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

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

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

‘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

Most conservatives know prevention is better than cure – except when it comes to climate change

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published by the Guardian Australia] If only Scott Morrison was as willing to spend money preventing climate change as he is to spend it on disaster repair. The idea that a “stitch in time saves nine” and “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” was once central to the conservative approach

Fund fire recovery with climate tax

by Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Australian Financial Review, 07 Jan 2020] If Australia and other countries meet their current emission reduction targets bushfires are still going to get much, much worse. Over the past century, humans have caused the world to warm by one degree, but if Australia and the rest of the world

December 2019

‘It’s the Thought That Counts’ – $980m of Christmas gifts will go to waste: The Australia Institute

New research from The Australia Institute has revealed that nearly one third of Australians (30%) are expecting to receive a gift that they will never use this Christmas.  Three in ten (30%), or approximately 7.3 million Australians will receive gifts they expect they will never use or wear this Christmas, representing a total value of

November 2019

Australia’s dirty great secret

by Fergus Green & Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Australian Financial Review, 26 November 2019] The amount of fossil fuels that companies and governments around the world expect to extract over the coming decade is startlingly out of kilter with the imperative to maintain a stable climate system – and Australia is a large part

I was there for the 2003 fires. Let’s not let the same thing happen again

by Ebony Bennett in The Canberra Times

by Ebony Bennett[Originally published in the Canberra Times, 18 November 2019] I was a cub reporter working in the press gallery for the Sydney Morning Herald when bushfires engulfed Canberra in 2003, claiming four lives and almost 500 homes. It’s seared in my memory, as I’m sure it is for a lot of Canberrans. I’ve been thinking

Climate change makes bushfires worse. Denying the truth doesn’t change the facts

by Richard Denniss in The Guardian

by Richard Denniss[Originally published on the Guardian Australia, 13 November 2019] It’s not just climate protesters who powerful voices are trying to silence in Australia, it’s anyone who wants to talk about the bigger-picture causes to the problems Australia is facing. In modern Australia it has become “inappropriate” to talk about why our rivers are

The Prime Minister needs to get real on climate

by Richard Denniss[Originally published in the Financial Review, 11 November 2019] Despite Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s best efforts, Australia has a target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions in 31 years’ time. His suggestions that Labor’s renewable energy target of 50 per cent by 2030 is an economic “wrecking ball” is as pointless and wrong

Equinor Knocked Back Again: NOPSEMA Cites ‘Oil Spill Risk’ and Other Issues

The offshore oil and gas regulator NOPSEMA has once again taken issue with the environmental plan submitted by Equinor as part of their attempts to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight. Citing a lack of information relating to ‘consultation, source control, oil spill risk, and matters protected under Part 3 of the Environment Protection

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