connected to the people around us. In fact, research shows riding a bike is the ‘happiest’ way to get around. Challenge yourself to incorporate more public transport, walking, and cycling into your daily routine next year.
4. Make climate action your lasting legacy
For many Australians, the new year is an important time to take stock, catch up on life admin, and revisit finances. Making it an increasingly common period to look into leaving a charitable bequest.
To help make things easier, we’ve partnered with Gathered Here, Australia’s most trusted online Will provider, to offer supporters access to write a free, simple online Will with unlimited updates for life!
CLAIM YOUR FREE WILL OFFER TODAY
After taking care of your loved ones, you can choose to include a gift to the Climate Council in your Will.
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every gift, no matter the size, contributes to vital climate action and creating a vibrant and safe planet for generations to come. Legacy gifts are a vital way of supporting the causes you care about. In fact, around 20 percent of charity income in Australia comes from the gifts people make in their Wills!
For more information, visit our website and download our free gifts in Wills guide. You can also get in touch with our Planned Giving Coordinator, Miranda Bouwman, on 02 9356 8531 or email email@example.com Whether you need assistance in updating your existing Will or creating a new one, we are here to support you every step of the way.
5. Make your home more energy efficient
Electricity generation is the biggest contributor to climate change in Australia because the majority of our electricity is still made by burning fossil fuels like coal and gas. Australians are also among the biggest carbon polluters on the planet, which means there is plenty more we could be doing at home to reduce our energy consumption heading into the new year. Check out our top tips for improving your home’s energy efficiency here, and find out how much you could save in power bills and emissions each year by making basic changes around your home with our energy savings simulator.
Make the switch from gas to electric:
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Gas is a polluting fossil fuel that’s driving the climate crisis. It is also harming our health and our hip pockets, as gas prices continue to rise.
Gas appliances – including stovetops, heaters and hot water systems – are an outdated technology with no place in the modern home. Fortunately, there are alternatives that are cheaper to run and better for the planet and our health. Use our savings calculator to find out how much you could save by switching your appliances and getting off gas, and join Sarah Wilson in taking the pledge to get off gas here.
6. Ensure the climate information you consume is credible and science based
This could mean taking stock of where you get your news from and who you trust as a reliable source, such as the Climate Council, our national science agency CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology. Have a good look at what sort of news content you’re accessing and think about where it comes from, what vested interests or personal bias may be influencing the news piece, and whether the claims can be fact-checked.
Make sure you keep a critical eye on the accounts and pages you’re following on social media too.
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Our top picks for climate, energy and extreme weather news platforms to follow are:
– Bureau Of Meteorology
– Climate Council – we post daily about the latest climate and energy developments in Australia and the world – you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Tiktok and Youtube, or sign up to the Climate Council mailing list for the latest info straight in your inbox.
At the Climate Council, we believe providing Australians with credible, reliable and up-to-date information is key to developing a deep understanding of climate change impacts and solutions and changing the public narrative around climate and energy policy. It’s safe to say we take our news seriously.
7. Commit to having more conversations about climate change with your nearest and dearest
A few top tips to get you started:
- Find common values. What is that thing that both you and the person you are talking to care about? THAT is where you start the conversation, by sharing that interest/love/value you hold dearly and explaining how climate change impacts or threatens it, or how climate solutions can help protect it.
- Come armed with the facts. There’s a whole lot of misinformation out there that gets peddled to confuse, distract or delay action. So point people to trustworthy sources of information and refer to one or two facts that are compelling and easy to remember.
3. Keep it local. It’s important to use examples that are local and relevant to whoever you are speaking to, so your conversation buddy can connect with the issue. Think local, rather than global.
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4. Don’t reinforce a false debate. Scientists agree that burning coal, oil and gas is overheating our planet and worsening extreme weather. Any implication of a “debate” opens the door for people to think there’s still a question mark over what’s driving climate change when the science is unequivocal.
5. Focus on the solutions. Fun fact, we actually already have loads of the solutions we need to solve the climate crisis. And these solutions come with HUGE benefits for our health, our communities, having safe and liveable homes, our way of life, and our back pockets. It’s a win-win-win-win-win situation.
You can find our climate conversation guides on how to have impactful climate conversations here.
8. Become a Climate Council member
The World Meteorological Organisation has confirmed that 2023 will be the hottest year on record by a large margin, coming in at 1.4 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.
Now is a crucial time to push hard and fast to develop new climate friendly policies to slash emissions and keep us safe from worsening extreme weather.
We’ll keep fighting back against dangerous and unnecessary new fossil fuel projects to accelerate the switch to renewables. We’ll continue advocating for energy efficient homes powered by renewables and the policies that enable this. We’ll continue fighting for national car standards to help ring in the switch to cleaner cars that are chaeper to run across Australia.
We are committed to being brave and bold in demanding science-backed climate action. From the biggest international and national media publications, to boardrooms and the general public, the Climate Council is focused on transforming what Australians think is possible when it comes to climate action in this country.
It’s our Climate Council members, who contribute an average of $7 a week, who underpin the work that we do. So if you haven’t already, consider joining us by becoming a Climate Council Member today.
Weekly and monthly donations make up a significant proportion of our funding, and they’re critical in helping us shape the conversation on climate change in Australia and push for real action from our federal politicians. Time is running out, and we know that we need to be bigger and better to help drive significant emissions reductions and large-scale solutions to climate change.
Becoming a member powers our important work, so we can keep doing what we do best.
So make your New Year’s Resolutions count this year, by taking on board one – or all – of our climate resolutions. Happy New Year!