Posts tagged ‘Hazelwood’
The official announcement of Hazelwood’s future has been made by French company Engie on the eve of the Paris Agreement coming into force and the start of the UN climate conference COP22: Hazelwood will close by end of March 2017.
Hazelwood is Australia’s, indeed the industrial world’s, most polluting power station.
We should celebrate this as a definite climate win. Climate Action Moreland, along with many other community groups, have been campaigning for closure of Hazelwood with a just transition for the workers and community since 2009.
Now we need a co-ordinated state and national plan to manage the energy transition to ensure just outcomes for workers and communities. There are more jobs in total in renewables, but they are unlikely to be in the same places as existing coal dependant communities. So we need to assist communities in this transition.
A few Climate Action Moreland members participated on Tuesday morning in a breakfast protest outside Engie’s local offices in Melbourne, calling for an early decision by Engie’s board to shut down the Hazelwood Power Station, one of the most polluting power stations in the industrial world.
Hazelwood is the worst polluting power station in the industrialised world. Other power stations in the La Trobe Valley are also heavy polluters. Current emissions intensity for Brown coal (lignite) in Victoria, Australia:
- Hazelwood 1.56TonneCO2/MWh,
- Yallourn 1.49TonneCO2/MWh,
- Loy Yang A 1.28TonneCO2/MWh, and
- Loy Yang B 1.24 tonneCO2/MWh
The Andrews Government needs to be working on transition planning for the LaTrobe Valley communities with the latest news from France that French company Engie is considering closure or sale of Hazelwood. The company’s major shareholder is the French state and French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal said on France TV that Engie needs to “disengage” with coal.
The Minister for Resources, Wade Noonan, commented: “The Government has been in contact with the mine’s owner Engie about this matter and I’m advised that no decision has been made,” Mr Noonan said. “Those discussions will continue. As the state’s new Resources Minister I look forward to meeting with the Latrobe Valley’s coal generators as well as local residents to discuss these issues.” as reported by the ABC.
If the Minister’s comments reflect the broader government attitude, it is a poor reflection on the ill-preparedness in the Victorian government for a just energy transition, especially after their April announcements following the mine fire inquiry recommendations.
The Andrews Government will increase coal royalties in the 2015/16 budget to approximately match the rate levied in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. This should be welcomed.
The rate will increase three fold from January 1st 2017 and is estimated to raise $252 million over the forward estimates over the next 4 years.
This will prove useful for helping to fund the health support for the LaTrobe Valley, as well as health and education expenditure for the state. $51.2 million was promised in the state budget to implement the recommendations of the Mine Fire Inquiry and improving health outcomes for the Valley.
On Friday the Andrews government announced in Morwell it’s response to the final landmark inquiry into the 2014 Hazelwood Mine Fire. This includes an initial $50 million in the Victorian state budget to implement the recommendations, and a major increase in the rehabilitation bonds for the three La Trobe Valley coal mines.
“The people of the Latrobe Valley have been completely vindicated. I’m so proud of their efforts. They never gave up and neither will we.” said Premier Dan Andrews.
The recommendations focus on 3 major areas: improving the health outcomes of the La Trobe Valley community, increased monitoring of air pollution, and improve progressive rehabilitation and end of life mine planning.
It highlights the importance of helping the La Trobe Valley transition away from coal, and in putting in place a just transition for the community. The increased focus on health and mine rehabilitation is a necessary first step for this transition.
A motion at the council meeting was debated and passed to send a letter to Premier Dan Andrews in support of the campaign.
The motion, passed 7 votes to 2, stated:
“That Council seeks to resolve to provide support for the Climate Action Moreland’s Build Renewable Energy – Replace Hazelwood Campaign by writing to the State Government to replace the Hazelwood power station with renewable energy.”
The action concurrs with other policy action of council including the Moreland CCAP (Community Climate Action Plan), Zero Carbon Evolution (ZCE) 2014 – 2020 plan for community wide greenhouse gas reduction, and the Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan 2015 – 2020 for Council’s own emissions.
Build renewable energy – Replace Hazelwood
Taking a strong message to Victorian cabinet ministers in the leadup to the May 2016 Victorian State budget
Event: 7.45-9.00am Friday 4 March at cnr Nicholson and Park Sts, North Fitzroy,
plus statement delivery to Jane Garrett, Minister for Emergency Services, 31 Nicholson St, East Brunswick
Register on Facebook Event
On the morning of Friday 4 March, Climate Action Moreland friends and supporters will be taking a strong message to local member and cabinet minister Jane Garrett. It is the first of ten such actions focussing on senior state government ministers telling them its time to act on climate change, energy sources and coal.
It’s time for the Victorian government to fund an ambitious program to build renewable energy and commence the closure of Australia’s dirtiest coal-power stations in the May 2016 State budget, consistent with the Premier’s ambition for Victoria to be the leader in climate policy.