SOME GOOD THINGS HAVE HAPPENED The ACT will ban purchase of ICE cars from 2035; Japan has dropped plans to fund two proposed coal power projects; Federal government to review carbon credits scheme; Amazon to use e-bikes in London for deliveries; federal government restores ARENA’s purpose to fund renewables not fossil fuels; the last coal-fired power station in Hawaii closes in September
WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING
We met with Jerome Laxale, the new federal member for Bennelong on 18 July for almost an hour.
The issues discussed were:
- EPBC Act review by Graeme Samuels completed in October 2021 that the former government did not act on. We stressed it needs to be strengthened along with Regional Forest Agreements to stop native forest logging and to protect habitats. Jerome was across the problems with ineffective carbon capture and storage outcomes, ineffective carbon credits policies and lack of environmental protection.
- We said the 2030 target of 43% reduction in carbon emissions was too low and asked whether a higher target for 2035 would be set. Jerome seemed confident that would happen once the 2030 target was legislated which would provide certainty for investment.
- Jerome said the Independent Climate Change Authority would be re-established which would set new targets and advise the government on climate change action.
- He said 80+ new large solar farms were waiting for approval. There was mention of new off-shore windfarms to be developed.
- There is still ongoing strong support in the government for gas exploration and use as energy source. We mentioned there was no agreement from First Nations people for proposed gas mining projects on their land in WA, NT and NSW. We also said new mines export most of their product and there is no guarantee gas will be available domestically.
- There will be a community battery in North Epping. Nationally, 400 community batteries will be installed. Jerome will try to get one for Macquarie Park to service their data needs.
- We said there needs to be a just transition for fossil fuel mining communities, particularly those in remote areas.
- Jerome said to encourage the upate of EVs, the import taxes on them will be significantly lowered in 2023.
- We suggested he read “The Big Switch” by Saul Griffith on how carbon emissions could be reduced significantly by electrifying all aspects of household energy use.
- We raised our serious concerns about Madeleine King, Minister for Resources, who is seen to be too close to the fossil fuel industry.
Empowering Communities online conference 5-7 August. It will feature many independent MPs newly elected to federal parliament. For details and to register go to https://www.communityindependentsproject.org/convention
Move Beyond Coal This is a new grassroots movement focusing on ending financing of coal. Their launch is 17 September 2-4pm at Petersham Town Hall. For info and tickets go to https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/launch-party-move-beyond-coal-sydney-tickets-385550631317 If you can’t make that, they have an online launch on 22 September. For information on how to register contact Manjot Kaur at firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian Parents for Climate Action Because of our reliance on coal and the subsequent soaring cost of electricity, this group has launched a national household energy analysis project. Complete their survey so MPs can see the impact of Australia’s ongoing reliance on coal and solutions to resolve the situation. https://corexmszq4d34pdj54nb.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_aXGUVoU8aOh1Nl4
NEWS AND EVENTS
Logging NSW forests Native forests are the best carbon sink mechanism available. Unfortunately there continue to be subsidies to log them. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/jul/13/australias-farcical-climate-policy-market-forces-to-cut-emissions-and-subsidies-to-destroy-carbon-sinks
Fossil Ad Ban This is a new campaign calling for the ban on fossil fuel advertising and sponsorships. Use this link to contact your local council https://fossiladban.org/?fbclid=IwAR1_MJaH_0Hgth0Qd57G8iMw_oHdmvx_v9UzEvdN6N2-_-nAYTkMEHYA46c
Capacity Market proposal Want to pay hundreds of dollars extra each year just to prop up aging coal and gas plants? Chris Bowen’s proposal is not the way to go. The money should be put into renewables and storage. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-07-21/renewable-energy-backers-blast-capacity-market-proposal/101258280 Write to Matt Keane asking he block this inappropriate subsidy. https://www.solarcitizens.org.au/contact_energy_ministers_capacity_market
Australian mega fossil fuel projects at risk? High prices may lead to reduced worldwide demand. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jul/07/australian-fossil-fuel-megaprojects-at-risk-from-record-high-global-gas-prices
Chevron fails to achieve its carbon capture target https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/16/gas-giant-chevron-falls-further-behind-on-carbon-capture-targets-for-gorgon-gasfield
Stopping new fossil fuel projects By not doing this, the federal government is failing Australia, Pacific nations and the world. Tanya Plibersek is to assess whether 27 coal mining projects should proceed – here are two interesting articles https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/11/labor-faces-decisions-on-approval-of-up-to-27-coal-developments-including-greenfield-mines-analysis-shows and https://theconversation.com/times-have-changed-why-the-environment-minister-is-being-forced-to-reconsider-climate-related-impacts-of-pending-fossil-fuel-approvals-186715
Sign the petition asking the government to rule out new fossil fuel projects.
New coal and gas projects will wipe out any benefit of Labor’s 43% target https://reneweconomy.com.au/new-coal-and-gas-projects-will-erase-albos-climate-gains-several-times-over/
Banks are still funding fossil fuel projects
CommBank is funding fossil fuel projects, including for Santos. Sign the petition to be delivered in time for their AGM in October. https://www.bankonourfuture.com.au/australian-banks/commbank/
NAB continues to fund Santos. Sign the letter to the CEO asking the bank stop https://act.350.org/letter/email-nab-ceo-santos
It’s time for a windfall tax this will make rich gas corporations pay their fair share of tax (most of whom pay little or no tax now). Norway, Spain and UK are doing it, why not Australia? https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/jul/19/nobel-prize-winning-economist-joseph-stiglitz-calls-for-windfall-profits-tax-in-australia
Sign the petition asking the treasurer, Jim Chalmers, to introduce this tax. https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/corporate-tax/make-them-pay/windfall-tax-now
The fossil fuel industry has made staggering profits over the last 50 years. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/21/revealed-oil-sectors-staggering-profits-last-50-years
State of the Environment is sobering news and a reflection of Australian governments’ neglectful environment policies. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/19/labor-says-it-wont-put-head-in-the-sand-as-it-releases-shocking-environment-report
Sign the petition asking Tanya Plibersek to take quick action on environmental laws. https://wilderness.good.do/extinction2022/naturelaws/
Sign this open letter to her asking for her to reconsider fossil fuel projects awaiting her approval. https://livingwonders.org.au/take-action/public-open-letter/
Here’s 5 things the government could easily do now. https://theconversation.com/labor-wont-overhaul-environment-laws-until-next-year-here-are-5-easy-wins-it-could-aim-for-now-184565
Nature can be restored, starting with cutting emissions. https://theconversation.com/no-more-excuses-restoring-nature-is-not-a-silver-bullet-for-global-warming-we-must-cut-emissions-outright-186048
Farmers have an important role to play https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2022-07-21/farmers-climate-change-state-of-the-environment-report/101255006
Things you can do in your own backyard to help the environment. https://theconversation.com/yes-the-state-of-the-environment-is-grim-but-you-can-make-a-difference-right-in-your-own-neighbourhoood-187259
Greenwashing how to make companies actually do what they claim they do.
Glencore’s new advertising blitz is a prime example https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jul/21/mining-giant-glencores-australian-pr-blitz-forgets-the-coal-driving-the-climate-crisis
Albanese says Australian coal is clean https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2022/jul/28/albanese-parrots-a-pro-coal-talking-point-as-ampol-offers-carbon-neutral-petrol
RECYCLING AND SUSTAINABILITY
Recycling plastic from the ocean Here’s an Australian invention doing that.
Windows to generate power? Here’s an Australian research project with great possibilities https://interestingengineering.com/breakthrough-turn-windows-into-active-solar-panels
Using mixed waste to create recycled plasic A project from Sweden that stops waste going into landfill or incinerators https://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/content/waste/case-study/researchers-make-plastic-from-garbage-602542944
A new method to store hydrogen? A project from Deakin University https://theconversation.com/breakthrough-in-gas-separation-and-storage-could-fast-track-shift-to-green-hydrogen-and-significantly-cut-global-energy-use-186644
Steel buildings that can generate electricity? A project from the UK https://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/content/energy/article/steel-buildings-that-can-generate-clean-energy-687176447
How to get more EVs into Australia? By Federal government implementing Fuel Efficiency Standards (FES) that incentivise manufacturers to bring more EVs to the country and so make them more affordable. Sign the petition asking the government do what the previous government refused to do. https://www.solarcitizens.org.au/ev_petition
EU bans fossil fuel cars from 2035 Australia is lagging badly behind https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/australia-risks-being-left-behind-as-eu-bans-fossil-fuel-cars-from-2035-20220630-p5ay3r.html