We wanted to get climate change on the election agenda. How did we go?

We wanted to get climate change on the election agenda. How did we go?

Over the last six months, members of the Uniting Church have been involved in highlighting climate change in the lead up to the Federal election. How did we go? We would like to invite Uniting Church members who took part in climate action to join us for an online reflection and debrief on Tuesday 7 June.

Regardless of the final results, one thing is clear. Climate change was a major issue for the voting public. The 1.5 million voters who took part in the ABC’s Vote Compass survey rated climate the most important issue, and many voted accordingly. As far away as the United States, NBC news dubbed it the climate election, stating the results showed Australian voters were demanding greater climate commitments from leaders.

What has this got to do with the Uniting Church?

As part of the Synod Climate Action Strategy (SCAS) our church has set out to purposefully articulate our faith and values relating to the environment and care of creation. As part of the SACS planning conference last year the 90 plus participants resolved that we should:

  • Take bold action consistent with our faith and values on care for creation in the public sphere
  • Promote the voices of youth, rural people, First Nations, and Pasifika peoples in our action on climate
  • Seek to influence government policy in support of stronger action on climate and the urgent need to transition to renewable energy

Over the last six months many Uniting Church people and congregations have been involved in action on these goals. They have done this as individuals, along with others in their Uniting Church congregation or in cooperation with other concerned organisations such as the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, Australia Conservation Foundation and more. Grassroots church members have:

  • Displayed climate banners on their church or put messages on their noticeboards
  • Taken part in School Strike for Climate events in person or posted supportive messages on-line
  • Written or emailed their MPs appealing for climate action
  • Been part of climate prayer gathering organised by Common Grace
  • Joined with ARRCC members in vigils outside the offices of MPs
  • Formed delegations with fellow Uniting Church members and others to have climate conversations with their local Federal MP.

How did we go? Did all this activity have any effect, on the issue or for ourselves?

This gathering, regardless of your how you voted or your views on the election result, is an opportunity to:

  • Share what you were involved in and why
  • Say how you felt about being involved and are feeling now
  • Reflect on any lessons we learned or insights gained
  • Identify what we should be doing next

We invite you join us for this online gathering on Tuesday 7 June from 7pm to 8.15pm. Look out for information on how to register in Insights and through the UCAN network in coming days.

For more information or to register your interest, contact Jon O’Brien at joobrien@uniting.org

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1 thought on “We wanted to get climate change on the election agenda. How did we go?”

  1. Please tell me how do we achieve climate change. WE must not stop shipping our clean coal to China until they get their act together; electric cars are too pricey at present, and besides, by the time you manufacture and run one, you do not save all that much; solar panels and batteries may help, if only we did not need to replace the batteries and panels every 10 years;
    nuclear would work, if we could persuade the labour party and the greens to stop hopping around madly every time the possibility is mentioned. So what can we do to make my banner, which reads “We want climate change, and we want it NOW!” achievable? Please?

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