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.
By Bill Waren, senior trade analyst, Friends of the Earth US Friends of the Earth is disappointed but not surprised with what President Obama had to say in his State of the Union address about the environmentally-destructive Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Nor were we astonished that the reaction of most Members of Congress was unenthusiastic. What is most remarkable is that President Obama devoted less than 30 seconds of his hour long speech to the TPP, his most significant legislative proposal in 2016. Without doubt, he sees the TPP as a legacy defining achievement in the course of his eight years in office. But rather than making a reasoned argument in support of the TPP, he quickly changed the subject.
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.
The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secret trade agreement that will adversely affect the environment, worker’s rights, cost of medicines, internet freedoms, food safety, intellectual property rights and indigenous rights. Friends of the Earth Australia (FoEA) has long warned that the Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) chapter in the TPP agreement will potentially allow corporations to override our domestic laws and enable foreign corporations to sue our Government if we implement policy and legislation that may impact the ‘future profitability’ of a corporation. FoEA campaigner Cam Walker said "Tobacco giant Phillip Morris has already launched a lawsuit against the Australian government in relation to the introduction of plain-packaging laws. Thankfully this was not successful. However, the TPP could open the door to similar lawsuits under the TPP ISDS clause".
The GM–Free Australia Alliance has joined FoE Australia as an affiliate member. Welcome aboard! For a full list of our affiliates, please check here. The GM–Free Australia Alliance Inc is an independent not-for-profit alliance of groups and individuals sharing common concerns about the threat of Genetic Manipulation (GM) of food and crops in Australia. Visit our website : www.gmfreeaustralia.org.auFacebook : https://www.facebook.com/gmfreezeoz/
A new Friends of the Earth report reveals that our regulators are planning to allow foods derived from a range of new genetic modification (GM) techniques untested and unlabelled onto our supermarket shelves and that they have misled the Senate on the issue. Take action – tell Fiona Nash to rein in the regulators Large agrochemical companies such as Dow, Syngenta, Bayer and Monsanto have been investing in a suite of risky new GM techniques and arguing that they are not really GM in order to attempt to circumvent regulation and public resistance to GMOs.
Royal Commission vs Community Permission MEDIA RELEASE, 17 December 2015 National and state environment groups have today released an assessment of the state Royal Commission into the nuclear industry in SA. The report – commissioned by Conservation SA, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Friends of the Earth Australia – looks at the Commission’s progress since its surprise unveiling by Premier Jay Weatherill ten months ago. The report raises serious concerns about the Royal Commission, from the unrepresentative and unbalanced composition of the Expert Advisory Committee, conflicts of interest, the Royal Commission's unwillingness to correct factual errors, to a repeated pattern of pro-nuclear claims being uncritically accepted and promoted.
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.