Category Archive: Solutions

Mar 09 2013

Caps Review Part 5: Emissions caps

This is the fifth part in a series about the Caps and Targets Review being conducted by the Australian Government’s independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) this year. Part 1 summarized the global climate crisis, Part 2 explained the importance of the review and how CCA should approach it, Part 3 outlined the role Australia should …

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Jan 19 2013

It’s high time we talk about coal

As Australia bakes in record-breaking heat and burns in devastating fires, the country’s political and media elites have yet again lined up to defend the industry driving global warming and cast those who speak out against it as extremists.

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Dec 03 2012

Doha climate talks: my priorities

This is the third installment of a three-part blog post about the ongoing Doha climate talks (COP18). Part 1 recaps the history of the negotiations up to 2011; Part 2 covers this year’s battlelines; and this part outlines my opinion on what should happen in Doha and why it matters. Most analysts treat Doha as …

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Oct 24 2012

The fossil-fuelled war on renewables

In recent months, ~2 GW of Australian coal-fired electricity generation has been closed temporarily or permanently (~2.5 GW in winter), comparable to the 2 GW that would have been closed by the abandoned policy of contracts-for closure. Some might conclude Australia is finally beginning its transition to a low- or zero-carbon economy, and we can …

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Sep 11 2012

Laggard to Leader

A landmark report was launched a few weeks ago by Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE), Laggard to Leader: How Australia Can Lead the World to Zero Carbon Prosperity. Laggard to Leader is at its heart a response to the oft-heard arguments that Australia is too small for our actions to make a significant difference to global …

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Aug 02 2012

Government admits renewables becoming cheap

The Australian Energy Technology Assessment (AETA), a little-publicized report about energy costs released on Tuesday by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE), dropped a bombshell. This government body admits the government’s prior estimates on renewable energy costs have been spectacularly wrong. In contrast to the Draft Energy White Paper, which assumed renewable energy …

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Apr 08 2012

It’s the climate, stupid

It is now clear that the Australian Government’s main priorities for this year are getting the budget into surplus, and removing regulations to appease businesses. Both objectives are leading the Government to cut climate change and renewable energy policies. It seems they have chosen to completely ignore the climate crisis. I should at this point …

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Mar 14 2012

China could cap coal consumption

China is expected to announce in the first half of this year a national cap on coal consumption. If the reports are accurate, the cap will begin in 2015 at 4.1 gigatonnes (Gt), with budgets for each individual province. This would be the world’s first direct cap on a fossil fuel. Policies China is already …

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Mar 06 2012

An unsurprising anti-coal campaign plan

The Australian Financial Review today revealed a leaked Greenpeace document containing the startling revelation that environmentalists oppose the coal industry. The document, entitled Stopping the Australian Coal Export Boom, seeks to raise millions of dollars for a campaign against the expansion of the Australian coal industry. This isn’t particularly surprising: it is only logical that …

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Feb 21 2012

US energy sources could be mostly renewable by 2030

A US government agency has found renewable energy could become the country’s major energy source in two decades. Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) compared the geography of electricity demand with potential supply from solar and wind resources. They concluded 70% of US electricity demand in 2030 could be met by wind …

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