coal

A Senate inquiry has recommended the closure of all 24 coal-fired power stations in Australia over the next 10 years and the creation of a comprehensive energy transition plan to help with the ordered closure of the plants.

The Retirement of Coal Fired power Stations Inquiry report, which was tabled in the Senate on November 28, made four recommendations:

AGL CEO Andrew Vesey likes to paint himself as a sort of “greenie” who is shifting the company in the right direction in these “carbon constrained” times.

As AGL announced a $400 million loss on August 10, anti-gas protesters assembled outside its headquarters to demand it close its Camden coal seam gas (CSG) project in south-west Sydney.

AGL, which largely invests in coal, has been producing gas in the Macarthur region since 2009, taking over from Sydney Gas Limited, which started in Camden in 2001 and expanded south east in 2004.

A year after Pope Francis called for action to protect the environment, four Australian Catholic organisations have announced they are completely divesting from coal, oil and gas in what they say is the first joint Catholic divestment in the world.

The move comes as prominent religious leaders call on the government to protect the Great Barrier Reef, stop approving coalmines and remove subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

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.

What do politicians do after leaving parliament to earn a few more dollars? They go and work for gas and coal companies.

Former Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson became chair of Eastern Star Gas — the company behind the Narrabri Gas Project now owned by Santos — about 2 years after leaving politics.

Former National's leader and Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile became a director and then chair of Whitehaven coal.

Key Liberal and National party electorates support a switch to 100% renewables by 2030 and a global moratorium on new coalmines, according to new ReachTEL polling commissioned by The Australia Institute.

A moratorium on new coalmines received between 50% and 57% support by voters in the seats of Dickson, held by Peter Dutton; New England, held by Barnaby Joyce; Warringa, held by Tony Abbott; and Page, held by Kevin Hogan.

If we needed any further proof that our politicians are "fossil fools", despite recent leadership changes, look no further than the responses made by the Prime Minister and federal resources minister to the call for a moratorium on new coalmines by the President of the Pacific island nation Kiribati, Anote Tong.

With the Paris climate talks just around the corner it is timely to consider what effective policies to cut emissions might look like. Nationalisation and direct public investment are key policies that have historically been “bread and butter” political demands both for socialists and for the more radical voices within social democratic parties.

Climate activists from the Greens and Labor Environment Action Network should revisit these ideas, as they are a useful alternative to the dead end that is carbon trading.

Direct public investment

Protesters occupied environment minister Greg Hunt's office in Melbourne on October 30, in protest at his re-approval of Australia's largest new mega coalmine — the Adani-Carmichael mine in Queensland.

Protesters hung a banner from the roof with “Greg Hunt: Minister for Coal” emblazoned across it.

“It is clear that our Minister for the Environment doesn't stand for the environment at all”, said student activist Sam Dariol.

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