Posts filed under ‘Labors Climate Record’

Move to end coal in Victoria by 2030

Tim Read MP with the Transition Away from Coal Bill

The Greens in the Legislative Council have presented legislation to a second reading to end coal mining, coal burning, and coal to hydrogen processing in Victoria by the end of 2030.

Greens Western Region MP Sarah Mansfield moved the second reading motion of the Energy and Resources Legislation Amendment (Transition Away from Coal) Bill 2023. It will come back for discussion in about 2 weeks time.

In her speech Mansfield acknowledges the Victorian Governments more ambitious climate targets for 2035, which will probably see coal power disappear by that date.

But Mansfield also takes note that brown coal mining could continue as part of coal to hydrogen for export to Japan, with the Government to attempt to sequester emissions in the depleted oil and gas wells in Bass Strait.


May 31, 2023 at 11:53 pm Leave a comment

Federal Budget2023 through a climate and sustainable lens

The Federal budget has provided a range of measures to address cost of living and also add to the energy transformation and address environmental reform. Some important initiatives include home energy efficiency upgrades, establishment of Australia’s first National Climate Risk Assessment and a National Adaptation Plan, establishment of Net Zero Authority, upgrading flood warning infrastructure, reducing transport emissions, investment in hydrogen.

But its measures don’t match the scale needed to address the climate emergency.

Some of the items of note:

  • $2bn for a new hydrogen power program, so Australia can be a “world leader in producing and exporting hydrogen power”.
  • $1bn in “low-cost loans for double-glazing, solar panels and other energy efficiency improvements that will make homes easier – and cheaper – to keep cool in summer and warm in winter”,
  • $300 million energy efficiency social housing upgrades;
  • direct energy bill relief of up to $500 for eligible households (ie, those presently receiving Government allowances) and up to $650 for small businesses.
  • $28.0 million over two years from 2023–24 to develop Australia’s first National Climate Risk Assessment and a National Adaptation Plan to understand the risks to Australia from climate change, invest in a plan to adapt to those risks, and commission an independent review of the Australian Climate Service.
  • $83.2 million over 4 years from 2023–24 to establish a national Net Zero Authority from 1 July to promote orderly and positive economic transformation associated with decarbonisation and energy system change in regional areas.
  • $20.9 million over 5 years from 2022–23 for initiatives to decarbonise the transport and infrastructure sectors including Fuel Emission Standards
  • $80.5 million over 4 years from 2023–24 to support the Australian critical minerals sector
  • Reform of the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax to increase receipts by $2.4 billion over the 5 years from 2022-23.
  • $236.0 million over 10 years from 2023–24 (and $13.9 million per year ongoing from 2032–33) to remediate high priority flood warning infrastructure and address critical reliability risks.
  • $121m over four years to establish Environment Protection Australia as part of an upcoming reform of conservation laws, and $51.5m for establishmment of Environment Information Australia, to provide data on the threatened species and ecosystems.
  • Health: $3.5bn boost to bulk billing that will help GPs provide free consultations to around 11.6 million eligible Australians.
  • Welfare: $4.9bn to increase working age and student income support payments including jobseeker, youth allowance, parenting payment (partnered), Austudy, Abstudy, youth disability support pension and special benefit. This will cover 1.1 million Australians. For Jobseeker those under 55 or over 60 will get another $40 a fortnight; those aged 55-59 will get $92.10 more a fortnight.. Increase to rent assistance by15 percent. ACOSS and student organisations have blasted this increase as greatly insufficient.

May 9, 2023 at 11:34 pm Leave a comment

Federal Government moves to establish National Net Zero Authority for Just Transition from 1 July

In a joint media release today Federal Government Ministers announced that a National Net Zero Authority would be established during the budget session with an aim to start from 1 July 2023. Unions Australia and some 60 organisations and community groups, including Climate Action Merribek, lobbied for a National Energy Transition Authority in the budget.

The new Authority will have responsibility for promoting the orderly and positive economic transformation associated with achieving net zero emissions. An agency located in Prime Minister and Cabinet will be setup first to outline more detailed structural arrangements in setting up the formal Authority.

The new, legislated Net Zero Authority will:

  1. Support workers in emissions-intensive sectors to access new employment, skills and support as the net zero transformation continues.
  2. Coordinate programs and policies across government to support regions and communities to attract and take advantage of new clean energy industries and set those industries up for success.
  3. Help investors and companies to engage with net zero transformation opportunities.

May 6, 2023 at 12:19 am Leave a comment

Timid steps in decarbonising transport with National Electric Vehicle Strategy

The National Electric Vehicle Strategy (NEVS) launched by Climate Minister Chris Bowen and Transport Minister Catherine King is an important first step to decarbonising vehicle transport in Australia. It provides a vision for transitioning Australia’s light vehicle fleet to zero emissions. The policy appears relatively timid lacking specific targets for phaseout of new petrol/diesel vehicles.

Much will depend on the formulation of the Fuel Emission Standards and how much ambition is encompassed in those standards. Whether certain stakeholders such as the Fossil fuel sector or the Motor Industry can successfully lobby for loopholes or watered down standards.

The major active part of the National Electric Vehicle strategy is setting Fuel Emissions Standards. This is still dependant on industry and public consultation for the next 6 weeks (See Consultation paper). It is hoped to have standards in place by end of 2023 or early 2024.

And hopefully firm targets for a ban on new petrol/diesel light vehicle sales.


April 21, 2023 at 2:22 pm Leave a comment

Labor & Greens Deal on Safeguard Mechanism a bare start for climate action, far from perfect in meeting science or climate targets

On Monday 27 March both the Climate minister Chris Bowen and Greens Leader Adam Bandt announced a deal had been reached on the Safeguard mechanism. The Liberals have completely dealt themselves out of all negotiations, even though the Safeguard mechanism was originally devised by Minister Greg Hunt as part of the Abbott Coalition Government.

The deal is far from perfect and does not match the science of no new fossil fuel projects, although it lets both the Labor Party and the Greens (and Teal independents) claim some success.

The originally proposed Safeguard mechanism proposal targeted the top 215 carbon polluters with a moving cap on emissions, a yearly emissions reduction of 4.9 percent, with polluters able to access Safeguard mechanism credits or Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) for up to 100 percent of their yearly emissions reduction commitment. Questions about the integrity of Carbon offsets was also debated, as well as the need for actual emissions reduction done at point of source.


March 28, 2023 at 11:30 pm Leave a comment

Protest at Peter Khalil ignoring constituents on climate policy

At short notice climate activists set up a protest outside Peter Khalil’s office on Sydney Road on Thursday March 16.

Climate Groups in Merri-bek have accused The Wills Labor MP of failing to consult, engage and listen to local groups and constituents on climate policy, particularly the formulation of the current Safeguard mechanism and use of carbon offsets, along with no proposal by the Labor Federal Government to stop the 113 new coal and gas projects in the development pipeline.

Peter Khalil promised after the last election in May 2022 to establish a climate and environment citizen advisory group for his electorate. We are yet to see any progress on this, despite several interactions asking about progress.

The IPCC 6th assessment reports, the International Energy Agency, and the UN Secretary General have all called for all new coal and gas projects to be stopped. Scientists have highlighted that emissions from present fossil fuels in production are likely to already push us beyond the 1.5C temperature target as laid down in the Paris Agreement in 2015.

The current proposed Safeguard Mechanism that applies to the 215 major polluters, allows for companies to buy 100 percent of carbon credits instead of doing actual point of source emissions reduction. It allows Fossil fuel producers under the scheme to buy offset credits rather than reduce emissions.


March 17, 2023 at 4:00 pm Leave a comment

Scientist open letter for no new coal and gas delivered to Wills MP Peter Khalil

On 10 March Climate Action Merribek Convenor John Englart delivered an open letter from scientists and climate experts to Peter Khalil’s office on Sydney Road Coburg.

118 scientists and climate experts have now signed this open letter. Climate Action Merribek signed in support via email on 23 February 2023. Some 50 Civil Society organisations have also signed in support of this open letter.

Peter Khalil has failed to consult, engage and listen to constutents and groups working in the climate space in his electorate of Wills over the proposed Safeguard mechanism. He has long promised to initiate an advisory committee on climate and environment which has failed to come to pass.


March 11, 2023 at 3:51 pm Leave a comment

Victoria sets offshore wind targets of 9GW by 2040

The Victorian Government has set new offshore wind farm targets. Currently there are no offshore wind farms operating in the state, although the Star of the South Project off the Gippsland Coast is well progressed in planning.

The new offshore wind targets:

  • 2032 – target of 2 GW 
  • 2035 – target of 4 GW 
  • 2040 – target of 9 GW 
  • 2050 – potential capacity of 13 GW

There are already 3 offshore wind farms on the drawing boards. The 2.1GW Star of the South is the most advanced offshore wind farm project, with estimated construction from 2025 and completion in 2028.


March 11, 2022 at 1:35 am Leave a comment

Labor Expanding gas extraction in Victoria against the climate science

The Labor State Government has been pro-active with some climate action and the energy transition in Victoria, but on gas the Government still subscribes to the view that gas production needs to be expanded, that gas is a transition fuel.

Minister for Resorces Jaala Pulford answering a question on Beach Energy gas well under the 12 Apostles

This is despite key several scientific and energy assessments that argue that no more new fossil fuel projects should be embarked upon.


September 19, 2021 at 6:48 pm 1 comment

Brunswick MP opposes Victorian Labor Government vote to lift gas ban

Dr Tim Read and Dr Samantha Ratanam – Don’t mention the Climate Emergency

We saw the real vandals in Victorian state parliament on June 3, 2020 in worsening the climate crisis – members of the Labor Party, Liberal Party and Nationals who all voted to lift the moratorium on onshore gas exploration and extraction. They all justified their actions saying gas is a transition fuel, but due to the underestimation of fugiture emissions and methane’s much greater global warming potential over 20 year time frame, it is far worse than coal. The Labor Party have no plans to transition residential, commercial or industrial customers away from gas.

“At some point opening up fossil fuel reserves so we can pump more carbon into the atmosphere will start to look like vandalism, and I believe we have reached that point now.” said Dr Tim Read, the Greens MP for Brunswick.

” And if it feels like vandalism now, what will it feel like in a decade when global heating is worse, when we have seen more climate change here and around the world and the damage it has caused?”

June 8, 2020 at 12:50 am Leave a comment

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5 months to go.

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