• Lisa Elliott

Climate Action Network Australia (CANA)

Convening the Climate Movement in a Time of Crisis


Contact Name Julie-Anne Richards, Executive Director Email julieanne@cana.net.au Address 20-40 Meagher St, Chippendale NSW 2008 Phone Number 0499907747


Charity website www.cana.net.au DGR Registration Link https://abr.business.gov.au/ABN/View/66661626104 ACNC Page Link https://www.acnc.gov.au/charity/2f670b02fdeb9ca1b59d7fe11fe1a0ee

Please provide a brief, two sentence overview of the project that requires funding.

The Climate Action Network Australia will coordinate the climate movement, drawing in union and social sector perspectives, to ensure the climate movement is well placed to effectively advocate for climate action to be integrated into the covid19 economic recovery package to reshape our economy and society in ways that are clean, green, healthy, just, safe and more resilient.


Overview of Organisation Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) is the “network infrastructure” for the climate movement. It brings together 90 member organisations from across a broad spectrum of civil society, to plan together and coordinate strategy and campaigns. Our members include the biggest environment groups, development groups, think tanks, activist organisations, through to small community based groups. By coordinating across members we have the ability to strengthen and deepen the climate agenda, working collaboratively and strategically for greatest impact.


CANA has built a team with substantial political, policy and organising expertise. We have a history of ensuring the movement works together for the greatest impact. Our members respect our work and our role.


Describe the project that requires funding:

The past six months have been incredibly challenging, for Australia generally and for the climate movement specifically. The 2019/20 summer saw Australia facing an unprecedented climate crisis. Acombination of extreme drought, bushfires, flooding and heatwaves. More than 12.6 million hectares burned, 434 million tonnes of CO2 emitted, 11.3 million Australians affected by smoke, over 1 billion animals killed, and 34 people dead.


The impact of the fires on our economy, estimated to be in the billions, laid bare the fragility of Australia in the face of climate change. The communities impacted by the fires are still struggling to recover.


Having barely had time to draw breath, the Covid-19 pandemic crisis bore down with social dislocation, a media focused on the covid19 crisis to the detriment of all other issues, and a sharp economic downturn. These present new challenges to Australian society: increasing the feeling of fragility for society and our way of life. We are at a point where significant decisions are being made about our future. How Australia and Australians respond to this must be central to the work of the Australian climate movement in the years to come.


The climate movement has faced specific challenges. Traditional methods of campaigning, such as large and small scale protest and media coverage, are not available. The movement must quickly come to terms with a completely changed political and economic landscape within which to design policy responses, advocacy and campaigns.


Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) has already stepped up its coordinating efforts, convening a series of near daily calls to help the climate movement come to terms with the covid19 crisis - providing solace to those whose campaigns have been put on hold and dislocated by working from home; and also helping large and small members of the climate movement understand the changed landscape for campaigning. It will be crucial to continue to work to facilitate conversations across the movement, mapping a pathway forward that ensures the economic recovery and stimulus efforts put Australia on a path to economic diversification and a more sustainable and resilient economy, not further entrenching inequality and the fossil fuel industry.


UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa has said that whilst COVID-19 is the most urgent threat today, we cannot forget that climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity over the long term. Soon, economies will restart. This is a chance for nations to recover better, to include the most vulnerable in those plans, and a chance to shape the 21st century economy in ways that are clean, green, healthy, just, safe and more resilient.


Yet this pathway is not guaranteed. Prime Minister Morrison has indicated that he expects policy settings will “snap back” to where they were before the crisis. Morrison has appointed a Mining CEO to head the National Covid Coordination Commission, NSW has approved coal mining under the Sydney water catchment, Victoria approved fracking under cover of the Covid crisis, and various jurisdictions are waiving mining royalties for the fossil fuel industry.


It will take a concerted effort from the climate movement and allies, sharing our collective understanding, experience and pooling resources to maximise our impact and effect policy change to build sustainability and resilience into our economy and society post-corona.


Undertaking this coordination is precisely what CANA was set up to do. We are trusted by our 90 member organisations, and have relationships with allies outside of the climate movement. Our resources are already stretched, and we expect will become more so as the economic downturn hits our member fees and grant income. A contribution of $40,000 from Pool of Dreams would make a difference to the coordination of members that we are able to undertake at this critical moment. It would enable us to facilitate a series of high level coordination meetings to share thinking and resources, and to turn the initial ideas gathered into coherent strategy to inform next steps. It will also enable us to begin development of a political strategy relevant for the moment we are in, that helps CANA members advocate for effective change including linking to the groundswell of public support, and results in recovery policy settings that maximise Australia’s sustainability and resilience.

Please describe any collaboration you have had with other organisations in relation to this project of campaign:

We will continue to collaborate across our 90 member organisations, and will draw in additional social sector and union voices as part of this project.


Funds requested from Pool of Dreams sub-fund: $40,000

Other sources of funding We will use Pool of Dreams funding to complement core funds, and seek additional funding from other foundations and grant makers as well.

When would this project be expected to start? Immediately

When would you anticipate this project to be completed? We would spend the $40,000 over the coming eight months

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