Labor announces plans for an energy transition

The Guardian reported on Labor’s new energy & climate policy yesterday: “Bill Shorten unveils $15bn energy plan to help tackle climate ‘disaster'”

Eight coal-fired power stations are set to close over the next two decades because they have reached the end of their operating life, and Labor’s higher emissions reduction target will drive a faster rationalisation.

Shorten unveiled a coal transition plan on Thursday, including a $10m training fund to skill workers in the coal-fired power sector to work in renewable energy, overseen by a Just Transition Authority coordinating the eventual plant closures.

There will also be enhanced industrial relations arrangements for displaced coal workers. Labor will insist that power plant operators and coalmine operators participate in pooled redundancy schemes to ensure workers are given offers of employment at a nearby power station or coalmine, subject to enough positions being created.

Shorten said the objective of the plan was to build the essential energy infrastructure to power industry and manufacturing, while helping households cut their power bills with more renewables and storage.

He said too much time had been lost in the climate and energy wars of the past decade and governments needed to act, not only to safeguard communities against the impact of global warming but also create the industries of the future.

“We will only achieve this if we move now,” Shorten said. “You only get one chance to get in on the ground floor. If the politics of the nation gets bogged down for another three or four years of infighting, of inertia … the moment will be missed.

“The world is very unforgiving for nations who do not take the opportunities that are presented to them.”

Shorten said plans for direct investment in the energy network could “not be hostage to the climate sceptics in the parliament”.

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Genetic extinction technology challenged at UN Convention on Biological Diversity

FoE International Press release,  18 November, 2018

SHARM EL SHEIKH, EGYPT — Today, the African Centre for Biodiversity and Friends of the Earth International held a press conference at the 2018 UN Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) 14th Conference of the Parties to call for a global moratorium on the environmental release of gene drives, a new genetic extinction technology, and to caution for stronger regulation of synthetic biology.

From November 17-29th, international conservation and environmental leaders will meet to call on governments to protect biodiversity and Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ rights from controversial new biotechnologies. Gene drives have the capacity to wipe out or alter species forever, and to significantly disrupt or modify the ecosystems on which humanity strongly depends for its survival. Gene drives pose serious and potentially irreversible threats to biodiversity and ecosystems, human health, as well as national sovereignty, peace and food sovereignty.

The first proposed application for gene drive is being led in Burkina Faso by the Target Malaria Project, funded by the Gates Foundation, designed to eradicate mosquito populations and thus malaria transmission. This Trojan horse project is exploiting a public health crisis in Africa, despite the lack of underlying science to support its efficacy as a sound medical intervention.

“We should not be used as lab rats in an experiment that could devastate African ecosystems. We ask delegates at COP14 to put the brakes on any release of gene drives.”

Mariann Bassey, Friends of the Earth International and chair of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa

“Burkina Faso is about to face a health and ecological catastrophe. This project risks creating a social and environmental crisis in these local communities. Burkinabe civil society groups are denouncing the project: we refuse to be the guinea pigs of the science of the unknown.

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2018 Envt Awards December 6th — book now!

Don’t miss the 2018 SA Environment Awards!

Registrations close this Sunday (25 Nov), so RSVP now — if you haven’t already done so —  to secure your
place at this very special celebration of SA’s nature champions.

Commemorating 20 years of the Jill Hudson Awards for Environmental Protection,
the 2018 SA Environment Awards also honour our state’s Young Achievers and Unsung Heroes.

This year they continue the Lifetime Achiever Awards for significant and lasting
contributions to protecting SA’s precious natural environment.

Drinks and nibbles provided

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Anti Dump rally Sat Nov 3rd

Please come to the Don’t Dump on SA Rally on Kaurna Land at Parliament House, North Terrace, Adelaide
at 11.30am on Saturday 3rd November.

Last week we found out that the Barngarla Injunction hearing will go back to court on 30 January 2019.
Here is a link to a statement from DIIS (the Department of Industry Innovation and Science). Yesterday there was an article in The Advertiser saying that the Minister’s decision may be delayed until next year.

With the ballot on hold, this rally is more important than ever.

We need to come together and say NO to a radioactive waste dump in SA and ensure that the government ends this terrible site selection process.
We want the government to take all three sites in SA off the table and to hold a full independent inquiry into the best way to manage our most dangerous waste. They must stop targeting remote and regional areas and give Aboriginal people a right of veto for proposals that threaten their country and culture.
We want a huge presence at the rally to show Minister Canavan that he does NOT have broad community support for a waste dump in SA and that he can’t impose one on this unwilling community.

SA Household battery scheme announced

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