Tag Archives: Anthony Albanese

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

May 16, 2005 – Energy White Paper a ‘White Elephant’ says Albo…

The 2004 Energy White Paper had been a slap in the face and kick in the … well… to the renewables industry in Australia. It ended up being a fulfilled wishlist for the fossil fuel sector (see Richard Baker’s pieces in the Age for the how of that).

Almost a year after its release, Anthony Albanese, Federal Labor operative, was on the case –

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 16 May 2005

http://anthonyalbanese.com.au/senate-slams-howards-energy-white-elephant

The Howard Government’s Energy White Paper is an energy white elephant.

The Senate Inquiry into the Energy White Paper has concluded the Energy White Paper will delay critical action on climate change for another twenty years….

 

Also on this day-

Clever piece in the Fin!!

Earl, G. 1990. Price and pay-off for the world’s green conscience. Australia Financial Review, 16 May.

IT is a country where the ambitious environment minister hopes to ride to higher office by promising to deliver the most rigorous environmental policies in the world.

The finance minister is aghast at the cost of the plan and has held it up in Cabinet for so long that his colleague has effectively gone to the people with a nation-wide series of public hearings.

But now the hearings have become a lightning rod for all sorts of discontent and the environment minister’s carefully nurtured public support is threatening to evaporate just when the Government sorely needs it.

It may sound like a familiar plot but this time the players are not Graham Richardson or Peter Walsh and the Federal Government concerned has a distinctly conservative hue – except when it comes to turning green.

Canada, with a resource dependent economy like Australia’s and a pro-growth conservative Government, is embroiled in a national debate over a government promise to introduce a comprehensive five-year environmental plan which is forecast to cost billions of dollars.

 

 

March 9, 2000 – “Sky fall” report about Kyoto ratification, commissioned by Vic Government

So, Australia got that sweet Kyoto deal (108% ‘reduction’ target, land-clearing loophole) and signed the Protocol in April 1998 (as distinct from ratifying).  In September 1998 it emerged that the Cabinet had agreed it wouldn’t ratify until/unless the USA did.  But that (sort of) depended on whether the next POTUS was a Democrat (Gore) or a Republican (Bush? McCain? nobody knew at this stage).

The Australian Greenhouse Office was producing reports about emissions trading and how it could work in Australia.  Not everyone was happy at the prospect.  So, the Victorian government of Jeff Kennett commissioned a report on (domestic) emissions trading and its implications for Victoria.  It was released on March 9.

On March 9 a report on emissions trading by Allen Consulting was released to the Victorian Government. Modelling various scenarios but excluding the effect of international trading, the report put the cost on carbon in the range of $42 to $148 a tonne.

Analysts point out that an international carbon market is inevitable, and that this will considerably reduce the price of carbon. Let’s hope it does. The Allen report also predicted percentage point declines in national GDP and employment.

Hordern, N. 2000. Greenhouse gas and the high price of hot air, The Australian Financial Review, 29 March, p.18.

Another account [2000 Anon. 2000. Greenhouse emission trading plan too expensive – Aust report.  Australian Associated Press, 10 March] says the report claims the scheme would be too complex and we should wait…“On balance, we do not support the imposition of a mandatory domestic emissions trading system in Australia…..The costs of permits under such a system may well be higher than those incurred later under an international system and could, therefore, lead to an unnecessarily high adjustment burden.”

The sky is always gonna fall…  Thank goodness we didn’t take action on climate change almost 20 years ago.  I mean, it all has turned out to be a hoax, and we might have damaged The Economy. THEN where would we be?
Also on this day –

2005 Anthony Albanese landing blows in parliament, again.  

In my contribution to the debate on the Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2004-2005, the Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2004-2005 and the Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 2) 2004-2005, I want to concentrate my remarks on the Howard government’s reckless environmental policies and the impact that they are having on our way of life and the kinds of jobs and the economy that we will be leaving to our children and grandchildren. It is no exaggeration to say the government’s policy on climate change places at risk many things Australians take for granted: our fantastic beaches, waterways and forests; our abundant food stocks and natural resources; and, of course, our fantastic climate, which is the envy of the world.

…. I believe that climate change is the greatest environmental threat to the world. Left unchecked, climate change and general environmental degradation have the potential to cripple economies and radically alter human existence on the planet.

He’s been on the climate thing for a long long time.  Who knows, maybe he’ll be the first Australian prime minister to deliver something that can stick.  #paralleluniverse

 

Jan 16, 2006 – Liberal Treasurer supports a carbon price. Or does he?

On this day in 2006, the then Australian Treasurer, and presumptive heir apparent to the Prime Ministership, Peter Costello made a speech in Los Angeles, supporting price signals for energy.

“A market based solution will give the right signal to producers and to consumers. It will make clear the opportunity cost of using energy resources, thereby encouraging more and better investment in additional sources of supply and improving the efficiency with which they are used. That has to be good for both producers and consumers and better for the environment.”

These words were thrown back at him 7 months later by Labor MP Anthony Albanese, who in a press release on 16th August entitled “Costello & Howard at odds over emissions trading”.  This was at a time when climate change was exploding into public consciousness (thanks to the drought, Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and so on.  Labor would continue to make political capital of this, increasing its tempo after Kevin Rudd toppled Kim Beazley as ALP leader in December of 2006. But back to Albo –

It is not surprising Peter Costello made this statement as in August 2003 a Cabinet submission to establish a national emissions trading scheme was co-sponsored by four Departments – Treasury, Environment, Industry & Foreign Affairs.

Unfortunately, the joint Cabinet submission was scuttled by the Prime Minister who is stuck in the past and unable to embrace the future.

Yes, that 2003 decision.  Something we will come back to…

Also on this day –

1992 The Australian Capital Territory’s first draft greenhouse strategy was launched.

Lamberton, H. 1992. Draft greenhouse strategy issued. Canberra Times, 17 January, p.5.

1995

“REPRESENTATIVES of a substantial group of Australian industries meet in Canberra today to draft a joint response to invitations issued by the Minister for the Environment, Senator Faulkner, for separate talks over the next fortnight on his carbon tax proposal”

Callick, R. 1995. Industry forces gather to slow carbon tax momentum. Australian Financial Review, 16 January, p.8.

2004- “Emissions trading scheme back on agenda for Australian states”

New South Wales state premier Bob Carr is backing a state-led greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme for Australia says a paywalled site. Presumably this was to announce the launch of the state-based National Emissions Trading Taskforce.

 

Jan 5, 2006 – Labor MPs release climate refugees paper ‘Our Drowning Neighbours’

jan52006On this day in  2006, the then Federal Labor MP Bob Sercombe and current MP Anthony Albanese issued Our Drowning Neighbours, Labor’s Policy Discussion Paper on Climate Change in the Pacific, with the goal of generating a more proactive, strategic approach. [Does anyone out there have a copy. It’s strangely absent from the internet these days…]

Climate change had been recognised as an existential threat (in the literal sense.None of this Sartre nonsense) from the late 1980s.  Then Foreign Affairs Minister Gareth Evans had talked about Australia’s responsibility.  Of course, it was just fine words, which John Howard dispensed with altogether (see the spat in CHOGM just before the 1997 COP3 meeting in Kyoto Japan).

For an overview on the issue, you could do worse than this 2009 paper from the Australia Institute. See also this coruscating piece from 2010 by Kellie Tranter. And an event report from October 2016 on Voices from the Climate Front Line.   See also 350 Pacific and SEED.

We will return (again and again) to Australia’s clear contempt for its neighbours. So it goes…

Oh, and this is probably worth a read

Charles Hawksley (2009) Australia’s aid diplomacy and the Pacific Islands: change and continuity in middle power foreign policy, Global Change, Peace & Security, 21:1,
115-130, DOI: 10.1080/14781150802659473
Great powers seek to influence world affairs; middle powers seek to influence their regions. Australia’s ‘near abroad’ includes Indonesia and the South Pacific, especially Melanesia. Elected Prime Minister in November 2007, Kevin Rudd has indicated a new direction for Australian policy in the Pacific and the previous image of a pushy or bullying Australia has to some extent been laid to rest. Yet the key differences between Rudd’s policies and those of the former government of John Howard appear to be of style rather than substance. Despite the new rhetoric of greater engagement, the emphasis on market forces creating development shows an essential continuity of Australian foreign aid policy in the South Pacific

 

Also on this day –

1995 The “greenhouse interdepartmental committee” met for first time to plan Environment Minister Faulkner’s next submission to Cabinet on the proposed carbon tax. The committee was led by Phillip Toyne… (see Henderson, 12 Jan 1995 [Or was it actually the 11th, as per a different source]).  On the same day, Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett sent out a news release ,  “opposing carbon tax and using many of the points put forward by the Industry Greenhouse Network….” (Worden, 1998: 111)