Global Temperatures are Soaring: Please Act

Climate Action Monaro Newsletter 5 Nov 2018

We may safely assume the heatwave affecting Sydney and reaching down as far as us is a sign of things to come. Not just heatwaves but bushfires as well. The smoke blowing from the Pierce’s Creek fire across Canberra’s southern suburbs on Friday reminded us all too much of the 2003 fires which destroyed 500 homes. That was January, of course, in high summer. This was November – in spring – though the long drought made it all more likely.

We (CAM with Repower-Monaro) have managed to secure Profs John Hewson and Andrew Blakers for a public meeting in Karabar/Queanbeyan at 7.30pm on Wednesday 21 November at the Tigers football club. The subject is ‘Making the transition from fossil fuels to renewables”. Come if you can and tell friends.

CAM’s committee met yesterday but we are without a treasurer so if you inclined to offer your services, please do so! We will receive a $2000 grant shortly from Climate Action Network Australia (CANA) for our campaign to have all candidates running for the state seat of Monaro adopt strong policies on renewable energy.

Perhaps it was to assuage its guilt at approving the Bylong coal mine within hours of the IPCC report on 1.5 degree warming, but the NSW Planning Dept has now approved a 55MW solar farm at Vales Point that will power 20,000 homes. It happens to be right next to the coal-fired power station but that has advantages, being right on the grid.

Meanwhile, Crookwell 2 wind farm has begun providing power for 42,000 ACT homes. ACT is planning to have 100 per cent of its power from renewables by 2020. When Victoria’s Hornsdale 2 and 3 wind farm come on line, starting next year, that will be achieved. ACT is showing how it can be done while the federal government languishes without a climate and energy policy.

While we need to make a rapid transition from fossil fuels to renewables for the sake of the climate, the transition can be painful socially. As coal-fired power stations close, workers are displaced. Thus it is great news that an electric vehicle factory will be built at Morwell in the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, the heart of brown coal country.

Meanwhile, Australia’s mining union, the CFMEU, has urged federal and state governments to prepare for the nation’s coal-fired power stations to be shut by 2050 with a comprehensive transition package for workers.

On a grimmer note, Adani is threatening to have work start on the Carmichael mine in the Galilee Basin any day now. Fortunately, Korean banks are now refusing to fund the project. Whether Adani has enough money for the project despite this remains to be seen.

All the best, Jenny

Newsletter by Jenny Goldie
President Climate Action Monaro


‘Getting close’: El Nino event seen as not far off as Sydney sizzles

The hot start to November may be a taste of the summer to come with meteorologists watching a Pacific Ocean that is being primed for an El Nino event.

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/weather/el-nino-event-sydney-sizzles-weather-20181103-p50drw.html


Snowy Hydro dumps coal for wind and solar to pump its water

Snowy Hydro will use wind and solar energy not coal to support its pumped hydro storage generators in a deal the company says will help cut households power bills from 2020.

https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/business/the-economy/snowy-hydro-dumps-coal-for-wind-and-solar-to-pump-its-water-20181101-p50dh0.html


Renewable energy investments not thwarted

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation put $2.3 billion towards projects over the past financial year, driven by state renewable targets and cheaper technology.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/renewable-energy-investments-not-thwarted


Coal power in terminal decline, NSW warned

An independent economic analysis has warned NSW that thermal coal exports are stagnating and will significantly decline in the next two decades.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/coal-power-in-terminal-decline-nsw-warned


State governments can transform Australia’s energy policy from major fail to reliable success

Tony Wood and Guy Dundas

There could be much clearer skies ahead for energy policy if states take the reins.

https://theconversation.com/state-governments-can-transform-australias-energy-policy-from-major-fail-to-reliable-success-105740


Prepare workers for coal closures: report

The CFMEU has proposed a new national authority to prepare for Australia to transition away from coal-fired power generation by 2050. https://www.sbs.com.au/news/prepare-workers-for-coal-closures-report


Conservationists to target ‘middle Australia’ in election climate push

ACF aims to pour resources into three marginal seats to inflict electoral pain on major parties for policy failures

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/30/conservationists-to-target-middle-australia-in-election-climate-push


Electric cars set to bring hundreds of jobs to Latrobe Valley

Hundreds of jobs are set to be created in the Latrobe Valley, with the Victorian Government announcing a deal to manufacture electric vehicles in a new factory in the region.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-30/electric-cars-set-to-bring-500-jobs-to-latrobe-valley/10448344


We can’t save the climate without also saving the trees

Scientists agree: Preserving forests is critical to combating climate change.

https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/we-can-t-save-climate-without-also-saving-trees


Former UN climate chief says world doesn’t need Australia’s ‘toxic’ coal

Former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has blasted BHP for its commitment to continue mining coal.

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/former-un-climate-chief-says-world-doesn-t-need-australia-s-toxic-coal-20181103-p50dt5.html


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