Author Archive: roman

COP 24: Time is running out. We must build an alternative energy future for the people

Dipti Bhatnagar, Climate Justice and Energy Program Coordinator for Friends of the Earth International, said:

“This year was supposed to be a major year for the climate – pledges made in Paris three years ago were to be ratcheted up to meet the need for early and steep emission cuts. Thanks to a weakened Talanoa Dialogue, climate ambitions are severely threatened, in addition to the dismantling of equity and the egregious fact that fossil fuel companies are sponsoring the Conference. We need a just transition away from fossil fuels and dirty energy to a just, clean, peoples’ energy system. We need to push for gender justice and for a world free from oppression and inequality.”

Dec 3rd: Friends of the Earth International is in Katowice bringing solutions to the climate crisis. We are launching People Power Now: An Energy Manifesto10 demands for a just energy transformation. If implemented these demands provide a pathway to a new, clean energy future for all, that contributes to keeping global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees.

But time is not on our side – inaction by successive governments at the UN and among national governments has left a narrow and shrinking window for action. Friends of the Earth International has, for decades, warned of the consequences of delay. There is deep frustration with this endless talking shop where polluters freely influence the debate, rich countries block the radical action needed for fossil fuel phase out in the North and finance for the South, while the planet warms and people live with the consequences.

Read more from the FoE International articleRead more >>

Coalition’s obsession with coal and gas will go down like lead balloon when renewable energy is the best option

Dec 13, 2018 by Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson

Environment group Friends of the Earth Australia reject indications that the Morrison government will seek to use public funds to underwrite new coal and gas projects, and say they should be 100% focused on landmark renewable energy projects like the proposed Star of the South offshore wind farm instead.

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the federal Coalition have learned nothing from the Liberal party’s drubbing in the recent Victorian state election,” said Friends of the Earth climate spokesperson Leigh Ewbank.

The Liberal party’s support for coal and gas was resoundingly rejected by voters in the Wentworth by-election and at the November state election in Victoria.

“When community support for action on climate change is on the rise, the Coalition government’s support for polluting fossil fuels will go down like a lead balloon” added Ewbank.

While time is running out to act on climate change, the Coalition’s obsession with coal and gas only imperils Australia’s future.

Instead of wasting more public money on polluting fossil fuels, Friends of the Earth Australia says the federal Coalition should be taking landmark renewable energy projects like the proposed Star of the South offshore wind farm to the next stage to create jobs and cut emissions.

“New renewable energy is cheaper and cleaner than fossil fuels, so it’s bizarre that the supposedly free-market Liberal party wants to intervene in the market to back in polluting, old technology like coal and gas,” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

Read more at FoE Australia about the coalition’s coal obsession.… Read more >>

Show Labor you want a fossil-free future! Rally this Sunday (16th)

This weekend Labor is holding their National Conference in Adelaide.

While Labor have been making the right noises over renewables, the Leader of the Opposition has been relatively quiet about Adani coal and fossil fuels in general.

Groups concerned about the proposed nuclear dump in SA, the continued government support for fossil fuels and oil exploration in the Bight want to show the ALP that they need to adopt sensible policies if they want our support.

South Australians are putting climate change on the agenda.

Join the rally outside the ALP National Conference at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 1-2pm on Sunday 16 December.

Labor’s climate plan must include moving Australia beyond fossil fuels to clean renewable energy.

That means:

  • Stop Adani
  • Stop oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight
  • Stop fracking for gas
  • Phase out the export of oil, gas and coal

This Conference is where the ALP will commit to the policies they’ll take to the Federal Election next year.

Join Friends (of the Earth) for a fossil fuel free future! Come along this Sunday to the Convention Centre on North Tce


Schedule of activities:

 8.30-10am Anti-Poverty Network’s Rally to Raise Newstart, No Dump Alliance & AYCC Stop Adani – Adelaide Convention Centre top of escalators

12:30 – 2pm No More Fossil Fuels Rally (say you’re coming and share with your friends on Facebook)

12:30pm – Uluru Statement from the Heart, led by former Uluru Working Group Co-chair Thomas Mayor.

2pm – Carols Against Coal (more info and livestream on Facebook)

The No Dump Alliance will have a table at the eventRead more >>

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”.

Read more >>

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.

Read more >>