Tag Archives: cprs

Rudd’s Hypocrisy

The Rudd Government now officially has no practical policy to tackle the climate emergency (just like the Howard Government).

This video is an excerpt from a recent ABC report. It speaks for itself.

GetUp is asking people to vote on the following no confidence motion:

“We the people have no confidence in Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s leadership on climate change. He has failed to deliver action to address the greatest moral challenge of our generation.”

Click here to add your vote.

Australia ranks fourth-last out of 57 nations for climate action

The new mantra of the Rudd Government is that Australia will do “no more and no less” than the rest of the world on the climate crisis (even if that means we head into catastrophic, runaway climate change?).

However it seems we can’t even reach that most mediocre of goals. A recent assessment by the German NGO German Watch of the world’s 57 most polluting nations put Australia fourth last, or 57th out of 60 (the top three spots were left blank due to no country deserving them). Maybe Rudd’s new mantra should be “we will do no more and no less than Kazakhstan“.

For the full report, click here.

Australia to get an emissions trading scheme (probably…)

STOP PRESS: Update 2 December – The CPRS has been voted down in the Senate – However the Rudd Government will try to get it through again next year – so these criticisms stand.

What else is there to say?

About one year since Kevin Rudd announced his 5% target, it seems enough Liberals will vote for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) in the coming days for it to become law.

A lot has been written by scientists, economists, journalists, environmentalists, health professionals, religious leaders, development workers, politicians and ourselves, as to why the CPRS is inadequate and deeply unjust, however, the only people that Kevin Rudd, Penny Wong and the Liberal Party listened to were the fossil fuel lobby.

Let’s not mince words here, the CPRS is an abomination. It will not reduce Australia’s emissions due to the unlimited import of dodgy permits and offsets from overseas. Even if it did, it would reduce emissions to such inadequate levels that if they were adopted by all the developed countries we would almost guarantee catastrophic, runaway climate change.

Worst of all it makes rich the very people who should be feeling the pinch of a carbon price. Billions of taxpayer dollars will be handed over to coal miners and coal burners – those that pollute the most get the most money.

With the deal that the Labor and Liberal Parties made, compensation for the big polluters will go up even more, while $910 million will be taken away from household compensation, that is, money for poor households to cope with rising prices caused by the scheme, to be given to the shareholders of companies like TRUenergy and International Power Hazelwood.

We will see prices for many of our goods and services increase under this scheme, with no subsequent emissions reductions (modelling by the Australian Treasury showed that under the scheme as it stood before the negotiations made it even worse, Australia’s emissions wouldn’t drop below 1990 levels until 2035, and that was after it was assumed that clean coal was invented in 2033).

What has happened is a complete corporate takeover of our two major political parties. The hypocrisy of the Labor Party, which talks about the importance of acting on climate change, while putting forward a scheme that does nothing, is extremely saddening and frustrating. They have put the interests of large foreign fossil fuel corporations before the interests of every existing and future man, woman and child on this Earth. They have broken their election promise to take climate change seriously.

The only amusing sideshow in this whole saga has been the extent to which the Liberal Party has torn itself apart, with the climate change hypocrites and the climate change deniers fighting over their support for a scheme that locks in business as usual anyway.

Every single politician that has been involved in the development of this CPRS should forever be condemned. They do not deserve to represent us in parliament. We hope the Australian public is not fooled by Rudd’s spin and punishes the Labor and Liberal Parties for this betrayal, and the scheme is repealed in the future, to be replaced by policies that will take action to the extent the climate science demands.

To read the speech of the only politician that’s making any sense in all this, click here.

Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme [sic] in the Senate

The Rudd Government’s Carbon Polluters Rewards Scheme (CPRS) is going to be voted on in the Senate this week. It is most likely to fail, as all other parties apart from the Labor Party will be voting against it (the Greens for good reasons, everyone else for bad reasons).

Yarra Climate Action Now (YCAN) has gone on the record in this blog and in other forums numerous times since the CPRS was announced in December last year. To see our past entries on this issue click on these numbers – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

As this issue is all over the news this week, we would like to reiterate that together with the 150 grassroots climate action groups that met in Canberra in February, and most environment groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, we oppose the CPRS and hope it does not become law.

The reasons can be summarised as follows:

1. It will not reduce Australia’s emissions (most reductions will come from buying dodgy overseas offsets)
2. The targets are nowhere near what scientists say is necessary to give us a chance of avoiding runaway climate change.
3. It will result in a massive transfer of wealth from the Australian taxpayer to the big polluting corporations.
4. It will render voluntary action to reduce emissions practically meaningless.
5. It will sabotage international negotiations by showing the world that Australia isn’t serious about fighting the climate crisis.

If the Rudd Government was serious about fighting climate change, rather than just saying it is, it would create a scheme that addresses the above concerns.

For further information to back up the five points above, please see our past entries on this issue.

PS – it goes without saying that the proposal that Malcolm Turnbull released yesterday is even worse!

Australian public ahead of politicians on climate policy

A poll released today found that 75% of Australians either agree or strongly agree that the Federal Government’s emissions trading scheme is not tough enough on the big polluters and needs to be strengthened in the Senate.

Only 13% disagreed with 12% not knowing.

It is certainly encouraging to see that the Australian public has more sense than our Labor/Liberal politicians when it comes to acting on the climate crisis. If only they’d listen more to us rather than their fossil fuel industry benefactors.

At the same time as the poll was released, the Australian Greens released research which showed that foreign companies stand to make billions of dollars from the Australian taxpayer if the current scheme becomes law.

The major findings included:

* A total of $11.68 billion worth of assistance under the ETS will flow to companies that are wholly or partially foreign owned in the first five years of the Scheme

* 84% of compensation in the coal-fired electricity generators sector will go to foreign companies, based in UK, Hong Kong and Japan. With a total of $3.246 billion flowing to such companies between 2011-2015.

* 67% of the allocation – or $8.4 billion- under the Emissions Intensive Trade Exposed (ETIE) scheme would flow to companies that are wholly or partially owned by overseas companies between 2011-2016

* The owners of the Hazelwood Power station in Victoria, UK International Power Plc, are in line to pocket 28.6% of assistance available to the coal-fired electricity generators sector, or some $1.1 billion. Yallourn W power station, owned by CPL Power Asia, will receive $908 million.

*Loy Yang A power station – in line to receive $782million.

hhmm, so those very same corporations that should be stopping their burning of fossil fuels, will be paid billions of our money to keep doing it. Does that make sense to anyone?

National Climate Emergency Rally

Yesterday’s National Climate Emergency Rally saw thousands of Australians take to the streets to demand the Rudd Government recognise climate change for the emergency it is, take the Carbon Pollution Rewards Scheme back to the drawing board, and take much stronger action to create green jobs and a switch to 100% renewable energy by 2020.

Rallies were held in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart and Wollongong.

Damien Lawson’s opinion piece published in The Age today sums up the sentiments of protestors: Stop wasting time and save the planet Mr Rudd

For photos of the event click here, here and here.

The rallies received media attention in Australia and internationally, see:

BBC – Australians demand climate action
Reuters India – Australians demand more action on climate change

ABC Online – Wong defends policy amid climate change protests
The Sydney Morning Herald – Activists call for green jobs
The West Australian – Hundreds rally in Perth for climate action

…and compilation of TV coverage in Sydney

UK Government Shames Australia on Emissions Reductions

Faced with a much worse recession than we are facing here, the UK Labour Government has pledged to cut Britain’s emissions unconditionally by 34% on 1990 levels by 2020, with this to increase under an international deal.

The UK Government aims to do this without importing international credits, which have been heavily criticised by scientists and environment groups.

While these cuts are still not what climate scientists are saying the rich world needs to cut emissions by in order to avoid runaway climate change (well over 40% by 2020), compare it to the measly 5% by 2020 Kevin Rudd has offered for Australia – complete with importing of international permits.

If the UK can do this, why can’t Australia do even better with our abundant renewable energy resources?

To read further on these policies click here.

Response to the Rudd Government’s amendments to the Carbon Polluters Rewards Scheme (CPRS)

The letter below was sent to Kevin Rudd today and signed by 66 climate action groups, including Yarra Climate Action Now.


Dear Prime Minister,

The 66 Climate Action Groups signing this letter are completely shocked by your decision yesterday to further weaken Australia’s position on climate change.

We believe that you have abandoned your duty of care to protect the Australian people as well as our species and habitats from dangerous climate change.

Groups strongly oppose your new 2020 emissions reduction target band of 5-25% below 2000 levels:

  • We have consistently called for targets based on the best available climate science, which calls for reductions of at least 40 – 50% by developed countries by 2020.
  • The 5% unconditional target would, according to the world’s top scientists, commit us to catastrophic climate change and the IPCC’s worst-case scenarios.
  • The 25% upper target, if applied globally, would lead to at least 2°C of warming and the loss of the Great Barrier Reef. This is an untenable position and we cannot accept it.
  • These targets also remain out of step with the unconditional targets agreed to by other developed nations (the UK, US and EU have agreed to cut emissions by 34-46%, 20% and 20-30% from 1990 levels respectively).

Groups also assert that a global agreement based on 450ppm CO2e will not protect the Great Barrier Reef, as you suggested yesterday. International scientists estimate that atmospheric CO2 needs to be no more than 350ppm, but preferably closer to 300ppm, to avoid dangerous climate change.

Your decision to further weaken the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) by increasing the number of free permits, delaying the Scheme by a year and introducing a $10 price cap in the first year, completely flies in the face of the thousands of submissions that were lodged by concerned communities, scientists and individuals.

Groups, once again, recommend you urgently fix the fundamental flaws in the CPRS:

  • Urgently exclude international permits from the CPRS so that actual emissions in Australia will begin to fall from 2010 onwards, rather than reductions only taking place from 2035 onwards (as forecast by the Federal Treasury).
  • Remove the emission floor in the CPRS (which prevents emissions from falling below the 5% target), to ensure that individual action can contribute to additional emissions abatement over and above the 5-25% emissions reduction target band.
  • The proposed ‘Australian Carbon Trust’ does not address our concerns on the need for individual action to be additional to the 5% target. The Trust simply formalises what individuals were always able to do anyway. Nomatter what individuals do to reduce emissions we can never go beyond the 5% target.
  • Exclude both reforestation and deforestation from the Scheme – Groups note the current treatment creates a market distortion in favour of increasing native forest logging. This requires urgent rectification.
  • Replace ALL free-permits in the CPRS with a system of Border Adjustments, to ensure that these sectors transition to a lower emissions intensity without being unduly disadvantaged in the international market.
  • Change the requirements for the $3.9 billion of assistance to coal-fired generators under the CPRS to be conditional upon a phase-out plan for these generators.

Yesterday’s announcement has confirmed to us that you have not been able to stand up to the immense pressure exerted upon you by industry.

Your election promises to the Australian people on climate change were clear and unequivocal. Despite all of this, you have chosen to put industry interests above the national interest.

We stand by our comments to the Senate last month – we believe that your climate change ‘spin’ is deceptive and misleading to both the Australian public and the international community.

The 66 Climate Action Groups signing this letter urge you to treat climate change as the emergency it is, and broker an ambitious new climate deal for Australia that truly addresses the needs of future generations, builds new jobs in ecologically sustainable industries and protects our precious species and habitats.

Yours sincerely,

Yarra Climate Action Now and 65 other climate action groups

Polluters’ Blank Cheque

First published in The Age 30 March 2009, by Guy Pearse

IMAGINE the scene — you have had a bad day at work, the kids have the flu, and you have just got some nuisance caller off the phone. There’s a knock on the door. “Hi, I’m from Alcoa,” says a slickly dressed man with a Texan drawl. “We’re wonderin’ whether you’d care to give us and our fellow emission intensive trade exposed companies $500 a year until 2020 and beyond so we can have free emission permits?” You slam the door in his face.

Then there’s another knock on the door, similar bloke with an Oxbridge accent. “I’m from International Power,” he says. “Terribly sorry, old chap, but coal-fired power stations will be worth less once emissions trading comes in, so generators are charging all households a once-off fee of $455 to maintain their value for our shareholders.” You tell him where to stick his bill.

Then there’s yet another knock on the door. “Yah, hi thar,” he says with a bitzer foreign accent — Swiss maybe, with some South African speckled through it. ‘We’re from the Xstrata, and we’d like some cheques from you for the coal industry: $93 to cushion us from the impact of emissions trading; $62 for new infrastructure to double coal exports; and $62 for work on ‘clean coal technology’ — $220 all up should cover it for now.” You threaten to call the police unless he leaves the property.

…to continue reading the article, click here.