It's the planet stupid

At the recent full year results release, the ANZ announced it planned to be a business that generated net zero emissions by 2050. This report in The Guardian gives considerable detail on the ANZ’s plan for the future and also discusses Agriculture Minister David Littleproud and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack taking exception with the ANZ Bank. The ANZ announced as part of their policy, they would require corporate customers to demonstrate a ‘carbon transition plan’ prior to borrowing money. Littleproud has called for a boycott of the ANZ, suggesting
Banks are not and should not try to become society’s moral compass and arbiter — the Australian people decide that by who they elect,
Littleproud is also completely wrong. This decision has nothing to do with morals or ethics, the decision has everything to do with making a profit for the ANZ Bank. Australian law requires company directors to do whatever is legally permissible to produce a return for their shareholders. Regardless of Littleproud’s opinion or beliefs, the ANZ have formed the opinion that funding businesses that rely on high levels of carbon emissions is a business risk. ANZ isn’t the only bank to have a plan to produce net zero carbon emissions by 2050. The Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and the NAB all have similar policies.

In the past few months, South Korea and Japan have also committed to a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050. China has committed to a similar target by 2060. Korea, Japan and China are the biggest markets for Australia’s $110bn coal and gas exports. Foreign Minister Marise Payne acknowledged the decisions, but certainly didn’t welcome it
Payne was asked five times by the shadow minister for foreign affairs, Penny Wong, on Thursday if Australia welcomed our neighbours adopting net zero as a “member of the community of nations” and an active participant in the United Nations framework convention on climate change.

The foreign affairs minister said she acknowledged that development, but it was not for Australia to “welcome or not welcome” a promise by a strategic partner to hit net zero emissions by mid-century. “They are matters for those countries,” she said.
Our current federal political leaders have been able to convince a number of Australians that climate change is not the dire and irreversible gradual process that scientists tell us is already occurring. Evidence for climate change includes larger bushfires, more frequent storms with greater severity and gradually rising average temperatures. the Coalition claim that an accelerated strategic reallocation towards renewable energy is not required. However, there is logic behind embedding renewable energy in our everyday lives as sooner or later fossil fuel will run out, regardless of the effects of emissions on the environment and society.

The Coalition government clearly is backing a different horse than China, South Korea and Japan. Rightly or wrongly, two of our biggest coal markets are committing to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, another by 2060 and our government has no opinion on the announcements or no plan to capitalise on the ability to create renewable energy in Australia and export it. In addition, US President-elect Joe Biden has announced he will be rejoining the Paris climate agreement and
use every tool of American foreign policy to push the rest of the world to raise their ambitions alongside with the United States
Do you see the problem?

Deloitte Access Economics, who aren’t exactly known for their ‘touch feely’, ‘new age’, ‘greeny’ outlook on life have released a report entitled Australia’s choice: Australian climate for growth which
found Australia is primed for an economic contraction of 6 per cent and $3.4 trillion in lost GDP by 2070 if the worsening effects of climate change remain unchecked.

The research paper contends farmers, manufacturers, miners and tourism businesses will be on the front line of an estimated 880,000 job losses unless global warming is restrained to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050.
The New Daily goes on to report
However, it’s not all doom and gloom — but only if politicians change tack under a model proposed by Deloitte’s economists.

A ‘new growth recovery’ — including a net-zero emissions target by 2050, upgrading electricity infrastructure and renewables innovation boosted by government and private investment — would create a $680 billion economic dividend.

That proposed model would expand the economy by 2.6 per cent and generate 250,000 new jobs by 2070, Deloitte said.
It just so happens that independent federal MP Zali Steggall has brought legislation to Parliament to ensure Australia has net zero emissions by 2050, with the support of fellow MPs Rebekah Sharkie, Helen Haines, Andrew Wilkie and the Greens. It also has support from climate scientists, economists and some business leaders including the Business Council of Australia
More than 100 businesses and organisations, including the Australian Medical Association, the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia, multinational company Unilever and software developer Atlassian, supported the bill in advertisements in major newspapers on Saturday [7 November 2020] that called for bipartisan support to address Covid-19 and climate change simultaneously.

Omar Khorshid, the Australian Medical Association president, said the bill was balanced and should be easy for both the government and opposition to support. “Australian doctors are needing our parliament to prevent further climate impacts that exacerbate poor health outcomes,” he said.

The bill would require the government to set a rolling emissions budget and introduce risk assessment and adaptation plans, establish an independent climate change commission and incorporate the government’s technology investment roadmap. It is modelled on existing legislation in Britain, New Zealand and Ireland.
The Coalition’s response (from the same article in The Guardian)
The emissions reduction minister, Angus Taylor, suggested Steggall’s bill was “simply a plan for more process and more bureaucracy”. “Unlike the government’s technology investment roadmap, it doesn’t rule out imposing new taxes or increasing costs on households and businesses to meet its targets,” a spokesman said.
Scott Morrison claims to love his children, as you would expect all parents do. Yet he sees no issues in his legacy to his daughters being an environmental wasteland with an absolutely broken economy, despite overwhelming evidence telling him the outcome is likely. The Coalition has an option of agreeing to debate and implement Zali Steggall’s climate change legislation. What’s the bet the Morrison government won’t?

It’s more than the ‘brutal retail politics’ ‘needed’ to win an election — it’s the future of the planet; stupid (with apologies to Bill Clinton and Greta Thumberg).

What do you think?

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Jeffrey Passlow

12/12/2020

This is a no-brainer. But coal miners and remember Morrison's dramatic "prop" in parliament - "This is coal; don't be afraid of it" do have options to mining coal. We DO have good reasons to be afraid of coal. Mining of materials that are supportive of non-carbon energy production and storage is required. Yes, it may necessitate relocation to get to the location of the materials. However, it is better to relocate now, while the opportunities exist. As fossil fuel becomes obsolete, alternative jobs will become harder to find. The government seems willing to pay some or all of the relocation costs now. At least they are paying for those in rural industries. It could be assumed that they may extend such payments to say, Lithium mining.

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