February 2020

Putting the ‘net’ into net zero targets: it’s time to start doing things that work. Now

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on Guadian Australia, 19 Feb 2020] After a summer of catastrophic bushfires, the most brutal evidence of the impacts of climate change, the Government has managed to move the debate towards the ‘pros and cons’ of setting a long-term net zero emissions target for 2050. Well played, Scott Morrison. While #Scottyfrommarketing

Up ‘effluent creek’: Basin Plan projects to damage sensitive waterways

Some of the Murray Darling Basin’s best managed waterways would be damaged by water infrastructure projects that benefit major corporate irrigators, according to a new report by water consultants Slattery & Johnson and think tank The Australia Institute. The Yanco Creek System, which links the Murrumbidgee and the Murray rivers, is declared a “jewel” of

Bushfire Response: International Experts Open Letter Call for Native Logging Ban

An open letter signed by Australian and international forestry and climate experts, published by the Australia Institute today, has called for the immediate nationwide cessation of all native forest logging in response to the climate, fire, drought and biodiversity loss crises currently facing Australia. The letter, signed by scientists from countries including Australia, USA, Canada, New

Equinor Out – Time to Give Great Australian Bight World Heritage Protection

The Australia Institute has welcomed reports that Norwegian oil giant Equinor is withdrawing from its plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight and has said that the Federal and South Australian governments should now move towards permanent protection and World Heritage listing for the Bight. Australia Institute research has previously shown that

Net-Zero by 2050 Emissions Target Provides Community & Business Certainty

“A net-zero target by 2050 provides Australian communities and businesses with long-term certainty and direction. The Australia Institute welcomes the announcement, which aligns with the targets of every Australian state and territory,” said Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director at the Australia Institute. “More policy will of course be needed to work out how

Beechworth Principles Strong Step Towards Federal Anti-Corruption Watchdog

The Australia Institute and National Integrity Committee has welcomed Independent MP Helen Haines’ Beechworth Principles as a positive step towards the legislation of a proper Federal Anti-Corruption watchdog with teeth. “After joining the crossbench’s strong call for a federal anti-corruption watchdog, it is encouraging to see Helen Haines backing those sentiments with action with the

Child Classifications Must Include Gambling in Computer Games

The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has called for an extension in the way computer games are classified, to capture design architecture that exposes children to addictive, gambling-based content in many common games. In a submission to the Department of Communications review into the classification system, the Centre for Responsible Technology argues that the

Until we stop approving gas and coal projects, there’s no transition taking place

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published in The Canberra Times, 08 February 2020]There’s a hole where Australia’s climate and energy policy should be and the Morrison Government just keeps digging. The cheapest, cleanest solutions are right in front of its nose and yet it keeps subsidising the problem. In the face of a climate-fuelled bushfire crisis the

Scott Morrison talks big about pressure on gas prices but says nothing about flooding markets with coal

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on Guardian Australia, 05 February 2020] If you think the quality of debate about climate change and bushfires is bad, allow me to give you a glimpse into the debate over the link between the supply and demand of fossil fuels and their price. Spoiler alert – according to the Morrison

NSW Coal More Polluting than Total UK Emissions, Should be Considered by Planners

New research from The Australia Institute shows that the New South Wales Government’s attempts to force planners to ignore the carbon emissions of the state’s coal exports contradicts NSW climate policy, the Paris Agreement, corporate expectations and economic opportunities for growth. Key findings NSW coal emissions are bigger than direct emissions from France and the

January 2020

Army Call-Out ‘Political Theatre’ that Raises Legal Questions

New research by The Australia Institute finds that the Commonwealth’s ‘call-out’ of Army Reserves for bushfire relief served political rather than practical purposes, raising serious legal questions around the use of the military. The Prime Minister today announced the call-out of Army Reserves for bushfire relief would end on February 7, with some reservists ending their

No one job is worth saving at the expense of climate catastrophe. Not even Scott Morrison’s

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on Guardian Australia, 22 January 2020] Would the prime minister rule out protecting Australians from terrorism if it cost a single job? Would he promise that no nurse, teacher or other public servant would be sacked in pursuit of a budget surplus? Of course not. But when it comes to preventing

Survey Reveals: Bushfires Cost 1.8 million Work Days, Leave 5 Million Sick from Smoke

New national survey research from The Australia Institute reveals most Australians have been personally impacted by the bushfires and smoke, including millions missing work or suffering health impacts. Additionally, the research shows concern about the impacts of climate change are especially high among those directly affected by the fires, as is the wish for the

‘Watergate’ water “not value for money” even at half price according to Department

Research released by The Australia Institute today reveals new information on the Commonwealth’s controversial purchase of water rights in the Condamine Balonne valley for $80 million in 2017. The Government has refused to release independent valuations of the water rights, despite requests from the Senate, with newly released documents showing similar deals had been repeatedly

Australia’s Interests in the Middle East Better Served by Diplomacy than a Military Deployment

Australia’s extensive interests in the Middle East would be better served by an active and well-resourced diplomacy than tokenistic actions such as the deployment of small and ultimately inconsequential military forces, according to a new report released by the Australia Institute today. As Australia sends a deployment to the Strait of Hormuz, President Trump’s decision

Fossil Fuel Levy for Fire Recovery Would Boost SA Jobs and Economy

A National Climate Disaster Fund, financed by a levy on fossil fuel producers, would help South Australia to recover from the current bushfire crisis and prepare for the worsening fire seasons expected in the future, a leading think tank has said. The Australia Institute is proposing the creation of a National Climate Disaster Fund, financed by a

New Tasmanian Leader an Opportunity to Change Direction on Privatisation, Transparency

The Australia Institute wishes Premier Will Hodgman, one of Tasmania’s most popular premiers, all the best for his future endeavours. The Premier can be proud of many of his achievements, particularly leading the government into a pro-renewable energy stance. Will Hodgman’s retirement will present both a challenge and opportunity for the Tasmanian Government, The Australia

Concern about climate escalates as bushfire crisis continues: Climate of the Nation polling

The current bushfire crisis has intensified Australians’ concern about climate change and its impacts, according to new polling from the Australia Institute’s Climate of the Nation. The Australia Institute commissioned YouGov, which surveyed 1,033 Australians between 8 and 12 January 2020 on issues relating to climate change and the bushfires. Climate of the Nation is

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