Why we should pause approvals of new coal mines

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Why are new coal mines like melting ice cream? In today’s episode, Richard Denniss explains the economics of coal, why Malcolm Turnbull has been in trouble with the Liberals and why we need to pause approvals of new coal mines. Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director, the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guest: Richard Denniss, chief economist,

Upper Hunter Polling: Majority of Voters Agree with Turnbull Call for Moratorium on New Coal Mines

The majority of voters (57.4%) in the NSW state seat of Upper Hunter support former PM Malcolm Turnbull’s call for a moratorium on new coal mine approvals and a remediation plan for existing mines for the Hunter Valley. The Australia Institute surveyed a nationally representative sample of 686 residents in the NSW state seat of

Right now we’re choosing not to solve our biggest problems

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

It’s incredible what can happen in a year. This time last year Australia was heading into lockdowns and recession. The Treasurer was still sipping on his “Back in Black” mug and clinging to the idea that any stimulus spending would be small, targeted and temporary, and hundreds of thousands of Australians were still recovering from

March 2021

Batteries and Renewables to Provide Secure Energy Future: New Report

New research from The Australia Institute, commissioned to assist the Energy Security Board’s redesign of the National Electricity Market, has shown that batteries and clean energy are poised to replace the system security that has historically been provided by coal. The technical study was written by leading energy economist Professor Bruce Mountain and battery expert

Australia Institute Welcomes South Australian Opposition’s Plan for Green Hydrogen

The Australia Institute has welcomed the State Labor Opposition’s hydrogen energy plan for South Australia. “Clean sources of power, including green hydrogen produced from 100% renewable electricity, are the future of energy. Putting South Australia at the centre of the global energy transition is the smart thing to do,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, SA Director at

Roderick Campbell writes: Recommending approval of a mine based on economic assessment that not only lost in court, but lost in court against you, is a new level of crazy

by Rod Campbell in The Newcastle Herald

What would happen in your industry if a judge described someone’s methodology as “inflated”, “lacking evidentiary foundation” and “plainly wrong”? If your industry would stop using that methodology, then you probably are not an economist and you don’t work for coal companies. Exactly this happened in 2019 and, with no change and no reflection, the

Australia Institute Welcomes SA Government Back Down on EV Tax

The Australia Institute has welcomed the decision from the South Australian Government not to introduce an electric vehicle tax in July of this year. “The Australia Institute welcomes the decision of the South Australian Government, but a delay of one year is not enough,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, SA Director at The Australia Institute. “This EV

February 2021

Rebounding Transport & Agriculture Sectors will Cause Emissions to Soar

As Covid travel restrictions ease and Australia’s agriculture sector rebounds from years of crippling drought, new research from the Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program shows that the recoveries of the Transport and Agriculture sectors will cause Australia’s emissions rise significantly—reversing emissions reductions made in 2020 and setting Australia’s emissions back to pre-2018 heights. The

Gas Industry Cuts 10% of its Workforce

New Australia Institute analysis estimates that the oil and gas industry cut around 10 percent of its workforce in the 12 months to December last year. Despite this, the Government is continuing to hand out large taxpayer subsidies to the industry as part of its “Gas-Fired Recovery JobMaker Plan.” If all Australian industries had behaved

Scott Morrison knows setting a net zero target means picking a fight with the National party

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

The prime minister’s initial target of beginning the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines “as soon as January” is in tatters and mid-February is looking shaky. Likewise, the target of “fully vaccinating” some 26 million Australians by October. But just because someone fails to hit a target doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have set it. On the contrary,

January 2021

Summer special: Climate of the Nation with Matt Kean

featuring Noah Schultz-Byard and Richie Merzian

In our summer special series, we bring you some of our favourite guests from the Australia Institute’s webinar series in 2020. In this episode, Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program director at the Australia Institute speakers with Matt Kean, NSW Minister for Energy and the Environment to launch the Australia Institute’s Climate of the Nation

December 2020

Now more than ever we should be strengthening democracy. We’re not.

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

by Ben Oquist [Originally published by the Canberra Times, 26 December 2020] On climate policy, both the election of Joe Biden and the acrimony from China should make Australia’s transition away from coal easier, though more urgent. Likewise, the strains that democracies are under around the world, especially in the United States, make the case

Economy, Health, Climate Change Top Voter Issues in 2020

New research from The Australia Institute has shown that the economy, health and climate change were the top three issues of concern for Australian voters in the second half of 2020. The Australia Institute surveyed nationally representative samples of over 1,000 Australians each month from August about what they think is the most important national

Stop believing in fairytales: Australia’s coal industry doesn’t employ many people or pay its fair share of tax

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

Just as people in the Middle Ages mistakenly believed the sun revolved around the Earth, many modern-day Australians mistakenly believe our economy revolves around the coal industry. Of course, such misunderstandings aren’t an indictment of those who have been misled, but those who did the misleading. Galileo was imprisoned for life for the “heresy” of

Transport Emissions Returning to Pre-Covid Highs

New research from the Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program shows that while the COVID pandemic provided a brief respite from some fossil fuel emissions, in sectors like transport—which lacks any climate-abatement policy—emissions are quickly rising back to pre-pandemic heights. The Australia Institute’s analysis indicates that returning to business as usual post-pandemic will not be

$50 Million Hand-Out to Northern Territory Frackers

The Federal Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt, has today announced a $50 million taxpayer-funded subsidy to fracking companies in the Northern Territory. “Subsidising oil and gas fracking is the last thing governments should be doing from both an economic and climate perspective,” said Rod Campbell, Research Director at The Australia Institute.

States are leading the way in the climate power shift

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published by the Canberra Times, 12 Dec 2020] 2020 has seen a shift in the balance of power. Not in the Senate, but between the Federal Government and the States.   All last summer during the bushfires—while the Prime Minister was infamously not holding a hose—it was the Premiers and Chief Ministers who

Statement on Government’s Future Fuels Strategy Discussion Paper

“This discussion paper is an admission of failure from the government when it comes to electric vehicles,” said Richie Merzian, Director of The Australia Institute’s Climate & Energy Program. “After waiting years for a much touted electric vehicle strategy, Australia now has little more than a wafer thin discussion paper that doesn’t even exclusively focus

Until recently, pressure on Australia to drop carryover credits had little impact. But times change

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss [Originally published by Guardian Australia, 09 December 2020] Political pressure makes the impossible inevitable. Unfortunately, so much has been written about how democracy is broken, that it can seem churlish to point out that sometimes it works just as it is designed to: slowly, imperfectly and then suddenly. Take, for example, Scott

An unprecedented year: reflecting on 2020 with Richard Denniss

featuring Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss

Let’s face it, 2020 has been a bit of a nightmare. This week, in our final episode of the year, Ebony Bennett and Richard Denniss revisit some of the Australia Institute’s predictions back in March 2020 and reflect on the way Australia’s economy and politics have changed this year in response to the pandemic. Mild

The myth of Australia’s gas supply shortage

featuring Ebony Bennett and Mark Ogge

The ‘gas-fired recovery’ is supposed to help Australia’s manufacturing industry by freeing up new supply. But the Australia Institute’s research shows the days of cheap gas are over. www.tai.org.au Host: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennettGuests: Mark Ogge, Principal Advisor // @MarkOgge Producer: Jennifer Macey Theme music is by Jonathan McFeat

The US Election result and what it means for Australia

featuring Ebony Bennett, Richie Merzian and Allan Behm

In this episode we unpack what a Biden Administration means for climate and foreign policy in Australia, with Richie Merzian and Allan Behm. The Australia Institute // @theAusinstituteHost: Ebony Bennett, deputy director of the Australia Institute // @ebony_bennett Guests: Richie Merzian, director Climate & Energy Program // @richiemerzian Allan Behm, director International & Security Affairs program

Media Enquiries

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anna@australiainstitute.org.au