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Byron Shire
March 8, 2021

The federal government giving us coal (and gas) for Christmas

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The Climate Council say this has been the worst Christmas present ever as the Federal Government announces support for new fossil fuel projects.

They also say that the Federal Government has kept up its annual tradition of trying to hide its many climate failures by announcing — two days before Christmas and in the middle of a national bushfire emergency — that it will underwrite two new gas-fired power stations.

The Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor has given initial support for a 130-megawatt gas plant in Queensland, and a 220-MW project in Victoria.

The government has also signalled it could fund more coal and gas projects down the track.

Climate Councillor and Emeritus Professor, ANU Fenner School of Environment & Society, Professor Will Steffen, said as many Australians choke through an unprecedented bushfire crisis, the Federal Government is supporting new fossil fuel projects that will drive further climate change, worsening bushfires and other extreme weather events.

‘People have lost their lives and homes,’ he said. ‘Much of our irreplaceable natural heritage has been destroyed, and communities are suffering serious economic losses because of these unprecedented bushfires.

‘But the government is still failing to tackle the root cause of this worsening problem.’

Professor Steffen said federal politicians have finally acknowledged the influence of climate change on this crisis. ‘But this acknowledgement is meaningless if they keep backing fossil fuel projects instead of delivering the urgent and significant emissions cuts we need,’ said Steffen.

Head of Research, Climate Council, Dr Martin Rice said that the Federal Government has a shameful track record of attempting to fly under the radar and avoid scrutiny by making climate-related announcements before major holidays. ‘Announcing its support for new fossil fuel projects at Christmas is more of the same tactic.

‘All Australians want for Christmas is a government that responds to growing public concern about climate change with credible policies that deliver deep, rapid cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and moves the economy beyond fossil fuels to clean, safe renewable energy,’ he said.

‘Instead, our out-of-touch Federal Government is putting lives, our economy and the natural environment at risk by approving coal and gas projects that will increase our carbon pollution and make extreme weather events like these bushfires even worse.’

Giving us coal for Christmas, the government has an historical track record of December cheer:

24 DECEMBER 2014: Federal Government releases quarterly emissions data on Christmas Eve (6 months late)

24 DECEMBER 2015: Federal Government releases quarterly emissions data on Christmas Eve (6 months late)

22 DECEMBER 2016: Federal Government releases two sets of quarterly emissions data the week before Christmas (6 and 9 months late)

DECEMBER 2017: Federal Government releases quarterly emissions data, Emissions projections 2017 and the 2017 Climate Policy review the week before Christmas

DECEMBER 2018: Federal Government releases 2018 Emissions projections in the week before Christmas, and refuses to rule out investing in coal or gas

DECEMBER 2019: On 23 December the Federal Government announces initial support for two new fossil fuel plants as Australia is pummelled by bushfires, extreme heat and drought.

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  1. Fossil fuels have had no bearing on the
    Current bush fires nationwide. Even backed up
    By a leading scientists.. if you need advice on how
    To sustainable look after our land , look no further than our first people’s… and totally avoid the
    Outspoken Greens .. they know “jack shit ”
    On how to look after our lands ..

    • Oh Wise One, you’ll only convince me if you can tell me the last time the good folk of Mallacoota welcomed in the new year by incinerating their town. Or anywhere on the South Coast will do.
      If fires like this are not because the climate has changed it must be a regular occurrence right? Maybe consult some school kids, they can help.

      • I recall in the early eighties fires in these areas and seeing the damage first hand , to suggest summer fires are not a regular occurrence in this or any other area is just more climate hysteria opportunism and what would emotional school kids know?

        • Fires yes, but never like this. Not this scale, this many hectares, severity, fire behaviour, not five states simultaneously before – now we have six, not rainforest and banana plantations before. Worst ever for NSW. Worst ever for Australia. You’re the expert, use a dictionary & look up the word “unprecedented”

          • While some may find the fires ‘unprecedented’, I suggest they are more likely the result of drought and not of so called climate change/global warming, climate scientist Andy Pitman says “…as far as the climate scientists know there is no link between climate change and drought.” And as we are having a drought, climate change therefore does not come into it as you can clearly see he is speaking on behalf of all climate scientists.
            From 1940 to 1975, Co2 levels increased while measured global temperature decreased, the doom laden media then was warning of a looming ice age, clearly there is no correlation between temperature and Co2 levels, computer models serving a political agenda may show it but reality does not.
            The only thing that has not changed is fear mongering from the media.

  2. Anton, I have not ever seen such likes.
    The ‘fires began’ months ago. Photos
    taken in the 60s through to the now are
    totally different & to pretend that what’s
    happening now is not just a nonsense
    it’s a ‘calculated lie’ that comes direct
    from Murdoch’s Press. I was born at
    the end of ww2 – 75 years ago. I’ve
    spoken with those just this side of
    100 years & stupid outbursts don’t
    help the reality. The whole world’s
    in turmoil… that’s a fact!


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