The Carbon price is gone - but what's next?

Well it didn’t go entirely to plan, but they got there in the end. Tony Abbott’s pledge to repeal the price on carbon finally got through the Senate today, with the support of Clive Palmer and his Party.

It is hard not to feel angry at a government that is so wilfully gutting the limited actions on climate change that had been put in place by the previous federal government.

But, of course, getting angry doesn’t change things. Getting strategically active does.

There are still aspects of federal climate action remaining, that we must work to defend (see below).

And in terms of climate change impacts, it's the coal and gas projects being approved at the State and Territory level that are adding massive loads to our greenhouse pollution. That's the key place to focus our attention in coming months.

There is plenty to do. We take a lot of heart from the situation here in Victoria, where an alliance of environmental groups and local communities have forced the Coalition state government to stop all onshore gas drilling until 2015.

Resistance is not only necessary. It can be highly effective!

The following are some options on staying active in coming months.

 

TAKE ACTION

Keeping the RET alive

The news that Clive Palmer’s Party (PUP) and Motoring Enthusiasts Party Senator Ricky Muir will vote against attempts by the government to change the Renewable Energy Target (RET) seems to have secured the short term future of renewables in Australia.

Both PUP and Mr Muir will have to deal with a lobby push by coal and gas generators to support the watering down of the RET. We need to encourage them to stand strong on this issue.

You may want to email them to express your feelings about today’s vote.

senator.muir@aph.gov.au

senator.lambie@aph.gov.au

senator.lazarus@aph.gov.au

senator.wang@aph.gov.au

Possible text:

Dear Senator Jacqui Lambie, Senator Glenn Lazarus, Senator Dio Wang, Senator Ricky Muir,

I am bitterly disappointed that you have voted against the carbon price in the Senate today. We all know that it will be the poorest who will suffer the most from climate change, and limited as it was, the price was the cornerstone of Australia’s response to climate change. Mainstream science shows that without meaningful action, Australia will be impacted by global warming, with more frequent fire and flooding, droughts and heatwaves. This will cost individuals, communities and local and state governments dearly.

By abandoning the price without a new measure being in place, we have abandoned our global responsibilities.

The main winners from the repeal of the carbon laws will be polluting industries.

I am heartened by your decision to resist any attempts by the government to attack Australia’s renewable energy future through cutting the Renewable Energy Target.

I urge you to remain strong and to vote against any attempts by the federal government to change the Renewable Energy Target or abolish the CEFC or CCA. Renewable energy means tangible action to reduce greenhouse emissions while bringing jobs and investment to regional and metro Australia and drought proof income to land owners.

Yours sincerely

 

Community consultations on Gas. Miles from anywhere.

The Victorian community turned out in solid numbers to the state government’s consultation into unconventional gas. Last week the government announced a further 6 consultation sessions. What is strange about this is that most locations are not under a licence or even close to one. Given the pro-gas stance of the government, it is hard not to be cynical about this move.

Either small numbers of people will show up (‘proving’ lack of community concern) or people will show and be greeted by the government employees who will no doubt explain the many ‘benefits’ of unconventional gas operations.

There is one event in Gippsland and it would be great to have a decent turn out at this one:  it is in Traralgon.

When: Thursday 24th July 2-8pm

Where: Baptist Church Hall, 62 Kay St, Traralgon

Our advice is to go along, and explain your concerns about the industry. You  don’t have to be an expert or go with reams of scientific documents. Talk from the heart.

This may be the last opportunity we have, through an open day, to let the government know we have very valid concerns about an unconventional gas industry in Gippsland and that we do not want gasfields here.

More info about all sessions is available on the government website.

http://naturalgasinfo.vic.gov.au/community-engagement/upcoming-events

 

State election campaign – getting the environment on the agenda

Only 135 sleeps until the state election! We have been working hard to get all the Parties engaged on environmental and climate change issues.

The campaign is going full bore in regional VIC. Now its time to get out on the streets and start talking with metro communities as well.

We are looking for people who can volunteer some time to do street stalls, letter-boxing and do community polling. We want to test community attitudes to action on climate change, coal and gas, and renewables.

If you think you might have some time, please contact Cam: cam.walker@foe.org.au

For some extra detail on what we are doing, please check here.

http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au/victorian_state_election2014

 

Tell the Victorian government you want clean energy, not dirty coal and gas

If you haven’t signed and shared our petition, please do so. We will be delivering it to the Premier in the next month.

http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au/victoria_back_on_track

Shut It Down

FoE has been supporting Surf Coast Air Action's 'Shut It' Down' campaign against the Anglesea coal-fired power station. Please sign on to SCAA's petition calling on Russell Northe, Minister for Energy and Resources, to review the Essential Services Commission's decision to grant Alcoa a license to sell power to the grid (where as it previously supplied energy to the Port Henry aluminium smelter): http://www.communityrun.org/petitions/shut-the-anglesea-power-station

The smelter is scheduled to close in August, after which time the Anglesea Power Station is not required as there is already surplus capacity in the grid. It's time to Shut It Down! For more information or to support the campaign, please check: http://surfcoast.airaction.org/

 

Please support our work

Please consider giving a donation to support our work against new coal and gas.

http://www.givenow.com.au/foecsgcampaign

 

Get involved in our work

You can sign up for our monthly email newsletters here (in the right margin of the page).

 

Tell the Banks to stop funding fossil fuels

When our political leaders turn their back on climate action, it's time for us to let our money do the talking!

If you're with one of the "big four" banks, put them on notice. Warning them that unless they stop funding climate change-causing fossil fuels, you'll find another bank: www.marketforces.org.au/banksonnotice

 

Support the call for stronger action on climate

Join the call for stronger action on climate. Many groups, including FoE have joined together to demand the main parties act to reduce emissions, move beyond coal and gas through a strong renewable energy target, and limiting carbon emissions via a mass open letter. You can sign up and show your support here.

 

Protecting the Leard Forest

A good starting point to support local action is to check out Front Line on Coal, who are co-ordinating a spirited community defence of the Leard Forest in NSW against the Maules Creek coal mine. This is the first blockade camp of a coal mine in Australia’s history. The camp has been protecting Leard State Forest since 5th August 2012.

There are lock-on protests there again today.

Details here.

http://frontlineaction.org/

 

Save our food bowl, water and tourism

And if you’re in SA, please attend this rally against unconventional gas in Adelaide on Saturday August 2.

Full details here.

http://www.foe.org.au/articles/2014-06-11/save-our-food-bowl-water-and-tourism

 

Opposing a new coal port in south west WA

Meanwhile, in WA, Bunbury Against Coal Exports (BACE) is opposing coal exports from Bunbury. Griffin Coal, now owned by Indian mining giant Lanco, plans to export 15 million tons of coal per year from Bunbury Port.

The community campaign against the development is growing everyday. Please consider supporting BACE. Details here.

https://www.facebook.com/bunburyagainstcoalexports