October 2022

September 2022

We pay billions to subsidise Australia’s fossil fuel industry. This makes absolutely no economic sense

by Richard Denniss in The Conversation

Fossil fuel subsidies from major economies including Australia reached close to US$700 billion in 2021, almost doubling from 2020, according to new analysis by the International Energy Agency and OECD. These subsidies are expected to keep rising in 2022 as governments worldwide attempt to use fossil fuel subsidies to shield customers from the high energy prices caused

August 2022

Fight for climate peace starts now

by Ebony Bennett

AS PEOPLE gathered for the electric vehicle summit in Canberra yesterday, the hope in the air was palpable. But despite the Albanese government’s rhetoric, the so-called climate wars are far from over. In reality, the fight for meaningful climate peace is only just beginning. The policy struggle now is not between Labor and the Coalition,

July 2022

Ignoring warnings of Europe’s extreme heatwave locks Australia into a worst-case scenario

by Mark Ogge in The Guardian

The unprecedented heatwave and fires engulfing Europe might seem a long way away, but they are a frightening portent of what’s in store for Australia. Britain has just experienced its highest temperature ever, extreme conditions and fires are sweeping Spain, Portugal, France and Greece. This is just the latest in a string of extreme events

Australia’s farcical climate policy: market forces to cut emissions and subsidies to destroy carbon sinks

by Richard Denniss

Climate change often gets blamed on market failure, but government failure plays a pretty big role as well. Not only do Australian governments spend more than $11.6 billion per year subsidising fossil fuels, at the same time the Federal Government spends billions paying some landholders to grow more trees, state governments perversely continue to subsidise

June 2022

‘We want to be part of that movement’: residents embrace renewable energy but worry how their towns will change

by Dan Cass in The Conversartion

Amid soaring energy costs, the new Labor government is working to deliver a A$20 billion pledge to rebuild and modernise Australia’s electricity grid. It will help deliver a plan for 122 gigawatts of new renewable energy in the National Electricity Market by 2050, eventually replacing coal generation. The transition will bring significant social, economic and environmental change. Electricity generation

Gaslighting Australia

by Richard Denniss in The Monthly

Local gas suppliers aren’t in crisis – soaring prices are going according to plan The Australian gas industry isn’t in crisis; it’s in heaven. Its profits and share prices are rising even faster than its greenhouse gas emissions, and everything is going according to the plan it has been working on for more than a

March 2022

All of us pay for natural disasters like Qld and NSW floods

by Ebony Bennett in Canberra Times

Defence Minister Peter Dutton’s no doubt well-meaning attempt to raise money for Queensland flood victims though a GoFundMe appeal this week revealed two concerning disconnects from reality. One was the Government’s failure to grasp the scope of the new era of climate disasters we now face. The second was a failure to meet expectations for

February 2022

Largest coal plant to close early, but where is the national roadmap to manage the rest?

by Richie Merzian in The New Daily

Australia’s largest power station is shutting down in 2025, seven years early. Origin Energy, having bought the power station from the New South Wales government less than 10 years ago, now wants to retire its last remaining coal asset. Upon announcement, the Origin Energy CEO stated “the reality is the economics of coal-fired power stations

January 2022

December 2021

November 2021

Audacity of hype: Scott Morrison is betting voters will settle for plans over performance

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

Scott Morrison thrives in the empty space between three-year terms and 30-year plans. Whether it is climate change, nuclear submarines or budget repair – it is no accident the prime minister with the shortest planning horizon in living memory is our greatest announcer of long-run plans. While the vacuousness of Morrison’s net-zero “plan” and his

October 2021

Scott Morrison’s ‘net zero by 2050’ emissions reduction plan will be filled with tricks and rorts

by Ben Oquist in The Canberra Times

Sometime this month Scott Morrison will announce a net zero by 2050 emissions-reduction target for Australia. This announcement will be made with the expectation of praise. However, much like the world was indifferent when Australia signalled it would no longer be using Kyoto credits to meet its Paris targets, so too will this announcement be

September 2021

Richard Denniss: Australia’s carbon credits are a joke. Taxpayer money is being wasted on ‘hot air’

by Richard Denniss in The New Daily

If a tree doesn’t fall in a forest, was the climate really saved? Sadly, such esoteric questions have become the main game in the topsy-turvy world of Australian climate policy, where rising emissions from the oil and gas industry are ‘offset’ by not chopping down trees. The polite term for the creation of dodgy carbon

August 2021

July 2021

Coming soon: The carbon taxes that cannot be repealed

by Richie Merzian and Frank Muller in The New Daily

Carbon taxes are coming to Australia whether we like it or not. They are coming despite the triumphant ‘axing of the tax’ in 2014. They are coming despite the updated but equally loud ‘technology not taxes’ sloganeering from the Morrison government in 2021. They are coming despite our government’s refusal to commit to a net-zero

June 2021

Richard Denniss explains why he’s returning his alumni award for National Leadership the University of Newcastle in the wake of Mark Vaile’s appointment as chancellor

by Richard Denniss in Newcastle Herald

You can’t be a leader if you follow people down the wrong path, which is why, with a heavy heart, I am returning the alumni award for National Leadership the University of Newcastle bestowed on me in 2017. I cannot understand how the council of a university whose motto is “I look ahead” could appoint

May 2021

Australian subsidies give oil refineries the whole carrot farm while electric vehicles get the stick

by Richie Merzian in The Guardian

The only viable long-term solution to our liquid fuel insecurity is to get off fossil fuels. Instead we are giving them taxpayer handouts When I was a kid, every year in early December we would go to the Geelong oil refinery in Corio. The refinery’s fire engine would cruise around, flash its lights and hand

The government’s embrace of ‘clean hydrogen’ helps no one but the fossil fuel industry

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

Nothing captures prime minister Scott Morrison’s approach to climate change better than his embrace of “clean hydrogen” – a BS marketing term that delivers nothing but obfuscation and helps no one but the fossil fuel industry. Tellingly, this approach isn’t even new: Morrison has simply dusted off an old polluter playbook and changed a few

April 2021

How can NSW allow new coalmines while committing to net zero emissions? It’s bizarre

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

New mines won’t boost world demand for Australian coal — but they will cannibalise jobs from existing coalmines The New South Wales government is simultaneously committed to a net-zero emissions target for 2050 at the same time as new coalmines in the Hunter Valley with the capacity to produce 10 times more coal than Adani’s

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