So, bruised and bloodied from the CPRS debacle, the established Big Green groups decided they should get behind the next version of an emissions trading scheme. ON this day in 2011, six very very long years ago, the Climate Institute sent out a press release about the ‘Say Yes’ campaign…
Also on this day –
Twenty-five years ago today two more industry commissioned studies say the sky will fall if so much as one lump of coal is not burnt….
1992 Brown, B. 1992. Pressure builds on Aust over greenhouse emissions. Australian Financial Review, 14 May, p.11.
Australia may come under pressure to sign a declaration to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions, although a convention adopted at a United Nations meeting in New York last weekend set no target.
Developing and European nations that could achieve stabilisation of greenhouse gas emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000 are expected to push for this target at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June.
A United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Control agreed last weekend on a text to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but without a specific target. The target will be considered by member governments before the Rio meeting.
But to reach the stabilisation target, Australia would need “excessively stringent government intervention”, according to one of two industry-commissioned studies released yesterday.
The studies, prepared by the Canberra-based economic consultants ACIL Australia and Swan Consultants for the Business Council of Australia, said advice to the Government had seriously underestimated the economic costs of stabilising greenhouse emissions.
The Climate Institute (soon to be RIP), got the boot stuck into the BCA on this day three years ago.
The Business Council of Australia’s loss of status with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development is unsurprising as the BCA has displayed a remarkable lack of policy consistency over recent years.
Its position appears to be driven more by short-termism than a thorough assessment of the economic risks to Australia of further global warming. This lack of concern is particularly disturbing as Australia is more exposed to climate change than any other developed country. We are already experiencing the economic and human impacts of the less than one degree warming to date and these costs will rise. Global warming above two degrees exceeds the adaptive capacity of many Australian industries.
Also on this day-
1992 Dr Hewson captured the full flavour of the initiative in a speech to the Australian Mining Industry Council annual dinner on May 7, 1992, when he described it as sustainable development with a capital D. This move is really an exercise in fast-tracking, with an absolute limit of 12 months on government processes of evaluation, failing which the project gets automatic go-ahead.
This is dangerous, based as it is on the assumption that red, black or green tape is simply frustrating developments, rather than complex issues being carefully evaluated. There is also a quite dishonest attempt to list a long list of stalled projects without acknowledging that many had not proceeded for commercial reasons.
Toyne, P. 1993. Environment forgotten in the race to the Lodge. Canberra Times, 8 March p. 11.
2002 Howarth, I. 2002. Report card on mining industry to be unveiled. Australian Financial Review, 7 May, p. 14.
The Australian mining industry still has a long way to go in its quest for sustainable development, but a major report on the sector has found it has made considerable progress in meeting its social and environmental obligations.
WMC chief executive, Hugh Morgan, will today unveil the Facing the Future report, which investigated the Australian mining industry as part of the Global Mining Initiative undertaken by the world’s biggest miners.
2015: Reef plans based on fact not NGO fiction Statement by Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche
Today we welcome the announcements from federal and state governments who are getting on with job of dealing with the top priority issues affecting the Great Barrier Reef.
The Queensland Government’s Minister for the Great Barrier Reef Steven Miles has announced the creation of a new taskforce of experts to improve the reef’s water quality, which will be led by the state’s chief scientist Dr Geoff Garrett.
So, Australia had wangled a sweet deal at Kyoto in December 1997 – a 108% emissions ‘reduction’ target AND a giant loophole clause on land-clearing. They’d signed it in April of 1998, but later that year it emerged that the Cabinet had decided it wouldn’t ratify unless Uncle Sam did. At this point (May 2000) it wasn’t entirely clear what would happen. In any case, the whole idea of emissions trading was on the rise, and David Buckingham, a bureaucrat who had been head-hunted first by the Minerals Council and then had switched to the Business Council gave a speech –
Buckinhgham, D. 2000. Strategic Greenhouse Issues for Australia. Business Council of Australia
– which suggested a voluntary domestic emissions trading scheme might be a goer, as a learning by doing exercise.
On the same day, Environment Minister gave a speech on ‘the role of Australian business in combatting global warming’-
Hill R. 2000. Warming to the Challenge; The Role of Australian Business in Combatting Global warming. Address to the World Business Council on Sustainable Development and the Australian Business Council Forum, Melbourne, 5 May.
What happened next? Hill lost his bid to get carbon trading through cabinet in August of the same year, defeated by Nick Minchin. The BCA said nope to emissions trading, and to a ‘greenhouse trigger’ in the EPBC Act, and fought itself to a standstill over Kyoto Ratification in 2002/3… So it goes…
Also on this day
1973 AMIC advert for an environmental policy officer in Canberra Times (nothing in their newsletters etc about climate change – I looked)
1990 Australian Coal Association conference dominated by environmental issues
1990 Australian Coal Association conference dominated by environmental i
On this day 25 years ago the Sun Herald reported that a spokesman for Environment Minister Ros Kelly had said that Keating’s Government was not considering a “carbon tax” but instead favoured “no-regret” options. It was framed as a ‘win-win, with the spokesman adding “This Government would be delinquent if it did not take a precautionary rather than a cavalier approach to the greenhouse effect. The worst-case scenarios are terrifying.”
The Sun Herald continued
BCA spokesman Mark Emerson said Australia should not support the EC proposal for a commitment by developed countries to stabilise greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2000. “Business is concerned that, against the background of the enormous scientific uncertainties, inappropriate policy responses might be applied which would have devastating economic and social effects without any discernible environmental benefits,” he said. “None of Australia’s regional trading partners or competitors – except New Zealand – will agree to the EC option.”
1992 Skinner, S. 1992. Greenhouse: Aust yet to set its policy. Sun Herald, 26 April, p. 13.
Also on this day-
2007 If you need a laugh – Ray Evans Global Warming Debate A revised version of an address delivered at the ACT Caucus Room, Wellington, NZ on 26 April 2007
Mind you, would you trust a bunch of latte-sipping ‘intellectuals’ not to sell your job down the river?
2001– Labor is under pressure from some unions. Australian Manufacturing Workers Union national secretary Doug Cameron told Channel 10 on April 22 that, “We would want to talk to Labor about the effect of any protocol or any treaty on manufacturing jobs”.
“I think there can be sensible co-existence between manufacturing, and manufacturing can be very clean these days”, Cameron said. “There can be sensible coexistence between manufacturing and ensuring the green vote is delivered [to Labor].”
Also on this day
1990– NSW Premier Nick Greiner getting in on the act –
“The new environmentalism : a conservative perspective” Text of speech delivered on Earth Day Sunday 22 April 1990. Photocopy. “Earth day, Sunday 22 April 1990” http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/18085038?q&versionId=21226780
1993 Garran, R. 1993. Clinton pledge cuts new key to the greenhouse. The Australian Financial Review, 23 April, p.9.
A PLEDGE by the US President, Mr Clinton, to cut emissions of greenhouse gases will raise the pressure on Australia to take tougher action, according to a senior Australian bureaucrat and Australian business and environment groups.
A first assistant secretary of the Department of Primary Industries and Energy, Mr Peter Core, told business lobbyists yesterday at a private seminar organised by the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs, that Mr Clinton’s announcement would put renewed pressure on Australia’s stance on the issue.
And an assistant director of the Business Council of Australia, Ms Chris Burnup, said yesterday the move would dramatically change the complexion of talks on global climate change.
2007 John Howard tells people to pray for rain.
“It’s very serious, it’s unprecedented in my lifetime and I really feel very deeply for the people affected,” Mr Howard told ABC Television.
“So we should all, literally and without any irony, pray for rain over the next six to eight weeks.”
The Murdoch press has been at this for a Very Long Time Indeed.
New and conflicting predictions continue to be made. For example, on 18 April 1992 the Australian carried a page one headline ‘Global Warming May Lower Sea Levels’, while later in the business section a case was made against a carbon tax on fossil fuels. Business interests remain unimpressed by the call to tax themselves.
Love, R. 1992. Stranger Weather Still. Arena 99/100 pp.39-46.
Also on this day
“Australian environmental education has been launched onto an international stage, with local group ARK Australia yesterday going live on the Internet with a World Wide Web site called Planet Ark.
“The product of a significant co-operative effort involving the Seven Network , Austereo, Reuters and Sanitarium, the site will provide on-demand 24-hour environmental radio news on the Net, along with environmental software and celebrity campaigns that can be downloaded free of charge, including the “Save the Planet” videos featuring stars such as Pierce Brosnan, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman.”
Helen Meredith, 1996 “Planet Ark launch – Planet Ark’s world-first on the Net” The Australian Financial Review, 19 April, p. 48
2007 How competitive is gas in carbon-priced power generation? APPEA Conference Adelaide See John Daley (for AIGN! comments). For example, Michael Chaney, BCA President, writing in The Australian on 18 April 2007:
“Climate change and the development of a long-term strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are complex challenges facing Australia’s economy and will be the subject of significant debate in the election campaign. Yet the issue does not lend itself to quick fixes or simplistic political posturing.”
2013: “Lateline follows up with CSIRO on soil carbon and proves again that Greg Hunt’s soil carbon plan would require up to “two thirds of the land mass of Australia.” (From Mark Butler’s Direct Action Timeline)
Kevin Rudd’s mellifluously named ‘Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme’ had gone from bad (Green Paper) to worse (White Paper in December 2008). Something had to be done. While Rudd and others pretended to listen to the greenies and their ‘Southern Cross Climate Coalition’, his Environment Minister was dispatched to cut a deal with the head of the Business Council of Australia.
There is an excellent account of this (well, it’s by Lenore Taylor, so of course it is excellent).
Today – April 14 – in Noosa is about a strategic backdown. The target is the president of the Business Council of Australia, Greig Gailey, who is on holiday in the town. Today he opens the door to some very businesslike guests. They want to sound him out about exactly what it would take to win business over.
It is, as meetings mostly are with Wong, forensic, controlled, focused. No walks along the beach. “I think I had a glass of water,” the Minister for Climate Change and Water will recall later.
By the time Wong and Frater hit the road again for the trip home, they know they can start devising a rescue package for the scheme. If they can’t make it work, it will be the first serious setback in the career of the 40-year-old South Australian senator.
Taylor, L. 2009. The minister of cool. The Australian Magazine 23 May.
And of course, 6 months later it would all be gone, like a fist when you open your palm… So it goes.
Also on this day –
Koutsoukis, J. 2003. Industry backs carbon sinks. The Australian Financial Review. 15 April. p.5.
“The federal government’s strategy to reduce Australian greenhouse gas emissions received a boost yesterday when big business agreed to support a carbon emission-trading system.” – well, not quite. And Howard vetoed it when it did get to Cabinet anyways…
2014 The Minerals Council of Australia launches “Australians for Coal” – oops.