Dec. 29, 2020

From grassroots with vision to global visibility

From grassroots with vision to global visibility

Our two guests in The Tunnel on 30 December 2020 are Briony O'Shea, chair of CORENA, and Margaret Hender, co-founder of Cedamia and founder of CORENA.

The Sustainable Hour no 347

Our two guests in The Tunnel on 30 December 2020 are involved in a grassroots group that started out in Adelaide in 2013. Since then, it has grown to such an extent that it has projects all over the country. It is called CORENA, which stands for Citizen-Owned Renewable Energy Network Australia.

Margaret Hender, who founded CORENA, has recently passed on the chair-baton to Briony O’Shea. Briony has accepted this very enthusiastically and outlines what CORENA will do under her leadership. They will continue to look for grassroots projects that will result in carbon emissions being reduced. A particularly exciting new area for them will be helping people get off gas. One of their projects almost ready to go is a collaboration with the Geelong Bowls Club which is very close to reaching its target. You can find out more about this at

Our attention then shifts to Margaret Hender who, as well as founding CORENA, co-founded the Climate Emergency Declaration petition and mobilisation – and Cedamia. We learn how something that started out in Australia in 2016 has grown to an international movement where almost 2,000 local governments authorities in 33 countries have declared a climate emergency.

The number of Aussies who live in local jurisdictions that have declared a climate emergency now exceeds 35 per cent of the population – a number that must make our elected representatives at state and federal parliaments realise just how out of touch they are with the people they are elected to represent.

We also learn how Margaret has maintained the list of all the climate emergency declarations, but isn’t confident that she has all of them, especially in non-English speaking countries. She outlines her plans for making these figures more reliable.

“Humanity is waging war on nature. This is suicidal. Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes. Human activities are at the root of our descent towards chaos. BUT that means that human action can help to solve it.”~ Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

In this our last podcast for 2020, Colin Mockett‘s Global Outlook starts out with this powerful quote from Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations. He then wraps up the global year with a couple of alarming facts, including the number of extreme weather events that caused more than $1 billion in damage, and the number of billionaires now in the world. He then takes us to California where there’s better news. Their government has taken an example from Germany in an attempt to create more demand for green energy. Finally for today and for 2020, Colin gives us the World Climate Watch ranking of countries in terms of their climate action and laws. Unfortunately no surprises as to where Australia appears on that ranking of 61 countries.

It’s all part of our Truth-Telling-approach, but rest assured that we at The Sustainable Hour will be doing all that we can in the new year to improve Australia’s embarrassing world ranking.