Saturday, July 28, 2012

Why the carbon tax will work

Recently when I was with family (this group spans the political and climate change spectrum and we don't get together that often), we were at a restaurant discussing life, the universe and everything else.  In the conversation, my brother in law and step mother suggested that the Carbon Tax (CT) will do nothing positive.  I disagreed but withheld from entering into the discussion as I tend to launch to the extreme left.  In Australia the carbon tax was introduced July 1 2012.

If I had that moment again I'd present my argument in the form of a reference to an intelligible article on the desperate need to reduce the dangerous levels of CO2 or equivalents being poured into our atmosphere.  I just found this on page four of this article by Bill McKibben of in Rolling Stone Mag (

If you put a price on carbon, through a direct tax or other methods, it would enlist markets in the fight against global warming. Once Exxon has to pay for the damage its carbon is doing to the atmosphere, the price of its products would rise. Consumers would get a strong signal to use less fossil fuel – every time they stopped at the pump, they'd be reminded that you don't need a semi-military vehicle to go to the grocery store. The economic playing field would now be a level one for nonpolluting energy sources. And you could do it all without bankrupting citizens – a so-called "fee-and-dividend" scheme would put a hefty tax on coal and gas and oil, then simply divide up the proceeds, sending everyone in the country a check each month for their share of the added costs of carbon. By switching to cleaner energy sources, most people would actually come out ahead.

Unfortunately what this means is that those who can't afford to make such changes would become worse off.  Also unfortunate is that the sales of televisions and the amount of money fed into poker machines would rise :)

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Text of Copenhagen Accord 18 December 2009

From the UNFCCC in Copenhagen from 7-18 December 2009
this is the text of the Accord -

The Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, and other heads of delegation
present at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen,
In pursuit of the ultimate objective of the Convention as stated in its Article 2,
Being guided by the principles and provisions of the Convention,
Noting the results of work done by the two Ad hoc Working Groups,
Endorsing decision x/CP.15 on the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action
and decision x/CMP.5 that requests the Ad hoc Working Group on Further Commitments of Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol to continue its work,
Have agreed on this Copenhagen Accord which is operational immediately.

1. We underline that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We
emphasise our strong political will to urgently combat climate change in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. To achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, we shall, recognizing the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius, on the basis of equity and in the context of sustainable development, enhance our long-term cooperative action to combat climate change. We recognize the critical impacts of climate change and the potential impacts of response measures on countries particularly vulnerable to its adverse effects and stress the need to establish a comprehensive adaptation programme including international support.

2. We agree that deep cuts in global emissions are required according to science, and as
documented by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report with a view to reduce global emissions so as to hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, and take action to meet this objective consistent with science and on the basis of equity. We should cooperate in achieving the peaking of global and national emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that the time frame for peaking will be longer in developing countries and bearing in mind that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries and that a low-emission development strategy is indispensable to sustainable development.

3. Adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change and the potential impacts of response
measures is a challenge faced by all countries. Enhanced action and international cooperation on
adaptation is urgently required to ensure the implementation of the Convention by enabling and
supporting the implementation of adaptation actions aimed at reducing vulnerability and building
resilience in developing countries, especially in those that are particularly vulnerable, especially least developed countries, small island developing States and Africa. We agree that developed countries shall provide adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, technology and capacity-building to support the implementation of adaptation action in developing countries.

4. Annex I Parties commit to implement individually or jointly the quantified economywide
emissions targets for 2020, to be submitted in the format given in Appendix I by Annex I Parties to the secretariat by 31 January 2010 for compilation in an INF document. Annex I Parties that are Party to the Kyoto Protocol will thereby further strengthen the emissions reductions initiated by the Kyoto Protocol. Delivery of reductions and financing by developed countries will be measured, reported and verified in accordance with existing and any further guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties, and will ensure that accounting of such targets and finance is rigorous, robust and transparent.

5. Non-Annex I Parties to the Convention will implement mitigation actions, including
those to be submitted to the secretariat by non-Annex I Parties in the format given in Appendix II by 31 January 2010, for compilation in an INF document, consistent with Article 4.1 and Article 4.7 and in the context of sustainable development. Least developed countries and small island developing States may undertake actions voluntarily and on the basis of support. Mitigation actions subsequently taken and envisaged by Non-Annex I Parties, including national inventory reports, shall be communicated through national communications consistent with Article 12.1(b) every two years on the basis of guidelines to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties. Those mitigation actions in national communications or otherwise communicated to the Secretariat will be added to the list in appendix II. Mitigation actions taken by Non-Annex I Parties will be subject to their domestic measurement, reporting and verification the result of which will be reported through their national communications every two years. Non-Annex I
Parties will communicate information on the implementation of their actions through National
Communications, with provisions for international consultations and analysis under clearly defined guidelines that will ensure that national sovereignty is respected. Nationally appropriate mitigation actions seeking international support will be recorded in a registry along with relevant technology, finance and capacity building support. Those actions supported will be added to the list in appendix II.
These supported nationally appropriate mitigation actions will be subject to international measurement, reporting and verification in accordance with guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties.

6. We recognize the crucial role of reducing emission from deforestation and forest
degradation and the need to enhance removals of greenhouse gas emission by forests and agree on the need to provide positive incentives to such actions through the immediate establishment of a mechanism including REDD-plus, to enable the mobilization of financial resources from developed countries.

7. We decide to pursue various approaches, including opportunities to use markets, to
enhance the cost-effectiveness of, and to promote mitigation actions. Developing countries, especially those with low emitting economies should be provided incentives to continue to develop on a low emission pathway.

8. Scaled up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding as well as improved
access shall be provided to developing countries, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, to enable and support enhanced action on mitigation, including substantial finance to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD-plus), adaptation, technology development and transfer and capacity-building, for enhanced implementation of the Convention. The collective commitment by developed countries is to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments through international institutions, approaching USD 30 billion for the period 2010 - 2012 with balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation. Funding for adaptation will be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing States and Africa. In the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, developed countries commit to a goal of mobilizing jointly USD 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries. This funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance. New
multilateral funding for adaptation will be delivered through effective and efficient fund arrangements, with a governance structure providing for equal representation of developed and developing countries. A significant portion of such funding should flow through the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund.

9. To this end, a High Level Panel will be established under the guidance of and accountable to the Conference of the Parties to study the contribution of the potential sources of revenue,
including alternative sources of finance, towards meeting this goal.

10. We decide that the Copenhagen Green Climate Fund shall be established as an operating
entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention to support projects, programme, policies and other activities in developing countries related to mitigation including REDD-plus, adaptation, capacitybuilding, technology development and transfer.

11. In order to enhance action on development and transfer of technology we decide to
establish a Technology Mechanism to accelerate technology development and transfer in support of action on adaptation and mitigation that will be guided by a country-driven approach and be based on national circumstances and priorities.

12. We call for an assessment of the implementation of this Accord to be completed by
2015, including in light of the Convention.s ultimate objective. This would include consideration of strengthening the long-term goal referencing various matters presented by the science, including in relation to temperature rises of 1.5 degrees Celsius.


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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Community Dialogues on Coal

Six Degrees - the coal campaign of Friends of the Earth in Brisbane - formally launched the report Community Dialogues on Coal earlier this month.

The report is an overview of the findings from a coal communities listening tour conducted by the campaign in last November.

In November 2008 Six Degrees undertook a listening tour of coal affected communities in Queensland. The purpose of the tour was for Six Degrees to improve our understand of the impacts of the coal industry in Queensland, and to gauge the attitudes of affected communities to climate change and the expansion of the coal industry.

Following the formal launch of the report at the Griffith University Ecocentre today, the findings from the listening tour are now publically available.

This report provides a snapshot of regional attitudes to the coal industry. It is intended to serve as a point of reference for those with an interest in future of Queensland's industry, and an interest in the prospects of a just transition for Queensland to a sustainable future.

As quoted from the introduction to the report:

The coal industry in Queensland is entering a period of enormous uncertainty and risk, with continuing job losses, shrinking global demand, and massive sector-wide restructures due to climate change policy responses. In all this, it is the people of Queensland's coal communities who will have to deal with the very real impacts of this period of transition. It is time for a serious and sober dialogue in this state about the role that coal plays in our future prosperity and in the way we respond to climate change. We hope that this report can begin to inform that dialogue.

You can download a copy of the report from the Six Degrees website here.

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Queensland Climate Movement Summit

Summit Update

Walk Against Warming 2008
Exactly one month ago, the Queensland Climate Movement Summit was attended by more than 60 activists, thinkers and citizens, with some 30 organisations represented and 26 workshops conducted on building and strengthening the climate movement in Queensland.

To those of you who participated, the event was a success only due to your input and contribution. Many most humble thank-yous for your involvement.

But, of course, the Summit was just the beginning.

As promised, the proceedings from the Summit have been edited, and the Proceedings of the Inaugural Queensland Climate Movement Summit are now available online at:

You'll notice that the summit proceedings are available in both a PDF and in a webpage format. We hope that through the website's comment and forum capabilities, the summit proceedings can become a living document of our evolving strategies and campaigns addressing the climate crisis in Queensland.

One of the desired action steps from the summit was the request for Six Degrees to establish a collaborative web-space, where we can share information, resources and news.

We hope that will provide us with that webspace - but it needs your input to make it so. Some of the ways that you can contribute are below:  

  • Continue the summit discussions at the online forum on the summit webpage. We are trialling this feature of the site, subject to its popularity. The more you post, the more useful the online forum will be.

Thanks once again for your participation in the Queensland Climate Movement Summit - it was a rich and powerful event. Looking forward to working with you in the coming months to build a resilient and effective climate movement across the state.

In solidarity and hope,
Clare, John, Brad and Shani

on behalf of
Six Degrees

- taking climate change personally -

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Act Now - Global Day of Climate Action December 6

December 2008
Friends of the Earth Europe's video asking the "Men in suits" to start making positive decisions that address the problem of climate change.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Global Day of Action on Climate Change

This is an amazing and very powerful video - watch, embed, link, tag and comment!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Carbon crash hits Europe's emission trading scheme

November 06, 2008
From The Australian

This is why we should have a straight carbon tax or carbon rationing instead of relying on the ETS Market system which is just capitalism which has caused the problems in the first place.

A Carbon Tax is where a GST / VAT / .. type tax at some percent is applied calculated on the cost it will take to repair that Carbon that has been emmitted in manufacturing, transporting etc... the product in question. It would be calculated and not a plucked figure.

Carbon rationing is even better where we work out how much carbon per person we're allowed to emit to remain sustainable. It will involve some credit card type arrangement. If you use more than your allocation you can buy from someone who didn't use as much.

Both are politically difficult to implement in our current capitalist societies.

WHILE you were distracted by crashing banks and clashing US senators, you may have missed a small environmental earthquake.

The price of carbon has collapsed.

In only three months, life has become a lot cheaper for polluters. The financial cost of warming the planet has plummeted in Europe's emissions trading system (ETS) and the effectiveness of such a volatile market mechanism in curbing carbon is being questioned.

You may recall that the ETS is a mechanism to encourage businesses to reduce their carbon output. Europe's larger companies are allocated permits to emit CO2, and these allowances, called EUAs, can be traded on exchanges.

Companies that emit less CO2 than their allocation can sell EUAs for cash, but inefficient polluters must buy EUAs or face financial penalties.

The idea is that a shortfall in EUAs allocated by governments will cause the carbon price to rise, stimulating investment in carbon reduction.

It's a market solution to pollution, but this carbon market is showing a distressing tendency to behave like most financial markets -- hysterically. In July, the right to spew out one tonne of CO2 from a chimney would have cost a power generator E29.33, but yesterday it could be bought for only E18.25 ($34.14).


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