April 2021 Newsletter

Some good things have happened: Queensland will ban single use plastics and polystyrene take-away containers from September 1; Yallourn coal-fired power station will close 4 years earlier than scheduled in 2028 (and Energy Australia will in the meantime build a massive utility-scale battery); Coles commits to 100% renewables by 2025; Pimco (a US investor) has banned further investment in Adani Ports; AGL will not build its gas hub at Morning Peninsular after strong community opposition


Battery Storage There will be a conference about battery energy to be held 12-13 April at UTS Aerial Function centre.  You can attend either personally or on line. For information and registration go to https://chargeconference.com.au/

School holiday activity  Bush Heritage has free activity packages that you can download for children to learn about Australian animals. https://secure.bushheritage.org.au/users/bush-buddies-sign-up

National Parks Association Raffle Buy tickets to support the important work the NPA does to protect our parks. https://www.rafflelink.com.au/npa2021aut


Made a submission asking recession recovery money not be spent on gas projects

Made a submission opposing the expansion of the Mt Pleasant mine in the Hunter region

Wrote to Susan Ley asking Australia sign up the the global plan for ocean protection

Made a submission opposing National Gas Infrastructure Plan

Made a submission supporting electric vehicles in Future Fuels Strategy proposal


Building cities to cope with climate change  There’s a lot of things that could be done better. https://theconversation.com/how-new-design-patterns-can-enable-cities-and-their-residents-to-change-with-climate-change-152749
Making cities resilient https://theconversation.com/you-need-all-6-pieces-of-the-puzzle-to-build-urban-resilience-but-too-often-its-politics-that-leaves-a-gap-152621
Ugandan city built on solar, shea butter and people power  An inspiring story. https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/mar/03/its-radical-the-ugandan-city-built-on-solar-shea-butter-and-people-power
City planners need to do better when considering effects of floods https://theconversation.com/not-if-but-when-city-planners-need-to-design-for-flooding-these-examples-show-the-way-157578

Existential threat to our survival A recent report shows 19 ecosystems in Australia are on the verge of collapse. https://theconversation.com/existential-threat-to-our-survival-see-the-19-australian-ecosystems-already-collapsing-154077
Sign the petition asking NSW government to protect koala habitat https://www.wwf.org.au/get-involved/koalas-forever-in-nsw/emergency-save-koalas-in-nsw
This is what how Australia will look if we go past 3 degrees (and it’s not pretty)

Could land be worth more if it’s not farmed?  Read on https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/08/land-could-be-worth-more-left-to-nature-than-when-farmed-study-finds-aoe

National Plastics Plan This was recently released by the federal government. https://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/content/sustainability/news/national-plastics-plan-tackles-problematic-plastic-84416272
A type of biodegradable plastic could shortly be banned.  https://theconversation.com/a-type-of-biodegradable-plastic-will-soon-be-phased-out-in-australia-thats-a-big-win-for-the-environment-156566

Protecting the world’s oceans Australian government has joined an alliance of 40 nations calling for protection of 30% of world’s oceans by 2030. Sign the petition encouraging the government to do more. https://www.saveourmarinelife.org.au/actions/australia-to-lead-the-charge-on-global-ocean-protection/

Transitioning to clean energy will cost $12trillion over the next decade according to CBA. https://www.afr.com/business-summit/cba-says-the-clean-energy-transition-will-cost-12trn-20210310-p5799m
The Federal government can’t say how many jobs there will be in a gas-led recovery https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2021/03/11/gas-led-recovery-jobs/
In the meantime, in Australia renewables outperform gas https://www.jimboombatimes.com.au/story/7168409/aust-renewables-outperforming-gas-report/
NSW could reach 100% renewables by 2030 https://reneweconomy.com.au/australias-biggest-coal-state-could-reach-100pct-renewables-by-2030-reputex-says/
A bladeless wind turbine being tested in Europe https://reneweconomy.com.au/bladeless-wobbling-wind-turbines-to-begin-tests-in-europe/
Household battery installations booming https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/battery-uptake-booms-during-coronavirus-as-clean-energy-gathers-pace-20210318-p57bx6.html
Australia still lagging behind on green recovery from pandemic https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/mar/19/australia-lags-far-behind-other-top-economies-on-green-recovery-pandemic-spending
Renewables plus batteries effective in securing Australia’s energy grid
Scorecard ranking states on renewables  https://www.wwf.org.au/news/blogs/who-will-be-the-renewable-energy-superpower-of-the-future

Local renewable energy manufacturing  Sign the petition telling the government this is what we want. https://www.solarcitizens.org.au/power_renewable_manufacturing

Change your electricity provider  Enova Community Energy is an energy provider owned by communities (not large energy providers) which puts money back into communities. Go to their website for more information and how to make the switch. https://www.enovaenergy.com.au/

Banks still investing in fossil fuel projects  A number of Japanese banks are still supporting coal.  Sign the letter https://www.marketforces.org.au/stop-matarbari-coal-power-projects/

Is Adani a sustainable company? No, but the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, which is one of the most influential environment, social and government indices in the world, lists Adani Ports as sustainable. Sign the petition asking for this to be reviewed https://www.marketforces.org.au/djsi-review-adani/

Should we be trusting these men when it comes to climate change?
Alan Finkel. Former Chief Scientist and now Special Advisor to the Australian government on low emissions technology.  He says we need gas as a transition energy source – which is opposite to what the science is telling us. Here’s an article from a year ago. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/gas-critical-for-renewable-energy-future-chief-scientist-says-20200212-p54026.html
Mathias Cormann is the new Secretary-General of OECD.  His past stance on climate change gives good reason for the world to be nervous about OECD action on climate change. https://theconversation.com/genuine-about-climate-action-mr-cormann-heres-how-to-turn-over-a-new-leaf-157404

Logging in bushfire damaged areas  Sign these petitions asking no native forest logging occur in bushfire damaged areas on the South Coast. https://www.nature.org.au/get-involved/take-action/stop-logging-the-fire-ravaged-south-coast/ and https://davidshoebridge.nationbuilder.com/end_native_forest_logging.

Bushfire Aftermath  Watch this film about the effects on local communities of last year’s bushfires  https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/climate-justice/watch-now-the-aftermath/watch-now-the-aftermath then sign either (or both) of these petitions saying polluters should pay into a Climate Compensation Fund to deal with extreme weather events  https://act.greenpeace.org.au/polluterspay

Ranking chocolate makers on environmental and social measures. https://theconversation.com/is-that-a-good-egg-how-chocolate-makers-rate-on-social-and-environmental-measures-158125


Recycling revolution  Watch the Australian Story on ABC iview about Professor Veena Sahajwalla who is transforming glass and waste textiles into water and fire resistance building materials. https://iview.abc.net.au/video/NC2102Q003S00

Recyling app  Ryde Council has launched the RecycleSmart app which includes a recycling database with details of how to recycle more than 250 items. Download from Apple App store/Google Play. Once downloaded, enter your address so you can check out what your council is doing to help with recycling.

Recycling old PVs Australia’s first large-scale PV recycling plant in SA. https://www.pv-magazine-australia.com/2021/02/08/australias-first-large-scale-solar-panel-recycling-operation-amps-up-collection-of-precious-waste/

Plastic recycling  Plastic is still ending up in the ocean. https://theconversation.com/think-all-your-plastic-is-being-recycled-new-research-shows-it-can-end-up-in-the-ocean-155208