Climate Change

Research and Policy Papers related to Climate Change

A collection of key documents can be downloaded from this page.

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Just Transition

There is a major transition going on in the electricity industry with a move away from fossil fuel power to renewables. While this move may benefit Australia as a whole by achieving greenhouse gas reductions, it will have severe consequences for vulnerable communities. We will not give up the jobs of our members and the future of the communities in which they live in exchange for an empty slogan. A Just Transition needs content.

Tony Maher's speech to the ACTU International Conference on Just Transition

Submission to the Senate Environment & Communications Reference Committee - Inquiry on retirement of coal power stations

Victorian District: A Just Transition for the Latrobe Valley Community

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How to sabotage Climate Change Policy: why we’re all to blame

As we approach the 16th annual Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Australia is in the midst of a bitter public debate about whether climate change is real, who is responsible and who should pay. When you look at the international decision making process, various market mechanisms around the world and the political quagmire that is the 'body politic' in most countries it’s a wonder we have made any progress at all. Equally when you analyse each of the characters in this ‘theatre of the absurd’ there is an irresistible temptation to blame each and every one of them. The UN, National Governments, politicians and political parties, the myriad of environment groups, big business, and even organised labour - all must share the blame for the state of anxiety the community finds itself in today.

Speech by General President Tony Maher to NTEU conference, 28 April 2011

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Will a carbon price deliver renewable energy?

Speech by General President Tony Maher to UCAN forum, 28 April 2011

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Why we need a price on Carbon

The issue of whether Australia needs a price on carbon is far too important for our economy and Australia's future to be treated like a political football.

This flyer outlines the facts.

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Cleaner Power

December 2010

Submission in response to:

"A Cleaner Future for Power Stations: Interdepartmental Task Group Discussion Paper"

The overarching CFMEU view is tht the risks posed by anthropogenic climate change require concerted action to reduce global greenhouse gas emmissions. In that context the continued use of fossil fuesls in power generation and other industry is contingent on fossil fuel use becoming a low emission activity.

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Senate inquiry on Carbon Pricing: CFMEU submission

October 2010

We have made a brief submission to the Senate Select Committee on Scrutiny of New Taxes on the issue of carbon pricing.

As there is no formal proposal for carbon pricing before parliament, the submission cannot be detailed. The clear point made is that the long term future of coal mining and export relies on coal use becoming a low emission technology, and without a price on carbon there is no commercial rationale to develop carbon capture and storage.

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Making Carbon Capture and Storage happen

December 2009

Making Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) happen: the imperative and the problems.

  • CCS is NOT just about coal - it's needed for gas and for much heavy industry
  • 20 commercial scale CCS projects by 2020 - the G8/G20 target is slipping away
  • The financing hurdles are bigger than the technology hurdles
  • The GFC has made public financing more difficult, and private finance more risk averse.

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Carbon Pollution Reduction  Scheme (CPRS)

November 2009

Report for the CFMEU by McLennan Magasanik Associates.

The CPRS and Employment in the Australian Black Coal Industry.

This study was commissioned by the CFMEU to assess the potential for job prospects over the next two decades given the prospect for the implementation of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

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Coal Hard Facts

November 2009

Mining communities know just how important coal is for Australia's economy and jobs. We also know that climate change poses a real risk to the future of our community if the coal industry isn't cleaned up. That's why we need to develop new ways for reducing or storing the emissions associated with coal m ining and coal fired electricity.

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Power to change: Carbon Capture and Storage

October 2009

Joint report of CFMEU and World Wildlife Fund.

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Energy Efficiency Strategy

November 2008

Using energy more efficiently is the most cost-effective way to reduce energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emisssions.

The CFMEU has joined with other parties in endorsing an eenergy efficiency strategy developed by the Climate Institute.

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Response to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Green Paper

September 2008

CFMEU response to the Australian Government's Green paper on CPRS

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A pathway to accelerated deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage

April 2008

A taskforce, proposed by the Australian Coal Association, the CFMEU, the Climate Institute and WWF.

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Briefing note - Climate Change Policy

February 2008

Our policy centres on the need to massively reduce greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. A brief summary of our policy in 5 points.

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Carbon Capture and Storage: making it happen

December 2007

A CFMEU position paper.

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Climate Change Position Paper

September 2007

The world needs Australia's coal. But emissions from its use are contributing to climate change. They must be substantially reduced.

Our members are stakeholders in the broader Australian and global community. We must contribute responsibly to seeking solutions tothe clear threats presented by human-caused climate change.

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Crib Rooms and Climate Change Empowering Mine Workers

August 2007

Presentation to the NSW Minerals Council Environment Conference by General President Tony Maher.

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The Greenhouse Effect: Employment and Development Issues for Australians.

1992

Published by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), and written by our Research Director, Peter Colley, this document was among the first by unions anywhere in the world on the climate change issue. Much of the content remains relevant in 2010.

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