July 2023 Newsletter

As at 3 July 2023 CO2 reading was 419.3 parts per million. Source NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).  Safe level is 350 parts per million

SOME GOOD THINGS HAVE HAPPENED Queensland and Australian governments have made a promise to phase out gill net fishing from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area; Origin Energy has given up its fracking leases in Queensland’s iconic Lake Eyre Basin (more information later in newsletter); Environment Ministers agreed to force the plastic packaging industry to recycle, reduce and use recycled content

Protest outside Tanya Plibersek office will be held on Thursday 13th July at 10am, 1a Great Buckingham Street Redfern to protest about the government’s plan to give $1.9 billion dollars of taxpayer money to the Middle Arm gas hub project

Commonwealth Bank protest  will be held on 19 July at 12noon at CommBank Darling Square, 1 Little Pier St, Haymarket to encourage the bank to end funding of fossil fuel projects. For more info go to alessandro@350.org.au

Plastic Free July Bennelong MP Jerome Laxale is calling for a permanent ban on single-use takeaway cups within Parliament where over 250,000 are thrown away a year.  Join him in refusing takeaway cups during July. See his interview at  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-06-20/calls-for-parliament-house-to-ban-single-use-coffee-cups/102502268

EnergyNext conference will be held at ICC in Darling Harbour 18-19 July. Free but you need to register https://www.energynext.com.au/en-gb/register.html

Save our forests rally will be held on 12 August at 12.30pm at The Green, Addi Road Community Centre, 142 Addison Road, Marrickville.

Hike Australia’s three highest mountains  NCC is organising this event 17-19 November to showcase this amazing area and help fund NCC’s work. For information and to register go to https://inspiredadventures.com.au/event/natureconservationcouncil-3peaksnsw-2023/

Fossil free sponsorships 350.org wants to support community groups to not accept sponsorship from fossil fuel companies. To learn more and to participate go to https://act.350.org/survey/fossil-free-sponsorships/

100 Climate Conversations Listen to these conversations with 100 visionary Australians, taking effective action to respond to the most critical issue of our time, climate change https://open.spotify.com/show/2PEbjx38LlPla7ynTMZEUS

Why Australia is not entitled to host COP31 conference 
Pacific leaders are warning the Albanese government it must raise its climate goals or risk harming Australia’s security ties to the region and this means no new coal and gas! https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/pacific-pressure-island-leaders-say-security-ties-at-risk-unless-australia-does-more-to-cut-emissions-20230518-p5d9d2.html
Australian government is greenwashing Pacific leaders to win their support for Australia to host climate talks. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/opinion/topic/2023/06/17/australias-greenwash-plan-host-cop31
Australia has joined Russia, Saudi Arabia, China and Brazil in not supporting a plan proposed by Pacific Nations to set hard and ambitious decarbonisation targets on the shipping industry. https://theconversation.com/marshall-islands-a-nation-at-the-heart-of-global-shipping-fights-for-climate-justice-202613 A new study has shown that global shipping industry can reduce emissions by nearly 50% by the end of the decade without impacting trade https://cleanshipping.org/news/global-shipping-can-halve-emissions-without-impacting-trade-study-finds-ahead-of-key-un-decision/

Federal Government no progress on protecting the environment
There is still no legislation to strengthen the EPBC Act and this won’t happen until next year according to Tanya Plibersek in a Webinar hosted by the NCC on 26 June.  This means there is still nothing to protect native forests from logging, no effective water trigger to protect our precious water, no climate trigger to stop more fossil fuel projects and no strong protection of vital habitats for endangered flora and fauna.  However, the government has done the following (but not good) :
Tanya Plibersek approves logging of endangered bird habitat  https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jun/16/tanya-plibersek-approves-habitat-clearing-in-darwin-despite-risk-to-endangered-bird
Tanya Plibersek has introduced legislation that will change Australia’s sea dumping laws to allow carbon dioxide to be directly pumped into international waters relying on the flawed belief that carbon capture and storage works https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jun/30/australian-sea-dumping-law-changes-condemned-amid-warnings-of-gas-industry-expansion This means that other countries can dump their carbon waste here https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/australia-gears-up-to-import-pollution-for-carbon-storage-20230628-p5dk1j.html
Tanya Plibersek has approved Ensham thermal coal mine expansion in Central Queensland on Friday 30/6/23 which can mine until 2037. She has also in the last six weeks made approval decisions on three new coal mining projects, all in central Queensland. In May, Plibersek approved the Isaac River Coal mine, in June she decided the Star coal mine bulk sampling project could proceed without assessment as a ‘controlled action’ and now the Ensham mine. She is not taking into account the climate impacts of new coal approvals.
Nature Repair Market proposal is doomed to fail, particularly if offsets are allowed. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jun/30/labors-nature-repair-market-must-ban-offsets-and-will-need-initial-funding-injection-scientists-say Even PWC has walked back on claims how much the market could be worth https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jun/28/pwc-walks-back-report-used-to-claim-australias-nature-repair-market-could-be-worth-137bn

In other Federal government news:
Middle Arm development – government is shutting down a promised inquiry about this project
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jun/22/government-under-fire-from-crossbench-over-15bn-stake-in-middle-arm-industrial-precinct Sign the petition asking the government stop support for this project https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/climate-justice/middle-arm-petition/disarm-middle-arm
Email federal ministers asking the rollout of Households Energy Upgrades Fund, announced in the budget, be fairly distributed to those who need it. https://www.solarcitizens.org.au/email_ministers_in_response_to_the_2023_budget
Green energy agreement with US  is it a good deal for Australia?
Coal miners are pressuring federal government to weaken emissions limits they are required to report under the reformed Safeguard Mechanism  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-06-05/coalmine-carbon-emissions-estimates-adani-whitehaven-grosvenor/102253064 Sign the letter to your federal MP highlighting the need for a methane action plan. https://www.movebeyondcoal.com/coal-mine-emissions-miss-management
UK Australia trade deal not good for climate change. https://theconversation.com/a-new-trade-deal-delivers-cheaper-australian-beef-and-british-sweets-but-does-little-to-avert-dangerous-global-warming-206394

Tracking Australia’s progress on climate change these charts show our progress. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/datablog/ng-interactive/2022/oct/03/tracking-australias-progress-on-the-climate-crisis-and-the-consequences-of-global-heating

The right to protest and state governments rushing legislation to make it illegal.https://theconversation.com/laws-targeting-protesters-are-being-rushed-through-state-parliaments-but-they-are-often-poorly-designed-and-sometimes-unconstitutional-206103

NSW government
Fast-tracking housing developments in vital koala habitats. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jul/03/approval-for-massive-development-on-sydney-fringe-fast-tracked-despite-koala-habitat-concerns Sign the petition asking the NSW environment minister to protect koala habitat earmarked for a Lend Lease project (Mt Gilead stage 2). https://www.catefaehrmann.org/ssk
40,000 hectares earmarked for logging. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/may/28/more-than-40000-hectares-of-nationally-vital-koala-habitat-marked-for-potential-logging-in-nsw
Audit report on NSW Forestry Corporation found it does not consistently monitor compliance of contractors https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jun/22/audit-office-finds-nsw-forestry-failed-to-monitor-contractors-amid-calls-to-end-native-forest-logging
Logging in Great Koala National Park is ongoing.  Sign the petition asking for a suspension in this area. https://www.suehigginson.org/suspension_of_logging_gknp

Australia’s four big banks still bankrolling fossil fuels. Read about the level of their support and then send a letter to them https://www.marketforces.org.au/campaigns/banks/banking-climate-failure-2023/
Sign the letter to CommBank asking it stop funding fossil fuel projects https://www.marketforces.org.au/commbank-joint-statement-2023/

Queensland government is looking at the future of Lake Eyre Basin. Do a submission using this easy fill-in form to support its protection from fossil fuel mining. https://lockthegate.good.do/protectrivers/emailaction/

Great Southern Reef  Sign the petition asking the WA government to turn it into a Marine Park. https://www.saveourmarinelife.org.au/actions/southcoastletter/

Adani threatens journalists at Carmichael mine area. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jun/22/journalists-received-legal-threats-from-bravus-formerly-adani-carmichael-coal-mine-site-parliament-told

Fungi the unsung carbon absorbing heroes https://theconversation.com/hidden-carbon-fungi-and-their-necromass-absorb-one-third-of-the-carbon-emitted-by-burning-fossil-fuels-every-year-206674

Using electric water heaters  to store renewable energy. Here’s how https://theconversation.com/using-electric-water-heaters-to-store-renewable-energy-could-do-the-work-of-2-million-home-batteries-and-save-us-billions-204281

AEMO  The Australian Energy Market Operator has been given additional funds to help fast-track connections of key wind, solar and battery projects in the country’s main grid https://reneweconomy.com.au/aemo-gets-boost-to-fast-track-key-wind-solar-and-storage-connections/

Solar thermal plant to be built at Port Augusta https://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/content/energy/news/engineering-begins-on-utility-scale-concentrated-solar-thermal-plant-1654595078

How to get to get to net zero  Alan Finkel explains how and what governments need to do. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/jun/17/our-future-as-an-electrostate-alan-finkel-on-how-australia-gets-to-net-zero-from-here

Newcastle and the Hunter’s Energy Evolution watch this series of videos of what is happening in this coal area https://energyhunter.com.au/

Getting off gas  what governments can do to help us https://theconversation.com/all-electric-homes-are-better-for-your-hip-pocket-and-the-planet-heres-how-governments-can-help-us-get-off-gas-207409

Mining minerals for PV and batteries  how can this be done without huge impacts on the environment? https://theconversation.com/we-could-need-6-times-more-of-the-minerals-used-for-renewables-and-batteries-how-can-we-avoid-a-huge-increase-in-mining-impacts-206864

Renewable energy what is the right mix for you? Use this free on-line calculator to find out. https://arena.gov.au/blog/renewable-energy-what-is-the-right-mix-for-your-home/

New recycling plastics rules that are mandatory https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jun/09/australian-governments-impose-mandatory-packaging-rules-on-industry-to-cut-waste

Microplastics in your washing machines here’s how you can stop them doing down the drain.https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2023/may/23/worried-about-your-laundry-releasing-microplastics-a-filter-could-be-a-simple-solution

Biodegradable plastics label may be misleading https://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/content/waste/news/-biodegradable-plastic-label-may-be-misleading-329895479

What not to do with your old clothes  the fashion industry plays a major role in the amount going to landfill. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/sick-of-your-old-clothes-heres-what-not-to-do/mc3qmrs2f

Recycling PV  what needs to be done. https://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/content/energy/article/experts-call-for-australia-to-step-up-pv-recycling-716505152

Batteries for EVs  what to do with them at the end of their life? https://theconversation.com/batteries-are-the-environmental-achilles-heel-of-electric-vehicles-unless-we-repair-reuse-and-recycle-them-205404

Electric cars are they better for the environment? https://www.popsci.com/technology/are-electric-cars-better-for-the-environment/

Toyota claims it has developed a quick-charging, long distance EV battery which could be a game-changer https://www.theguardian.com/business/2023/jul/04/toyota-claims-battery-breakthrough-electric-cars