Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia has no plan of action on climate change

“The government has revived the default approach the Liberal-National coalition has had on emissions since the 1990s: do as little as possible, hope that economic developments reduce emissions without policy intervention, deny that there are any policy issues, and defer as many issues as possible to another day,”

In a Country So Dry Even Cows Take Showers, Climate Change Gets Ignored
Australia’s government is as far from a plan of action as it’s ever been.Bloomberg, By Michael Heath, Emily Cadman, and Jason Scott, September 27, 2018,    

From cooling showers for cows to airport runways designed for higher sea levels, businesses and parts of Australia’s A$2.7 trillion ($2 trillion) pension industry are starting to find ways to live with rising temperatures.

In the world’s driest inhabited continent, enduring a devastating drought that arrived in mid-winter, private action to prepare for climate change contrasts with years of division on energy and environmental policies. Australia’s latest climate casualties are its farmers, who are being forced to slaughter livestock and watch crops wither amid one of the worst droughts on record……..

Dry conditions are set to continue with eastern states including New South Wales — the most populous and the powerhouse of the economy — the worst affected. Economists estimate the drought could cut as much as 0.75 percent from gross domestic product growth.

Shortly after taking over as prime minister last month, Scott Morrison got on a plane and toured a drought-stricken farm in Queensland, announcing measures to aid the stressed agricultural sector. Yet as for broader climate policy, Australia appears as far away as it has ever been from a consensus on what should be done.

“The staggering thing is we aren’t leading the world,” said John Hewson, former leader of the now ruling Liberal Party who has worked as an economist for the Reserve Bank and the International Monetary Fund. “We should be showing them what can be done and the business opportunities from that in terms of investment, in terms of jobs, in terms of growth, are very significant. And they’ve just been cast aside like they don’t matter.”

The road block: politics. Morrison came to the prime ministership after months of toxic infighting over energy policy saw Malcolm Turnbull lose a leadership vote that resulted in the nation’s sixth change of leader in 11 years. The new prime minister — who once brandished a chunk of coal in parliament as a show of allegiance to that sector — quickly ditched Turnbull’s contentious plan to lock in carbon emission reductions, leaving the government with no settled energy policy ahead of an election that must be called by May.

With Australia battling bush fires in winter and the Great Barrier Reef facing slow destruction due to coral bleaching, voters want action. An Australia Institute poll this month showed that 73 percent of Australians are concerned about climate change, up from 66 percent last year. And just over half of people surveyed think governments aren’t doing enough.

Poisonous politics is also hitting business. Australia’s total investment in clean energy soared to a record $9 billion last year, largely driven by a rush to fulfill a government target that winds down in 2020. Investment will fall off a cliff over the coming years unless there is a major change in government policy, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Under the Glare

Australia is one of the most vulnerable developed countries to climate change – yet also has the financial muscle to respond……

“The government has revived the default approach the Liberal-National coalition has had on emissions since the 1990s: do as little as possible, hope that economic developments reduce emissions without policy intervention, deny that there are any policy issues, and defer as many issues as possible to another day,” said Kobad Bhavnagri, head of BNEF research for Australia. “It’s akin to having one’s fingers crossed and head buried in the sand.”…….. tps://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-09-26/even-in-dry-australia-politics-mean-climate-change-gets-ignored

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September 28, 2018 - Posted by | General News

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