What you need to do:
In the next week, ring or write to your local Federal member and ask to meet with them to discuss the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme and emissions reductions. You can do this as a member of a group, or as an individual.
Make sure you get a meeting before the end of November – the earlier the better – say it is urgent because you know the White Paper and emissions reduction target announcements are being made in early December.
Finding and contacting your local member
(Thanks to ACF for the easy to use guide)
If you’re not sure who your MP is, you can find out via the Australian Electoral Commission: http://apps.aec.gov.au/esearch/ or phone 132 326. Once you know your electorate, you can find contact details for your MP at: http://www.aph.gov.au/house/members/mi-elctr.asp
Phone the MP’s office, ask to talk to the diary secretary, and make an appointment for a meeting. You will need to explain clearly that you are a local constituent who wants to see the MP about Australia’s response to climate change. They may ask you to write a letter to formally ask for an appointment. Let them know that you believe it is urgent because you know the White Paper and emissions reduction target announcements are being made in early December.
Get the letter off quickly if it seems like it will help.
According to ACF, for a politician a personal phone call is worth a hundred emails and a personal face to face visit is worth a hundred calls.
Prepare for your meeting
If you successfully get a meeting, do a little preparation so you know what you will say. Find out about your MP and what motivates them. Look up their personal web page, check their biography on the parliamentary website, and keep an eye in your local papers for their media statements.
The Step-in to Step it Up national action project is focused on two central demands that your local member and Federal Government need to deliver by December:
1. Make a commitment that 2010 will be our peak carbon year
2. Ditch the concessions to the emissions-intensive industries in the CPRS.
The reason we chose these is because they are measurable now – failing to do these two things by December will show that the Federal Government is not serious about urgent action on climate change.
Call on your Federal member to make the Government announce in December that 2010 will be Australia’s peak carbon emitting year, and emissions will decline from then on. Call on them to ditch the generous concessions offered to emissions-intensive industries in the Green Paper will be ditched, to ensure rapid decline of emissions and maximum investment in alternative industries.
The ACF has terrific tips on having a successful meeting on their website: http://www.acfonline.org.au/default.asp?section_id=270
Let your local media outlets and networks you are involved in know that this is what you expect from your local member.
Feedback to the climate movement
If your local member won’t give you a meeting before the end of November or if they give you any answers at the meeting, make sure you let the rest of us know.
It will be easier to generate the political will for change if the politicians know we are working together and monitoring their performance. We will be setting up a spreadsheet of local members on the climate movement collaboration space detailing the response of each local member.