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Make a difference
Have your say
Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) is an undeveloped, high risk mining technique involving the combustion of coal seams underground.
It has already caused pollution disasters in Australia and overseas. In South West Queenland, Linc Energy polluted 175 square kilometres of prime agricultural land with dangerous chemicals and gasses, causing the death of livestock and damaging farmland for the foreseeable future.
The Queensland government recently responded to this disaster by banning Underground Coal Gasification.
However, this technology is not banned in other states or territories. South Australia is considering allowing commercialisation of UCG. In September 2018, Leigh Creek Energy received final approval from the state's Energy and Mining Minister to commence a three-month trial of UCG at the old Leigh Creek mine site in the state's north.
This proposal is being opposed by the Adnyamathanha people, who have applied for an injunction in South Australia's Supreme Court to stop it from proceeding.
It’s time to build on the momentum of this Queensland ban by instating a national ban on this dangerous practice.
We cannot let agricultural land, ground water and natural environments become the collateral damage of these high risk mining experiments, especially when we have safe, renewable energy options available.
There is no room for this dangerous, high emissions technology in a forward thinking country.
For background information on UCG, please check here.
Environment Minister, Sussan Ley has the power to act to ban this dangerous technology.
Shell is one of the biggest climate polluters in the world. This transnational company has known about the severity of climate change and the impacts of oil and gas drilling for decades, but has not only misled the public on the issue, it continues drilling for fossil fuels. Across the world Shell’s climate wrecking activities are leaving a trail of devastation, from Australia to the Netherlands. We cannot save the climate if large corporations continue to pollute the planet. This is why Friends of the Earth Netherlands is taking Shell to court.
This historic case could set a powerful legal precedent: if we win, one of the world’s biggest polluters will have to stop wrecking the climate. Join the case against Shell as an honorary co-claimant.
We applaud what the former State Government has achieved in the construction of renewables and battery storage; the solar subsidy it announced for low income citizens; and the planned move to overlapping local grids to provide a robust network.
While South Australia is well on target to hit its plan for 50% renewables, and predicted to reach 73% renewables by 2025, it is still funding the search for more gas fields, fails to oppose oil exploration in the Great Australian Bight, and is still considering unconventional gas and fracking in the north and south-east of the state.
As was noted by Bill McKibben in his essay “Do The Math” in Rolling Stone, globally, we already have five times the amount of fossil fuel reserves we could possibly burn safely by 2050 — 2,795 Gigatons in reserves vs 565 Gigatons that we could burn by 2050 — there is no reason to spend $48 million searching for more gas and oil.
It makes no sense to search for new fossil fuels which we cannot burn if we hope to contain warming to at most the 1.5 – 2 degrees we pledged for the Paris Agreement.
This is a Friends of the Earth Adelaide and Left Unity SA initiative.
You can download a PDF of this declaration Here
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has told the Business Council of Australia that he wants to ‘overhaul’ environmental approvals for major projects as part of an attempt to ‘further streamline’ the industrial relations system.
History has repeatedly shown that any deregulation government approvals is bad for workers and bad for the environment.
Mr Morrison says the federal government wants to “get major projects off the ground sooner” by reducing the length of time it takes for businesses to navigate environmental approvals.
This is part of an ongoing campaign by his government to cut what they call ‘green tape’.
Major environmental projects always bring substantial ecological or climate costs. Over years Australian and state and territory governments have established approvals processes that seek to find the right balance between approving large projects and protecting the environment.
While we have never had a perfect national approvals system, it is essential we do not lose the processes currently in place.
‘Cutting Green Tape’ is code for ‘let business do what it wants’. In the real world, it will mean large resource companies being given the green light to cut corners and get their projects waved through by government.
This is not an agenda that is acceptable to the majority of the Australian people.
The COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on the Australian economy and the lives of the Australian people. Now governments are launching their stimulus packages which are intended to kick start the economy and avoid a recession.
In short, we have a chance to break with ‘business as usual’ and start the transition we need to be ‘climate ready’ for the 21st century.
However, all messages from the federal government are that it intends to do everything in its power to back up old and outdated fossil fuel technology at the expense of clean technology like renewables and storage.
This has been highlighted by the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) that has been appointed to lead the recovery. It is heavily dominated by hand-picked business people with deep connections to the fossil fuel sector unqualified to lead the national social and economic response to COVID-19. Key ministers in the federal government keep talking about a ‘gas led’ recovery. And now, as proof of the backwards program that the Commission intends to enact, a leaked report from an advisory body to the Commission, the manufacturing taskforce, shows the pro-fossil fuel, anti-climate agenda of those chosen to direct these ‘recovery’ efforts (details here).
Replacing an elected Parliament with a group of hand-picked fossil fuel devotees robs the Australian people of the democratic right to choose their leaders; not only is it a clear attempt to underwrite the failing fossil fuel industry, but it sets a dangerous precedent.
We do not believe that the Commission in its current form can be trusted to deliver ideas that will be adequate to the challenges we face from climate change and growing inequality.
The NCCC must be sacked, and a new commission established of non-partisan experts in appropriate fields such as public health, transport infrastructure and renewable energy, including electricity distribution, energy efficiency etc. It is essential that First Nation voices are included in this new body.
Federal Energy Minister, Angus Taylor, says he thinks Australia should have a "gas-fired recovery" - but his plan is terrible for climate justice
The Minister told the Age and SMH that gas development provides an "opportunity for strategic economic stimulus in Australia to aid the recovery."
This means more fracking against First Nations Peoples' will, more gas mining on farms, more gas mining off our coastline. It means more greenhouse gas emissions. It means putting off the transition we need to shift our economy to renewable energy. Investing in new fossil fuel development simply locks us in to oil and gas use when the climate science clearly shows us that we need to transition away from these energy sources urgently.
Add your voice to the call for a climate justice recovery! Now is the time to revolutionise our economy and rid ourselves of fossil fuel dependence.
A recent review has concluded that national environment laws aren't working: in fact things are getting worse.
Friends of the Earth are calling on Scott Morrison to implement the recommendations of that review which says that we need: