2015: Reflections

2015 was a big year for the Climate Guardians, especially with our big adventure in Paris for the international UN climate summit COP21 in November and December. We are still going through all of the memories and images that have been created, but in the meantime here is a highlights compilation!

Love and #ClimateJusticePeace to you all in 2016 – ClimActs

April

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The Climate Guardians visiting our friends at Friends of the Earth in Melbourne… This year ClimActs was lucky enough to became an affiliate of Friends of the Earth Australia and we are genuinely thankful for their support!

May

Climate activist and former president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed has been imprisoned for political reasons and the Climate Guardians were proud to stand with Adam Bandt MP to raise awareness of his plight.

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June

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Divestment rally by our friends at Climate Action Moreland and 350.org Australia, where the Climate Guardians stood vigil outside CommBank in Melbourne’s CBD.

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One of our founding Arch-Angels, Deborah Hart, launched her book “Guarding Eden” telling the stories of ordinary Australians who have become extraordinary climate activists. It’s available at all good public libraries! http://guardingeden.org.au/

August

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Climate activists celebrated Commonwealth Bank’s decision to cancel its involvement with Adani’s Galilee coal proposals by holding an End of Coal Parade. We also visited NAB, Westpac and received a predictably frosty reception at ANZ, the bank which financed the Whitehaven coal mine and destruction of the Leard Forest.

September

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Beautiful Brisbane #ClimateAngels send a message to The University of Queensland that it’s time to divest from fossil fuels!

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Meanwhile in Melbourne, The Climate Guardians portended at the “Defend The Defenders” rally outside the Federal Government’s punitive inquiry into the charity status of environmental organisations.

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The Climate Guardians put the heat on Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis about divestment at Melbourne University’s Open Day, with help from our friends at Fossil Free Melbourne Uni.

 

October

Climate Guardians occupy the rooftop of Environment Minister Greg Hunt for 9 hours protesting the reapproval of the Adani Carmichael megamine

Climate Guardians occupy the rooftop of Environment Minister Greg Hunt for 9 hours protesting the reapproval of the Adani Carmichael megamine.

You can read the statement we released for the Greg Hunt roof action.

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In a spectacular finale, the Climate Guardians launched flares to signal that the showdown with our negligent Environment Minister has only just begun…

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Shortly afterwards our Brisbane #ClimateAngels chapter paid Adani HQ a a visit with their handmade new wings – find out how you can make your own set!

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It was an honour for the Climate Guardians to portend at the vigil of Chinchilla farmer George Bender, who lost his life in the fight to save prime agricultural farmland from CSG companies.

November

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ClimActs lands in Paris for the UN COP21 climate talks. We kicked off our adventures with a front page feature article in The Age… Then we were on the ABC, and then all over the international media!

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Our Climate Guardian brethren in Melbourne held vigil at the People’s Climate March and were interviewed on Vice. Meanwhile #ClimateAngels were appearing across Australia.

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The Climate Guardians portended at La Republique, walking among the shoes of those who could not attend the cancelled People’s Climate March in Paris.

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And our friend Van Badham joined us as an angel and stole the show, while taking out a French riot cop with her wings!

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With all eyes on The Climate Guardians in Paris, we handed over the precious letters that we had collected from Australian school children to senator Larissa Waters to deliver to the COP21 climate talks. Forever in admiration of this woman’s commitment to representing the interests of future generations!

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Read what Larissa has to say about meeting up with the angels in Paris here.

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We also went to Le Bourget on the opening day of the UN COP21 climate talks, where we read more letters from Australian school children to delegates as they arrived at the conference centre.

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We sincerely hoped that words from the generation most affected by climate change would resonate with the leaders that were making decisions about their future.

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December

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It’s not every day that Australian #ClimateAngels have a chance to portend at Le Louvre! It was amazing to be a part of the spectacle created by the Art Not Oil coalition for the Fossil Free Culture protest.

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We hope to do more actions with our fellow artivists in 2016 as part of a movement pressuring cultural institutions to divest from fossil fuel sponsorship.

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In the dying days of the COP21 conference, #ClimateAngels descended on the corporate headquarters of climate criminal Engie. Days before The Climate Guardians shut down the owner of the heavily polluting Hazelwood coal mine and powerplant, the second inquiry into the Hazelwood mine fire had found Engie culpable for the deaths of residents in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

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The Climate Guardians delivered the message about the damage done to Morwell directly to Engie, who as part of their greenwashing efforts had sponsored the UN COP21 climate talks.

12 Dec 2015, Paris, France --- Paris, France. 12th December 2015 -- Climate campaigners dressed as angels led the protest against climate change on the Avenue de la Grande Armee, Paris. -- Climate protesters blocked the Avenue de la Grande Armee and then marched to the Eiffel Tower, to highlight the need for a binding climate emissions agreement at the COP 21 meeting of nations in Paris. --- Image by © Jo Syz/Demotix/Corbis

12 Dec 2015, Paris, France — Paris, France. 12th December 2015 — Climate campaigners dressed as angels led the protest against climate change on the Avenue de la Grande Armee, Paris. — Climate protesters blocked the Avenue de la Grande Armee and then marched to the Eiffel Tower, to highlight the need for a binding climate emissions agreement at the COP 21 meeting of nations in Paris. — Image by © Jo Syz/Demotix/Corbis

#ClimateAngels stormed the streets of Paris as part of the December 12 climate protests that marked the end of the official COP21 climate negotiations. The Climate Guardians ended up leading the march to a final sit down on the bridge under the Eiffel Tower as the COP21 agreement was announced.

12 Dec 2015, Paris, France --- Paris, France. 12th December 2015 -- Climate campaigners dressed as angels led the Red Lines climate protest on the Avenue de la Grande Armee, Paris. -- Climate protesters blocked the Avenue de la Grande Armee and then marched to the Eiffel Tower, to highlight the need for a binding climate emissions agreement at the COP 21 meeting of nations in Paris. --- Image by © Jo Syz/Demotix/Corbis

Updated – Climate Guardians Engie HQ Visitation

Press Release

Thursday 10th December 2015

For immediate release.

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A flock of Climate Guardian Angels from Australia descended on Engie’s head office in Paris to decry the corporation’s appalling treatment of Victoria’s Latrobe Valley community and their environment.

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What: A protest/sit in

When: 13.30pm, Thursday, 10th December 2015 (UTC+01:00)

Where: Engie (formerly GDF Suez) Head Office, Place Samuel de Champlain Faubourg de l’Arche, Paris, la Défense

A flock of Climate Guardian Angels descended on Engie’s head office to call the transnational energy corporation to account for its reckless and self-serving approach to business in Victoria, Australia.

“Public Inquiries into the Hazelwood Mine fire (February 2014) that blanketed the Latrobe Valley community in toxic fumes and ash have found that Engie’s poor management contributed to deaths and other adverse health affects,” said Deborah Hart, co-founder of ClimActs.

“To add insult to injury, after 7,000 volunteer firefighters with the Country Fire Authority spent 45 days battling the fire, Engie refused to pay expenses amounting to $18 million. Acknowledging that the real costs of the inferno won’t be clear for a long time to come, we’re here to collect the money owed to Victorian taxpayers.”

“Engie is sponsoring COP21 while running some of the dirtiest coal fired power stations in the world. Their lobbyists are crawling the corridors of power here in Paris. This corporation has blood on its hands from deaths caused by willful negligence. Meanwhile, it’s spent $250million on lobbying the French government to reduce emissions targets, while refusing to pay the $18million owed to the Victorian community for cleaning up the Hazelwood mine fire disaster. Engie is more than hypocritical, it’s criminal.”

The Climate Guardians peacefully dispersed after two and a half hours of blockading the entrance at Engie’s global headquarters in Paris. “Engie’s refusal to accept responsibility is corporate negligence and indifference at its most cynical, self-serving and coldhearted. We will continue to obstruct their business-as-usual model by putting our bodies in the way with peaceful direct action. They have not seen the back of the Climate Guardians’.

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ClimActs’ Climate Guardian Angels (and Coal Diggers) are in Paris for COP21. “We are here to represent the majority of Australians who want locally owned and controlled renewable energy. Unlike our delegation, most Australians don’t want their beautiful country turned in to a giant quarry to pollute the world,” said Hart.

Contact: +33 684 80 08 83, climacts.org.au

Climate Guardian Angels on Minister for the Environment’s rooftop protesting his approval of the Carmichael coal mine

Press Release

A host of Climate Guardian Angels have descended on the rooftop of Minister Greg Hunt’s office in Hastings, and are refusing to get down until he revokes his approval of the Carmichael coal mine.

What: A protest/sit in

When: 11am, Friday 16th October

Where: 184 Salmon St, Hastings Victoria.photo(1)

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A host of Climate Guardian Angels have descended on Minister for the Environment’s rooftop to protest his approval of the Carmichael coal mine.

The project, proposed by Indian mining giant Adani will produce up to 60 million tonnes of coal for export a year, transported through the Abbot Point terminals which are located close to the Great Barrier Reef.

As climate scientists are finding new evidence of accelerated global warming with methane plumes erupting from seabeds, and new modeling on ‘unstoppable’ Arctic sea ice melt with 30-100 cm seal level rises by 2100, this approval of this mine is grossly negligent towards future generations and their intergenerational right to a safe and just climate.

The Carmichael mine has been declared ‘unbankable’ by the Queensland treasury, as the price of thermal coal slips to beneath $60 a tonne, widely considered in structural decline as the world moves towards renewable energy sources to combat the worst impacts of runaway climate change. 14 major global banks have refused to fund it.

As the warmest year on record draws to a close, and in the lead up to the UN COP21 climate talks, the decision by the Australian government to further lock our economy into dirty polluting fossil fuels makes a mockery of the pitiful commitment we have made of a 26% cut in emission on 2005 levels by 2030.

Climate Guardian co-convener Dr Liz Conor said, ‘to be actively expanding Australia’s coal export industry now is beyond irresponsible; it is staggeringly negligent. It will consign our children and theirs to a volatile, dangerous climate system, with far reaching repercussions for their lives. If Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Environment Minister Greg Hunt will not listen to the science on climate change — before leaders from the international community — we entreat them to heed the warnings of Guardian Angels.

The Climate Guardians are travelling to Paris to hand deliver letters and artworks by Australian children to UN delegates since their own government is indifferent to their fears about their future in a volatile climate.

Contact: 0424 132 605. Climacts.org.au

It’s official, Climate Guardians to perform in ArtCOP21!

Climate Guardians are thrilled to be performing in Paris as part of ArtCOP21, an exceptional global climate festival connecting hundreds of thousands of people rising to the climate challenge.

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ArtCOP21 hosts an extensive global programme of over 180 major public art installations, exhibitions, concerts, performances, talks, conferences, workshops, family events and film screenings, taking place right around Paris as well as in 22 countries (and counting) around the world. ArtCOP21 events will “highlight the need for governments meeting in Paris to support strong climate action and signal the end of the fossil fuel era – making climate change a people issue, not one to be left solely to the politicians.”

Why such urgency now? Everything we know and love depends on a healthy climate. Yet, for more than two decades of United Nations climate negotiations, fossil fuel corporations and their global financiers have continued to make gargantuan profits while knowingly and carelessly, polluting our world and gravely threatening our collective climate. Meanwhile, they have covertly funded climate denier campaigns to mislead and deceive the public and decision makers in order to continue ‘business as usual’. It is immeasurably unjust that those most responsible for forcing climate change have become the most wealthy and powerful people while those least responsible – underprivileged communities, children and future generations – suffer the most from its effects. Enough is enough.

Graceful, haunting, and iconic, the Climate Guardians performances will both challenge and inspire.

Any donations to support Climate Guardians work will be most appreciated by Angels.

How to make your own DIY angel wings

Anyone can adopt Angel symbolism to make a visual demand for climate justice:

 

To make it easier for others to undertake their own Climate Guardian actions, Zoe and her friend have developed a prototype set of wings that are durable and light-weight and can easily be replicated at home using recycled materials.

Zoe Buckley Lennox has been involved in some amazing actions inG2OZowiecluding boarding Shell’s arctic oil drilling vessel on the high seas, occupying the platform for 6 days to highlight the insanity of Arctic oil earlier this year. We were really lucky to have Zoe join us as one of our angels at the G20 in Brisbane last year, and even luckier that she will be joining us in Paris for the COP21 international UN climate talks later this year!

Check out this great video on how you too can become a Climate Guardian Angel with your very own set of wings:

If you follow this DIY wing method, it’s worth knowing that we’ve created gorgeous DIY wings using reused white and cream fabrics with some light coloured sheer and/or lace. And have also found it easier to use white gaffa tape and/or winding strips of white or cream fabric to cover the square frame that holds the wings at the back. Making wings this way is entirely sew-less.

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And  if you have any tips for improving our evolving methods we’d love to hear them!

Anyone can become a Climate Guardian and set up their own chapter in their town or country.

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The costume is cheap to assemble. You need long white dresses from second hand stores. It can be effective to buy white curtain sheers cut off a band from one end for a waistband, double over what’s left and snip a head hole at the fold. Wrap it around your waist with the band.

 

Laurels are also cheap to make. Buy from any fabric store and twist into a wreath, wrap with thin white ribbon to secure. We bundle our hair up loosely and wear classical sandals.

Thanks to Zoe’s video, we are hoping in future that more people in other parts of the country and even the world, can start coordinating their very own angel actions as part of a mass mobilisation for climate justice! Angel wings can also be gratified, stenciled or chalked.GAF_Lapelpins5 StencilAngel symbolism can appear on any surface, or be worn by men or womenClimate Guardians Website Created

Climate Guardians Website Created

Climate Guardian Angels to Descend on the Paris COP21 Talks

The announcement of Australia’s 26% emissions reduction target based on 2005 levels by the Federal government has incited the Climate Guardians to travel at their own expense to the Paris COP21 climate talks to express Australians’ widespread frustration at our government’s inaction on climate change on the world stage.

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The Climate Guardians plan to descend on the Paris COP21 climate talks in December to entreat international leaders to override the ineffective targets announced by former Prime Minister Abbott and upheld by current PM Malcolm Turnbull, which ignore key findings released by the Climate Institute showing the vast majority of Australians demand a transition to clean energy away from coal and want deeper cuts in carbon emissions.

Climate Guardian co-convener Dr Liz Conor said, ‘This woeful commitment to our share of the climate responsibility is an international embarrassment. It smears all Australians as climate shirkers. It is abjectly derelict in our duty of care to all people and life on earth’.

‘Given Australia is the world’s highest greenhouse gas emitter (on a per capita basis), it is unconscionable that our government continues to ignore the increasingly dire warnings by the world’s climate scientists while expanding Australia’s coal export industry.

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The Climate Guardians will be standing in defiance of the fossil fuel corporations whose lobbyists are distorting our democratic system in their rapacious quest to profit from a business model that is rapidly and irreversibly destroying the world’s natural assets.

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In Paris we will be delivering letters written especially by Australian Children imploring international climate leaders to secure their future in a safe and just climate by withstanding our Government’s attempts to scuttle the progress of the talks. Read our full statement.

Please contact us if you would like more information or are interested in participating in the letter writing campaign!

Wings of Desire – Help The Climate Guardians Stay Elevated

We have planned a special treat for everyone to come along and join us for our fundraiser! Wings of Desire – Help The Climate Guardians Stay Elevated is to help with a stack of expenses that have mounted up over the 2 years we’ve been working on the campaign – costumes (thermals!!), banners, printing, flares, etc, lots of little bits and pieces.

Join us on Friday, 3rd of July, 7pm, for a screening of Wim Wender’s ‘Wings of Desire’.
Tickets are $55 and includes food & film
Longplay Bar, 318 St George’s Road, North Fitzroy

The Climate Guardians had a big year last year, beginning with opening the Lorne Sculpture Biennale with the spectacular performance Coal Requiem

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Then later in the year the Climate Guardians (otherwise simply known as the ‘Angels’) made a big splash at last year’s G20 Summit, including being awarded the Most Aussie Moment in the Courier Mail, after negotiating with police to drop them off at the pub after a hard day’s protesting: G20 Brisbane: Our Top 10 Moments

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Another highlight of 2014 was being a part of the successful campaign to shut down the Anglesea coal plant and mine, which included a visitation of the site.

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More recently the Angels were out there raising awareness about the need for climate justice, this time supporting Climate Action Moreland and 350.org in a divestment action at a Commonwealth Bank branch in Melbourne’s CBD

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We also used this recent outing to meet and greet with members of the public – Our spectacular wings always get us plenty of attention!

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So if you want to help us keep flying high – including a planned visitation to Paris for the international COP21 climate talks in November; make sure you come to our fundraiser!

Anglesea Visitation

The Climate Guardians were invited by the lovely people of Anglesea to visit the horrible Anglesea Power Station today. A disgrace that this heavily polluting facility is located so close to a primary school and the homes of residents.

 

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Anglesea is the third worst polluting plant in Australia, so close to our pristine beaches, houses and schools.

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Climate Guardians were quite forlorn when visiting the ghastly Anglesea open cut coal mine today.

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While visiting Anglesea we were given a scenic tour of the beach accompanied by lovely local angels.

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In such idyllic surrounds it is hard to believe the grossly polluting and obsolete Alcoa Anglesea coal plant is continuing to operate!

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Thank-you Surf Coast Air Action for being such wonderful hosts, we hope we can visit your picturesque seaside village again soon!

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G20 Climate Guardian Angels

At the G20 in Brisbane (15 Nov 2014) our Prime Minister turned his back on the future by declaring his loyalty to coal. As the world forms a global village of climate actors Tony Abbot stood forth as its idiot. He hosted a forum of world leaders and not only failed to take the opportunity to coordinate a measured and informed response to the threat of climate change, he actively undermined their efforts, and ignored an appeal from Barak Obama to ‘step up’. There are few moments in our nation’s history when we have been so tripped out of step with the world by our own Prime Minister.

This failure of leadership is particularly execrable on an issue of such critical importance. When scientists are warning of the real threat of climate change poses to lives and property, and when those who will bear the costs of inaction are a generation still unable to exercise their democratic agency, this denialism and inaction is beyond breathtaking, it is irresponsible, negligent and no doubt one day will be litigious.

We took part in the People’s March and brought up the rear of the rally. We sank into the Southbank waters to portend the danger of rising seas. We staged a long sit-in at the delegates entrance, demanding to speak to Tony Abbott to demand he reverse his irrational recalcitrance and denial of climate change.

ALP Opposition Leader Bill Shorten listens to our demand for a price on carbon

Eventually the very patient Queensland police offered us two air conditioned commodores to the local pub, and what with the Prime Minister leaving the building, we took up their kind offer and a very good time was had by all. Our G20 occupation and the deal brokered with police received mainstream media attention, for which we earned the Courier Mail’s ‘Most Aussie Moment’ award.