This is a final message to everyone who signed our petition on Change.org calling for a moratorium on new CSG and coal operations in Victoria and chose to receive updates from us.
Thanks for your support. As you will probably know, we have managed to get a moratorium on the process of fracking in Victoria and a ban on the use of the dangerous BTEX chemicals. This is a great start to what will be a long campaign, and happened with only about 10 months of serious campaigning.
In 2013 we will need to ramp things up considerably. It would be great if you want to stay on board with the campaign.
If you would like a monthly email newsletter on our work, just email me: email@example.com with ‘subscribe Renewables’ in the subject line.
Please stay tuned for a new campaign launch in January.
We believe our approach has been both strategic and effective:
- The strength lies with communities. We seek to work in an empowering way with local communities and organisations to build pressure on the state government
- In 2011, we concentrated our anti coal and gas work on western Victoria, in order to knock off the more marginal proposals, allowing us to focus our energy on Gippsland in 2012. A number of applications to look for coal and CSG were withdrawn in western VIC after community campaigning and our ‘CSG roadshow’
- In 2012, we played a key role in helping mobilise communities against new fossil fuel projects in Gippsland. A focus on local Councils and applying pressure to the Gippsland National Party MPs saw the government deliver a moratorium on the process of fracking and ban on use of BTEX chemicals
- We help co-ordinate monthly meetings of the community groups in Gippsland organising against new coal and gas
- The government announcement of a moratorium has taken some heat out of community concerns, and we are working to ensure that awareness and action against new fossil fuel projects continues to grow
- In 2013, we will bring the fossil fuel campaign strongly to Melbourne communities while continuing our work in regional VIC.
On the renewables front,
- We helped create the Vic Wind Alliance, which aims to mobilise the majority of Victorians who do support the further development of renewable energy
- We have held a large number of stalls and events in regional Victoria, working to mobilise people in support of renewables
- We have targeted some of the more regressive regional MPs over their anti wind, pro coal policies
- We have built a strong profile in regional media on renewable energy options.
Please help us out if you can.
We pride ourselves on being both lean and effective. You can provide a one off or ongoing donation to our renewables and anti coal and CSG work here:
http://www.givenow.com.au/foeyes2renewables, or http://www.givenow.com.au/foecsgcampaign
You can become a member of Friends of the Earth here: http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au/?q=membership
Further information: http://yes2renewables.org/ or http://www.melbourne.foe.org.au/
27 July 2012 - Environment Victoria
Congratulations! Today, we’ve had a major win in our campaign to Stop HRL – the proposed new coal-fired power station in Victoria .
This afternoon the Federal Energy and Resources Minister Martin Ferguson announced that the federal government is withdrawing their $100 million grant to HRL because the company has failed to meet the conditions of that money for the sixth time.
You made this happen! Our legal challenge (that you funded and supported) against the EPA’s approval of HRL resulted in conditions on the power station that made it much more difficult for the company to find financiers for this highly polluting project – one of the key conditions of the federal government grant that HRL failed to meet.
In addition to the legal challenge, tens of thousands of Australians have worked together to call on the federal government to withdraw this money for over a year. In February Environment Victoria and our friends at Greenpeace delivered to the Federal Government a petition of 13,000 hand-written signatures calling for the money to be withdrawn. Because of our campaign, Minister Ferguson announced in February that he would limit the extension of HRL’s grant money to a final six month period.
But we weren’t giving up. When HRL’s final deadline passed on 30 June our supporters pulled together immediately to call on the Minister to withdraw the funding. And today, we won!
Share your support and thoughts on this outcome with thousand of others who’ve made this campaign what it was. This decision is not just a nail in the coffin for this proposal, but for all proposed new coal-fired power stations across Australia. While HRL still need to confirm that the project will not proceed, it's very difficult to see how it will get off the ground without government support.
It marks an end to the era of business-as-usual for coal projects in this country. Now, it’s time to get on with the clean energy revolution we’ve been waiting for.
So thank you. To anyone who signed a petition, attended a rally, donated to this campaign, wrote a letter to a politician or talked to your friends about the problem with coal. Thank you for standing up for action on climate change, for clean energy and for our future. Without you, and tens of thousands more like you, we couldn’t have done this.
There are many more battles to fight, and the wins will be just as hard to come by but this outcome is a testament to the fact that people power works, and that ordinary Australians standing up for what’s right can make a difference.
Congratulations, well done, and thank you.
P.S. In coming weeks we’ll organising a massive party to celebrate this amazing outcome and thank you all for your support over the years. We hope you’ll join us, but in the meantime, we recommend a little bit of back-slapping and a drink this evening in honour of all that you’ve achieved.
P.S. To help make sure we can continue to fight strong campaigns and deliver real wins for our environment, become a Green Action Partner now.
A vision for tomorrow: Can we live with zero emissions?
ABC Unleashed – Matthew Wright
11 March 2008, 15:00
On February 21, the interim Garnaut Climate Change Review was released. It states: "It is in Australia 's interest for the world to adopt a strong and effective position on climate change mitigation." Professor Garnaut also mentioned scenarios including what it would take if Australia was to be fair to developing countries and carry its historical burden to have a 50 per cent chance of meeting the long established EU goal of keeping warming under two degrees. To do this he suggested we would have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 90 per cent by 2050 - effectively, it's a zero emissions target.
So what would life be like with zero emissions? Is it even possible?
Yes it is, and here's how it looks...
It all starts at home
If your house was built after 2014, then you don't require any space heating or cooling as your house has been engineered to include passive solar design, as well as with enough thermal mass storage like concrete or rammed earth to get you warmly through many days of continuous cloud cover.
Your water is heated purely by an evacuated tube solar system in the summer months and boosted by an electric heat pump in the winter months. Lighting is vivid and dimmable, using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), which use five per cent of the electricity consumed by today's lighting.
There is no more gas in use, so if your house is of pre-2014 vintage it has been retrofitted to 8-star. The gas cooktop is gone, replaced by the European style induction cooktop, which cooks faster and gives better responsiveness than gas.
Our electric ovens are triple glazed - you can put your hand on the front while the thermostat is up and not get burnt.
Our televisions are Organic LED (OLED) display based. Sony has already released one and they use 10 per cent of the power of today's LCD flat-panel televisions.
Computers use the technology of the latest laptops with OLED displays and consume around 80 per cent less power than today's desktops.
Water collected from our roofs provides 100 per cent of our water.
Brown coal use ended in Victoria in 2014 and black coal was phased out in 2016 in the rest of the country.
By now, wind power already contributes 40 per cent of total power generation and we see rapid growth in concentrating solar thermal plants (these boil water to drive steam turbines to make electricity). Gas was used to repower coal plants during the transition to a zero emissions energy sector, but by 2020 gas has been phased out totally.
For energy security, reliable baseload and peak power demand, we use pumped hydro, compressed air storage, high temperature solar hydrogen storage, ammonia thermochemical storage and Phase Change Salt thermal batteries as well as flywheels and super-capacitors.
In 2020, geothermal technology takes off, allowing Australia to continue exporting energy based products such as aluminium.
Travelling and eating
We get around by traditional bicycle, fully enclosed electric assist bicycles, public transport and private cars.
Fast and frequent light and heavy rail account for 70 per cent of travel. Just like in the 1930s, trams and trains are now within 500 metres of most homes in cities like Melbourne and Sydney. By 2020, a massive rail network using the latest engineering is rolled out across our cities and major urban centres.
The streets are clean and there is no local air pollution in our cities.
Asthma rates and air quality related mortality fall dramatically as a consequence.
The vehicle fleet is a combination of electric vehicles (60 per cent) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (40 per cent). Congestion charges and road taxes motivate most people to use public transport. Intercapital trips are on the $100 billion 400km/h fast rail system, which links Perth , Melbourne , Cairns and Darwin .
International air flights are costly and are used to get from Darwin to Singapore . For trips to Europe or Africa , you take the Trans Asian Fast Train which links to the African Fast Rail. To get to the US , you take the Fast Train to Haerbin in China , then fly to Anchorage in Alaska eliminating all long haul flights. The only other flights are to small remote islands such as New Zealand and Iceland .
Shopping centres have been upgraded for energy performance; slashing their power consumption by 80 per cent. As you enter any commercial centres you'll notice the addition of air-locks (two sets of doors) to keep the heat out or in.
Energy used for production is listed on all foods, which are taxed based on their total life cycle energy input. Thus, vegetarian dishes are more popular, with the average family eating meat less than once or twice a week. Freight is almost exclusively done by rail, with shipping containers racing around the city on the tram network.
Waste is expensive and we all have a compost bin. Community food-producing gardening has become a popular pursuit and means our cities import 50 per cent less food from rural areas.
Entertainment is of course zero carbon, with the lights at the MCG being replaced by an array of thousands of high power LEDs.
Farming is predominately organic. Soil carbon is also big business.
Carbon dioxide is actually pulled out of the atmosphere by a process developed by the ancient South American Mayans called Bio Char. This involves cooking crop waste in the absence of oxygen and then using the synthetic gas to make biofuels for our plug-in hybrids and farm machinery. The by-product is the char, which takes carbon out of the atmosphere and even increases soil fertility. Farmers are paid for this, with the aim to return our atmospheric carbon to the pre industrial level of 270ppm.
Forests stewardship is rewarded. Reforestation with indigenous species becomes a new land use, which corresponds with the reduced farming footprint of a more vegetable based diet.
Recycling is about closing the loop. Usually 95 per cent of any product that comes to the end of its life after reuse is recycled.
Mining and construction now predominately use electric vehicles and tools. Consequently, according to the unions, life expectancy of blue collar workers now exceeds that of the white collar work force. The Unions are also happy about how quickly the renewable energy industry has grown to over 100,000 workers.
Materials are taxed according to their total life cycle, which means if management plans are not in place for mine tailings and industrial wastes, the costs are prohibitive, thereby promoting alternative materials.
And the best bit?
All the technology and know-how that was used to achieve this was commercially available at scale in 2007. I think we must make this change much sooner than 2050.