Clean up the Dirty Dozen polluters

After years of inaction from Coalition governments, the climate movement now has an opportunity to secure deep greenhouse emissions cuts from the country’s biggest polluters. 

The Albanese Government was elected with a mandate to strengthen Australia's Climate Safeguard Mechanism to ensure the industrial sector cuts its climate pollution this decade.

The climate movement can't afford to miss this opportunity.

Communities across the country are already doing a heavy lift on climate. Households are installing rooftop solar at a world-leading pace and signing up to green electricity providers. People are cycling to work, shifting to public transport, as well as adopting electric vehicles.

The same can’t be said of the facilities covered by Safeguard Mechanism whose emissions increased over the last decade. Industrial polluters are responsible for 28 percent of national emissions and it’s time for them to pull their weight.

If the Dirty Dozen big polluters and the industrial sector refuse to do their fair share on climate, then a greater burden will be put on Australian households, farmers, small businesses, and other sectors of our economy.

The climate movement must act quickly to show the Albanese government that the community has skin in the game. We must take action to put the Dirty Dozen big polluters on the backfoot and inspire champions in the Labor government.

With your support, we can fight for a strong Climate Safeguard Mechanism that can help Australia beat its 2030 emissions reduction target and build momentum for ambitious actions that match the scale of the climate crisis.

WHAT IS THE CLIMATE SAFEGUARD MECHANISM?

The Climate Safeguard Mechanism is a national policy tool that covers industrial polluters. The mechanism was put in place by the Abbott government when it scrapped the economy-wide price on carbon.

The Climate Safeguard Mechanism is essentially a way to apply a cap on emissions for the industrial sector that reduces over time. The government can use the lever to drive emissions cuts from the country’s most polluting facilities–such as coal mines and gas refineries.

While the Climate Safeguard Mechanism didn’t make polluters cut emissions under the Coalition government, Labor was elected with a mandate to strengthen the regulations.

A decision-making process is now underway, and the Albanese government is expected to announce its position in the first half of 2023. Minister for Climate Chris Bowen plans to have the upgraded mechanism up and running by 1 July 2023.

The strengthened Climate Safeguard Mechanism is currently the main tool proposed by the Albanese government to secure the necessary cuts to meet the legislated target of a 43 percent reduction in Australia’s emissions (below 2005 levels) by 2030.

WHO ARE THE DIRTY DOZEN?

Dirty Dozen polluters are the usual suspects of big coal, oil, and gas companies. Together, these fossil fuel companies are responsible for around half of  the emissions covered by Australia’s Climate Safeguard Mechanism.

Name

Type

Total Emissions since 2016 (tonnes CO2-e)

Chevron Gas & Oil 52,293,584
Woodside Gas & Oil 47,542,405
BHP  Coal 32,587,783
Anglo American Coal 31,673,783 
Santos Gas & Oil 27,743,224 
Glencore Coal Qld Ltd Coal 22,079,618 
Inpex Operations Gas & Oil 20,591,539 
Shell Australia Gas & Oil 16,856,882 
Conoco Phillips Gas & Oil 14,992,508 
South 32 Mining & Resources 10,417,778 
Exxon Mobil Australia Gas & Oil 9,713,245
Centennial Coal Coal 9,494,417

In the Dirty Dozen’s corner, we have the likes of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) and Minerals Council of Australia (MCA). These industry lobby groups have a long track record of promoting the interests of fossil fuel companies.

It’s up to the climate movement to shine a light on the Dirty Dozen and their enablers and demand that they deliver deep emissions cuts this decade.

TAKE ACTION


Pledge to hold the Dirty Dozen to account:

Friends of the Earth and grassroots groups hand-delivered letters to the Dirty Dozen polluters in Narrm/Melbourne. They’ve called for polluters to pull their weight on climate. Sign up to hold the Dirty Dozen to account and organise a meeting with your local Labor MP?


Call on the Albanese govt to rein in Dirty Dozen emissions:
Queensland Conservation Council delivered letters to Dirty Dozen companies in Brisbane, now they're calling on Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to make the polluters do their fair share on climate. Will you email the government?



Call on the govt to crack down on the Dirty Dozen:

The Climate Council is calling on Minister for Resources Madeleine King to force the Dirty Dozen to pull their weight on climate. Will you add your name to the call for strong emissions limits for the big polluters?



Safeguard our Future:
A strong Safeguard Mechanism would crack down on Australia’s biggest polluters and force them to actually cut emissions at their facilities, not on paper. With your urging, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese can be pushed to make the Safeguard Mechanism stronger. Email the Prime Minister.



Email your MP to stand up for people, not big polluters
:
The Federal Government has just released proposed details for Australia's climate policy to regulate big polluters and it needs to be much stronger. Call on your MP to fight for a fair climate policy, without loopholes that let big polluters off the hook while they trash our climate. Email your local MP now. 


Safeguard our kids, not polluters:
Australian Parents for Climate Action support climate policies that protect our children and grandchildren from climate harm.Make sure big polluters do their fair share to reduce climate pollution for a safe climate. Sign the petition



Supporting community campaigning:
If you or your local climate action group would like to get involved in the campaign to clean up the Dirty Dozen polluters, then please email Leigh Ewbank. Solutions for Climate Australia can connect you with community members active in the campaign, provide support with public events, and help book meetings with local MPs. 




Raise your voice on Social Media:
Make sure the Labor government decision makers hear the community’s call for the Dirty Dozen polluters to pull their weight on climate. Join the debate on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by using the 
#DirtyDozenPolluters and #SafeguardOurClimate hashtags:

LABOR GOVT 

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Anthony Albanese
Prime Minister 

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Chris Bowen
Minister for Climate & Energy 

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Jenny McAllister 
Assistant Minister for Climate & Energy 

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Madeleine King
Minister for Resources, Minister for Northern Australia

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Catherine King
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development & Local Government

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Tanya Plibersek
Minister for Environment

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Ed Husic
Minister for Industry & Science

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CAMPAIGN TIMELINE 

In late 2022, the climate movement kicked off a community campaign calling for Australia's Dirty Dozen polluters to pull their weight on climate.

The campaign demonstrates strong community support for a Climate Safeguard Mechanism that delivers real emissions cuts, not loopholes you could drive a coal-truck through.

A strengthened mechanism is essential for Australia to beat its 2030 emissions reduction target and build momentum for ambitious actions that match the scale of the climate crisis. Will the Albanese government deliver? 

DECEMBER 2022

  • Climate Action Network Australia holds an online event on the emerging campaign to clean up Australia's Dirty Dozen polluters and secure strong reforms to the Climate Safeguard Mechanism.

  • Greenpeace Australia Pacific publishes a full-page in the Australian Financial Review to tell Woodside Energy–a Dirty Dozen company–that they have no place writing Australia's climate policy.

  • Solutions for Climate Australia coordinates a sign-on letter to Australia's Dirty Dozen polluters. Some 48 organisations representing millions of community members sign on to the letter, which calls for polluters to pull their weight on climate and accept a strengthened Climate Safeguard Mechanism

  • In Melbourne, Friends of the Earth's Act on Climate collective, Darebin Climate Action Now, Higgins Climate Action Network, and Lighter Footprints hand deliver the sign-on letters to Shell, ExxonMobil, and BHP.

  • In Sydney, Climate Action Burwood-Canada Bay drops into the headquarters of Santos, Glencore, and Centennial Coal to hand over the sign-on letter. 

  • The Climate Council launches an online petition calling on Minister for Resources Madeleine King to crack down on the Dirty Dozen polluters.

  • The sign-on letter to Dirty Dozen polluters was printed as a full-page advertisement in The West Australian, The Age, and Australian Financial Review, putting the campaign on the agenda of millions of Australians.  

  • The Perth Hills Climate Change Interest Group, Doctors for Environment Australia, Citizens' Climate Lobby, and Conservation Council of Western Australia hand deliver the sign-on letter to Shell, Woodside, Chevron, Santos, Inpex, South 32, and ConocoPhillips. 

  • In Brisbane, Queensland Conservation Council, Climate for Change, and supporters pay a visit to Glencore, Santos, and AngloAmerican delivering the sign-on letter from the movement. 


Shell_deliveries.jpgJANUARY 2023

  • Community members express their concern about Dirty Dozen polluters in letters to the editor published in The Australian and The Age

  • The climate movement united for a strong response to Minister Chris Bowen's proposed changes to the Climate Safeguard Mechanism: 

  • The movement's response was featured in The Australian, ABC NewsThe GuardianRenew Economy coverage of the government's announcement. 

  • After delivering the sign-on letter to Dirty Dozen polluters in Brisbane, the Queensland Conservation Council call for supporters to email Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Minister Chris Bowen, and Minister Madeleine King to urge them to strengthen the Safeguard Mechanism. 

  • The deadline for Dirty Dozen companies to respond to the climate movement's sign-on letter arrives. Just two companies responded: AngloAmerican and ExxonMobil. Both failed to address the substance of our correspondence. 

  • Climate Action Network Australia hold a Brown Bag Lunch presentation to update the movement on the campaign to clean up Australia's Dirty Dozen polluters and outline next steps.

  • The Australian Conservation Foundation launch the MyClimate app that highlights local climate impacts and the need for the government to hold polluters accountable: "We need a strong safeguard mechanism that rules out new coal and gas and starts to seriously hold big polluters to account," Gav McFadzean told The New Daily. "We can’t continue on this path."  

  • Climate Action Network Australia and Friends of the Earth Melbourne speak with Dirt Radio on 3CR 855AM about the burgeoning Dirty Dozen campaign.

  • An MP meeting blitz is initiated to ensure Labor Government MPs and other parliamentarians hear the community’s view on the strengthening of the Safeguard Mechanism.

FEBRUARY 2023

  • Climate Action Network Australia hold a Brown Bag Lunch presentation to drill into the details of the Albanese government's proposed reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism.

  • The Climate Council release a report profiling the Dirty Dozen polluters. The report found that between 2016 and 2021, aforementioned fossil fuel corporations spewed out carbon pollution equivalent to more than 50 percent of total Pacific Islands emissions over the same period. 

  • The Australian Conservation Foundation calls on supporters to email the Prime Minister to make the Safeguard Mechanism stronger. The call to action was accompanied by billboards in major capital cities. 

  • The Peoples Climate Assembly and allies mark the first sitting day of Parliament with a creative action at the Canberra headquarters of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA)—a major fossil fuel lobbyist. Community members hand delivered a letter to APPEA, calling for it to play a positive role in Australia's response to the climate crisis. 

  • Friends of the Earth visit the Melbourne headquarters of the Minerals Council of Australia to call on it to support a strengthened Climate Safeguard Mechanism. The visit comes days after the Australian Electoral Commission revealed the Minerals Council of Australia donated $233,000 to the Labor and Liberal parties ahead of the 2022 federal election.

  • The Peoples Climate Assembly put the community campaign on the Parliament's agenda by welcoming MPs and Senators with banners and staging a creative action. ACT Attorney General Shane Rattenbury and Greens Ministers dropped by to support the community's call for a strong Safeguard Mechanism—one that rules out unfettered offsets and imposes tough restrictions on gas and coal projects. 

  • Lighter Footprints, Higgins Climate Action Network, Darebin Climate Action Now, and Ashwood Climate Action Network hold a 'vigil' at BHP's Melbourne HQ to call on the company to pull its weight on climate. 
     
  • Friends of the Earth hold a campaign info night at the Black Spark Cultural Centre in Northcote. 

  • Climate Action Network Australia announce a National Day of Action to Safeguard Our Climate on Friday 10 March. Community members are invited to raise their voice to call for the Albanese government to Safeguard our Climate, not polluter profits.

  • Climate Analytics release a new report investigating the efficacy of carbon offsets. The report, commissioned by the Australian Conservation Foundation and Solutions for Climate Australia, underscores the need for the government to prioritise real emissions cuts in the reform of the Safeguard Mechanism. The report featured in ABC News, The Guardian, and Michael West Media.

  • The Peoples Climate Assembly continue to welcome politicians to Parliament with banners on Melbourne Avenue. Teal MP Kate Chaney supported the community's call for a strong Safeguard Mechanism.

  • Lighter Footprints, Higgins Climate Action Network, Darebin Climate Action Now, and Ashwood Climate Action Network held a second 'vigil' at BHP's Melbourne HQ. 

  • The Dirty Dozen Clean-Up Crew visited the Brisbane headquarters of coal company Glencore. The creative action occurred a day after the Queensland Conservation Council publicly criticised the company for sending record profits overseas while Australia faces climate-fuelled bushfires and heatwaves. 

  • Some 27 grassroots climate groups from around the country make a joint submission to the Albanese government in response to its proposed reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism. A similar number of progressive businesses sign on to Better Futures Australia’s submission.

  • Over two dozen businesses and organisations sign a joint letter urging Minister Chris Bowen and the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment, and Water to strengthen the Safeguard Mechanism.

  • Extinction Rebellion ACT picket the Canberra headquarters of APPEA on the anniversary of the climate-fuelled floods that devastated Lismore. The community activists used the action to call for polluters to pull their weight on climate and for the Albanese Government to rule out dodgy offsets.

  • Solutions for Climate Australia, Australian Conservation Foundation, and other climate groups present to the Senate Environment & Communications Legislation Committee hearing on 'Safeguard Mechanism Credits'.

  • A new Climate Analytics report commissioned by the Solutions for Climate Australia finds the likely future emissions from coal and liquefied natural gas production have been substantially underestimated. The report is featured in The Guardian, Crikey, and other news outlets.

  • What’s the Dirty on BHP?... Friends of the Earth and community groups organise a creative action BHP headquarters in Melbourne.

MARCH 2023

  • Friends of the Earth, Tomorrow Movement, and community members rally at Shell’s Melbourne headquarters to highlight the company's legacy of pollution.

  • School Strike for Climate hold rallies in Canberra, Perth, Sydney, Hobart, and Castlemaine. The call for governments to deliver "real carbon cuts, not offsets" is among the movement's demands.

  • Friends of the Earth and Climate Action Merri-bek hold a stall at the iconic Sydney Road Street Party in Brunswick, Victoria.

  • Friends of the Earth take the call to Safeguard Our Climate to the National Sustainable Living Festival's Great Local Picnic and Melbourne Girls College's annual Pedal-Powered Cinema event. 

  • A delegation of community members from across the country visit Parliament House to advocate for a strong Safeguard Mechanism. Participants represent communities affected by climate-fuelled floods and bushfires as well as doctors, parents and constituents of inner city Labor electorates met with 18 MPs and Senators.

  • GetUp! and Climate Action Network Australia join forces to place a full-page ad in The Canberra Times to amplify the community advocacy trip to Parliament House.  

  • Peoples Climate Assembly continue to welcome politicians to Parliament House with banners demanding a strong Safeguard Mechanism with no new gas, no new coal, and no dodgy offsets.

  • Leigh Ewbank from Solutions for Climate Australia joins the Project Planet podcast to talk Safeguard Mechanism and provide an update on the campaign to clean up Australia's Dirty Dozen polluters. 

  • Hundreds of community members join in a National Day of Action to #SafeguardOurClimate by posting photos on social media on Friday 10 March.

  • Grassroots group Wodonga-Albury Towards Climate Health hold an action at a local Shell petrol station and secure coverage in The Border Mail.  

  • Peoples Climate Assembly and Canberra-based climate groups hold actions at the electorate offices of Minister Katy Gallagher, Assistant Minister Andrew Leigh, Alicia Payne, and David Smith. 

  • Friends of the Earth visit ExxonMobil's Melbourne HQ to make some additions to the memorabilia wall.

  • Queensland Conservation Council send the 'Dirty Dozen Clean Up Crew' to Shell's Brisbane HQ. 

  • Australian Parents for Climate Action drop a banner and hold a demonstration in Barwon Heads to reach public-holiday visitors on the Labour Day long weekend. The group called for the Albanese government to 'safeguard our kids' climate, not big polluters'.

  • Australian Parents for Climate Action present Minister for Climate Chris Bowen with a position paper on the Safeguard Mechanism reforms. 

  • Climate Action Merri-bek hold a snap action at Peter Khalil's electorate office on Sydney Road in Coburg. The group was disappointed by lack of engagement on the Safeguard Mechanism reforms. 

  • Extinction Rebellion ACT join the Uni Students for Climate Action rally in Canberra to call for 'no new gas, no new coal, no dodgy offsets.'

  • Banner drops occur on major arterial roads in the seats of Cooper, Macnamara, Wills, and Higgins. 

  • More to come...

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