Sustainability

The Energy Transition

At the recent visit by Bill McKibben for 350.org, FoE Adelaide released The Playford Declaration. It says, in part, the following:

Here in South Australia we are in the midst of an energy transition
from  fossil fuels to renewables plus storage.

We applaud what the former State Government has achieved in the construction of renewables and battery storage; the solar subsidy it announced for low income citizens; and the planned move to overlapping local grids to provide a robust network.

While South Australia is well on target to hit its plan for 50% renewables, and predicted to reach 73% renewables by 2025, it is still funding the search for more gas fields, fails to oppose oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight, and is still considering unconventional gas and fracking in the north and south-east of the state.

It makes no sense to search for new fossil fuels which we cannot burn if we hope to contain warming to at most the 1.5 – 2 degrees we pledged for the Paris Agreement.

We need to recognise that the Energy transition is not yet complete.

Premier Thomas Playford in the mid 1940s shifted our energy system to use brown coal from Leigh Creek.
We need visionary politicians who realise that we need to both rapidly move to 100% renewable energy,
and to stop burning fossil fuels.

We call upon current and would-be politicians (and Premiers!) to take inspiration from Playford’s example and commit to a just, socially equitable energy transition: support not only a rapid move to renewables but also stop the support and funding of fossil fuels, whether for domestic use or export, for the sake of the state, the nation, and the planet.

Read the full declaration at adelaide.foe.org.au/jet/ or download the PDF

If you’re interested in working on the renewables transition campaign, there’s a meeting for FoE members and supporters at the common room at Christie Walk (entry off 101 sturt st) from 3pm on Saturday, May 26th.Read more >>

The Future is Renewable

South Australia is currently on track to hit 73% renewable energy by 2030, unless the State Government  interferes massively in the energy markets.

We could do a lot better if the new State Government actively supports the transition to renewables.

Given the Federal Government’s support of coal, and its antipathy to renewables, we need to actively promote renewables and the transformation of our energy markets.

There’s a meeting for FoE members and supporters at 3pm on Monday, April 30th at the common room at Christie Walk to discuss what such a renewables campaign might do. If you’re interested in FoE Adelaide taking up such a campaign, please come along, or email roman to let him know you’re interested (roman.orszanski@foe.org.au)… Read more >>

Davos: “Zombie” TPP trade deal threatens our fractured world

Amsterdam, 24 January 2018:  Friends of the Earth International has warned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal could threaten people and planet if signed and ratified by national parliaments in March this year.

The remarks came as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, the Australian Trade Minister and other leaders meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos (23-26 January) celebrated the conclusion of the deal between 11 countries countries in Asia-Pacific.

Sam Cossar-Gilbert, Friends of the Earth International trade campaigner, said:

“It is no wonder the corporate elite at Davos are celebrating this zombie TPP deal. It enables foreign companies to sue governments in secret trade tribunals for almost any measure that harms their expected profits.”

The topic of this year’s World Economic Forum “Creating a shared future in a fractured world”.

Cossar-Gilbert added:

“The TPP threatens ‘our fractured world’ and the UN Sustainable Development Goals by undermining regulation on food safety, access to medicine, chemical use and climate change. Sadly, world leaders at Davos remain addicted to failed neoliberal policies. When leaders and trade officials leave the comfort of the Davos ski resort, environmentalists, trade unions and farmers will be there to stop the zombie TPP deal and other corporate trade deals.”

ENDS

More info:

  • Neoliberalism: A form of free market fundamentalism that has been the dominant global economic ideology for the last 30 years which profit and “efficiency” are the central goals of society.  It is a framework focused on reducing the role of the state and taxation, while promoting privatization, deregulation and corporate trade deals. According to Friends of the Earth International, this has led to soaring inequality, whereby just 8 people have the same wealth as half the world’s population and an environmental crisis in the form of unprecedented species loss and dangerous climate change.
Read more >>

East Gippsland old growth forest blockade enters fourth day

Media Release – 25th January 2018  — Goongerah Environment Centre  (GECO)

Old growth logging operations in far East Gippsland have been stopped again for the fourth day this week, as conservationists continue to blockade the access road to the VicForests logging coupe at Granite Mountain, near the Errinundra National Park.

A person is suspended in a hammock hanging from a tripod structure that is blocking the road and preventing access to the logging site. Logging in the old growth forest has been unable to proceed since the blockade was established on Monday morning.

“Giant trees have thrived here for centuries, trees that were growing well before the British colonised Australia are under threat, thanks to the efforts of the people on the blockade this ancient forest is safe for today. The Victorian government urgently need to formally protect East Gippsland’s forests by extending existing parks and reserves,” said Goongerah Environment Centre spokesperson Ed Hill.

“East Gippsland is the Victorian stronghold for old growth forest, it’s the only place remaining on mainland Australia where forests are continuous from the alps to the coast. The region has been identified by the Victorian government has having the highest biodiversity value in the state, yet the government continue logging at a massive loss to the tax payer,” said Ed Hill.

VicForests internal documents reveal a $5.5 million dollar annual loss on logging in East Gippsland[1].

“There are great economic opportunities in East Gippsland that do no involve trashing our environment. With adequate investment in nature based tourism, environmentally focussed land management programs and carbon sequestration our forests could bring great wealth to the region, instead these valuable natural assets are being destroyed at the expense of the environment and the tax payer,” said Ed Hill

“If the native logging industry was sustainable they’d be logging plantations and re growth only.… Read more >>

Trade deals must not be negotiated in secret

Trade deals affect people’s everyday lives from the food we eat to the energy we use, and should not be discussed in secret, behind closed doors. Yet sadly, this is exactly what is happening at this year’s upcoming World Trade Organization meeting in Buenos Aires from 10-13 December.

Friends of the Earth International has been advocating for a fair and sustainable trade agenda for over two decades, yet this is the first time we have been banned from participating in the WTO.

In an unprecedented move, the Argentine government revoked our accreditation, together with 60 individuals from a diverse range of trade unions, farmers’ and consumer rights organisations.

The official reason for our ban is that we have “been making explicate calls for violent protests on social media, desiring to create scenes of chaos and intimidation.” Yet this information can be disproved simply by checking our Twitter account, which has never made incitements to violence.
“Locking people out of the WTO will only further undermine its legitimacy.”

At the same time, we do not shy away disagreeing with many of the pro-corporate policies and deals being pushed by the WTO and the Argentine government, which are often stumbling blocks for action on climate change.

When India’s National Solar Mission, which aims to bring energy to millions of people by building 100 GW of solar energy, was found “guilty” by the WTO of creating local jobs, we spoke up.

We have also protested WTO policies that penalise and prohibit developing countries from undertaking public stockholding programmes. This blocks food sovereignty for the world’s poorest, and livelihoods for peasant, indigenous and small-scale farmers, yet allows the EU and USA to provide massive global market distorting subsidies that beef up agribusiness interests while ruining farmers abroad.

A crackdown on our rights to debate and oppose such trade policies is an attack on our ability to decide what kind of world we want to live in.Read more >>