Climate

Legislation banning nuclear power in Australia should be retained

Jim Green, Online Opinion, 27 Feb 2020, https://onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=20758&page=0

Nuclear power in Australia is prohibited under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999. A review of the EPBC Act is underway and there is a strong push from the nuclear industry to remove the bans. However, federal and state laws banning nuclear power have served Australia well and should be retained.

Too cheap to meter or too expensive to matter? Laws banning nuclear power has saved Australia from the huge costs associated with failed and failing reactor projects in Europe and North America, such as the Westinghouse project in South Carolina that was abandoned after the expenditure of at least A$13.4 billion. The Westinghouse / South Carolina fiasco could so easily have been replicated in any of Australia’s states or territories if not for the legal bans.

There are many other examples of shocking nuclear costs and cost overruns, including:

* The cost of the two reactors under construction in the US state of Georgia has doubled and now stands at A$20.4?22.6 billion per reactor.

* The cost of the only reactor under construction in France has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$20.0 billion. It is 10 years behind schedule.

* The cost of the only reactor under construction in Finland has nearly quadrupled and now stands at A$17.7 billion. It is 10 years behind schedule.

* The cost of the four reactors under construction in the United Arab Emirates has increased from A$7.5 billion per reactor to A$10-12 billion per reactor.

* In the UK, the estimated cost of the only two reactors under construction is A$25.9 billion per reactor. A decade ago, the estimated cost was almost seven times lower. The UK National Audit Office estimates that taxpayer subsidies for the project will amount to A$58 billion, despite earlier government promises that no taxpayer subsidies would be made available.… Read more >>

Resurgence of carbon markets threatens people, politics and planet

from Expectations of Friends of the Earth International for COP25

December 2019, Madrid, Spain

As the international climate talks open today in Madrid, Spain, the world faces the re-emergence of a threat that could derail urgent action on the climate crisis: Carbon Markets are back on the table as a proposed ‘solution’ to reduce emissions.

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

“Big polluters must be rubbing their hands in glee that carbon market mechanisms, which further dilute the already weak and inadequate Paris emissions targets, are back on the agenda. We will fight them tooth and nail. The climate crisis is already devastating lives. Emissions are still rising. Now is not the time to offer an escape route to polluting Northern country governments and big oil.”

Tackling the climate crisis requires a total, radical and immediate shift away from fossil fuels and a huge flow of finance from the global North to the global South. This is needed to repay the ecological debt, for a just transition and for loss and damage. We need an economic and political system which serves the needs of people, not profit – nothing less than radical system change.

Bhatnagar continued: 

“Carbon markets fail to deliver emissions reductions or adequate climate action and impact horrifically on Indigenous Peoples and local communities. They only serve to strengthen corporate power and impunity, deflect responsibility from rich historical polluters and prevent urgent and equitable action on climate change.”

With an abrupt change of location a month ago, COP25 becomes the third of four consecutive UN climate conferences to be held in Europe. As a result, Southern participation continues to be undermined. Northern governments and corporations will be hoping for less scrutiny from communities in the South so they can try and push through dangerous false solutions.Read more >>

Beyond Coal

Coal power generation is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, being responsible for over one quarter of total emissions. Given that burning coal is our leading contributor to climate change, moving our electricity supply away from coal is one of the quickest, most efficient ways of doing our part to act.

There is a pathway to avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, and avoiding a catastrophic rise in global temperatures. Retiring every coal-burning power station over the next decade — and replacing them with clean energy generation and storage — is the simplest and most effective way for Australia to do our fair share of reducing greenhouse emissions to a safe level. It’s our best shot to tackle climate change, protect people, and protect our planet’s natural places.

That is why we have joined together with six other community-based groups to launch the Beyond Coal campaign.

Change is already happening in the coal sector. But this transition needs to be managed. We need a plan to drive the changes that climate science tells us are needed, while looking after the workers and communities who currently rely on coal.

As Australia’s energy system diversifies, so too will the jobs available in the sector. According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, investing in relatively new technologies — like battery storage, battery storage, hydrogen, lithium and rare earths — could be one of our best opportunities to create regional jobs and grow industry hubs.  In Victoria, the proposed Star of the South offshore wind farm is expected to provide 12,000 jobs in construction, and 300 ongoing jobs – and could provide up to one-fifth of the state’s electricity needs… Read more >>

Solidarity Sit-down Fri 29 Feb, Parliament House

from School Strike 4 Climate:

Our Government’s inaction on the climate crisis is contributing to catastrophic fire conditions. People are hurting. Communities are being devastated. And summer hasn’t even begun.

But rather than take real action on the climate crisis, all our Government offers is their thoughts, prayers and more support for coal, oil and gas projects.

Our Government has repeatedly ignored Indigenous leaders and firefighters’ warnings of a spiralling bushfire crisis. And they have failed to provide the support needed to manage country and bushfires in a time of climate crisis. They need to be held to account.

On November 29, join all of us at Solidarity Sit-Downs to demand increased support for Indigenous land management and the Rural Fire Service and real climate action:

1. No new coal, oil and gas projects
2. 100% renewable energy and exports by 2030
3. Funding for a just transition and jobs for fossil fuel workers and communities.

Together, we’ll sit shoulder to shoulder outside the offices of our MPs and fossil fuel companies across Australia and hear from those on the frontline of the climate crisis. We’ll also donate to support those impacted by and fighting the fires: https://tinyurl.com/yekkfblg

Bring a cushion, and together let’s show solidarity with everyone on the frontlines of the climate crisis.

Adelaide: 12 noon Friday 29th, SA Parliament

Read more >>