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Australia’s Climate Action Summit

  • Australia’s Climate Action Summit
  • Canberra
  • February 2009

What is it?

A two-tiered event incorporating both:

  1. A national summit of community Climate Action Groups (not public).
  2. A public conference on the urgent climate crisis and what needs to be done about it. People who are not already members of a Climate Action Group will be helped to join or establish one.

The objectives of Australia’s Climate Action Summit are to:

  1. Form an ongoing coordinated national network of community climate action groups
  2. Discuss, decide on, and strategically plan at least one nation-wide campaign for the national grassroots climate action network to carry out.  Publicly launch the campaign and establish mechanisms for the campaign to grow after the February 2009 summit.
  3. Mobilise 5000 people in a high profile demonstration for real action on climate change, and support citizens in joining or forming climate action groups.
  4. Discuss and plan ways to link and collaborate with grassroots climate action groups around the globe, with a focus on the South Pacific.
  5. Establish climate change as the dominant public issue for the second year of the Rudd Labor Government and emphasise the urgent need for strong, equitable action.


The Summit is timed to occur just prior to the resitting of Federal Parliament - which will be within the first two weeks of February 2009. The three day summit will be followed by a large public demonstration on the first sitting day of parliament for the year. The Summit and the demonstration will ensure that climate change is the foremost issue for the year in the eyes of the public and of parliamentarians.

Day of Action

Getting every Climate Action Group in Australia together is not only a great opportunity for strategic campaign planning and networking, it’s the perfect opportunity for an action! We can show everybody who hasn’t noticed yet (particularly those in Parliament) that the grassroots climate movement in Australia is serious about stopping runaway climate change, and we won’t be ignored.

We’re not sure what the big demonstration will be yet, but keep an eye out. If you’ve got a good idea and you want to help organise it, please get in touch.

Get involved

The Summit is being organised by a central collective composed of representatives of various climate action groups, and four working groups for specific areas.

The working groups are:

  • Communication and Outreach. This group must make sure that all Climate Action Groups are involved in the Summit, as well as coordinate a media strategy for the event
  • Program and Strategy. This working group is developing a process for the Climate Action Groups of Australia to agree apon and strategically plan a joint campaign. They are also putting together a program for the public conference.
  • Action. This working group will take care of all tasks associated with the big public demonstration that will take place on the first sitting day of parliament in 2009, the day after the Summit.
  • Logistics. The nuts and bolts - food, accomodation, all that jazz. If you’re looking to get involved and you live in Canberra, we thoroughly recommend this group to you. (doesn’t mean you can’t do other stuff too!).

There will be groups organising in capital cities around Australia soon, we hope. If you want to get involved in any of these areas, you’re best bet at the moment is to get in touch with:

  • Steve Phillips
  • Mob: 0437 275 119
  • Email: steve at risingtide dot org dot au


Sorry, you can’t register yet. Keep an eye out though, you’ll be able to soon.

Why a national Climate Action Groups summit?

Over the past few years a large, vibrant, and diverse grassroots climate movement has emerged in Australia. There are now literally hundreds of community climate action groups (CCAGs) all around the country, mobilising to raise awareness of the climate crisis and drive the political and social change needed to solve it.

This strong movement from the grassroots has helped bring climate change to the fore of the nation’s attention, and there is now enormous public pressure for strong and effective action against the causes of climate change. However, much of the true potential of this national movement remains untapped. While there are many CCAGs spread over a large area, doing great work and running effective campaigns, linkage and collaboration between them is often poor. While there has been some region- and state-based networking of the many different groups, there remains a need for a well-connected and coordinated national network.

We are now at a pivotal point in Australia. While the climate movement has come a long way in a short period, runaway climate change is looming, and time is running out to force major climate action from the Federal Government, and the nation at large. Powerful forces must be overcome, and to do that we need a strong, well-organised, well-connected national network of CCAGs collaborating on campaigns; sharing information, skills, and resources; and mobilising the nation.

A coordinated national network would:

  • give community groups all around the country a national voice,
  • facilitate more cross-fertilisation and collaboration between groups,
  • generate the capacity for strong, grassroots, yet nationally focussed campaign efforts, which are now essential at this critical point in the climate change campaign,
  • link in with global networks and groups, to share resources, and plan campaigns, and help drive an effective and equitable global solution to the climate crisis.

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