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How to create a leaderless revolution and win lasting political change #auspol #qldpol #ExtinctionRebellion #ClimateStrike #StopAdani #SystemChange not #ClimateChange #TheDrum #GreenNewDeal

The gilets jaunes movement in France is a leaderless political uprising.

It isn’t the first and it won’t be the last.

Occupy, the Arab spring and #MeToo are other recent examples of this new politics.

Some of it is good.

Some of it is not: a leaderless movement, self-organised on Reddit, helped elect Donald Trump.

But leaderless movements are spreading, and we need to understand where they come from, what is legitimate action and, if you want to start one, what works and what doesn’t.

The Arab spring began with the self-immolation of one despairing young man in Tunisia; the revolt rapidly spread across the region, just as protests have proliferated in France.

In highly connected complex systems, such as the world today, the action of a single agent can suddenly trigger what complexity theorists call a “phase shift” across the entire system.

We cannot predict which agent or what event might be that trigger. But we already know that the multiplying connections of our worldoffer an unprecedented opportunity for the rise and spread of leaderless movements.

Leaderless movements spring from frustration with conventional top-down politics, a frustration shared by many, not only those on the streets.

Polls suggest the gilets jaunes are supported by a large majority of the French public.

Who believes that writing to your MP, or signing a petition to No 10 makes any difference to problems such as inequality, the chronic housing shortage or the emerging climate disaster?

Even voting feels like a feeble response to these deep-seated problems that are functions not only of government policies but more of the economic system itself.

What such movements oppose is usually clear, but what they propose is inevitably less so: that is their nature.

The serial popular uprisings of the Arab spring all rejected authoritarian rule, whether in Tunisia, Egypt or Syria. But in most places there was no agreement about what kind of government should replace the dictators.

In Eygpt, the Tahrir Square protests failed to create an organised democratic political party that could win an election.

Instead, the Muslim Brotherhood, long highly organised and thus prepared for such a moment, stepped into the political vacuum.

In turn, this provoked further mass protest, which eventually brought to power another dictatorship as repressive as Hosni Mubarak’s.

When the demand is for change in social relations– norms more than laws – such as the end of sexual harassment, the results can be as rapid but also more enduring and positive.

The #MeToo movement has provoked questioning of gender relations across the world.

The British deputy prime minister, Damian Green, was forced to resign; in India, a cabinet minister. The effects are uneven, and far from universal, but sexual harassers have been outed and ousted from positions of power in the media, NGOs and governments.

Some mass action has required leadership. The race discrimination that confronted the US civil rights movement was deeply entrenched in both American society and its laws. Martin Luther King and other leaders paid exquisite attention to strategy, switching tactics according to what worked and what didn’t.

King correctly judged, however, that real and lasting equality required the reform of capitalism – a change in the system itself.

In a sense, his objective went from the singular to the plural. And that is where his campaign hit the rocks.

Momentum dissipated when King started to talk about economic equality: there was no agreement on the diagnosis, or the solution.

The Occupy movement faced a similar problem.

It succeeded in inserting inequality and economic injustice into the mainstream political conversation – politicians had avoided the topic before. But Occupy couldn’t articulate a specific political programme to reform the system.

I was in Zuccotti Park in New York City, where the protest movement began, when the “general assembly” invited the participants to pin notes listing their demands on to trees. Ideas were soon plastered up, from petitioning Washington DC to replacing the dollar – many of which, of course, were irreconcilable with each other.

This is why a leaderless response to the climate change disaster is tricky.

It’s striking that in Emmanuel Macron’s fuel tax rises the gilets jaunes opposed the very thing demanded by Extinction Rebellion, Britain’s newly minted leaderless movement: aggressive policies to reduce carbon emissions to net zero.

Macron’s proposals would have hit the poorest hardest, illustrating that resolving the crises of the environment and inequality requires a more comprehensive, carefully wrought solution to both. But leaderless movements have largely proved incapable of such complicated decision-making, as anyone at Zuccotti Park will attest.

Conventional party politicians, reasserting their own claim to legitimacy, insist that such problems can only be arbitrated by imposing more top-down policy. But when most feel powerless about the things that matter, this may only provoke further protests.

Ultimately, to address profound systemic challenges, we shall need new participatory and inclusive decision-making structures to negotiate the difficult choices.

An example of these forums has emerged in parts of Syria, of all places. Rightly, this is precisely what the Extinction Rebellion is also demanding.

Inevitably, leaderless movements face questions about their legitimacy.

One answer lies in their methods.

The Macron government has exploited the violence seen in Paris and elsewhere to claim that the gilets jaunes movement is illegitimate and anti-democratic.

Mahatma Gandhi, and later King, realised that nonviolent action – such as the satyagraha salt march or the Montgomery bus boycott – denies the authorities this line of attack.

On the contrary, the violence used by those authorities – the British colonial government or the police of the southern US states – against nonviolent protestors helped build their own legitimacy and attracted global attention.

Complexity science tells us something else important.

System-wide shifts happen when the system is primed for change, at so-called criticality.

In the Middle East there was almost universal anger at the existing political status quo, so it took only one match to light the fire of revolt.

Meeting people in colleges and towns across the UK but also in the US (where I lived until recently) you can hear the mounting frustration with a political and economic system that is totally unresponsive to the needs of the 99%, and offers no credible answer to the climate emergency.

There will be more leaderless movements to express this frustration, just as there will be more rightwing demagogues, like Trump or Boris Johnson, who seek to exploit it to their own advantage.

For the right ones to prevail, we must insist on nonviolence as well as commitment to dialogue with – and not denunciation of – those who disagree.

Messily, a new form of politics is upon us, and we must ensure that it peacefully and democratically produces deep systematic reform, not the counter-reaction of the authoritarians.

Get ready.

 Carne Ross is a former British diplomat and author of The Leaderless Revolution

Press link for more: The Guardian

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OHCHR | 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change #COP24 #auspol #qldpol #ClimateStrike #StopAdani Demand a #GreenNewDeal #ExtinctionRebellion #TheDrum

Global Commission on Adaptation, “Accelerating Action and Support for Adaptation”
Statement by Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
Katowice, 12 December 2018

Excellencies,
Friends,
Colleagues,

Climate change is already damaging many people’s rights to life; to food, health, water, sanitation and housing; to decent work, to self-determination, and to development.

We already know that much more comprehensive and damaging impact is looming – and that it is too late to avoid some of this damage.

But the worst effects of climate change can be averted – and they must.

The people most profoundly affected by climate change are those who already endure multiple forms of discrimination – owing to their economic status; their gender; their membership of minority or indigenous communities; because they are migrants, or because they are people with disabilities.

But that doesn’t mean other groups will be safe. Neither wealth, nor walls – however high – will be capable of protecting anyone from the systematic and global reach of this preventable disaster.

I am convinced the work of this Commission is critical to protecting human rights, and I am honoured to participate in it. 
We need immediate and coordinated action to limit the damage that has already been done, through effective and ambitious mitigation; and where the damage cannot be undone, we need effective measures to boost people’s ability to adapt to the changes that have been wrought on our environment.

These and other measures to prevent and protect against foreseeable human rights harms cause by climate change are obligations under international human rights law.

According to World Bank estimates, 100 million people may fall back into extreme poverty by 2030, due to climate change. These people are likely to be among those who have benefited the least from the processes, which have created this damage. It is a matter of basic justice that they be the primary beneficiaries of climate adaptation.

They can also be key agents to protect the environment from climate change. By safeguarding lands and traditional seed varieties, and applying environmentally sound farming practices, indigenous peoples and local communities protect biodiversity and ecosystems, thus contributing to climate mitigation and resilience.

Many of these key actors are women. Indigenous women, for example, have for centuries protected biodiversity and ecosystems – so that many today are living libraries of traditional practises, which promote sound environmental management. It is clear that when women and all others do gain adequate access to land and other fundamental resources and services, and are able to participate fully in decisions, all of us benefit.

This is why it is so critical to implement the Gender Action Plan, and to operationalize the Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Platform.

We need transformative climate action that fuels the eradication of poverty, supports a just transition and promotes sustainable development. We need measures to free women and other groups from entrenched discrimination.

Article 7.5 of the Paris Agreement calls for our environmental adaptation to be more inclusive, participatory and gender-responsive. This is what that means:

We need to raise our voices, and empower civil society and human rights defenders across the world to participate in environmental decision-making.

We need environmental action at all levels that is centred on the needs of the people – all the people.

We need more clarity, and better data to demonstrate the disproportionate harm being inflicted on women and other groups.

Our countries will not achieve sustainable development, if we ignore the ways in which climate change deepens inequalities between States, and between communities.  If we fail to protect environmental human rights defenders, to ensure their participation in climate action and to guarantee their access to justice. Or if we fail to cooperate in mobilising finance, sharing technologies and protecting the countries and people most vulnerable to climate change.

A human rights-based approach requires affirmative action to address all of these issues, and to ensure transparent, accountable and participatory climate action to protect people’s welfare and rights.

My Office is committed to supporting the work of the UNFCCC and the Global Commission on Adaptation to achieve these objectives. 

Thank you.

Press link for more: OHCHR

UN Secretary-General “ #ClimateChange is a matter of life” #auspol #qldpol #COP24 #StopAdani Demand a #GreenNewDeal #ClimateStrike #ExtinctionRebellion #TheDrum

Secretary-General’s remarks at the closing of the High-Level Segment of the Talanoa Dialogue, COP-24 [as delivered]

Honourable Ministers,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

In my opening statement to this conference one week ago, I told you that this was the most important COP since the adoption of the Paris Agreement.

I warned that climate change is running faster than we are and that Katowice must—in no uncertain terms—be a success, as a necessary platform to reverse this trend.

To achieve it, I said that ambition and compromises were both needed. Never have the stakes been higher.

I left Katowice hopeful, but uncertain.

While I was away, three more reports were added to the long list of warnings signals:

A Special WHO report on impacts to health due to climate change;

A UN Environment Programme report which highlights the opportunities for reducing emissions in the construction sector; and

NASA’s research on the first signs of significant melting of glaciers in East Antarctica.

Returning to Katowice, I see that despite progress in the negotiating texts much remains to be done.

And today, the Presidency is presenting a text as new basis for negotiations.

I’d like to thank the Polish Presidency for its efforts.

I understand it takes an enormous amount of energy and work to organize such a conference.

I also understand the weight of responsibility that this COP carries.

There can be no doubt that it is a moment of truth.

In this regard, key political issues remain unresolved.

This is not surprising—we recognize the complexity of this work. But we are running out of time.

Today, it is only fitting that we meet under the auspices of the Talanoa Dialogue.

I’d like to thank Fiji for initiating this Dialogue.

It’s no coincidence they’re the ones who established the process to discuss ambition to meet a 1.5C° goal.

Small Island States know better than any of us the importance of meeting that goal.

As I said in my opening remarks, for people living on those islands, climate change isn’t a theoretical exercise about the future – it’s a matter of life and death today.

Talanoa’s spirit is exactly how we can achieve a successful result in these last crucial days of COP24.

It is defined by openness, driven by optimism, and focused not on political differences, but on the collective well-being of those living on this planet.

And let me be open and transparent.

The IPCC Special Report is a stark acknowledgment of what the consequences of global warming beyond 1.5 degrees will mean for billions of people around the world, especially those who call small island states home.

This is not good news, but we cannot afford to ignore it.

Excellencies,

Over the last 10 days, many of you have worked long, hard hours and I want to acknowledge your efforts.

But we need to accelerate those efforts to reach consensus if we want to follow-up on the commitments made in Paris.

The Katowice package needs to deliver the Paris Agreement Work Program, progress on finance and a strong basis for the revision of National Determined Contributions under the Talanoa Dialogue.

These three components are linked by one central idea—boosting ambition.

Ambition when it comes to predictable and accessible financial flows for the economic transition towards a low-emission and climate-resilient world.

Ambition with respect to climate action.

And ambition with respect to developing a flexible but robust set of rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Let us start by finance.

The financial obligation from developed countries to support efforts of developing countries was established in the Convention when it was adopted in 1992—more than 25 years ago.

It’s very difficult to explain to those suffering from the effects of climate change that we have not managed to find predictable support for the actions that must be taken.

But there is some good news.

Sir David Attenborough “Time is running out”

https://youtu.be/b6Vh-g0oZ9w

The World Bank announced a new set of climate targets for 2021-2025, doubling its current 5-year investments to US$ 200 billion, both in mitigation and adaptation, in support for countries to take ambitious climate action.

Here at COP24, Multilateral Development Banks announced the alignment of their activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement and in line with the science-based evidence identified by the IPCC.

It represents US$ 35 billion in developing and emerging economies with an additional leverage on US$ 52 billion from private and public sources.

And before the COP, we saw a new Investor Agenda, as well as, for example, an announcement by ING that it would set science-based targets to shift its lending portfolio towards a low-emission future.

These private sector actors are making important progress because they recognize the seriousness of the climate challenge we face and the opportunities related to addressing it.

Failing here in Katowice would send a disastrous message to those who stand ready to shift to a green economy.

So, I urge you to find common ground that will allow us to show the world that we are listening, that we care.

Developed countries must scale up their contributions to jointly mobilize US$100 billion annually by 2020.

And we need to strengthen the Green Climate Fund.

Germany’s pledge to double its contribution in the current replenishment process is a very positive sign that I hope will inspire others to do the same.

I have appointed the President of France and Prime Minister of Jamaica to lead the mobilization of the international community, both public and private, to reach the target of US$ 100 billion in the context of the preparation of the Climate Summit I have convened in September of next year.

Second, the rulebook.

I just arrived from Marrakech.

It reminded me that the deadline to finalize the Paris Agreement Work Program was not one that was imposed upon Parties by anyone—it was a deadline Parties imposed upon themselves at COP22, precisely in Marrakech.

Both the Convention and the Paris Agreement recognize that countries have different realities, different capacities and different circumstances.

We must find a formula that balances the responsibilities of all countries.

This will allow us to have a regime that is fair and effective for all.

To achieve this, and to build the trust that everyone is doing their fair share, we need to have a strong transparency framework to monitor and assess progress on all fronts: mitigation, adaptation and provision of support, including finance, technology and capacity building.

I am aware that this issue is also technically complex and many linkages across different parts of the texts are being considered.

But I have confidence that you will find a way to overcome those challenges.

Third: climate action.

Today, Katowice is the hub of global climate action. The eyes of the world are on us. And more than 32,000 people have come here to find solutions to climate change.

They are inspired, engaged and they want us to deliver. They want us to finish the job.

Katowice must be, Mr. President, the dawn of a new determination to unleash the promise of the Paris Agreement.

We clearly have the know-how and the ability to reach 1.5C.

We see incredible momentum from all segments of society to lower emissions and make the transition from the grey economy to the green.

We have the ways.

What we need is the political will to move forward.

As the IPCC Special Report indicates, the intersection between State and non-State is essential to reaching our climate goals.

This Talanoa Dialogue is an example of how this can all come together.

The IPCC report outlined a catastrophic future if we do not act immediately.

It also clearly states that the window of opportunity is closing.

We no longer have the luxury of time.

That’s why we need to have our work here in Katowice finalized—and finalized in less than three days.

Meeting your deadline means we can immediately unleash the full potential of the Paris Agreement and its promise of a low-emissions climate-resilient future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I understand that none of this is easy. I understand some of you will need to make some tough political decisions.

But this is the time for consensus. This is the time for political compromises to be reached. This means sacrifices, but it will benefit us all collectively.

I challenge you to work together for that purpose.

I challenge you to accelerate and finish the job.

And to raise ambition on all fronts.

To waste this opportunity in Katowice would compromise our last best chance to stop runaway climate change.

It would not only be immoral, it would be suicidal.

This may sound like a dramatic appeal, but it is exactly this: a dramatic appeal.

Let us then carry forth the spirit of the Talanoa Dialogue in these crucial next few days and let us heed its messages.

It’s about more than the future of each country.

I have three young granddaughters. I will not be here at the end of the century. The same probably applies to all of you.

I do not want my granddaughters or anybody else’s to suffer the consequences of our failures.

They would not forgive us if uncontrolled and spiraling climate change would be our legacy to them.

Thank you. 

Press link for more: UN.ORG

#COP24 our last chance to save humanity? #auspol #qldpol #ClimateStrike #ExtinctionRebellion #StopAdani #ClimateChange is already disastrous.

COP24 must unleash the full potential of the Paris Agreement

COP24—held in Katowice, Poland from 2-14 December– must unleash the full potential of the Paris Agreement by finalizing the Paris Agreement Work Programme.

This will put into place the practical implementation guidelines needed to implement the historic agreement that aims to limit global warming to well under 2°C this century.

The Work Programme must provide a way to track progress and ensure that climate action is transparent.

This in turn will build trust and send a signal that governments are serious about addressing climate change.

COP24 also needs to establish a clear way forward on climate finance to ensure greater support for climate action in developing countries.

5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT COP24

1 What, When and Where is COP24?

Since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was adopted in 1992, parties have met at least once a year to further the implementation of the Convention. This year, the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change– COP 24–will take place in Katowice, Poland from 2-14 December. Parties to the Kyoto Protocol will also meet. The Katowice Conference will mark the third anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Agreement, which was agreed to in 2015.

2. Why is COP 24 so important?

COP24 must unleash the full potential of the Paris Agreement by finalizing the Paris Agreement Work Programme. This will put into place the practical implementation guidelines needed to track progress and ensure that climate action is transparent. This in turn will build trust and send a signal that governments are serious about addressing climate change. COP24 also needs to establish a clear way forward on climate finance to ensure greater support for climate action in developing countries.

3. What should COP 24 accomplish?

What countries say in Poland will determine climate efforts and action for years to come. With high-level events, panel discussions and roundtables, COP24 should address three main issues: the rules and procedures for how countries will meet their commitments, how climate action will be financed, and “ambition”—what countries may be willing to do to exceed their Paris emissions-cutting commitments when they’re updated in 2020. The Paris Agreement Work Programme will make the Paris Agreement fully operational by unlocking ambitious action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and to empower developing countries.

4. Why is it so urgent to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

In early October, the special report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that the world is already witnessing the consequences of 1°C of global warming. There is already more extreme weather, rising sea levels and diminishing Arctic sea ice, among other changes. Every bit of additional warming brings greater risks. There are clear benefits to limiting warming to 1.5°C compared to 2°C: 420 million fewer people being exposed to severe heat waves, survival of some tropical coral reefs, loss of fewer plants and animal species, and the protection of forests and wetland habitats.

5. Why will there be a 2019 Climate Summit?

In September 2019, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a climate summit to mobilize political and economic efforts at the highest level possible to strengthen climate action and ambition worldwide. Even if all the commitments made by countries for the Paris Agreement are achieved, the world will still be on a course to warm by more than 3°C this century. In advance of the 2020 deadline for countries to raise their commitments in their national climate plans, the Summit will focus on practical initiatives to limit emissions and build climate resilience. The Summit will focus on driving action in six areas; namely, energy transition, climate finance and carbon pricing, industry transition, nature-based solutions, cities and local action, and resilience.

Press link for more: United Nations

Australia is a rogue nation on climate

We are the worst in the world!

Australia’s climate policy deteriorated in 2018. #auspol #qldpol on track to 4C #ClimateStrike #ExtinctionRebellion #ClimateChange ignored.

Overview

Australia’s climate policy has further deteriorated in the past year, as it focusses on propping up the coal industry and ditches efforts to reduce emissions, ignoring the record uptake of solar PV and storage and other climate action at state level.

The Australian government has turned its back on global climate action by dismissing the findings of theIPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C and announcing it would no longer provide funds to the Green Climate Fund (GCF).

Australia’s emissions from fossil fuels and industry continue to rise and, based on the most recent quarterly inventory, are now 6% above 2005 levels and increasing at around 1% since 2014.

Under current polices these emissions are headed for an increase of 9% above 2005 levels by 2030, rather than the 1517% decrease in these emissions required to meet Australia’s Paris Agreement target. 

This means Australia’s emissions are set to far outpace its“Insufficient” 2030 target.

The government has abandoned any policy efforts to achieve emissions reductions in the energy and transport sectors. Instead, its plans to underwrite a new coal power plant are completely inconsistent with the need to phase out coal globally by 2050 and in OECD countries by 2030.

If all other countries were to follow Australia’s current policy trajectory that we rate “Highly Insufficient”, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C.

While the federal government continues to repeatedly state that Australia is on track to meet its 2030 target “in a canter”, the Climate Action Tracker is not aware of any scientific basis, published by any analyst or government agency, to support this.

Australia’s emissions have been increasing since 2014, when the federal government repealed the carbon pricing system, and the latest quarterly emissions inventory to June 2018 (published in November 2018) shows continuing increases. Emissions are projected to grow through 2030, instead of reducing in line with the 2030 target.

The federal government continues to promote coal as a solution to an energy security issue it claims exists but which has not been identified by the Australian Energy Market Operator.

It proposes to underwrite new coal-fired power generation by guaranteeing to pay any future carbon price-related costs, create barriers to renewable energy and obfuscate its climate policies, the reality on the ground at the state level, public opinion and across the business sector in Australia, is very different.

The government continues to push for policies aimed at propping up uncompetitive coal-fired power.

This follows a rejection of the recommendations of the 2017 Finkel report, as well as, in August 2018, dropping an alternative instrument, the National Energy Guarantee. The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF)—the so-called “centrepiece” of the Australian government’s policy suite to reduce emissions—does not set Australia on a path to meeting its targets as has been reiterated in the latest review by the Climate Change Authority (Climate Change Authority, 2017).

Instead of introducing new policies to address the structural change needed (CCA 2017), the government is now considering allowing international units to be used for compliance. The safeguard mechanism also risks counteracting the emissions reductions the ERF is supposed to deliver and further undermines the achievement of the 2030 target (Reputex, 2018) by increasing emissions allowances for large industry facilities.

All states and territories (except Western Australia) now have strong renewable energy targets and/or zero emissions targets in place (Climate Council, 2017).

South Australia is widely seen as a global leader: it has one of the highest shares of variable renewable energy, with 48% share of wind and solar total generation in 2017 (IEEFA, 2018), the world’s largest lithium-ion battery, and innovative projects for renewable hydrogen and virtual power plants. Households across Australia are massively deploying small-scale solar and increasingly combining this with battery storage: about 29% of dwellings in South Australia and 27% in Queensland had solar PV by early 2018, with substantial shares in several other states and territories as well, a trend that is showing no sign of slowing down. Public opinion is supportive of renewable energies and climate policy (Essential, 2017).

In a recent poll, more than 70% of Australians want the government to set a high renewable energy target to put downward pressure on power prices and reduce emissions. In “Australia’s climate policy survey”, capturing the views of Australian business and industry, 92% of respondents say Australia’s current climate and energy policy is insufficient to meet the required targets. A further sign of escalating and widespread public disquiet and concern at their government’s lack of action on climate change was a unprecedented, nation-wide strike by school children in late November 2018

Australia ratified the Paris Agreement on 6 November 2016. Its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), includes a target of reducing GHG emissions, including land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF), by 26–28% below 2005 levels by 2030. This target is equivalent to a range of 15.1–17.4% below 2005 around levels of GHG emissions excluding LULUCF in 2030 (or referenced to 1990, 3% to 6% above 1990 levels of GHG emissions excluding LULUCF in 2030). However, current policies are projected to increase GHG emissions excluding LULUCF by about 9% above 2005 levels by 2030.

Press link for more: Carbon Action Tracker

Act now to prevent an environmental catastrophe! #auspol #qldpol #ClimateChange #ExtinctionRebellion #ClimateStrike #COP24 #TakeYourSeat #TheDrum #QandA

In our complex, interdependent global ecosystem, life is dying, with species extinction accelerating.

The climate crisis is worsening much faster than previously predicted. Every single day 200 species are becoming extinct.

This desperate situation can’t continue.

Political leaders worldwide are failing to address the environmental crisis.

If global corporate capitalism continues to drive the international economy, global catastrophe is inevitable.

Complacency and inaction in Britain, the US, Australia, Brazil, across Africa and Asia – all illustrate diverse manifestations of political paralysis, abdicating humankind’s grave responsibility for planetary stewardship.

International political organisations and national governments must foreground the climate-emergency issue immediately, urgently drawing up comprehensive policies to address it.

Conventionally privileged nations must voluntarily fund comprehensive environment-protection policies in impoverished nations, to compensate the latter for foregoing unsustainable economic growth, and paying recompense for the planet-plundering imperialism of materially privileged nations.

With extreme weather already hitting food production, we demand that governments act now to avoid any risk of hunger, with emergency investment in agro-ecological extreme-weather-resistant food production. We also call for an urgent summit on saving the Arctic icecap, to slow weather disruption of our harvests.

We further call on concerned global citizens to rise up and organise against current complacency in their particular contexts, including indigenous people’s rights advocacy, decolonisation and reparatory justice – so joining the global movement that’s now rebelling against extinction (eg Extinction Rebellion in the UK).

We must collectively do whatever’s necessary non-violently, to persuade politicians and business leaders to relinquish their complacency and denial. Their “business as usual” is no longer an option.

Global citizens will no longer put up with this failure of our planetary duty.

Every one of us, especially in the materially privileged world, must commit to accepting the need to live more lightly, consume far less, and to not only uphold human rights but also our stewardship responsibilities to the planet.

Dr Vandana Shiva Delhi, India
Naomi Klein Author
Noam Chomsky Laureate professor, University of Arizona, Institute Professor (emeritus) MIT, USA
Prof AC Grayling Master of the New College of the Humanities, London, UK
Philip Pullman UK
Dr Rowan Williams UK
Bill McKibben Founder, 350.org, Brooklyn, New York, US
Tiokasin Ghosthorse (Lakota Nation), New York, NY, US
Esther Stanford-Xosei Convenor-General, Stop the Maangamizi: We Charge Genocide/Ecocide Campaign (SMWeCGEC), London, UK
Sir Jonathon Porritt Signing in a personal capacity, UK
Dr Alison Green Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Arden University, National Director (UK) http://www.scientistswarning.org/ , UK
Lily Cole Model, entrepreneur and patron for the Environmental justice foundation
Chris Packham English naturalist and TV presenter, UK
Dr Susie Orbach Consultant psychoanalyst, The Balint Consultancy, UK
Prof Joy Carter CBE Vice Chancellor, University of Winchester, UK
Prof Jayati Ghosh Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India

Others by nation –

United Kingdom
Ms Da Abla Co-deputy general secretary, All-Afrikan Networking Community Link for International Development (AANCLID), London, UK
Ms Demoui Akouba Doue Joint general secretary, All-Afrikan Students Union Link in Europe (AASULE), Plymouth, UK
Jem Bendell Professor of sustainability leadership, University of Cumbria, UK
Dr Adotey Bing-Pappoe Joint convenor, African Cooperative Forum (ACF), London, UK
Liz Bondi Professor of social geography, University of Edinburgh, UK
Dr Simon Boxley Centre for Climate Change Education & Communication, University of Winchester. UK
Dr Onel Brooks Senior lecturer in psychotherapy, counselling and counselling psychology, UK
Dr Philip Byrne chartered clinical psychologist, Cheshire, UK 
Professor Molly Scott Cato MEP UK
Paul Chatterton Professor of urban futures, University of Leeds, UK
Kooj Chuhan Director, Virtual Migrants, Manchester, UK
Danny Dorling Halford Mackinder professor of geography, University of Oxford, UK
Dr David Drew MP (Labour) Shadow Minister for Rural Affairs, UK
Jonathan Gosling Emeritus professor of leadership studies, University of Exeter, UK
Ms Athea Gordon-Davidson Co-chair, Brixtonics@Brixton, London, UK
David Graeber Professor of anthropology, London School of Economics, UK
Fe Haslam Secretariat facilitator, CAFA Archival Resources Action Team (CARAT), London, UK
Richard House Ph.D. (Env.Sci.), Chartered psychologist, Stroud, UK
David Humphreys Professor of environmental policy, Open University, UK
Professor Gus John Partner, All Africa Advisors LLP & Coventry University, Coventry, UK
Boucka Koffi Co-deputy coordinator, Global Justice Forum (GJF), Sheffield, UK
Karin Lesnik-Oberstein Professor of critical theory, University of Reading, UK
Del Loewenthal Emeritus professor in psychotherapy, University of Roehampton, UK
Caroline Lucas MP (Green), UK
Kofi Mawuli Klu Co-vice-chair, Pan-Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe (PARCOE), London,UK
Tony McSherry Ph.D. (Psychology), Psychotherapist, UK
Simon Murray Poet and graphic artist, Leeds, UK
Professor Dany Nobus Brunel University, London, UK
Michel Odent MD Primal Health Research Centre, London, UK
Jenny Pickerill Professor of environmental geography, University of Sheffield, UK
Dr Gillian Proctor CPsychol., Programme leader, MA in counselling and psychotherapy, University of Leeds, UK
Kate Raworth author of Doughnut Economics; Environmental Change Institute, Oxford University, UK
Dr Rupert Read Reader in philosophy, University of East Anglia, UK
Professor Paul Routledge Leadership chair in Contentious Politics and Social Change, University of Leeds, UK
Kwame Adofo Sampong Principal organising secretary, Pan-Afrikan Fora Internationalist Support Coordinating Council (PAFISCC), London, UK
Professor Andrew Samuels University of Essex, Former Chair UK Council for Psychotherapy, UK
Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins Global Sustainable Development lecturer, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
Ms Jendayi Serwah Co-chair, Afrikan Emancipation Day Reparations March Committee (AEDRMC), Bristol, UK
Helen Spandler Professor of mental health, University of Central Lancashire, UK
Simeon Stanford Co-founder and Leadership Facilitation Team member, Global Afrikan People’s Parliament (GAAP), London, UK
Dr Julia K. Steinberger Sustainability Research Institute, University of Leeds, UK

United States of America
Professor Julian Agyeman Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA
David Elkind Emeritus professor of psychology, Tufts University, USA
Nik Heynen Professor of geography, University of Georgia at Athens, USA
Eric Holthaus journalist and fellow, University of Minnesota, USA
Maureen O’Hara Ph.D. Professor of psychology, National University, USA
William J. Ripple Distinguished Professor of Ecology, Oregon State University, USA
Guy McPherson Professor emeritus of conservation biology, University of Arizona, USA
Professor Kris Manjapra Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA
William J. Ripple Distinguished professor of ecology, Oregon State University, USA
Kirk Schneider Saybrook University and the Existential-Humanistic Institute, USA
Rabbi Arthur Waskow director, the Shalom Center, Philadelphia, USA

Australia

Steve Biddulph AM, psychologist and author, Australia

Professor Timothy Doyle University of Adelaide, Australia

David Schlosberg Professor of environmental politics, University of Sydney, Australia

John Seed founder, Rainforest Information Centre, St Lismore, NSW, Australia

Bénin

Salim Dara Chief community / king of Djougou, Bénin

Zeguen Moussa Toure President, Mouvement Social Panafricain pour le Development Integral (MSPDI), Cotonou, Bénin

France

Ms Aissata Diakhite Kaba Joint Principal Secretary, International Network of Scholars and Activists for Afrikan Reparations, Youth and Students Auxiliary Fellowship – RepAfrika (INOSAAR-RepAfrika), Paris, France

Engin Isin Professor of International Politics, Queen Mary University of London & University of London Institute, Paris, France

New Zealand

Lennard Gillman Professor of biogeography, head of science, Auckland University of Technology, Aotearoa, New Zealand

Professor Keith Tudor Auckland University of Technology, Aotearoa New Zealand

Ghana

Wedam Abassey Co-chair, Ghana Youth and Student Changemaking Alliance (GYASCA), Kumasi, Ghana

Dukomegatsitsi Kosi Agoko Honorary Presidium Convenor-General, ABLODEDUNOVISIHA Gbetowo Global Union for Pan-Afrikan Community Regeneration (ABLODEDUNOVISIHA-GGUPACOR), Tanyigbe, Ghana

Ms Adzo Agorkor Task Action Commission joint principal secretary, MIANONKU International Scientific Observatory on Development in Afrika (MIANONKU-ISODA), Tanyigbe, Ghana

Mawuse Yao Agorkor General secretary, VAZOBA Afrika and Friends Networking Open Forum, Accra, Ghana

Ms Dedo Azu General secretary, ADZEWAGBETO Pan-Afrikan Women’s Liberation Union (ADZEWAGBETO-PAWLU), Somanya, Ghana

Elorm Koku Dade Principal secretary, All-Afrikan Citizens Action for Sustainable Transport and Communications (AACASTAC), Accra, Ghana

Kafui Yao Dade Co-chair, Planet Repairs Youth Positive Action Campaign (PRYPAC), Accra, Ghana

Nyoefe Yawa Dake Co-president, NUTROZA Panafrecycle (Pan-Afrikan Recycling Cooperative Society for Environmental Justice), Accra, Ghana

Ms Xolanyo Yawa Gbafa Co-deputy general secretary, EDIKANFO Pan-Afrikan Youth and Student Internationalist Link (EDIKANFO-PAYSIL), Accra, Ghana

Numo Akwaa Mensah III Ga Nae (Chief Priest of the Seas for the Indigenous Ga Community of Accra), honorary chair, Accra Community Regeneration for Sustainable Development Action Forum (ACORSDAF), Accra, Ghana

Nana Kobina Nketsia V Omanhen (paramount chief) of Essikado, Pan-Afrikan Chieftaincy Co-Director of Education for the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC), Sekondi, Ghana

Professor Kwaku Senah Managing director, AFRICARIBE Centre, Accra, Ghana

Togbe Adza Tekpor VII Osie (Paramount chief) of Avatime, Pan-Afrikan Chieftaincy Co-Director of Environmental Justice for the Global Afrikan Family Reunion International Council (GAFRIC), Vane-Avatime, Ghana

Other countries

Dr Paul Beckwith Professor of climatology, University of Ottawa, Canada

Dr Dina Glouberman Founder of Skyros Holidays, Skyros, Greece

David Lehrer Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, Kibbutz Ketura, Israel

Dr Jim Salinger University of Tasmania; visiting professor, University of Florence, Italy

Mussauwa Wandale Leader, People’s Land Organisation, Likoma, Malawi

Dr Barryl A. Biekman Co-Vice-Chair, Europewide NGO Consultative Council on Afrikan Reparations (ENGOCCAR), Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Dr Sunita Narain Director General, Centre for Science and Environment, Delhi, India

Neeshad Shafi Executive director of Arab Youth Climate Movement (AYCM), Qatar

Conley Shivambo Rose General Secretary, United Front for Progress (UFP),Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines

Giorgos Kallis ICREA professor, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain

Majority of Aussies support school children’s new protest #StopAdani #ClimateStrike #auspol #qldpol #ExtinctionRebellion #COP24 We urgently need a #GreenNewDeal #ClimateChange is catastrophic

Climate protest in Melbourne

By Charis Chang

Another mass student-led march was held across Australia yesterday following news Adani would self-fund its controversial coal mine in Queensland.

It comes after thousands of students copped criticism from politicians including Prime Minister Scott Morrison for skipping school last week to attend climate change rallies instead.

But it seems many Australians don’t agree with Mr Morrison’s comments that there should be “more learning in schools and less activism”.

New national ReachTel polling conducted after the Student Strike for Climate Action revealed widespread support for the students.

The Australian Youth Climate Coalition released results from the survey of 2345 people, which found 62.7 per cent thought school students had a right to demand action from the Government on climate change. Among Labor voters, this rose to 86.4 per cent.

A majority of 58.1 per cent also thought the Labor Party should show leadership on climate change and oppose Adani’s coal mine, including 80.7 per cent of Labor voters.

Students invited adults to join them at March for Our Future rallies in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns after Adani announced it would self-fund its mine and start work before Christmas.

Climate Angels Cairns

“This new poll shows Australians support the students’ actions and that the Prime Minister’s attacks on the kids are mean-spirited and out-of-step with public opinion,” Australian Youth Climate Coalition national director Gemma Borgo-Caratti said.

“The poll also puts Bill Shorten on notice that a clear majority of Australians, and the vast majority of Labor voters, want him to act to stop the Adani mine.

“Labor voters want strong leadership on climate change, not a would-be prime minister who says the Adani coal mine would make no difference to carbon emissions.”

Jean Hinchliffe, 14, said students would continue to push governments to act on climate change.

“We’re not going to stop until change is made,” she told news.com.au.

She said young people around Australia were working on big plans for the school holidays and for 2019.

Melbourne Climate Strike

The rallies on Saturday protested against the Adani coal mine and Jean said they were opposed to the use of coal for electricity and were also against the development because of the potential impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

“It will drive Australia and the rest of the world away from a sustainable future and that’s something we don’t agree with,” she said.

“Young people will not stand by and let Adani dig its mine, or let politicians get away with waving through a project which will destroy our future.

“Climate change is breathing down our necks. We’re fired up and ready to do whatever it takes to stop Adani.”

This weekend’s protests follow a nationwide student strike last week followed by a “sit-in” inside the lobby of Parliament House this week. High school students staged the protest after their requests to speak with the Prime Minister about climate change were ignored – and it earnt them a three-month ban from the premises.

Earlier in the day, Mr Morrison said he would sit down with the school students, a week after he criticised them for skipping school to stage the national strikes.

“I’m always happy to listen. I respect everybody’s views,” he told reporters on Wednesday morning.

“We don’t always have to agree on everything, you know, but we do have to respect each other and we do have to take each other’s views seriously.”

Despite the PM’s words, he’s yet to meet with the 100-strong student group, whose protest was moved to the lawns outside Parliament House by security

Crossbench MP Kerryn Phelps and Greens senator Jordon Steele-John both took time to meet with the students.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale praised the group.

“The reason we had young people in parliament today protesting is because the Liberal and Labor Party are not listening to them,” he told reporters.

It was a sentiment echoed by the students gathered outside, including 14-year-old Tully Bowtell-Young who travelled solo from Townsville to be there – using her own pocket money to help cover costs.

“I think it’s worthwhile because nothing I have now is going to mean anything if I don’t have a future in this world,” she told AAP.

EMISSIONS ARE RISING

The world has already warmed by 1C and global emissions are projected to rise by more than 2 per cent this year due to an increase in the amount of coal being burned and the sustained use of oil and natural gas.

In Australia, the latest government data shows greenhouse emissions are at their highest level since 2011.

The National Greenhouse Gas Inventory figures for the June quarter show total emissions were the equivalent of 533.7 million tonnes, up 5.1 per cent since the carbon price was abolished in June 2014.

Australia had the highest per capita greenhouse gas energy in the world

A leading climate scientist suggests Australia will now have to reduce electricity sector emissions by 60 to 70 per cent in order to meet its Paris Agreement target of reducing carbon emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

“It’s clear that nations around the world aren’t doing enough to slow down climate change,” Griffith University emeritus professor Ian Lowe told ABC radio on Thursday.

Even Australia’s now-dumped National Energy Guarantee aimed to cut emissions by 26 per cent.

Some argue that Australia only contributes to about 1.8 per cent of global emissions but Prof Lowe said every nation except the US and China was in the same position – and together these emissions contribute to the majority of emissions.

“It’s all of the one and two per cents from all of the little countries that add up to the other 60 per cent outside the US and China,” he said.

Recently a special report from Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) revealed carbon emissions would need to be cut by 45 per cent from 2010 levels by 2030 in order to keep global warming to 1.5C. To achieve this, the use of coal for electricity generation would have to be slashed to practically zero by 2050.

If warming is allowed to reach 2C almost all the world’s coral reefs would die including the Great Barrier Reef. Even if warming reached 1.5C, most would still die. To even save half the world’s reefs, warming should be limited to 1.2C.

Treasurer Scott Morrison with a lump of coal during Question Time in the House of Representatives Chamber at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: Kym Smith

GOVERNMENT FAILS TO GET AGREEMENT

Representatives from nearly 200 countries will hold talks at a UN Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland focusing on the rules for implementing the Paris climate accord.

But federal Environment Minister Melissa Price was unable to get a joint statement on climate change signed off by state environment ministers to take with her to Poland on Saturday.

Ms Price met with her state counterparts in Canberra on Friday and asked them to endorse a statement but they refused because the government has no plan to tackle the problem.

“What I had suggested was that we had an agreed statement that we would all work together to determine an action plan with respect to climate, with respect to things that we can do individually and collectively,” Ms Price told reporters on Friday.

“Sadly that was not agreed. There was not an agreement on the words that I proposed, and no one proposed alternative words.”

The Labor governments of Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT released a joint statement condemning the lack of action.

“The science is frightening, unequivocal and clear – we are running out of time,” the statement said. “Yet the response of successive Liberal prime ministers has been one of delusion and deliberate inaction.

“It is unacceptable that any action on climate change has again been left off the agenda at today’s meeting.”

Press link for more: Tweed Daily News

“Operation Navy Help”Cyclone Tracy Darwin Christmas 1974.Why I became a climate activist. #auspol #qldpol #ClimateStrike #ExtinctionRebellion #StopAdani Catastrophic #ClimateChange #COP24

In 1974 as a young sailor married with two children I was in Darwin when Cyclone Tracy destroyed Darwin, my wife and I lay under a mattress with our boys while our house was torn apart. I was just learning the power of nature.

Watch the video Operation Navy Help

Naval Headquarters Darwin after Cyclone Tracy

After the clean up I retired from the navy and continued my career in the Australian Airforce.

I read the Club of Rome’s “Limits to Growth”

The message of this book still holds today: The earth’s interlocking resources – the global system of nature in which we all live – probably cannot support present rates of economic and population growth much beyond the year 2100, if that long, even with advanced technology.

In the summer of 1970, an international team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology began a study of the implications of continued worldwide growth.

They examined the five basic factors that determine and, in their interactions, ultimately limit growth on this planet-population increase, agricultural production, nonrenewable resource depletion, industrial output, and pollution generation.

The MIT team fed data on these five factors into a global computer model and then tested the behavior of the model under several sets of assumptions to determine alternative patterns for mankind’s future.

The Limits to Growth is the nontechnical report of their findings.

The book contains a message of hope, as well: Man can create a society in which he can live indefinitely on earth if he imposes limits on himself and his production of material goods to achieve a state of global equilibrium with population and production in carefully selected balance.

Today I do what I can to help people to understand the science, understand the challenge we face.

Listen. To Sir David Attenborough Address to COP24

How to keep going. #COP24 #ClimateStrike #ExtinctionRebellion #GreenNewDeal #StopAdani Where do we find hope? #auspol #qldpol #TheDrum #QandA #ClimateChange

By Emily Johnston

Emily Johnston

Poet, scribe, climate activist, runner, builder. My book, Her Animals, is out now: http://bit.ly/2FjfLLP

At the MIT Media Lab’s Disobedience Award ceremony on Friday, someone asked me how I keep going—where I find hope.

As a climate organizer, it’s a question I get all the time, but it struck me a little differently this time. What she said was something to the effect of “On a good day, I can believe that we can win against misogyny and racism over time. But climate change, on such a short timeline? Shit. 

How do you keep going?

I was glad she asked, because we’d been asked the same on our panel, and I’d failed to say what I’d wanted to, which is that I see our job not as having hope, but of making space for hope.

If we don’t act boldly in the next couple of years, we lose most of our leverage to save huge swaths of the astonishing life on this planet, and we fail both existing and future lives almost incomprehensibly.

Globally, acting so boldly as to not fail is unlikely. But it doesn’t matter how unlikely a thing is; it only matters if it’s possible, and worth working for. Scientists are remarkably unified in believing it is possible, and nothing has ever been more worth working for.

So our job is not to feel hope—that’s optional.

Our job is to be hope, and to make space for the chance of a different future.

Climate Strike students give us hope.

The woman who asked me the question is young, articulate, savvy. She thinks about political change a lot. So perhaps that’s why something finally struck me this morning: when people ask this question, they’re not actually questioning whether there is hope, theoretically; they’re questioning their own ability to rise to this moment in time. They’re surveying the near future and finding themselves wanting—because they’re using the wrong lens.

I should have understood that before, but I’d been distracted by the way “how do you keep going?” is nearly always paired with “how do you stay hopeful?”

So let me state clearly again: only in the Rebecca Solnit sense (where it’s “an axe you break down doors with in an emergency” and located “in the spaciousness of uncertainty [where there] is room to act”) do I have hope.

Feeling hope for any particular outcome—even avoiding the extinction of human beings—is not what fuels me.

What fuels me is the knowledge that we can still make a difference, and therefore we must: we can preserve lives, and life, in the most basic and beautiful sense possible.

It’s an astonishing and surreal luxury to know that some lives, even some species, may continue because of the work that we do. But being attached to any particular hope now is a fool’s game; the one thing we know for sure is that in coming decades, nearly everything will change.

If I’m fighting only for my own family, or only for human lives, or only for orcas, or only for monarch butterflies, then when I’m forced to see that one or all of those are exceedingly unlikely to survive past a few more centuries—and they are—then all heart will go out of my efforts—and other families, or humpback whales, or parrots, or wolves, will thereby lose a little bit of their hope too. And that’s senseless, because I would dedicate my life to their survival too, if I understood it to be possible.

It’s a privilege and a profound responsibility, to be born into a moment when nurturing life on Earth into the future is possible, and into a nation that has, in truth, nowhere to go but up in living up to its responsibilities.

In other words, we cannot know who and what will survive, but it’s exceedingly likely that some will, if we fight hard enough, and those are the ones that matter. It’s that “spaciousness of uncertainty”, the space that we ourselves must make, selflessly, for other lives.

So let me ask and try to answer the question more clearly: how do we rise to this moment in time, especially if we don’t imagine ourselves powerful in the right ways?

I think we have to reconsider what we mean by power, and see that taking responsibility and taking care — for/of ourselves, the work, and others — is one of its deepest manifestations.

The Disobedience Award gathering was one of the most inspiring events I’ve been to, because of the way in which the winners and finalists held/hold power. To a person — to a woman, because all were—they held other people up, and many commented on their own privilege, in one case even while describing her abuse at the hands of state forces.

It seemed that all felt what one expressed, which is that they acted simply because they couldn’t look themselves in the mirror if they didn’t.

Several explicitly rejected the idea of themselves as heroes.

What the event was really honoring, in many ways, was resilience.

They weren’t knights in shining armor, or moved by a narrative urge to sacrifice, or touched with the light of pure faith; they were people who did the right thing under difficult circumstances, and kept doing it, and learned along the way.

In nearly all cases, they did so by joining together with others.

They didn’t have to make change by themselves; they simply helped to catalyze it, making space for others to join them, both because they needed help, and because they wanted to help.

I suspect they didn’t feel powerful, either, in other words—or at least, they often didn’t.

Very seldom did, if I’m speaking for myself. And I think it’s exceedingly likely that when Tarana Burke started #MeToo ten years ago, it wasn’t because she was feeling hopeful that she could eradicate sexual violence — no more than I feel hopeful that we can stop climate change.

No single drop of water can renew parched soil.

We will fail utterly if we do not share our strength. There is exactly no time to waste: whatever our gifts are, we must give them now—without specific hope, without pride, without waiting for the thing that feels just right, or the people who feel like exactly the ones we’d choose to do this work with.

We must fail, and then get up and try again.

We must work with what we have, every day that we can, as wisely as we can, together.

It’s that simple.

That’s how we keep going. And some days, at least, there is more joy in this work than I could possibly have imagined.

Press link for more: Medium

The stunning wind, solar and battery cost #auspol #qldpol #StopAdani Stop #ClimateChange #ClimateStrike #ExtinctionRebellion demand #GreenNewDeal #TheDrum #QandA #COP24

The stunning wind, solar and battery costs the Coalition refuses to accept

By Giles Parkinson

Off shore wind

The response to the Labor energy policy unveiled on Thursday was entirely predictable. “Pink batts”, shouted the Coalition government. “Woah, slow down,” said the business lobby and incumbents. “Not fast enough,” said green groups and the Greens themselves.

Given those reactions, it would seem that Labor’s insistence of a 50 per cent renewable energy target, and the $15 billion in new funds, a battery storage incentive scheme and other measures might have successfully pitched themselves into the middle green, to awkwardly borrow a golfing term, of this devilish debate. And that is exactly where they would like to be.

The Coalition and the incumbent interests may rant and rail about what they describe as the “reckless” and “wrecking ball” nature of the Labor targets, and what energy minister Angus Taylor now labels as “pink batt-eries”, but technology and economics are not on their side.

As was revealed earlier this week by BloombergNEF, the hosts to Labor’s policy launch, unsubsidised wind and solar are now substantially cheaper than coal, even with the added cost of storage that makes these “intermittent” sources fully “dispatchable”.

Earlier on Tuesday, we reported on the latest LCOE (levellised cost of energy) analysis by BNEF which found that wind and solar were now cheaper than coal in every major economy bar Japan. And in markets like India, they were half the price of coal.

Now we can also report on BNEF’s price estimates for Australia, and it reinforces the view expressed by any number of large utilities, including the government-owned Snowy Hydro, that wind and solar are killing coal and gas on cost, and that the Coalition is barking up the wrong tree trying to shovel new investments in coal into the grid.

The graph above, provided by BNEF, is self explanatory. The LCOE of wind and solar – at $US37/MWh and $US40/MWh respectively ($A50-54/MWh) – beat the cheapest coal by a country mile. They are also ahead of “baseload” gas on bulk energy, and when added with storage beat peaking gas.

Australia, as senior BNEF analyst Seb Henbest points out, provides some of the cheapest solar in the world, ranking behind only India and Chile on the LCOE for tracking, second on non tracking solar PV, and well below the global benchmark.

And after a 13 per cent fall in global solar costs just in the last six months, Henbest says we can expect a further 46 per cent drop in the LCOE of tracking solar PV, and a 32 per cent fall in the cost of onshore wind by 2030. That puts solar at around $US20/MWh and wind as $US26/MWh. And battery storage costs will also come down.

“There is now no doubt that wind and solar PV will replace coal and gas as the backbone of future electricity systems all around the world,” Henbest says.

“They are cheaper, less polluting and, paired with batteries, increasingly flexible. This offers an opportunity for government to lower emissions and energy bills – surely something both sides of politics should be able to agree on.”

But both sides of politics do not agree on this. The Coalition government, and the incumbent coal lobby, refuse to accept the data, and  seek to protect their views, business models and donations by locking themselves into the old paradigm of “base-load” and “24/7 power”.

They fail to accept that if you have dirt-cheap bulk energy such as wind and solar, then the path to a cheaper, cleaner and more reliable power system is then to fill in the gaps with the most efficient technology, and that requires dispatchability and flexibility.

The challenge is to meet demand peaks, the answer is not having too much fossil fuel generation that can’t be switched off in the middle of the night when you don’t need it.

Most of the big utilities and market operators around the world understand that. Baseload is not the only refuge of the intransigent. So too is the denial of climate science, and its half-brother, the demonisation of any proposed action on climate for fear of wrecking the economy.

Reputex, the offshoot of S&P, says it is clear that having more renewables will result in lower prices. It predicts wholesale electricity prices oscillating around $60/ MWh through to 2030, rather than above $80/MWh as seen under the low investment scenario under the 26 per cent reduction target of the current government.

The Australia Institute points out that, on its modelling, having 53 per cent renewable energy capacity by 2030 would create up to 59,000 direct jobs across the country.

And many are now pointing to the huge opportunities for Australia in manufacturing and exports of green fuels. It is impossible for Australia to return to “cheap” fuels with a system based around coal, but it can be done with wind and solar.

This is the basis for Sanjeev Gupta’s plan to install up to 10GW of solar to “solarise” the Australian economy and encourage more manufacturing. Others, like CWP Renewables, are targeting massive projects in the Pilbara to provide cheap green energy for local demand, more manufacturing, exports to south east Asia or “green fuels” to north Asia.

The north Asia markets, in particular, are desperate for these “green” fuels to power their economies. Australia is the country best placed to provide that, with its rich wind and solar resources delivering “green hydrogen”.

And on this point, Labor is quite right when it says that the answer to lower prices, lower emissions and greater reliability is renewables. It is also the answer to economic growth and opportunities for new industry.

Which takes us back to the first question about whether the transition outlined by Labor is fast enough. In terms of climate, as outlined by the IPCC and again this week by the WMO, clearly not. But this is the current state of politics.

By the time Labor gets into power and starts to implement its policies, it will be even more obvious that the transition can and should be quicker, and there will be no reason to resist.

And what did the Coalition offer us? Well, remember how they dismissed the Tesla big battery as nothing more special than the big banana? Or as the Kardashian of the energy world? Now it’s comparing household storage to pink batts.

“Australians remember the last time Labor wanted to install things in their homes. Under Bill Shorten he’d repeat Kevin Rudd’s pink batts disaster with his pink batt-eries plan,” Taylor said in a statement on Friday, while raising a new scare campaign about “carbon Tax 2.0”, in reference to the industry-specific trading schemes that even industry is now calling for.

“Labor’s reckless 45 percent emissions reduction target and 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target targets strike at the heart of middle Australia,” Taylor said.

Note: Some readers may wonder about the difference between recent auction bids – such as the sub $20/MWh bids in Mexico and the Middle East – and the LCOE cited here.

Henbest says they are different for a number of reasons:

1. The bid is for project delivery at some year on the future whereas the LCOE is for a project reaching financial close today. So often auction bids assume further technology cost declines of several years.

2. The auction bid is just for a predefined tariff period, whereas the LCOE is for the project lifetime. The difference is the merchant tail which is the period of the project life beyond the tariff.

3. Auction bids can manage inflation differently or may have very particular contract details such as multiples for generating at certain times etc.

Giles Parkinson is founder and editor of RenewEconomy.com.au, and is also the founder of OneStepOffTheGrid.com.au and founder/editor of http://www.TheDriven.io. Giles has been a journalist for 35 years and is a former business and deputy editor of the Australian Financial Review.

Press link for more: Renew Economy