Tag Archives: 2015 Energy White Paper

April 10, 1990 – dreams of ‘clean coal’

What does business do when society is up in arms and can’t be ignored? Full fascism? Not often. No, usually it wheels out some soothing promises of imminent-ish techno-salvation. And so it came to pass on this day 27 years ago –

The NSW coal industry is about to tap into the resources of its colleagues on the east coast of the United States, following the signing of a historic agreement between the State of Pennsylvania and the NSW Government.
The agreement covers all areas of minerals and energy policy, including clean coal technology and renewable and alternative energy policies.
Moffet, L. 1990. NSW, Pennsylvania in Energy Pact. Australian Financial Review, 10 April, p. 30.

Also on this day –
2006 New research on global warming has caused a split at the top end of town, writes Deborah Snow.
WESTPAC chief executive David Morgan had an interesting story to tell at an invitation-only breakfast for a handful of journalists in Sydney last week.
The anecdote concerned a recent private conversation with the head of the giant General Electric Company in the US, Jeff Immelt.
“He said to me he was virtually certain that the first action of the next president of the United States, be it Republican or Democrat, would be to initiate urgent action on climate change. And he wasn’t saying that as a casual political comment … he is [allocating] billions of dollars worth of investment in the confidence of that development.”
Snow, D. 2006. Business warms to change The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 April , page 10.

Phillips, S. 2015. Energy White Paper: short on vision. ABC Environment, 10 April.
Renewable energy was described as “important” in the Energy White Paper, but existing policies to support it are due to be dismantled.

April 8, 1995 – Australia ‘satisfied’ over not taking Berlin…

Australia went to the first meeting (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) hoping to be able to scupper moves towards emissions reductions commitments for developed nations.  By 1995 it was clear that the ‘National Greenhouse Response Strategy’ agreed between the states and Federal government in December 1992 was worthless.  Faulkner had been involved in efforts to get a small carbon levy (‘tax’, whatever you want to call it) through Cabinet, if only to fund R&D into low carbon energy sources. That effort went tits up in February. Just before flying out to Berlin Faulkner had launched the “alternative” – Greenhouse Challenge scheme, which was not worth a bucket of warm spit.  Ultimately, Australia acquiesced to the ‘Berlin Mandate’ – the costs of (futile) intransigence simply too high.  Two years of attempts to get support for so-called ‘differentiation’ would follow…

LONDON, Saturday: Australian Environment Minister John Faulkner said yesterday he was satisfied with the outcome of the Berlin climate change conference, saying it offered a way forward for all countries to combat global warming. On the final day of the 11-day meeting, agreement was reached on a mandate for further negotiations on greenhouse gas emission reduction measures by developed countries. Senator Faulkner, who was part of the group of ministers who hammered out the final agreement, said it was ultimately a successful conference given the wide range of interests represented. “Australia’s very satisfied with the outcome of the group of ministers and the achievement of a mandate to negotiate a protocol,” he said from Berlin.
1995  Noack, K. 1995 Faulkner sees way forward from Berlin. Canberra Times, 9 April.

Also on this day.

2015  Energy White Paper released: The White Paper promotes increasing competition and production of energy, while reducing the cost of electricity. [a farce, basically. Not a funny one.]