Zombie TPP trade deal threatens climate

Australia/ Kuala Lumpur, 14 November 2017: This weekend trade ministers from the 11 remaining Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) countries have attempted to salvage the trade deal by suspending a number of controversial provisions. Leaders could not reach a final agreement as predicted yet endorsed the deal in a statement and made a commitment to continue negotiations.

Friends of the Earth International warns that the rebranded Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership would still threaten people and planet, if approved.

Sam Cossar-Gilbert, Friends of the Earth International Economic Justice Resisting Neo-Liberalism Coordinator, said:

“The zombie TPP deal continues to stagger on terrorizing people across the Asia Pacific. Now is the time to put this deeply unpopular and environmentally destructive deal to rest. Trade can not trump climate action any longer.”

“Over 160 countries are currently taking part in international climate negotiations in Bonn to reduce greenhouse emissions, yet the zombie TPP trade deal would undermine climate action by protecting ‘free trade’ in dirty energy products and lead to an increase in coal, oil and gas exports, fuelling global warming.”

Read more >>

Little storage needed for 35-50% renewables: new Finkel report

A new report commissioned by chief scientist Alan Finkel, The role of Energy Storage in Australia’s Future Energy Supply Mix, says the required investment in energy security and reliability over the next five-10 years will be minimal, even if wind and solar deployment moves far beyond levels contemplated by the Energy Security Board.

“At an aggregated national level, Australia can reach penetrations of 50 per cent renewable energy without a significant requirement for storage to support energy reliability

The contrast with ESB modelling – and the attempts by Coalition parties at state and federal level to dismiss high levels of renewable energy as “reckless” – could not be more pronounced.

While the ESB, in arguing for a National Energy Guarantee, speaks of the system threats and urgency to act with a level of “variable” renewables accounting for between 18 and 24 per cent of total generation, this new report says surprisingly little storage may be needed with 35 per cent to 50 per cent wind and solar.

Even in the 50 per cent variable renewable energy scenario – more than double that contemplated at the high end by the ESB – the new report suggests enough battery storage may be available “behind the meter,” households and businesses, to meet the storage needs.

Pointedly, the study models levels of “variable”renewable energy – wind and solar” that are far higher than that contemplated by the ESB in its argument for an “urgent” reliability option.

The new study’s “low renewable” share – 35 per cent – is twice the amount of wind and solar modeled by the ESB for 2030, at just 18-24 per cent, and yet it sees little need for a lot of added storage.

The study’s medium renewables scenario aims at 50 per cent share of variable renewbles by 2030, while its “high” share models 75 per cent wind and solar penetration.… Read more >>

Doctors for the Environment call for NEG to be rejected

A letter on Nov 19th from Doctors for the Environment Australia addressed to State Premiers, Energy and Environment ministers points out the problems with the Government’s National Energy Guarantee (NEG):

The States must continue their strong leadership at the approaching COAG Energy Meeting, totally rejecting the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) because of its egregious denial of action on pollution and global warming and its deleterious effect on Health.

Doctors for the Environment Australia (DEA) represents hundreds of medical experts across Australia. We are supported by a Nobel laureate, recipients of the Australian of the Year award and many other distinguished health professionals.

DEA is deeply disturbed by the health implications of the Government’s proposed (NEG) plan. As more analysis accumulates it is increasingly evident that the NEG is designed to encourage continued burning of fossil fuels. It is also clear that the NEG will lead to much less investment in decarbonisation of the energy market, leading to more pollution and rising CO2 levels. It is extraordinary that the design proposes no further reduction in CO2 emissions between 2020 and 2030. It thus fails Australia’s commitment to COP 21 in Paris.
— read the full letter at the DEA website

Read more >>

NEG needs more work

COAG energy ministers agreed today (Fri 24 Nov) to commission more design work on the Turnbull government’s proposed National Energy Guarantee, forcing the renewable energy industries in Australia into a new era of policy uncertainty.

The decision was expected, given that Queensland could not vote due to its state election tomorrow, the Liberal governments in NSW and Tasmania would always support it, and Victoria earlier this week declared itself open to finding out more about the plan.

This left South Australia and the ACT in the minority in their opposition to the NEG – or, as federal energy minister Josh Frydenberg put it in a press conference in Hobart this afternoon, they “they had their say today, and they lost.”

The federal government was forced to abandon its original tactic of asking the states to actually approve of the NEG, instead merely seeking consensus on doing further work.… Read more >>

Rally Against the Dump: Dec 2nd

DATE: Saturday December 2,

TIME: 11am

WHERE: Parliament House Adelaide, Kaurna Land.

RALLY TIME! Join us on the steps of Parliament House to call on politicians to say no to a radioactive waste dump in SA.

FB RSVP: HERE

WEB: www.dontdumponsa.net

In its effort to find a site to house Australia’s radioactive waste, the Federal Government’s National Radioactive Waste Management Project (NRWMP) has three sites currently under consideration in South Australia – one at Barndioota in the Flinders Ranges and two in Kimba on the Eyre Peninsula. Some of this nuclear waste is a hazard for hundreds of years and some for thousands of years.

Radioactive Nuclear waste dumps for non-SA wastes are illegal in SA. In response to earlier moves to dump waste in SA, Parliament passed a law to say No: the Nuclear Waste Facility (Prohibition) Act 2000. The objects of this Act are “to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people of South Australia and to protect the environment in which they live by prohibiting the establishment of certain nuclear waste storage facilities in this state.”

We’ve said no to radioactive waste in SA before and won and we’ll do it again!… Read more >>