Tag Archives: ESAA

June 6, 1996 BHP announced ‘Greenhouse Challenge’ commitments

On this day 21 years ago, after a carbon tax push had failed and a ‘Greenhouse Challenge’ of purely voluntary measures instituted instead, BHP and others did “their bit”

Meanwhile, tomorrow BHP Ltd managing director Mr John Prescott and other industry leaders will announce the details of their companies’ commitments to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The presentation is organised by the interdepartmental Greenhouse Challenge Office established in March 1995 by the Federal Government, which provided it with a $9.7 million budget over four years.
The Government announced at the time that the program could provide 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gas reductions annually by 2000. The extent of the pledges made tomorrow will indicate whether that target is likely to be met.
Callick, R. 1996. Coalition backs industry on climate change. The Australian Financial Review, 5 June, p.2.

Greenhouse 21C laid the foundation for the Greenhouse Challenge, which was launched by the Federal Government on 6 June 1996 with formal submission of cooperative agreements by four major Australian companies – BHP, CRA (now Rio Tinto), ICI (now Orica), and Shell – and three industry associations – the Electricity Supply Association of Australia (ESAA), the Pulp and Paper Manufacturers’ Federation of Australia (PMFA), and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA).
(Worden, 1998: 126)

Also on this day

Evans, R.2002. Commentary: PM says ‘No’ to Kyoto. United Press International, June 7.

MELBOURNE, June 6 (UPI) — With three election victories under his belt, Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard has announced that Australia would not sign the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, dealing a serious blow to the hopes and aspirations of many of the public servants who dominate the federal capital of Canberra.

Fourth International Environmental Taxation Conference
Friday 6 June 2003
The Environment – A Taxing Issue?

April 23, 2013 – Thinking twice about “Direct Action”…

“What we are seeing is the conditions in the market moving so quickly that there is a need to rethink the rules with a view to resetting or rethinking Direct Action,” ESAA chief executive Matthew Warren told The Australian Financial Review on Tuesday (23 April 2013)

So, having sat and watched Tony Abbott destroy the bipartisan consensus on the need for a price on carbon from 1 December 2009, having watched him attack Gillard’s Emissions Trading Scheme as a “Great Big Tax on Everything”, the incumbents finally – with Abbott about to become Prime Minister – start to wonder if his so-called ‘Direct Action’ scheme is such a good alternative.

And now they bleat about ‘policy uncertainty’.  Remind me to go back and see how many pro-ETS press releases ESAA put out in 2011….

I wish it were unbelievable, but it is all too believable

The quote is from

Priest, M. and Daley, G. 2013. Power firms warn Abbott on carbon. Australian Financial Review, 24 April, p.1

which begins

Power companies are demanding the federal opposition rethink its “direct action” plan for reducing carbon emissions, warning that its company baseline approach could be more difficult to operate than Labor’s trading scheme.
The Energy Supply Association of Australia said falling demand for power meant the Coalition must review its energy and climate change policy if it gains power at the September 14 federal election.
The warning comes amid growing support by multinational companies and major business groups for a market-based scheme, such as an emissions trading scheme, linked to the currently low prices set in European and other international markets.
ESSA, which represents big power companies such as Origin, TRUenergy and International Power, has long supported an emissions trading scheme.

Jan 9, 1995 – Efficiency is better than a tax, says business. Of course.

Recycling the rather expensive NIEIR study they’d commissioned in 1992 and launched at least twice in 1994,the Electricity Supply Association of Australia made a Federal budget submission on this day in 1995.  They argued that energy efficiency savings would outstrip the carbon tax then being proposed by Federal Environment Minister John Faulkner. Oh, and export industries (that’d be aluminium, a major consumer of ‘leccy) would be hardest hit.

Gill, P. 1995. Energy efficiency outstrips gains of carbon tax: study. The Australian Financial Review, 9 January.

The sky, it’s always about to fall…

And what’s this, exactly 9 years later, after the carbon tax was beaten and a ‘Greenhouse Challenge’ instituted instead….

Media Release from the Shadow Minister for Sustainability, the Environment & Heritage Member for Wills Friday, 9 January 2004

Scores quit Greenhouse Challenge

Seventy-seven companies dropped out of the Howard Government’s Greenhouse Challenge Program last year. By 30 June, 50 companies had left, according to the response to a Question on Notice I lodged in October, while another 27 companies left between July and December.

These companies left rather than comply with the reporting requirements of the Greenhouse Challenge Program.

It is increasingly clear that Australian companies are losing interest in reporting their greenhouse gas emissions, let alone containing them.

Companies are exiting the Greenhouse Challenge Program because the message they are getting from the Howard Government in not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol is that this Government is not fair dinkum on greenhouse.

They are taking the view that if the Government is not interested in the climate change issue, why should they bother making an effort?

The Howard Government’s Greenhouse strategy seems to be unravelling at the very time when the evidence says we need it the most.

Just yesterday the largest collaboration of scientists ever to study the impact of climate change on wildlife has concluded that climate change is the biggest new extinction threat.

I am today writing to the Greenhouse Office seeking a briefing on the extent of reporting compliance by companies signed up to the Greenhouse Challenge Program. The public is entitled to know how many companies are actually reporting their greenhouse emissions, and what these figures reveal.