Carbon scheme a recipe for disaster - climate protests erupt across the country

\CarbonThe government's carbon trading scheme and emissions targets announced on monday are a recipe for disaster and will not deliver a safe climate. More than 60 environmental and social groups have joined together to denounce these targets. There are community protests around the country in response to the low target.

outside Lindsay Tanners office, Melbourne 2008

Carbon scheme a recipe for disaster
[see below for joint statement]

[see here for full list of actions around the country]

Brief report backs on FoE actions (more coming soon):

Batman: Twentyish people (including about five kids) sandbagged Martin Ferguson's  office. Check it out at:

Gellibrand: Around twenty people entered Nicola Roxon's office, and then two people from the group got up on the roof of the office and dropped a climate emergency banner. TV cameras did interviews.

Melbourne: Twenty people sandbagged the locked office

Wills: Around twenty people put bags outside the office for the benefit of bystanders, the local press and the AFP, and then spoke to Kelvin Thompson for half an hour or so about the ALP's policy. We formed the Moreland Climate Group out of the action, and even had our first meeting!

Images of the actions available here


Video of the occupation of the office of Sharon Grierson, ALP member for Newcastle here




Media release
16th December 2008

Climate protests erupt across the country

A string of protests have erupted across the country in angry response to the Federal Government’s announcement yesterday that Australia would only cut its greenhouse gas emissions by between 5 and 15% by 2020.

Yesterday three female protesters had to be wrestled from the National Press Club during the announcement. Rising Tide’s Georgina Woods was one of those three and says further protests can be expected.

Protests also occurred yesterday at Kevin Rudd’s electoral office in Queensland, and at Climate Change Minister Penny Wong’s office in Adelaide. 

Today, further protests are taking place at electoral offices of MP’s and Cabinet Ministers in NSW and Victoria, including Lindsay Tanner, Peter Garret, Tania Plibersek, Nicola Roxon, Martin Ferguson. Rallies are taking place in Sydney Melbourne and Perth.

Damien Lawson, from Friends of the Earth Melbourne said, “This is an expression of the community’s disgust with the cringing climate policy Kevin Rudd announced yesterday. If Kevin Rudd doesn’t have the brains or the ticker to choose the Reef, the wetlands and the people over coal and other polluting industries, then he should get out of the way.”

Tessa Dowdell, of the Australian Student Environment Activist Network said, “We have everything to lose by sitting on our hands. Kevin Rudd has very clearly sided with polluting industries over the people of this country and has betrayed the promise on which we elected him.”

Further comment:

Georgina Woods 0438 223 771
Damien Lawson (Victoria) 0419 253 342
Tessa Dowdell (NSW) 0424 808 639      
Kristy Walters (Queensland) 0423 478 757


media statement, Monday, 15 December 2008

The government's carbon trading scheme and emissions targets announced today are a recipe for disaster and will not deliver a safe climate, Friends of the Earth Australia said today.

“The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, announced by the government, is a polluters paradise and could have been comfortably proposed by John Howard.”

“The targets if adopted globally would not only kill the Great Barrier Reef and the Murray Darling but would spell disaster for hundreds of millions of people,” Damien Lawson, climate justice coordinator said today.

“By adopting a target range 5-15% the government is seeking to deflect the public anger which will no doubt be generated by this failure to show leadership in the face of this crisis.”

“But, even these hopelessly low targets are a fiction, as they rely in part on obtaining carbon credits generated in developing countries. Many of which will not reflect an actual reduction in carbon pollution.”

“The slow start to a slow scheme will mean pollution reductions will tiny and at a snails pace, even while climate change accelerates.”

“The coal industry fingerprints are all over this white paper.”

“The climate system is perilously close to tipping points that will take us into runaway catastrophic climate change. Kevin Rudd and Penny Wong don't seem to understand how close to edge of the cliff we are.”

Kevin Rudd says he has got the balance right, but this does not stack up in the face of what the science is telling us. It is not possible to negotiate with the planet, we must adopt targets that will prevent the climate system running out of control.”

“We need a plan to cut our emissions in half in the next decade and then to move to zero as quickly as possible.”

“We are in an emergency and only emergency action which mobilises the whole of society to confront the problem will do the job. Like World War II such a mobilisation can also address the problem of global recession and world wide poverty.”

“The fast-tracking of $500 billion in investment for renewable energy and commitments on energy efficiency are only a small part of what is needed.”

“Kevin Rudd's climate police is a recipe for disaster. We will be stepping up community organising and protest over the next six months to pressure the government to adopt more realistic targets.”

NOTE : To respond to the government's announcement and to highlight the climate emergency Friends of the Earth will join many of the community protests planned over the next two days at MPs offices around the country.”

For information and comment: Damien Lawson 0419 253 342

Check here for details on our community actions at MP's offices



Environmental community unites to condemn Rudd’s low greenhouse target

A coalition of over 60 Australian environment and community groups have united today to condemn the Rudd
Government’s announcement of an ineffectual 5-15% greenhouse reduction target.

The undersigned groups have issued this joint statement:

The announcement of an interim emission reduction target of only 5-15% represents a total failure of climate
policy and shows that the Rudd Government has caved in to pressure from the big polluters.

This decision is simply unacceptable.

If adopted globally, this target would guarantee the loss of the Great Barrier Reef and the Kakadu wetlands,
and would steer the earth on a path towards catastrophic climate change. This decision represents a failure of
the Federal Government to act on the climate science, a failure to act in the public interest, and a failure of
international diplomacy.

This decision will send a signal to the world that Australia is reneging on the agreed Bali range of 25-40% for
developed countries and will make a strong global agreement all the more difficult to achieve.
We urge the Australian Parliament, the media, and all sections of the community to ensure that this weak
target is not allowed to stand, and to make sure that 2009 is the year that Australia begins to show real
leadership on climate change in the lead up to the international negotiations in Copenhagen.


1. Steve Shallhorn, Executive Director, Greenpeace Australia Pacific
2. Greg Bourne, Executive Director, World Wide Fund for Nature
3. Andrew Hewett, Executive Director, Oxfam Australia
4. Nina Hall, Executive Director (Acting), Climate Action Network Australia
5. Simon Sheikh, National Director, GetUp!
6. Virginia Young, The Wilderness Society
7. Cam Walker, Coordinator, Friends of the Earth Australia
8. Jeff Angel, Executive Director, Total Environment Centre
9. Anna Rose & Amanda McKenzie, Co-Directors, Australian Youth Climate Coalition
10. Georgina Woods, Rising Tide
11. Cate Faehrmann, Executive Director, Nature Conservation Council of NSW
12. Piers Verstegen, Director, Conservation Council of Western Australia
13. Toby Hutcheon, Executive Director, Queensland Conservation Council
14. Julie Pettett, Chief Executive Officer, Conservation Council of South Australia
15. Kelly O'Shanessy, Executive Director, Environment Victoria
16. Dr Elaine K. Harding, Coordinator, Cairns and Far North Environment Centre
17. Emma King, Coordinator (Acting), Environment Centre of the NT
18. Andrew Cox, Executive Officer, National Parks Association of NSW
19. Margaret Steadman, Executive Officer, Tasmanian Environment Centre Inc
20. Carol Ride, Convenor, Climate Emergency Network
21. Jonathan Doig, Convenor, Sutherland Climate Action Network
22. Sue Mathews, Trustee, The Mullum Trust
23. Phil Glendenning, Director, Edmund Rice Centre for Justice and Community Education
24. Mary Tinney, Coordinator, Sisters of Mercy Earth Link
25. Sr Geraldine Kearney, Delegate for Social Responsibility, Sisters of the Good Samaritan
26. Jill Finnane, Coordinator, Pacific Calling Partnership
27. Thea Ormerod, President, Australian Religious Response to Climate Change
28. Keely Boom, Director, Australian Climate Justice Program
29. Teresa Capetola, Climate Change and public health research cluster, School of Health and Social
Development, Deakin University
30. Julien Lacave, Projects Manager, Australia and New Zealand Solar Energy Society
31. Paul Murfitt, Chief Executive Officer, Moreland Energy Foundation Limited
32. Tessa Dowdell, Climate Convenor, Australian Student Environment Network
33. Janet Cavenagh, Clarence Branch of Climate Change Australia
34. Jacquie Svenson, Convenor, Climate Action Coogee
35. Lizette Salmon, WATCH, Wodonga & Albury Towards Climate Health (WATCH)
36. Annie Nielsen, Executive Member, Parramatta Climate Action Network
37. Bev Smiles, Central West Environment Council
38. Bob Phillips, President, Lake Macquarie Climate Action
39. Bradley Smith, University if Queensland Climate for Change
40. Jim Morrison, President, North Coast Environment Council
41. Carmel Flint, Co-ordinator, North East Forest Alliance
42. Carolyn Ingvarson, Convenor, Lighter Footprints Climate Change Action Group
43. Robin Knox, Project Manager, COOLmob
44. Dr Gabe Lomas, Association for Berowra Creek
45. Geoff Walker, Save Happy Valley Coalition Aotearoa
46. Janet Klein, Secretary, Adelaide Hills Climate Action Group
47. Tony Gleeson, Alstonville High School Community Sustainability Advisory Committee
48. Vanessa Morris, Executive Officer, SEE-Change
49. Shakti Burke, Kyogle Climate Action Network
50. Sheila Monahan, Convenor, South East Region Conservation Alliance
51. Sue Fielder, Ballina Climate Action Network
52. Tony Gleeson, Broadwater Community Dunecare
53. Sue Lewis, President, Climate Change Balmain-Rozelle.
54. Ben Henley and Vicki Brooke, Co-Convenors, Climate Action Newcastle
55. Erland Howden, Hills Against Global Warming
56. Roger Pye, President, Canberra Environment and Sustainability Resource Centre
57. Penelope Milstein, Sustainability in Stonnington Incorporated
58. Carol Ride, Convenor, Darebin Climate Action Now
59. Cath James, Justice & International Mission, Uniting Church of Australia
60. Deborah Hart, Locals Into Victoria's Environment (LIVE)
61. Dr Mark Diesendorf, Deputy Director, Institute of Environmental Studies, UNSW
62. Jack Smit, Project SafeCom, WA

For comment:
Nina Hall, Climate Action Network Australia, Mob 0415 750 957
John Hepburn, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, Mob 0407 231 172
Damien Lawson, Friends of the Earth, Mob 0419 253 342