Did you know that Cricket Australia’s major sponsor, Alinta Energy, is also Victoria’s third largest climate polluter?
Cricket in Australia is already feeling the effects of global heating, with the number of days of extreme heat every summer increasing, leading to match disruptions and the risk of heat stress for players.
And around Australia communities are struggling with the devastating impacts of our damaged climate — we’re facing more frequent extreme weather events, like the floods ravaging South-East Queensland and Northern New South Wales right now and, the scorching heat of Western Australia’s record-breaking summer and the catastrophic bushfires of 2019/2020.
And these impacts are accelerating and becoming more severe as greenhouse gas emissions continue to heat the planet.
Burning coal is Australia’s biggest source of greenhouse emissions, responsible for more than a quarter of Australia’s total emissions. To do our bit to keep global heating under 1.5 degrees, Australia needs to phase out coal by 2030. The latest analysis shows that reaching nearly 100% renewable energy is both technically feasible and has economic benefits, but by stubbornly planning to burn coal up to 2047 Alinta is willfully standing in the way, and ignoring the world’s efforts to limit global heating.
Alinta’s Loy Yang B power station emitted more than 10 million tonnes of carbon emissions in the 2019-2020 reporting period, and because it burns brown coal it is even more polluting than other coal power stations in Australia, releasing a long list of poisonous heavy metals and toxic chemicals like sulphur dioxide, mercury, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. By world standards these pollutants are poorly monitored & controlled, and they impose a staggering health cost on Australians.
Alinta is also embarking on new fossil fuel projects like the gas-burning Reeves Plain power station, despite the clear evidence that ending fossil fuel expansion is crucial to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Alinta’s commitment to dirty energy is getting in the way of the real and urgent climate action Australia needs. Alinta received a dismal 2 out of 5 stars in this year’s Green Electricity Guide, due to their plan to burn coal to 2047, the local environmental harm they cause and their ranking as Australia’s 7th biggest polluter.
When a trusted sporting institution like Cricket Australia partners with a company like Alinta, it allows them to co-opt the respect and affection Australians have for the sport and their team. It’s the same tactic tobacco companies used in the 1980s but this time it’s not only our health, but our planet, at stake.
With the recent launch of Pat Cummins’ Solar Club initiative and the Australian Cricketers’ Association signing the UN’s Sport for Climate framework, Australian cricket is making big strides, and Cricket Australia can be part of this momentum for a safe climate.
The vast majority of Australians want to see real action on climate change, and Cricket Australia can help forge the path to clean energy by dropping Alinta as a sponsor and developing a position on climate change that would rule out adopting another dirty fossil fuel company as a partner