Australia has a new proposed EV strategy.
But does it go far enough? https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/apr/19/labor-electric-vehicle-strategy-ev-cars-australia-new-fuel-efficiency-standard-battery-recycling
Frustratingly, it does nothing about implementing fuel efficiency standards. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/environment/2023/04/22/electric-vehicles-policy-stuck-low-gear
A Fuel Efficiency Standard is a simple policy to put a cap on the amount of carbon pollution cars are allowed to produce and is the easiest way to increase supply of EVs. Of the developed countries, Australia and Russia don’t have fuel efficiency standards. The Australia Institute has called for greater acceleration of fuel efficiency standards and an end to subsidies for large four-wheel-drive utes https://australiainstitute.org.au/post/fuel-efficiency-standards-need-greater-acceleration/. There are also calls for tax perks for SUVs be removed https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/mar/23/tax-perks-driving-surge-in-number-of-suvs-and-larger-vehicles-on-australian-roads-experts-say
Minister Bowen seems to be leaning towards a weaker USA-aligned Standard. Fortunately, Transport Minister Catherine King appears to be open to other, better options. We need to ensure that a New Zealand-aligned Standard remains on the table if we’re going to save Australians billions of dollars in fuel costs over the next five years, money which can be invested back into Australian communities.
You could send note to Catherine King’s Facebook asking for a stronger Fuel Efficiency Standard https://www.facebook.com/CatherineKingMP/posts/pfbid029zPs9B6Z2dw5Q9u83czhH493fJvECUnsxfvesv6YRvbyFuL6oTK4p2hbN7Ny7Nhxl or you could send her an an email http://Minister.King@mo.infrastructure.gov.au
Sign the letter to your federal MP or senator asking them to support strong fuel efficiency standards. https://www.solarcitizens.org.au/email_labor_back_strong_fes
We encourage you also to have your say on this issue by going to https://www.infrastructure.gov.au/have-your-say/fuel-efficiency-standard-cleaner-and-cheaper-run-cars-australia. Submissions close 31 May.
Beetaloo shale gas fracking project gets the go-ahead
The NT Chief minister Natasha Fyles announced approval for this project to proceed.
The NT deputy chief minister Nicole Manison’s justification sounds exactly like what the gas industry would say: Territorians can feel absolutely assured that the onshore gas development in the NT will be safe, it will be sustainable and that we have the best regulation in place. Most importantly, that this body of work is based on scientific evidence. I ask you this question: Do we want to see more coal-fired power generation, or would you rather see a cleaner source of energy such as gas? We are striving towards our renewable energy future, especially here in the NT.
However, recommendations by the NT Pepper Enquiry regarding fracking have not been fully implemented. In addition, the Senate Inquiry into fracking in the Beetaloo Basin in NT made 14 recommendations the NT and Federal governments must address to protect water and cultural heritage, none of which have been met.
Three weeks ago Federal Labor Senators signed a report that promised to 1.Extend the national water trigger to Beetaloo shale gas fracking in federal environment laws 2. Ensure there is ‘no net increase’ to Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions from fracking in the Beetaloo basin 3. Require full cultural heritage impact assessments before any fracking production.
There are still a number of things that need to be completed before the project can proceed and we ask you to do some or all of the following:
1. Sign a letter to Chris Bowen and Tanya Plibersek asking they stop fast-tracking this project https://lockthegate.good.do/plibersek/sendntemail/
2. Email NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles voicing your opposition https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/gas-and-fracking/email-labor-no-fracking-production-in-the-beetaloo/no-fracking-production-in-the-beetaloo-basin
3. Ring Chris Bowen’s office. Here’s a guide on how to do it (it’s really easy!) https://www.aycc.org.au/call_chris
And now to other news ….
As at 2 May 2023 CO2 reading was 418.8 parts per million. Source NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Safe level is 350 parts per million
SOME GOOD THINGS HAVE HAPPENED
NSW’s largest solar farm in New England area opened; NSW Forestry decided to end the destruction of hundreds of hectares of native forest inside plantations; cost of energy from renewables just keeps getting lower; Glencore is facing intensified investor pressure over its plans to develop new coal projects; coal development projects have been slashed by 40% in 2 years (but 1.8 billion tonnes of mining capacity remain in planning); Harvard Business School has published research that the coal divestment policies of large banking institutions are effective at reducing carbon emissions; Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund has sold most of if its investments in Adani Group companies; Germany has shut down its remaining 3 nuclear power stations; China Stone and Range Project coal proposals have lapsed and will now not proceed
Protest CommBank financing fossil fuels will be held on 10 May from 12 noon at Martin Place near entrance to Martin Place station
Stop the tax on households PV export to grid The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) is deciding if it will allow network companies to charge NSW solar owners for exporting their cheap solar energy to the grid – another way to discourage more households installing PV and hold back a faster transition to cheaper 100% renewables! You can made a submission using this easy guide. Closing date is 12 May https://www.solarcitizens.org.au/sun_tax_aer_submissions_nsw_2023
NCC Bushfire conference will be held 24-25 May at NSW Teachers Federation Conference Centre, Sydney. How to better manage bushfires will be discussed. For information and to book go to https://events.humanitix.com/ncc-bushfire-conference-2023-managing-bushfire-together
Sustainability Festival will be run by Ryde Council on Sunday 4 June 2023 from 10.00am – 2.00pm at Ryde Park to celebrate World Environment Day.
Australian Waste and Recycling Exhibition will be held on 26-27 July at the ICC. It is free but you will need to register at https://register.divcom.net.au/awre-2023/visitor-registration/Site/Register
NEWS AND EVENTS
Subsidies for gas mining Sign the letter to your federal Labor MP asking they not support these subsidies in the upcoming budget. https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/climate-justice/email-labor-scrap-fracking-subsidies/tell-labor-voters-want-fracking-subsidies-scrapped
PRRT (Petroleum Resources Rent Tax) – gas mining companies pay zero tax while generating billions of dollars in revenue. Sign the petition asking the treasurer to close this loophole in the upcoming budget https://act.350.org/sign/tell-treasure-chalmers-fix-PRRT/
Funding for the environment Sign this letter asking the treasurer and environment minister for more funding for protecting biodiversity in the budget https://wilderness.good.do/budget2023/fundnature/
Resource Minister Madeline King’s unrestrained devotion to the gas industry continues. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/apr/13/australias-resources-minister-heaps-warm-praise-on-gas-as-industry-pr-spree-masks-doubts-about-future
Climate change and national security Australian military says climate change is a greater threat than China. Here are two articles for you to read. https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/bigger-threat-than-china-defence-leaders-urge-release-of-scary-climate-report-20230404-p5cxuf.html and https://reneweconomy.com.au/government-has-a-duty-to-be-transparent-about-climate-security-risks-even-if-shocking/
Banks are still funding fossil fuel projects Sign the letter asking banks to stop funding Santos’ Barossa project. https://www.marketforces.org.au/australias-big-four-banks-receive-human-riights-complaint-over-financing-of-barossa/ And here is one specifically for CommBank – useful to sign if you are a CommBank customer. https://act.350.org/letter/email-commbank-tiwi-islanders/
NAB and Westpac to fund Whitehaven’s new mine? Sign the letter asking they don’t. https://www.marketforces.org.au/whitehaven-rushing-ahead-with-new-coal-mine-backed-by-nab-and-westpac/
Greenwashing/climate washing What it is and how you can report instances where you believe a company is doing this. https://theconversation.com/capitalising-on-climate-anxiety-what-you-need-to-know-about-climate-washing-202507
South-East Marine Park Sign the petition asking for the protection of this important area https://www.saveourmarinelife.org.au/actions/southeast/
Mitsubishi Corporation wants to develop the Tabeer LNG project, in Pakistan. Sign the letter asking they not proceed. https://www.marketforces.org.au/campaigns/international/mitsubishi-tabeer-lng-project-action/
How to cut global emissions by 10% Stop subsidising fossil fuels! In 2022 alone countries spent $1trillion on subsidies. Australia’s contribution was $11.6b https://qz.com/want-to-cut-global-emissions-by-10-stop-fossil-fuel-s-1850252198
Here’s more than 40 ways to cut emissions by 50% by 2030. https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/figures/summary-for-policymakers/IPCC_AR6_WGIII_FigureSPM7.png
Nature repair market federal government’s solution. Will it work? https://theconversation.com/can-a-nature-repair-market-really-save-australias-environment-its-not-perfect-but-its-worth-a-shot-203126
The world’s oceans are heating up increasing the risk of extreme weather https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/apr/08/headed-off-the-charts-worlds-ocean-surface-temperature-hits-record-high
How not to store waste from coal seam gas projects proposed methods are highly questionable https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/apr/08/coal-seam-gas-waste-plan-risks-washing-5m-tonnes-of-salt-into-the-murray-darling-basin
Liddell closure what happens next? https://theconversation.com/farewell-liddell-what-to-expect-when-australias-oldest-coal-plant-closes-203548
How to get economic growth? Drastic action on climate change is the way to go. https://reneweconomy.com.au/drastic-climate-action-is-the-best-course-for-economic-growth-new-study-finds/
Chevron emitting 50% more carbon despite its carbon capture system (the reason the project was approved) https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/apr/21/emissions-wa-gas-project-chevron-carbon-capture-system-pilbara-coast
We need a lot more renewable energy if we’re to meet our target of a net zero economy by 2030. https://reneweconomy.com.au/net-zero-study-finds-australia-needs-nearly-three-terawatts-of-wind-and-solar/
Record solar production from rooftops and farms is reducing cost of electricity. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/apr/28/record-levels-of-renewable-energy-help-bring-down-australias-energy-prices-says-aemo
Community batteries could help with an energy storage gap. ARENA is investigating. https://arena.gov.au/blog/can-community-batteries-plug-an-energy-storage-gap/
Solar thermal a storage system to help us get through the night once coal and gas are no more. https://theconversation.com/batteries-wont-cut-it-we-need-solar-thermal-technology-to-get-us-through-the-night-203545
RECYCLING AND SUSTAINABILITY
Overproduction in the fashion industry Too much clothing ends up in landfill because of overproduction. That needs to change. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/life/fashion/2023/03/04/the-battle-lessen-clothing-wastage
How you can make your household more sustainable? Sign the letter asking governments to help households get off gas with zero interest loans.https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/open-letter-zero-interest-loans/
Here’s some tools to help you make your home more sustainable from the Climate Council. Home Appliances https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/home-appliance-savings-calculator/ Getting off gas https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/resources/getting-your-home-off-gas-quick-guide/ Improving home efficiency https://www.climatecouncil.org.au/top-tips-improve-home-energy-efficiency/
Recycling in Hunters Hill Council area. RecycleSmart is working with the council to take, for a fee, items that are difficult to recycle including soft plastics and styrofoam. Hunters Hill Council is one of a number of councils participating in this scheme. Ryde Council is not at this stage. For more information and to book a pickup go to https://www.recyclesmart.com/
Australia’s reycling of plastic packaging is woeful and the 2025 target will not be met. Much stronger laws are required. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/apr/20/australia-recycles-just-18-of-plastic-packaging-and-will-not-reach-2025-target-review-finds
Go for Zero Mobile Phone recycling campaign has been launched to encourage us to hand in our old mobiles to be recycled. For information go to https://www.mobilemuster.com.au/
Australia’s lithium exports revenue from this expected to match coal in five years. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2023/apr/07/value-of-australian-lithium-exports-tipped-to-match-thermal-coal-in-five-years