12 June, 1992 – Ros Kelly says ‘nope’ on carbon tax…

So, 25 years ago today, a few days after Ros Kelly had signed the UNFCCC document on behalf of Australia, this turned up –

“Economic instruments could also be used to reduce greenhouse emissions. Mrs Kelly said she had had discussions yesterday with Canada’s environment minister on the issue.

Australia’s options were limited, however, because the Government had declared its opposition to a carbon tax. Asked why the Government opposed a carbon tax, Mrs Kelly said it believed such a tax could introduce real social distortions because of Australia’s big distances.

“And it would obviously disadvantage rural communities, and those who could not afford to pay higher (fuel) prices.

The Australian community is not yet ready for a carbon tax. Even the European Community has passed a motion stating that it would not introduce a carbon tax until the US did so.

“It’s a question of who starts the ball rolling,” Mrs Kelly said. “We won’t.”

1992 at Rio- O’Neill, G. 1992. Kelly Wants Action Over CO2 Emissions. The Age, 13 June, p.15.

Also on this day-

2011 Big Footprint Is Green the new tyranny. Monckton uses swastika image with Garnaut… Forced to apologise 

June 11 2011 – Miners union says ‘show us the money’

The age-old battle, another skirmish…

ONE of the nation’s largest unions has threatened a blue-collar revolt should the nation’s dirtiest coalmines fail to receive the same level of assistance as they were promised under the original emissions trading scheme.
With industry compensation still being thrashed out behind closed doors, the national secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, Tony Maher, said he is worried coalminers will be dudded to appease the Greens.

Coorey, P. 2011. Mine union digs in over compensation under a carbon tax. Sydney Morning Herald, 11 June, p.4.

Also on this day- 
1997 –   As late as June 1997, the US Ambassador to Australia, Ms Genta Hawkins Holmes, stated that the US would seek “binding, realistic and achievable” targets at Kyoto; she claimed that Australia should make greater use of renewable energy sources and improve its “relatively inefficient use of hydrocarbon energy”27” At the Earth Summit in New York in late June, however, the US did not announce a target and sought to include developing countries in the framework agreement. Europeans interpreted these moves as preparing the ground for a softer US position, possibly reviving an earlier proposal to develop traceable international emission permits. At the G-7 meeting in Denver in June 1997, the US, Japan and Canada refused to endorse the EU position of a binding fifteen per cent reduction target, leaving uncertain what would emerge from Kyoto. The Australian Government may yet retrieve something from the divergence of the European and US positions.
Shared Values Drive US-Australia Alliance”. Australian, 12 June 1997: “Ambassador Holmes Gives Elementary Warning on Warming”, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 June 1997.
Johnston, W.R.  and Stokes, G. 1997.  Problems in Australian Foreign Policy: January- July 1997. Australian Journal of Politics and History, Vol.43(3), pp.293-300.

On June 11, 2003, AEI and an Australian think tank, Institute for Public Affairs (IPA), cosponsored a conference titled “Non-governmental Organizations: The Growing Power of an Unelected Few,” held at the AEI offices in Washington, D.C. The conference laid the ground for the launch of “NGO Watch”-a website and political campaign cosponsored by AEI and The Federalist Society.
(Hardistry and Furdon 2004)

11-Jun-2005 – ACF calls for national deep cuts target on greenhouse

The Australian Conservation Foundation today urged a national commitment to a target of cutting greenhouse pollution by 60% by 2050 and a framework of immediate practical action, following commitments by the NSW Premier to this target and the expansion of gas and renewables to meet electricity needs in that state.
ACF Executive Director, Don Henry, said the NSW target of a 60% cut by 2050 matched that adopted by UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and the advice of Australia’s former Chief Scientist, and should offer important common ground for the national working group on climate change established at last week’s COAG.

June 10, 2015 – Tony Abbott talks about ‘health impacts’ of wind farms

According to the excellent Lenore Taylor, on this day two years ago Prime Minister Tony Abbott was on the radio show of Alan Jones.  It was, as you can imagine, a high quality conversation….

Speaking to the Sydney radio host Alan Jones – a long-term windfarm critic – the prime minister said: “I do take your point about the potential health impact of these things … when I’ve been up close to these windfarms not only are they visually awful but they make a lot of noise.”

Taylor, L. 2015. Tony Abbott agrees windfarms may have ‘potential health impacts’. The Guardian, 11 June.

see also: Wind Beneath Their Contempt: Why Australian policy makers oppose solar and wind energy.

Also on this day –

Green, J. 2002. WMC’s hypocrisy on greenhouse emissions. Green Left Weekly

“On June 10, Hugh Matheson Morgan AO, chief executive of WMC Limited, was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia for services to business, “particularly through leadership in the formation and evolution of sustainable development policy”. What a joke!”

 

See also

John Howard on giving Wilson Tuckey Forestry – “he has a sense of humour”.

Ian Lowe almost not being given Aus Environmentalist of the Year  and Howard then changing the judging system to prevent further ‘problems’

 

 

9 June, 2011 – Productivity Commission

 

On this day in 2011, at the height of the Gillard ETS battle, the  Productivity Commission produced a report.  It had been a condition of two independent MPs – Windsor and Oakestott – supporting Gillard’s minority government.  The report looked internationally at emissions reductions policies and found “much lower-cost abatement could be achieved through broad, explicit carbon pricing approaches, irrespective of the policy settings in competitor economies.”  So, not so much support for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s “Direct Action”…

[see Garnaut 2014, chapter in Quiggin ed book on carbon taxes..]

 

 

Also on this day

Clark, P. 1989. Unions may as well be talking to the trees. Sydney Morning Herald, 20 June, p13

AN ODDLY portentous scene was played out behind the closed doors of the ALP national executive’s last meeting in Canberra on June 9 by two of the party’s toughest right-wing figures: the Federal Environment Minister, Graham Richardson, and the AWU general secretary, Errol Hodder.

Hodder, who had left the executive meeting briefly, returned to be told that while he was away Richardson had spoken of how the union movement had to reassess its position on the environment, and that someone present had said that the ACTU’s attitude on the issue was “stupid”.

Never backward in coming forward, Hodder leapt up to make a strong defence of the union movement’s reaction to the growing importance of the environmental debate.

What he said, in essence, was that the unions were well aware of the significance of the issue but the Government had to recognise a few things too. A tree might be a pretty thing to look at, but the view palled when you’d been put out of a job and you’d a mortgage to pay and a family to feed.

1990    (TEXT FROM 1997 APH chronology) The first assessment report of the IPCC Working Group I  was released including predictions of global warming and climatic impacts (a supplement was added in 1992). The best estimates from Working Group I (scientific  analysis) were a 3C rise in global temperature and a 0.65m sea level rise by 2100. Australian scientist Dr Greg Tegart was a Co-Vice-Chairman on the Climate Change, The IPCC Impacts Assessment report from Working Group II. Consensus was also reached at the Response Strategies Working Group of the IPCC, Working Group III. The Scientific and Impact Assessment reports concluded   that emissions from human activities were increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, which  was likely to enhance the natural greenhouse effect resulting in global warming.

By 9 June 2000, The Australian was reporting that the trigger proposal ‘faces defeat when it reaches Cabinet’ and that when the issue was discussed by Cabinet, ‘Senator Hill was almost a lone voice of support.’ (Macintosh, 2007: 50)

2005 press conference Carr and Howard –

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, you’ve made progress on water, you’ve got a national scheme to (inaudible), same thing for carbon trading, for emissions trading?

PRIME MINISTER: Well we have, at the present time Mr Carr and I and the other States I think line up, the States line up with Mr Carr and we have just different views. Now let’s be sensible, we don’t agree all the time, but the important thing is to agree as many times as possible and to deliver outcomes that are good for the public.

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, how highly do you rate global warming as a threat? The Premier rates it very highly.

PRIME MINISTER: Oh, I’ve said in the past that I think the scientific evidence is very, very strong. I don’t know that I embrace every expression of concern that’s come from everybody who would favour some different policies than I do, but I have a different view about signing the Kyoto Protocol from that of Mr Carr, but that is based not on a belief that we shouldn’t reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, it relates more to the comparability of treatment of an economy such as Australia and that of such Indonesia and China. But that is for a discussion for another day. We have agreed to disagree on that issue, but we haven’t come here to parade with rhetorical flourish our different approaches.

 

Marks, K. 2010. Australian billionaires take to the streets for tax protest. The Independent, 10 June.

Australian billionaires take to the streets for tax protest

It was, by any measure, a most unusual rally. Many of the placard-waving protesters gathered in a Perth park wore suits and ties, and impassioned speeches were delivered from the back of a flat-bed truck by two billionaires, including Australia’s richest woman.

June 8, 2005 Launch of Australian “Environment” Foundation

On this day in 2005 the Melbourne Age reported on the launch, by figures associated with the Institue of Public Affairs, of the “Australian Environment Foundation”, whose name was in no way cohosen to mimic the Australian Conservation Foundation, oh no…

“Australia’s newest environment group is ruffling feathers – but not where you would expect.”  it said –  Fyfe, M. 2005. Cool reception for new green group. The Age, 8 June.

Aka ‘corporate ventriloquism’ and “FACES of Coal.”

 

Also on this day-

Uren, D. 1990. Editor’s note. BRW, 8 June.

In the battle for hearts and minds, the environmentalists have it all over companies. The business sector’s difficulty in grappling with the environment issue will result, sooner or later, in a company director finding himself in the dock facing charges over pollution. Both NSW and Victoria now have legislation that can render executives and directors personally liable for environment protection offences. Many within the environment movement are looking for a test case of this legislation.

In this week’s cover story BRW writer Matthew Stevens examines the challenge that Greenpeace is throwing out to Australian companies. As Stevens reports, the local branch of the international Greenpeace organisation has thoroughly reorganised itself and is armed with the latest techniques developed in the US for direct action against companies. Greenpeace is out to achieve the greatest public humiliation of those it chooses to expose.

Greenpeace, 2006. Media Release: Greenpeace Denounces Moore. 8 June .

“Sydney, Thursday June 8, 2006: Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO Steve Shallhorn dismisses Patrick Moore’s suggestions that nuclear fuel will have positive environmental impacts. John Howard is only using the likes of Patrick Moore, a hired gun for the nuclear lobby, precisely because he is not a genuine environmentalist,” said Mr Shallhorn.”

 

 

 

 

June 7, 2001 Bob Carr pushes carbon trading

Bob Carr, premier of New South Wales since 1995, had been keen to get something done on climate change (and has continued to be keen).  This below is from 2002 Greenhouse Gas Update by Stewart Smith]

In June this year [2001]  the Premier took to the Council of Australian Governments meeting a proposal for compulsory national greenhouse targets to apply to the electricity retailer sector. The Premier stated:

The proposal would work as follows. We would set a per capita greenhouse emission reduction target of 5 per cent for electricity retailers on 1989-90 levels. This would be done through compulsory benchmarks and it would be phased in by 2005-2006, to allow electricity retailers time to adjust. Penalties would be imposed on electricity retailers who fail to meet annual targets. Retailers would avoid payment of penalties by supporting the development of low-cost greenhouse abatement projects such as plantation-based carbon credits, faster up-take of natural gas fired power generation and renewable energy. A market to trade emission reduction certificates would be created in Sydney. This market would provide the platform for trading other environmental service products like carbon sequestration credits, salinity credits, and eventually biodiversity credits…it is important that this be advanced on a uniform national basis.51

NSW Parliamentary Debates, Legislative Assembly Hansard 7 June 2001, p 14,683.

52 Council of Australian Governments, Communique, 8 June 2001. See the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website, URL: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/docs\coag080601.cfm

 

Also on this day –

McLachlan, C. 1989. Hot chances for coping with greenhouse effect. Australian Financial Review, 7 June.

For all the worry that the greenhouse effect is causing around the world there is, perhaps, a bright side. The greenhouse effect has opened up a number of potentially profitable opportunities for industry. It has created a number of niche markets for environmentally safe products or new strands of vegetable. The South Australian Government has already taken steps to help industry identify these new niche markets. It has established a council to examine the implications of the greenhouse effect and the depletion of the ozone layer on the future direction of industry, agriculture and the economy of the State.

Anon. 1990. Trans tasman think tank backed by big business. New Zealand Herald, 8 June p.5.

A privately funded economic think tank and joint venture between Australia and New Zealand called the Tasman Institute was launched in Melbourne yesterday.

2007–  “When the Bill was finally reconsidered in July 2007, the SA Government proposed an alternative interim target of a return to 190 levels by 2020, the same target as adopted in the Californian legislation. However, in the meantime, the Liberal Opposition had changed its position and declined to continue to support the 20 per cent reduction target it had previously proposed. It was joined by the other minority parties in the Legislative Council in a vote against the government’s proposed alternative target, with the result that the Bill was ultimately passed without any interim target having been included. The government has indicated that it will consider the option of introducing its interim target by regulations under the Act at a future point.

The end result of this protracted exercise is highly unsatisfactory in that no interim target was able to be agreed. The substantial and sudden change of stance by the [State] Liberal Opposition was attributed by some sources from the Howard Government to come into line with the policy position of opposing any interim target.”

(Fowler, 2007: 115)

Henderson, N. 2007. Libs told to “toe PM’s line.” Adelaide Advertiser, 7 June.

June 7, 2001 – Bob Carr tries to get COAG to set targets, do trading.

In June 2001  “the Premier took to the Council of Australian Governments meeting a proposal for compulsory national greenhouse targets to apply to the electricity retailer sector. The Premier stated:
The proposal would work as follows. We would set a per capita greenhouse emission reduction target of 5 per cent for electricity retailers on 1989-90 levels. This would be done through compulsory benchmarks and it would be phased in by 2005-2006, to allow electricity retailers time to adjust. Penalties would be imposed on electricity retailers who fail to meet annual targets. Retailers would avoid payment of penalties by supporting the development of low-cost greenhouse abatement projects such as plantation-based carbon credits, faster up-take of natural gas fired power generation and renewable energy. A market to trade emission reduction certificates would be created in Sydney. This market would provide the platform for trading other environmental service products like carbon sequestration credits, salinity credits, and eventually biodiversity credits…it is important that this be advanced on a uniform national basis.51
NSW Parliamentary Debates, Legislative Assembly Hansard 7 June 2001, p 14,683.
52 Council of Australian Governments, Communique, 8 June 2001. See the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet website, URL: http://www.dpmc.gov.au/docs\coag080601.cfm
[2002 Greenhouse Gas Update by Stewart Smith]

Also on this day-
For all the worry that the greenhouse effect is causing around the world there is, perhaps, a bright side.
The greenhouse effect has opened up a number of potentially profitable opportunities for industry. It has created a number of niche markets for environmentally safe products or new strands of vegetable.
The South Australian Government has already taken steps to help industry identify these new niche markets. It has established a council to examine the implications of the greenhouse effect and the depletion of the ozone layer on the future direction of industry, agriculture and the economy of the State.
McLachlan, C. 1989. Hot chances for coping with greenhouse effect. Australian Financial Review, 7 June.

A privately funded economic think tank and joint venture between Australia and New Zealand called the Tasman Institute was launched in Melbourne yesterday.
Anon. 1990. Trans tasman think tank backed by big business. New Zealand Herald, 8 June p.5.

When the Bill was finally reconsidered in July 2007, the SA Government proposed an alternative interim target of a return to 1990 levels by 2020, the same target as adopted in the Californian legislation. However, in the meantime, the Liberal Opposition had changed its position and declined to continue to support the 20 per cent reduction target had previously proposed. It was joined by the other minority parties in the Legislative Council in a vote against the government’s proposed alternative target, with the result that the Bill was ultimately passed without any interim target having been included. The government has indicated that it will consider the option of introducing its interim target by regulations under the Act at a future point.
The end result of this protracted exercise is highly unsatisfactory in that no interim target was able to be agreed. The substantial and sudden change of stance by the [State] Liberal Opposition was attributed by some sources from the Howard Government to come into line with the policy position of opposing any interim target.
(Fowler, 2007: 115)
See also – Henderson, N. 2007. Libs told to “toe PM’s line.” Adelaide Advertiser, 7 June.