Replace Hazelwood Primer

Replace-Hazelwood-Primer-CoverIt is clear in Victoria that positive programs of energy efficiency and encouragement of renewables are insufficient by themselves for strong climate action. We need to close down the high emissions intensity of brown coal electricity generation, it is the elephant in the room. Climate Action Moreland has actively campaigned to close down the Hazelwood Power Station since 2009, including producing a brief history of Hazelwood.

This primer to Replace Hazelwood is written by David Spratt from Climate Code Red, provides timely information on why The Victorian Labor Government should act to close Hazelwood.

Summary

• The Victorian Government has expressed a desire (though it does not yet have a policy) for a significant expansion of renewable energy in Victoria. This has widespread community support and must be done quickly and at a large scale because climate change is already dangerous. Scientists warn that two degrees Celsius of warming could occur in just two decades, so preserving a safe climate and a healthy future requires rapid de-carbonisation.

• Expanding renewable energy requires coal-generating capacity to be removed from the market because oversupply is crowding out and preventing new investment. The Australian energy market operator says there are about eight gigawatts of surplus generating capacity across the national market, equivalent to five Hazelwood power stations. This includes up to 2.2 gigawatts of brown coal generation that is no longer required in Victoria in 2015, which is greater than Hazelwood’s capacity. Power companies have been lobbying government for capacity to be reduced, and senior Victorian energy department bureaucrats are aware of the need to close coal power stations in order to roll out renewables.

• The Victorian Government has committed to being a leader on climate change. Closing down excess coal generation is a key test of the government’s climate credentials. Coal-fired power stations are the world’s largest source of planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions. Victoria cannot make the necessary emissions reductions without addressing the operations of Hazelwood and/or Yallourn power stations.

• Hazelwood power station is old, unsafe and dirty. Based on emissions intensity, it is the third-dirtiest coal power station in the world and the dirtiest in Australia, releasing around 16 million tonnes of greenhouse gases annually, almost three per cent of total Australian greenhouse emissions. The Hazelwood majority owner, Engie (formerly GDF Suez), owns the third-most polluting coal-power station fleet in the world. The full – health and carbon pollution – social costs of Hazelwood totalling $900 million per year are borne by the community, rather than the plant’s owners.

• A steady stream of local jobs can be created in the Latrobe Valley with the rehabilitation of mines and decommissioning of plant, which will require a significant workforce stretching well over a decade. The Latrobe Valley needs a strong jobs package and an economic transition plan and new industries because the move from coal to clean wind and solar renewable energy is now both urgent and inevitable.

• Hazelwood power station and mine are a health hazard to local residents, exemplified by the autumn 2014 mine fire. The owners of Hazelwood have abused their social licence and forfeited the right to profit from a power station that is now a major health hazard – both to local people and to all peoples who face the uncertainties of living in a hotter and more extreme climate.

• In July 2010, the Victorian Labor government promised to start shutting Hazelwood and passed climate legislation providing the reserve power to regulate emissions from existing brown coal-fired generators. Restoring the government’s capacity to regulate emissions would be complementary to actions being taken by other governments, including in the United States and Europe.

Download and read the full primer: HZ-primer-v1-lowres

Replace-Hazelwood-Primer-Cover

Replcae Hazelwood Primer – Click to Download PDF

June 16, 2015 at 11:25 pm Leave a comment

Will Victoria lead in climate action? Brown coal is the elephant in the room

Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio talking up Labor's positive climate action on energy, while ignoring the elephant in the room, Victoria's brown coal - June 3, 2015. Photo: John Englart

Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio talking up Labor’s positive climate action on energy, while ignoring the elephant in the room, Victoria’s brown coal – June 3, 2015. Photo: John Englart

Victoria is taking steps to lead on climate change action, according to the Victorian Premier Dan Andrews. In an announcement on Thursday the Premier said an independent review of the Climate Change Act 2010 would be established to report to the government before 31 December 2015, and tabled in early 2016 along with a Government response.

Environment Minister Lisa Neville said “Climate change is already happening, and it is threatening to irreversibly affect our communities, our environment and our way of life.”

The committee will propose options to strengthen the Act, so it can provide a strong foundation for Victorian action on climate change. The original Act was passed with the support of opposition parties. After the election of the Baillieu Government most of the measures and targets were wound back or abolished in the legislation.
(more…)

June 6, 2015 at 12:04 pm 2 comments

Vigil to Replace Hazelwood – Jane Garrett MLA

Hazelwood-Garrett-vigil-IMG_0626_phatch
Our visit to Jane Garrett MLA, member for Brunswick, was our third state MP we have visited that represents the Moreland Municipality, to raise the necessity and importance of closing Hazelwood and a community transition plan.

People in Moreland Call on Jane Garrett MLA to Act Now. Climate Action Moreland urges local MPs to support strong action now to close Australia’s dirtiest power station, Hazelwood.

We had about 30 people turn up to our vigil at the intersection of Nicholson St and the Capital City Trail bikepath.

“Great support this morning from cyclists as we bring awareness to the urgency of closing Hazelwood, before visiting our local MP Jane Garrett on our quest to ‪#‎replacehazewood‬.” said Bronwyn Plarre.

Indeed, many cyclists took a leaflet and some volunteered to be photographed with a sign. Preaching to the converted? maybe. But many of these cyclists are Jane Garrett’s constituents, concerned about climate change and the necessity for closing coal emissions and transitioning to renewable energy.

The Victorian Labor Government has moved positively on energy efficiency and boosting renewable energy. But it also needs to be making economic transition plans to phase out coal emissions, starting with Hazelwood. Here are photos from the day:


When: Thursday, May 28at 8:00am – 9:00am
Where: Park St and Nicholson St, East Brunswick (bike path)
At the end we will be walking up to Jane Garrett’s office to hand over a formal letter.
Register to attend on Facebook

If your cycling to school or work, chat with us for a while or hang around and come with us to deliver the letter to her office.

Our climate is getting more extreme and unpredictable, with more intense heat waves, more menacing bush fires, and more disastrous and costly weather events such as Superstorm Sandy in north-east USA and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Climate change activists will visit Jane Garrett MLA for Brunswick, from 8am, Thursday 28 May where constituents will deliver her a letter calling for urgent replacement of the world’s third dirtiest power station.

CAM has welcomed the moves by the the Victorian Government to relax the laws on wind farm developments and the fact that it will re-open the Hazelwood Mine Fire Inquiry. CAM has also been encouraged by recent proposals to examine Victoria’s future with regard to energy efficiency, climate change and renewable energy.

During the unprecedented Black Saturday bushfire period, there were 180 extra heat-stress-related deaths in Victoria, an average of more than two deaths for each electorate in Victoria.

This is just one way climate change is affecting constituents right now, with many more severe impacts that will affect Victoria’s rainfall and food-growing capacity, worsen bush fires and inundate coastal areas.

The need to move quickly to replace dirty coal with clean renewable energy and jobs was highlighted in a new report from Oxford University’s Stranded Assets Programme, which identified the most-polluting, least-efficient and oldest “sub-critical” coal-fired power stations.

The report found 89% of Australia’s coal power station fleet is sub-critical, “by far the most carbon-intensive sub-critical fleet in the world.

One quarter of Australia’s coal plants need to close within five years if Australians are to play an equitable part in keeping with government pledges.

“The previous ALP state government showed promise in this matter”, said Gemma Williams, “We hope this current government will show strong leadership now.”

In 2010, then Labor premier John Brumby, in explaining his policy for a phased close-down of Hazelwood, told ABC radio listeners: ‘either you believe in closing Hazelwood or you don’t, and I do.’

Labor’s 2010 climate change legislation provided the reserve power to regulate emissions from existing brown coal-fired generators.

This legislation was undermined by the Baillieu government, and now is the time to restore the government’s capacity to regulate emissions.

CAM is urging the development of a strong jobs package and an economic transition plan for the Latrobe Valley because the move from coal to clean wind and solar renewable energy is now both urgent and inevitable.

Climate Action Moreland will be taking these message to electors and other state MPs in Moreland:
+ Urgent action is required now to replace coal
+ Hazelwood can be shut without affecting power supplies, and
+ Coal is a major health hazard to Victorians

May 20, 2015 at 11:46 pm Leave a comment

Reviewing Moreland’s Zero Carbon Evolution Plan

20150603-zero-carbon-moreland
We are approaching the first year end of Moreland Council’s Zero Carbon Moreland plan to cut community emissions by 22 per cent by 2020. What achievements have been made? Does the plan need tweaking? Is the target sufficient?

We received an invitation to attend an event by Moreland City Council and the Moreland Energy Foundation and we are extending this invite to you our readers.

Here are the details:

When: 4pm – 7pm Wednesday 3 June 2015
Where: at the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre, 6/306-312 Albert Street, Brunswick
RSVP by 29 May to: civicevents@moreland.vic.gov.au

» » Join us in celebrating our Local Climate Leaders
» » Discuss the key issues at the Community Q&A Panel session
» » Meet other local people taking action on climate change

Agenda
4.00-5.00pm Celebration of Local Climate Leaders
Addresses by:
Hon Lily D’Ambrosio
Victorian Minister for Energy and Resources
Mayor Cr Meghan Hopper
5.00-5.30pm Refreshments and networking
5.30-7.00pm Community Q&A panel

Special Guests
Hon Lily D’Ambrosio
(Victorian Minister for
Energy and Resources)

May 20, 2015 at 11:28 pm Leave a comment

Raise The Heat At Coburg CommBank to #savethereef

Commbank-coburg-divest-IMG_0500-600w
Our friends at 350.org are engaged in a divestment campaign to move money out of the big banks that are financing fossil fuel industry. The Commonwealth Bank is preparing to finance and provide loan guarantees to the Indian company Adani to develop the Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin. This requires a train line to be built to the coast and a major upgrade to the Abbot Point port facilities.

Upgrading Abbot Point port facilities endangers the Great Barrier Reef through the dredging required, and the huge increase in shipping that will occurr once the infrastructure is in place.

Adani Power Ltd already has a net debt reaching US$7.4 billion in April and the Carmichael mine and associated infrastructure risks being stranded assets and a poor investment. Energy and Finance analyst Tim Buckley said on May 13 “At the end of the day, risking another $10 billion to try to make good on a poorly timed initial $1 billion investment is looking increasingly unlikely in the face of the halving of thermal seaborne since 2010.”

If you are a Commonwealth Bank customer who lives in Moreland, and especially Coburg, you can assist by divesting your money. Check out the Market Forces Guide: How to switch Banks and make it Count.

A locally organised public event is being organised: Raise The Heat At Coburg CommBank as part of the national week of actions from 19-23 May.

Where: Coburg Commbank, 488 Sydney Road, Coburg, 3058, Australia
When: 10am Friday, 22 May 2015

“We are planning Divestment Day Rally Sydney Road on Friday May 22 at 10am when we will gather, cheer on people who have chosen to close their accounts. We will be spending the next few weeks talking to as many people as possible and building support, so there will be plenty of opportunities to get involved.”

There are a few Rules: “I commit to take part in Raise the Heat and; uphold the values of non-violent direct action and not take part in activities that cause fear, intimidation or property damage; respect all CommBank managers, branch staff, customers and other members of the community.”

More information and to register for the event.

A successful little rally outside Coburg Commonwealth Bank, thanks to Siman Eastman for organising it.


If you can’t make it along to Commbank at Coburg on Friday, there is an event in the city on Saturday.

Where: Clam Purse, Corner Elizabeth Street & Bourke Street
When: 10am Saturday 23 May 2015
Facebook Event
Register at 350.org

Right now, Indian mining giant Adani is calling upon The Commonwealth Bank to help them finance the Abbot Point coal port in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, the first step in unlocking nine mega coal mines in Australia’s Galilee Basin. If built, these developments would cook the climate and trash the Great Barrier Reef.

It’s time to step things up and put CommBank’s reputation on the line — join us at the Swanston St branch in Melbourne to show CommBank you care! We’ll be meeting at 10 AM at the Public Purse (cnr Elizabeth and Bourke) for a short briefing before marching to the branch together.

This is a divestment day and peaceful rally – those ready to move their money from CBA, as well as customers who want to let their bank know they will leave if this risky investment does go ahead.

Former divestors and other supporters welcome – let’s show Commbank how strong community opposition to development on the reef is!

Court case reveals potential damage from Adani mine

The Queensland EDO has been running a case in the Queensland Land Court in regard to the Adani Carmichael mine. The case revealed a large discrepancy in the number of jobs the mine would create. A complaint has now been lodged with the ASX over the misleading information in the mine business case.

According to the Queensland EDO:


The case objects to Adani’s $16.5 billion Carmichael coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin on economic, environmental and ecological grounds – including that it would harm the endangered Black Throated Finch.
Throughout the past five weeks, EDO Qld has shown the importance of an independent Land Court public objection process to scrutinise major mines.

Through our expert witnesses and even Adani’s own witnesses our client has shown:
1. Adani grossly overstated to the public the number of jobs, and royalties the mine would have for Queensland;
2. The mine, rail and port as well as the burning of coal will cause damage to the Great Barrier Reef from climate change and ocean acidification;
3. The mine will destroy the core population of endangered Black Throated Finch and may impact on Waxy Cabbage Palms;
4. The mine will threaten the base flow of the Carmichael River and may threaten the ancient springs estimated to be one million years old; and
5. The project is extremely risky and unlikely to be financially viable.

We have already exposed that Adani grossly exaggerates the number of jobs and royalties to benefit Queensland and made it clear that economic claims by the mining industry should be treated with the greatest scepticism. Further, this case shows the importance of public objection rights for all mining proposals.

“Its sheer scale means that its interference with the environment is correspondingly significant,” said barrister Saul Holt QC, for Land Services of Coast and Country.


Clearly time to divest from Commbank

May 20, 2015 at 5:23 pm Leave a comment

Vigil to Replace Hazelwood – Frank McGuire MLA Broadmeadows

IMG_0486-600w

Cold afternoon to be holding a vigil in Broady! But we were there. I passed on my letter and the recent study on the impacts of coal in Victoria to the office worker In Frank Maguire MP’s electoral office. Unfortunately it is a busy time for Frank Maguire, so I requested an appointment be made at a later date to discuss in person the issues raised re closing Hazelwood. We cut short standing around outside and went into the shopping centre and had a debrief over a coffee before coming home. We also distributed a few black balloons to enthusiastic kids.

John Englart

Climate Action Moreland urges local MPs to support strong action now to close Australia’s dirtiest power station, Hazelwood.
Our climate is getting hotter and more extreme, with more intense heat waves, more menacing bush fires, and more costly extreme events such as Superstorm Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Local climate change activists will approach Frank Maguire, MLA for Broadmeadows, this Thursday when constituents will deliver a letter calling for the urgent closure of the world’s third dirtiest power station.

Community Vigil – Climate Action Moreland
Where: Electoral Office of Frank Maguire,
Shop G42, Broadmeadows shopping centre (south side), next to Commonwealth Bank, in the car park opposite the Council chambers
When: Thursday at 4:30am – 5:30am
Register: on Facebook event

BREAKING: We have just learned that ALCOA has decided to close the Anglesea coal power station and mine on 31 August 2015. This is good news as there has been an active community campaign in Anglesea and across the state to shut the power station ever since the Port Henry aluminium smelter was shut down. The power it generates for the grid is superfluos and it has extremely high sulphur dioxide emissions, with the coal mine being a huge fire risk over summer and during heat wave events.

Hazelwood Power station is also superfluos to meeting grid demand, being highly inefficient. The Mine fire in 2014 highlighted the health danger of the mine to the local community, with at least 11 excess deaths in the region associated with the polluting smoke from the fire.

Here in the northern suburbs heatwaves, and bushfires on the urban rural boundary, are issues that our state government needs to grapple with for adaptation measures, emergency planning, and mitigation for conditions in 10 or 20 years time.

During the unprecedented 2009 Black Saturday bushfire period, there were 374 extra heat-stress-related deaths in Victoria, an average of more than 4.25 deaths for each Legislative Assembly electorate in Victoria.

The need to move quickly to replace dirty coal with clean renewable energy and jobs was highlighted in a new report from Oxford University’s Stranded Assets Programme, which identified the most-polluting, least-efficient and oldest “sub-critical” coal-fired power stations. (See Climate Council June 2014 report: Australia’s Electricity Sector: Ageing, Inefficient and Unprepared)
The report found 89% of Australia’s coal power station fleet is sub-critical, “by far” the most carbon-intensive sub-critical fleet in the world.

One quarter of Australia’s coal plants need to close within five years if Australians are to play an equitable part in keeping with government pledges.

The previous ALP state government showed promise in this matter”, said Gemma Williams, “We hope this current government will show strong leadership now.”

In 2010, then Labor premier John Brumby, in explaining his policy for a phased close-down of Hazelwood, told ABC radio listeners: “either you believe in closing Hazelwood or you don’t, and I do.”

Labor’s 2010 climate change legislation provided the reserve power to regulate emissions from existing brown coal-fired generators.

This legislation was undermined by the Baillieu government, and now is the time to restore the government’s capacity to regulate emissions.

We urge the development of a strong jobs package and an economic transition plan for the Latrobe Valley because the move from coal to clean wind and solar renewable energy is now both urgent and inevitable.

Climate Action Moreland will be taking these message to electors and other state MPs in Moreland:
Urgent action is required now to replace coal
Hazelwood can be shut without affecting power supplies, and
Coal is a major health hazard to Victorians.

Further Vigils

We will follow up our vigil outside Frank Maguire’s electoral office for the seat of Broadmeadows with further vigils for the State MLAs that represent our municipality here in Moreland: Jane Garrett, MP for Brunswick.

Community Vigil – Climate Action Moreland
Thursday, May 28 from 8.00 – 9.00am
Jane Garrett, Brunswick
Action on the corner of Nicholson St and Park St bike path, then deliver letter to her office at
Suite 1, 31 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East (near corner of Brunswick Rd and Nicholson Street)

May 12, 2015 at 11:47 am Leave a comment

Vigil to Replace Hazelwood – Lizzie Blandthorn MLA Pascoe Vale

Replace-Hazelwood
Climate Action Moreland urges local MPs to support strong action now to close Australia’s dirtiest power station, Hazelwood.

Our climate is getting hotter and more extreme, with more intense heat waves, more menacing bush fires, and more costly extreme events such as Superstorm Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Local climate change activists will approach Lizzie Blandthorn, MLA for Pascoe Vale, this Thursday when constituents will deliver a letter calling for the urgent closure of the world’s third dirtiest power station.

Community Vigil – Climate Action Moreland
Where: Electoral Office of Lizzie Blandthorn,
416a Bell Street, Pascoe Vale
When: Thursday at 7:30am – 8:30am
Register: on Facebook event

During the unprecedented 2009 Black Saturday bushfire period, there were 374 extra heat-stress-related deaths in Victoria, an average of more than 4.25 deaths for each Legislative Assembly electorate in Victoria.

The need to move quickly to replace dirty coal with clean renewable energy and jobs was highlighted in a new report from Oxford University’s Stranded Assets Programme, which identified the most-polluting, least-efficient and oldest “sub-critical” coal-fired power stations. (See Climate Council June 2014 report: Australia’s Electricity Sector: Ageing, Inefficient and Unprepared)

The report found 89% of Australia’s coal power station fleet is sub-critical, “by far” the most carbon-intensive sub-critical fleet in the world.

One quarter of Australia’s coal plants need to close within five years if Australians are to play an equitable part in keeping with government pledges.

The previous ALP state government showed promise in this matter”, said Gemma Williams, “We hope this current government will show strong leadership now.”

In 2010, then Labor premier John Brumby, in explaining his policy for a phased close-down of Hazelwood, told ABC radio listeners: “either you believe in closing Hazelwood or you don’t, and I do.”

Labor’s 2010 climate change legislation provided the reserve power to regulate emissions from existing brown coal-fired generators.

This legislation was undermined by the Baillieu government, and now is the time to restore the government’s capacity to regulate emissions.

We urge the development of a strong jobs package and an economic transition plan for the Latrobe Valley because the move from coal to clean wind and solar renewable energy is now both urgent and inevitable.

Climate Action Moreland will be taking these message to electors and other state MPs in Moreland:

  • Urgent action is required now to replace coal
  • Hazelwood can be shut without affecting power supplies, and
  • Coal is a major health hazard to Victorians.

Further Vigils

We will follow up our vigil outside Lizzie Blandthorn’s electoral office for the seat of Pascoe Vale with further vigils for the two other State MLAs that represent our municipality here in Moreland: Frank Maguire, MP for Broadmeadows and Jane Garrett, MP for Brunswick.

Community Vigil – Climate Action Moreland
Thursday, May 14 from 4.30-5.30pm
Frank McGuire, Broadmeadows
Meet at Broadmeadows Shopping Centre, Shop G42, Pascoe Vale Road, Broadmeadows

Community Vigil – Climate Action Moreland
Thursday, May 28 from 8.00 – 9.00am
Jane Garrett, Brunswick
Action on the corner of Nicholson St and Park St bike path, then deliver letter to her office at
Suite 1, 31 Nicholson Street, Brunswick East (near corner of Brunswick Rd and Nicholson Street)

April 27, 2015 at 9:51 am Leave a comment

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