Nov 16, 2021
This article was written for Chain Reaction magazine by queer, enviro and social justice activists, Zianna Fuad (they/them) and Phil Evans (he/him or they/them), who are part of the Friends of the Earth community.
Oct 12, 2021
Waratah Coal is working to have a new, dirty coal power station approved in Queensland.
The Queensland Government has the ability to refuse Waratah Coal’s proposed 1400 mega-watt coal fired power station, but has yet to do so.
It’s time to take action.
Write to the Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development Steven Miles and ask him to 'call in' this project and ensure its impacts to our shared climate, the Great Barrier Reef, communities and future generations are properly assessed.
The proposed 1,400 MW ultra-supercritical power station will be built adjacent to the proposed a 40mt/y Galilee Coal Project, near Alpha in west central Queensland. The power station will emit 810 kg of CO2-e/MWh and run for 50 years. Development of new dirty coal power station will limit Australia’s ability to fulfil its international greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets. It will make it impossible for Queensland to meet its Climate Action Plan targets announced in July 2021.
May 06, 2021
Australia’s fires over the summer of 2019/20 were unprecedented in scale and level of destruction. Fuelled by climate change, the hottest and driest year ever recorded resulted in fires that burned through more than 17 million hectares, killed up to 3 billion animals, and affected nearly 80% of Australians. This included the tragic loss of over 450 lives from the fires and smoke.
Aerial firefighting capacity – planes and helicopters - are an essential component of Australia’s ability to respond to bushfires. This was demonstrated in the 2019-2020 bushfire season, when an unprecedented use of aircraft occurred.
However that summer also showed that we simply don’t have enough aircraft to fight fires in a bad season. This puts landscape, people, towns and houses, and fire fighters at risk.
The Bushfire Royal Commission report recommends the creation of a national 'sovereign' aerial firefighting fleet, which can then be allocated to the states "according to greatest national need".
Given Australia currently relies heavily on overseas-based aircraft which are leased for the season, this makes sense. The severity and duration of the 2019-2020 bushfire season placed strain on the existing arrangements for sharing aerial firefighting capabilities between the states and territories. Predicted longer northern and southern hemisphere fire seasons is also likely to cause problems, as planes will be needed for longer in each hemisphere, driving up the cost of hiring them.
The prospect of lengthening and increasingly severe fire seasons will only increase the demand for aerial firefighting services in the future.
We need a publicly owned fleet of planes and aircraft suitable for effectively fighting the fires we will continue to see in a warming world. We should buy aircraft, not just lease them year round. At present Australia only has one Large Air Tanker (LAT) which is owned locally (by the NSW Rural Fire Service or RFS). The federal government has now announced (September 2021) that they have secured an additional LAT to 'provide year round aerial firefighting capability' although it would appear that it is being leased. We need additional LATs, which will be owned by public authorities like the RFS.
Please sign the letter to the PM, calling on the government to allocate funds to establish a publicly owned air fleet.
Image: By Tech. Sgt. Joselito Aribuabo - https://www.dvidshub.net/image/584330, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39573336
Jan 29, 2021
Did you know that Bass Strait is at risk from new oil and gas drilling?
Polluting fossil fuels companies are intent on drilling for oil and gas.
New fossil fuel development in the waters of the iconic Bass Strait puts whales, sea lions, birds, turtles, and fish at risk.
Any oil spills in this area would be devastating to local fishing and tourism industries.
Governments must rule out new fossil fuel developments if we're to have any chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change.
SIGN THE PETITION: Call on PM Scott Morrison and Minister for Resources Keith Pitt to cancel the oil and gas licenses.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister Keith Pitt,
Despite the dire state of the climate crisis , your government continues to pursue both a 'gas-led' recovery and the expansion of fossil fuels.
This includes opening up the pristine waters of the iconic Bass Strait to polluting fossil fuels companies that are intent on drilling for oil and gas.
The Bass Strait supports thriving tourism and commercial fishing industries. Southern rock lobster fishers have already expressed their fear that plans to use seismic testing could threaten crayfish populations, and hence their industry.
The best available science tells us that governments must rule out new fossil fuel developments if we're to avoid catastrophic climate impacts such as the horrific Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20.
Allowing commercial drilling is just too risky for marine environments, local communities and businesses, and the climate.
I call on you to protect Bass Strait and ban all new fossil fuel exploration and production. I urge you to provide permanent protection for the Strait from risky oil and gas drilling.
MEDIA RELEASE: Vic Energy Minister spot on - Time for Angus Taylor to get a move on with offshore wind laws
May 07, 2020
The Victorian government has stepped up its advocacy for offshore wind, with Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio telling the federal government to “put ideology aside”, stop delaying and bring offshore wind laws to Parliament.
Friends of the Earth welcome the Minister’s comments, and says legislating for offshore wind is critical to pave the way for the sector, which could be a game changer for climate action and play a key role in post-Covid recovery efforts.
Apr 09, 2020
National environment group Friends of the Earth have welcomed the referral of Australia’s first offshore wind farm the Star of the South project to state and federal planning and environment ministers, and says building renewable energy could be key to the post-Covid recovery effort.
“The Star of the South offshore wind farm would be a game changer for new renewable energy supply and taking action on climate change in Victoria. It will create thousands of jobs and mark the beginning of a whole new sector” said Pat Simons, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.
Jan 13, 2020
With fires devastating communities and landscapes across much of the country, it has been a sombre start to the year. The focus, of course, must be on stopping the fires, protecting people, animals and landscapes, and initial disaster relief. But we must also have the conversation about why these fires have been so bad, and what we need to do to reduce future fire risk.
All those affected by the bushfire—the firefighters, first responders, community members, and wildlife — are front of mind for us.
Dec 10, 2019
Bushfire Fact Check & Info:
Climate Change, Land management & Government Inaction
Oct 20, 2019
Speakers from across the Pacific Islands and Australia came together on the 11th October 2019 at The University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute to discuss the specific human rights, including Indigenous rights, immediately challenged by the global climate crisis. The conference showcased stories of vulnerability, but also resilience; demonstrated via Indigenous Australian and Pacific Islander experiences on the frontline of climate change impacts, but also as global leaders in charting responses that uphold human rights.