Globally, and here on home soil, the consequences of delayed climate action have played out in real time in 2022. Australians are experiencing the impacts of a new era of unnatural disasters, emphasising the need to get emissions well and truly plummeting this decade.
As we ring in a New Year, join us in committing to resolutions that help to reduce Australia’s emissions, continue positively influencing the national conversation on climate change, and pressure decision-makers to take climate action seriously.
Here’s our top sEVEN suggestions for your New Year’s resolutions:
1. Take collective action
Community-led action has historically been a great catalyst for systemic change. Joining a petition or protest, or contacting your local MP with an email or phone call can be powerful ways to spark important climate conversations, and can help keep climate action in the public eye. Everyday Australians speaking up to support ambitious climate policy when we see it and calling for far greater action will help shift the dial. It’s going to take all of us.
Here are a couple things you can do right now to take strong and decisive climate action that will benefit all Australians, our economy and way of life/well-being:
Push the Government to crack down on the top 12 largest polluters in Australia by adding your name to the petition now.
Take the pledge to make the switch from gas in your home today.
2. Make changes to how you 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 EVs alone. The way Australian cities and towns have been built forces us to be reliant on cars – so it can be hard to leave our four wheels at home and look to alternatives. Nevertheless, there may be some car trips you can swap out for a walk, ride or trip on a bus, train or tram.
Here are some tips to help:
- Set a goal to walk, ride, skate or roll (for people using a wheelchair) your short routes more often.
- Consider your plans for the weekend – is there anywhere you could walk, ride or catch public transport to?
- 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 ask if anyone would like to carpool.
- 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, picking up your friend along the way?
- Encourage your local council to invest more in footpaths and cycling paths.
When we’re on our feet or on two 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 and walking, cycling and rolling into your daily routine next year.
3. 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 (both in total and per person), 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.
Make the switch from gas to electric:
Gas is a polluting fossil fuel that’s driving the climate crisis. It is also harming our health and our hip pockets, as 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:
4. 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, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology. Have a good look at what sort of news content you’re currently consuming 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.
Nowadays, almost 25% of Australians consume their news via social media, so make sure you’re also taking a critical eye to the accounts and pages you’re following there.
Our top picks for climate, energy and extreme weather news platforms to follow are:
– Bureau Of Meteorology
– Renew Economy
– Climate Council – you can also find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin and Tiktok too – where we post daily about the latest climate and energy developments in Australia and the world.
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.
We’ve also created a list of our favourite new climate reads which house a wealth of information and inspiration and make for great last minute christmas presents too – check it out here.
5. Commit to having more conversations about climate change with your nearest and dearest
A few top tips to get you started:
- Help people understand how climate change is affecting them in particular. For example, were they affected by recent floods? Have they seen their insurance premiums skyrocket? Do they love snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef? Have they experienced a heatwave?
- Discuss how renewables are already creating good, new jobs for Australians and would contribute to lowering their sky high power bills and removing our reliance on crooked fossil fuel companies.
- Invite people to be open to new information by sharing the latest facts and demonstrating how a renewables-led recovery can create a more self-reliant and sustainable Australia.
- Help your loved ones understand that phasing out fossil fuels is inevitable, makes economic sense, and is already well underway.
- Explain that investing in renewables is a win-win situation: it’s both a win for the environment, and a win for our economy.
Click here to find our climate conversation guides, and learn how to have an effective conversation about climate change with anyone!
6. Become a Climate Council member
With an extreme weather record broken on every continent in 2022, now is a crucial time to push hard and fast to develop new climate friendly policies to slash emissions, create jobs 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 policy to enable this. We’ll continue fighting for fuel efficiency standards to help ring in the switch to electric vehicles 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 see 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.
7. MAKE CLIMATE ACTION YOUR LASTING LEGACY
No matter what your life stage, having a legally valid Will is important. You can never be too young to safeguard your life’s work and write down how you want it distributed in case something happens to you. After taking care of your loved ones, you can also choose to include a gift to charity in your Will. These gifts are an important fundraising stream for charities. Around 20 percent of charity income in Australia comes from the gifts people make in their Wills. By leaving a gift to the Climate Council in your Will, you can make a meaningful difference on climate action and ensure that your values and beliefs are carried on after your lifetime.
Here’s how you can make climate action part of your lasting legacy:
If you don’t have a Will and only need a simple one, we’ve partnered with Gathered Here, Australia’s most trusted online Will provider to give supporters access to a free simple online Will, with unlimited updates for life. Write your free online Will now.
If you already have a Will, or want to write one with a solicitor, this guide contains the correct legal wording and the impact your gift can achieve.