Tag: News

The greatest greenwash of our generation

Newly reinstated Australian Labor Party leader and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has today demonstrated yet again that he is the worst type of climate change denier: a skilled greenwasher. In 2007, Rudd rightly told the National Climate Change Summit: Climate change is the great moral challenge of our generation.  Climate change is not just an …

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Rudd ignites carbon trading time bombs

I must be psychic. In March when the Australian Industry Group demanded the Australian government immediately move from its fixed carbon price to its planned future emissions trading scheme (ETS), I wrote that “I was very pleased to see the AIG proposal met with tripartisan categorical rejection” but “I remain[ed] vigilant, even pessimistic” because of …

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Rudd’s return: bad news for climate action?

I probably don’t need to tell Australian readers that Kevin Rudd has been reinstated as Prime Minister of Australia and leader of the Australian Labor Party, replacing Julia Gillard who succeeded him three years ago. I see Rudd’s return as a victory of appearance over substance, intuition over logic, personality over policy, treachery over teamwork, …

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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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