Working in collaboration is a critical part of tackling climate change in Australia. Clean State is lucky to work alongside so many incredible organisations around the country doing fantastic work at a grassroots level. The Tomorrow Movement is one of those, and their Climate Jobs Guarantee campaign is exactly the sort of action we stand behind.
We sat down with Tomorrow Movement National Director Cat Nadel to talk about how we can get to 100% renewable energy by 2030, rebuild our public services and begin to heal our communities by guaranteeing a good climate-safe job to everyone who needs one.
A huge thank you to Cat for taking the time to chat with us!
First up, just tell us a bit about yourself.
I live on Wurundjeri country in Naarm/Melbourne in a chilly rental with my partner and our cat Ringo. If I’m not organising you can find me hiking in nature, at the pub with friends, learning a new circus trick or problematically supporting the Collingwood football club.
How did you find yourself here – in this movement, in the climate space, and in the jobs space?
I first got involved with climate organising at uni, working on the campaign to get Monash uni to divest from fossil fuels. We ended up getting the uni to divest $450m from coal (!) – which was a huge win for our student group – and I got absolutely hooked on the thrill of building power in community to win systemic change.
After that I got a job at Environment Victoria working on Climate and Just Transitions, where I got to work with and learn from incredible communities in south-east Melbourne and Gippsland, stopping polluting coal and gas projects and bringing better jobs to the regions.
In the wake of the 2019 election when the country seemed more divided than ever on the false choice of ‘jobs vs climate’, I joined with 12 other young people to found a new youth movement [The Tomorrow Movement] that could fight for intersectional and transformation solutions to the jobs, housing, and climate crisis.
Could you give us a rundown of the Tomorrow Movement?
Tomorrow Movement is an unstoppable movement of young people working to end the influence of big business on our politics so that we can win a tomorrow with good jobs, great public services and a safe climate for all.
We have a small team of 3 part-time staff (including me), and we spend our days on the phone coaching and organising our growing network of over 4000 members and 400 active volunteers.
Our flagship campaign is for a Climate Jobs Guarantee: a plan that would guarantee a good job transitioning away from fossil fuels and building a caring and sustainable society for everyone. The first step we are demanding from the federal government is a Senate Inquiry to hear directly from communities on how we are experiencing the intersections of these crises and what solutions we need.
Brilliant – so what does a Climate Jobs Guarantee mean or look like to you?
To me, the Climate Jobs Guarantee is a policy agenda that actually matches the scale of the climate and economic crisis. Acting on climate change is not a choice between cutting emissions and solving urgent problems in our communities. We can and must do both. There are so many people – especially young people – who don’t have enough work and who want to get to work making our communities stronger.
Solving this crisis will require thousands of nation-building projects that could guarantee good quality jobs decarbonising every industry and caring for our communities.
These could be large-scale infrastructure projects like building new train lines connecting our cities and transmission lines re-inventing the grid. It could be building and retrofitting millions of energy-efficient homes, creating thousands of trade jobs, so our heating and cooling bills don’t cost a bomb and our families don’t get sick. It could be resourcing First Nations communities to care for country and have sovereign control over what happens on their land. It could be training and staffing hundreds more nurses, aged care and support workers as we face future pressures on the health system.
To me, the Climate Jobs Guarantee is all about setting the agenda we actually need – and the imagination of our communities is the limit.
What would you like to see happen in first 100 days of the new parliament?
I want the government to prove to us that their new climate bill is just the beginning of what they will deliver this term. We can’t let the climate wars be over just because one (fairly mediocre) bill has passed!
There are still 114 proposed new coal and gas projects that have the government’s support and cannot go ahead if we want to keep global warming below catastrophic levels.
We need to be transforming our economy at a rapid scale not just to immediately cut emissions, but also to prepare and support our communities for the impacts already locked in. We want the government to back a plan that matches the scale of the crisis – like the Climate Jobs Guarantee.
As a first step, we are calling for the creation of a Senate Select Committee on the Climate, Jobs and Housing Crisis. We are asking that this proposed Select Committee hold public hearings in communities across the country to hear from our communities about how action to solve the climate crisis can make our lives better today and into the future.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
We can only win a tomorrow with good jobs and a safe climate for all if we build a people-powered movement that is strong enough to make our politicians act for us instead of big business. So we need everyone to join this fight!
If you’re under 35 and keen to start organising with other young people – please come along to one of our fortnightly online Welcome Calls to find out how to get involved. You can also or check if there’s an event coming up near you. Another great way to help build the movement and ensure it is sustainable is to chip in as a grassroots financial supporter.
Every little bit counts!
If you’re involved in a climate project you’d like to tell us about, don’t hesitate to give us a buzz! We love to hear from the go-getters in our community.