Monday, 22 September 2008

Greenpeace criticises clean-coal plans

The environmental group Greenpeace has called on the Federal Government to rethink its support for clean coal technology.

The Government has announced plans for a global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute in Australia next year, and two clean coal power projects are to be trialed in central Queensland.

Simon Roz from Greenpeace says it is unproven technology that will takes years to perfect, and there is a risk that captured gases could escape into the environment.

"If there's any sort of escape, that massive store of carbon dioxide would be released," he said.

"We know over time that there's movement with geological formations, how are they going to ensure this stuff would remain safe over time, and most importantly, who's going to have to pay for the potential clean up.

"Is it going to be the company that made the mess or is it going to be the taxpayers?"

Qld protesters declare climate emergency

A coalition of environmental activists will target the Queensland government and mining corporations in a series of protests in Brisbane this week.

The actions are planned for the city in what has been declared a Climate Emergency Week by environmental organisations across the country.

Protest organiser Paul Benedek said he believed Australians were prepared to accept higher emission targets to protect and preserve their national heritage - but the federal government's Garnaut report had sacrificed the Great Barrier Reef.

"Having a conscious strategy that sacrifices - for eternity - one of the most unique natural wonders in the world, shows the utter insanity of those currently dictating climate policy," Mr Benedek said.

"The Queensland government is pretending to be leading a smart state while it is putting in billions of dollars in expanding the dirty, greenhouse-emitting coal industry.

"(Professor Ross) Garnaut, the Business Council and most politicians are putting protection of the market ahead of protecting the planet's irreplaceable reefs, rivers, land and air.

"But there is no economy on a dead planet - no business, no profits, no jobs - nothing."

Climate Emergency Week will include a Critical Mass cycle protest on Friday afternoon, and a rally outside Queensland Parliament House on Sunday.

Wanita Limpus from the Kiribati-Australia Association is scheduled to address the rally on the threat of climate change to the country.

Protesters then aim to march past Queensland government buildings and corporations like Xtrata and Waratah Coal.

Next Monday, they plan to target the Coal 08 mining conference in Brisbane.

Meanwhile, constituents of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's electorate of Griffith, in Brisbane, on Monday staged a sit-in at his Morningside office.

Holding signs, saying: "Rudd: missing in action on climate change," the protesters say the federal government's response to the climate change has been inadequate.


Garnaut too soft on emissions target: expert

A leading Australian climate scientist has criticised the greenhouse gas reduction targets proposed by the Government's climate change adviser Professor Ross Garnaut.

Green groups slam failure to set firm targets
THE Federal Government has refused to commit itself to any of the pollution reduction models outlined by its handpicked climate change expert, Ross Garnaut, saying it will make its own decisions by the end of the year.

Native forests should be part of the solution

The Greens leader Bob Brown says lifting Australia's reserves of native forests should be part of the Federal Government's solution to climate change.

Sea levels could rise 4m this century
An expert in climate change says the world's sea levels could rise by up to four metres this century.

Greens: Tougher ETS in Senate

Greens Leader Bob Brown has vowed to use his party's new power in the Senate to push for a tough emissions trading scheme (ETS). The Greens now share the balance of power in the Upper House and Senator Brown says he will use his vote to force stronger action on climate change.

Greens urge swift response to Garnaut draft
The Greens say the Federal Government can not be worried about electoral popularity and must move quickly when it responds to economist Ross Garnaut's draft report on climate change.

Climate change fight needs political ardour: Greenpeace
Greenpeace says the only thing Australia lacks in the fight against climate change is political will.

Leaving petrol off emissions trading scheme 'dangerous'
The Greens say any moves to leave petrol out of the Federal Government's emissions trading scheme will render it ineffective.

Aust's ecological footprint one of biggest in world: index
The annual Climate Living Index, which measures humanity's demand on natural resources, has listed Australia's ecological footprint as one of the biggest in the world.

Climate change hot topic at youth 2020 summits
More than 500 schools held talks during the past month ahead of the Federal Government's Youth Summit in Canberra this weekend. Ms Gillard says she is not surprised the environment is the number one concern of many children.

Greenpeace to give Treasurer carbon capture petition
A petition with 30,000 signatures will today be handed to the Federal Treasurer's office urging the Government to abandon its investment in carbon capture and storage.

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