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50/50 Conference Blog

Read the relevant sections of the Labor Herald Conference Blog here

 

The 47th Labor National Conference news live blog …

Chapter 4: Tackling Climate Change and our environmental challenges – Saturday, July 25, 3.12pm

Delegate Asren Pugh has seconded the resolution. It has been carried.

“Be proud of the ALP…about the action we are taking on the environment. We are the only party that can deliver for the environment and deliver for working people.”

3.08pm

The Member for Rankin Jim Chalmers is moving the following resolution on Emissions Reduction.

Post 2020 Emissions Reduction

In December 2015, the world’s nations will gather in Paris with the aim of finalising an agreement on reducing global greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020.

Led by the US and China, momentum is building for an ambitious agreement to be reached. All major developed nations – with the exception of Australia – and most developing nations have released their proposed contributions to the Paris conference.

Australia must also commit to taking a fair share of global action to ensure that global warming does not exceed 2 degrees Celsius beyond pre-industrial levels in keeping with our international commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreement of 2010. That action must be based on the best available independent scientific and economic evidence, as well as the advice of statutory bodies like the Climate Change Authority. Such targets will underpin and inform Labor’s climate change policies including the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Labor will continue to argue the case for Australia to adopt an emissions reduction target and Labor will adopt an emissions reduction target before the next Federal election that reflects the UNFCCC commitment and advice from the Climate Change Authority and other such independent bodies.

UPDATE 3.04pm

The Member for Charlton Pat Conroy is also speaking in favour of the motion below. The motion has been carried.

 UPDATE 2.59pm

Co-convenor of the Labor Environment Action Network (LEAN) Felicity Wade is now also speaking in support of the motion.

UPDATE 2.55pm

Delegate Tony Maher from the CFMEU has seconded the resolution moved by Bill Shorten which reads as follows.

The Future of Electricity

Australia’s electricity sector is experiencing enormous change driven by a range of global and domestic trends, including;

  • The age of Australia’s existing generators;
  • The rise in domestic gas prices;
  • The growth in distributed energy, especially rooftop solar;
  • Climate change and the need to progressively reduce the electricity sector’s carbon emissions; and
  • Advances in renewable energy, storage and smart metering technology.
The Abbott Government has failed to develop a comprehensive strategy to modernise Australia’s electricity system.  Instead, the sector has been rocked by Tony Abbott’s reckless attacks on the renewable energy industry and a hopelessly inadequate Energy White Paper.

A Shorten Labor Government will work with the industry, unions and other stakeholders to develop an Electricity Modernisation Strategy that;

  • Is consistent with economy wide emissions reduction targets;
  • Minimises any cost impact on business and household consumers;
  • Covers options for delivering on Labor’s goal of 50% of Australia’s electricity being generated from all renewable sources– small and large scale- by 2030;
  • Is based on a consultative and consensus approach to any increase in large renewable energy capacity that ensures investment confidence, and certainty for workers in existing generators;
  • Deals with the impact of the growth in renewable energy on existing generators and networks;
  • Recognises corporate announcements concerning managing the ageing of existing plant and timelines for plant closures;
  • Establishes an agency to oversee redeployment, retraining and income support where necessary for affected workers;
  • Capitalises on the significant new jobs opportunities across the entire renewable energy supply chain from growth in the renewable energy industry;
  • Develops structural adjustment strategies and investment for communities impacted by change in the sector, and
  • Results in a managed, predictable long-term process of modernisation for the electricity sector.

Labor recognises the important linkages between climate change and electricity policy.  Accordingly, Labor will bring those portfolios together in Government.

 

UPDATE 2.50pm

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has moved a resolution on the future of electricity in Australia vowing to work with the industry, unions and other stakeholders to develop an Electricity Modernisation Strategy that recognises the important linkages between climate change and electricity policy.

 shortenenvironment

UPDATE 2.49pm

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education and for Small Business Julie Collins has moved the amendment and delegate Verity Firth has seconded to delete existing paragraph 88 insert new paragraphs and renumber accordingly. It has been carried.

88. Labor recognises the importance of Australian waters to recreational fishers, commercial fishing industry, tourism and for its conservation value.  Labor is committed to adequately protecting Australian waters from the risks of overfishing and from the use of super trawlers.
89. Labor is particularly concerned about the potential for localised depletion and its environmental and recreational impact. Labor will prevent the operation of all super trawlers in Australian waters, unless a thorough assessment against the most up-to-date science can verify such operations will not undermine small pelagic fisheries and recreational fishing spots.
Original Paragraph 88
Original Paragraph 88
Labor is committed to protect Australia’s waters from the risks associated with the use of super trawlers. Labor will ensure all super trawlers are thoroughly assessed using the most up-to-date science, thereby protecting our oceans and our recreational fishing spots.

UPDATE 2.43pm

Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Education and for Small Business Julie Collins has spoken about the impact super trawlers have on fishing stocks and marine ecosystems. She has made the point protecting our waters are about conservation but they’re also about jobs. She said the Geelong Star has been on two trips and that has already seen the death of 8 dolphins and four fur seals.

“We need to see proper science before these super trawlers to operate in Australian waters, not after.”

UPDATE 2.37pm

National Secretary for the CFMEU Michael O’Connor has spoken to conference making the point you can do something good for the environment and do something good for jobs at the same time.

“There was a time the Labor Party sold out jobs for greens preferences… Some of the things people celebrate cost jobs, smashed towns, but I’m happy to report that over the past few years that’s changed. We’ve worked together, and that’s the Labor way.”

UPDATE 2.36pm

An amendment has been moved by Member for Rankin Jim Chalmers and seconded by Delegate Asren Pugh to paragraph 16 to add a new dot point, highlighted in bold below. It has been carried.

16. Labor will:

  • Put climate change at the heart of our commitment to deliver jobs, innovation and investment to build a prosperous, safe and fair Australia.
  • Introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme which imposes a legal limit on carbon pollution that lets business work out the cheapest and most effective way to operate within that cap. Labor’s cap on carbon pollution will be based on robust independent advice and reduce over time in accordance with Australia’s international commitments;
  • Develop a comprehensive plan to progressively decarbonise Australia’s energy sector, particularly in electricity generation. A commitment to reinvigorate and grow Australia’s renewable energy industry, encourage energy efficiency and invest in low carbon energy solutions, is essential to that plan;
  • Work to undo the damage that the Coalition Government has done to the renewable energy sector, and be ambitious in growing the renewable energy sector beyond 2020;
  • Restore integrity, independence and capacity to the environment and climate change portfolios and relevant science agencies; and
  • Work with the land sector and other stakeholders to store millions of tonnes of carbon in the land through better land and waste management.
  • Adopt post 2020 pollution reduction targets, consistent with doing Australia’s fair share in limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Labor will base these targets on the latest advice of bodies such as the independent Climate Change Authority.

UPDATE 2.29pm

Labor’s new commitment to achieving 50% of our electricity generation from renewables by 2030 has become a part of the National Platform. An amendment to dot point 4 of paragraph 16 to include the additional words highlighted in text below has been carried.

16.Labor will:

  • Put climate change at the heart of our commitment to deliver jobs, innovation and investment to build a prosperous, safe and fair Australia.
  • Introduce an Emissions Trading Scheme which imposes a legal limit on carbon pollution that lets business work out the cheapest and most effective way to operate within that cap. Labor’s cap on carbon pollution will be based on robust independent advice and reduce over time in accordance with Australia’s international commitments;
  • Develop a comprehensive plan to progressively decarbonise Australia’s energy sector, particularly in electricity generation. A commitment to reinvigorate and grow Australia’s renewable energy industry, encourage energy efficiency and invest in low carbon energy solutions, is essential to that plan;
  • Work to undo the damage that the Coalition Government has done to the renewable energy sector, and be ambitious in growing the renewable energy sector beyond 2020 by adopting policies to deliver at least 50% of our electricity generation from renewable sources by 2030
  • Restore integrity, independence and capacity to the environment and climate change portfolios and relevant science agencies; and
  • Work with the land sector and other stakeholders to store millions of tonnes of carbon in the land through better land and waste management.

 

UPDATE 2.24pm

Shadow Minister for Finance and Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke has seconded Mark Butler’s opening comments and spoken about how Labor’s policies have achieved environmental protection on land, in the air with pollution reduction, and in our oceans.

UPDATE 2.15pm

Shadow Minister for the Environment Mark Butler is the opening speaker for this new chapter and has spoken about Labor’s commitment to the environment past and present “Labor will take an emissions trading scheme to the 2016 election.”

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