You, like us, may be dismayed, even feel a sense of betrayal, with the recent announcements the federal Labor government has made regarding opening up new offshore oil and gas exploration sites and using CCS (see later in the newsletter articles regarding this). The language from Albanese is the same as Morrison used to justify continuing fossil fuel projects. This is not what we had expected when we voted in Labor. Newly elected teals and independents as well as the Greens are also unimpressed.
We strongly encourage you to write to your federal member, particularly if they are Labor, and voice your concerns about the direction the Albanese government is taking us. Please be civil in your comments. For those in the Bennelong electorate, Jerome Laxale’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org
In the meantime ….
SOME GOOD THINGS HAVE HAPPENED The petition target of 20,000 signatures about logging in NSW was reached and so can now be debated in parliament; Dendrobium mine will not go ahead; Senex Energy (owned by Gina Rhinehart) application to have gas expansion exempted from assessment against national environmental laws rejected; people in France being paid to trade their car in for an E-bike; GFC Alliance in SA closer to producing “green” steel by using hydrogen not fossil fuels; Bank Australia will no longer offer loans for fossil fuel cars from 2025; another company, Lockton, will not insure Adani’s Carmichael mine;
WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING
Our application to have a stall at Moocooboola was rejected because it was deemed our group was inappropriate so close to the state election. This did not stop Anthony Roberts being permitted to have a stall, despite the Hunters Hill Council’s own rule there should be no political presence at the event. We have written a letter of complaint to the council.
NAB – stop financing fossil fuels Come to the rally organised by the School Strikers on 2 September 4.30-6pm outside NAB office at 333 George Street Sydney.
Stop native forest logging Come to the rally outside NSW Parliament House in Macquarie Street on 15 September 2.30-3.30pm to show your support for the banning of logging. And sign the petition asking politicans to support it
Help save some endangered species by signing this letter asking for 21 hectare block adjoining Conjola National Park at Manyana that the community has been campaigning to protect from development since 2008. https://agreennsw.good.do/manyana/action/
Picnics across the state NCC (Nature Conservation Council) is encouraging us to host a picnic with friends and family on Sunday, October 16 to celebrate nature. For more information and to register your site go to https://www.nature.org.au/picnic_for_nature_eoi
Looking for a playpus During September the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF) is encouraging people to go looking for these amazing monotremes as part of a citizen science project. For how to look for a platypus and register your findings go to https://www.acf.org.au/platy-project-signup
Wild at Art will be running to the end of October. It encourages children to create a piece of artwork about the threatened species they are most concerned about and submit it for the competition run by ACF. For details go to https://www.acf.org.au/wild-at-art-competition
NEWS AND EVENTS
Big batteries can they open networks to more renewables? https://arena.gov.au/blog/3-7-billion-battery-pipeline-competing-for-public-funding/
Ways to reduce CO2 New technologies that can reduce the amount of carbon used in manufacturing from paper to plastics. https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-62265992
Much more money needs to be spent to repair damage to environment from 2019/20 bushfires. https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2022/08/16/fire-recovery-to-cost-16-billion-a-year/
Offshore wind zones announced The federal governmnet has announced the first six offshore wind zones. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-05/offshore-windfarms-climate-renewable-energy-turbines/101303944
10 million native animals are killed annually on our roads. Here’s what you can do to help stop this carnage. https://theconversation.com/10-million-animals-are-hit-on-our-roads-each-year-heres-how-you-can-help-them-and-steer-clear-of-them-these-holidays-149733
NSG Super is the first industry super fund to fully divest from oil and gas companies like Woodside and Santos. Is your super fund doing the same? Check it out and then write to them asking they do what NSG Super has done. https://www.marketforces.org.au/superfunds/
Fossil fuel lobby in Australian politics and how to deal with it https://theconversation.com/how-to-deal-with-fossil-fuel-lobbying-and-its-growing-influence-in-australian-politics-188515
State and territory governments continue to support fossil fuels.
NSW government continues to approve fossil fuel projects. Sign the petition asking for a moratorium on all fossil fuel projects. https://www.suehigginson.org/no_new_coal_gas
NT government abandons plan to include mining projects in new environmental laws. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-11/nt-government-abandons-parts-of-environment-laws/101316442
Federal government – enthusiastically supporting more fossil fuel mining
Government has approved new offshore oil and gas exploration sites https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-25/david-pocock-slams-offshore-drilling-sites/101322574
Government has approved two new offshore greenhouse gas storage areas off WA and NT. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-25/federal-government-approves-carbon-capture-areas-off-wa-and-nt/101367994 This is despite the failure of CCS to be a proven mechanism https://michaelwest.com.au/carbon-capture-and-storage-epic-fail-at-gorgon-gas-plant/
Anthony Albanese claims our coal is clean – here’s why that’s untrue. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/commentisfree/2022/jul/28/albanese-parrots-a-pro-coal-talking-point-as-ampol-offers-carbon-neutral-petrol
Labor must end trade agreements that allow Australia to be sued by fossil fuel companies if policies are proposed that affect their profits. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/aug/10/labor-must-amend-trade-agreements-that-allow-foreign-companies-to-sue-the-government-over-energy-and-climate-policies
Why opening more fossil fuels is the wrong way to go https://theconversation.com/opening-10-new-oil-and-gas-sites-is-a-win-for-fossil-fuel-companies-but-a-staggering-loss-for-the-rest-of-australia-189374
Climate Change Authority has suggested Australia should allow more international carbon offsets – why this is a bad idea.
Global Coal mine tracker shows how many are around the world. https://globalenergymonitor.org/projects/global-coal-mine-tracker/
Climate change tracker shows what is is not working to reach net zero https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/08/climate-emissions-speed-scale-tracker-net-zero/
Rewilding helps improve farming A ten year study in the UK shows the benefits to agriculture. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/03/nature-friendly-farming-does-not-reduce-productivity-study-finds
Reforms to the energy market Could it lead to a price on carbon? https://theconversation.com/historic-new-deal-puts-emissions-reduction-at-the-heart-of-australias-energy-sector-188296
What the energy ministers have committed to. https://www.re-alliance.org.au/ministers_prioritise_environment_and_communities
Cooling the planet Net zero is not enough. https://theconversation.com/beyond-net-zero-we-should-if-we-can-cool-the-planet-back-to-pre-industrial-levels-187781
RECYCLING AND SUSTAINABILITY
An alternative to silicone for more efficient PVs? https://theconversation.com/solar-is-the-cheapest-power-and-a-literal-light-bulb-moment-showed-us-we-can-cut-costs-and-emissions-even-further-187008
A new type of solid state battery? Researchers are looking at a non-flammable electrolyte material for sodium batteries, which could be safer and cheaper than lithium-ion batteries https://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/content/sustainability/article/safer-solid-state-batteries-may-be-on-the-horizon-849146919
Reusing textile waste in cotton growing A project has demonstated the benefits of recycling this material and diverting it from landfill. https://www.sustainabilitymatters.net.au/content/waste/article/textile-circularity-cotton-fields-swallow-up-textile-waste-897327539
Bubble barrier in Amsterdam that stops plastics entering the ocean. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/aug/05/incredibly-promising-bubble-barrier-extracts-plastic-from-netherlands-river
Smart bin CSIRO and UTS have developed a prototype ‘smart bin’ to help improve recycling https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2022/08/robotic-recycling-smart-bin/
Single use plastics ban in NSW starting 1 November. Items include single-use cutlery, plates, bowls, stirrers, straws, cotton buds, plastic microbeads in personal hygiene products and expanded polystyrene food ware. For more information go to https://dpe.mysocialpinpoint.com.au/plastics-ban-nsw
Will we ever get EVs in Australia? If fuel efficiency standards had been introduced six years ago our emissions would have been reduced (and saved us money) https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/aug/08/australian-fuel-efficiency-standards-could-have-saved-motorists-59bn-research-shows
The motor industry has called on the federal government to introduce these as voluntary standards which means there’s no way to force implementing standards. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-08-08/industry-hopeful-for-vehicle-emissions-standard-ev-summit/101303358
BUT leaked documents reveal the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries is coordinating a secret campaign to delay Australia’s transition to EVs. https://www.smh.com.au/national/revealed-car-industry-s-secret-emissions-plan-would-slow-electric-vehicle-uptake-20220805-p5b7pe.html
Car companies have faced calls to reconsider their membership of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, after documents revealed the industry group’s lobbying campaign on weaker road transport emissions limits.