With a new Labor government in place, urgent action is needed on the climate crisis. Friends of the Earth's Federal Climate & Environment Policy Platform 2022 outlines 5 priorities.
1. Rule out further fossil fuel development: As a government that acknowledges the gravity of the latest climate science and the need to act decisively to reduce emissions, the ALP must commit to no further development of any fossil fuels.
2. Meet and exceed climate commitments: The adoption of a more ambitious emission reduction target for 2030 will be essential to align climate policy with the best available science. The Climate Council recommends a target of 75% reduction against 2005 levels by 2030.
3. Get renewables right: Develop robust guidelines to ensure that the mass roll-out of renewable energy projects required to meet our climate commitments tick the boxes of having strong social licence, secure union jobs, and minimal environmental impacts.
4. Rebuild our climate knowledge such as by restoring the independence of the Climate Change Authority.
5. Establish a national Just Transition Authority to be responsible for working with trade unions, Traditional Owners, local community and environment groups, and local and state governments, on coordinating just transition plans at the regional level.
For more details see: https://www.foe.org.au/federal_climate_environment_policy_platform_2022
ACTION: Send an email to the Albanese government about increasing Australia's climate target. For ideas about what to write, see www.foe.org.au/take_action.
Extractivism and Degrowth
The latest Chain Reaction, the National magazine of FoE Australia, looks at Extractivism and what a move towards a degrowth economy might look like. This edition of Chain Reaction is available online at http://www.foe.org.au/cr143, will soon be in the Kuranda library, or you can subscribe to get a hard copy posted at www.foe.org.au/cr_subs
Planning for Wildlife
A tragic example of the need for better planning can be seen in the Northern beaches. Wallabies crowd on to small patches of grass to eat and are regularly injured and even killed by traffic. So while we are grateful to Mareeba Shire planners for the prompt response to our enquiry about Matters of Local Environmental Significance, this did not state when exactly this review would be available for public comment and subsequent implementation. In the meantime we see wildlife corridors and habitat being fragmented due to development and fencing. This leaves wallabies, bettongs, bandicoots and other wildlife vulnerable to traffic and in populations that are being genetically isolated.
Covenants & Compliance
FoE FNQ regret that approval has been given for a subdivision along Warril Drive. However we welcome the inclusion of covenants about fencing and land clearing. The next positive step would be for council to employ a compliance officer to ensure that these covenants are respected. Relying on neighbours to police these does not lead to a harmonious community nor great compliance!
This article first appeared in The Kuranda Paper September edition # 346