TONY Abbott today warned of a long, hot summer as he opened a Sydney swimming pool, but steered clear of mentioning climate change.
His comments came as Sydneysiders braced for high temperatures tomorrow with the city expected to reach 35C and up to 40C forecast in the west…….
Mr Abbott’s comments about the hot summer also came after Foreign Minister Julie Bishop challenged US President Barack Obama over a climate change speech he made on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Brisbane. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/summers-hot-get-used-to-it-says-tony-abbott/story-e6frg6nf-1227131724609
UK Tories slam Tony Abbott on climate policy, The Age, November 20, 2014 Paola Totar The attitude of Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the global challenges of climate change is “eccentric”, “baffling” and “flat earther”, according to a group of senior British Conservatives.
The group, including Prime Minister David Cameron’s Minister for Energy and a former Thatcher Minister and chairman of the Conservative Party, says Mr Abbot’s position on climate change represents a betrayal of the fundamental ideals of Conservatism and those of his political heroine, Margaret Thatcher.
In a series of wide-ranging, separate interviews on UK climate change policy with The Age, they warn that Australia is taking enormous risks investing in coal and will come under increasing market and political pressure to play its part in the global battle against climate change.
Their comments come almost 25 years to the day since former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher addressed the United Nations to place climate change on the global environmental agenda. “It is mankind and his activities which are changing the environment of our planet in damaging and dangerous ways,” she said………….. Mr Abbott declined to comment. http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/uk-tories-slam-tony-abbott-on-climate-policy-20141120-11qos6.html
Australia will miss emissions target due to Direct Action, UN says, The Age November 21, 2014 – Michael Koziol Australia is “no longer on track” to meet its 2020 emissions target and the Abbott government’s decision to axe the carbon tax is to blame, the United Nations has found.
The 2014 Emissions Gap Report, prepared by the UN Environment Programme, names Australia among four international pariah states that will require further action to meet their governments’ emissions pledges.
Instead of hitting a target of 555 million tonnes of CO2 in 2020, Australia was on track to produce between 685 and 710 million tonnes, the report said. ……
“Australia had been on track to meet its pledge in part through its carbon pricing mechanism, but this mechanism was abolished on 1 July 2014.”
In a section of the report comparing countries’ pledges, trajectories and recent policy developments, the authors state in relation to Australia: “New government replaced carbon-pricing mechanism with Emission Reduction Fund. This results in an increase in projected emissions for 2020.”
Labor environment spokesman Mark Butler said the report showed up the Prime Minister’s claim at the G20 summit in Brisbane that Australia that would “deliver” on its emissions targets.
“World leaders, including some of Australia’s largest trading partners, have pledged to increase their emissions reduction targets,” he said.
“Tony Abbott would rather pay polluters to pollute and keep his head in the sand.”………http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/australia-will-miss-emissions-target-due-to-direct-action-un-says-20141121-11rn2h.html
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop chides Barack Obama over Great Barrier Reef climate change remarks ABC News 20 Nov 14 Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has criticised US president Barack Obama for a speech in Brisbane last weekend in which he claimed climate change threatened the Great Barrier Reef.
Speaking to 7.30 from New York, where she is attending a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Ms Bishop said “there was an issue regarding [Mr Obama’s] statement” and she could “understand the Queensland Government’s concern”……..
Bishop latest Coalition politician to take aim at Obama
Ms Bishop is not the only Coalition politician to voice criticism of Mr Obama, with frontbenchers Joe Hockey and Jamie Briggs making comments in the wake of the Brisbane speech.
Mr Briggs labelled the address as a “massive, massive distraction” from the rest of the G20 summit, while the Treasurer said it would be difficult for Mr Obama to deliver on his stricter emissions standard pledge.……..
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned the Great Barrier Reef could be at risk if more is not done to reduce carbon emissions………The UN’s World Heritage Committee has deferred a decision on whether to list the Great Barrier Reef as “in danger” until next year. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-11-20/julie-bishop-chides-barack-obama-over-climate-change-remarks/5906570
Great Barrier Reef will be ‘slaughtered': scientists dismiss Julie Bishop’s claim reef not at risk November 21, 2014 – 3:59PM Peter Hannam Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald World-leading scientists say the Great Barrier Reef will be “slaughtered” this century as seas warm and become more acidic, dismissing comments by Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop that Australia’s natural icon was not at risk.
Ms Bishop told Sky News on Friday her office had sent the White House a briefing outlining the Australia’s efforts to preserve the reef after US President Barack Obama’s warning in Brisbane last weekend that its “incredible natural glory” was threatened by climate change.
“Of course, the Great Barrier Reef will be conserved for generations to come. And we do not believe that it is in danger,” Ms Bishop said……….
on Brodie, a chief research scientist from James Cook University, said Ms Bishop’s comments contradicted the government’s own report on the state of the reef.
The Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2014 “found the reef to be in poor condition and the outlook is for continuing deterioration,” Dr Brodie said. “It’s obviously in danger.”
“Climate change remains the most serious threat to the Great Barrier Reef and is likely to have far-reaching consequences in the decades to come,” the report said. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/great-barrier-reef-will-be-slaughtered-scientists-dismiss-julie-bishops-claim-reef-not-at-risk-20141121-11r4a6.html#ixzz3JluffhbH
The ozone hole leaves a lasting impression on southern climate, The Conversation, Sharon Robinson Professor at University of Wollongong, 8 November 2014, Many people think of sunburn and skin cancer when they hear about the ozone hole. But more ultraviolet (UV) radiation isn’t the only problem.
The ozone hole has also led to dramatic changes in Southern Hemisphere weather patterns. These in turn are altering natural ecosystems and food production. These climate changes are likely having a similar if not greater impact than more UV radiation.
We discuss some of these changes in a paper published today in Global Change Biology.
This week the parties to the Montreal Protocol will meet in Paris, to consider the latest report from the United Nations Environment Programme Environmental Effects Assessment Panel. This report summarises the impact of both ozone loss and the associated increase in ultraviolet radiation on the environment and human health.
The Montreal Protocol continues to be effective at phasing out ozone depleting chemicals and has decreased levels of these greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But while the Montreal Protocol is a success story, the Southern Hemisphere still faces the threat of climate change from rising greenhouse gases. There is still much to do.
Changing the weather Continue reading
UN chief urges Australian PM to support climate change fund, SMH, November 15, 2014 Tom Allard National Affairs Editor UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has revealed that world leaders at the G20 are “actively discussing” climate change as he called on Australia to contribute to a UN fund supporting developing nations to combat global warming.
And, while the US has pledged $3 billion to the UN’s Green Climate Fund, Mr Abbott has previously said Australia won’t contribute, describing it as “socialism masquerading as environmentalism”.
“Climate change is the defining issue of our times so it’s only natural that G20 leaders should focus much more on this as part of making this world sustainable,” said Mr Ban said in Brisbane on Saturday..
The world, he added, was looking to the G20 to take the lead on climate change, and he asked for more “ambitious pledges” towards the Global Climate Fund. As well as the US, Denmark, Mexico, South Korea, Germany, France, Denmark, Norway and Switzerland are other nations to support the fund………… http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/un-chief-urges-australian-pm-to-support-climate-change-fund-20141115-11ndeh.html#ixzz3JO6LJjnx
Australians Stick Their Heads In The Sand To Mock Prime Minister Abbott’s Climate Stance http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/13/australians-stick-heads-sand_n_6150606.html Reuters | By Sue-Lin Wong SYDNEY, Nov 13 (- More than 400 protesters stuck their heads in the sand on Australia’s Bondi Beach on Thursday, mocking the government’s reluctance to put climate change on the agenda of a G20 summit this weekend.
“Obama’s on board, Xi Jinping’s on board, everyone’s on board except one man,” activist Pat Norman, 28, bellowed into a megaphone on the Sydney beach.
“Tony Abbott!” the protesters shouted back.
Folks with babies, school children and working people in business suits dug holes on the beach and stuck their heads in them. The ostrich is said to stick its head in the sand in futile bid to avoid danger.
Ornithologists say the African bird does no such thing but that didn’t spoil the cheeky protest.
“Wiggle ya bums if you feel like it,” Norman shouted over the megaphone.
A few athletic types did handstands with their heads in the sand.
“To be so far behind the rest of the developed world embarrasses progressive Australia,” he said.
Government resists calls for climate change to be listed as a major agenda item, but agrees to include in final communique Australia has reluctantly conceded that climate change can be included in a single brief paragraph of the G20 leaders’ communique after heavy lobbying by the US and European nations.
The government had resisted any discussion of climate at the Brisbane meeting on the grounds that the G20 is primarily an economic forum, but other nations argued leaders’ agreements at meetings like the G20 are crucial to build momentum towards a successful international deal at the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris next year.
The final wording of the leaders’ statement after the meeting is still being finalised but it is believed to simply recommit to addressing climate change through UN processes.
The outcome – and Australia’s resistance – have been attacked by the leading climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern, who has written for Guardian Australia that the latest “synthesis” report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) should be “high on the agenda” for the G20 meeting.
“The G20 is the most effective forum for the discussion of the growth story of the future, the transition to the low-carbon economy. Yet the local politics of a country of less than 25 million is being allowed to prevent essential strategic discussions of an issue that is of fundamental importance to the prosperity and well-being of the world’s population of 7 billion people,” he writes.
Australia has agreed the G20 should discuss climate-related issues as part of its deliberations on energy efficiency, but this also appears to be wrapped up in a general commitment that countries consider taking action in the future on some of a long list of areas where energy efficiency improvements might be made……
In a special “message” about the G20 release on Sunday, Tony Abbott also did not mention climate change……..
US president Barack Obama’s international adviser, Caroline Atkinson, has insisted publicly that leaders around the table at the G20 will raise climate change. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/02/g20-australia-makes-token-concession-on-climate-change-after-us-lobbying
Scientists working together with indigenous land-managers have reduced Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by half a million tonnes. IMPROVING FIRE MANAGEMENT in the tropical savannah of northern Australia has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by more than 500,000 tonnes over the past year.
By reintroducing traditional fire knowledge and practices, local land managers have benefited through the sale of carbon credits, as well as helping the environment.
“Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from savannah burning represent about three per cent of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions,” said the CSIRO’s Dr Garry Cook at the 2014 annual conference of the Ecological Society of Australia in Alice Springs in September.
“Since European settlement, fires in the north have increased in size and severity. This has threatened biodiversity as well as increased greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.
Australia’s tropical savannah landscape is enormous — it covers an area of some 1.9 million square kilometres, or about one quarter of the entire continent. The landscape is mainly forests and woodlands consisting of wide fields of grass with scattered eucalypt trees.
The savannah stretches from Rockhampton on the Queensland coast up to the tip of Cape York and across to the Kimberley region of Western Australia on the Indian Ocean.
Frequent fires are a characteristic of the landscape, and the vast majority are deliberately lit without any authorisation. Tens of thousands of square kilometres burn every year during the northern dry season.
Many local Aboriginal communities have retained their traditional fire knowledge, and these communities hold deep aspirations to fulfil long-held cultural obligations regarding country. Dr Cook said the Commonwealth’s Carbon Farming Initiative provided the impetus to restore traditional fire management practices on aboriginal homelands, combining modern environmental and fire science with traditional mosaic burning practices.
“In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the methodology, land managers need to burn early in the dry season to protect the landscape from the more intense fires that would otherwise occur later in the dry season,” he said.
“Early dry-season fires are generally low in intensity; they trickle through the landscape and burn only some of the fuel, creating a network of burnt firebreaks. These stop the late dry-season fires sweeping through large areas and releasing large amounts of methane and nitrous oxide.
“Most savannahs burn on average once in every two to four years, in the late dry season, and it’s these fires that produce between three and four per cent of Australia’s accountable greenhouse emissions. The methodology helps reduce these emissions by using low-intensity, patchy early dry-season fires to reduce the overall fire frequency and proportion of late dry-season fires, which tend to be much larger and more intense,” Dr Cook said.
The savannah burning methodology for reducing methane and nitrous oxide emissions was developed by a team from CSIRO, the Charles Darwin University’s Centre for Bushfire Research, the Northern Australia Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance, and Aboriginal landowners and rangers in northern Australia.
Dr Cook said, “It’s lovely to see science being applied to improve land management in that part of the world: we’re talking very remote country, very limited resources for land management, and very sparse populations. It’s had a great impact.”
Climate change hopes for G20 diminished, SMH, November 4, 2014 Peter Hannam Environment Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald Climate change will remain all but absent from the G20 summit, with a related energy efficiency plan omitting mention of global warming as a motivation for curbing energy use, according to a draft.
Hopes had been raised when a paragraph on dealing with climate change was added to the draft communique being circulated among the world’s leading economies, who will all attend this month’s G20 summit in Brisbane.
However, the latest details – a draft of the “energy efficiency” section of the talks in which climate change is to be relegated – have dashed hopes the issue will get much, if any, focus.
The Energy Efficiency Action Plan does not make any mention of climate change, and instead stresses the role of efficiency in boosting energy security and improving “environmental outcomes”.
That’s despite this weekend’s release of the latest report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warning of irreversible damages from a warming planet with temperatures on track to rise as much as 4-5 degrees by century’s end on current greenhouse gas emissions trajectories……….
Dermot O’Gorman, chief executive of WWF-Australia, said there is still time for the Abbott government to modify the agenda of the meeting. “While we welcome any focus on energy efficiency, climate change is still not a stand-alone agenda item at the G20 and it needs to be,” Mr O’Gorman said. “In its current form, this so-called Energy Efficiency Action Plan is little more than a commitment to keep talking.”…….http://www.smh.com.au/business/g20/climate-change-hopes-for-g20-diminished-20141104-11grej.html
‘Coal exports a killer for thousands’, says ANU academic Elizabeth Hanna Sid Maher THE AUSTRALIAN NOVEMBER 04, 2014 TONY Abbott’s declaration that coal is good for humanity has been attacked by Australian National University academic Elizabeth Hanna, who warns thousands of people will be sentenced to death if Australia keeps exporting it.
Dr Hanna, whose research was included in the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, predicted Australia faced days hotter than 50C within 10 or 15 years under continuing global warming and this would dramatically increase the number of heat-related deaths.
If that happens, “we are at risk of mass-death events in Australia, similar to the death tolls due to extreme heat overseas’’, she said.
“In 2003, 70,000 people died in Europe and 55,000 died in Russia in 2010 due to extreme heat.”
Asked on Radio National about the Prime Minister’s support for coal, Dr Hanna said that Mr Abbott’s government was “captive to the vested interests” and eventually would be held to account. “Now if they continue to ignore this message they are sentencing thousands and thousands to their deaths,” she said.
Dr Hanna, the president of the Climate and Health Alliance, in a following interview with The Australian, stood by her comments and went further:…….http://m.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/climate/coal-exports-a-killer-for-thousands-says-anu-academic-elizabeth-hanna/story-e6frg6xf-1227111379081
the reason why it was not healing more quickly was because the interaction between climate change and the ozone hole was complex. “The ozone hole itself is affecting the climate of Antarctica and Australia, and is being affected by it.
Ozone hole remains size of North America, Nasa data shows http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/31/ozone-hole-layer-remains-size-of-north-america-nasa-data-shows John Vidal theguardian.com, 1 November 2014
Antarctic hole in protective layer of gas stands around same level as 2010, 2012 and 2013, but scientists say recovery is on track The Antarctic ozone hole, which was expected to reduce in size swiftly when manmade chlorine emissions were outlawed 27 years ago, is stubbornly remaining the size of North America, new data from Nasa suggests.
The hole in the thin layer of gas, which helps shield life on Earth from potentially harmful ultraviolet solar radiation that can cause skin cancers, grows and contracts throughout the year but reached its maximum extent on 9 September when monitors at the south pole showed it to cover 24.1m square km (9.3m sq miles). This is about 9% below the record maximum in 2000 but almost the same as in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Continue reading
Abbott government does deal with Clive Palmer to pass its “Direct Action” (so-called) Climate Policy
Direct Action set to pass Senate after Government strikes deal with Clive Palmer ABC News, By political correspondent Emma Griffiths, 29 Oct 14 Tony Abbott’s plan for a $2.5 billion Direct Action emissions reduction fund is set to pass the Senate after the Government made several concessions to win over the support of Palmer United Party and other crossbench senators.
PUP leader Clive Palmer won a Government commitment to salvage the Climate Change Authority and to ask it to conduct an 18-month review of the PUP plan to legislate an emissions trading scheme (ETS) at a zero rate.
“The authority will conduct a review examining whether there are emissions trading arrangements in other countries and what form they take,” Environment Minister Greg Hunt said………
Under the Direct Action plan, polluters would be paid to reduce emissions, in a scheme which has been estimated to cost more than $2.5 billion over four years……..
Greens leader Christine Milne has slammed the direct action policy as “embarrassing”.
“What we have here is no contribution to bringing down emissions, no modelling to backing up the claims, a government and Clive Palmer which tore down an emissions trading scheme which was bringing down emissions,” she said.
In July, the Coalition succeeded in scrapping the carbon tax with PUP support……..http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-10-29/direct-action-set-to-pass-senate/5851914
Abbott takes Australia to last place on global climate change leadership, Independent Australia 21 October 2014, Australia has plummeted alarmingly down Global Green Economy Index under the Abbott Government, reports Alan Austin. AUSTRALIA HAS BEEN EMBARRASSED ABROAD by the Abbott Government yet again on the environment.
This time on clean energy, by the annual survey from US-based green economy consultancy Dual Citizen.In its fourth Global Green Economy Index(GGEI) released yesterday, Dual Citizen places Australia at 37th out of 60 countries on clean energy performance. And last on global leadership………
Australia has the ignominy of being easily bettered by Colombia (ranked 14), Peru (16), Kenya (17), Zambia (24), Ethiopia (26), Rwanda (27) and the Philippines (32).
The previous GGEI released in 2012 showed Australia ranked 10th on performance, out of 27 nations then evaluated. …….
This latest humiliation for Australia follows more than nine earlier embarrassments on the world stage caused by inept decisions, actions or inactions by the Abbott Government on environmental issues.
- Obstructing the UN climate meeting in Warsaw last November with damaging ‘bad behaviour’.
- Allowing three million cubic metres of dredged seabed to be dumped in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to make way for the Abbot Point coal export facility.
- Logging Tasmania’s endangered forests.
- Repealing Australia’s modest carbon tax/price.
- Abbott’s call for an alliance with Canada and others in June to oppose the global climate initiatives of US President Obama. The Canadian Star ridiculed this folly with the heading,‘Climate disdainers Canada and Australia form Axis of Weasels’.
- Abbott’s refusal to attend UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon’s climate summit in New York in September.
- Recalcitrance at that UN climate summit in New York by the Australian representatives who did attend.
- Earning Australia the title ‘world’s dirtiest nation’ in The Slate. The influential US journal headlined its analysis: ‘The Saudi Arabia of the South Pacific: How Australia became the dirtiest polluter in the developed world’.
- Cutting the renewable energy targets.
Those episodes created the strong impression worldwide that the Abbott Government was failing Australia’s people, their local environment, the global community and the planet. This report shows with rigorous research that this highly negative impression is indeed sound.
This further undermines Australia’s once proud reputation as a good global citizen. The GGEI report has received prominent media coverage worldwide, including in Denmark, the USA, Brazil,Spain and Argentina…………http://www.independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/abbott-takes-australia-to-last-place-on-global-climate-change-leadership,7019