The federal government’s collection of bills to repeal the former Gillard government’s carbon tax is expected to pass through the House of Representatives with a clear majority – and without Labor’s suggested amendments – in a vote this afternoon. In a speech ahead of the vote, Coalition environment minister Greg Hunt repeated the Coalition’s mantra that dumping the tax would bring direct financial relief to Australian households, in the form of cheaper electricity, gas and and general cost of living.
Hunt told Parliament that the carbon price was “meant to cause pain” to the average family, and was designed that way to stop households from using certain products, and “all the while doing nothing to achieve its environmental goals.” He also pitched the repeal as a matter of “honour” and “dignity”; the government keeping it’s electoral promise to the Australian people. After it passes the House, the bill will go to the Senate, where the real battle is expected to take place. Many are expecting that Labor and the Greens will block the legislation in the Senate.
In another climate ballot of sorts being held this afternoon, BHP Billiton’s annual general meeting will vote on whether or not former coal industry executive turned climate change activist Ian Dunlop will win a seat on the mining giant’s board. As ABC Online reports, Dunlop worked for Shell for decades, and was the head of the Australian Coal Association. He has since reinvented himself as an environmental activist and has challenged BHP Billiton to reassess its business model and do more to prepare for and tackle global warming. As it did last month in London, BHP Billiton has told shareholders to vote against Mr Dunlop. In London, he won only a fraction of the votes cast. Today’s meeting in Perth will be the final round of voting for board nominations.
Looks like this whole BHP meeting is going to be about climate! Now Nasser being asked about his directorship of @newscorpaus
— Paddy Manning (@gpaddymanning) November 21, 2013
In other news…
First Solar has awarded a contract to the IXL Group of companies based in Geelong to manufacture and deliver the framing system for the 155MW utility-scale solar PV projects at Nyngan and Broken Hill in New South Wales. First Solar was engaged by AGL to construct the solar projects, which are expected to produce approximately 360,000MWh of electricity a year – enough to meet the needs of over 50,000 average homes in NSW. Last year, IXL manufactured and delivered the framing system for the 10MW Greenough River Solar Farm in WA, which was also constructed by First Solar.
The central Victorian shire of Mount Alexander has established a group to take practical leadership in the development of large-scale renewable energy production in the region. The newly named Mount Alexander Community Renewables working group was formed after the council unanimously endorsed plans to have a significant part of its Shire’s electricity needs met by renewable energy production that is owned and operated by the community. Working Group chair, Mick Lewin, said the effort was expected to reduce the shire’s greenhouse gas emissions, and to create economically viable community projects, which are “locally built with local resources and expertise.”
The former head of research for Deutsche Bank Climate Change Advisors, Mark Fulton, has joined Climate Bonds as a Senior Fellow, to work on green securitization. Speaking in London today, Fulton descirbed green securitization as “an enormously important area we need to address if we’re to successfully scale up finance to tackle climate change.” Said Fulton: “The securitization of loan portfolios for renewables, energy efficiency loans and smaller scale climate debt opens up the opportunity to more quickly recycle bank capital – and equity – and so support more projects. Importantly, if investment grade, institutional investors can add these products to their mainstream bond portfolios.”
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