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The Great Stock ‘n’ Coal Swindle

By Kathy Brown, Secretary EcoNetwork

The great stock ’n’ coal swindle: Australian climate policy has been reverse-engineered to protect the interests of the fossil-fuel industry | The Monthly.

A great read on the swindle that is the offsets industry where it’s once again a tale of shysters & carpet baggers making the most of politicians’ prevarication and partnerships with the fossil fuel industries. Many thought the election of a Federal Labor government would see Australia off the list of pariah states doing nothing to halt global warming. This article by Nick Feik in The Monthly puts paid to that hope. Nick Feik documents the links between government, fossil fuel companies and organisations set up for the specific purpose of trading in offsets. If they’re all doing such a great job why do global warming and pollution levels continue to rise?

From the first page:

So how is “net zero by 2050” consistent with opening new, larger fossil-fuel plants? Australia’s answer lies in an ingenious suite of “emissions reduction” policies first instituted by the Coalition government and since pursued by Labor: net zero isn’t zero, Australian-sourced coal and gas emissions aren’t counted towards Australian targets, and an apparatus of complex financial instruments – known as offsets – renders the entire edifice incomprehensible to most of us. What these policies protect the public from is the knowledge that Australian climate policy has been reverse-engineered to protect the interests of the fossil-fuel industry.

And – New coal and gas fields are clearly incompatible with an ambition to reduce global emissions. The notion that gas is a “transitional” fuel is a piece of rhetoric that belongs in the bin alongside “clean coal”. The carbon bombs of Scarborough, Carmichael, the Beetaloo Basin, Liverpool Plains and more than a hundred other proposed coal and gas projects – which will pump carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere for decades at a rate that dwarfs Australia’s current national emissions – are transitional only in the sense that you might transition away from a buffet via a larger helping from the dessert table.

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