Category: News

Australia’s Climate Commission does the maths

US climate activist Bill McKibben recently toured Australia as part of his “Do the Maths” campaign advocating divestment from fossil fuels, based on the arithmetic which shows to avoid dangerous climate change we must leave most fossil fuel reserves in the ground. Of course, the Australian government and businesses scoffed. Now, this reality has been …

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It’s still the climate, stupid

The Australian Labor government has yet again ignored climate change in its latest budget. Treasury’s forecast for the Australian carbon price in 2015 (when it is scheduled to become an internationally-linked emissions trading scheme or ETS) has been revised downward from $29/tonne to $12.10/tonne, a belated implicit admission that its decision to link to the …

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Is it time to abandon emissions trading?

Yesterday the European Parliament voted down a European Commission proposal to postpone the auction of 900 million permits for the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) from 2013-2015 until 2019-2020 (called “backloading”). The proposal was predictably opposed by Poland and other eastern European countries, and unfortunately also met resistance from conservative forces within some …

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Polluters win in horrific reshuffle

Yesterday Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced her government’s latest cabinet reshuffle. The Department of Climate Change will be merged into the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research, and Tertiary Education – except for energy efficiency, which will be moved into the Department of Resources and Energy. Greg Combet, previously Minister for Climate Change …

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Forget policy certainty, just raise the RET

What a week it’s been in Australian politics! Failed media regulations, a failed leadership spill, mass ministerial resignations, and more… But in today’s post I’ll focus on a piece of news that didn’t make the front page: yesterday Australia’s Climate Change Minister Greg Combet finally announced the Labor government’s response to the recommendations of last …

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Australia’s angry summer

Figure 1: Examples of extreme weather records broken during Australian summer 2012-13. (Source: Climate Commission) Australia is recovering from its hottest summer on record, dubbed the “Angry Summer” by the Australian government’s independent Climate Commission. Australia has been experiencing record heat since September 2012. Central Australia suffered a spate of heatwaves during spring, culminating in …

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Politicians right to rebuff business lobby’s scheming

Yesterday the Australian Industry Group (AIG) called for “all sides of politics to support the immediate removal of the fixed price carbon tax and move directly to an internationally linked emissions trading scheme”. A transition to an emissions trading scheme (ETS) is currently scheduled for 2015. AIG CEO Innes Willox wants Labor to make the …

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Liberals’ climate policy just got stupider

This week as Australia concluded its hottest summer on record, the climate change policies of the Liberal/National Coalition got even sillier and more contradictory. According to Climate Spectator, Liberal climate spokesperson Greg Hunt reconfirmed on Wednesday that the Liberals’ proposed Direct Action Emission Reduction Fund (DAERF) is (as I’ve explained in detail before) like a …

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Greens denounce Gillard Labor government

The Greens have publicly distanced themselves from the Labor government in the leadup to the Australian federal election on 14 September. Last month, Labor Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Liberal leader Tony Abbott each launched their party’s election campaign with a National Press Club speech. (Gillard discussed economic policy, hinted at more budget cuts, and …

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Australia’s Minister for Greenwash

Australian Environment Minister Tony Burke – or as the Greens call him, Minister Against the Environment – on Monday signed conditional approvals for three new coal and coal seam gas (CSG) mines in New South Wales. The three projects are Whitehaven’s Maules Creek coal mine (despite Burke having said last week he would defer that …

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