Jenny’s Jottings 13 July 2020

Greg Mullins tells the Bushfire Royal Commission, fire fighting now a battle like the enemy has nuclear weapons.


Jenny’s Jottings

Jenny Goldie, CCL member from Cooma NSW, in the Eden-Monaro electorate, sums up her views and news on Australia’s week in climate change action*

What a relief! (as Raelene Boyle famously said just after Cathy Freeman won the 400m at the 2000 Olympics.) Liberal candidate in the Eden-Monaro by-election, Fiona Kotvojs, finally conceded so Labor’s Kristy McBain has won. At time of writing, McBain was ahead by 723 with 50.38% of the vote, making it even tighter than last year’s election. While McBain was not as strong as some candidates on climate, she was way ahead of Kotvojs on the issue.

It’s been a week of other good news stories, with perhaps the major one being the country’s second biggest superannuation fund, First State Super, declaring they would dump all shares in companies that derive more than 10 per cent of their revenue from thermal coal.

And now there seems to be a turnaround in interest in big renewable energy projects by investors. The proposed Renewable Energy Zones (REZ) are attracting a lot of interest, with the second in the state in New England (Barnaby Joyce territory) looking like it will be even bigger than the first proposal – Central REZ around Dubbo.

And community-funded energy is also taking off, such as the Bomen solar farm near Wagga.

And while not exactly good news, various members of Emergency Leaders for Climate Action (ELCA) appeared before the Bushfire Royal Commission and made clear connections between climate change and bushfires. Greg Mullins, former Commissioner, Fire and Rescue NSW, likened fighting climate-change-enhanced bushfires these days to fighting wars with conventional weapons when the enemy has nuclear weapons. Peter Dunn, former Commissioner, ACT Emergency Services Authority, said: “We are seeing such large scale events that communities now are key to disaster preparation, response, and recovery. That’s a fact of climate change.”

And while the Adani mega-coal mine in Central Queensland is generally bad news, there is now legal action being taken against the Godda coal plant in eastern India where the Adani coal is to be burned. Ironically, the coal plant is in the resource-rich state of Jharkhand that has plenty of coal, but because the electricity will go to another country (Bangladesh), they are not allowed to use local coal. The legal action, however, centres on the planned displacement of thousands of Indigenous Adivasi people. the high level of pollution locally and the draining of billions of litres from the Ganges River every year.

The week has not been without its bad news, with a report (Passing the Pollution – see below) revealing that Australia is now the world’s biggest exporter of coal and gas. It was revealed the banks have lent $36 billion to fossil fuel industries since 2016. Santos is pushing ahead with its Narrabri gas project even before its Independent Planning Commission (IPC) hearing. And Viva Energy is trying to have an old oil refinery site in Geelong converted into an LNG import terminal.

Cartoon c/o Kal, The Economist

Coming webinars:

National Clean Energy Summit series. July 21 and 23. (Costs, but probably worth it.) Register here.

Our Islands. Our Home. Virtual Town Hall. 7pm 29 July. Register here.


WWF Australia. Turning an old car plant into a home battery factory.


BZE: The Million Jobs Plan.

WWF Australia: Delivering economic stimulus through renewables: Battery Nation.

UNSW: Passing the Pollution: Australia becomes biggest exporter of coal and gas.

NSW Climate Justice Project: Australia: an emissions superpower.


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All the best, Jenny

Jenny Goldie
CCL Aust (Eden-Monaro) & President Climate Action Monaro


Other news highlights

Clean energy ‘a no-brainer’ for coronavirus economic recovery: Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes

As governments grapple with quick ways to create jobs and stimulate activity Mr Cannon-Brookes says masses of large-scale renewable energy projects are shovel ready.

Microscopic structures could improve perovskite solar cells

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper.

Super fund’s pledge to turn its back on thermal coal stocks

One of Australia’s biggest industry superannuation funds plans to sell down its investments in thermal coal miners in a bid to protect its members from the financial impact of climate change.

Gas plans under threat due to emissions reality, oversupply and public opposition

Gas industry faces multiple challenges to its viability, including falling prices, a greater understanding of its environmental impacts and community opposition, new report finds.

Dubbo’s new renewables zone shows the path away from fossil fuels

Markets are telling us renewables are the best solution for a faster recovery.

NSW to call for wind, solar and storage proposals for second renewable zone

The NSW Coalition state government is preparing to announce the second phase of its renewable energy zone program, with a call-out for up to 8GW of wind, solar and storage projects in a new zone in the north of the state, including New England.

Federal government’s defence strategy update the weakest on climate in a decade   Cheryl Durrant

As somebody who held a senior position at Defence until very recently, the latest strategy update is incredibly disheartening to read. It barely mentions one of Australia’s greatest security…

The Osborne Effect: Why new car sales will be all electric in six years

It may take only six years for the sale of new petrol and diesel cars to be replaced by electric. Here’s why.

State ministers say ARENA funding vital as priorities pivot to hydrogen and storage

State energy ministers call for ARENA funding to be extended, recognising ongoing need for new energy innovations.

Electric cars to be plugged into power grid in hope of protecting Australia against blackouts

Fifty one vehicles in Canberra will be part of a trial — the first of its kind in Australia — to gauge how well car batteries can stabilise the electricity network against damaging surges.


* Note that the views and wishes expressed in these blogs are not necessarily those of Citizens Climate Lobby Australia.
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