Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

A renewed push for climate change action in Australia

Climate forces consolidate as coal backers rush for government help http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/climate-forces-consolidate-as-coal-backers-rush-for-government-help-20170623-gwx3qy.html, Mark Kenny 22 June 17 Forces on the green-energy side are positioning for a renewed climate change debate in coming months, as the Turnbull government struggles to convince internal dissenters of the need for tougher carbon reduction measures.

The nation’s preeminent advocate of strong laws against carbon emissions, the Climate Institute, will close its doors on June 30 after a dozen years in operation, and transfer its assets and intellectual property to high-profile progressive think tank the Australia Institute.

The financial terms of the new arrangement have been kept confidential.

As the recipient body, the economically-oriented Australia Institute will in turn establish a dedicated “Climate and Energy Program” with the aim of stepping up the public pressure on lawmakers to meet Australia’s obligations under the Paris Accord.

It comes as some opponents of renewable-energy subsidies have called for the government to directly finance investment in coal-fired power.

 Its final annual survey of community attitudes to climate change will be released within days. “At a time when climate sceptics are revealing themselves to be economic sceptics, it is significant that there is a coming together of a key Australian economic think tank and a leading climate organisation,” said the Australia Institute’s executive director, Ben Oquist.

“As capital increasingly seeks out clean-energy projects with a long and sustainable future, the lions of the free market have become lambs of largesse, so desperate to keep coal going they’d have taxpayers carry an unconscionable risk which is both financial and environmental” he said.

Climate Institute chairman Mark Wootton said the Australia Institute had been selected from a shortlist of strong candidates.

“Its expanded role in the climate change debate comes at a pivotal moment for policy development, economic transformation, and public expectations,” he said.

Chief Scientist Alan Finkel this week told the National Press Club that investors tended to favour new projects in wind and solar over coal because they could be started small and then scaled up as demand rises. His clean energy target proposal is now mired in internal government debate as conservative MPs push for the CET model to be skewed to allow for the subsidisation of new coal generators, or old generators retro-fitted with carbon capture and storage, to qualify for partial clean energy certificates.

Under pressure to reverse rising household electricity prices – driven largely by a scarcity value on local gas – the government has announced plans to mandate reserves for domestic access ahead of export sales – even where that gas is already contracted.

That has raised eyebrows with private capital markets wary of new sovereign risks caused by changing government policy.

The government has also left open the possibility of directly financing new generation coal-fired power, given the absence of private sector investors.

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June 23, 2017 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming

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