Brisbane Protests Climate Inaction & Sydney Promotes Energy Action

Brisbane Protests Climate Inaction & Sydney Promotes Energy Action

Thousands of Queenslanders are taking to the Brisbane streets on Sunday 15 August, to call for action on climate change echoing a call from business, economists, scientists and environmentalists dismayed at the lack of effective policy proposals during the election campaign, while in Sydney the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan will be launched at a free public forum in Sydney Town Hall on Thursday 12 August. 

Thousands are expected to join this “Walk against Warming” which will take place from 11am on Sunday 15 August, in the Brisbane CBD.

The peaceful walk will give people of all ages and backgrounds a chance to express their desire for meaningful and effective policies to reduce the effects of human-caused climate change.

“We don’t need a citizens’ assembly. The overwhelming majority of Australians want action NOW to slow climate change. We could make the transition to a clean economy totally powered by renewables by 2020. That would be a decisive step toward a sustainable future. There is no excuse for further inaction,” said Ian Lowe, President of the Australian Conservation Foundation and Head of Griffith University School of Science.

Latest figures from the US Government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show the world is currently experiencing its hottest period since records began in 1880.

According to NOAA, the combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for June 2010 was the warmest on record at 16.2°C – 0.68°C above the 20th century average of 15.5°C.

Labor’s flagship policy announcement is a pledge to create a “citizens assembly” of 150 randomly selected Australians to talk about climate change and decide if and how to act.

The announcement was greeted with derision by environmental groups. Greenpeace described the move as one of “spin, cowardice and inaction” and Australian Conservation Foundation said it was a slow way to address an urgent problem.

“The single most effective action the next Government can take is to put a price on carbon. That will make pollution more expensive and encourage clean and green industries and a healthy future for Queensland” said Toby Hutcheon, Executive Director of Queensland Conservation Council

Last month, an Auspoll survey revealed that 79 per cent of Australians wanted to see a price on carbon pollution.  LNP leader Tony Abbott has said he would abolish any plans to put a price on carbon, claiming that major emerging economies such as China would never agree to one.

However, it has emerged in recent weeks that China now wants to introduce emissions trading before 2015. Europe and New Zealand have already introduced emissions trading schemes.

In the run-up to the election, the Australian Industry Group has warned that “substantial uncertainty over the timing and direction of climate policy is a serious barrier to investment in energy and other major industries across the economy”.

“We have seen hundreds of small and large companies’ line up to lose money trying to innovate in a policy vacuum.  Business is willing to produce clean tech and a healthier economy, consumers want those outcomes, and the government is just playing way too safe and is far behind its community.” said Colman Ridge, organiser of the walk and founder of Greenfest.

Organisers will also be giving away leaflets in packs of 50 to willing walkers who wish to campaign their home street in the last week of the election.  This action is expected to raise questions in over 100 000 homes in South East Queensland about the importance of a price on pollution and why our leaders are not delivering effective policy.


Media release rom Beyond Zero Emissions (5 August 2010):

Turnbull, Carr to launch 100% renewables plan for Australia

In the midst of a Federal Election and with the major party leaders equivocating on climate change, the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan will be launched at a free public forum in Sydney Town Hall on Thursday 12 August at 6.00 pm. 

Hosted by the journalist and broadcaster, Quentin Dempster, the speakers will include:

  • Malcolm Turnbull, MP for Wentworth
  • Bob Carr, former NSW State Premier
  • Scott Ludlam, Greens Senator for WA
  • Matthew Wright, Executive Director, Beyond Zero Emissions
  • Allan Jones, Sustainability Expert, City of Sydney
  • A technical panel including  Keith Lovegrove (Solar Thermal Group Leader, ANU), Lane Crockett (General Manager, Pacific Hydro), Roger Dargaville (Energy Systems Analyst, Melbourne Energy Institute), and Prof Robin Batterham (Kernot Professor of Engineering, The University of Melbourne).

The Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan shows that the technology required to move Australia to a 100 per cent renewable energy future within ten years is already commercially available. The only major obstacle to achieving this goal is the political will of the major parties to take us there, a point driven home by Melbourne Energy Institute Director Professor Mike Sandiford: “The technology required is already available, and the cost is not prohibitive. What is lacking is the political will and social drive to make it happen.”

The Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan is a research collaboration between Beyond Zero Emissions and the University of Melbourne Energy Institute. The plan shows how cost and variability are not obstacles to achieving zero emissions within ten years, and that electrification of Australia’s transport system needs to be part of the whole package.

Beyond Zero Emissions Executive Director and lead author Matthew Wright says the new PM should seriously consider the Zero Carbon Australia’s findings when developing its climate policy: “Our research shows that baseload renewable energy is now available and that Australia can start building a renewable energy system right now. Australia needs a nation-building climate change project with the scale and vision of a Snowy Mountains Scheme for the 21st century. This approach can win the hearts and minds of Australians and put us on track to restore a safe climate. It’s in the country’s interest and in all the political parties’ electoral interests to do so,” says Wright.

The Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan (ZCA Plan) will be made publicly available at this event and can be downloaded or purchased from the BZE and Melbourne Energy Institute websites, and

The plan will be launched at a free public forum incorporating a panel discussion from 6:00-8:00 pm on Thursday 12 August at Sydney Town Hall, 483 George St.


Leave a Reply