Author Archive: roman

(Another) attack on environment groups

Submitted by Cam Walker on Tue, 21/04/2015 – 15:41

The Coalition government is trying to silence anyone who stands up for the environment.

Some of their actions include:

  • The new Standing Committee on the Environment review of tax deductibility for environment groups listed on the Minister’s Register (see below).
  • The push by Minister Richard Colbeck for a secondary boycott ban to apply to environmental groups.
  • The recently released ‘Re:think, Better Tax system Better Australia’ discussion paper which calls for a review of the Not for Profit sector’s tax deductibility.
  • The cuts to the Environment Defenders Office (EDOs).
  • The government has axed the Grants to Voluntary Environment, Sustainability and Heritage Organisations to 150 groups in the 2014 budget. This program had bipartisan support since it was set up in the 1970s.

Nuclear Royal Commission losing further credibility

Submitted by Cam Walker on Fri, 24/04/2015 – 10:55

Media Release

24 April 2015

Friends of the Earth, Australia has today written to Kevin Scarce, head of the SA government’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle Royal Commission, asking him to revisit his decision not to include weapons proliferation risks in the Royal Commission’s issues paper dealing with uranium mining.

Dr Jim Green, national nuclear campaigner with Friends of the Earth, Australia, said:

“Day by day, the Royal Commission is losing further credibility. Last week, we learned that the expert advisory panel is stacked with three nuclear advocates, with just one token critic. Kevin Scarce’s claim to be running a ‘balanced Royal Commission’ is demonstrably false.

“Now we learn that the Royal Commission wants to ignore weapons proliferation, the single greatest risk associated with uranium mining. The Terms of Reference for the Royal Commission clearly instruct Kevin Scarce to consider the risks associated with uranium mining yet he apparently wants to ignore weapons proliferation, the single greatest risk associated with the industry. He needs to rethink that decision.”… Read more >>

Major flaw in largest nuclear reactor: too much carbon

LONDON, 13 April, 2015 ? The future of the world’s biggest nuclear reactor, under construction at Flamanville in northern France, is now in doubt after a serious flaw was found in its steel pressure vessel.

Examination has shown that the steel contains too much carbon, which can weaken the vessel’s structure and breaches safety rules. The Chinese, who have two similar 1,600 megawatt European Pressurised Reactors under construction, have been warned that they too may share the potentially catastrophic problem.

The news from the Climate News Network suggests this may have serious repercussions for the new proposed nuclear reactors in the UK (already notorious for the huge subsidy provided) and for the future of Areva, the french engineering firm constructing the reactor.… Read more >>

French banks rule out funding Galilee coal exports

Submitted by Cam Walker on Thu, 09/04/2015 – 07:17

Three major French banks have announced they will not fund the mega coal mines proposed in the Galilee Basin, or associated infrastructure such as the new coal export terminals at Abbot Point.

BNP Paribas, Societe Generale, and Credit Agricole have issued statements that bring to eleven the number of international banks that have spoken out against the prospect of funding mega-coal mines in the Galilee Basin or new export terminals in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The commitments came in response to letters sent by Friends of the Earth France and after a long period of engagement by several environment groups. Market Forces Lead Campaigner Julien Vincent acknowledged the announcements as a major step forward for the campaign to keep the Galilee Basin coal in the ground. He said:

“When it comes to securing finance for their massive coal mine and export terminal, Adani are simply running out of options.

“That some of the world’s biggest lenders to the coal industry can come out and public declare themselves as not involved speaks volumes about how unacceptable this project is from an environmental, reputational and economic standpoint.

“However, while major international banks have demonstrated common sense on this issue, we are yet to see the same statements from Australia’s major banks. It is astounding that banks based in New York, Paris, Edinburgh and Frankfurt are doing more to defend the Reef and climate from new coal project than our own Aussie banks.

You can see the letters sent by BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale (in French) by following the links.

More details from FoE Australia…