Scott Morrison loves to say that Australia is on track to ‘meet and beat’ our climate targets, but he’s a lot quieter about where that track leads. Admittedly, saying he plans to double Australian coal exports does provide some big hints.
The current bushfire crisis has intensified Australians’ concern about climate change and its impacts, according to new polling from the Australia Institute’s Climate of the Nation.
The Australia Institute commissioned YouGov, which surveyed 1,033 Australians between 8 and 12 January 2020 on issues relating to climate change and the bushfires. Climate of the Nation is the country’s longest continuous survey of community attitudes to climate change in the country.
Norwegian oil giant Equinor has been given approval by the regulating body NOPSEMA to drill in the Great Australian Bight, in direct opposition to public opinion, The Australia Institute has said.
More than four in five South Australians (84%) want to see the Great Australian Bight given World Heritage Protection and a majority of all Australians (60%) oppose allowing companies to drill for oil in the Bight.
A new report from The Australia Institute has shown that potential Government plans to outlaw so called ‘secondary boycotts’ would require significant legislative reform, could threaten the implied freedom of political communication in the Australian Constitution and ignores a long history of consumer choice protests in Australia.
“Attempts to outlaw consumer choice amount to a clamp down on freedom of expression and personal liberty in Australia,” said Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute.
Australia has a long history of secondary boycotts, which have been widely used for causes now generally accepted. Expanding laws primarily intended to limit union power to outlaw advocacy campaigns is illiberal, and would require significant changes to the law.
by Fergus Green & Richard Denniss
[Originally published in the Australian Financial Review, 26 November 2019]
The amount of fossil fuels that companies and governments around the world expect to extract over the coming decade is startlingly out of kilter with the imperative to maintain a stable climate system - and Australia is a large part of the problem.
Under the Paris Agreement, countries have set the goal of limiting global heating to well below 2°C, and preferably 1.5°C, above pre-industrial levels.
New research from The Australia Institute has found that, for the first time, more than four in five South Australians (84%) support World Heritage Protection for the Great Australian Bight. That is a 7% increase, when compared to polling undertaken in March of 2019.
The research also shows that two out of three South Australians (66%) believe the Bight would be a more productive asset for the state as a World Heritage listed marine park, than it would be as an oil field.
by Mark Ogge
[Originally published on The Fifth Estate, 12 November 2019]
It is a terrible irony that the coal being mined in New South Wales is helping fuel the state’s unprecedented increase in extreme heat, fires and drought.
Every year, coal produced in NSW results in about 500 million tonnes of greenhouse gases being pumped into the global atmosphere. This is roughly equivalent to Australia’s domestic annual emissions, and more than those of the UK or France.
The offshore oil and gas regulator NOPSEMA has once again taken issue with the environmental plan submitted by Equinor as part of their attempts to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.
Citing a lack of information relating to ‘consultation, source control, oil spill risk, and matters protected under Part 3 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999’, NOPSEMA has given the Norwegian oil giant 21 days to resubmit their environmental plan.