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  • Eraring extension risks higher power bills and kids’ health

    Parents for Climate is appalled by the NSW Government’s decision to back coal instead of clean energy by extending the life of Australia’s largest coal-fired power station, Eraring, near Newcastle.

    Nic Seton, CEO for Parents for Climate said: “This go-slow decision on climate action undermines investment in clean energy and increases dangerous climate pollution that is harming NSW families now. Families struggling with bills want to see governments invest in long-term solutions that lower electricity bills, not expensive delays to our clean energy transition."

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  • New Vehicle Efficiency Standard: Parents breath a sigh of cleaner air

    Thursday 16 May: Parents for Climate is excited to welcome improved standards to Australia’s cars – among the world's dirtiest. 

     

    Nic Seton, CEO of Parents for Climate said: “This is a win for kids' health, clean air, and families who want cheaper-to-run cars. Now Australia can join the rest of the world in cleaning up our streets, instead of treating our kids’ lungs as air filters.

     

    “Parents choose and use cars to support their kids. Polling shows that the majority of parents want cars that are cheaper to run and pollute less. The New Vehicle Efficiency Standard is an important piece of the puzzle in cleaning up our transport system and communities. Finally families will be able to access the same cleaner and cheaper to run vehicles that manufacturers have been sending to countries with fuel efficiency standards in place.

     

    “Whether on the school run, or weekend adventure, families are really going to benefit from this policy through access to more choice and cleaner air. Whether you drive, or live near cars, this is the kind of policy that puts our kids’ health first, something we need to see more of when it comes to pollution.”


  • Gas strategy is selling out our kids: Parents for Climate

    In response to the Albanese government’s Future Gas Strategy, Parents for Climate’s CEO Nic Seton said:

    “This announcement to expand polluting gas for decades to come is a betrayal of our kids who rely on us to protect them from rising costs of living and extreme weather impacts.

    “Parents rely on the government to do what’s right by our kids, but this plan treats big gas companies as more important than our children. And it’s our kids who will pay the price across their lifetimes, because more polluting gas means more damage to our communities, higher insurance bills and risks to food supply.

    “The plan to expand fossil gas pollution is a slap in the face for the majority of Australian parents who voted for climate action in the last election. These parents trusted our government with a duty of care to protect young Australians from climate harm, and right now it is failing that trust.

    “The Morrison government’s proposed “gas fired recovery” was a mistake, and the Albanese government’s Future Gas Strategy risks taking us down the same path. We need to focus on clean energy so that we can move away from polluting fuels as fast as possible to protect the next generation and provide them with a better quality of life.

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  • Parents for Climate welcomes bipartisan support for new emissions reduction targets in Queensland

    Parents for Climate congratulates the Queensland Parliament today for passing the Clean Economy Jobs Bill that sets a strong emissions reduction target of 75 per cent by 2035.

     

    The legislation of Queensland’s emissions reduction targets with support from the Liberal National Party (LNP) shows a willingness for a bipartisan approach to ensure a prosperous future and reduced emissions  in Queensland.

     

    This is the third recent example of bipartisanship by states focused on reducing emissions, following support for similar legislation in New South Wales and Victoria.

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  • "How long before climate change will destroy the Earth?" Research reveals what Australian kids want to know about our warming world

    Every day, more children discover they are living in a climate crisis. This makes many children feel sad, anxious, angry, powerless, confused and frightened about what the future holds.

    The climate change burden facing young people is inherently unfair. But they have the potential to be the most powerful generation when it comes to creating change.

    Research and public debate so far has largely failed to engage with the voices and opinions of children – instead, focusing on the views of adults. Our research set out to change this.

    We asked 1,500 children to tell us what they wanted to know about climate change. The results show climate action, rather than the scientific cause of the problem, is their greatest concern. It suggests climate change education in schools must become more holistic and empowering, and children should be given more opportunities to shape the future they will inherit.

     

    Questions of ‘remarkable depth’

    In Australia, research shows 43% of children aged 10 to 14 are worried about the future impact of climate change, and one in four believe the world will end before they grow up.

    Children are often seen as passive, marginal actors in the climate crisis. Evidence of an intergenerational divide is also emerging. Young people report feeling unheard and betrayed by older generations when it comes to climate change.

    Our study examined 464 questions about climate change submitted to the Curious Climate Schools program in Tasmania in 2021 and 2022. The questions were asked by primary and high school students aged 7 to 18.

    The children’s questions reveal a remarkable depth of consideration about climate change.

     

    Kids are thinking globally

    The impacts of climate change were discussed in 38% of questions. About 10% of questions asked about impacts on places, such as:

    With the rate of climate change, what will the Earth be like when I’m an adult?

    What does the melting of glaciers in Antarctica mean for Tassie (Tasmania) and our climate?

     

    These questions demonstrate children’s understanding of the global scale of the climate crisis and their concern about places close to home.

    How climate change will affect humans accounted for 12% of questions. Impacts on animals and biodiversity were the subject of 9% of questions. Examples include:

    Will climate change make us live elsewhere, eg underwater or in space?

    What species may become extinct due to climate change, which species could adapt to changing conditions and have we already seen this begin to happen?

     

    Approximately 7% of questions asked about ice melting and/or sea-level rise, while 3% asked about extreme weather or disasters.

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  • “Parents want access to cleaner, cheaper to run cars”, new polling reveals

    Saturday 16 March: Parents for Climate is backing in findings from new national polling released today that shows parents and carers with kids at home want more efficient cars, cheaper bills and cleaner air.  

    The polling, commissioned by the Climate Council, shows an overwhelming majority of parents (86%) are feeling the pain of increasing petrol prices. Parents (60%) from across Australia support making cars more efficient through the Federal Government’s proposed New Vehicle Efficiency Standard. 

    The majority of parents agree the proposed New Vehicle Efficiency Standard will help cut fuel costs (57%), and most (60%) say that if there were more choices of low and zero emission vehicles available, they would be interested in buying one to replace their current car. 

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  • Impact of Natural Disasters on Australian Children and Economic Consequences: A UNICEF Report Summary

    A recent report conducted by UNICEF Australia and Deloitte Access Economics highlights the profound impact of natural disasters on Australian children and the subsequent economic ramifications. The report underscores the urgent need for tailored policies and investments to address the unique vulnerabilities and challenges faced by children in the wake of climate-induced disasters.

    You can find the report on UNICEF's site here.

     

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  • Queensland Renters to Benefit from LNP Opposition’s Solar Scheme

    Parents for Climate welcomes today’s announcement by the Liberal National Opposition to provide renters across the state greater access to cheap solar energy via a $3,500 grant to eligible landlords.


    Nic Seton, CEO of Parents for Climate
    , said: “This announcement is a ray of sunshine for renters, who want to enjoy the cost savings of solar energy like everyone else. It’s great to see these sorts of initiatives that will speed up the rollout of rooftop solar and make sure landlords and renters can both share in the benefits. 

     

    “Rooftop solar gives households more choices to manage their energy usage - they can wash the never ending pile of kids' laundry or run the air con in the middle of the day without worrying their energy bill will go through the roof."



    “It also gives parents who want to drive electric vehicles the ability to charge their cars cheaply at home, rather than paying for petrol or diesel."

     

    “We know from evidence around Australia that households with rooftop solar can save more than $1,000 per year on their energy bills. Queensland already has the highest rate of rooftop solar uptake in the country and this announcement will help ensure no household or family misses out.”

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  • What we know about last year’s top 10 wild Australian climatic events – from fire and flood combos to cyclone-driven extreme rain

    Laure Poncet, Research officer, UNSW Sydney
    Andrew King Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, The University of Melbourne


    Fire. Flood. Fire and flood together. Double-whammy storms. Unprecedented rainfall. Heatwaves. Climate change is making some of Australia’s weather more extreme. In 2023, the country was hit by a broad range of particularly intense events, with economy-wide impacts. Winter was the warmest in a record going back to 1910, while we had the driest September since at least 1900.

    We often see extreme weather as distinct events in the news. But it can be useful to look at what’s happening over the year.

    Today, more than 30 of Australia’s leading climate scientists released a report analysing ten major weather events in 2023, from early fires to low snowpack to compound events.

    Can we say how much climate change contributed to these events? Not yet. It normally takes several years of research before we can clearly say what role climate change played. But the longer term trends are well established – more frequent, more intense heatwaves over most of Australia, marine heatwave days more than doubling over the last century, and short, intense rainfall events intensifying in some areas.


    What happened in 2023?


    January. Event #1: Record-breaking rain in the north (NT, WA, QLD)

    The year began with above-average rainfall in northern Australia influenced by the “triple-dip” La Niña phase.

    Some parts of the country were already experiencing heavy rainfall even before Cyclone Ellie arrived. From late December 2022 to early January 2023, Ellie brought heavy rainfall to Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland, resulting in a one-in-100-year flooding of the Fitzroy River. Interestingly, Cyclone Ellie was only a “weak” Category 1 tropical cyclone. So why did it cause so much damage? In their analysis, climate scientists suggest it was actually low wind speeds in the mid-troposphere which allowed the system to stall and keep raining.


    February–March. Event 2: Extreme rain and food shortages (NT, QLD)

    Climate scientists observed the same behaviour from late February to early March 2023, when a persistent slow-moving low-pressure system known as a monsoonal low dumped heavy, widespread rain over the Northern Territory and north-west Queensland. The resulting floods cut transport routes in the NT, and led to food shortages.


    June–August. Event 3 and 4: Warmest winter, little snow (NSW)

    After a wet start to the year, conditions became drier and warmer in southern and eastern Australia. New South Wales experienced its warmest winter on record, with daily maximums more than 2°C above the long-term average.

    The unusual heat and lack of precipitation translated into the second-worst snow season on record (the worst was 2006).

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  • Extreme heat costs families as schools become unsafe for kids

    Families in Western Australia are bearing the burden of extreme heat and fire risks this summer. Today, 28 schools in southern Western Australia are closed due to catastrophic fire conditions impacting more than 2000 students.

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  • Rooftop solar could slash up to $130 million a year from energy bills for childcare centres

    Federal and state governments could help the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector save up to $130 million annually in energy bills with the installation of rooftop solar and batteries, protecting early childhood centres from future energy price rises and reducing financial pressures on services and families, analysis from Parents for Climate has found. 

    Depending on the location, childcare centres spent an estimated 14.7 per cent to 28.9 per cent more on energy bills in 2023 compared to the previous year, driving up costs for families already facing a well-documented cost of living crisis. 

    Childcare in Australia is more costly than in most other OECD countries. In 2022, an Australian couple on average wages with two children spent 16 per cent of their net household income on net childcare costs, compared to the OECD average of 9 per cent.  

    “Our analysis shows that while a small number of centres are already installing solar and saving money, the vast majority lack the capacity to access clean energy upgrades,” said Parents for Climate chief executive officer, Nic Seton.

    “Most centres simply don’t have the time and expertise to navigate the options without assistance, and many cite initial costs as a further obstacle,” said Seton. 

    At stake is an average saving of $12,400 to $14,600 per year in energy bills for early childhood centres if governments were to expand existing rooftop solar and battery installation support for state schools to the ECEC sector. 

    The New South Wales and Queensland governments are piloting programs in state schools to install air conditioning powered by rooftop solar, but the ECEC sector enjoys no such targeted support.

    According to Climate Energy Finance founder and director Tim Buckley, “A full rollout of solar on schools and early childhood centres would be the largest renewables project in Australia’s history, providing distribution-level grid stability opportunities, particularly as battery systems become more cost competitive.

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  • published Staying Connected 2024-02-05 11:14:39 +1100

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  • ‘It’s not game over – it’s game on’: why 2024 is an inflection point for the climate crisis

    The Conversation Wesley Morgan, Griffith University

    In 2024, global climate trends are cause for both deep alarm and cautious optimism. Last year was the hottest on record by a huge margin and this year will likely be hotter still. The annual global average temperature may, for the first time, exceed 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels – a threshold crucial for stabilising the Earth’s climate.

    Without immediate action, we are at grave risk of crossing irreversible tipping points in the Earth’s climate system. Yet there are reasons for hope.

    Global greenhouse gas emissions may peak this year and start falling. This would be an historic turning point, heralding the end of the fossil fuel era as coal, oil and gas are increasingly displaced by clean energy technologies.

    But we must do more than take our foot off the warming accelerator – we must slam on the brakes. To avoid the worst of the climate crisis, global emissions must roughly halve by 2030. The task is monumental but possible, and could not be more urgent. It’s not game over – it’s game on.

     

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  • Cost-of-living solutions welcomed, but millions of Australian families at risk in dangerously hot homes

    Parents for Climate welcomes the announcement from NSW and Federal governments to provide matched funding for cost-saving upgrades to up to 24,000 social housing properties and to open up access to solar power to more than 30,000 households in total. However, Parents for Climate would like to see this support go further.

     

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  • Millions of Australian kids at risk as families struggle to cool dangerously hot homes in cost of living crisis

    As another record-setting summer approaches, millions of Australian families will be unable to keep their kids cool in dangerously hot homes, with cost-of-living pressures stretching households to the financial limit, a new report from Parents for Climate and Sweltering Cities warns. 

    The report, Hothouse Australia: Our kids at risk as heat soars, highlights that millions of children, including over 760,000 children living in poverty in Australia, face heightened risks to their health and education from exposure to extreme summer heat in homes, schools and childcare centres.

    Around 3 in 4 lower-income households, already making hard choices to keep food on the table, are also likely to cut back on the use of air conditioning and cooling appliances due to cost pressures, despite living in poorly insulated and energy-inefficient homes.

    Western Sydney mum, Rebecca De Marco, is one of them and dreads the strain the heatwave will add to already stretched finances. 

     “My first baby was born during the Black Summer fires. We were in a rental with no air conditioning, and the 40 degree heatwaves were a huge struggle. With another baby on the way, we’ve moved to a two story rental in Western Sydney, and the heat is back.

    “On 30 degree days we are only just able to cope. I’ve done everything I can with wet towels and so on, but on a warm day it gets to 30 degrees upstairs by the time we put our kids to bed at night.

    “We’re only on one income at the moment, so we’re super careful with money. We’ve got pretty good at keeping bills down, but I know that won’t be the case this summer. When it gets above 30 degrees outside we have no choice but to run the aircon all day.”

    The snapshot analysis of latest data shows:

    • Millions of children, especially the more than 760,000 children living in poverty in Australia, face heightened risks to their health and education in millions of poorly insulated, energy inefficient homes across Australia.
    • Kids are more susceptible to a range of health issues due to extreme heat, and less capable of mitigating these risks. 

    • Families are under enormous financial pressure, with 3 in 4 lower-income households likely to cut back on the use of fans and air conditioners due to cost pressures. Additionally, around 1 in 5 Australians cannot afford to cool their home.

    • Not all schools are heatsafe. Some states have no requirements for air-con in classrooms, including 350 schools that missed out in NSW. Playground surface temperatures in some cities can exceed 80C.

    • Without action this crisis will only worsen. By 2050, hundreds of thousands of Australian children will face severe and extreme heat that risks their life and health, and 7 million will face higher and more intense heatwaves.


     

    Kristen and her family, featured in the report, endure the heat in North Melbourne

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  • 5 expert tips on how to look after your baby in a heatwave

    The ConversationKarleen Gribble, Western Sydney University; Michelle Hamrosi, Australian National University, and Nina Jane Chad, University of Sydney

    Extreme heat events are becoming more frequent and intense in Australia. This can cause illness or worsen existing conditions. During hot weather, hospital admissions and deaths increase.

     

    Babies are among those particularly vulnerable.

    Looking after a baby during extreme heat takes a little planning and a lot of patience. Here are five practical tips.

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  • NSW Parliament puts families first with a strong commitment to climate action

     


    Media Release


    November 30 2023

    Parents, grandparents and carers across New South Wales can breathe a little easier tonight knowing that the NSW Parliament has legislated some of the most ambitious emissions reduction targets in the country.

    The level of ambition, 70% by 2035, was first put on the table by the Liberal Party and National Party earlier in the year. With the support of the Greens, the Labor Government has agreed to increase their Net Zero Bill targets which is a fantastic outcome.

    CEO of Parents for Climate, Nic Seton, said that protecting the environment for future generations is a top concern for local parents. It’s also front of mind for a growing number of children, especially those in later years of schooling.

    “Not only does the environment benefit from this new climate legislation, but it sends a strong signal that NSW is committed to pursuing new clean energy opportunities and creating new jobs.

    “We would also like to see more incentives for households to install solar, batteries and upgrade appliances. Households are struggling with the cost of living and the quickest and easiest way to slash energy bills for families is electrifying their home.

    “We’re also calling on the NSW Government to consider new initiatives such as putting rooftop solar on daycare centres and further expansions of solar on schools.

    “We congratulate all NSW politicians who passed this bill today. We look forward to seeing the economic and environmental benefits across our state for generations to come,” Mr Seton said.

     


     


Parents for Climate meet and work on the lands of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people and respect that sovereignty of those lands was never ceded. We pay respect to Elders, past and present and emerging, and acknowledge the pivotal role that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the Australian community.