Climate Action Canberra 2009
In December 2013, shortly after the federal election, Australia takes over the presidency of the Group of 20 (G20). The G20 describes itself as the world’s premier forum for economic cooperation. Its members include the dominant economic powers of the post-war era (Canada, France, Italy, Japan, US, UK, Germany and Russia), the rapidly rising countries (Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey) plus Australia, Saudi Arabia and the European Union.
Australia will host the G20 Leaders’ meeting in November 2014 in Brisbane, and there will be a flurry of meetings in the preceding months. Australia’s presidency comes at a critical time for the G20, with a widespread view that it has yet to prove its worth as an ongoing institution. It also coincides with the negotiations for post-2020 agreements to tackle climate change due to be completed by December 2015. Depending on the outcome of the election, Australia could be in the process of dismantling its climate change legislation and heading for a double dissolution election.
What are the opportunities to influence the agenda and outcomes from the G20 over the next two years? Can it be made more democratic and transparent? What does it mean for global governance?
Sara Parkin, inspiring author of The Positive Deviant: Sustainability Leadership in a Perverse World and co-founder of the UK Forum for the Future will visit Australia in September 2012. Her focus is leadership: “We have left it so late to put our human house in order, that the only strategy left is that of positive deviance. We can’t wait for the international treaties, institutional reform or wise government leadership that will be too long coming. The only option is for as many people as possible to get on and do the right thing — wherever we are”
A positive deviant is: “a person who does the right thing for sustainability, despite being surrounded by the wrong institutional structures, the wrong processes and stubbornly uncooperative people.”
And, as an example of what positive deviants have to contend with: recently published Little Green Lies by Jeff Bennett, Professor of Environmental Management at the ANU’s Crawford School. Its claim to be an ‘exposé of twelve environmental myths’ is debunked by economist and social researcher Chris Nobbs.
Multi-party government is the norm in many countries but a novelty at the national level of Australian politics.
“Prosperity consists in our ability to flourish as human beings—within the ecological limits of a finite planet. The challenge for our society is to create the conditions under which this is possible. It is the most urgent task of our times.”
Tim Jackson, 2009
The Green New Deal conference in October 2009 attracted over 200 participants.
The Global Greens Congress in Dakar in March 2012 was a huge success. Dorothy Tekwie from the PNG Greens was one of the inspiring participants. The program, resolutions and photos are here.