CCL Australia Blog

  • Recent breakthroughs for CCL – here and overseas

    By on December 3, 2018

    At our September conference I spoke of the tipping point at which most of the world would get on board to stop climate change. I said that like the fall of the Berlin Wall it would happen quite suddenly, and it would come as a surprise. I said that our job is to bring that tipping point closer.

    Well we’re not there yet but a lot of things have happened in the past 3 months that bring us closer to that point.

    First was the adoption of a carbon fee and dividend policy in Canada.

    Next came the Wentworth by-election which put climate policy firmly back on the campaign agenda and then elected a climate-literate Dr Kerryn Phelps to replace Malcolm Turnbull.

    Then came announcements from 3 big mining and fossil fuel companies decrying government inaction and advocating a carbon tax.

    Next came a tangible result of our lobbying – the launch of the Australian Climate Dividend Plan (ACDP), a carbon fee and dividend policy that results from economic modelling by Richard Holden and Rosalind Dixon. It makes a powerful case for carbon tax that brings a climate dividend to more than three-quarters of Australian taxpayers of voting age.

    The Victorian election showed a big shift towards progressive politics and support for a government that has a strong renewable energy target and has advocated for bolder climate policies at Federal level.

    And the Irish Parliament is debating carbon fee and dividend to address climate change in Ireland.

    And just last week there were five breakthroughs;

    • Rebekha Sharkie, Federal MP (Centre Alliance) joined with Dr Kerryn Phelps in launching Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action (PFoCA). We have been talking with MPs about such a Parliamentary Friends group over the past two years.
    • Both MPs helped launch the “No Time for Games” initiative of Doctors for Environment the next day!
    • The next day we got the news of a bipartisan Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, introduced to the US Congress by Republican and Democrat representatives. This bill is very close to CCL’s fee and dividend policy.
    • Our economics advisor Warwick Smith met with key people in Canberra, including a senior economic adviser in Parliament
    • The Students 4 Climate Action rallies around the country added a new compelling voice to community demands for policies to address climate change
    • Diverse faith and community leaders, climate scientists and doctors joined forces with the Parliamentary Friends of Multiculturalism and CCL right in the heart of Parliament House in Canberra to provide an urgent climate briefing to politicians – The Human Face of Climate Change.

    This is a remarkable series of events.  The fact that they are coming so close together indicates that momentum is building and that the tide has turned. After years of heading into powerful headwinds CCL has some wind at our back and can briefly enjoy a sense of significant achievement.  We can even begin to look forward to the day when governments around the world are furiously working to outdo each other with climate solutions. But that is another tipping point and there is lots more to be done!

    Very importantly, we can now speak the words ‘carbon tax’ with some confidence that it is making a comeback from its past demonisation and consequent taboo status. In their ACDP report, Richard Holden and Rosalind Dixon name carbon fee and dividend as a ‘Pigouvian’ tax, one which puts a price on social ‘bads’ and enables us to reduce tax on social ‘goods’. They also talk up the dividend approach as it treats individuals as

    “rights bearers, entitled to share in the benefits as well as the costs of the Australian social compact, not simply supplicants seeking discretionary forms of economic support from governments.”

    We now need to talk up carbon pricing as a fundamental underpinning for reversing climate change. We know that even 100% renewables will not be enough to stop climate change and that taxing all greenhouse emissions to drive the transition to a zero-carbon economy is essential.

    It is a positive tax, one that can transform our economy and move us towards a society that works for people and planet. We can now proudly proclaim that “the tax is back!”


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    Citizens' Climate Lobby Australia
  • Faiths, scientists and doctors unite Australian Parliament to urge climate action

    By on November 29, 2018


    Faiths, scientists and doctors unite in Parliament to urge climate action


    Diverse faith leaders, climate scientists, doctors and community leaders will come together in Parliament House to deliver an urgent climate briefing to politicians. Later, they will join members of civil society congregating on Parliament House Lawns to create a Human Sign of the word ‘NOW’, a call for climate action now.


    Professor Mark Howden (Director Climate Change Institute ANU), Stella Miria-Robinson (President, Pacific Islands Council of Queensland), Philippa Rowland (Multifaith SA), Dr Ingo Weber (Doctors for the Environment Australia), Jo Dodds (Tathra resident, Bega Valley Shire Council), Rev. Pamela Phillips (Anglican priest of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn), Dean Sahu Khan  (Muslim Community of Canberra), Amardeep Singh (Sikh Community Leader), Jacqueline Forbes (Tibetan Buddhist Society of Canberra), Venerable Thich Quang Ba (Sakyamuni Buddhist Centre, Van Hanh Monastery).


    1 PM at Approved Assembly Area (Lawn) – APH backdrop – Solidarity across diverse faith, science and cultural communities.

    1.45 PM Mural Hall B to 3.45 PM – Seated and speaking – Solidarity across diverse faith, science and cultural communities.

    5.30 PM outside – Human sign for the word ‘NOW’, which is part of a wider mission to write the sentence “MAKE THE SWITCH NOW 100% RENEWABLES…IMAGINE”, plus banners and music.


    1:00 pm Thursday 29 November – 15- minutes

    1:45 pm to 3:45 Mural Hall B – 2 hours

     5:30pm Human Sign saying ‘NOW’ outside Parliament House – 30 minutes


    1:00 pm  photos and statements Authorised Assembly Area, Parliament House, Canberra (see map below).

    1:45 – 3:45 pm – Multifaith Climate Briefing in Mural Hall B 1.45 PM until 3.45 PM

    5:30 pm  Human Sign: on the NCA lawns below Parliament House 5.30 PM



    Prof. Mark Howden – Director Climate Change Institute, ANU, IPCC Co-Chair

    Stella Miria-Robinson – President, Pacific Islands Council of Queensland

    Philippa Rowland – President Multifaith SA, Community delegate at COP15 Copenhagen, COP21 Paris, Sommet de Conscience and COP22 Marrakech

    Dr Ingo Weber – Doctors for the Environment Australia – No Time For Games

    Jo Dodds – Bega Valley Shire Council, representing regional communities

    Rev. Pamela Phillips – Anglican priest of the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, member of the Diocesan Public Issues Commission

    Kantilal Jinna OAM – Hindu Community of Canberra

    Dean Sahu Khan – Muslim Community of Canberra

    Amardeep Singh – Sikh Community Leader Canberra

    Jacqueline Forbes – Tibetan Buddhist Society of Canberra

    Venerable Thich Quang Ba – Sakyamuni Buddhist Centre, Van Tranh Monastery

    For interviews or more information, contact Sue Ennis on 0400 069 014. Alt. contact: Philippa Rowland on 0429 828 412

    Philippa Rowland

    President, Multifaith Association of South Australia

    E: │ M: 0429 828412 │ PO Box 266 Stirling SA 5152 

    Peace and good wishes to all – for the Earth
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    Citizens' Climate Lobby Australia
  • A carbon price that curbs polluters and reduces inequality

    By on November 22, 2018

    The federal government’s non-response to climate change has run its course and events are rapidly overtaking its startled members. And now, after years of resistance, Woodside, BHP and Rio Tinto have done an about face and are calling for a price on carbon.

    But what would a carbon price look like in practice? One proposal is the new Australian Climate Dividend Plan (ACDP) from Richard Holden and Rosalind Dixon, both of UNSW.

    The ACDP proposes a small, steadily-rising ‘tax’ on the climate polluting potential in CO2- equivalents of every fossil fuel or feedstock as each tonne enters the economy for the first time.

    It starts small, say at $20/tonne, that’s about 4.6 cents per L of standard petrol, and returns all the proceeds as a rebate directly and equally to each Australian adult with a tax file number. The plan aims to simultaneously provide strong market-based incentives to reduce our carbon emissions as well as decrease economic inequality.

    Returning the revenue to citizens as a dividend is important as it ensures that everyone who needs it is protected from rising costs. This in turn assures business owners that they can pass on the new costs. Both consumers and enterprises that choose to invest their climate dividend in services and products that lower their GHG emissions will then accelerate the required change in the economy and save money at the same time.

    The steadily increasing fee on emissions gives investors, governments and consumers certainty about future carbon prices and enables business to plan an orderly reduction in carbon emissions. Most importantly, it enables a smoothly accelerating transition to a low carbon economy and avoids the disruption, inequity and chaos that will most likely happen without it.

    In Canada they have recently introduced a federal price on carbon by fee and dividend, after years of lobbying by Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

    A similar policy is advocated in the US by the conservative Climate Leadership Council led by former Secretary of State, George Schultz, former Treasury Secretary James Baker and other Republican luminaries. Their Carbon Dividends policy advocates a carbon tax starting at US$40/ton increasing annually at CPI.

    It is important that carbon pricing policies include a border adjustment to level the playing field between countries. A tariff on imports from countries without a comparable carbon price and rebates to exports to those same countries protects trade-exposed industries from unfair competition. It has the added advantage of encouraging those countries to price carbon themselves and avoid paying tariffs to countries that do price carbon. It is the clearest way to create the global carbon price that transnational companies are asking for, while preventing companies moving operations to countries with lower or no carbon pricing..

    It is also vital that carbon pricing policies reduce emissions effectively and transparently across the whole economy. A dividend plan can do this and is many times less complex and much more efficient than sector by sector arrangements. While having little direct impact on the agricultural sector, a very large emitting sector, a rising carbon price enabled by a climate dividend would ensure farmers who cut emissions, improve soils and revegetate are well rewarded.

    The Australian Climate Dividend Plan is well timed as the political divide on climate policy is costing us dearly – in energy and health costs, damage to property, lost or delayed investment and growing cynicism and despair about government. The transparent price signal it creates enables the market to address these negative externalities, the social costs of carbon emissions. “It creates a new coalition of politically motivated citizens and politically supportive ‘citizen-shareholders’.”

    The plan also gives the Coalition an opportunity to save face by endorsing an effective, popular but conservative, market-based policy that can be a great fit for the values of a pro-market conservative party.

    The majority of MPs could collaborate around a sensible centrist policy that breaks the anti-democratic impasse we are currently enduring. The Australian Climate Dividend Plan is such a policy, one that shows a new way forward on national and global carbon pricing. Could it be the policy that enables us to ‘bury the hatchet’ after a 10 year climate war and make climate policy a bridge instead of a wedge issue?

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    Citizens' Climate Lobby Australia
  • A Climate Dividend for Australians

    By on November 17, 2018

    BREAKING! Professor Dr Kerryn Phelps AM will launch ‘A Climate Dividend for Australians Plan‘ by UNSW Professors Richard Holden and Rosalind Dixon.

    This project is a visionary and game-changing economic study of carbon pricing and is part of the UNSW Grand Challenges Program.

    The UNSW plan will be launched at UNSW at 6 pm on Wednesday 21st November. Dennys Angove, the CCL Australia Advisory Council member who kicked of the discussion and had input to the climate dividend project, will be there. Quite a few other CCL members from NSW will be there as well and as a CCL member who has advocated for a dividend-based pollution pricing, some since 2014, you are also invited to attend, just register here.

    When the plan is released from embargo by UNSW it will be linked here for free download.

    Read more about the Citizens’ Climate Lobby Carbon Fee and Dividend here.

    Donate to fund our volunteers to get this simple fair and effective pollution pricing plan to every community and every MP here.


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    Citizens' Climate Lobby Australia
  • New research on intervening in partisan politics – by Rod Mitchell

    By on October 13, 2018

    Social Psychologists David Sharman and Leaf Van Boven were guest speakers at CCL’s September International Monthly Call (summarised here) and gave a powerful exploration of the psychology of partisan politics. As Rod Mitchell explains,  they concluded that “the CCL way” is an important part of the solution!


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    Citizens' Climate Lobby Australia