Tag Archives: Great Barrier Reef

May 7, 2014- Business Council loses status with WBCSD…

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.

April 6, 2006 – Business says it wants ‘long, loud and legal’ framework

One of the key ways the Howard government and its allies were able to keep climate change off the agenda between 1996 and 2006 was to say that business was united in opposition to more-than-voluntary commitments.  This was never true, and by 2006, some businesses were both willing and able to stick their heads above the parapet.

The Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change, a gathering of various businesses including Westpac, Origin, BP said the Howard government should get real. It was front page news on the Melbourne Age, a sign that climate change was climbing the political agena…

Colebatch, T. and Myer, R. (2006) Companies urge action on warming The Age. 7 April p.1.Climate change threatens us all: executives

SIX of Australia’s biggest companies have broken ranks to call on the Federal Government to take tough action to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, including some form of charge on carbon emissions and a binding target.

The companies – Westpac, BP, power company Origin Energy, paper giant Visy and insurers Swiss Re and IAG – say it is now clear that greenhouse gas emissions are causing hotter and more unstable weather, and could lead to serious costs for agriculture, tourism, and Australian business generally.

CSIRO research commissioned for the study warns that even a rise of two degrees in global temperatures could bleach the Great Barrier Reef, dry up most of Kakadu’s wetlands, cut the livestock capacity of inland Australia by 40 per cent, and deplete Australia’s snowfields.

IAG chief executive Michael Hawker, speaking yesterday at the release of the group’s report, blamed climate change for a massive rise in weather-related calamities, including cyclones, floods, high winds and hailstorms.

Days later, an anonymous and lying-down-with-denialists writer at Crikey was underwhelmed.

….

Finally – but by no means least – it also ignores the hypocrisy that these companies are all investing or benefiting from investing in the economic growth engines of
China and India where the real challenges lie in allowing growth while controlling emissions, and where most of the world’s future greenhouse gas emissions will come from.

This is not corporate leadership on climate change. It is unctuous spin. Or what’s sometimes called hot air.