Fiji PM Warns Of Syria-Style Refugee Crisis If Rich Nations Don’t Do More On Climate, Thom Mitchell, New Matilda, 2 Oct 15 Frank Bainimarama has taken aim at advanced nations for ignoring the plight of Pacific Islanders in pursuit of short-term economic growth. Thom Mitchell reports.
The Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has hit out at developing nations for their “unacceptable” progress in reducing carbon emissions as part of a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, in which he warned of a humanitarian refugee crisis on the scale of the current migration out of Syria if more is not done.
The talks come as Foreign Minister Julie Bishop seeks a place for Australia on the UN Security and Human Rights Councils, but Bainimarama warned that developed nations like Australia are not listening to the voice of Pacific Island nations, whose human rights are threatened by rising seas and hostile weather patterns.
“It is simply not acceptable for advanced economies to build a high standard of living on the degradation of the earth and the seas,” Bainimarama said.
The choices we face may be politically difficult in the short run, but the consequences we are already seeing – environmental degradation, unbearable heat, drought, powerful tropical storms and unpredictable weather patterns – are simply unacceptable,” he said.
“[Fiji] plans to move some 45 villages to higher ground, and we have already started.
“We have committed to resettle people from other low-lying, South Pacific Island States that face the prospect of being swallowed up by the rising ocean and falling inexorably to oblivion.
“Should that happen, the people of those Island States would be refugees as desperate and lost as the hundreds of thousands fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq,” he said.
As New Matilda reported in June, experts in migration law, like those at the University of New South Wales’Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, are already warning that the “disasters on steroids” climate change will bring is likely to create a need for special refugee visas.
It is clear by now that international pledges nations have made through the United Nations climate change process will not be enough to keep the global rise in temperature to less than two degrees, which is the level accepted as ‘safe’ by Australia and around 200 other nations: https://newmatilda.com/2015/10/01/fiji-pm-warns-syria-style-refugee-crisis-if-rich-nations-dont-do-more-climate#sthash.hk0kghO3.dpuf
Climate sceptic Maurice Newman not reappointed as government adviser, Guardian
Newman, whose term as chairman of PM’s business advisory council has expired, repeatedly questioned climate science in columns for the Australian Lenore Taylor 29 Sept 15 Outspoken climate sceptic Maurice Newman’s term as chairman of the prime minister’s business advisory council expired last week and he has not been reappointed, a spokesman for prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott appointed Newman as one of his first acts after winning government in 2013.
Newman has used a weekly column in the Australian to expound private views on climate change, including that the world was ill-prepared for a period of global cooling and that the United Nations was using debunked climate science to impose a new world order under its own control.
He also called for a government-funded review of the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) to “dispel suspicions of a warming bias” in its temperature record-keeping, something freedom of information documents have recently revealed was under consideration by the prime minister’s department.
Turnbull’s spokesman said the new prime minister, who has strong personal links to the business community, was still considering whether he needed a formal business advisory council. He said Newman had not been reappointed.
The two-year terms of the other 11 members of the council expire in December because they were appointed by Abbott after he had named the chairman…….http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/sep/28/climate-sceptic-maurice-newman-not-reappointed-government-adviser
Frydenberg signals $5 billion taxpayer frolic with Adani’s unwanted fossil flop https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/frydenberg-signals-5-billion-taxpayer-frolic-with-adanis-unwanted-fossil-flop-,8193
IF AUSTRALIA’s new Prime Minister and refreshed front bench are showing signs of being more progressive about renewable energy investment and R&D, it looks like they are also going to be far more candid about coal, and their plans to invest heavily there, too.
In an interview with Fairfax media on Wednesday, the newly sworn in energy and resources minister Josh Frydenberg was crystal clear on the government’s intent to use taxpayer money from its $5 billion Northern Infrastructure Fund to help get the Adani-owned Carmichael coal mining project off the ground.
And he was equally clear that the Turnbull Government’s attitude to developing new coal projects – despite the smart money being on all untapped fossil fuel resources staying in the ground, and despite the fact that most banks and institutional investors won’t touch the Galilee Basin project with a 10 foot barge pole – remains the same as the Abbott Government’s. Frydenberg told the AFR, repeating the mantra of his former boss:
[Carmichael coal mine is] a very important project, which will see significant investment in Australia and provide electricity to millions of people in the developing world,”
Anti-development activism can create major delays in projects and send investment offshore, and you have to be very conscious of that when there are such large time frames involved and we are competing internationally for investment in this country.
Liberal right wing’s climate warning to Malcolm Turnbull: don’t touch Direct Action, The Age, September 25, 2015 Mark Kenny and Philip Wen Malcolm Turnbull has been warned by his party’s right wing not to attempt changes to beef up the Abbott government’s Direct Action program in response to China’s introduction of an economy-wide emissions trading scheme by 2017.
West Australian Liberal Dennis Jensen welcomed the assurances of Environment Minister Greg Hunt, who said Australia would not be altering its climate change abatement measures in response to the Chinese development.
“It’s one of the conditions of the leadership change that we are sticking with the policy we had,” he told Fairfax Media………
While Mr Turnbull declined to comment, Mr Hunt was sent out to reassure nervous Liberals that the development out of Beijing would not lead to a similar move from Canberra. http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/liberal-right-wings-climate-warning-to-malcolm-turnbull-dont-touch-direct-action-20150925-gjv73s.html#ixzz3mnbYTxSM
Malcolm Turnbull’s Faustian pact on climate change is heartbreaking, Guardian,
Mark Butler, 19 Sep 15 Many Australians hoped the new PM would drag the Coalition back to the sensible centre on climate change – but he has swallowed Abbott’s Direct Action hook, line and sinker…………..Many Australians held out very high hopes that Mr Turnbull’s return to the leadership of the Liberal party would see him drag the party back to the sensible centre on climate change — that there would be the hope of Australia again regaining a bipartisan consensus that would allow us to move forward in the way that so many of our sister nations around the world are doing……
The old Malcolm Turnbull was clear in his advocacy of an emissions trading scheme as the cheapest and most effective means of reducing carbon pollution. We have heard him say, so many times, particularly in that critical period of debate in 2009 and 2010, that a policy like Tony Abbott’s emissions reduction fund would be “a recipe for fiscal recklessness on a grand scale”.
Well, apparently it’s all different now. Tony Abbott’s Direct Action policy is apparently now a “very, very good piece of work”. In parliament, the new prime minister praised the emissions reduction fund’s first auction, which spent about $650 m of taxpayer funds. Forty seven million tonnes of carbon pollution reductions were purchased under this first auction. What the prime minister has not said is that of those 47 m tonnes, three quarters, or 34 m tonnes, were from projects that already existed and in some cases had existed for more than 10 years, including with big companies like AGL — the largest polluter in Australia. Taxpayers are paying for things that those companies were already doing.
The second element of Tony Abbott’s Direct Action policy, the safeguards mechanism, was released earlier this month, and it exceeded everyone’s worst expectations. RepuTex, the leading modelling agency in this area, has provided very clear advice that, under this safeguards policy, the biggest 20 polluters in Australia will not be touched whatsoever. And the biggest 150 polluters in this country will increase their emissions by 20% over the next 15 years. The Grattan Institute said in response to the release of the safeguards policy: “It is called a safeguard, but it is not an environmental safeguard. Greg Hunt is not actually constraining emissions; if it is going to work it is going to have to have teeth, but all we have got is gums.”
It’s not surprising then that we’ve seen emissions starting to rise again. Under Direct Action, 2020 levels of carbon pollution will be substantially higher than they are today, and substantially higher than they were in 2000 or in 2005.
The government’s own projections suggest that, in 2020, carbon pollution levels in Australia will be 655 m tonnes against 559 m tonnes in 2000 — so, not 5% below 2000 levels, 17% above 2000 levels. RepuTex was more generous to the government than the government’s own modelling. It said only last month that, in 2020, carbon emissions will be 613 m tonnes against 559 m tonnes — so 10% above 2000 levels………..http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2015/sep/18/malcolm-turnbulls-faustian-pact-on-climate-change-is-heartbreaking
Is new Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull already a climate change turncoat?
Malcolm Turnbull once endorsed common sense positions on climate change. Then he became prime minister, Guardian, Graham Readfearn , 18 Sept 15 During the first few days of being prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull seems to be doing his best to argue about climate change with a former version of himself.
I know I might have already given the game away here, but who do you think said this only five years ago?
We are as humans conducting a massive science experiment with this planet. It’s the only planet we’ve got…. We know that the consequences of unchecked global warming would be catastrophic. We know that extreme weather events are occurring with greater and greater frequency and while it is never possible to point to one drought or one storm or one flood and say that particular incident is caused by global warming, we know that these trends are entirely consistent with the climate change forecasts with the climate models that the scientists are relying on…. We as a human species have a deep and abiding obligation to this planet and to the generations that will come after us.
Stirring stuff eh?
That was Turnbull in August 2010, speaking at the launch of a report demonstrating the technical feasibility of moving Australia to a 100 per cent renewable energy nation.
During his first Question Time as PM earlier this week, Turnbull was asked if he would join Labor in its aspiration (and that’s about the extent of Labor’s policy on this right now) that Australia should be generating 50 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2030.
[Opposition leader Bill Shorten] is highlighting one of the most reckless proposals the Labor party has made. Fancy proposing, without any idea of the cost of the abatement, the cost of proposing that 50 per cent of energy had to come from renewables! What if that reduction in emissions you needed could come more cost-effectively from carbon storage, by planting trees, by soil carbon, by using gas, by using clean coal, by energy efficiency?
What did the Turnbull of 2010 make of a plan to move away from fossil fuels that was twice as ambitious as Labor’s, that actually explained how it could be done and that proposed doing it faster?
But now it seems, Turnbull wants to ridicule an idea that he enthusiastically supported five years earlier. Turnbull once described the government’s Direct Action climate change policy as “fiscal recklessness on a grand scale” but now thinks the policy is a “resounding success”.
During his Question Time response, Turnbull also listed “clean coal” and “carbon capture” as viable responses to the problem……..
now, Turnbull is defending his government’s weak targets on climate change that, if they were replicated by other countries around the world, analysts saywould likely see the planet warm by 3C or more.
Not only is Turnbull abandoning the science, he is abandoning his previous common sense position on climate for what a former Turnbull described as a policy that was no more than fig leaf…… http://www.theguardian.com/environment/planet-oz/2015/sep/18/is-new-australian-prime-minister-malcolm-turnbull-already-a-climate-change-turncoat
Rio Tinto, Business Council of Australia among ‘climate hypocrites’, survey says SMH, September 16, 2015 Peter Hannam Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and the Business Council of Australia are among the world’s largest companies and industry groups holding back action on climate change, according to a new survey.
The research, based on methodology developed by the US-based Union of Concerned Scientists and applied by UK-based non-profit group InfluenceMap, found 45 per cent of the 100 biggest industrial companies were “climate hypocrites” that obstruct action on global warming. Some 95 per cent of the delaying firms were also members of trade associations that demonstrated “the same obstructionist behaviour”.
BHP Billiton was rated a “D”, keeping it just outside the lower 45 per cent of companies that were ranked as “hypocrites”.
“More and more, we’re seeing companies rely on their trade groups to do their dirty work of lobbying against comprehensive climate policies,” Gretchen Goldman, lead analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said. “It is unacceptable that companies can obstruct climate action in this way without any accountability.”
Google topped the list of best performers, along with Unilever and Cisco Systems, each of which received a “B” rating for their relatively positive involvement on tackling greenhouse gas emissions and backing laws that supported such action.
Unilever, which has consumer brands including Dove and Flora, gained kudos for “strongly” supporting the introduction of a carbon tax in Australia in 2012.
The Abbott government scrapped the policy two years later and newly installed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull indicated in his first speech after toppling Tony Abbott that he would stick to the replacement direct action policy to pay polluters to curb emissions.
BHP Billiton, which has coal and oil interests, received its “D” for having a “low level but negative engagement on climate regulation”, including supporting the repeal of the carbon price. “The company appears to be supportive of [greenhouse gas] intensive energy sources, supporting continued use of coal,” the survey said.
BHP also lost marks for its membership of the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers and the Business Council of Australia (BCA), “both of which appear to be opposing climate policy”, the report argued. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/rio-tinto-business-council-of-australia-among-climate-hypocrites-survey-says-20150915-gjn3rz.html#ixzz3m2HDgRjw
Our only hope of defeating Malcolm Turnbull is also our only hope of seriously tackling climate change. We have to come together across divides to articulate a different way of doing things, to mount a cohesive, comprehensive, and strategic campaign for a better, fairer, greener world.
Malcolm Turnbull’s elevation to the Prime Ministership will change very little on its own. But it could be the stimulus we need to work with the new recruits brought to us by Tony Abbott to change everything.
The Fall of Tony Abbott Changes…Not What You Think It Might http://theleap.thischangeseverything.org/the-fall-of-tony-abbott-changes-not-what-you-think-it-might/
September 15, 2015 by Tim Hollo Australia’s climate vandal Prime Minister is no more.
Tony Abbott, elected under two years ago after a lie-filled, Murdoch-fuelled anti-climate campaign, has been deposed by his own party.
Abbott, who famously declared that “coal is good for humanity,” led the first government in the world to reverse a price on carbon or slash a renewable energy target. He rejected funding for mass transit and increased it for roads; he attacked wind farms as ugly and pandered to the junk science of “wind turbine syndrome.” He took Australia’s treatment of refugees to new depths of depravity, even banning doctors from reporting on abuses in the detention camps; begged Barack Obama to let Australia join the bombing of Syria; slashed funding for universities, research and the arts; and escalated the “war on terror” rhetoric.
Tony Abbott’s political demise is cause for celebration.
But what can we expect of his replacement, Malcolm Turnbull, a man seen by some as Australia’s climate saviour? My expectation is: far too little to make a difference, but just enough to threaten to defuse the growing radicalization that Abbott’s clumsy approach was fomenting. We may have just replaced our movement’s most unlikely recruitment tool with someone more dangerous. Continue reading
Sweep out the dead wood:………… This includes the likes of climate deniers such as Maurice Newman, Dick Warburton, David Murray and Tony Shepherd, and shake the Cabinet from the grim grasp of the Institute of Public Affairs and its policy wish-list.
Remove the threat to dismantle CEFC, ARENA and the CCA:…..
Find a new environment minister, or tell Greg Hunt to stop saying silly things: Greg Hunt likes to tell people how hard it was to push a progressive line in an Abbott government. Many people wondered how hard he tried. Hunt came up with some of the Abbott government’s worst whoppers on climate change, coal, and renewable energy. Turnbull cannot afford to have such rhetoric repeated under his leadership
Eight things Malcolm Turnbull should do on climate, renewables, REneweconomy By Giles Parkinson on 15 September 2015 Malcolm Turnbull’s dramatic replacement of Tony Abbott as prime minister of Australia has raised hopes of a change in direction for the Coalition government, particularly on climate change and renewable energy, and thereby the shape of its economic future……..
Paul Gilding, author and corporate advisor, describes a collective sigh of relief for those arguing for progressive climate and renewable energy policies.
“For climate advocates PM Turnbull is a “Nixon to China” moment,” Gilding said today. “We will never get on track as a country on this issue without genuine bipartisan support – and because of the way Rudd and Abbott made this a Left/Right issue, only the Liberal Party shifting can deliver the change we need.
“That’s why Turnbull’s arrival as PM is a game changer for Australia’s approach, but the impact will be medium to long term rather than sudden policy shifts. While Abbott had to say he supported action on climate policy, everyone knew he was faking it because the politics demanded he do so.
“Turnbull actually supports climate action and has long understood the economic implications of the transition required. And rather than being fearful of those implications he embraces them – seeing the inherent opportunity in a transition away from coal and towards a technology driven transformation of the energy system……..
What will Turnbull do? Over the next few days, weeks, months, we will find out. But here are eight things he could do right now: Continue reading
originally published 9 Feb 2015
Coalition needs a heart transplant, not a facelift, The Age, Waleed Aly. 6 Feb 15 The public has been focused on policy and that’s precisely why the Coalition’s in trouble. “…..the government’s in trouble precisely because we have been focussing on policy.
That was true for Labor, whose collapse in public support occurred the moment Kevin Rudd decided he no longer thought climate change mattered that much, and it is perhaps even truer for Abbott…..”http://www.smh.com.au/comment/coalition-needs-a-heart-transplant-not-a-facelift-20150205-136hjx.html
Here’s how Mark Kenny & James Massola saw it, writing in The Age 5 February 15 – “Amid feverish speculation over the leadership, unconfirmed reports also claimed Mr Turnbull had moved to assuage fears in the conservative wing of the party that his return to the leadership would see a reprise of the carbon tax or an emissions trading scheme.
It was claimed Mr Turnbull had promised, in a secret deal, that there would be no such reprise if elected”
Turnbull in climate change shift, West Australian, Andrew Probyn Federal Political Editor February 5, 2015, Malcolm Turnbull would make no change to the Government’s climate change policy in a major concession designed to extinguish lingering doubts about a return to him as Liberal leader….. https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/26199682/turnbull-in-climate-change-shift/
Ignored by the government, shrunk by resignations – where now for Australia’s Climate Change Authority?, https://theconversation.com/ignored-by-the-government-shrunk-by-resignations-where-now-for-australias-climate-change-authority-47366 The Conversation, Clive Hamilton
Professor of Public Ethics, Centre For Applied Philosophy & Public Ethics (CAPPE) at Charles Sturt University September 11, 2015 Bernie Fraser’s resignation as chairman of Australia’s Climate Change Authority has left many wondering what is left of it and what its future might be.
Established three years ago as part of the climate change package negotiated by the previous parliament’s Multi-Party Climate Change Committee, the Authority was formed to serve as the principal source of climate policy advice to the federal government, particularly on the issue of emissions targets. Championed by the then Greens deputy leader Christine Milne, it was modelled closely on Britain’s Committee on Climate Change.
The Authority is legislated to have nine part-time members, including the Chief Scientist ex officio. When the Abbott government was elected two years ago it expressed its intention to abolish the Authority along with the rest of the Labor government’s climate policy architecture. Continue reading
‘I’ve got a very good story to tell’: Tony Abbott confident of placating island leaders on climate change September 10, 2015 Michael Gordon Political editor, The Age Tony Abbott has entered a retreat with leaders from Pacific island nations confident he can reassure those who say their survival is threatened without a stronger commitment to reduce carbon emissions.
“I think I have got a very good story to tell on climate change to tell the Pacific Islands Forum,” the Prime Minister said before entering a day-long meeting with 15 Pacific island leaders.
Led by the president of Kiribati, Anote Tong, several of the leaders have warned that anything short of a commitment to limit the average global temperature rise to 1.5 per cent would represent a betrayal of their people.
Fairfax Media has seen successive drafts of the leader’s declaration where a reference to a 1.5 degree commitment is removed. The final draft will be released after the leaders’ retreat. http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/ive-got-a-very-good-story-to-tell-tony-abbott-confident-of-placating-island-leaders-on-climate-change-20150910-gjj93v.html#ixzz3lOo0rT8H
Australia’s inaction on climate change set to dominate Pacific Island talks, Guardian, 6 Sept 15 Australia and New Zealand are expected to face strong criticism from Pacific Island leaders disappointed the nations are not doing more to combat climate change.
The issue will likely dominate this week’s Pacific Islands Forum leaders summit in Port Moresby, ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Paris later in the year.
Pacific leaders want the world to work on restricting the global warming temperature rise to 1.5C, fearing a 2C target will risk the survival of many tiny islands.
Natural disaster recovery will be fresh on their minds. The summit starts on Monday, six months after Cyclone Pam, which flattened much of Vanuatu and caused heavy flooding on Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands.
Host nation Papua New Guinea is grappling with the opposite problem – what could be its worst drought in 20 years and a potential food crisis.
The prime minister, Peter O’Neill, has said El Niño conditions have been exacerbated by the effects of climate change.
The Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are also experiencing a dry spell………
The Pacific Island Forum runs from 7-11 September. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/06/australias-inaction-on-climate-change-set-to-dominate-pacific-island-talks
Australia has both an extraordinary opportunity to lead on climate change action, and an extraordinary role in promoting the polluting coal and nuclear industries. Australians can take their pick.
The choices before us:
To develop renewable energy, energy efficiency, and phase out coal and gas, and be a voice for action internationally. This can happen only with a change of government. We need a double dissolution. Australia has a uniquely strange Prime Minister, who doesn’t care if he is kicked out in the 2016 federal election, which he surely would be. Abbott is happy to carry out the corporate agenda of the Institute of Public Affairs, and then retire to comfortable well-funded complacency, knowing that he has served his IPA masters well.
To go along with the Abbott agenda – quite a complex business, involving ramping up the coal and gas industries, while now suggesting that well, perhaps there is a greenhouse gas problem – so therefore we need nuclear power.
Think about the illogicality of that. If nuclear power were, in fact, an answer to climate change (which it’s not – too slow, too polluting in itself) then there might be some argument for a little chilly country like Sweden to use nuclear power. For a big sunny, windy country like Australia – nuclear power makes no sense at all.
Look out for the Australian nuclear lobby, headed by the supposed
environmentalist Barry Brook, which is now enjoying global fame, a leadership position in the world’s pro nuclear campaign for 2015.
The latest propaganda from Australia’s nuclear lobby came from the BHP-funded Grattan Institute’s submission to the Energy White Paper, (due in September). They suggest a chain of small modular nuclear reactors along the East Coast.
Nuclear power and sea level rise – All reactors on sea coasts endangered by sea level rise Over the next hundred years there will be significant sea rises, one meter or more, and many closed nuclear reactor sites could be flooded, including the stored nuclear waste. That could contaminate much of the coast lines for decades.
Nuclear power and water shortage – Climate Change is already bringing droughts and changed rainfall patterns. Even if the vloume of rain might be the same, or greater, with the warming planet – it’s not much help if it falls in the oceans, or if it falls intermittently – in flooding torrents.
As water becomes scarcer, and more expensive, nuclear power becomes a very uneconomic way to use it.
As temperatures rise, nuclear reactors will more and more often be forced to shut down – adding to the already well known diseconomics of nuclear power