Trans-Pacific Partnership bad for the environment, green groups say October 7, 2015 Peter Hannam Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald “……Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said the Investor-State Dispute Settlement [ISDS] provisions of the pact will allow large corporations to challenge any efforts to tighten environmental regulation.
“This is a watershed moment for the Liberals and the mining industry in their continuing assault against environmental protections in Australia,” Senator Whish-Wilson said. “ISDS will provide a massive chilling effect against improvements in environmental law at a local, state and federal level.”
Kelly O’Shanassy, chair of the Australian Conservation Foundation, said it was “a very silly idea to lock in restrictions to future policy in this country”.
Corporations could now have a look at a proposed policy change and if it threatened their ability to make profit, they would go to the courts as they did to oppose the Gillard government’s plain packaging laws to curb tobacco marketing.
“It could be the plain packaging fiasco for climate change,” Ms O’Shanassy said.
With the Paris climate summit now looking increasingly likely to fall short on locking in sufficient cuts to greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to 2 degrees, governments will need to make regular revisions of their targets beyond this year’s summit.
The TPP is likely to limit nations’ ability to take those necessary additional steps, she said: “It means governments won’t be bold and ambitious as they should be.”http://www.theage.com.au/environment/transpacific-partnership-bad-for-the-environment-green-groups-say-20151006-gk2bga.html#ixzz3o10RNuqa
The first target of the lobbying push is to overturn an Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act ban on the nuclear development process.
Jim Green, an anti-nuclear campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said it was unlikely that nuclear would ever be feasible in Australia. “We don’t need a bridge from fossil fuels to renewables, we just need renewables. It’s viable and affordable. There is a lot of rhetoric around a nuclear renaissance, but not much else.”
Nuclear industry to push for Australia to adopt ‘clean, affordable power’
Australian Nuclear Association plans to lobby Turnbull government to embrace the technology ‘to create jobs and economic opportunity’ Oliver Milman , Guardian, 29 Sept 15 The nuclear industry will lobby for nuclear energy in Australia, saying the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, should embrace the technology as a way to slash greenhouse gas emissions.
The Australian Nuclear Association (ANA) will accompany Danny Roderick, chief executive of the leading US nuclear technology firm Westinghouse, to talk to government ministers and business leaders in Canberra and Sydney next week.
Roderick said nuclear power could help produce “clean, reliable, affordable electricity for more people”.
“We’d like to help Australia explore ways to create jobs and economic opportunity that are also good for the environment,” he said. South Australia’s nuclear inquiry is ‘a gale of commonsense’, Tony Abbott says
The ANA is optimistic that the change in Australia’s prime ministership will mean nuclear will be looked at “on its merits”.
The move is the latest attempt to overturn legal obstacles to nuclear energy generation in Australia.
Federal environmental law bans building nuclear reactors, and an attempt by the Family First senator, Bob Day, to scrap a separate law that blocks building reactors and uranium enrichment plants was halted in August by the Tony Abbott government……..
The ANA says nuclear is a better option to cut emissions from electricity than renewable sources such as solar and wind…….
Parker denied that nuclear was prohibitively expensive, estimating that Australia could build 29 reactors for $160bn with companies such as Westinghouse “lining up” to invest.
He also claimed “strong community support” for nuclear despite the Fukishima disaster in Japan…… Continue reading
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
Tony Abbott’s department discussed investigation into Bureau of Meteorology over global warming exaggeration claims, FOI documents reveal
Former prime minister Tony Abbott’s own department discussed setting up an investigation into the Bureau of Meteorology amid media claims it was exaggerating estimates of global warming, Freedom of Information documents have revealed.
In August and September 2014, The Australian newspaper published reports questioning the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) methodology for analysing temperatures, reporting claims BoM was “wilfully ignoring evidence that contradicts its own propaganda”.
ABC Fact Check was established shortly before the 2013 election, and has been checking Tony Abbott’s claims ever since.
Before the election, Mr Abbott repeatedly set a high standard for integrity, promising to lead a government that “says what it means, and does what it says”.
Mr Abbott made many claims during his tenure on a diverse range of topics, including the economy, environment, immigration and employment.
So now that his time as leader is over, how does his record of claims and promises stack up?
Voters have overwhelmingly rebuffed the government’s so-called “vendetta” on green groups, with new polling showing 70 per cent oppose any move to deny charity status to environment groups.
Voters have overwhelmingly rebuffed the government’s so-called “vendetta” on green groups, with new polling showing 70 per cent oppose any move to deny charity status to environment groups.
Removing such groups’ charity status, first proposed by key Tony Abbott backer Andrew Nikolic, could cost them hundreds of millions of dollars in tax-deductible income, and severely restrict their capacity to campaign on environmental issues.
Pressure has been building on the government to abandon the proposed changes, with Labor and the Greens flagging they will oppose any moves it makes on the matter.
Environment groups believe the proposal is designed to strip them of their ability to campaign against mining projects.
But new polling conducted by the Australia Institute shows 68 per cent of people support the right of green groups to conduct environmental campaigns and advocate policy changes, while also claiming charity status…… http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/most-oppose-denying-environmental-groups-charity-status-says-poll-20150924-gjtz4t.html#ixzz3mhlVxCnW
Turnbull appoints a nuclear fan to head energy policy REneweconomy, By Giles Parkinson on 21 September 2015 Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has appointed a strong advocate of nuclear energy in the key resources and energy portfolio as part of sweeping changes to his cabinet and ministry.
Josh Frydenberg, an ally of Tony Abbott who was previously assistant Treasurer, has been named as minister for resources, energy and northern Australia, as part of a reshuffle that sees the portfolio split from industry, innovation and science, which goes to former eduation minister Chris Pyne.
Greg Hunt retains his spot as environment minister, to continue his bluster around Direct Action as a result of Turnbull’s pact with the Liberal Party’s far right wing, and Turnbull has also appointed Jamie Briggs to be Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, in an appointment welcomed by the Green Building Council and others…………..
Frydenberg also has strong views on energy, and in particularly nuclear energy. He made it one of his three major issues when he made his maiden speech to parliament in October, 2010, and then made a series of speeches and articles pushing the technology.
In The Australian newspaper in early 2011, Frydenberg said nuclear was safe and cheap, and expected that sometime soon nuclear plants could likely be constructed within 2 ½ years. He also quoted nuclear advocate Ziggy Switkowski as saying that Australia could be 90 per cent powered by nuclear energy by 2050. Continue reading
Wind farms, solar to be ‘key part’ of Federal Government’s energy strategy, Minister says, ABC News, By Loretta Florance, 21 Sept 15 Renewable energy will be a “key part” of the Federal Government’s energy platform, the newly elevated Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia Josh Frydenberg says.
- Josh Frydenberg says renewables will be “key part” of energy policy
- Renewable energy sector says comments are “extremely encouraging”
- The industry has lost 88 pc of investment in past year
Former prime minister Tony Abbott was vocal in his opposition to the sector, describing wind farms as “visually awful” and saying he wished the Renewable Energy Target (RET) had never been introduced by the Howard government.
The industry, which lost 88 per cent of investment over the past year, amid uncertainty over the RET,had been hopeful the Government’s attitude would change under new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
However Mr Turnbull, who lost the party leadership in 2009 over his support for the Rudd government’s proposed Emission Trading Scheme, said he was in favour of retaining the Government’s current climate change policies.
“The climate policy is one that I think has been very well designed that was a very, very good piece of work,” he said after he took the leadership last week.
But today, Mr Frydenberg told 774 ABC Melbourne that “clearly renewable energy is a key part of our energy platform”.”I think wind farms, I think solar, I think they all have a role to play,” he said.
Mr Frydenberg was asked by host Jon Faine if describing renewable energy as a “key platform” represented a u-turn for the Government.
“Don’t play it up to be bigger than it is Jon, what I’m saying is that we as a Coalition Government have entered into a bipartisan agreement with the Labor Party, on a 23.5 per cent renewable energy target by 2020, this will see a doubling of large scale renewable energy,” he said……http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-09-21/renewable-energy-to-be-key-part-of-federal-government-strategy/6791136
Turnbull government to ditch former PM Abbott’s attempt to abolish renewable energy agencies http://www.ibtimes.com.au/turnbull-government-ditch-former-pm-abbotts-attempt-abolish-renewable-energy-agencies-1468516 By Darwin Malicdem on September 22 2015 The Turnbull government is waiving to abandon former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s previous attempt to abolish renewable energy agencies for a new approach to attain the carbon reduction target of Australia. Environment Minister Greg Hunt is about to add the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, or CEFC, which Abbott previously aimed to ban from investing in commercial-based wind or small-scale solar energy projects, to his new portfolio.
There has been a negotiation between the government and the CEFC about the company’s investment instructions after a legal advice for the investment bank suggested that the Abbott government order could deny the CEFC its legislated duties. The Guardian reported that an agreement would be announced at any day.
Hunt believes that the CEFC may provide flexible proposals as it may return to finance government projects. In addition, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, or Arena, set up by the former Labor government to handle the use of renewable energy, was reported on Monday to be transferred from the Industry Department to the Department of the Environment.
“Obviously under Malcolm Turnbull there is a history of a deep long support for renewable energy,” Hunt told Sky News on Monday. Continue reading
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
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
The aim was to give a green light to Australian uranium exports to India. Two objectives were to be served, one commercial, the other diplomatic. A vast new market was to be opened for Australian uranium exporters and India was to be convinced Australia was a reliable partner, worthy of a closer relationship.
Instead, as has been exposed in the Joint Parliamentary Committee, the Australian side gave away so much in the course of the negotiations on safeguards against nuclear proliferation and left open such loopholes for Australian uranium to end up in bombs or otherwise help their manufacture, that this proposed treaty does not do what Australia’s 23 existing nuclear safeguards treaties do.
Unlike them, it does not give Australian exporters legally watertight guarantees that the trade will be subject to effective controls against misuse of the uranium in ways Australian companies neither want nor could afford. So many deficiencies in the proposed treaty have been exposed it amounts at best, not to a greenlight but to a blinking yellow one. Not ‘all is guaranteed safe’ but ‘proceed carefully at your own peril’. And JSCOT’s main recommendation is a red light: no uranium exports to be permitted for the foreseeable future.
How Australian companies will respond and what risks they will be prepared to take remains to be seen, but no responsible government would have placed them in this situation.
The Indian Government has every reason to feel it too has been dudded. Instead of a reliable supply, there is a big element of precariousness. As for a demonstration of the Australian Government’s trustworthiness as a close partner, the contrary impression is conveyed of a bumbling inability to manage our own end of the deal.
Eight years ago, I started this website because I felt it necessary, in order to help get rid of Australia’s worst Prime Minster ever – John Howard. Little did I know that before long, Howard would be followed by an even worse Prime Minister than he, in Tony Abbott..
John Howard wanted to take Australia back to the complacent, comfortable, unimaginative 1950s. Still, John Howard brought in gun reform law, that prevented Australia going down the crazy American path of gun terrors. Howard must have saved many lives, in bringing about that law, and he deserves credit.
Tony Abbott aimed to reject every modern trend. For the purposes of this website, Abbott’s denial of climate change, and his support for nuclear power, were reason enough to want to get rid of him as PM.
But in addition to that, PM Abbott was like a punch drunk boxer, wanting to keep on fighting, not just personally, but in promoting militarism -ever ready to take Australia into any war, even ahead of USA asking us to tag along. Abbott – clever, cunning? But not really intelligent.
Thank goodness, new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is intelligent, does understand climate change, does want to take Australia into the 21st Century, not back to the 18th. In a way – I wish him well.
BUT – Turnbull is still leading a Liberal-National Coalition government. Let’s not forget who’s backing them, and where they get their funding.
Graph below show the history of mining donations to Liberal and Labor parties: