Anglesea calling: Stop the coal pollution

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The huge turnout at the ‘Shut It Down’ rally and march on 10 August 2014 signaled the end of Anglesea coal social licence, which a group of children literally shredded to pieces during the event.

In the 38th Sustainable Hour we play audio-excerpts of four of the anti-coal speakers: Leigh Ewbank, Dr Jacinta Morahan, Andrew Laird and Rob Gell, and follow their statements up with a live phone interview with coal investment expert Tim Buckley, Director of Energy Finance Studies, EEFA.


Listen to The Sustainable Hour no. 38:

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Anti-coal rally speakers in Anglesea:
Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth Melbourne
Dr Jacinta Morahan, Surf Coast Air Action spokesperson
Andrew Laird, barrister
Rob Gell, geomorphologist and weather presenter

Live phone interview:
Tim Buckley, director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia, Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis

 

» Listen to more speeches from the Anglesea rally here: www.surfcoast.airaction.org



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Rob Gell: We need a smart sustainable economy in Victoria

“We need a new economy in Victoria: a smart, sustainable economy to deliver economic, employment and environmental value. So that our state enjoys economic strength, thriving businesses and the growth of jobs for future not the jobs of the past. So, shut it down as soon as possible,” said Rob Gell in his speech at the rally on 10 August 2014 in Anglesea.”
Rob Gell



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“Even if no new fossil fuel plants are constructed, we are still on track to experience catastrophe irreversible climate change as a result of lifetime CO2 emissions of existing installations – the message is therefore urgent and unequivocal: SHUT IT DOWN!”
Andrew Laird


Compelling financial reasons

“I think there are actually compelling financial reasons as to why we are going to inevitably see the world’s electricity markets move towards a low-carbon future. You can externalise the pollution, and you can externalise the impacts on water, but at the end of the day, the price of renewable energy is coming down so rapidly that I would argue it is inevitaable that we are going to move to a more diverse electricity structure that is less carbon intensive.”
Tim Buckley


“Solar will be at the forefront of a major energy system transformation in the coming decade,” says Tim Buckley, director of Energy Finance Studies, Australasia, Institute of Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. He has worked as coal market analyst for Citibank for 17 years, culminating in his role as Managing Director and Head of Australasian Equity Research for the last six years.

Tim Buckley has 25 years of financial markets experience, having spent the majority of this time as a top-rated equities research analyst in Australia, with some time covering global and Asian equity markets. Buckley is co-founder and managing director of Arkx Investment Management, which consults in the low carbon finance sector and is an investor in leading global-listed clean energy companies.

“Distributed roof-top solar, coupled with residential storage and smart home energy management systems, will be an enormously disruptive grouping of new technologies that will continue to dramatically impact the antiquated business models based around centralised, subsidised, polluting coal-based electricity generation. (…)
Total system costs for residential solar will continue to fall, retail electricity prices will continue to rise, and the total system functionality of solar with home storage will expand the total value offering.”
Tim Buckley

» Articles on RenewEconomy by Tim Buckley: www.reneweconomy.com.au

» Briefing note: Fossil fuels, energy transition & risk, July 2014 (pdf)
By Tim Buckley

IMF: coal tax to reflect environmental damage

The International Monetary Fund – a sober and conservative organisation – says a 60 percent tax on coal would reflect the environmental damage caused by burning the resource. The IMF report ‘Getting Energy Prices Right’ says coal should face a tax of about $US 3.30 per gigajoule of energy, which is about 60 per cent of the current average world price of $5.00.

» www.cgdev.org

 

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Friends of the Earth: No coal or gas

You can join Friends of the Earth in their call to the Victorian government, saying: Stop dangerous coal and gas mining in Victoria

Friends of the Earth Melbourne wrote:
“The Premier Denis Napthine has said that ‘there will be no fracking on my watch’. This is a good development, and builds on the current moratorium on fracking and onshore gas drilling activity. It is now time to directly support communities that have declared themselves coal or gasfield free.

Eight communities in Western Victoria and 19 in Gippsland have completed their surveys and received overwhelming support to declare themselves coal and/or gasfield free. In community polling in Seaspray, Giffard and The Honeysuckles, in Gippsland, 98% of people supported the proposal to declare the area gasfield free.

It is time the government listened to the community and ruled out any drilling or mining in areas where communities have made coal and gasfield free declarations.

The government has the power to exempt areas from mining. Will the Premier and Energy and Resources Minister support community demands?

» Sign and comment on Friends of the Earth’s letter to the Premier and Energy and Resources Minister: www.melbourne.foe.org.au



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Robert E. Rubin quote

What is the cost of inaction?

“We do not face a choice between protecting our environment or protecting our economy. We face a choice between protecting our economy by protecting our environment — or allowing environmental havoc to create economic havoc.”
~ Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chairman, Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

This opinion-piece by former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Robert E. Rubin is a must-read:
» www.washingtonpost.com

Information about Robert E. Rubin:
» www.cfr.org/staff/b292
» www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Rubin

“Climate change is a present danger. The buildup of greenhouse gases is cumulative and irreversible; the pollutants we are now emitting will remain in the atmosphere for hundreds of years. So what we do each day will affect us and the planet for centuries. Damage resulting from climate change cuts across almost every aspect of life: public health, extreme weather, the economy and so much else.

What we already know is frightening, but what we don’t know is more frightening still. For example, we know that melting polar ice sheets will cause sea levels to rise, but we don’t know how negative feedback loops will accelerate the process. As polar ice melts, the oceans absorb more heat, which causes more ice to melt. And the polar ice sheets have already started to melt.
When it comes to the economy, much of the debate about climate change — and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are fueling it — is framed as a trade-off between environmental protection and economic prosperity. Many people argue that moving away from fossil fuels and reducing carbon emissions will impede economic growth, hurt business and hamper job creation.

But from an economic perspective, that’s precisely the wrong way to look at it. The real question should be: What is the cost of inaction?”

» Continue reading


“Existing power plants in the world will emit more than 300 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide – two-thirds from coal-fired units – over their expected lifetimes. The findings by the University of California Irvine and Princeton University are the first to quantify how quickly emissions are growing.”

» Business Spectator:
Existing fossil-fuel plants could exceed carbon budget



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Summit about climate solutions

10-minute podcast interview with Professor David Hood about the 2014 Australian Climate Action Summit
The 2014 Australian Climate Action Summit is being held in Brisbane on the weekend of 20-21 September 2014. It brings together climate activists, climate communicators, scientists, and others concerned about climate change. The summit is taking a new orientation this year, with a focus on nurturing the climate movement and showcasing solutions.

Des Lawrence spoke to Professor David Hood of the Queensland University of Technology, to find out more about this year’s summit activities and sought his opinion on the current community mood to climate change. For details of the summit go to www.climatesummit.org.au

» Listen to the 10-minute podcast interview on:  www.radio.adelaide.edu.au



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Podcast from Melbourne: Beyond Zero Emissions Community Show

Beyond Zero Emissions Community Show is a one hour podcast focusing on activism and campaigning is recorded live every Monday at 5pm. The show aims to provide up-to-date news about community campaigns, actions and events from around Australia, including interviews with members of the climate action group community.
» Listen to the show and read more:  www.bze.org.au




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