Challenge your government to go green



Asking if you are green

Get out and ask your local elected representatives whether they're doing their own bit for our planet!

Credit: Clipart

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With the disappointment of inaction at Copenhagen still fresh in the minds of many, eco-campaigner Jon Dee is challenging Australia's elected representatives to reduce their personal greenhouse emissions by 10 per cent this year.

The '10% IN 2010' challenge originated in the UK as part of the 10:10 campaign launched in London in September 2009, and Dee saw the need for a similar challenge on our own shores to help break through the barrier of inaction.

"Despite all the talk and concern, there's been little in the way of real and measurable results," Dee said, attributing this to a "rise in climate scepticism and a decline in public interest."

"We're left in the strange situation where most people agree that climate change is happening, but nobody seems to be doing anything about it."

G advisory board member Dee and his campaign group Do Something! have listed 10 simple action areas politicians can address, and assembled them into a questionnaire for the Australian public to ask their local representatives (check them out below).

Dee believes that "undertaking just some of these actions would easily reduce their emissions by 10 per cent or more."

For the challenge to be successful Dee and Do Something! are campaigning for MPs from all around Australia to take part. The challenge has already been taken up by NSW Premier Kristina Keneally and NSW Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell.

"I'd encourage not only every government MP in Parliament, but every MP to participate," Keneally said in a statement. "The community understands and knows that climate change is an issue that we all must tackle."

"It's important we do our best to make a difference," added O'Farrell.

NSW Government frontbenchers Carmel Tebbutt, Frank Sartor, David Borger and Verity Firth as well as Lee Rhiannon from the Greens have also committed to the challenge. Queensland Liberal National MP for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey has also vowed to make significant changes in his personal life by installing solar, trading in his 4WD and carbon offsetting all his flights.

However there has yet to be any commitment from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd or Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

Dee believes that whilst the political arguments continue over the best ways to tackle Australia's emissions, our elected representatives should "step up to the plate and show us how to 'walk the talk' in reducing emissions."

"Doing so will contribute to a safer future for Australia's kids," he said.

Spread the word! The 10 climate change questions to take to your MPs and senators are:

1) Do you turn the plugs off on electrical appliances when they're not in use?

2) Are you using renewable GreenPower in your own home? If so, what percentage?

3) What kind of car do you drive? Is it a hybrid or fuel-efficient car? If not, when you get your next car will you commit to a more fuel-efficient model?

4) Does your home have a solar or heat pump hot water system?

5) Does your home have insulation?

6) Do you adjust your thermostat to use less energy?

7) Have you replaced all of your home's incandescent globes with energy saving globes?

8) Do you have 3 star water efficient showerheads in your home?

9) Do you recycle everything that shows is recyclable in your local area?

10) Do you carbon offset your aircraft flights?