Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle responds to World Environment Day with energy forum

The Social Justice Council of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle will, on Wednesday 10 June, host the public forum Transitioning to Renewable Energy at St Pius X High School, Adamstown from 6pm.


This comes following Pope Francis’s announcement that his highly anticipated encyclical letter on environmental issues will be released on 18 June.


A group of experts, including Dr Mark Diesendorf, Daniel Wallace, Dr Alan Rai, Professor Peter Sainsbury and Thea Ormerod, will present their findings on the need to transition to renewable energy and what that means for the Hunter. There will be particular emphasis placed on a just transition for miners into other forms of livelihood and how renewable energy can be supported in the Hunter.


The theme for World Environment Day this year is “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care”, with the premise that humanity’s survival is dependent on the responsible management of the world’s natural resources and the reality being that consumption is far greater than the planet can sustain.


Founders of World Environment Day, United Nations Environment Programme, has said, “Many of the Earth’s ecosystems are nearing critical tipping points of depletion or irreversible change, pushed by high population growth and economic development. By 2050, if current consumption and production patterns remain the same and with a rising population expected to reach 9.6 billion, we will need three planets to sustain our ways of living and consumption”.


John Hayes, from the Social Justice Council, said he hoped the forum would attract young people to champion the cause and drive the transition to renewable energy.


“Humanity is relying on everyone, but especially young people, to take seriously the stewardship of creation. Today’s youth are more empowered than any generation before it. Although we are all learning together about the environmental impact of generations before us, the global village is depending on them to step up and ensure a sustainable future for the world.”


The forum is free and is open to all. Light refreshments will be provided, however registration is essential. Registration is via mn.catholic.org.au/renewable or 4979 1111.


For more information, please contact Communications Manager, Kylie Cooper, on 0419 263 901.



Public Forum: Transitioning to Renewable Energy
6pm – 9.15pm, Wednesday 10 June (doors open at 5pm)
The Factory Theatre, St Pius X High School, Adamstown
Bookings essential, visit mn.catholic.org.au/renewable or phone 4979 1111


1. Sustainable energy solutions for climate change
Dr Mark Diesendorf, Associate Professor and Deputy Director, Institute of Environmental Studies, UNSW


2. A just transition for miners and mine contractors in the Hunter Valley
Daniel Wallace, Secretary of the Newcastle Trades Hall Council


3. The mining downturn and potential ways forward for the Hunter economy
Dr Alan Rai - Principal Economist - Hunter Research Foundation


4. Health impacts - the true cost of coal
Prof. Peter Sainsbury, Director of the Climate and Health Alliance;
Visiting Professor, Faculty of Built Environment, UNSW;
Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of Sydney


5. The position of the Catholic Church on environmental issues
Thea Ormerod - President of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC)


6. Q & A