ISDS, a provision in trade agreements that allows foreign investors to sue host governments, has become a ticking time bomb inside trade agreements like the soon to be signed Trans Pacific Partnership. Jess Hill investigates.
The Trans Pacific Partnership is the biggest trade deal in history: 12 countries, including Australia and the United States, that account for 800 million people and 40 per cent of the world’s GDP. After languishing on the negotiating table for years, the TPP could now be signed within weeks. …
What is ISDS? Put bluntly, it’s a provision that allows foreign investors to sue governments for policy decisions that harm their investments.
ISDS shows up in thousands of international agreements, including dozens that Australia has already signed. In 2011, the Productivity Commission warned that ‘experience in other countries demonstrates that there are considerable policy and financial risks arising from ISDS provisions’. ISDS is widely expected to be included in the Trans Pacific Partnership.
What could be defined as ‘harming’ a company’s interests? It could be something patently unfair, like a government nationalising a privately owned factory. But it could also be something done in the public interest, like banning a chemical, imposing strict conditions on a coal mine, or putting a moratorium on coal seam gas exploration.
Former agricultural scientist Phillipa Rowland shares her concerns about nuclear energy in South Australia http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-25/phillipa-rowland-nuclear-commission/6494138 ABC Rural |Clint Jasper Phillipa Rowland points out that even though nuclear accidents occur infrequently, the consequences are enormous, and this risk pattern must be factored into the debate about South Australia’s long term energy mix.
Karina Lester from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara lands explains her community’s concern about nuclear waste dumps. ABC Rural Clint Jasper, 25 May 15 Karina Lester is concerned people living in remote communities like the APY lands won’t have the same voice in the debate about South Australia’s long term energy mix. She’s also concerned about the likelihood of nuclear waste storage facilities being built in remote outback locations.
Originally broadcast on Thursday 21 May 2015 7:30PM, repeated Sunday 24 May 2015 10:00AM
With six months to go until the next global climate treaty talks in Paris, environmentalist and former US vice president Al Gore has declared that “the future of the world depends” on their outcome. Lord Nigel Lawson, former energy secretary in Margaret Thatcher’s government, delivers his assessment of the prospects of the world reaching a new climate deal.
(Background information about Lord Nigel Lawson and the Global Warming Policy Foundation is available on the DeSmogBlog website at: http://www.desmogblog.com/nigel-lawson and
http://www.desmogblog.com/global-warming-policy-foundation – and on the SourceWatch website at:http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Nigel_Lawson and http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Global_Warming_Policy_Foundation. The program presenter, Tom Switzer, is an Adjunct Fellow of the Institute of Public Affairs –his profile is available at: https://www.ipa.org.au/people/tom-switzer)
Saturday 23 May 2015
Bigger, better and cheaper batteries promise to change our world. Their capabilities will determine how we use small devices, what cars are produced, and how energy is supplied to households. But are some battery technologies approaching their limits? Where to next? The answer is new materials. We hear excerpts from this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in San Jose where speakers report on the latest lines of research, the challenges ahead and the prospects when current hurdles with batteries are overcome. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/developing-new-batteries-for-cars2c-houses2c-devices-and-the-/6490522
Radioactive Responsibility – Impacts of uranium mining in Australia and abroad 18 April 2015 Download MP3
Safeguarding radioactive materials from impacting public and environmental health and from military use is essential for a safe and healthy future. But as the risks increase, big business and government seeking short-term profit are seen to be distancing themselves further from their responsibility to keep these materials from endangering life on earth.
Lauren Mellor (Environment Centre of the Northern Territory) brings us an update on the Ranger uranium mine and Kumar Sundaram (Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace in India) talks about the latest developments in the negotiation for a nuclear deal between Australia and India.
http://www.3cr.org.au/radioactive/episode-201503211000/stumbling-dark-reaching-light “Since nuclear weapons entered our world, everything has changed, whether we like it or not, ready or not.” – Tilman Ruff
In this beautifully sad and compelling essay ‘Stumbling in the Dark, Reaching for the Light,’ which is written and read by Tilman Ruff, we hear about the humanitarian impacts of nuclear weapons, which is our greatest existential challenge of all time. Weaved throughout a dark and emotive soundscape, Ruff tells us how our basic and most fundamental human rights are at risk while roughly 16,000 nuclear weapons still exist in the world.
AUDIO: A solar powered recovery 31 March, 2015 ABC Radio New England North West
By Tawar Razaghi An Armidale-led campaign to solar power the Cyclone Pam recovery When Cyclone Pam tore through the south pacific island of Vanuatu almost two weeks ago, the wild weather left most of the country without access to clean water, food and electricity.
It captured the attention of Armidale resident and solar businessman Rob Taber. He’s since begun collecting second hand solar panels to donate to Vanuatu in the hope of restoring basic power to the island.
Mr Taber proposed the idea at Australia’s Solar Energy Industries Association state conference and says he received overwhelming support from members and it’s now a national campaign.
“I put to the conference that maybe we have solar panels in warehouses, even second hand panels that are tested, that are quite okay, that we could send to Vanuatu,” Rob Taber said……..
AUDIO Bypassing Big Power, http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/lifematters/bypassing-big-power/6342892ABC Radio National The government, the opposition and the senate crossbenchers continue to wrangle on what level the Renewable Energy Target should be.
But, as technology improves, how widespread is the move by consumers to bypass big power?
A look at the current state of consumer-driven renewable energy.
AUDIO: Stand-off continues on Australia’s renewable energy target ABC Radio PM Stephanie Smail reported this story on Monday, March 16, 2015 MARK COLVIN: The stand-off over Australia’s renewable energy target continues, despite a looming deadline that could see some companies facing hefty penalties.
In Canberra today, business, clean energy groups and unions indicated they weren’t happy with the current target on offer from the Coalition.
They were meeting the Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. But the Environment Minister Greg Hunt insists that he’s still confident a consensus will be reached.
Stephanie Smail reports. …….http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2015/s4198744.htm
Rose and Karina Lester on Nuclear Commission http://www.papertracker.com.au/radio/rose-and-karina-lester-on-nuclear-commission/10 March 2015 .Interview with Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara interpretation Duration 45:25 | Recorded on 20 February 2015. | Download Audio (62.3 MB)
This interview is with Karina and Rose Lester about their response to Premier Weatherill’s establishment of a Royal Commission into the use of Nuclear Energy in South Australia.
Karina and Rose tell us about how nuclear energy has affected Aboriginal communities in the past and they share the direct experience of their own family.
They urge people to find out about the Commission and to get involved and to have their voices heard.
The interview responses are in Pitjantjatjara/Yankunytjatjara language, with short summaries provided in English.
AUDIO ABC Radio National Science Show program broadcast http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/scienceshow/merchants-of–doubt/6286330 7 March 2015
The book Merchants of Doubt is now a film. In Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. In chapters addressing tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT, Oreskes and Conway expose this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how the ideology of free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era. (from merchantsofdoubt.org)
How will the Qld election result impact the state’s solar energy? http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/how-will-the-qld-election-result-impact-the-states-solar-energy/6071836
With the wait to find out who will govern in Queensland almost over, the fate of the renewable energy sector will soon be learned.
If Labor forms government, it will be a welcome result by the sector, which is hopeful of a turnaround in its fortunes in the state.
The ALP made a number of promises favourable to the sector in the campaign, including a solar target of a million homes by 2020.
But in a cash strapped economy, will they deliver?
Guests John Grimes CEO of the Australian Solar Council
Credits Producer Cathy Van Extel
AUDIO: Fiji nuclear veterans’ payout small win in huge battle http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/international/radio/program/pacific-beat/fiji-nuclear-veterans-payout-small-win-in-huge-battle/1411753 3 February 2015,
The Fijian government’s decision to compensate the remaining members of the Fiji Nuclear Veterans Association will bring some relief while a legal battle with the British government is still dragging on after nearly a decade in the courts.
Some 70 Fijian soldiers were deployed to what is now Kirbati back in 1958 to take part in Britain’s nuclear testing program on Christmas Island, and more than half a century later, only 24 survive.
The Fijian government payout of FJD$9,985 is designed to cover medical costs which the British government has steadfastly refused to cover.
Journalist and writer Nic Maclellan is co-author of a book on the Fijian nuclear veterans called Kirisimasi.
He says although the veterans will be helped by the payment from Fiji, the real fight is still with the British government.
Presenter: Richard Ewart
Speaker: Nic Maclellan, Journalist
Top End traditional owners fear land rights will be dismantled in push to develop the north (AUDIO) ABC Radio PM Sara Everingham reported this story on Thursday, December 11, 2014 MARK COLVIN: The Northern Land Council says it’s deeply concerned that the push to develop Northern Australia could dismantle hard-fought Aboriginal land rights in the Northern Territory.
A COAG taskforce met today in Canberra to nut out the detail of its review of Indigenous land administration as part of the white paper on developing Northern Australia.
Sara Everingham reports from Darwin.
SARA EVERINGHAM: In Kakadu National Park, about 80 traditional owners from across the Top End have spent the week in talks as part of the Northern Land Council’s full council meeting………………
The Northern Land Council doesn’t know what the review will look at but suspects it will explore greater use of 99 year leases on Aboriginal land.
The council also says it’s been informed by the Federal Government it will revisit an amendment to the Northern Territory Land Rights Act which would devolve powers of the land councils to smaller Indigenous corporations.
The deputy Land Council chairman John Daly says traditional owners must be consulted.
JOHN DALY: We’ve got a Prime Minister for Indigenous Australia and they put out press releases prior to them winning the elections that they would have no reviews, no amendments to the Land Rights Act and things like that, Native Title, without the consent of traditional owners and the land councils. ……http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2014/s4147070.htm?site=indigenous&topic=latest