As a First Nations activist I’ll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8. Newcastle’s beautiful harbour is a fitting place to take a stand against coal exports and environmental destruction. People hunger for a different world based on cooperation and treating the land with respect, values at the heart of all First Nations cultures. The violation of these values is illustrated by the failure of Hunter-based coal companies to sign land use agreements with the traditional owners. As a First Nations activist I'll be joining the harbour blockade on May 8.
A new survey commissioned by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage has found communities across New South Wales are big fans of renewable energy. An overwhelming 91% of the 2000 people surveyed across NSW said they support the use of renewables to generate electricity.
The community campaigning organisation GetUp! recently emailed subscribers seeking donations so it could develop a pathway to 50% renewables by 2030. Fifty percent renewables by 2030 is also Labor's current target. While it is an improvement on Labor's previous policies, it is not sufficient. The South Australian government has a 50% renewables target by 2025; the ACT has 100% by 2025. We are facing a climate emergency, and Australia needs a rapid shift to renewable energy. Most climate campaigners have long called for 100% renewable energy, plus an end to coal exports.
This is a reply by GetUp!’s Anthony Gough to Andrea Bunting’s article “GetUp, Oxfam’s Powershop partnership raises questions” printed in Green Left Weekly #1064. It has been about 12 months since we at GetUp! launched the Better Power campaign, and so far we have encouraged 12,000 people to switch their household electricity away from Australia's biggest polluters.
Following a recent meeting of federal and state ministers with the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figures, the federal government announced that it will publish by mid-year the emissions target it will take to the Paris Climate Summit in November. However, even if all the world's governments agree to limit future emissions to what would cause the global average surface temperature to rise by no more than 2°C from before industrialisation, it will not be enough to avoid catastrophic climate change.
Australia has fallen behind similar economies around the world in the generation of renewable energy, a new report has found. The Climate Council’s new report, The global renewable energy boom: How Australia is missing out, says that despite having enough renewable energy resources to power the country 500 times over, jobs and investment in the renewables sector have fallen sharply since the Coalition government came to power.
Despite the brutal cuts to leading renewable energy bodies by the Coalition government last year, incredible benchmarks in the field have been achieved.
With news that the unlikely climate conscience of the Palmer United Party is holding firm, it appears that the Renewable Energy Target (RET) and associated programs will not be scrapped just yet. But the uncertainty of what will happen in the long term may be enough to bring large-scale wind and solar projects to a standstill.
The Renewable Energy Target could become a victim of its own success. A review into the scheme, released on August 29, has recommended the federal government close new investment into renewable energy because it has produced more energy than originally planned. But Labor, Greens and Palmer United Party senators have vowed to block any changes to the scheme. At the same time, a debate has emerged among climate activists about whether we should “change tack” when it comes to campaigning on the issue of climate change.
Greens leader Christine Milne is challenging Prime Minister Tony Abbott to call a double dissolution election this year over the passage of a renewable energy bill. Milne said: “The Greens are ready for an election over the prime minister's global warming denial and his brutal budget.”