Tag: Australia

Fossil of the Day Award

The First Place Fossil goes to Australia. Many would have thought that Australia’s position at COP19 couldn’t have got much worse after the dismantling of its climate change department, ridding itself of the burden of a climate change minister and intending to remove its carbon price during COP. But we thought wrong.

Yesterday, the Australian media revealed that Australia will not be putting forward any new finance commitments in Warsaw.

This is despite the crushing losses suffered by the Philippines this week, illustrating Australia’s lack of understanding as to the purpose of climate finance.

To top it off, Australian cabinet ministers characterize climate finance as ‘socialism masquerading as environmentalism’ – we have news for you, it’s not socialism, its equity and it's your responsibility.

 

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Australia’s Empty Purse Earns First Fossil of COP19, with Special Solidarity Ray of the Day for Philippines in the Face of Typhoon Devastation.

Fossil of the Day, COP19, Warsaw 11.11.2013

                                

Many would have thought that Australia’s position couldn’t have got much worse after the dismantling of its climate change department, ridding itself of the burden of a climate change minister and intending to remove its carbon price during COP.  But we thought wrong.

Yesterday, the media revealed that Australia will not be putting forward any new finance commitments at the Warsaw negotiations, beyond their old Fast Start Finance commitments. This has earned Canberra COP19’s very first Fossil of the Day.

The Australian Government’s stance is despite the crushing losses suffered by the Philippines this week, a country who is a Pacific neighbor to Australia and needs international finance to insure against future tragedy. This is a glaring illustration of Australia’s lack of understanding of the purpose of climate finance.

To top it off, Australian cabinet ministers characterize climate finance as ‘socialism masquerading as environmentalism’ – we have news for you, it’s not socialism, its equity and it's your responsibility.

Special recognition today, the Ray of the Solidarity, goes to the Philippines.

Today, just as we have heard with sadness and great frustration Australia’s intentions not to increase its climate financing, we also heard from the Philippines lead negotiator, Yeb Sano, who addressed the opening session of the UN climate negotiations, calling for urgent action to prevent a repeat of the devastating storm that hit parts of his country this past weekend. Super Typhoon Haiyan was like nothing the world has ever experienced.

During his speech Sano thanked civil society, especially those who are risking their lives climbing oil rigs in the Arctic, trying to stop the building of new oil pipelines, or taking any direct action against the dirty fossil fuel industry.

To this we say to Sano and the rest of the countries of the world, civil society has never felt the urgency of action as much as we do now, and we guarantee that we will never lose our passion, motivation, and determination to achieve a change in light of these and many other events.

We stand in solidarity with the Philippines and all other nations that were hit by this devastation. We urge the international community to act here in Warsaw to reduce the threat of climate change and push towards a new, globally-binding agreement in 2015.

We would like to have a moment of silence as a symbol of our solidarity, and invite you all to hold hands and stand with us.

About CAN: The Climate Action Network (CAN) is a worldwide network of over 850 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in more than 100 working to promote government and individual action to limit human0induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org 

About the fossils: The Fossil of the Day awards were first presented at the climate talks in 1999, in Bonn, initiated by the German NGO Forum. During United Nations climate change negotiations (www.unfccc.int), members of the Climate Action Network (CAN), vote for countries judged to have done their 'best' to block progress in the negotiations in the last days of talks.

About the rays: CAN, gives out the 'Ray of The Day' award to the countries who are a ray of hope over the past days of negotiations at the UN climate change conference. This ‘Ray of Solidarity’ is in the same spirit.

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The Topsy-Turvy Land Downunder

You may have heard that things have gone a little awry in the climate downunder.

Not only has Sydney just had the worst bushfires ever in October (mid-spring!), this year saw national temperature records broken month after month after month. After the hottest day ever across Australia in January, the Bureau of Metereology had to include a new colour for much hotter levels of hot. And perhaps this is no surprise -- now the heat seems to have gone into the heads of the politicians.

Despite the fact that the majority of Australians want action on climate change (as made clear by extensive exit polling at the recent election), the new government sacked the independent Climate Change Authority (which provided independent scientific advice on climate policy), and is in the process of repealing Australia's carbon price and limit on pollution as well as its legislated commitment to 80% reductions by 2050.
Say again? With more than 40 countries, states and provinces around the globe implementing a carbon price, the new government is falling backwards, scrapping Australia’s pricing scheme and moving to an inefficient government funded scheme that – wait for this! -- pays polluters to pollute.

But unfortunately, there’s even more. What about Australia’s ability to meet the middle or upper end of their 5% to 25% 2020 target range? Seems to be gone in a flash. Other countries should sound alarm bells and question Australia’s intentions to contribute its fair share to cut global pollution and limit warming.

The new Australian government is hardly inclined to take climate change seriously -- but they must.

 

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Green Music Australia

What do we mean when we say Green Music Australia will "harness the cultural power of musicians to lead the way to a greener world"?

Basically, we're here to help.

Most musicians really want to reduce their impact on the planet and help tackle global warming. But, like any busy people, most of us don't know where to start or what to do.

So we'll help. We'll help musicians, venue operators, festival organisers and anyone else across the music scene work out what they can do most easily and affordably to reduce their environmental footprint. We'll link up people in need of services with service providers. We'll organise bulk purchasing and innovative funding arrangements for expensive items like LED stage lighting or efficient refrigeration.

And, importantly, we'll help everyone taking this practical leadership to talk about it in an inspiring way.

We're starting out with a major research project to find out where the biggest impacts from our industry are and what the best ways to tackle it are.

Over time, we'll turn this research into web-based sustainability accounting software - a green musician's MYOB - to both guide and measure what we do, and share what we're learning along the way.

Eventually, we aim to be the hub of an exciting community, all working together, sharing ideas and celebrating successes as we make the Australian music scene green!

Contact Information: 
Australia
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Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia (CORENA)

CORENA provides a practical and immediate way for ‘the people’ to collectively fund new renewable energy installations. A rapid transition to 100% renewable energy would help tackle the climate emergency by greatly reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. We could eliminate the adverse health effects of coal, avoid the CSG threat to our agricultural land and aquifers, and avoid increasing fossil fuel prices.

Mid-2012 figures indicate that 750,000 households buy Green Power. In effect, this is a donation to renewable energy.Many people want a fast transition to 100% renewable energy. In September 2012, around 100 people participated in the Walk for Solar, walking the 320 km from Port Augusta to Adelaide in support of obtaining government funding for solar thermal with storage to replace the old coal-fired power stations at Port Augusta, SA.

Back in 2010, the Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) group released a blueprint for transforming Australia’s stationary energy use to 100% renewable energy within 10 years, at a cost of around $8/wk per household. The only thing lacking is the political will, but people were asking, “Where do I send my $8 per week?”

The CORENA Fund provides a ‘place’ where people can send their contributions. It enables everyone who wants more renewable energy NOW to collectively get on with the job, rather than just waiting on government action.

We invite the public to donate to the CORENA Fund, to either the Big Project or the Small Projects, or both. That money is then used to fund renewable energy installations and energy efficiency measures in all parts of Australia. Donations can be any amount of course, not necessarily $8 per week. Even small donations from a large number of people can achieve a huge amount. Or, if you are divesting in order to avoid funding coal and gas expansion, you might consider ‘investing’ in a safer future by donating some of that money to CORENA projects.

Contact Information: 
Australia
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Go Deeper for Cheaper

 

CAN hopes Australia's independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) had a useful time in Bonn gathering perspectives from Parties, in particular on how Australia's actions may help or hinder the road to a 2015 global deal.

With carbon pollution blasting through 400ppm and many nations preparing to ramp up their efforts, we guess you heard some stern views on the (lack of) adequacy and fairness of Australia's unconditional 5% target for 2020.

The good news? WWF earlier this week revealed Australia could bump up its target from 5% by 2020 to 25% at virtually no extra cost to its economy. A lucky country indeed! You'd be mad not to, wouldn't you? And while the cost to your GDP would be negligible, the kudos would be priceless.

In honour of your visit, ECO revisited Australia's conditions for moving to 15% and maintains these were comfortably satisfied by the Cancun Agreements and Durban Platform, along with new reporting requirements for developing countries and land sector rules under the Kyoto Protocol. But it's no secret that 15% falls well short of what a country with economic capability and clean energy resources like yours should be putting in. Wouldn't you agree? And as your own Professor Garnaut has made clear, with a coastal population, rising costs from extreme weather and shifting rainfall threatening to wreak havoc for your farmers, no developed country has a stronger national interest in keeping the global temperature rise as far below 2°C as possible.

Needless to say, the best way for Australia to protect its national interest and at the same time protect the environment is to set targets and budgets that accord with the science (remember the 40% below 1990 levels?) and represent a fair and defensible share for Australia. To ECO, setting your 2020 target to at least 25% below 2000 levels and setting an ambitious long-term national carbon budget looks like a no brainer. Smart for the planet, smart for the economy, and smart for Australia's world standing.  ECO hopes the CCA got that message loud and clear.

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Adaptation Fund: Progressive But Poor!

ECO would like to cast a bright light on whether there is sufficient progress in responding to the needs of the poor and vulnerable at an implementation level. We note that the Adaptation Fund is now established. It has approved funding for 27 adaptation projects with several projects more waiting to be funded. Furthermore, we see that 15 developing countries have already had their National Implementing Entities accredited and can directly access the Fund, and several more countries are in the process of accreditation. 

ECO also recognises that the Adaptation Fund has become a forerunner, having recently been ranked as the top climate finance institution by Publish What You Fund: the Global Campaign for Aid Transparency. Just two weeks ago it became the first climate fund in the International Aid Transparency Initiative. It has also been an early-mover in adopting an overarching results framework. The Fund has managed to speed up the project approval process while reducing implementing entities´ fees. 
 
ECO wonders why, with such accomplishments, the Adaptation Fund is the one multilateral fund that has received the least contributions from developed countries in recent years.  And to make matters worse, the price for emission reduction certificates (the key income source of the Fund) is now below US$1, largely due to the virtual collapse of the European Emission Trading Scheme. At current CER prices and estimated issuance levels, the Adaptation Fund would receive only $4 to $8 million in additional revenue to 2020. 
 
ECO is concerned that there has hardly been any progress in delivering the Fund’s target of $100 million by the end of 2013.  There are no new pledges and funding seems to be scarce. ECO calls on Parties to send a strong signal that they are committed to addressing the needs of the vulnerable developing countries by putting additional money into the Fund swiftly. 
 
ECO particularly would like to see countries like Japan, Norway, France, Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand, USA, Canada and others, who have not as yet contributed to the Fund, to do so immediately. Australia´s 2010 pledge has still not been deposited. ECO finds it ironic that Germany, the host of the Adaptation Fund, has only made one pledge of 10 million EUR in 2010, which is much lower than that of Spain and Sweden.
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Sustainable Living Armidale

 

Sustainable Living Armidale is a group of people committed to bringing about the changes needed at the community level to improve resilience in the face of the twin challenges of peak oiland climate change.

Examples of such changes are: increasing local food production, developing businesses that utilise local resources to provide for local needs, reduction of fossil fuel consumption and so on. SLA grew out of the Ideas Into Action Workshops that were part of the inaugural Sustainable Living Expo in 2007. We are affiliated with the worldwide transition movement.

Our Vision
A thriving, proactive, self-reliant, low-carbon community.

Our Mission

To raise awareness of the implications of peak oil and climate change and to inspire and empower our community to build a more self-reliant, resilient future.

Our Values
Sustainable Living Armidale is a non-profit organisation which values:
- caring for the earth and caring for people
- e
mpowerment
- inclusive, participatory and democratic processes, which value the contribution of others
- optimism and encourages positive change
- inter-generational equity
- sharing of knowledge and resources

Contact Information: 
PO Box 85
2350 Armidale NSW
Australia
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