Monthly Archives: May 2017

June 1, 2008 – Liberals demand solar panel action, via skydiving stunt

Bernard Keane, a journo with Crikey, wrote a great piece in 2010, while Environment Minister Peter ‘Midnight Oil’ Garrett was getting pilloried in the media (The Rudd caravan’s wheels were beginning to fall off). Keane pointed out that some of Garrett’s critics had been saying different things less than two years previously.  One of those critics, Greg Hunt, would be Environment Minister under Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull..

Oddly, this is the Greg Hunt who throughout 2008 opportunistically joined the Greens in bagging Garrett for not rolling the solar panels program out quickly enough, after Garrett introduced a means test on the solar panel rebate to slow the remarkable demand for the program.  In June 2008, Hunt went skydiving — anyone remember that? — to demonstrate that the solar industry was in “freefall — but unlike me it doesn’t have a soft landing ahead of it”.

And here is more info-

Shadow minister throws himself out of a plane

2008 06 01 hunt plane

 

 

 

 

May 31, 1995 – Keating and MCA hold a meet-up; 2007, Shergold Report…

The Australian Mining Industry Council had been digging a deeper and deeper hole for itself (geddit?).  And, with the exception of the carbon tax battle (which was actually under the command of the Industry Greenhouse Network), they’d been losing. So they re-branded and went for lobbying instead of hearts and minds, as the article below mentions. Industry learns, on occasion…

Leaders of AMIC, now the Minerals Council of Australia, met with the Prime Minister, Paul Keating, for three hours on Wednesday [31 May] to discuss regional relations, trade liberalisation and relations with Japan and Indonesia.

In line with the recommendations of a report by the Allen Consulting Group, the MCA is putting increased emphasis on lobbying rather than public campaigning.

Mr Buckingham said the way the industry had helped persuade the Government to drop the proposed carbon tax and increase in diesel excise showed the benefits of its approach. “Where access [to senior levels of Government] is required there is confidence that that access will be given.”

Davis, I. 1995. New name, image for industry group. Canberra Times, 2 June, p.12

And, of equal import, ten years ago today the so-called ‘Shergold Report’ was released, six months after John Howard had u-turned.

The Prime Ministerial Task Group on Emissions Trading releases the ‘Shergold Report’ which recommends Australia develop an emissions trading scheme.

 

 

Also on this day

31 May 2011: Garnaut address to National Press Club makes clear “reliance on regulatory approaches and direct action for reducing carbon emissions is likely to be immensely more expensive than a market economy.”

2012 “At which point Combet burst into song: ‘Cabramatta Parramatta, Wangaratta, Coolangatta-” put the punchline is: “Everywhere is doomed, man”.’  Paul Keating and Peter Costello would have been proud.”

Oakes, L. 2012. Abbott is the high priest of pessimism. The Australian, 2 June.

See also http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/national/mr-cool-loses-it-as-heat-applied/story-e6freooo-1226377873961 which says “yesterday” in a piece published 1 june (oakes is writing days later)

May 30, 2007 – Kevin Rudd promises 60% by 2050 reduction…

Referring to Kevin Rudd’s  An Action Agenda for Climate Change, Annual F2007 05 30 rudd action agenda for climate changeraser Lecture, Belconnen Labor Club, Canberra, 30 May 2007 (Australian Labor Party, Canberra: 2007).
Macintosh, (2008, page 52) notes that 

“The Labor Party, led by Kevin Rudd, promised a more progressive approach. It pledged to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, establish a target of reducing Australia’s emissions by 60 per cent on 2000 levels by 2050 and create an emissions trading scheme by 2010.”

Also on this day

1995 AMIC begins to rebrand itself as the Minerals Council of Australia…

Davis, M. 1995. Mining Council does post-Mabo revamp. BRW, 29 May

1996

Callick, R. 1996. Greenhouse tax off the agenda, Hill tells miners. The Australian Financial Review 31 May.

The Federal Government’s promise of no new taxes included carbon and other so-called greenhouse taxes, the Minister for the Environment, Senator Robert Hill, told the Minerals Council of Australia in Canberra yesterday.

May 29, 2007- Howard disses Nick Stern for … being English?!

By early 2007 all of John Howard’s intransigence on climate change was coming back to haunt him. An election was not far off, and the Labor opposition, led by Kevin “I’m from Queensland, I’m here to help” Rudd was relentlessly targeting climate change.  Then Nick Stern, who the previous year had delivered his report on the Economics of Climate Change to Gordon Brown, paid a visit. Given that he was a former World Bank economist he could hardly be painted as a tree-hugger or communist.  So, Howard said that when his policy was released, it

Commonwealth, Parliamentary Debates, House of Representatives, 29 May 2007, 48 (John Howard, Prime Minister)

… will not be a grab bag of proposals taken holus-bolus from a report written by an Englishman for European conditions and designed to promote the political objectives of the British government. That is what the Stern report is all about. Stern is not the biblical scholar of climate change that is posited by those who sit opposite. Stern has written from the perspective of an Englishman, from the European circumstance and from the European point of view.

 

 

On the same day-                               

Anon, 2007. Climate change ad battle heating up. Sydney Morning Herald, 29 May.

Labor turned up the heat over federal government advertising as Prime Minister John Howard conceded a climate change campaign was on the way. (Ended up being the dire “climate clever”)

See also             

Doherty, B. 2007. Howard coy on $53m ads. The Age, 30 May.

THERE is $52.8 million ready to spend on a climate-change advertising blitz if and when the Government chooses to introduce one, Prime Minister John Howard admitted yesterday.

Also on this day –

1999 Prime Minister John Howard writes to Meg Lees (then Democrats leader) about the “Measures for a Better Environment” deal which they managed to get…

Anon, 2012. Anthea Harris to be first CEO of Climate Change Authority. Business Spectator, 29 May.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/business-spectator/anthea-harris-to-be-first-ceo-of-climate-change-authority/news-story/2214d21d38be6cce2aa67814530c6cf5

Anthea Harris is set to take the role as the inaugural CEO of the Climate Change Authority, the federal government has announced.

Ms Harris is currently serving as Chief Advisor for the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and “brings a wealth of knowledge on the economics of climate change from both the private and public sectors,” climate change minister Greg Combet said in a statement.

May 28, 1990 – “Global warming is really here”

You can read it here. It’s depressing.  So much for “knock out blows”, eh?

1990 05 28

Also on this day-

2001 The World Today Archive – Monday, 28 May , 2001 00:00:00
Reporter: David Mark

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/stories/s303764.htm
JOHN HIGHFIELD: And now on The World Today let’s go to the third in our series of stories on the global warming crisis. It’s now been established of course that the greenhouse effect is more than just fanciful scientific theory.

In March, scientists in Britain published the first evidence that global warming is happening as a result of the greenhouse gas pollution of our planet. And the impact could be catastrophic unless remedial measures are taken urgently.

The United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change has predicted the world’s temperatures could rise by almost six degrees centigrade over the next century leading to the flooding of many island nations, particularly those in the south and western Pacific in our region, as well as climate chaos, including prolonged droughts and violent storms.

Well, two of the world’s worst offenders on a per capita basis when it comes to producing carbon dioxide (CO2) are the United States and Australia of course. And we seem to be stepping away from things and the International Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, which it was hoped to change the world’s attitude.

Well, in this third story, David Mark looks at the green record of our political parties in this federal election year.

2014 Abbott remarks to Mining Industry dinner

May 27, 2007, Economists call for Kyoto Ratification

By 2007 ratifcation of the Kyoto Protocol had become a great symbolic test.  John Howard’s refusal to do so (and the man was on the record as saying even ratifying the UNFCCC was a mistake), became a stick that Labor, under Kevin Rudd, hit Howard with relentlessly.  It is in that context that the Australia Institute’s action in gettin g75 economics professors together should be seen.

Economists: Government must ratify Kyoto

Seventy five professors of economics today called on the Federal Government to stop undermining international efforts to tackle climate change and to ratify the Kyoto Protocol without delay

On the same day, there is there was this interesting thing in the Canberra Times.

Anon. 2007. CO2 trading no solution. Canberra Times, 27 May.

LAST week’s announcement that BP and Rio Tinto have teamed up to look at building a ”clean” coal” power station in Western Australia is great news. There’s only one catch. The project won’t go ahead if it depends on the key proposal to encourage clean energy contained in a report due to be handed to the Prime Minister on Thursday. This need not pose an insuperable barrier. But it suggests the Government will have to do more than simply rely on setting up a market for trading greenhouse gas emissions, which the report, from a joint business/public service task group, is expected to recommend. The idea is to issue a limited number of permits to release greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), which the Government says contributes to global warming. These permits will then be traded in a government-run market designed to create a price which is supposed to increase the cost of emitting high levels of greenhouse gases when products such as electricity are made.

According to a spokesman for Rio Tinto, Ian Head, ”An emissions-trading scheme alone will not be enough to encourage the clean coal project in Western Australia to go ahead”

Also on this day

Taylor, L. 2016. Greg Hunt plays the long game on his glaringly obvious emissions trading scheme. The Guardian, 27 May.

Minister keeps up attack on Labor’s ‘carbon tax’ to placate Coalition climate change sceptics, all the while ensuring the machinery is in place for his own ETS

For years Greg Hunt has been suggesting different things to different people about his climate policy. This week he was almost caught out….

May 26, 1993 – Aussie politicians start to investigate green jobs opportunities…

One of the more irritating phenomena is people saying “shucks, if only the environmentalists would re-frame climate change as a jobs opportunity, there’d be so much less opposition.”  Yeah, because no greenie ever thought of that, ever.  And tried it. And got ignored. sigh.

On this day in 1993 (24 years ago)  the  “Working with the Environment: Opportunities for Job Growth” ball is set rolling

“This report arises from the growing recognition by governments, industry and the community that ecologically sustainable development offers many opportunities for profitable investment and therefore for employment growth, as well as being essential for ecological survival. The community is also faced with the pressing task of finding opportunities to create more jobs and the environment industry is an obvious place to look.

The inquiry was proposed to the then Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories [Ros Kelly] by the [House of Representatives Standing Committee on Environment, Recreation and the Arts] and the Minister then formally referred the matter for inquiry to the Committee on 26 May 1993.”

 

Also on this day.

1994.

“The concern of industry groups that Australia might similarly be forced into a consensus on climate change was echoed yesterday by the Opposition spokesman on foreign affairs, Mr Andrew Peacock. He said there was a danger Australia’s stance that it would not implement measures that would damage its trade competitiveness unless other greenhouse gas producers did likewise could become increasingly devoid of substance.”

Gill, P. 1994 Industry voices greenhouse fears.  Australian Financial Review, 27 May,

2003

Albanese seconds Kyoto Protocol legislation in Parliament

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 26 May 2003

Today, the Federal Member for Grayndler Anthony Albanese MP was pleased to second a Private Members Bill in Federal Parliament designed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.

Moved by the Shadow Minister for Sustainability & the Environment Kelvin Thomson MP, the Kyoto Protocol Ratification Bill 2003 will give legal effect to Australia’s Kyoto target and ensure Australian industry can take advantage of emerging new markets when the treaty comes into international force.

http://anthonyalbanese.com.au/albanese-seconds-kyoto-protocol-legislation-in-parliament

“Back at home, the Shadow Minister for the Environment, Kelvin Thomson, introduced a private member’s bill for the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on 26 May 2003. As well as calling for the ratification of the Protocol, the Bill sets out requirements for the Commonwealth Environment Minister to prepare systems for involvement in international emissions trading schemes, a National Climate Change Action Plan, and imposes an obligation on the Government to ensure that Australia’s target of 108% of its 1990 emissions is not exceeded during the period 2008 to 2012.”

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/journals/NatEnvLawRw/2003/2.pdf

2004

“The problem with the Kyoto protocol as presently cast is that developing countries such as Russia and China would not be subject to the same strictures as developed countries such as Australia.” Prime Minister John Howard, House of Representatives, 26 May 2004