New federal energy and environment minister Josh Frydenberg has indicated a significant shift in energy policy for the Coalition. Minister Frydenberg has said that more renewable energy will be required with the decline of coal. The minister has also called for more gas supplies and suppliers and for gas moratoria to be removed. Friends of the Earth are encouraged by the positive rhetoric on renewable energy but urge the new minister to support bans on risky onshore gasfield development. “Mr Frydenberg correctly notes that renewables are not to blame for recent high electricity prices in South Australia” said Cam Walker of Friends of the Earth Australia.
A new report by Friends of the Earth International demonstrates how Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) and Coal Chemical technologies threaten to destabilise the earth’s climate and irreversibly damage local environments. The report, launched today, comes in the wake of UCG being banned in Queensland, Australia. There is interest in and development of UCG in Europe, Russia, Canada, the US, China and India. It is currently under moratorium in Scotland.
VICTORIA, 15 JUNE 2016: A renewable energy boom is on the horizon for Victoria as the Andrews government today announces state Renewable Energy Targets (VRET). The long-awaited announcement comes after a two-and-a-half year community campaign to grow renewables. "The Andrews government's announcement of Victorian Renewable Energy Targets is a big win for communities who want a pathway to 100 percent," said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth spokesperson. "These targets will make Victoria the national leader when it comes to renewable energy, which is good newsfor manufacturing, regional communities, and our climate."
In the lead-up to the Bendigo in a Warming Future forum, which will be held in Bendigo on June 15, a fieldtrip hosted by local ecologists highlighted the impacts of climate change which are already being felt in northern Victoria. Warning on local climate Climate change is already taking its toll locally. During a field trip to Bell Swamp and Mount Alexander on Friday, local ecologists pointed out examples of the impact on the region’s ecology. Examining a large group of dead Grey Box at Bell Swamp, located to the north west of Maldon, Damien Cook, ecologist with Rakali Consulting said, “trees die all the time and it's a natural occurrence, but so many dying at once indicates environmental change. These trees were aged between 300 and 500 years and had lived through countless floods and droughts. They’ve died as a consequence of recent extreme weather events – the millennium drought followed by the massive flood of 2011”.
Calls for international moratorium on underground coal gasification following immediate ban in Queensland, Australia
APRIL 18, 2016: Responding to the breaking news that the State Government of Queensland in Australia has just implemented an immediate ban on all underground coal gasification in that State, Chloe Aldenhoven, Coal and Gas Spokesperson for Friends of the Earth (FoE) Australia said: "These kind of radical and dangerous mining techniques show the desperation of a fossil fuel industry going into decline. “We need an international moratorium on this madman technology before it inflicts any more damage on people and the environment." “As they anticipate the inevitable transition to renewable energy, mining companies are inflicting increasingly reckless and environmentally damaging mining techniques on communities.
Speaking tour on the climate change precipitated relocation of atoll peoples in Papua New Guinea, and the implications for climate justice in an Australian context The visiting speakers will be: Ursula Rakova, director of Tulele Peisa, the Carteret Islands relocation program in Bougainville Pais Taehu, Chairman of the Coalition of the Atolls – Temarai Association – comprising the four atoll groups within the Bougainville political boundary The tour, scheduled from 9 to 22 April, will include speaking events in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
Fires have raged across Tasmania since lightning strikes ignited more than 100 spot fires on January 13. Since that time, about 14,000 hectares of World Heritage Area forests and other vegetation have been incinerated, with almost 100,000 hectares of land burnt in total. Overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the fires, the Tasmanian Fire Service (TFS) initially – and understandably - concentrated on human assets like towns and infrastructure. As TFS workers fought a heroic campaign against fires that threatened communities, a series of wildfires burnt huge areas in the north-west and on the central plateau. It was the arrival of milder weather as well as additional fire-fighting crews from interstate in the second week, especially teams of remote area fire fighters, which allowed serious operations to occur to slow the fires in mountainous and forested regions.
Big energy companies have sought to "open up" Victoria to onshore gas drilling and fracking--putting prime farmland and water resources at risk. Regional communities around the state have said "no" to risky unconventional gas extraction. On the other side of the coin, the Federal government has sabotaged our renewable energy sector by cutting the national Renewable Energy Target by 20%. The federal government's attack on renewables has resulted in a 90% decrease in investment and 2,500 people losing their jobs. In the first half of 2016, the Victorian government will need to decide whether to lift the current ban on onshore gas drilling. They will set the state Renewable Energy Targets for 2020 and 2025 (the VRETs). The community has waited too long for the Parliament to resolve these issues.
Paris climate negotiations. What was it like? What's next? Ursula Rakova, the director of Tulele Peisa, responsible for relocating Carteret Island families forced to move to Bougainville because of climate change, has gained international recognition for her work.
Paris, France / Jakarta, Indonesia, December 8, 2015 – Global palm oil companies Wilmar International and Bumitama Agri, backed by major U.S. and European investors, have created conditions that have allowed Indonesia’s recent devastating forest fires to burn out of control, according to a report released today by Friends of the Earth groups in Indonesia, Europe and the US.With civil society organizations, governments and corporations gathered in Paris this week for the UN climate talks, the Friends of the Earth groups argue that the voluntary policies of corporate actors and their financiers are failing to prevent the huge climate impacts of industrial palm oil expansion.