January 2019 Newsletter

Wanted. Ten people ready to be more active on climate 

We are planning to be more active visible in the elections and are looking to grow our core group, who are currently – Pamela, Wies, Jill, Rachel, Jo. If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to get more involved this could be the time. From researching and developing a candidates score card, creating banners and props, fun street theatre activities, writing letters – activities suit all skill sets and interests. You can choose to either come to core group meetings or just be part of our active supporters group – who we contact for specific actions. Our next meeting is 4 February 7pm at 8 Nelson St – or call Jo – 0414 375 149


Taronga Zoo Have a look at what’s on at Taronga Zoo during the school holidays. https://taronga.org.au/sydney-zoo/whats-on

National Parks Association There’s a lot of walks to do in our beautiful national parks.  Have a look at their schedule. https://npansw.org/bushwalking/

Film ‘Accelerate’ premier showing  350.org has made this film about climate change and what we can do. It will show at Australian Museum 30 January 6.30-10pm.  For tickets go to https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/accelerate-film-premiere-at-the-australian-museum-tickets-54333486922


In the last  month we have done the following:

Written to Mr Alexander regarding Australia’s poor performance at the recent COP24 talks in Poland

Written a submission in support of the Crudine Ridge Wind Farm

Visited Trent Zimmerman.
What does the member for North Sydney think of Adani and climate?

We met on 7 Jan with Trent Zimmerman to ask him if he thought his government was doing enough on climate change and whether he would speak against the Adani coal mine and join the new Parliamentary Friends of Climate.  This new cross-party group was launched by Rebekha Sharkie, an independent MP, in November and already has 27 members from across parties.

In short, he said he thought the government could be doing more, he would not oppose the mine and he hadn’t decided whether to join the new Parliamentary Friends group, but thought it may be tokenistic.

Other points he made which concerned us included:


  • Suggested that baseload power is a problem with renewables – an outdated and false measure with diversified power sources from wind, solar and other renewables and battery storage.
  • Claimed credit for the government for the increase in renewable energy
  • That 100% renewable by 2030 (our position) was possible only if market forces and technology can bring that about.


  • Claimed it’s better India burns black coal from the Carmichael mine than burn the brown Indian coal
  • Would not oppose the mine if all approvals given as tearing up contracts would create “sovereign risk” for Australia. (this phrase meaning so little has also been bandied by the ALP)
  • Was unaware of the water issues regarding Carmichael
  • Claimed the Aboriginal people are split on Adani – this is false – the traditional owners are opposed.
  • Claimed Australian regulations were sufficient to protect environmental catastrophe from the mine (there have been two breaches of conditions already) despite Adani’s woeful track record overseas and said it was legitimate for the govt to have ignored that when approving the mine

Claimed Australia was active at the meeting despite reports that Australia was the only country to attend a US government event promoting fossil fuels, and was silent on key debates.

Apart from our meeting, the evidence is that his voting record in Parliament also disappoints, with votes against increasing investment in renewable energy; against protecting the Great Barrier Reef and ARENA; against requiring every native title claimant to sign land use agreements and against increasing Aboriginal land rights (vital in the Adani challenge).


Coal is making our electricity expensive It is coal and not renewables that is making our electricity expensive. https://reneweconomy.com.au/why-coal-and-not-renewables-is-root-cause-of-surging-australia-power-prices-78405/

Companies (still) not seeing climate change as a business risk Australia’s largest mining and infrastructure companies are refusing to consider financial risks posed by climate change. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/dec/05/australian-mining-giants-may-be-breaking-law-by-ignoring-climate-change-risks

Global investors call for climate change action Over 414 international investment organisations have called on governments for tackling climate change to meet the Paris agreement targets and for a phase out of reliance on coal.  Australia is not part of the Powering Past Coal Alliance.  You can read the article here   https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/10/largest-ever-group-of-global-investors-call-for-more-action-to-meet-paris-targets and then read the actual open letter to governments of the world. https://theinvestoragenda.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GISGCC-FINAL-for-G7-with-signatories-1.pdf

QBE still insuring fossil fuel mining Sign the letter asking QBE to stop supporting these projects

Australia’s poor perfomance at COP24 talks. Australia’s performance was viewed very poorly at the recent talks when it remained silent on debates, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/10/australias-silence-during-climate-change-debate-shocks-cop24-delegates was the only country to attend a US sponsored fossil fuel event https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/11/australia-only-nation-to-join-us-at-pro-coal-event-at-cop24-climate-talks and ranks 55 out of 60 countries in terms of reducing carbon emissions https://newclimate.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/CCPI-2019-Results.pdf .  A recent report for 2018 shows world carbon emissions rising by 2.7%, the highest rate ever. https://theconversation.com/carbon-emissions-will-reach-37-billion-tonnes-in-2018-a-record-high-108041 And Australia’s continue to rise. http://www.environment.gov.au/climate-change/climate-science-data/greenhouse-gas-measurement/publications/quarterly-update-australias-national-greenhouse-gas-inventory-june-2018  And yet, the Federal government is considering underwriting the cost of new coal plants when our Pacific neighbours are asking we abandon coal. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/dec/14/pacific-nations-under-climate-threat-urge-australia-to-abandon-coal-within-12-years In the meantime, currently  more than 40% of the world’s coal plants run at a loss. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-coal/more-than-40-percent-of-world-coal-plants-are-unprofitable-report-idUSKCN1NZ00B

Talking about climate change.   Here’s some helpful tips on how to have a conversation about climate change from the ACF. https://www.acf.org.au/talk_climate_toolkit   and the Climate Council https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/summer-bbq-guide-talking-energy/

A new type of energy  Researchers in US have come up with something that may be better than lithium-ion batteries.  https://www.ecdonline.com.au/content/efficiency-renewables/news/-sun-in-a-box-could-power-a-small-city-1048391733#axzz5aMc7no6y In the meantime, hydrogen should be considered as a renewable energy source.https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/19/time-to-consider-hydrogen-the-new-clean-energy-carrier-on-the-block

Adani and insurers  Ten insurance companies in Australia and overseas have said they will not insure Adani’s coal mine and rail.  Sign the letter to the others who have not yet committed to ruling out support for this project. https://www.marketforces.org.au/info/key-issues/theadanilist/insurers-stopadani/

Community Power Agency  Works in conjunction with groups such as Pingala to help communities organise their own power.  A great organisation. http://cpagency.org.au/

Soft Plastic Recycling  Woolworths and Coles accept soft plastic wrappings that can’t go into your yellow recyling bin.  Have a look at the list of what they accept. https://www.redcycle.net.au/what-to-redcycle/

SunSpot The Australian Photovoltaic Institute with funding from ARENA has developed a tool to assist householders determine the potential for electricity generation from PV installed on their roof.  http://pv-map.apvi.org.au/sunspot