Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Fossil Fuel shill Patrick Moore touring Australian cities, funded by front group Galileo Movement

Moore’s trip to Australia has been financed through the climate science denial organisation the Galileo Movement.

.Moore has been given favourable coverage in popular rural newspaper The Land and the Rupert Murdoch-owned The Australian.

Moore is almost always described as a co-founder of Greenpeace, despite Greenpeace itself contesting that he wasn’t a co-founder.

An archive of Moore’s CV shows his work for corporations and organisations in logging, pulp and paper and mining. He has also been an advocate for the nuclear energy industry.

Moore,Patrick-11Climate Science Denialist Patrick Moore Tours Australia After Comparing Students to the Taliban http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/10/23/climate-science-denialist-patrick-moore-tours-australia-after-comparing-students-taliban#disqus_thread Canadian climate science denialist Patrick Moore is at the beginning of a tour around Australia speaking to audiences across the country.

But here’s a warning.   If you do find yourself in the audience and don’t want to be compared to the “Taliban” then don’t even think about walking out in protest.

Less than two weeks before flying to Australia, Moore spoke on the campus of Amherst Collegein Massachusetts.  When members of the college’s environmental group decided they had heard enough and walked, Moore said they had a “Taliban mindset”.

When he was later asked to apologise, a report in the Amherst College student newspaper says Moore instead chose to double-down on his remark. “Fifty people walk out, and I say that’s a pretty Taliban thing to do,” Moore is reported to have said, characterizing the behavior of the young students to that of the fundamentalist regime that massacred thousands and committed brutal repression of women.

Who is Patrick Moore?

Moore has no scientific credibility on climate change and has never published a scientific paper on the issue. Yet Moore claims there is “no scientific proof” that humans are causing global warming and that “throwing bones on the ground” would have a better predictive ability than most climate models.

His opinion on the science runs against all the major national science academies in the world and about 97 per cent of all the peer reviewed studies on climate change carried out since the early 1990s. Continue reading

October 25, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, spinbuster | Leave a comment

Thanks to Tony Abbott, Australia now ranks last on climate change, green imvestment

Abbott-fiddling-global-warm

“Tony Abbott’s international reputation for climate change inaction is growing, to the detriment of Australian businesses who are trying to retain and attract overseas investors,”

Abbott’s Australia ranked dead last on climate, green investment http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/australia-green-economy-65014By  on 20 October 2014 Australia’s dramatic backwards slide on climate action and low-carbon policy under the federal Coalition is, by now, well documented. Since coming into power, Tony Abbott and his climate-sceptic team have dumped the nation’s world-leading carbon pricing scheme, wound back renewable energy support mechanisms, and taken aim at the Climate Change Authority, the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, ARENA and the RET.

But a new international report puts just how far Australia has fallen behind the rest of the world on climate, clean energy and green investment into sharp perspective.

The fourth edition of the Global Green Economy Index (GGEI) was released on Monday, measuring the green economic performance of 60 countries based on four key dimensions: leadership & climate change, efficiency sectors, markets & investment and environment & natural capital.

Embarrassingly enough, Australia’s performance on actions that support clean energies and combat climate change ranks 37th – down from fourth spot in 2012.

But in the Leadership section, Australia comes a resounding last – a result the GGEI report puts down to negative media coverage, “unconstructive behavior” in international forums, and overall poor climate change performance. Continue reading

October 21, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Renewable energy plays a role in reducing Western Australia’s greenhouse emissions

Greenhouse emissions fall DANIEL MERCER The West Australian October 13, 2014, Greenhouse gas emissions from WA’s main electricity grid appear to be in decline amid falling demand for energy and more green power from sources such as solar panels and wind farms…….

Despite the result, WA continues to be one of the world’s biggest emitters on a per person basis.

According to Synergy, reasons for the fall included WA’s first large-scale solar power plant and a big wind farm near Geraldton coming online last year.

A spokesman noted the utility had generated more electricity from its cleaner gas-fired power stations, while closing a coal-fuelled generating unit earlier than expected. Adding to the turnaround had been an unprecedented fall in electricity demand across Australia.

The trend, which bucked decades of uninterrupted growth and has confounded industry players, has been caused by sharply higher power prices, more efficient energy appliances and rampant demand for rooftop solar panels. Another cause has been the recent closure of energy-hungry manufacturing plants.

Conservation Council of WA director Piers Verstegen welcomed the figures as good news and suggested the trend would continue on the back of the growing viability of renewable power. https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/25241234/greenhouse-emissions-fall/

October 13, 2014 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Western Australia | Leave a comment

Age Editorial: Government drops ball on climate change

Map-Abbott-climateGovernment drops ball on climate change http://www.theage.com.au/comment/the-age-editorial/government-drops-ball-on-climate-change-20141007-3hhgq.html 8 oct 14 Two weeks ago, when Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke before the General Assembly of the United Nations, he named four dire problems facing the world: the dangers posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Russia’s destabilising influence in eastern Ukraine, the outbreak and spread of the Ebola virus in western Africa and the economic malaise that continues to afflict many countries.

But Mr Abbott did not mention climate change at all. That failure was conspicuous because just two days earlier, at the same podium, US President Barack Obama had outlined the same four threats to the world (”terrorism, instability, inequality and disease”) but added one more. Mr Obama told more than 120 leaders attending the UN Climate Summit that ”there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate”. Mr Obama said the US had a duty to lead on emissions reduction strategies, and he urged other nations to do their part, saying no nation could afford to pretend climate change was not real.

Mr Abbott, though, did not even bother to attend the Climate Summit. He sent Foreign Minister Julie Bishop instead, and she chose to promote the government’s Direct Action strategy, under which businesses would be paid to cut their emissions. Sure, there are several other nations – India, for one – that obstinately shuck off any responsibility for initiating emissions-abatement strategies and which do so because they perceive their economies would be significantly disadvantaged. But Australia under the Abbott government has become an international joke on matters related to climate change. Only last year, for example, Mr Abbott suggested the UN’s climate chief, Christiana Figueres, was ”talking out of her hat” when she said bushfires in Australia were linked to climate change. Soon after, Environment Minister Greg Hunt sought to defend the PM in an interview with the BBC. During that interview, Mr Hunt said he had ”looked up what Wikipedia says”, and then sought to downplay the notion that climate change could influence the likelihood of bushfires.

But as Fairfax Media reported this week, Mr Hunt was thoroughly briefed just weeks before the interview by officials of the Bureau of Meteorology who explained the effects of climate change on weather patterns. They told the minister that a pattern of recent episodes of extreme heat was ”consistent with the general pattern of warming”. Last week, five separate studies published by Australian universities all concluded that record temperatures in Australia in 2013 were almost certainly caused by man-made climate change.

The governments of the world’s biggest economies and biggest emitters – the United States and China – are focused on emissions reduction strategies. In Australia, while the Abbott government says it supports the science indicating man’s influence on climate change, there is a distinctly grudging aspect to its attitude, a deliberate effort to minimise the scale or urgency of the problem and a clear intention to focus instead on the economic impact of emissions abatement strategies. The government has scrapped the carbon tax and it wants to wind back the renewable energy target, which is intended to ensure that one-fifth of Australia’s energy supply in 2020 will come from renewable sources.

This is a highly educated nation, whose scientists have made valuable contributions to the growing body of knowledge on climate change, and it is a wealthy nation with great economic opportunity. But it is being governed by a party that refuses to acknowledge the vital role it must play at this point in history.

 

October 8, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Tony Abbott’s profound ignorance about the effect of climate change on Aborigines

Abbott smilesAbbott Hasn’t Joined The Dots On Black Affairs And Climate Change, SaysActivist https://newmatilda.com/2014/09/30/abbott-hasnt-joined-dots-black-affairs-and-climate-change-says-activistThe gaping hole in Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s self-declared interest in Aboriginal aspirations is his ignorance on climate change. Amy McQuire reports.

Tony Abbott’s ambition to become the “Prime Minister for Aboriginal affairs” doesn’t align with his position on climate change, with First Nations communities the most vulnerable to the disastrous effects of global warming, according to a young Bundjalung environment warrior. Continue reading

October 6, 2014 Posted by | aboriginal issues, AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Southern hemisphere ocean heating has been under-estimated

ocean-heatingOceans heating up faster than we thought: study, SMH  October 6, 2014  Hannah Francis   Oceans in the southern hemisphere are warming faster than anticipated, with implications for rising sea levels and climate modelling.

A team of scientists in California has studied rising temperatures of the southern hemisphere over the decades between 1970 and 2004, and recommended lifting estimates of ocean heat content by between 48 and 152 per cent.

Lead author Paul Durack said it was the first time scientists have been able to quantify how big the gap is between earlier estimates and the reality of rising ocean temperatures.

Sea temperatures are a crucial yardstick for global warming as the ocean stores more than 90 per cent of human-induced excess heat.

Higher sea level temperatures are also closely linked with rising sea levels, because water expands as it warms.

Ocean warming down to two kilometres below the surface accounts for around a third of the annual rate of global mean sea-level rises.

The study by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology, published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Monday, attributed the missed estimates to a history of poor sampling of temperatures in the southern hemisphere oceans, which make up 60 per cent of the world’s oceans.

The region, which includes the Indian and South Pacific oceans as well as the South Atlantic and Southern oceans, has not been sampled nearly as frequently to date as oceans in the northern hemisphere……..  http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/oceans-heating-up-faster-than-we-thought-study-20141005-10qgfn.html#ixzz3FPcZ9tZW

 

October 6, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Five research teams conclude that Australia’s 2013 heatwave was due to global warming

Australia’s 2013 heatwave due to climate change, researchers conclude http://www.theage.com.au/environment/australias-2013-heatwave-due-to-climate-change-researchers-conclude-20140930-10o1sj.html September 30, 2014   National political reporter Record temperatures in Australia in 2013 were almost certainly caused by man-made climate change, five separate studies have found.

Researchers from the University of Melbourne, the Australian National University and the University of NSW have concluded it is “virtually impossible” that the heatwaves that hit Australia in 2013 would have occurred were it not for carbon emissions caused by human activity.

The reports have been published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society as part of a global project examining the impact of climate change on extreme weather.

The results, which are the strongest statement yet on the impact of climate change on Australia’s weather patterns, are a wake-up call for the Abbott government a week after it was criticised for failing to take beefed-up emissions reduction targets to a special summit of world leaders in New York.

Five teams of researchers examined the heat that baked Australia for much of 2013, leading to the hottest day, month, spring and summer since records began.

heat_wave

They concluded that the record temperatures for the whole of that year would almost certainly not have occurred without man-made climate change and that the chance of heatwaves occurring was more than 2000 times greater because of human-caused climate change.

Professor David Karoly, one of the authors, said the results mark the first time that researchers had concluded that a specific weather event couldn’t or most likely couldn’t have occurred in Australia without the increase in greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity.

“The Prime Minister last year said that studies hadn’t been done and the CSIRO cautioned against attributing individual extreme weather events to climate change,” Professor Karoly said.

“Now the studies have been done and the results are very clear.”

The teams of researchers used a variety of computer-based simulations that modelled 20th and early 21st century temperatures.

One set of models factored in natural variations in climate and human influences on climate, while another set showed what temperatures would have looked like without man-made climate change.

Out of 12,500 simulated years, only one result in the latter group produced temperatures higher than those seen in Australia in 2005 – the hottest year before 2013 – and none as hot as 2013.

“There was an increase in the frequency of heatwaves in 2013 and the intensity of heatwaves due to climate change,” Professor Karoly said “It was three times the frequency and two times the intensity.”

October 1, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australia vilified at New York Climate Summit

Map-Abbott-climateAustralia’s climate stance savagely condemned at New York summit SMH  September 27, 2014  Nick O’Malley US correspondent for Fairfax Media  “…….in his address to the General Assembly, Leonardo DiCaprio sought to buttress his call for drastic and immediate action to reduce carbon emissions with a voice harder to challenge than his own.

“The Chief of the US Navy’s Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, recently said that climate change is our single greatest security threat,” said DiCaprio. “My friends, this body – perhaps more than any other gathering in human history – now faces that difficult task. You can make history, or be vilified by it.”

The speech was well given and well received, but it turned out that his prediction was not entirely correct. Australia did not have to wait for history, it was vilified for its stance on climate change on the spot…….”I’m disappointed but not surprised with Australia,” Pa Ousman Jarju, Gambia’s Climate Change Minister who represents the 54 least developed nations at UN climate talks, told the Responding to Climate Change analysis website later. “What the Foreign Minister [Julie Bishop] said was as good as not coming. It’s nothing… as good as not attending.”Indeed Tony Abbott did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, though many attendees detected a reference to Australia – among a handful of other notable recalcitrants – in Barack Obama’s keynote speech……..

it was Australia and to an extent Canada that were subject to most of the opprobrium, in part because they have already enjoyed the economic benefits of carbon emissions, in part because China is perceived to be on the brink of significant action.

One of the successes of Tuesday’s meeting was China’s announcement for the first time ever that it would set an emissions target, aiming to reduce its emissions of carbon per unit of GDP by 45 per cent by 2020, compared with levels in 2005.

“As a responsible major country, a major developing country, China will make even greater effort to address climate change,” Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said.

“All countries need to follow the path of green and low carbon development that suits their national conditions, [and] set forth post-2020 actions in light of actual circumstances.”

An adviser who attended a meeting of small island states that excoriated Australia’s inaction on climate said the group now viewed China’s commitments optimistically.

The reaction to Australia’s presence could not have been more different. Tony de Brum, the Foreign Minister of the Marshall Islands, told Fairfax that small islands states were frustrated and baffled by Australia’s stance, especially as they had regarded the nation as a “big brother down south” and advocated for its seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Asked if “betrayal” was too strong a word, he paused and said, “Now it is, maybe not soon.”

On Tuesday the Pulitzer Prize-winning climate change news website Inside Climate News published a story about the “Canada-Australia axis of carbon”. It suggested that not only were the two nations not willing to pull their weight, but that they were seeking to derail the binding agreement on emissions reductions at next year’s talks in Paris that many view as the world’s last best hope to prevent catastrophic climate change.

“Neither the prime ministers of Canada nor Australia will speak at the summit, and the subordinates they have sent will not be offering the kind of “bold” new steps that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is seeking on the way to a treaty in Paris late next year,” it reported.

“Instead, these two governments, with their energy-rich domains sprawling across opposite ends of the earth, will present strikingly similar defences against what much of the rest of the world is offering. And their stance is earning them opprobrium among advocates of strong and immediate action.”

The online magazine Slate published a story headlined, “The Saudi Arabia of the Pacific, How Australia became the dirtiest polluter in the developed world.”

It charted Australian climate politics since the last election – noting for an international audience Australia’s history as a leader in solar technology, the creation and then scrapping of a carbon trading scheme, the promotion of climate change sceptics to key advisory roles, the attacks on the solar industry, the scrapping of the mining tax, the failed bid to expand logging in Tasmanian wilderness.

“Let’s hope that the rapacious policies of the current government represent only a temporary bout of insanity,” Slate concluded. “If the Australian people cannot recover some of their earlier regard for their environment they may find in time that their great land is no longer merely apathetic toward their residence there but openly hostile.” http://www.smh.com.au/world/australias-climate-stance-savagely-condemned-at-new-york-summit-20140926-10mc0x.html#ixzz3Eac7HHfN

September 27, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics international | Leave a comment

Australia isolated internationally, with no credible plan on Climate Change

Map-Abbott-climateAustralia out in the cold as world turns up the heat on climate change, SMH  September 24, 2014 –  Environment editor, The Age As world leaders sit down in New York to discuss climate change, it is unlikely Australia will be trying to scupper the talks.

But nor is it going out of its way to be very helpful either.

For one, Prime Minister Tony Abbott is not even turning up.

The New York summit is critical. Over the past five years, getting world leaders to engage in climate change negotiations has been nigh on impossible.

This time it took a personal plea from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to get 125 heads of state to go to New York. And even then the top leaders of China and India are not among the attendees, though US President Barack Obama will be there……..

Now, as in Copenhagen, Australia risks finding itself out of step. But this time it is shaping up to be a laggard.

The global discussions on climate change are in a more positive place than they have been for many years, the result of recent stronger, though imperfect, efforts by China and the US to reign in their greenhouse gas emissions.

It would be foolish to believe this guarantees the elusive new global climate deal will be signed off at a meeting in Paris next year, where it is due to be finalised.

But China and the US have re-engaged.

Meanwhile, Australia is swimming against the tide. For example, the World Bank on Tuesday released a statement signed by 73 countries and about 1000 businesses and investors, in support of pricing carbon. China, Indonesia and Britain were among the signatories.

However, the Abbott government has made Australia the first country to repeal a national carbon price. And its replacement policy to cut emissions, the ill-formed Direct Action, languishes in the Senate with little political support.

It leaves Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, who is representing Australia in New York, coming to the talks with no comprehensive plan to cut Australia’s emissions under her belt. Nor does she bear any increased ambition to slash Australia’s emissions deeper than the meagre targets presently promised………

All this points to a government that sees climate change as an annoying diplomatic distraction, akin to a minor trade dispute, rather than a central tenet of foreign and environment policy.

It is a position that belies the seriousness of the problem  http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/australia-out-in-the-cold-as-world-turns-up-the-heat-on-climate-change-20140923-10kynu.html#ixzz3EGq5HWVk

September 24, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

$200 billion predicted cost of sea level rise around Australia

Sea level rises due to climate change could cost Australia $200b, Climate Council report finds ABC Lateline By Hamish Fitzsimmons 17 Sep 2014 Future sea level rises could put more than $200 billion of Australian infrastructure at risk, a report by the Climate Council has found.

The report, Counting the Costs: Climate Change and Coastal Flooding, showed sea levels were likely to rise by between 40 centimetres and one metre over the next century.

sea_levels_rising

The Climate Council succeeded the Australian Climate Commission, which was axed after the Federal Government took office last year.

The report’s lead author, Professor Will Steffen, warned national income would suffer huge losses if action was not taken to protect against rising sea levels and extreme weather events……..

The Victorian coast, the south-east corner of Queensland and Sydney would be the hardest hit by rising sea levels, the report found.

With more than 75 per cent of Australians living near the coast, Professor Steffen said large swathes of infrastructure were at risk.

“Much of our road, rail, port facilities, airports and so on are on the coast,” he said.

“If you look at a 1.1 metre sea level rise – which is the high-end scenario for 2100 but that’s what we’re tracking towards – you’re looking at more than $200 billion worth of infrastructure that’s at risk.”

Professor Steffen said so-called once-in-a-lifetime natural events could become regular occurrences.

VIDEO: Watch Hamish Fitzsimmons’ report. (Lateline)

“If you look at some of our most vulnerable areas, and the Sydney region is one of those, you would say toward the end of this century that a one-in-100-year flood is going to be happening every few days,” he said.

“That’s an impossible situation to cope with.”……..

Climate change impacting insurance premiums

The Climate Council warned sea level rises would put pressure on home insurance premiums, as rising sea levels fed coastal erosion.

Australian Local Government Association president Felicity-Ann Lewis said erosion was already causing problems for home owners.

National infrastructure within 200 metres of the coastline:

  • 120 ports
  • five power stations/substations
  • three water treatment plants
  • 258 police, fire and ambulance stations
  • 75 hospitals and health services
  • 11 emergency services facilities
  • 41 waste disposal facilities

“The insurance industry is very interested in this because some of the insurance premiums are becoming such that people can’t afford to take out insurance on their properties,” Dr Lewis said.

“This is a very big issue.”………http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-17/sea-level-rises-will-cost-australia-billions-report/5748676

September 18, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australia becoming internationally isolated as a climate denialist

Abbott-fiddling-global-warm‘We are burning our trust’: Abbott’s climate denials winning Australia no friends CRIKEY, PADDY MANNING | SEP 17, 2014 WE ARE WELL PAST THE POINT WHERE MORE EVIDENCE WILL PERSUADE CLIMATE SCEPTICS OR THOSE VESTED INTERESTS OPPOSING CLIMATE ACTION TO CHANGE THEIR TUNE.

Particularly in Australia. Abbott just doesn’t want to talk about climate change at all. He wants climate off the G20 agenda. He won’t be going to the climate talks starting in New York next Tuesday, which will be attended by over 100 heads of state, including US President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, as momentum builds for agreement on a new post-Kyoto climate deal in Paris next year. Continue reading

September 18, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Fighting climate change on the investment frontier

piggy-ban-renewablesClimate activism’s new frontier is targeting fossil fuel investors, The Age  September 15, 2014  Michael Green In mid-July, the peak body of the Uniting Church in Australia voted to sell its investments in fossil fuels. The decision was available online for anyone who cared to peruse the church’s minutes, but it didn’t issue a media release until a month and a half later, on the last Friday afternoon in August.

“We didn’t think it was the most earth-shattering news, because it’s a pretty mainstream issue in the Uniting Church now,” explains the church’s president, Reverend Professor Andrew Dutney. Yet its resolution included a moral claim that may be confronting for most Australians, who, by way of their superannuation funds – at the very least – own a stake in coal, oil or gas projects.

“Further investment in the extraction of fossil fuels contributes to, and makes it more difficult to address climate change,” the church states. Given the harm climate change will cause, “further investment and extraction is unethical”. “A number of people have found that to be a strong statement,” Dutney says. “But it’s very hard to argue against.”……

There are dozens of campaigns targeting universities, churches, councils, superannuation funds and banks.

In Australia, there are campaigns at 19 universities, including  Melbourne, Monash, Latrobe and RMIT, calling for the institutions to sell whatever investments they have in fossil fuel companies……..

In July, the World Council of Churches, an umbrella group representing over half a billion Christians, announced its plans to fully divest from fossil fuels. The same month, the Anglican Church of Australia passed a motion encouraging its diocese to divest. A global campaign for the Vatican to divest has just been launched…….

Nearly 30 city councils have pledged to divest, including San Francisco and Portland in the US and Dunedin in New Zealand, as well as 13 US universities and colleges. In May, Stanford University, in California, committed to divest from companies that mine coal for energy generation. Its endowment fund is worth about $US19 billion ($21 billion).

A fortnight ago, the University of Sydney announced it would suspend further investment in coal companies while it reviews its ethical investment policy. It is also assessing what to do with its existing $900,000 holding in Whitehaven Coal Limited, owner of the controversial Maules Creek mine in NSW. …..

One of the key divestment advocates is Market Forces, which is affiliated with Friends of the Earth. Its founder, Julien Vincent, argues that as well as an environmental imperative,  there’s also a financial case for divestment, especially for long-term investors such as banks and superannuation funds……

Market Forces has just launched a website called Super Switch, which helps people compare various funds’ investments in fossil fuels………

Reverend Professor Dutney says the church’s decision was strongly influenced by the worries of its sister churches in the Pacific. “We’re already seeing the results of climate change across the globe and it affects the poorest people disproportionately badly,” he says.

“For us, the idea was simply to do the right thing, regardless of what anybody thought about it.” http://www.smh.com.au/national/climate-activisms-new-frontier-is-targeting-fossil-fuel-investors-20140912-10fxoc.html#ixzz3DRXmzQls

September 15, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Is Australia ready for the financial impacts of this warming world?

Can Australia prosper in a 2°C finance world? REneweconmy, By Giles Parkinson on 11 September 2014 “……HSBC: The path to a low-carbon economy means increasing energy efficiency, scaling up low-carbon energy provision and embedding resilience to the consequences of warmer temperatures. The idea is to lower the chances of the most catastrophic climate system effects (through reducing emissions) as well as prepare for some of the impacts.

RE: Australia lags the world on energy efficiency measures, particularly in relation to vehicles and transport. Coalition governments have dismantled basic housing requirements, and the federal government is yet to act on the national energy efficiency plan. Despite all this, consumption per household has fallen more than 10 per cent in the last few years, mostly because people have installed rooftop solar and have bought more efficient appliances.

HSBC: In a 2°C world, the development of energy would take into consideration both the benefits of energy access (e.g. education, economy, time saved and spent doing other things etc.) as well as the associated costs with certain types of energy (e.g. health, climate change, pollution).

RE: Australia is not doing too well on that. It has deliberately ignored climate change and health impacts in its consideration of the renewable energy target, and sought to dismantle the Climate Change Authority (which thinks about these things) and has already abolished the Climate Commission and cut funding to the CSIRO, the leading scientific body. The only criteria for the RET Review was the cost to coal generators.

HSBC: The concept of co-benefits has gained momentum in recent years. For example, tackling the sources of pollution in China helps tackle climate change at the same time. Alternatively, tackling climate change through policy and innovation could bring other co-benefits such as reduced health costs (since the sources of pollution and climate change are similar).

A recent study by MIT, published in Nature Climate Change, finds that the “co-benefits…. May offset some or all of the near-term costs of GHG mitigation.” For instance, the study finds that a cap-and-trade system might cost $US14 billion, but the associated air pollution health benefits from implementing this system could be of the order of $US139 billion. For reference, $US6.5 trillion was spent globally on health in 2010 (WHO).

RE: Co-benefits have not entered the vocabulary of the Coalition government, with climate change deniers advising it in four key industry areas – banking and finance, renewable energy, business, and budget measures.

HSBC: The three main reasons why capital has not been channeled in the right direction for a low-carbon economy, historically, are: unfavourable economics for low-carbon, weak policy signals and the uncertain timing of high CO22 impacts.

RE: Australia exemplifies this. Having attracted billions of dollars in low-carbon investments in recent years, thanks to the short-lived carbon price and the renewables target, that capital is now drying up, with major international companies leaving, or warning they will direct capital elsewhere. Only households, keen to offset rising electricity bills, are keeping up momentum, although this is largely confined to rooftop solar and LED lighting. http://reneweconomy.com.au/2014/can-australia-prosper-2c-finance-world-35343

September 15, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Non profit ASSET OWNERS DISCLOSURE PROJECT scrutinises funds investments and climate change

climate-changeASSET OWNERS DISCLOSURE PROJECT

The Asset Owners Disclosure Project is an independent global not-for-profit organisation whose objective is to protect members’ retirement savings from the risks posed by climate change. We aim to do this by helping funds to redress the huge imbalance in their investments between high-carbon assets (50-60% of a portfolio) and low-carbon assets (typically less than 2%) and realigning the investment chain to adopt long-term investment practices. Key elements of the initiative are:

  • Conducting an annual survey and assessment of the world’s 1000 largest asset owners pertaining to their management of climate change risks and opportunities.
  • Publishing rankings of the world’s 1000 largest asset owners to allow members, stakeholders and industry to see which funds are better than others at managing climate risk.
  • Providing and promoting climate change best practice to drive and improve climate change management and capability of asset owners.
  • Developing consumer-facing programs to educate asset owner’s members or stakeholders of the financial risks associated with climate change.
  • Researching trends in climate risk, member behaviour and institutional investment.
  • Creating frameworks to encourage active ownership………..http://aodproject.net/about/about-us.html

September 9, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Pacific nations, including Marshall Islands, call on Australia to adopt a policy on climate change

Marshall Islands calls on Australia to rethink climate change stance Marshall Islands has joined other Pacific nations in calling on Australia to reconsider its position on climate change. ABC News 

The issue has dominated a UN conference on small islands developing states (SIDS) in Samoa which wrapped up on Thursday.

The four-day meeting comes ahead of the UN secretary general’s climate summit later this month, aimed at mobilising global action on climate change.

Marshall Islands’ foreign minister Tony de Brum said Australia and other polluting nations like China, India and the United States need to “deal with the problem now”.

“In our countries we have immediate need for urgent action,” he told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat“And for the biggest emitters to keep pushing us back as if it’s a problem for the future and not a current problem is very frustrating………Mr de Brum urged the Australian Government to reconsider its stance on climate change for the sake of the atoll nations of the Pacific……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-04/marshall-islands-calls-on-australia-to-rethink-climate-change-s/5720990

September 6, 2014 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

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