Overnight the EU released its target for greenhouse gas reductions ahead of a meeting later this year in Paris.
It’s committing to reducing emissions by at least 40 per cent over 1990 levels by 2030 as David Mark reports.
DAVID MARK: The US and China made some commitments to greenhouse gas reduction targets at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in Brisbane last year.
Now the EU has announced specific targets – its member countries will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 over 1990 levels.
Overnight the EU released its target for greenhouse gas reductions ahead of a meeting later this year in Paris. It’s committing to reducing emissions by at least 40 per cent over 1990 levels by 2030 as David Mark reports.
DAVID MARK: The US and China made some commitments to greenhouse gas reduction targets at the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) meeting in Brisbane last year.
Now the EU has announced specific targets – its member countries will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 over 1990 levels……
ERWIN JACKSON: Well, I think the momentum is towards having a core agreement in Paris which is legally binding, which does ensure that countries come forward and have national targets………
An Australian National University study of the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement found there was very little in it for Australia. A recent US department of agriculture study found it would deliver a zero economic benefit to Australia and a zero economic benefit to the United States. For smaller nations the economic benefits are bigger which may explain why they are eager to join and why the US is driving a hard bargain on intellectual property and the rights of its pharmaceutical industry
Trans Pacific Partnership. What’s the deal being negotiated in our name?, SMH, February 21, 2015 Peter Martin When The Lancet and the Australian Medical Journal editorialise against Australia’s next free trade agreement it’s a fair bet they are concerned about more than just trade.
The Trans Pacific Partnership is the biggest free trade agreement hardly anyone’s ever heard of. Bubbling along below the radar for half a decade, it’s about to become solid. It is set to deliver much more money and power to US pharmaceutical companies, to criminalise the use of technology in ways that presently don’t attract jail time and to set up outside tribunals to reconsider decisions already made by Australian courts. Continue reading
Australia’s imminent TPP disaster: Crowning corporations, Independent Australia Dr Matthew Mitchell 13 February 2015, The controversial top-secret Trans-Pacific Partnership is due to be signed very soon and is likely to have negative impacts upon many areas of ordinary Australian’s lives without any financial gain whatsoever, writes Dr Matthew Mitchell.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a global trade agreement being pushed by the United States onto nations around the Pacific. What is so disturbing about the TPP compared with other trade agreements is that it covers so many areas. Its breadth means it will affect many aspects not only of Australian business, but also of everyday Australian life. Continue reading
Ronald Walker – a former chairman of the global nuclear regulator, the International Atomic Energy Agency – reiterated Mr Carlson’s concerns.
Mr Walker warned the committee that the deal’s terms would injure Australia’s international reputation on nuclear safety.
Nuclear experts put government on notice http://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2015/02/10/nuclear-experts-put-abbott-govt-notice/ Feb 10, 2015 GEORGE LEKAKIS Financial Services Editor A Parliamentary Committee is considering whether to support a criticised uranium pact between Australia and India. Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s quest for a free trade agreement with India has been dealt a potentially fatal blow after two of the world’s most respected nuclear safety experts pilloried the terms of the uranium deal negotiated with the Indian government in 2014. Continue reading
It is not clear whether that agreement will have been finalised before Mr Roy’s committee is due to report its findings to government at the end of March.
The committee is expected to conduct public hearings next month.
India uranium deal faces legal challenge, New Daily, Jan 14, 2015 GEORGE LEKAKIS Financial Services Editor The Australian government’s controversial agreement to sell uranium to India may face a legal challenge from a conservation group. The agreement is controversial because India will be the first country permitted to buy Australian uranium without being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“We will look at those legal options available to us and explore what we think are pretty clear legal inconsistencies between the terms of the agreement with India and Australian laws,” Mr Sweeney said.
“The ACF has real concerns that the wording of the agreement is inconsistent with sections of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Safeguards Act and Australia’s obligations under the South Pacific Nuclear Free-Zone Treaty that was signed by the Hawke government.” Continue reading
Tony Abbott has denied that China’s plan to launch a national carbon trading market shows he is out of step internationally on climate change, claiming his Direct Action policy is getting “more and more support” in Australia and abroad.
On Wednesday a Chinese government official said a national carbon market was likely to be launched by the middle of next year, along with an emissions cap for six sectors: power generation, metallurgical, nonferrous metal, building materials, chemicals and aviation………Abbott dismissed the suggestion that China’s actions showed the Coalition decision to dump Australia’s carbon pricing scheme in favour of his Direct Action plan ran against the tide of international efforts to reduce emissions…….
China, by comparison, has launched seven regional carbon markets since 2013, with Qingdao, a city of 9 million people, planning to join the scheme. It’ i estimated the pilot carbon markets cover around a third of China’s overall emissions, although the lack of a unified national system has led to variations in each of the markets.
The plan to introduce a national scheme will unify these regional markets, subject to approval by Chinese state authorities. The national market would eclipse the EU’s emissions trading scheme, which is now the world’s largest.
In September China put its name to a list of 73 countries that signalled support for putting a price on carbon. This list includes Germany, France, Britain, South Africa and New Zealand. It also includes US states such as California and Massachusetts, as well as more than 1,000 businesses.
Australia, which was the first country in the world to repeal a carbon price, is now working out its position on emissions cuts beyond 2020. Crunch UN climate talks in Paris this year will set out a new global deal on lowering emissions, with the aim of avoiding more than 2C of warming compared with pre-industrial times.
Analysis conducted by the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology states that Australia could warm by up to 5.1C by 2100 unless action is taken to curb emissions. This level of warming would have major ramifications for agriculture, human health owing to increased heatwaves, and coastal infrastructure owing to rising sea levels and extreme weather events.http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/feb/06/tony-abbott-denies-chinas-carbon-trading-plan-shows-he-is-out-of-step
Ostensibly about selling uranium to India, the key intent of the treaty is to remove Australia’s implied slight of not according India the same status as a nuclear cooperation partner that we have already accorded the five nuclear weapon states recognised under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
………JSCOT’s scheduling: it has put aside two hours to hear from four non-government witnesses on 9 February, and 45 minutes to hear government witnesses on 11 February.
……………………. we need a policy discussion that builds on the excellent analyses of the safeguards and legal issues raised in the submissions to JSCOT, especially those of the former head of the Australian Safeguards and Non-proliferation Office, John Carlson, and the ANU arms control expert Kalman Robertson.
A starting point would be for JSCOT to understand how Australian agencies came to the conclusion that there is no risk that providing uranium to India will enhance India’s nuclear weapons arsenal. The National Interest Statement does not make that case.
JSCOT could also seek clarification that the public and confidential provisions of the treaty are or will be consistent with those negotiated by our major partners in the uranium trade. The Government presumably has legal advice that the treaty is compatible with existing obligations. But can it assure industry that challenges will not arise?……….
the questions for JSCOT are numerous: just what priority will be given to this dialogue? What resources will be devoted to it? At what level will it be conducted? When is the next round scheduled? How will outcomes be reported? http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2015/02/03/India-nuclear-deal-needs-serious-parliamentary-scrutiny.aspx?COLLCC=3260990079&
the previously secret deal followed the Liberal Party’s federal council meeting in June at which it unanimously supported an international waste dump being built in Australia.
Australia next ‘nuclear dump’ http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2007/07/20/australia-next-nuclear-dump The Wilderness Society has warned a deal between Prime Minister John Howard and US President George W Bush to join an exclusive global nuclear club would ensure Australia became the dumping ground for the world’s nuclear waste. Source: 20 JUL 2007 UPDATED 22 AUG 2013
The ministers for foreign affairs and resources had urged Mr Howard to announce the joint nuclear energy plan during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation visit in Sydney in September, Fairfax newspapers reported.
“The proposed action plan would help to open the way for valuable nuclear energy co-operation with the United States,” the briefing note says.
“It would also be consistent with the government’s strategy for the nuclear industry in Australia. Continue reading
Paladin’s Malawi uranium mine of little benefit to the country, and now threatening pollution of Lake Malawi
Government officials in Malawi are upset about the situation. “I am very shocked with the situation I have seen after monitoring the mine here and all my questions to the Paladin boss have not been answered satisfactory”
Meanwhile international experts are starting to question the benefits of the Kayelekera mine
Australian Uranium Mining Company Accused of Contaminating Lake Malawi By Mayu Chang……Global Research, January 29, 2015 CorpWatch Paladin Energy, an Australian mining company, has been accused of discharging uranium-contaminated sludge into Lake Malawi, which supports 1.7 million people in three countries – Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The company began uranium mining operations in Malawi in 2009 although it suspended operations last year after ore prices fell.
“It is rumored that Paladin secretly have started discharging the so called purified water. Reports from the Beach Village Chairman indicates that this started in late November,” wrote Rafiq Hajat of Malawi’s Institute for Policy Interaction on Facebook. “[At] a radius of 35 km from the Boma, you will be shocked to see fish of different species dead with some communities along the lakeshore collecting [the fish].”……………“Uranium is radioactive and that with open-pit mining, like the one to be conducted at Kayelekera, the soil drains into rivers and contaminates the water,” Titus Mvalo, a lawyer representing several civil society organizations in Malawi, told Inter Press Service in 2007. “When humans drink the water, it damages kidneys and causes cancer.”
At the time, the activist groups warned that the mine would pose a threat to Lake Malawi, Africa’s third largest freshwater lake, which is a major source of drinking water and fish for the country. Continue reading
India will share the Indo-US formula on resolving the nuclear liability issue with France to resolve the issue of liability with the latter as well, sources said — this has come in the way of nuclear commerce with Areva, the French nuclear supplier.
With Australia, the sources said, India will share the template of its administrative arrangements with Canada — and now the US — so that uranium from Australia can be supplied without further delay. India signed an uranium supply agreement with Australia last September, when Prime Minister Tony Abbott visited the country.
……….The US is said to be no longer insisting on tracking these supplies, required under its rules to ensure it is not being used for military purposes. -……http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/india-looks-to-use-us-formula-to-convince-france-and-australia/
Isn’t this just dandy? The Australian government can’t afford to fund services to the needy in health, education, and is doing its darndest to kill clean energy, but is quietly promoting nuclear energy. And not conventional nuclear energy, which is bad enough, but the untested, hugely costly thorium experiment – the same one that was tried and found unviable 50 years ago
ANSTO-SINAP Joint Research Centre, 16 Jan 15 In December 2012, ANSTO signed a memorandum of understanding with the Shanghai Institute of Applied Physics (SINAP) for cooperation in the area of materials research and development.
The impact of this on Australian politics is hard to predict. A number of senior Coalition ministers are Catholic, yet their climate credentials are less than impressive. Tony Abbott’s claim that coal is “good for humanity” is the antithesis of the likely papal message. Now his opponents will be able to quote chapter and verse of a papal encyclical calling his policies into question.
Climate-change encyclical may lay ground for UN progress http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/climatechange-encyclical-may-lay-ground-for-un-progress-20150113-12n3u2.html January 14, 2015 Neil Ormerod This is the year the Catholic Church will join the battle to save the planet; as Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, stated, “2015 could be a decisive year in history”.
From the start of his pontificate Pope Francis indicated his intention to publish an encyclical on the environment. Encyclicals are the most authoritative documents a pope can issue, and it has become increasingly clear that global warming will be its central theme.
Previous popes – both John Paul II and Benedict XVI – referred to the environment and climate change in various communications, and committed the Vatican City to being carbon neutral, but this will be the first time a pope will have dedicated an entire encyclical to it. Continue reading
Toro Uranium company’s Vanessa Guthrie appointed by Abbot to represent Australia in India n top business group
Toro Energy CEO chosen to represent Australia in India, Australian Mining 12 January, 2015 Vicky Validakis Prime Minister Tony Abbott has appointed the head of uranium developer Toro Energy to the Australia-India CEO forum.
The CEO Forum is a high level business group jointly appointed by Abbott and the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, to help drive the bilateral economic relationship between Australia and India.
The forum will be made up of 10-15 business leaders who will provide advice to both Prime Ministers on issues of trade, investment and economic development.
It comes after Abbott signalled he was keen to secure a free trade agreement with India this year.
CEO of Toro Energy Vanessa Guthrie said she was “honoured” to accept the appointment……..Guthrie will join Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb in India this week to attend the Australia Business Week in India, an event which promotes Australian opportunities to increase trade and investment markets with the country.
Uranium miner announces spill, Australian Miner, 8 January, 2015 Vicky Validakis Just days after uranium miner Paladin Energy denied it discharged polluted water into a river, the company announced a tank failure at its Kayelekera mine has resulted in a spill.
Paladin told the ASX a 20-minnute high-intensity storm resulted in around 25mm of rain falling at the mine site, located in northern Malawi.
As a result, a surge of stormwater caused the liner in the plant run-off tank to rupture, releasing 500 cubic metres of material to the bunded areas of the site, the company said.
Up to 50 litres of the material “overtopped” one of the containment bunds………..
On Monday Paladin denied claims it released toxic water from the mine into a local river system………
Kayelekera mine has been in care and maintenance since February 2014 due to the depressed price of uranium.http://www.miningaustralia.com.au/news/uranium-miner-announces-spill