Tag Archives: Ros Kelly

12 June, 1992 – Ros Kelly says ‘nope’ on carbon tax…

So, 25 years ago today, a few days after Ros Kelly had signed the UNFCCC document on behalf of Australia, this turned up –

“Economic instruments could also be used to reduce greenhouse emissions. Mrs Kelly said she had had discussions yesterday with Canada’s environment minister on the issue.

Australia’s options were limited, however, because the Government had declared its opposition to a carbon tax. Asked why the Government opposed a carbon tax, Mrs Kelly said it believed such a tax could introduce real social distortions because of Australia’s big distances.

“And it would obviously disadvantage rural communities, and those who could not afford to pay higher (fuel) prices.

The Australian community is not yet ready for a carbon tax. Even the European Community has passed a motion stating that it would not introduce a carbon tax until the US did so.

“It’s a question of who starts the ball rolling,” Mrs Kelly said. “We won’t.”

1992 at Rio- O’Neill, G. 1992. Kelly Wants Action Over CO2 Emissions. The Age, 13 June, p.15.

Also on this day-

2011 Big Footprint Is Green the new tyranny. Monckton uses swastika image with Garnaut… Forced to apologise 

June 4, 1992 – Australia signs the UNFCCC treaty

On this day, 25 years ago, Ros Kelly,  Australia’s Minister for the Arts, Sport, the Environment and Territories signed the United Nations climate change convention (It’s rumoured she was so keen that she almost signed for Afghanistan. Unlike most world leaders, Paul Keating, Prime Minister since December 1991 didn’t attend.

You can read more about Australia and the UNFCCC in my short piece on The Conversation (link goes up tomorrow).

According Matt McDonald, 2005 Fair Weather Friend  “The opposition’s delegate to UNCED in 1992, for example, had criticized the Labor Government’s willingness to give away Australia’s sovereign rights and had emphasized the debilitative economic costs of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” CPD, Senate, 4 June 1992, p. 3350.

Also on this day
Anon, 1989. Environment focus of global TV show. Canberra Times, 4 June p. 3.
SYDNEY: Australians play a part in a television program on the environment to be seen live in almost 100 countries today.
Our Common Future, based in New York, will bring celebrities and world leader together to spearhead the push towards environmental awareness.

1996 – Cabinet says nope… Callick, R. 1996. Coalition backs industry on climate change. The Australian Financial Review, 5 June, p.2.
Australian industry has applauded the Federal Cabinet’s decision yesterday to oppose a targets and timetables approach to international climate change negotiations, made on the eve of World Environment Day today.
The Howard Government’s position effectively reaffirms that taken by the Keating government and its minister for the Environment, Senator John Faulkner.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Alexander Downer, the Minister for the Environment, Senator Robert Hill, and the Minister for Resources and Energy, Senator Warwick Parer, said in a joint statement: “Australia will insist that the outcome of current international negotiations on climate change safeguards Australia’s particular economic and trade interests.” Mr John Hannagan, chairman of the Australian Aluminium Council’s major policy group, said industry welcomed this statement, “reinforcing its no-regrets position as its negotiating stand at the forthcoming Geneva talks”.

1998 http://23.101.218.132/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LC19980604025
It is amazing how up to the mark the Hon. R. S. L. Jones is. This very day, Thursday, 4 June, the New South Wales Premier, the Hon. Bob Carr, signed the first carbon credit trade in Australia as part of an innovative program tackling greenhouse gas emissions and creating new jobs in New South Wales. Today the international finance company Bankers Trust and resource consultants Margules Groome Poyry certified the trade. This is the first time in Australia that major players in the finance and resource sectors have backed a carbon sink plantation in Australia.

2001 John Faulkner and Nick Bolkus grill Gwen Andrews and Robert Hill on the Don Burke adverts

Campbell, C. 2007. Back to the future with ad blitz. Canberra Times. 25 June.
In the next fortnight just as Parliament has risen for winter a $23 million climate change campaign will be broadcast, mailed, and plastered in newspapers. It’s not the first. In May 2001, the viewing public enjoyed a six-week ”burst” of ads on the greenhouse effect featuring gardening guru Don Burke. It cost almost $5million. On June 4, 2001, in the hush of Senate committee room 3, floor 2, in Parliament House, Canberra, a Greenhouse Office bureaucrat revealed, ”In a six-week period, we had 425 60-second advertisements, 375 30-second advertisements, 660 15-second advertisements and a further dozen advertisements, and my figures seem to have some problem qualifying whether those were 60 or 30 seconds.” The same officer revealed that post-campaign research of 1000 respondents showed that 88 per cent of respondents considered the greenhouse effect to be a real problem and only 9 per cent considered it a myth.

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

April 28, 1997 – John Howard says Australia should never have signed UNFCCC

“On 28 April 1997 on ABC Radio National, the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, stated publicly that he believed that Australia should never have signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This was the culmination of over a year of backpedaling by the Australian Liberal-National Party Government on the issue of climate change due to purported negative economic impacts.”
Yu and Taplin, 2000 The Australian Position at the Kyoto Conference in Gillespie and Burns (eds) Climate Change in the South Pacific: Impacts and Responses in Australia, New Zealand, and Small Island States, Kluwer

Howard was probably having to respond to this issue because of a page 2 story in the Australian newspaper which began-

AUSTRALIA will fail to meet its greenhouse gas emission target by 2000 under the current “no-regrets” policy and should back up that policy with tradeable licences to pollute, the Productivity Commission has said.
According to the commission’s calculations, no-regrets policies – under which polluters are encouraged to cut greenhouse gases by improving efficiency – will leave Australia 5-9 million tonnes a year above the agreed limits.

Henderson, I. 1997. Plan for polluters to sell off excesses. The Australian, 28 April, p.2.

 

Also on this day

AAP, 1993. Aust to monitor energy-tax experience: Kelly. Canberra Times, 29 April, p. 15

Australia would watch closely the international trend towards an energy tax and the effect such a tax would have on curbing greenhouse gases, the Minister for Environment, Ros Kelly, said yesterday.

1995

1995 04 28 berlin seminar“The Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the Framework Convention on Climate Change held its inaugural meeting in Berlin during March/April this year. Australia’s negotiating position at the CoP created widespread interest in Australia. A seminar held in Canberra on 28 April, 1995 allowed the Berlin participants to describe the negotiations at the conference. Speakers included representatives from government, business, and the environment movement.” [BCA happy, ACF not…]

 

 

April 26, 1992 – “No carbon tax,” says Ros Kelly..

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

April 21, 2007 – ‘Scorcher’ plugged (a good book, btw)

In 2007 the climate issue went ballistic in Australia Two excellent books were published. One was Guy Pearse’s ‘High and Dry’, which is still essential reading.  The other was Clive Hamilton’s ‘Scorcher,’ an update and extension of his 2001 ‘Running from the Storm’.  On this day, 10 years ago, he was on Radio National plugging  it….

Doogue, G. 2007. Clive Hamilton on Saturday Extra. Radio National, 21 April. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/saturdayextra/clive-hamilton/3238974

Also on this day-

1993 [Clinton’s] stand is a reversal of that taken by the former US President, Mr Bush, who refused at the Earth Summit to support specific targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions or to back the biodiversity treaty.
At the start of his speech, Mr Clinton made an unexpected acknowledgement of Australia’s Minister for the Environment, Mrs Kelly.
“We should introduce a guest from another country who is here with us – the environmental minister from Australia, Ros Kelly,” he said. “Would you stand up? We’re glad to have you here.”
Garran, R. 1993. Clinton pledge cuts new key to the greenhouse. Australian Financial Review, 23 April p.9.

21 April 2010: Failures of the Howard government’s Greenhouse Gas Abatement Program which was a version of direct action exposed by audit report and reported by Lenore Taylor. (From Mark Butler’s Direct Action Timeline)

21 April 2011: The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency publishes detailed estimates of potential land sector abatement which are significantly at odds with those promised by direct action, they put out a range of 5 to 15 Mt and set out why this was different to technical potential quoted by Greg Hunt. (From Mark Butler’s Direct Action Timeline)

Jan 28, 1992 – Ros Kelly admits it’s a long way to Toronto

On this day 25 years ago the then Environment Minister Ros Kelly stated what anyone who could do sums and think about the active and passive resistance to change that institutions have already knew – reaching the 20% reduction by 2005 which she had taken to the Second World Climate Conference in Geneva in November 1990 was going to be a leeeetle bit challenging.  Yes, huge energy efficiency gains might in theory exist, but getting individuals and companies to change their habits was going to be tricky.  And by now, the idea of a carbon tax, floated by both three ESD Working Groups and alsothe Industry Commission in late 1991 had been comprehensively defeated by a determined industry campaign.  Two hacks for the Fin wrote –

The Federal Minister for the Environment, Mrs Kelly, conceded yesterday it would be “very difficult” to achieve global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent – a target endorsed by the Federal Government.

1992 Garran R. and Lawson, M. 1992. Kelly concedes greenhouse difficulties. Australian Financial Review, 29 January, p.5.

The Toronto target limped on, and mostly served to give industry some cheap shots, until early 1995.  But more on that later….