Notice: Climate Action Blue Mountains is no longer an incorporated association, as of 1 April 2016. The committee took the difficult decision in 2015 to disband the formal organisation and pursue local climate action initiatives through other existing bodies, in particular the Blue Mountains Conservation Society. We encourage all existing supporters and interested individuals to join with the Consveration Society, Transition Blue Mountains and other local groups to pursue local action for a safe climate. We plan to maintain our Facebook page as a means of sharing information and promoting local climate action initiatives.

Thank you to everyone who participated in Climate Action BM (aka Katoomba Climate Action Now) over the years and helped make our campaigns, initiatives and events a success.

Thank you for your understanding.

Posts Tagged ‘coal’

Cover the coal wagons

An average of approx. 8.4 full coal trains pass through Springwood each weekday, with an equal number of empty trains returning up the mountains. Monitoring in the Hunter Valley has demonstrated up to 3% of a load is lost in transport, polluting the soil & atmosphere in the local area. Please download this ‘Cover the Wagons’ petition and factsheet, get as many signatures as possible and return to Hunter Community Environment Centre by 16 March.


Keep an eye out for more from Climate Action Blue Mountains on the coal trains that run through the Mountains or leave a comment below with your ideas for what we should do about it. Keep up to date by liking our facebook page: facebook.com/ClimateActionBM

Talk: Coal v Tourism + Notice of KatoombaCAN AGM

Conflict on the Western Front: Coal v Tourism

Join us for a talk by Bev Smiles, followed by KatoombaCAN”s Annual General Meeting. Bev will update on the massive coal & coal seam gas expansion occurring west and north-west of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Local communities are under siege and long term economic opportunities such as eco-tourism are being undermined. Find out how you can help hold back this mining tsunami. Bev is chairperson of Mudgee District Environment Group and Convenor of Nature Conservation Council”s Mining & Gas Working Group.

7pm, Wed 5 Dec, MCRN Meeting Room
Lawson Library, cnr San Jose Ave & Loftus St

RSVP for TALK and AGM

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Everyone is welcome to attend both the talk and our AGM. It would be great to see some new faces on the committee to join some exciting election year campaigns in 2013. If you”d like to find out more about how you can get involved email info@katoombacan.org or drop a line on our Facebook page.

Energy White Paper Ignores Renewables: Make a Submission

Ferguson “the fossil fool” faces protestThe Federal Department of Resources, Energy & Tourism, under pro-fossil fuels Minister Martin Ferguson, released a draft Energy White Paper in December last year after a lengthy consultation process which commenced with a draft Green Paper three years ago. The White Paper reviews Australia”s energy needs to 2030 and provides a policy framework for future energy development.

Unfortunately, the government has largely ignored the advantages and strong public support for renewable energy while failing to address the urgency of the transition away from fossil fuels. Read a critique by Friends of the Earth here and you can find the draft White Paper itself, including an executive summary here.

It”s not too late to have your say on Australia”s energy future. Submissions are due by 4pm 16 March 2012. Writing your own submission will have more impact – we have prepared some points to use below – but if you really don”t have time, click the blue button to use a ready-made template.

TAKE ACTION: Write a submission OR TAKE ACTION: Use a template

Key points to use in your submission

The Bad

  • Assumes a continued reliance on fossil fuels (supplying a min. 2/3 of Australia’s total energy consumption), thus locking Australia into escalating electricity prices as global demand for coal & gas rises
  • Places too much emphasis on promoting the discovery and exploitation of new fossil fuel energy resources (for domestic use & export), rather than facilitating the development and expansion of renewable energy sources
  • Uses outdated data for renewable energy costs and understates the potential for renewable energy to rapidly become cheaper than fossil fuels as the RE industry expands both in Australia and globally
  • Substantially understates the potential for escalating oil prices in the face of peak oil (prices increased almost 3-fold between 2004 and 2011, yet the White Paper suggests less than a further doubling in price by 2035 and states peak oil is “unlikely to be reached before 2035”); assumes “oil will remain the primary energy source for the transport sector to 2035” (p.31)
  • Ignores the scientific evidence that global greenhouse emissions need to peak before the end of this decade if global warming is to be held below 2 degrees
  • Proposes continued export of Australia”s greenhouse gas emissions via a massive increase in our exports of coal and gas (note also massive increase in uranium exports p. 35); i.e. gas is NOT replacing existing coal-fired electricity, it”s simply adding to total fossil fuel consumption (both in Aust & elsewhere) and making it increasingly unlikely that the agreed max. 2 degree global warming target can be achieved
  • Assumes the availability of carbon capture & storage for continued use & expansion of coal-fired electricity, despite lack of evidence to support Money found the credit card loans IOU and canceled it. its feasibility or cost effectiveness at a national or global scale within the necessary timeframe
  • Assumes substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions for gas compared with coal, despite uncertainty about fugitive emissions and lack of adequate data on life cycle emissions for coal seam gas
  • Does little to change the dominant energy paradigm of over-reliance on large, centralised power stations at the expense of potentially more efficient, reliable & cheaper decentralised smaller-scale energy generation (according to a report by the University of Technology Sydney)
  • Expansion of fossil fuel developments will result in increased water use, with electricity generators able to outbid agricultural users on the open water market (pp. 239-240)
  • Over-reliance on (often flawed) market mechanisms to determine Australia’s electricity generation mix, rather than a more comprehensive and forward-thinking approach which facilitates a rapid transition to renewable energy technologies
  • Dismisses proven, effective renewable energy policies (such as feed-in tariffs and Renewable Energy Targets) as “market distortions”
  • Makes only vague commitments to “investigate possibility of a national energy savings initiative” and “progress work to look at energy efficiency governance structures” rather than giving these issues the clear commitment and priority that is required to reduce overall energy demand.

The Good

  • Acknowledges the importance of existing programs aimed at improving energy efficiency (p.199)
  • Community consultation plans will be required as a condition of grants under the Solar Flagships Program and Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships Program
  • Energy policy settings will be actively monitored and refined as necessary to meet community requirements, and emphasis will be placed on raising energy literacy amongst consumers.

Useful References

Coal & Climate Change

More than 80% of Australia’s electricity comes from coal-fired power generation. Mining and burning of coal is the largest contributor to global and Australian greenhouse gas emissions.

So why are Governments putting forward policies which ensure coal-fired electricity remains Australia’s main source of energy for at least the next two decades and beyond?

And why have the Federal and New South Wales Governments supported the doubling of coal exports from the world’s largest coal export facility in Newcastle, NSW?

Mt Piper Coal Power StationDespite Government policies such as the proposed price on pollution and the expanded Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, there are dozens of proposals for new and expanded coal mines as well as new coal power stations.

The proposals to expand Mt Piper Power Station (pictured right, near Lithgow) and Bayswater Power Station (near Muswellbrook) would result in millions of tonnes of CO2 and other pollutants being released into the atmosphere.

For these reasons the Australian climate movement is focusing on a ‘No New Coal’ campaign throughout 2010, together with a campaign for 100% Renewables.

For more information see the following links:

100% Renewable Campaign Banner

Direct Action

Climate Action Blue Mountains supports the use of non-violent direct action as a tactic in the struggle to address the climate crisis.

To this end, we also support Climate Camp – currently the only mass direct action camp on climate change in Australia – and our members attended both Climate Camp 2009 (Helensburgh, NSW) and Climate Camp 2010 (Hunter Valley, NSW).

Climate Camps are held each year around the globe to raise awareness about climate change issues, explore sustainable living practices, build a strong people’s movement and take non-violent direct action to confront the root causes of climate change.

Climate Camp 2009 focused on the expansion of longwall mining at the Metropolitan Colliery and its impacts on Sydney’s water supply catchments. Find out more about the impact of mining on rivers here.

Climate Camp 2010 focused on the approved concept plans for a new 2,000 megawatt coal power station at the site of Australia’s equal biggest single source of pollution – Bayswater Power Station near Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter Valley, NSW. Read more here.

Interested in joining with like-minded locals in non-violent direct action on climate change? Get in touch here.

Climate Camp 2010

Climate Camp 2010

The Camp for Climate Action is on 1st – 5th December, 2010.

The main action is between 10am and 3pm on Sunday 5th at Lake Liddell Recreation Area.

This is the camp’s finale, the big day when we will take peaceful mass action together at Australia’s equal single biggest source of C02 pollution, sending the message to state and federal Governments that we cannot accept the massive expansion of coal power they are currently planning.

The larger and more diverse we are, the louder our message will be. From little kids to grandparents, the mass action will be safe for everyone to take part in, as everyone will choose their own limits.

The day will start with a colourful and creative rally. People are encouraged to bring their own placards and props, costumes, music and noise makers! Police approval has been granted for the rally and the point where we assemble outside the boundary of Bayswater power station, where there will be speeches and other activities.

For instructions on how to get there see: www.climatecamp.org.au/how-do-i-get-climate-camp

General information can be found at www.climatecamp.org.au

I will be there on the Saturday and Sunday and will have the Katoomba Area Climate Action Now banner. I hope you can join me and help carry a placard or banner to show you care.