Investor State Dispute Settlement processes in trade agreements hit the headlines when US multinational Philip Morris tried to sue Australia over its tobacco plain packaging laws. Australian mining companies are increasingly using ISDS processes and are being awarded billions based on dubious calculations of potential lost profits by unaccountable international tribunals. Patricia Ranald reports.
Latest Energy & Environment Stories
Australia’s carbon-belching future is surely being sealed by the Coalition with the acquiescence of Labor. As the world turns from coal, gas is almost as toxic for the climate. Callum Foote reports on Labor’s capture by the gas lobby capture while Angus Taylor appoints Macquarie’s Shemara Wikramanayake and former Origin chief Grant King to advise on his Energy Roadmap even though they are smack-bang in the middle of a billion-dollar gas deal.
A bill being rushed through federal parliament is raising concerns that the Government is preparing for a militarised response to climate breakdown. Lawyer and human rights advocate Kellie Tranter reports.
In public, Qantas professes an absolute commitment to reducing carbon emissions. In private, it lobbies the government to weaken the global scheme for airlines to commit to offsetting their emissions. Elizabeth Minter reports.
Rio Tinto is not the only mining giant disregarding public interest. BHP is putting cultural heritage and potentially the lives of workers at risk, and exposing the environment to devastation. All aided by the law and the Coalition government, writes David Noonan and Dr Jim Green.
Lobbyists for the fossil fuel industry have enjoyed a meteoric rise in influence both locally and globally over the past few decades, writes Ian Dunlop.
The fossil fuel giants got a big leg-up today as News Corp, Nine Entertainment, ABC News and Guardian Australia faithfully splashed the latest government gas plans on their front pages.
The destruction of the sacred Juukan Gorge caves highlighted the folly of Rio Tinto’s decision-making in moving its headquarters to the UK, a world away from local knowledge and in breach of the original merger conditions. It’s time Rio ended the remote-control management and returned its team to the country that provides the bulk of its profits, writes Shane West.
Desperate Dalrymple: Brookfield dumps coal port on mums and dads in ASX float as Queensland moots bail-out
The giant coal port Dalrymple Bay is up for sale. The financial engineering wizards from Brookfield want out. Brookfield’s debt is humungous, and green hydrogen is looming as a mortal threat to coking coal. They can’t offload it to professional investors, so they are now targeting the mums and dads for a float on the ASX,
Santos has lodged a big report based on false assumptions to push its Narrabri CSG project through regulators. Its independent expert is not independent, nor expert. Michael West investigates.
Barnaby Joyce signed off $80m for Angus Taylor’s old company after zero was paid for same sort of water nearby
Same water, same valuer, $80m and nought. The same type of water licences for irrigation properties near those for which the Coalition government paid $80 million in 2017 were valued at zero between 2008 and 2010, writes investigative reporter Kerry Brewster
Barnaby’s Boondoggle: documents reveal $80m price for ‘Watergate’ licences was nearly twice valuation
The Coalition paid the tax haven-linked Eastern Australia Agriculture nearly double what independent valuers recommended for water licences. Most of the record $80 million from the sale ended up with a Cayman Islands company established by Energy Minister Angus Taylor. Investigative journalist Kerry Brewster has this exclusive report.
The National Parks Association of NSW and ex-Energy Australia chair Ted Woodley are considering a legal challenge to the $10 billion Snowy 2.0, which they say will push back the transition to renewable energy and destroy thousands of hectares of national park, in light of the fact that the whole project hinges on a 30-year-old report. which is being kept secret writes Callum Foote.
While the UK’s Met Office is out there educating the public, BoM is remarkably coy about any public discussion of climate change. Questions have also been asked whether its senior leadership is too close to the gas industry. Sandi Keane investigates.
The independent hearings into one of the most controversial projects in NSW history, Santos’ coal seam gas dream for Narrabri, are wrapping up. Meanwhile, new NSW guidelines to fast-track developments look set to turn into a nightmare for community groups, writes Callum Foote.
The Government and its Covid Commission are pushing a $6 billion gas pipeline while new energy regulator, Clare Savage, calls into question the future of the gas networks. Meanwhile Australians still pay more for gas than customers overseas pay for Australian gas. Michael West reports on the momentous upheaval in energy.
The state’s 52nd coal mine, and the first since Covid, has been approved by the Minister for the Environment in NSW amid plunging coal prices and huge local opposition. The fate of Whitehaven’s Vickery mine, and its impact on farmers around Narrabri, now lies in the hands of the NSW’s independent planning commissioners
Carbon capture and storage, the prohibitively expensive climate mitigation strategy, is back on the Coalition’s agenda. Yet the facts speak for themselves. Of Shell’s total emissions of 656 million tonnes a year, its two CCS plants remove just 5 million tonnes a year from the atmosphere; the few plants in the world only exist because of huge government subsidies; while European oil companies use CCS primarily as a “feel-good” marketing message. Tim Buckley reports.
Multinational corporations have captured the national polity and continue to push last-century energy solutions on Australia, in defiance of sound policy and due process. The US fracking industry has collapsed. Yet the Covid Commission forges ahead with coal seam gas plans for Santos at Narrabri. Callum Foote reports.
The Climate Solutions Fund is a fillip for the Government’s fossil fuel backers and offers little in the way of energy policy reform to reduce either Australia’s emissions or power prices. Tim Buckley reports.
Australia’s utter failure on carbon emissions was glossed over, and corporate machinations were ignored, in this week’s Four Corners climate wars program on ABC. Instead, it was a rehash which dwelt on the Canberra Bubble perspective, giving politicians from both sides of the aisle a platform to make excuses. Adam Lucas reports.
The Government is quietly blowing away years of environmental protections under cover of Covid. Its Covid Commission (NCCC) is stacked with executives from the gas and mining lobbies in what is turning out to be a bonanza for multinationals and yet another destructive blow to Australia’s efforts to curb global warming. Sandi Keane investigates.
With the release of his book, Oil Under Troubled Water, to coincide with Witness K’s closed court plea hearing this month, ACT lawyer, Bernard Collaery, has raised the stakes on who the real wrong-doers are in this unedifying story of how the Howard Government defied international law to spy on it’s cash-strapped neighbour to profit from oil in the Timor Sea. Callum Foote reports.
Failing to tackle climate change will cost younger generations dearly and place Australia behind the rest of the world with a degraded environment and a lagging economy. Yet, successive governments have wilfully refused to enact evidence-based policy, despite the significant majority of young Australians demanding change. Sian Perry reports.
Should the Narrabri project get the green light, high levels of CO2 will be vented straight into the atmosphere, hardly the credentials for a “low carbon” transition fuel claimed by Santos in its 2020 Climate Change Report. Chemical engineer and energy industry veteran, Dr Andrew Grogan reports.
The “Battle for Narrabri” continues to rage under cover of Covid darkness. A new report on well data in the Pilliga Forest challenges claims by Santos that gas from its Narrabri Gas Project will be low on emissions. Anna Christie reports.