Nations talk, meanwhile cities act

A message from our CEO before heading off to Paris.

Hello good people of Yarra,

My name is Sarah and the small fellow in the picture is Louis. I started working here at Yarra Energy Foundation  in January. To be honest, there has been so much to do in understanding what our energy use is and what it all meant, I have hadn’t had a chance to talk to you much. I am sorry about that, and I promise you that is about to change.

Anyway, earlier this year I decided to book a holiday to visit my family in Europe.

Why am I telling you this? Well, my holiday is soon, and coincides with the Paris COP21 meeting and so, I have decided to take the opportunity to see what the rest of the world is up to, and Louis is coming too..


As you probably already know, the COP - Conference of Parties - is the annual meeting of all countries that want to take action for the climate. It will be held in Le Bourget, France.

Already, 150 of the 190 countries expected to attend, have tabled draft targets. There is a draft of the agreement available here

What is exciting is the engagement, globally, of countries setting targets. What is challenging is that the total of the current targets combined takes us to 2.7 degrees of warming, when we really need the targets to keep us below a 2 degree increase in global temperatures (at least!).

I am pretty excited about the opportunity to attend COP21 and particularly to participate in the ICLEI Oceania delegation (ICLEI is about local governments, globally). I want to spend time learning what other cities are doing around the world, and importantly, I would like to take you with me.

So, lets make this the start of ongoing conversation, one where you tell me what you need to reduce carbon in your world, and I will do my best to help. If there is a project you want to know more about, I will do my best to find it. And when I return, together we will get down to the important business of taking Yarra to zero carbon.

I know this is an exciting moment in time, but at the end of the day, “nations talk, cities act” 

If you don’t want to wait and want to get started now, one of the single most important things all of us can do is contact your local MP and ask them what their commitment is? What are they prepared to commit to and do to reduce carbon emission? What are they and their party taking to COP21? Is it enough?

Please follow Louis and I on Facebook or Twitter. Ask us questions and we will do our best to find out what you want to know. Come with us. 

Thanks for your support, and we look forward to all we can do together in the years ahead.

Sarah and the team at YEF