Tag Archives: Westpac

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.

Feb 17, 1995 – “Not a single tonne saved” by National Greenhouse Response Strategy

On December 7 1992 the “National Greenhouse Response Strategy” had been agreed by Federal and State Governments. It had no national objectives, had motherhood-statements about the greenhouse programme, listed few substantive responses and was in no meaningful sense a ‘strategy’. So, 0 out of 4. It ignored the proposals of the Ecologically Sustainable Development process which had been set up under the Hawke government, which included a whole raft of useful proposals on energy efficiency, fuel substitution, support for renewables etc. All things that the Federal government of today is still actively hostile to. Anyway, on this day in 1995, the then new-ish Australia Institute released a report called “Can the Future Be Rescued1995-02-17” (a sly reference to any earlier report, but I’m digressing). This argued that `After two years of its operation, there is no evidence that even one tonne of carbon emissions has been saved as a result of the [NGRS).’  The report’s timing was just a little skew-whiff, for reasons beyond the authors’ control – the previous week Senator Faulkner, then the Environment Minister, decided that a carbon tax would not get through Cabinet.  Times don’t change.

Grose, S. 1995. Carbon tax necessary, report says. Canberra Times, 18 February.
An independent assessment of Australia’s greenhouse response strategy has concluded that Australia will not meet its greenhouse gas’ emission targets and claims that a carbon tax should be imposed at a rate of $2 per tonne of carbon dioxide.
The Australia Institute, a Canberra-based think-tank, released its report yesterday in a bid to influence federal Cabinet’s consideration next week of a range of measures to reduce Australia’s greenhouse emissions.

 

Also on this day-

2003. New South Wales Premier Bob Carr, who had headed up a “Kyoto Protocol Ratification Advisory Group” sponsored by three state governments, accused John Howard of merely going along with the US in not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol.

On the same day, Greenpeace said Westpac was in favour of Kyoto Ratification (by now the Business Council of Australia was hopelessly split on the matter, and would soon release a ‘we’re agnostic’ statement)

AAP. 2003. Westpac supports Kyoto Protocol – Greenpeace. Australian Associated Press Financial News Wire, 17 Feb
SYDNEY, Feb 17, AAP – One of Australia’s big four banks has indicated its support for an international treaty to cut greenhouse gases.
Greenpeace today said initial findings of its survey of Business Council of Australia (BCA) members revealed Westpac supported the aims and objectives of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

17-19 Feb 2004 Zero Emissions Technology Conference in Australia. (This at peak excitement of technological solutions.