Who’s got the Abbott proof fence? Do we need one?

9 November 2011 –On the Abbott proof fence, Greenbuild, and Chinese in Chippo

At the CarbonExpo on Wednesday in Melbourne, the day after ushering through the carbon price package, Prime Minister Julia Gillard was greeted with a standing ovation and a full minute of applause.

What a moment it must have been. What a sense of relief for all of us.

“Tough as nails,” is how Climate Change minister Greg Combet described the Prime Minister. Who else could have so doggedly, unflinchingly and calmly faced all that hysteria and fear drummed up by opponents and pushed through this linchpin – this start – to the massive job of cleaning up of the planet. It’s exactly the gritty stuff we need to make the reform work and to build on it.

Hilariously, at the conference Gillard was also asked if the clean-energy reforms came with an “Abbott-proof fence”, after Opposition Leader vowed to remove the tax.

“My prediction would be we are seeing the maximum drama right now but it will abate over time,” she said during a question-and-answer session” she told the crowd.

“The reality is Tony Abbott knows you can’t go back (on carbon pricing),” she said.

“This is a great Labor reform and for all the theatre now, Tony Abbott has absolutely no intention of repealing the legislation.”

Of course Gillard did the prime ministerial appeasement thing and told the delegates at the conference that coal will be part of Australia’s energy mix for at least another 40 years, The Australian reported. (We bet her counterpart told the horse and buggy makers the same thing when Henry Ford drove to town.)

Greens Leader Bob Brown wants to help history along. He reportedly said that fossil fuels’ contribution to the nation’s electricity supply “would be outweighed by renewable power sources.

“The package that passed yesterday [Tuesday] is for an 80 per cent reduction of greenhouse gasses by 2050, that means there will still be 20 per cent greenhouse emissions, but what a great target that is,” he said.

The Greens were slammed down the next day for suggesting that Australia’s energy could be fully renewable within a decade.

There were predictably more hysterical outpourings from the business-as-usual beneficiaries on all fronts to do with carbon.  But watch the momentum build from the army of clean energy deal-makers, accountants, lawyers, consultants and financiers, who twice now have already ramped up their capability and packed it away. It will be like the flood gates that open too late for the deluge.

Part of the carbon/certainty package are: the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and its $10 billion budget, half, we understand, for energy efficiency [read buildings]; the $1 billion Tax Breaks for Green Buildings program, still on the way, we think; the potentially unlimited funding power of the environmental upgrades agreements (you know what site to search for the best info on this) and maybe even more Green Building Fund money…(and no we won’t reveal our sources.)

Another comment Gillard made at the conference was the need for businesses to be creativite in finding ways to cut their carbon pollution.

Creativity will be central to survival and to prosperity, in fact, well, most things good in life.

In this regard we love the systems theory of thinker Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mihaly_Csikszentmihalyi. He says that creative breakthroughs (or great reforms such as the carbon tax) cannot be isolated to individuals, or removed from their social and historical milieu. It’s the sum of us.

So take a bow on what’s achieved, Australia.

And throw away the mouldy old fence. We won’t need it.

More on Greenbuild 2011

Craig Roussac, green building guru for Investa, has a wrap up of the massive US Green Building Council’s Greenbuild 2011 October conference and expo in Toronto posted on Investa’s Green Buildings Alive website.

Key message for the 24,000 delegates, he said, is data. “Data that’s real-time, transparent, with predictive future modelling and with audience participation” was one notable quote from the event, he said.

According to Roussac, Rick Federizzi the USGBC’s chief executive officer and founding chairman [also now the World GBC chairman] said, “The future of LEED [the US key environmental rating tool] is about data – it’s about performance and the end of the pipe”.

“New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is also in the camp. ‘If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it’ is his well-worn mantra and something his Buildings Commissioner is turning into action across one million buildings where ‘It’s not just about MPG (miles per gallon) any more, it’s also about the way you drive!’”

Roussac also says go-to websites in the US include:

Roussac was also a presenter. See his post and slide presentation. https://www.greenbuildingsalive.com/blog/2011/10/11/green-build-presentation/

Chinese case the joint at Chippendale

We know it’s silly to think Australia is going it alone to clean up the planet, but if you have a doubt, consider this: a Chinese delegation of government and business people came to tour the sustainable house of Michael Mobbs in Chippendale recently. It was a part of a tour to learn about green buildings in Australia. Mobbs, our Bathurst Burr columnist reported the delegation was particularly interested in the street gardens he has planted. They were baffled, he reports, by the cheque he was able to show them from the energy company in recompense for his solar energy.

Here is the list of delegates

NameEmployment
1.         Mr. Zhu HaoliDeputy Director, Hangzhou Construction Committee, ZhejiangProvince
2.         Mr. Xia JiangangDeputy Division Chief, Hangzhou Construction Committee,Zhejiang Province
3.         Mr. Qiu BinDeputy Director and Senior Engineer, Hangzhou ConstructionTraining Center
4.         Mr.Luo GuanmingDeputy Director, Illegal Construction Inspection Office, HangzhouPeople’s Government, Zhejiang Province
5.         Ms. Pan LingjieDeputy Director and Senior Engineer, Management Center ofHangzhou Demolition and Relocation Housing Construction,Zhejiang Province
6.         Mr. Shi WenjieDeputy Station Master and Senior Engineer, Hangzhou Construction Engineering Quality&Security Supervision Center,Zhejiang Province
7.         Mr. Wang XiaochunDeputy Station Master and Senior Engineer, HangzhouConstruction Enterprise Management Station
8.         Mr. Yang FeipengDivision Chief and Senior Engineer, River Improvement &Construction Center of Hangzhou Urban District
9.         Mr. Wang JinrongDeputy Director, Construction Bureau of Jianggan District,Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province
10.     Mr. Mo XiaojunDeputy Director, Construction Bureau of Xihu District, Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province
11.     Mr. Wei XinghuaDeputy Director, Construction Bureau of Binjiang District, ZhejiangProvince
12.     Mr. Zhou YifanDirector, Construction Bureau of Chun’an County, ZhejiangProvince
13.     Mr. Wu LixinDeputy Director and Senior Engineer, Construction Bureau ofHangzhou Economic and Technical Development Zone, ZhejiangProvince
14.     Mr. Wu WeiDeputy Division Chief, Management Committee of Qianjiang New Town, Zhejiang Province
15.     Mr. Feng JingOffice Director and Translator, Hangzhou Real Estate Management Bureau
16.     Mr. Hu HuahongDeputy Division Chief, Hangzhou Urban Government Administrative Enforcement Bureau, Zhejiang Province
17. Mr. Guo ZhongquanDirector, Hangzhou Public Utilities Supervision Center, ZhejiangProvince
18. Ms. Chen LiyunExecutive, Hangzhou Construction and Investment Group Co. Ltd
19. Mr. Jiang YexiangSenior Engineer, Hangzhou MTR Group Co. LLC
20. Mr. Shen HailiangDeputy Division Chief, Hangzhou Urban Planning Bureau
21. Mr. Liu HuiguangDivision Chief, Hangzhou Supervision Bureau for Work Safety,Zhejiang Province
22. Mr. Chen JianglongDirector, Census Center of Hangzhou Statistical Bureau, ZhejiangProvince