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4.3 billion tonnes of emissions is not OK
The Australia Institute welcomes the opportunity to appeal Report 1727 North West Shelf Project Extension Proposal. The role of the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) is to prevent, control and abate pollution and environmental harm. In recommending the approval of a 50-year extension of Australia’s most polluting fossil fuel project, the North West Shelf
Renewables & rural Australia
The technological shift away from coal to renewable energy for electricity generation is also a spatial shift. We are moving electricity generators to new dedicated Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) in parts of rural Australia that have not hosted energy utilities at this scale before. This report presents the first significant analysis of the spatial aspect
Foreign investment in Australia
New research reveals the companies profiting from the $62.5 billion LNG industry exporting Australian gas – a key driver of shock domestic gas prices for households and business – are on average 95.7% foreign owned. The research also reveals that the top 20 ASX listed companies in Australia are, on average, 80% foreign owned, with US ownership alone almost triple Australian
Next stop: Zero emissions buses by 2030
Shifting from private passenger vehicle use to zero emissions public transport will help curb Australia’s rising transport emissions. When considering other factors, such as population growth – particularly in urban areas – and the significant non-CO2 pollutant emissions associated with traditional diesel buses, it is clear that electrification of buses should be a central pillar
Polling – What is ‘clean hydrogen’?
The government defines ‘clean hydrogen’ as “hydrogen produced using renewable energy or using fossil fuels with substantial carbon capture and storage.”
Brown Coal, Greenwash
Despite being labelled as ‘clean energy’, none of the emissions HESC has produced in its pilot phase have been buried through Carbon Capture and Storage.
APPEA members who pay no income tax
Five of Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association’s (APPEA) most prominent member companies have paid no income tax for at least the past seven years despite combined income from their Australian operations of $138 billion. A sixth company, Santos, paid just $6 million on $28.9 billion of income, and paid no income tax from 2015
COP29 in Australia
Australia has never hosted a United Nations climate conference (COP) and the recent proposal from the Labor Party to bid for the 2024 COP in partnership with the Pacific could shift Australia’s reputation from climate laggard to regional leader. This shift should be accompanied by substantive changes to Australia’s climate policy, including on Australia’s climate
An Environmental Fig Leaf
Emissions have increased under Australia’s only climate policy, the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).
Over a Barrel
Australia is precariously dependent on imported fuel. Demand-side solutions, particularly electrifying transport, should be adopted to improve Australia’s fuel security and increase energy independence.
Waratah Coal v Youth Verdict court case
The Australia Institute’s Research Director Rod Campbell was an expert witness in the precedent-setting case against Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal Project in the Galilee Basin. The case was brought by Indigenous-led Queensland group Youth Verdict, who were represented by the Environmental Defenders’ Office (EDO).
Hot air won’t stop global warming
The Australian Government has identified carbon trading as a means to “work together to bring down emissions” across the Indo-Pacific region and to “help countries meet and report against their NDCs” through the use of carbon markets. It is unclear how Australia’s plans for fossil fuel expansion and pursuit of cheap abatement overseas will bring down emissions or help countries meet their climate targets.
Review of Tasmania’s Living Marine Resource Management Act 1995
Tasmania hosts some of the highest marine diversity and endemism on Earth, world’s best practice expertise in marine science and governance, and punches above its weight in economic contributions, thanks to our ocean.
Glendell Continued Operations Project
The economic assessments of the Glendell proposal overstate its benefits and understate its costs. Applying current carbon prices to only its direct emissions gives a net present value of between negative $460 and negative $570 million. This excludes consideration of the potential heritage and biodiversity impacts.
Fossil fuel subsidies in Australia (2021-22)
In 2021-22, Australian Federal and state governments provided a total of $11.6 billion worth of spending and tax breaks to assist fossil fuel industries. This is a 12% increase on last year’s figure and 56 times the budget of the National Recovery and Resilience Agency. Over the longer term, $55.3 billion is committed to subsidising gas and oil extraction, coal-fired power, coal railways, ports, carbon capture and storage, and other measures.
Freedom of Information documents show that when designing the ERF CCS method, the Clean Energy Regulator consulted almost exclusively with fossil fuel companies and big emitters, while actively excluding independent researchers.
Cruisin’ for an exclusion
Government efforts to increase the supply of carbon credits in Australia suggest that proposed administrative changes to the Carbon Farming Initiative Regulations may be used as an opportunity to allow excluded projects to participate in the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF).
Allowing carbon credit projects on land that has been recently or illegally cleared would both incentivise land clearing and undermine the purpose of the ERF in reducing emissions.
Carbon cowboys and cattle ranches
The proposed REDD+ project in Oro Province of PNG covers an area twice the size of London and is expected to generate a huge 800 million carbon credits over its lifetime.
However, the available evidence fails to provide any assurance that this project has integrity, raising broader concerns about the types of carbon credits that Australia, other countries, and the private sector may use to meet their emission reduction commitments.
Submission: Cost recovery framework for the Northern Territory onshore petroleum industry
The Australia Institute made a submission to the consultation process regarding Recommendation 14.1 of the NT Fracking Inquiry, “That prior to the granting of any further production approvals, the Government designs and implements a full cost-recovery system for the regulation of any onshore shale gas industry.”
Narrabri Underground Mine Stage 3 Extension
The Department of Planning and Environment recommends approval of the project based on economic benefits, but finds these benefits reduce “significantly” if greenhouse emissions are properly accounted for. The Department did not quantify the significant reduction. Applying a carbon price of between $24.50/t and $73/t reduces the value of the project to zero. Such carbon
Submission to the Capacity mechanism project initiation paper
The Australia Institute has been involved throughout the Energy Security Board’s (ESB) project to create a Post 2025 design for the National Electricity Market (NEM). In this submission we address the ESB’s proposal to design a capacity market mechanism as a way of managing energy reliability as coal power stations retire. The problem the ESB
Rebuilding Vehicle Manufacturing in Australia
Global automotive manufacturing is rapidly transitioning to the production of Electric Vehicles (EVs) in line with technological advancements and the global community’s commitment to addressing climate change. This transition presents an enormous opportunity for Australia to rebuild its vehicle manufacturing industry, taking advantage of our competitive strengths in renewable energy, extractive industries, manufacturing capabilities, and
Submission: Low Emissions Technology Statement 2022
The Low Emissions Technology Statement 2022 should measure progress based on achieved and potential emissions reductions for each priority technology, undertake proper consultation and elevate technologies that do not enable fossil fuels.
Submission on Darwin Pipeline Duplication
The Australia Institute made a submission on Santos’ proposed Darwin Pipeline Duplication project that aims to facilitate carbon capture and storage in the oil and gas fields north of Darwin. Aside from the low likelihood of successful carbon capture and storage eventuating, the aim of the project appears to be to increase gas exports through
Investors in mining are backing electrification resources over fossil fuels. In the year to October 2021, just one fossil fuel company listed on the ASX, while 42 companies listed that target electrification minerals copper, nickel, lithium cobalt, graphite and rare earths. Over half the companies aim to mine in Western Australia, with another seven headquartered
The LNG industry portrays itself as essential to WA’s economy, a sentiment echoed by the WA Government. However, LNG industry contributes just 1% of the WA state budget and two thirds of Western Australia’s gas is effectively given away by the Western Australian and Australian Governments with almost no royalties or tax being paid. The
This report examines the policies of the largest Australian superannuation funds, highlighting their investments in companies involved in nuclear weapons development, production and maintenance (nuclear weapons companies).
Santos’ CCS scam
Santos is trying to access Australia’s small amount of climate funding to subsidise increased fossil fuel extraction through a highly polluting activity known as enhanced oil recovery (EOR) – a process Santos has been using continuously since the mid-1980s. Numerous company documents show that Santos’ Moomba CCS project includes EOR and Enhanced Gas Recovery (EGR).