“Oil drives you crazy. Oil corrupts politics. Oil buys politicians.”
~ Jeffrey D. Sachs, American economist and director of The Earth Institute
We Don’t Have Time trailer. More info below
“This is the most dramatic story the human family has ever faced. It doesn’t even make the headlines.”
~ Jeremy Rifkin, American economist and governmental advisor, based in Germany
The most dramatic story of them all doesn’t even make the headlines: We move further and further away from being able to keep our planet below the 2°C global warming that the world’s governments agreed on – first in Copenhagen in 2009 and then in Paris in 2015 – would be the limit we should not go above.
The transition to renewables is happening, but much too slowly. The dire reality in 2018 – nine years after the UN Climate Summit in Copenhagen – is that the world’s consumption of fossil fuels continues to grow. Fossil fuels quietly accounted for 70 per cent of humanity’s energy growth in 2017. Oil and gas both made significant gains, with even much maligned coal registering a significant uptick.
In 2017, big banks across the globe increased their financing of “extreme” fossil-fuels activities by 11 per cent to US$115 billion, according to a report by a collection of environmental NGOs. Increased. In 2017.
When the global Paris Climate Agreement was created in December 2015, Commonwealth Bank joined many other big banks in supporting the agreement’s 2°C goal. However, since then the bank has loaned $7.2 billion to the coal, oil and gas sectors – which is 3.8 times the amount they loaned to renewable energy over the same period.
Market Forces’ latest ‘2°C Scorecard’ reveals Australia’s four big banks together loaned $21 billion to the dirty coal, oil and gas sectors since 2015. Worse still, these loans include a 50 per cent spike in new climate-wrecking fossil fuel projects.
It is not just absurd. It is directly criminal that our governments allow all of this to continue.
Why is it criminal?
Because at the same time we have scientists telling us we are on track for 3.5 or 4°C degrees global temperature rise before this century ends. No one dares to talk about what that could then mean will happen in the following centuries. “Our generation will all be dead by then, so why should we care?” seems to be the general sentiment.
Once the so-called feedback loops set in, we could be find ourselves having triggered a fatal escalation of events turning the Earth into a messed up planet that where it will take millions of years for life to recover. On the short term – in that perspective – less than a tenth of the current human population are expected to survive the dramatic transformation process in this century, according to some of the scientific predictions.
In this light it is absurd we have to witness politicians, investors and industries all fully aware of the issue, but even so allowing the air pollution to go on. Carbon emissions are allowed to continue to rise, year after year after year.
— Climate Action Org (@Climate_Action_) June 4, 2018
“So reckless it’s terrifying.”
~ Simon Baker, award-winning Australian actor and director
“Did you know that 70 per cent of energy growth last year was accounted for by fossil fuels? Despite all the headlines of spectacular growth in renewables, the world’s energy system is not becoming cleaner.”
» Energy Post – 1 June 2018:
A common goal for all sustainability advocates
At Shell’s latest annual general meeting, shareholders approved chief executive Ben van Beurden’s 2017 pay package: AUS$13,7 million. I find it hard to understand why any company should be paying a single man such a huge sum of money – more than a million dollars per month – but putting that aside, the figure tells its own sad story about exactly how extremely lucrative and wealthy the fossil fuel industry is. I say sad, because this is of course the exact reason it keeps going at a time when everyone knows it really should have been stopped, if we wanted to have any hope of protecting our planet’s biosphere and avoiding these costly extreme weather events. In 2017 alone, economic losses from natural and man-made disasters exceeded US$300 billion.
According to corporate transparency data published by the Australian Tax Office, there were at least 39 fossil fuel companies that paid no income tax in Australia in 2015-2016 despite a combined income of almost AUS$72 billion. The majority of those companies also paid no tax in the 2013-14 and 2014-15 financial years.
Government places all Australians at risk
“The disaster that is this government’s climate change policy is of monumental proportions. It is totally clear that this is not a priority for the government despite what the minister and his colleagues on that side of the room try to tell us. They are burying their collective head in the sand, having no idea how to undo the damage their divided and dysfunctional party room is really doing to our economy and to Australia’s future. The PM has completely abandoned his once strident belief in combating climate change, and the Treasurer made no mention of climate change in his budget speech—not one! This beggars belief.
The budget delivers zero dollars to combat climate change. Pollution levels are rising. Polar ice sheets are melting. Sea levels are rising. We’re seeing reduced rainfall in important agricultural regions, more extreme heat episodes and intense weather events. The health impacts are alarming, and we are heading for economic changes that will not benefit workers and their communities. In fact, this government teeter on the brink of recklessness on this issue. They place all Australians at risk of serious climate events growing in intensity, at risk of falling behind the rest of the world and our international competitors in the renewable energy sector, at risk of leaving whole communities bereft without the means of making a living because, as the world relies less on thermal coal, our communities that rely on that industry will have no plan for a transition.
If we only had a plan, a decent plan, Australia could be leading the way in this region and leading the battle against climate change. With certainty instead of chaos, we could be encouraging clean energy production, sustainable industries, investment in sustainable communities and jobs.
~ Ged Kearney, Australian Labor Party member of Parliament for Batman, Melbourne
The study found that the world’s seven major industrial democracies spent at least $100 billion a year to prop up oil, gas and coal consumption at home and abroad in 2015 and 2016 despite their pledge to end fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.#ClimateChange https://t.co/hRbvr6YKde
— Paul Dawson (@PaulEDawson) June 4, 2018
» International Energy Agency – 23 March 2018:
Global Energy & CO2 Status Report – The latest trends in energy and emissions in 2017
“The International Energy Agency’s first Global Energy and CO2 Status Report – released in March 2018 – provides a snapshot of recent global trends and developments across fuels, renewable sources, and energy efficiency and carbon emissions, in 2017.”
“Slowing down climate change isn’t about saving the planet. It’s about us and our vulnerability to a level of climate disruption civilisation has never seen.”
~ Paul Dawson
Catastrophic #ClimateChange will be Hell if we fail.
— John Pratt (@Jackthelad1947) June 1, 2018
“The world could be heading for fiscal havoc on a scale not seen since the 2008 financial crisis, erasing as much as $US4 trillion from the global economy, with fossil fuel industries at the centre of the upheaval, and the United States, Russia and Canada tipped as big losers, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.”
» Cosmos Magazine – 5 June 2018:
“Stranded” fossil fuel assets may prompt $4 trillion crisis
“Report finds fossil fuel investment in the face of decreasing demand is potentially a recipe for economic chaos. Jeff Glorfeld reports.”
Get the basics of what fossil fuels are
Climate Reality just released their latest (free!) fact sheet. In it, they outline the basics of fossil fuels in easy-to-understand language. Because it’s a fact: we can power today and tomorrow with clean, reliable energy that doesn’t harm our health and destroy our planet.
Wake up Australia it’s real and it’s coming at us like a speeding locomotive.
— Stop Adani Cairns (@StopAdaniCairns) May 26, 2018
Climate damage stops with us
“Climate damage is here, now. By digging up and burning coal, big polluters are destroying our natural world and threatening the people and places we hold most dear.
A good government would lead on the solution to this problem – switching from burning coal to clean energy. But instead, our government is blocking the transition.
With the stakes so high we must take the lead ourselves.”
~ Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO, Australian Conservation Foundation
“We have a silent green majority,”
“We’ve already won the battle for hearts and minds, and we have this army that could change everything by doing one thing: VOTING.” #ActOnClimate #ClimateChange #ClimateChangeIsRealhttps://t.co/MP7WrVzgGs
— Paul Dawson (@PaulEDawson) May 25, 2018
"..as early as the mid-1960s, [they] planned their own business operations around rising seas & other harms from #climatechange, and yet engaged in a campaign to try to mislead the public about whether climate change was actually occurring”#ActOnClimate https://t.co/SaBjSZC4bz
— Paul Dawson (@PaulEDawson) May 24, 2018
Climate models developed since the 1970s have generally been quite skillful in predicting what would happen to global temperatures after they were published. See https://t.co/gtYoK0X2f5 for details. pic.twitter.com/jmKL7M288z
— Zeke Hausfather (@hausfath) May 25, 2018
Last year, when economic losses from natural and man-made disasters exceeded $300 billion, big banks across the globe increased their financing of “extreme” fossil-fuels activities by 11% to $115 billion#ActOnClimate #ClimateChange #KeepItInTheGround https://t.co/nFKXR4SFkn
— Paul Dawson (@PaulEDawson) May 25, 2018
» Medium – 2 June 2018:
President Trump may have ‘pulled out’ of Paris, but America is ‘still in’
“States, cities, college campuses and businesses claim the mantle of climate leadership.”
Research published in Nature has shown hitting the most ambitious #climate targets set in the #ParisAgreement will save the world $30tn in damages, far more than the cost of cutting #emissions. 90% of the global population would benefit economically: https://t.co/HAwgXqev63 pic.twitter.com/tCdgLLSIt3
— ClearOnClimate (@ClearOnClimate) May 25, 2018
“The costs of failing to fight climate change are astronomical. The most lucrative investment in the 21st century may be the Paris climate agreement, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. If the world is able to keep global temperatures from increasing more than 1.5°C degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — the primary goal of the Paris agreement — then more than $30 trillion will be gained by economies across the globe, the report found.”
» Global Citizen – 24 May 2018:
Fighting Climate Change Could Save the World $30 Trillion, Report Finds
» The Guardian – 24 May 2018:
Hitting toughest climate target will save world $30tn in damages, analysis shows
“Almost all nations would benefit economically from keeping global warming to 1.5°C, a new study indicates.”
“Solar panels are all very well, but when the sun doesn’t shine they don’t generate any power. That’s why we need new coal-fired paper stations if our power is to remain affordable and reliable.”
~ Tony Abbott, 22 May 2018, in The Australian
“The Labor Party, with its motions in this parliament to support the closure of coal, are selling out the workers of Australia and also lifting up energy prices.”
~ Josh Frydenberg, Minister for the Environment and Energy, Liberal Party member of Parliament for Kooyong, Melbourne
» The Guardian – 22 May 2018:
Shell investors revolt over pay and maintain pressure over climate change
“Oil firm grilled over carbon emissions, but defeats motion calling for tougher targets.”
CLIMATE CRIMINAL LITIGATION:
Climate crime an issue for the courts
Hold Big Polluters accountable for blocking climate solutions
Oil companies and their friends have known about climate change for years, yet have denied and blocked any action to slow or stop the impacts on our environment and our communities. Join Corporate Accountability in demanding that companies like Exxon-Mobile, Chevron, BP and Shell stop blocking strong climate policy.
By Sriram Madhusoodanan, Deputy Campaigns Director, Corporate Accountability
Uncontrollable wildfires in California. Devastating hurricanes in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas. Record high temperatures in the Middle East. It’s clear that we are facing a climate crisis.
It didn’t have to be this way. The fossil fuel industry – especially the largest oil corporations like ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell – have understood the dangers of climate change for decades. But instead of sounding the alarm, these Big Polluters’ actions did not match the urgency of the crisis we now face.
We can’t let Big Polluters get away with this. Now is a critical moment to expose the fossil fuel industry’s interference on the global stage and on their home turf.
In just a few weeks, four of the largest oil and gas corporations will hold their annual shareholders’ meetings. And we’ll use the moment to shine a light on their role in blocking solutions to the climate crisis.
In this make-or-break year for the planet, Big Polluters and their front groups are working tirelessly to weaken and delay climate policy that is needed to save the planet and millions of lives. That’s why our team is in Germany right now organizing to kick Big Polluters out of the UN climate talks.
But we know Big Polluters’ interference doesn’t stop when this meeting ends. That’s why we need to keep the pressure on, and we’ve got a big opportunity to escalate pressure on corporations like ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, and BP. While these Big Polluters spend gobs of money trying to convince the world they’re part of the solution, we’ll make sure the world knows they’re blocking progress to preserve their own profits.
From May 21-30, four of the Biggest Polluters on the planet will hold their annual shareholders’ meetings. Shareholders’ meetings are the most important day of the year for publicly traded corporations — all eyes of the media and investors are on the corporations and their top executives. With a growing spotlight on their practices, including from their own investors, it’s time we show ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, and Shell that the world is watching and demanding action.
As they head into their shareholders’ meetings, tell Big Polluters to stop blocking progress on climate justice!
“The legal complaint asserts that the EU’s existing climate target to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels, does not protect their fundamental rights of life, health, occupation and property.”
» The Guardian – 24 May 2018:
‘We can’t see a future’: group takes EU to court over climate change
Litigants from eight countries claim EU institutions are not protecting fundamental rights
“Lawyers acting for a group including a French lavender farmer and members of the indigenous Sami community in Sweden have launched legal action against the EU’s institutions for failing to adequately protect them against climate change.”
» The Independent – 24 May 2018:
EU taken to court by families in ‘People’s Climate Case’ over inadequate 2030 emissions target
» Undark – 25 May 2018:
Suing the European Union Over Climate Change
“A case is being pursued against the European parliament and the council of the EU for allowing overly high greenhouse gas emissions to continue.”
» The Guardian – 16 March 2018:
It’s 50 years since climate change was first seen. Now time is running out
“Making up for years of delay and denial will not be easy, nor will it be cheap. Climate polluters must be held accountable.” Article by Richard Wiles
Lawsuit: Two American cities versus the fossil fuel industry
Suits filed by the cities of Oakland and San Francisco are seeking damages from BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Shell, and ConocoPhillips to pay for seawalls and other infrastructure to deal with the impacts of climate change. They’re significant in part because they involve uncharted legal territory: Never before have plaintiffs tried to hold industry liable for a global problem that affects everyone. They’re also the first big test for the growing wave of cities and counties that want to try the same tactic in courts around the United States.
» Vox – 25 May 2018:
A federal judge in a climate change lawsuit is forcing oil companies to cough up internal documents
“Two cities seeking damages from BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Shell and ConocoPhillips can now demand documents.”
“As early as the mid-1960s, [they] planned their own business operations around rising seas and other harms from climate change, and yet engaged in a campaign to try to mislead the public about whether climate change was actually occurring.”
» PRI – 6 May 2018:
Lawsuits took down Big Tobacco. Can they make oil companies accountable for climate change?
“A growing list of US cities and counties are suing fossil fuel companies for damages linked to climate change.”
“Good golly! A few minutes ago a Boston judge acquitted 13 pipeline protesters on the grounds that the climate crisis made it necessary for them to commit civil disobedience. This may be a first in America.”#ActOnClimate #ClimateChange #KeepItInTheGround https://t.co/WJR26uh8hC
— Paul Dawson (@PaulEDawson) March 28, 2018
“According to a 2016 study, the top contributor of air pollution-related deaths in China is the burning of coal. The team of Chinese and American researchers behind the study said that pollution from coal caused 366,000 premature deaths in 2013.”
— 350 Perth (@350Perth) May 27, 2018
“When we get the story right, we move quickly.”
~ Jeremy Rifkin, economist
» SBS – 7 March 2018:
Inside one man’s radical solution to the impending climate change apocalypse
“We need a “third industrial revolution” to stave off mass extinction.”
» Watch it on SBS On Demand
Did you see front page of @theage today? Victoria’s snowfields are disappearing. It’s time Victorian Labor Govt recognised the link between burning fossil fuels & climate change, stopped exploring for gas, and had a plan to transition out of coal https://t.co/6zUUCxD8sS #springst
— Ellen Sandell (@ellensandell) June 1, 2018
Unsafe levels of air pollution
Why should we put up with it? Have your say on Victoria’s air pollution plan by making a submission to the Air Quality Statement.
“Right now, Victoria’s air pollution standards are far weaker than those in Europe or the USA. As a result, many Victorians live with unsafe levels of air pollution from sources such as heavy industry, traffic and clear-fell logging burns. The Air Quality Statement is our opportunity to clean up our air by bringing Victoria’s air pollution laws in line with international best practice.
If you cannot attend the workshop but would still like to make a submission, you can read the statement, upload a submission, or fill out an online form on the Engage Victoria website. Submissions close 30 June 2018.”
~ Nicola Rivers, Acting CEO and Lawyer, Environmental Justice Australia
» Victorian State Government | Department of Environment, land, water and planning:
Clean Air for All Victorians: Victoria’s Air Quality Statement
“Help the Victorian Government secure a clean air future for our state.”
VICTORIAN CLIMATE POLLUTION:
Mining licence extension a win for big polluters
By Dr Nicholas Aberle, Campaigns Manager, Environment Victoria
“Extending mining licences for Victoria’s two remaining brown coal mines represents a win for the operators of the nation’s dirtiest power stations and could lock in higher climate pollution unless the Andrews government also adds CO2 limits to power station licences, Environment Victoria said today.
“This is a deeply disappointing decision that could make it harder for Victoria to achieve its legislated targets to cut climate pollution. It potentially opens the door to Yallourn and Loy Yang pumping hundreds of millions of tonnes more greenhouse pollution into our atmosphere,” said Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham.
Mining licences at Yallourn and Loy Yang mines were due to expire in 2026 and 2037 respectively. They have now been extended to 2051 and 2065. This comes following the government’s decision to delay setting 2025 and 2030 emissions reductions targets until after the state election, and potentially makes it harder to achieve any target recommended by the panel headed by Greg Combet.
“Instead of extending mining licences the state government should have issued a separate licence for the period of mine rehabilitation.
“Today’s decision will make it harder for Victoria to make the significant cuts in CO2 that we need to make, and signals to the renewable energy industry that these old coal clunkers could be around for much longer than they should be, which will only stifle investment in clean energy.
“The only way to repair the damage of today’s decision would be for the Andrews government to put annual CO2 limits on the licences of the power stations, to ensure that extending mining licences does not mean more climate pollution.
“The EPA is currently reviewing the licences of the coal-burning power stations. This process must result in hard limits on CO2 that decline over time, starting from now.
“Climate change is affecting Victorians now. We are already experiencing less water and more intense and deadly bushfires. We don’t have time to wait years before doing the obvious thing and limiting how much climate and air pollution these clunkers can dump into the air.
“The Andrews government has taken some positive steps on climate change, notably strengthening the Climate Change Act, setting a long-term target of net zero emissions by 2050 and committing to a 650 MW reverse auction for more renewable energy. But on top of $50 million for a coal-to-hydrogen project and a disappointing state budget, Premier Andrews urgently needs to re-assert the climate credentials of his government.”
The Andrews government says the mining licences need to be extended to ensure rehabilitation of the mines can be properly carried out.
“The government had already started a much-needed process to reform rehabilitation regulations. One option under consideration was the creation of a specific rehabilitation licence. Today’s decision to extend mining licences, allegedly just so rehabilitation can take place, subverts the review process the bureaucrats already had underway and sends the wrong signal on Victoria’s place in the global energy transition.”
Victorians’ perceptions of climate change
Do you know what the average Victorian’s perceptions of climate change are? Check these important findings from research conducted on behalf of Sustainability Victoria by Wallis Research, a Victorian-based research company with a strong reputation for expertise in conducting social and government research. A total of 3,333 Victorians took part in the survey.
The survey sample was carefully designed and controlled to provide results that can be projected to the broader population with confidence.
The survey estimates have a high level of statistical reliability. At the 95% level of confidence, the margin of error associated with the sample of 3,300 is plus or minus 2.5%.
» See and share the video introduction on youtube.com
» View the full report at www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/socialresearch
Make climate change an election issue
Mark Wakeham, CEO, Environment Victoria, wrote:
“You and I know our window to act on climate change is closing fast. We have perhaps five years to make serious progress on cutting climate pollution. Beyond that, our chances of limiting global warming to 1.5°C degrees by the end of this century will be lost – locking in more heatwaves, floods, droughts and crop failures.
This is why the incredible progress we’ve made in Victoria over the last four years has given me so much hope for our future.
But right now, the Victorian Coalition Opposition’s current publicly stated positions would devastate our local clean energy industry and efforts to cut climate pollution. And while they have taken some great first steps, the Victorian Labor government urgently need to raise its ambition.
So we’re getting ready for the biggest, boldest election campaign for our environment that Victoria has ever seen. This is the best opportunity we have to put our state and country on the right trajectory to combat global warming and protect our environment for future generations.
We’re throwing everything we have at this. We’ve got the best and brightest minds on the job. We’ve brought on four new, experienced staff members and have been learning from the most successful progressive campaigns in Australia and internationally.
• Have powerful conversations – With thousands of voters in marginal electorates about using their vote for clean energy and our environment.
• Help young people enrol to vote – Make sure young people are on the electoral roll and ready to vote for a safe climate.
• Boost the profile of our issues – Make clean energy, the environment and our powerful volunteer-led campaign the big story this election.
• Raise ambition of the parties – Get better public commitments for our environment in the lead-up to the election.
• Pressure the blockers – Call out politicians who are standing in the way of clean energy and show that they’re out of touch with what the community wants.
It’s ambitious, but your urgent support with a gift of $100 will help build the unstoppable people-power our elected representatives can’t ignore this November >> Donate Now
The next state election could lock in irreversible momentum towards Victoria’s clean energy future and get us strong laws to protect our beautiful and precious environment – starting with establishing the Great Forest National Park.”
Newsletter from We Don’t Have Time
We Don’t Have Time writes:
“We are in a race against time”
That is a quote is from the world’s first global “no-fly” climate conference that we hosted on Earth Day 2018. Here we described the severity of the climate crisis and pointed towards solutions for a sustainable future.
This event also marked the launch of our climate action tools. They are a first step towards the #WeDontHaveTime social media platform. We have gained a total impact of roughly 165,000+ interactions and followers on social media.
“We don’t have time but we do have a way.”
That is another quote from the conference. We have a lot in place to make the shift towards a sustainable world. But we need to raise public awareness. This newsletter will be published on a regular basis. We hope that you will find it both worrying and relevant. Don’t hesitate to share our content on social media.
Last but not least, a big THANK YOU for your support!
We are in a race against time. See and share our 3 minutes short summary from our launch. This is a must watch!
On 4-6 May 2018, the first ever Swedish Peoples’ Climate Parliament, ‘Klimatriksdagen’, took place in Stockholm, Sweden.
Fifteen years! That’s all the time we have to completely decarbonise the world economy, according to Jeffrey Sachs, professor in economics and world leader in sustainable development.
This is a story about how thousands NOT travelling by air to a climate conference from over 70 countries all around the world saved the atmosphere from 99.99 % of the CO2 a physical event would have emitted.
EU proposes ban on single-use #plastics to help protect marine life
Read the tweet ›
Read how #CO2 removal helps combat climate change
Read the tweet ›
New record. 720 000 electric bikes bought in Germany 2017
Read the tweet ›
Hilton Hotels aims to reduce carbon emissions by 61% in 2030 in line with Paris Agreement
Read the tweet ›
Families are taking EU to court failing to protect the citizens with inadequate 2030 climate target
Read the tweet ›
Most of the models projected an increase of 4°C as early as 2064 and as late as 2095
Read the tweet ›
Destructive flash floods in Hunsrück, Germany May 27th.
Read the tweet ›
Insects are projected to lose about 49% of their habitat range
Read the tweet ›
Delhi continues to reel under heat wave, 45.4 oC recorded in its suburbs
Read the tweet ›
“No storm this strong has hit this area since reliable records began in the 1950s.”
Read the tweet ›
|We Don’t Have Time aims to create a social media platform for the future, focused on the biggest challenge of our times — the climate. Through our platform, millions of members will unite to put pressure on leaders, politicians and corporations to act for the climate.
Our impact – 166,585 total interactions around the globe
— DrsForTheEnvironment (@DocsEnvAus) June 1, 2018
Tell Big Polluters to stay out of climate policy
“Big Polluters and their front groups are working tirelessly to weaken and delay climate policy needed to save the planet and millions of lives. We call on ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, and BP: Stay out of climate policy.”