A letter from Kelly & Mara

Unprecedented. Disruption. Damage.

Words that have echoed across the past year as climate-fuelled bushfires and drought wreaked havoc on people and wildlife, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic threw our societies, jobs and industries into chaos. The future has never seemed more uncertain.

But in that uncertainty lies a challenge — to change the future for the better.

When the bushfires devastated Australia, ACF called for the renewable energy and climate solutions to make our country safer. When billions of animals were killed or harmed in the fires, we named the extinction crisis and called for the national nature laws to fix it. And when COVID-19 disrupted our lives, we called for a climate- and nature-positive recovery to help solve the economic, climate and extinction crises.

Read the full letter

Photo: James Thomas

The year in review

Solving the climate crisis

We brought Australians from all walks of life together to demand a fast and fair transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.

Our impact:

  The Business Council of Australia announced a target for net zero emissions by 2050.

  With allies, we pushed engineering firm GHD to rule out further work on Adani’s Carmichael coal mine. 

  Energy Resources Australia, the company behind the Ranger uranium mine, held its final AGM as the mine prepares to close in January 2021.

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Photo: Danny Halstead/Pacific Hydro.

Standing up for nature

We kept the spotlight on environment law reform and activated more people to connect, protect and restore nature. 

Our impact:

  After years of campaigning by many groups, the Victoria government announced it will immediately cease old growth logging and phase our all native forest logging over the next decade.

  Our investigations work helped stop the illegal clearing of threatened species habitat on King Island (Tas) and Meadowbank Station (Qld). 

  We shaped the media narrative around the announcement of the EPBC Act Review and focused attention where it needs to be — solving Australia's extinction crisis.

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Photo: Doug Gimesy.

Strengthening our democracy

We continued to strengthen our democracy so it works to protect the places and wildlife we love. 

Our impact:

  We played a critical role in achieving nation-leading electoral reforms to get big money out of politics in Queensland.

  We helped to launch the Australian Democracy Network — an alliance of civil society groups with a mission to create a thriving democracy.

  We continued to expose the influence the fossil fuel industry has on our democracy, raising awareness of the links between politicians and coal, oil and gas corporations. 

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Photo: James Thomas.

Our response to COVID-19

Our Recover, Renew, Rebuild agenda shows how we can make things right for people, nature and our climate. 

Transforming our economy

We disrupted 'business as usual' and called for companies to lift their game on climate action. 

Our impact:

 We exposed the Business Council of Australia's (BCA) decade-long lobbying to undermine climate policy in Australia, making the front page of The Australian.

After a year-long, people-powered campaign by ACF, the BCA announced a target for net zero emissions by 2050.

• As part of an alliance of organisations we pushed Westpac to commit to divesting from thermal coal by 2030.

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Photo: Sheryl Caston/Alamy Stock Photo

Building people power

Together, we held decision makers to account and spoke up for solutions to keep nature healthy for generations to come.

Our impact:

  We grew our community in one year, from 650,000 to more than 700,000 people.

  On June 30, 409,908 people had signed the biggest petition in the 55-year history of ACF.

  Our community raised the pressure on big banks to move money out of coal and gas. And we shifted business lobby groups from undermining climate action to advocating for it.

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Changing the story

We brought Australians from all walks of life together to demand a fast and fair transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.

Our impact:

  Before coronavirus, climate was the top issue in the country and despite the media focus on COVID-19, ACF continued to generate climate and nature stories and remain among the most influential not-for-profit organisations in the Australian media.

  Our climate change and sport ads had 8.3 million views, highlighting the impacts of climate change on tennis, cricket and cycling.

  Our bushfire video stories reached 1,350,331 people.

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Photo: Annette Ruzicka/MAPgroup.

Thank you to our community

Together, we are more than 700,000 people speaking out for nature.

Whether you give donations, volunteer your time, speak out, plant seedlings, sign petitions, rally or tweet, we thank you for being part of the vibrant ACF community.


Financial position summary

2019–2020 has been a tumultuous year and ACF has, so far, proven to be resilient to the shock of COVID-19. While the outlook remains uncertain, we are confident ACF can weather the storm and be a powerful voice in the post-pandemic recovery.