Tag: News

Arctic sea ice in a death spiral

Source: International Arctic Research Center As Australian politicians fiddle with the details of an extremely insufficient climate change policy, I’ve been watching Arctic sea ice news with increasing dismay. Summer sea ice in the Arctic is fast melting away, accelerated by amplifying feedbacks in what has been called a “death spiral”. The disappearance of Arctic …

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Unclear implications from EU carbon link

The rumor I blogged about last week is no longer a rumor. Australian Climate Change Minister Greg Combet today announced the Government has done a deal, approved by Cabinet, with the European Commission, independent Rob Oakeshott, and the Greens. They agreed a number of changes to Australia’s emissions trading scheme (ETS, which will succeed the …

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What would rumored carbon tax changes mean?

It is rumored in the newspapers that the Australian Government is considering certain changes to its carbon price. I have been mulling over this for ten days because it’s difficult to assess the overall implications of an unconfirmed proposal lacking full details, and I have mixed feelings as some aspects of the rumored proposals are …

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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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New coal export terminal must not proceed

Despite UNESCO last month calling for a moratorium on new port developments in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, the reckless expansion of coal export infrastructure continues. GVK’s and Hancock’s proposed Abbot Point coal terminal 3 (T3) is sailing through the approval process. T3 would increase coal exports by 60 million tonnes per year, …

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Environmental deregulation agenda continues

As NASA reports record ice melt in Greenland, Australian federal and state governments remain convinced we have too much environmental regulation. They reaffirmed this belief at yesterday’s meeting of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG). The communiqué gives very little detail, but it appears the environmental deregulation agenda outlined at April’s meeting is rolling onward …

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Is Greenland close to a climate tipping point?

Recent findings suggest climate change in Greenland may be approaching a tipping point, beyond which amplifying feedbacks could lead (probably over centuries) to complete melting of the ice sheet, raising sea level by about 7 meters. In June, a team of glaciologists led by Jason Box predicted that we would see melting across 100% of …

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Climate Change Authority board members conflicted

At least two members of the recently announced board of the Climate Change Authority have conflicts of interest. The new independent Climate Change Authority will regularly review Australia’s climate policies. Its first job will be to review the Renewable Energy Target later this year. The Authority’s most important task will be, in February 2014, to …

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The Not-So-Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Today, the Australian Senate is considering legislation to set up a Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC). CEFC is the last (but certainly not least) of the Not-So-Clean Energy Future policies agreed by the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee a year ago. It is supposed to complement Australia’s low carbon price by funding emerging renewable energy technologies. …

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No setback for coal port expansion

The Queensland Government’s rejection of the Multi-Cargo Facility (MCF), a proposed coal terminal development at Abbot Point, has been reported as a setback to the coal export industry. It is not. Indeed, it clears the way for an even larger terminal proposed by Clive Palmer’s company Waratah. Abbot Point currently exports 50 million tonnes per …

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