Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Carbon fraud claims rejected by industry players

A set of whistleblower allegations slamming the integrity of Australia’s carbon offset program has been rejected by the industry body, which says the “sensational accusations” threaten projects aimed at cutting emissions.

A new bout of volatility has hit the sector just weeks from a federal poll after the former chair of an audit committee alleged a majority of carbon credits issued by the Regulator were flawed.

Andrew Macintosh – an ANU professor and former chair of the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee – last week unveiled a series of problems with the government’s Emissions Reduction Fund, which is run by the Clean Energy Regulator.

The Carbon Market Institute – whose 130 members include ANZ, BHP, Coles and Woodside Petroleum – has denied the ­charges.

“Sensational claims of ‘fraud’, ‘rorts’ and ‘sham’ amount to a direct attack on a vast network of farmers, traditional owners, service providers, investors, auditors, conservationists and public servants, many of whom have spent the last decade striving to accelerate support for stronger industrial emission reduction, sustainable agriculture and reversal of deforestation,” CMI chief executive John Connor said.

“Many of these participants are feeling aggrieved by accusations which do not appear to be substantiated by the academic papers.”

The Clean Energy Regulator directly contracts for the purchase of Australian Carbon Credit Units from carbon offset schemes such as revegetation on pastoral properties, energy efficiency projects run by big energy users and even promises by farmers to end or avoid land clearing.

Mr Macintosh, tasked with overseeing the integrity of the carbon credit scheme, alleged “proponents are being issued ACCUs for growing trees that were already there when the projects started” among other claims and called for an independent investigation to explore the Clean Energy Regulator’s administration and the broader suitability of the Emissions Reduction Fund.

The CMI said both it and its members were analysing the technical papers released late last week by Mr Macintosh, and would issue a “comprehensive response” later this week.

However, it said on Sunday that Mr Macintosh’s land management papers did not back up claims that 70-80 per cent of ACCUs lacked integrity.

“The papers focused on the Human-Induced Regeneration methodology appear to confuse principles under the methodology, which is aimed at crediting transition to forest cover, not current forest levels. The transition to forest cover is closely regulated, including five-yearly regeneration checks and a 15-year forest cover attainment check,” the CMI said.

CMI said it would take part in any independent review “to enable the investments and reforms necessary to address our twin climate and biodiversity crises”.

The Clean Energy Regulator said on Friday it stood by the Emissions Reduction Fund, describing it as “a robust offsets scheme with a high degree of integrity” and said complaints about several of its carbon methods were unfounded. Labor has vowed to hold an independent review of the scheme if it wins a looming federal election.


‘Absolute disgrace’: 85 per cent of CFMEU officials penalised or before courts

Labor’s promise to scrap the construction watchdog has come under fire after it was revealed 85 per cent of CFMMEU leaders in the division are before the courts or have been fined.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will promise to follow in the footsteps of Bob Hawke and Paul Keating in a pre-election speech today. He will vow to rediscover a spirit of consensus between governments, unions, businesses and civil society.
QLD News

Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash said Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will give the “green light” to appalling behaviour and chaos on constructions if he wins the election and follows through with the pledge.

But Labor says it makes no apology for its plans to scrap the watchdog, saying it was a “politicised and discredited organisation”, while CFMMEU construction union boss Dave Noonan said the ABCC was “giving the green light” for bosses to rip off workers.

Of the 28 listed CFMMEU construction and general division officials, 24 either have been penalised by the federal court or are facing court hearings.

Senator Cash said the union’s record was a disgrace.

“Mr Albanese’s promise to abolish the ABCC will lead to chaos on Australia’s building sites and give the green light to appalling behaviour,” she said.

“This would also threaten billions of dollars in construction projects and jeopardise the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of workers in the construction sector.”

She said the record of the CFMMEU officials was “absolute disgrace”.

“The level of law-breaking committed by just one union and its delegates is breathtaking,” Senator Cash said.

“Instead of promising to crack down on this type of behaviour, Anthony Albanese is promising to abolish the ABCC, which is keeping these disgraceful actions in check.”

Opposition industrial relations spokesman Tony Burke said the ABCC was a “politicised and totally discredited organisation” and accused it of targeting workers had previously been found to have acted unlawfully under its previous Commissioner.

“It was set up by the LNP to dismantle unions and undermine the pay, conditions and job security of ordinary Australian workers,” Mr Burke said.

“We will abolish it and we make no apology for that.”

CFMMEU national secretary Dave Noonan said construction workers were more likely to be fined for standing up for their rights, than employers who were “stealing their wages or putting their safety at risk.

“The ABCC gives dodgy bosses a green light to rip off workers,” he said.

“It does nothing when big builders go to the wall owing workers millions. Yet it punishes workers who speak out about safety or demand to be paid the wages and entitlements they are owed.

“Construction workers should not face being targeted and fined by a regulator with the powers of a Royal Commission that ignores criminal behaviour by employers.”

Mr Albanese has been unable to explain who will prosecute unlawful industrial activity if he scraps the Australian Building and Construction Commission, while Master Builders Association warned it will “unleash union thuggery”.


The ‘Green’ shades of political hypocrisy

It was only last month that the Leader of the Victorian Greens, Samantha Ratnam, called on the government to ensure that all rental properties contained ‘compulsory air conditioning’ as part of a minimum standard requirement in a letter to Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Melissa Horne.

Air conditioning is an energy-consuming monster.

While those of us who are comfortable living in the modern world feel no guilt about the advances in technology that allow humans to wear a jumper inside when it’s over 45 degrees outside – the Greens hail from the apocalyptic ‘end is nigh’ pool of thought. They are prepared to send Australia back to the caves armed with candles through their relentless pursuit of policies that dismantle Australia’s energy security, but sure, let’s mandate air conditioners?

While the Greens terrify children and incite them to skip school and stage mock ‘die-ins’ in capital cities, they don’t mind arguing in favour of air conditioning to drag votes from the hot and sweaty poor (who are being made more poor by Climate Change policies).

This month, the Greens are back on track, calling for the luvvies in Canberra to give up their vehicles on ‘car-free’ days and try out ‘car-free zones’ in the city. Mind you, this might not be necessary as fuel prices continue to rise on the back of Australia’s dependence on internationally-sourced oil (because ideological zealots fight against domestic resources).

Jo Clay, the Greens’ transport spokesperson, released a discussion paper containing the above proposals along with the usual cash splurge on footpaths, bikes, and – of course – dramatically lowering speed limits so that cars have to expend more fossil fuels to go nowhere.

The paper also suggests mucking around with traffic light sequencing to make life miserable for motorists and leave cars pumping out fumes while bikes and pedestrians take priority. Or if that doesn’t suit, other recommendations include removing roads entirely to make ‘more space for the community’. Pesky things like on-street parking are listed as a ‘loss of space for little real gain’ – aside from having somewhere to park, which is a pretty big gain for motorists.

‘Canberrans love active travel,’ Clay insisted. ‘We have the highest level of cycling in Australia and almost everyone uses active travel at some point. Even those who drive most places will still get out of their car and walk or wheel to their final destination.’

According to Clay, these car-free days and zones are meant to offer the people of Canberra a way to ‘experience a different way to use our roads’ because exploring transport options for fun is probably high up on the list of activities for struggling businesses and families desperately scrambling to recover from Covid health orders.

Australians are more likely to believe in ‘active transport’ when representatives of the Greens permanently exchange their government-funded cars for push-bikes and cycle to Parliament in the pouring rain, freezing cold, and sweltering heat of Canberra. If they want us to believe that the working-class need to give up their cars for the ‘greater good’, Greens MPs should set the example by refusing to fly around the country and instead hop on long-distance trains or buses.

No takers?

‘We have to do more to help Canberrans choose the original zero-emissions transport method of active travel. We need to make active travel fun, accessible, and safe for everyone.’

How does this declaration work with the paper’s recommendation to trial off-road bicycle exemptions for helmet requirements? Helmets are widely regarded as the most important safety advancement for cyclists – something openly acknowledged by the paper – but people don’t like wearing helmets so the Greens reckon we should just ‘ditch them’ because cycling ‘participation dropped when helmet laws were introduced’. Sure, but fatalities also dropped by 46 per cent.

‘This off road exemption could be trialled and the effect on participation measured to see if this increases cycle commuting, especially for short distances within suburbs.’

The original zero-emissions method of transport has been common with the peasantry for thousands of years – walking – although we are yet to see that less-glamorous mode of transport kick off with MPs screeching ‘Net Zero!’ from the chambers of Parliament.


Climate change activist Maxim O'Donnell Curmi jailed for four months after protests

A man who scaled a 60m-high crane at Sydney's Port Botany during one of several stunts by climate change activists last week has been jailed for four months.

Maxim O'Donnell Curmi today pleaded guilty to five charges, including endangering a person on a railway and encouraging the commission of a crime, before Waverley Local Court.

The 26-year-old from Hurstbridge in Victoria will appeal the sentence, said activist group Blockade Australia.

It has claimed responsibility for a series of protests around the Port Botany area held for five consecutive days, which also targeted freight rail lines and roads.

On Friday, Curmi jumped a barbed wire fence and evaded workers before climbing to the top of a large crane used to load and unload shipping containers at the port.

He remained dangling from a rope for five hours, blocking the loading of a docked ship.

Today, Magistrate Ross Hudson accepted Curmi's guilty pleas and sentenced him to four months in jail plus a $1,500 fine.

The sentence will expire on June 24.

Last week, the NSW government introduced harsher penalties of up to two years in jail and a $22,000 fine for protesters as a reaction to the Blockade Australia campaign.

An amendment was added to make it an offence to disrupt any tunnel or bridge across Sydney, and laws could be expanded further to include roads and key facilities.

Attorney-General Mark Speakman said the previous fine of up to $2,200 was not enough to deter activists he described as "economic vandals".


Also see my other blogs. Main ones below:

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM -- daily)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


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