'Clean Coal is a Dirty Lie,' say cleaning ladies

Press Release

Friday September 26, 2008


"Clean Coal is a Dirty Lie," say cleaning ladies.

The Climate Cleaning Ladies have taken to Flinders St. Station to see if there is such a thing as clean coal.

"We have been scrubbing coal all morning and all that's happened is we're now covered in coal dust, and as dirty as the coal," said Sadie Brown of the Climate Cleaning Ladies.

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Garnaut Climate protest calls for stronger action

Media Release

September 30 2008

Rudd must reject Garnaut's low climate change targets

of the Earth Australia has described Garnaut's report as a "recipe for
disaster" and called on the government to reject his proposed low-end
carbon pollution targets.

Professor Garnaut's Final Report outlining the science and economics of climate change and emission trading was released today.

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Greenhouse Mafia Captures Politics

Press Release
Wednesday 24 September 2008
Greenhouse Mafia Captures Politics


The Greenhouse Mafia representing major polluters from the fossil fuel industry were out in force this morning capturing Government, and their climate policy, to make sure business as usual greenhouse emissions continue in the face of dangerous climate change.

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Victoria's forests - a family day in October

... Help protect and get informed about Victoria's red gum wetlands andforests.
... Learn about the exciting new science behind Green Carbon and find out what you can do to fight climate change

Come along for a fun and informative day for adults and kids. A repeat of last year's event, the day will combine informative talks and information stalls with entertainment for all ages, including bands, a treasure hunt, face-painting, circus skills workshops, colouring-in and painting activities

Saturday October 11:10am - 2pm
CERES Environmental Park
Corner of Roberts and Stewart Streets
Brunswick East


Forum: Building the climate movement online

6pm Thursday October 16th
Friends of the Earth, 312 Smith Street Collingwood

Online tools offer climate change activists and groups excellent
opportunities and strategies to build the movement. Websites, egroups,
blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr and other applications are being used
extensively by community organisers… But how well? How can online tools
be harnessed most effectively to recruit, engage, energise, strategise
and sustain grassroots climate change activism?

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Eco Market Public Information Session - A real alternative to the Supermarket.

Wednesday 10th September, 6.30pm
Friends of the Earth, 12 Smith Street Collingwood

In Spring 2008 Friends of the Earth will revolutionise the way we shop
with the development of Australia’s first Eco Market, the sustainable
market that will sell all the common items found at a supermarket. All
products sold at the Eco Market must meet the standards of the Friends of he Earth environmental, ethical and social criteria. The Eco Market will
be a 'one stop' shopping destination providing a real alternative to the

* Do you want to learn more about this exciting new campaign?
* Do you feel politically inspired to be involved in a campaign that
challenges the way e consume?

* Maybe you have a sustainable product that you wish to sell at the market?

* Or perhaps you are interested in donating?

If you answered ‘Yes’, then join Friends of the Earth as we share news and information bout the Eco Market campaign.

- Complimentary glass of organic wine on entry
- Delicious finger food provided by the Friends of the Earth Food Co-op
- Organic samples for every guest
- Entry is free, gold coin donations appreciated.

Speakers include:

- Giselle Wilkinson, founder of the Sustainable Living Foundation

- Cam Walker, Campaign coordinator, Friends of the Earth

- Dave West, founder of Green Capital and the Boomerang Alliance

Join the latest campaign to challenge the supermarket industry and their
unsustainable practices.

To download the flyer, click here

For more information, visit http://www.foe.org.au/sustainable-food/ or
email realfood@melbourne.foe.org.au or carmen.bateson@foe.org.au


Let's Kick the Coal Habit

The Labor government claims it wants to do something about climate change – yet continues to fund and support new coal fired power stations across Australia. To stop global warming we need kick the coal habit and have a moratorium on new coal power stations in Australia. In Victoria's Latrobe Valley the proposed HRL coal power station has recieved $150 million in taxpayers money through state and federal government grants. HRL will, if allowed to go ahead, emit more than 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 a year, yet is being promoted as so-called 'clean coal' by the government. Join Friends of the Earth in stopping the proposed HRL coal fire power station and help bring about a moratorium on new coal stations that will pave the way for a just transition to a renewable energy future.


Membership and Fundraising Co-ordinator

Friends of the Earth is currently seeking a Membership and Fundraising
Coordinator. Applications close 1st September 2008. For a full
position description, click here


seminar - climate justice

Date: Saturday 2 August Time: 10.45am-5pm (register from 10.30am ) Venue: Public Lecture Theatre, Old Arts Building, University of Melbourne (See map attached) Full agenda at: http://climatejusticeseminar.blogspot.com/ Sponsoring organisations: Development Studies Program of the School of Philosophy, Anthropology and Social Inquiry (University of Melbourne); Friends of the Earth; Western Region Environment Centre; Socialist Alliance; Your Water Your Say; Resistance; Mothers Against Genetically Engineered Crops (MADGE), Community Radio 3CR.


The HRL coal fired power station

Check here for our HRL action alert (Sept 2010).

4th August, 2010: HRL proposal tests government resolve on climate. FoE release available here.

What is the HRL proposal?

Dual Gas - a subsidiary of Melbourne company HRL – is planning to build and operate a $750 million, 600MW coal fired power plant in the Latrobe Valley near the Loy Yang B power station.

HRL has been attempting to build a coal-fired power station in the Latrobe Valley since the project was announced by then Minister for Energy and Resources Candy Broad in 2002, and had promised the power station would be operating in 2008. It has been through a range of investors and management structures since then.

The HRL project has struggled to find any financial backers apart from the State and Federal Government. Last year, Chinese manufacturer Harbin Power withdrew its 50 per cent stake.

The plant was originally intended to be 400MW, and if allowed to proceed  this new coal station will add 4.2 million tonnes of greenhouse polluting emissions to Australia’s atmosphere annually, increasing Victoria's annual emissions by about 3 per cent.

It currently has an approval application with the Victorian Environment Protection Authority. The EPA must deliver a decision on the proposal by Jan 2, 2011.

What are the claims that this will be 'cleaner'


The proponent hopes that the plant will produce power with about 30 per cent less carbon dioxide emissions than current Victorian 'best practice' in brown coal generation plants.

This is because of new technology, called ‘integrated drying and gasification combined cycle’ or IDGCC. This technology has been developed by the Australian-owned energy, technology and project development company HRL, with more than $140 million research and development investment.

This has been substantially subsidised by the tax payer through state and federal funding.

Who are HRL?


HRL was formerly part of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria and was known as Herman Research Laboratories, privatised by the Kennett Government in 1995. It is a privately owned, non-listed Australian company of which Kerry Stokes (Channel 7) is a 40% shareholder. HRL owns and operates several coal facilities in the Latrobe Valley and is involved in the development of coal projects across Australia.

How can HRL be called ‘clean coal’?


Clean coal is an oxymoron. The HRL coal station will burn brown coal in a process known as Integrated Drying Gasification Combined Cycle (IDGCC). This technology has only been tested in a pilot scale and not commercially proven. If the HRL coal-fired power plant goes ahead it will produce greenhouse emissions at a similar scale to that of a standard black coal fired power station.

How much greenhouse pollution would HRL emit?


Emissions from HRL are expected to be up to 4.2 million tonnes of CO2 annually, with an expected expected emissions intensity of between 0.78 and 0.89 tonnes of CO2 per megawatt hour (MW) - roughly the equivilent of a modern black coal power station. HRL is not proposed in order to replace any existing coal power stations, it will add to our annual emissions. HRL cannot be built with carbon capture and storage (CCS) as according the Energy Minister Peter Bachelor “no infrastructure currently exists to store CO2 captured from power stations in the Latrobe Valley.”

HRL and water


HRL would consume approximately one tonne of water per MWh, or 3 gigalitres (3 billion litres) a year from an already stressed Latrobe Valley river system.

What about jobs


Australian Manufacturing Workers Union Gippsland regional organiser Steve Dodd has said he is concerned that most of the construction would take place overseas before the pre-fabricated plant was shipped to Victoria. This would mean there would be far fewer jobs than would be the case with a conventional coal fired power station.

Who is paying for HRL?


The Victorian Government has committed $50 million to the project as part of its Energy Technology Innovation Strategy (ETIS).

HRL then attracted a further $100 million from the Australian Federal Government’s Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund (LETDF) for the construction of the new power station.

The company is still seeking financing to be able to complete the project.

State of the project


The company has attempted to re-brand its stalled coal project as a gas-fired power station after it was realised that the current proposal would not meet the new energy emissions standards outlined in the Victorian governments Climate Change Bill.

It is saying that it hopes to have the project running by 2012 or 2013.

The plant can go ahead only if the Victorian Environment Protection Authority was satisfied it met the emissions limit for new plants - 0.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted per megawatt hour generated.

In its most recent application posted on the EPA website, HRL estimates its plant would have average emissions between 0.78 and 0.89 tonnes per megawatt hour - roughly equivalent to a modern black-coal power plant.

In August 2010 it withdrew its current application and lodged a very similar proposal in early September.

Our position


Friends of the Earth strongly opposes this project, and the building of any new coal fired power stations, as it will lead to an increase in emissions and defer the inevitable transition to a low carbon future.

Australia needs a moratorium on all new coal fired power stations and a rapid and just transition to a renewable energy future.