Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Queensland Premier’s first act will be to veto Adani railway line loan

Annastacia Palaszczuk to officially veto Adani railway loan after swearing in

Letter confirming veto will be sent to Malcolm Turnbull as Liberal National party elects new leadership team, Guardian, Amy Remeikis, 12 Dec 17, The Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, will move to officially veto any loan to the Indian mining company Adani from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, as soon as she and her new government are sworn into office.

After almost two weeks of vote-counting, Labor was declared the winner of the 25 November poll on Friday, returning to parliament with a majority for the first time under Palaszczuk’s leadership.

A letter confirming the Adani veto, which marked a turning point in Labor’s campaign, will be sent to the prime minister immediately after Queensland’s governor swears in the new state government on Tuesday……

The move to veto the Naif loan has frustrated the federal government, particularly the minister for resources and northern Australia, Matt Canavan, who last week told News Corp the Queensland government decision was motivated by “xenophobia” and “racisim”, comments Bill Shorten’s office labelled “unhinged”…….

She further vowed to stop all direct taxpayer funds going to the mine and its associated infrastructure……. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/dec/12/annastacia-palaszczuk-to-officially-veto-adani-railway-loan-after-swearing-in

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December 12, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

Despite the Turnbull government, Australia quietly waking up to the existential threat of climate change

‘Existential threat’: climate change risks finally grab Australia’s attention, SMH
Peter Hannam , 10 Dec 17, “……..  Despite the often tortured debate stoked by some conservative politicians and commentators denying climate change is real, a range of agencies are quietly assessing abilities to cope with threats from a refugee influx, increased calls for aid, and impacts on the domestic economy.

And as 2017 draws towards a close, Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg is putting the final touches to a review of Australia’s climate policies due for release by month’s end…..

Scrutiny

While festive seasonal distractions may dim the chance of an immediate and close scrutiny of his climate review, the challenges for the Turnbull government will still be waiting when politicians reconvene in the new year.

International attention will also remain, whether at this week’s One Planet Summit in France to assess the progress on the Paris climate deal two years on, or late in 2018, when all nations will be pressed to increase their ambition to curb the greenhouse gas emissions driving global warming.

On the emissions front, Frydenberg has already had his options significantly reduced.

The government’s signature National Energy Guarantee aimed at providing a more reliable, affordable and sustainable electricity supply locks the power sector into the same 26-28 per cent pollution reduction that the whole economy is supposed to track.

Even if Frydenberg can convince the states to sign up – a huge ask unless there is a major power outage over the summer – such an approach won’t be the best.

“Electricity production in OECD countries is always part of the cheapest options to decarbonise the economy, and it’s also a big source of emissions,” said Yann Robiou du Pont, a researcher at Melbourne University’s Australian-German Climate & Energy College.

“There are fewer assets to transform and they’re usually closer related to governmental decision-making.”

In Australia’s case, the electricity sector is the largest source of emissions, accounting for about a third of the total, and home to many ageing and relatively dirty coal-fired power plants.

Another big source, land clearing, is again on the increase in states such as Queensland and NSW……..

Mr Robiou du Pont notes the Climate Change Authority’s own recommendation that Australia’s fair contribution to emission cuts would be much higher than the Abbott-Turnbull government’s offer, given the country’s high per capita pollution and also relative wealth – if not political will – to transform its economy.

The authority – which the Coalition government tried but failed to abolish – called for a 25 per cent cut of 2005-level emissions by 2020, and 54 per cent by 2030. That’s roughly double the government’s ambition.

‘Not serious’

Mark Butler, Labor’s climate spokesman, said his party is sticking with a 45 per cent emissions reduction goal that “is consistent with the Paris Accord goal of limiting global warming to below two degrees”.

“It is clear that the government’s approach of a pro rata allocation of abatement between sectors will ensure the costs of meeting any emission reduction target will be higher than they need to be,” Butler said.

“The electricity sector has a lower cost of abatement than most other sectors in the form of renewable energy, and renewable energy is already the cheapest option to replace ageing coal-fired power stations that will inevitably retire,” he said.

(Energy giant AGL is expected to announce details within days of what its plans are post-2022, when it closes the ailing Liddell coal-fired power station in the Hunter Valley.)

Sectors like manufacturing and livestock agriculture have a much larger cost of abatement and few ready-to-deploy abatement technologies.

“The government’s insistence each sector meets targets based on a pro rata division of the national emission reduction target just confirms they do not take climate change seriously,” Butler said.http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/existential-threat-climate-change-risks-finally-grab-australias-attention-20171206-h00am7.html

December 11, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Policy delay -“the new form of climate denialism”.

‘Existential threat’: climate change risks finally grab Australia’s attention,  SMH, Peter Hannam, 10 Dec 17    “………...‘New denialism’

Submissions to recent and ongoing Senate inquiries also indicate that whichever parties take government at the next election, many agencies already  have preparations underway to adapt to climate change.

Peter Whish-Wilson – the Greens’ spokesperson for Healthy Oceans who led a Senate inquiry into the impact of climate change on the marine environment that last week released its report – said policy delay was “the new form of climate denialism”.

“Whether you stick your head under the water up on the Great Barrier Reef and see the devastation first-hand or you talk to the defence force personnel involved in planning for natural disasters in the Pacific, you know that the effects of global warming are upon us and that without action the future is looking grim,” Whish-Wilson said.

“We now need to think about the increase of marine heatwaves as part of the range of climate impacts we need to prepare for, like we do with bushfires and droughts,” he said.

‘Threat-multiplier’

For its part, the Defence Department’s report to a separate Senate inquiry into the implications of climate change for Australia’s national security detailed how it expects the “threat-multiplier” effect will hinder its “warfighting role”.

“The national security threats that may emerge include inter-group rivalries, water, food and resource shortages and irregular migration,” it said. “Many of the states in Australia’s region face some or all of these challenges, in addition to being vulnerable to climate change impacts such as temperature and sea level rise.”

Defence noted how it deployed 1000 staff to help Fiji recover from its $2.5 billion hit from Cyclone Winston, a category-5 storm in 2016. The HMAS Canberra was part of the deployment, along with planes that delivered 520 tonnes of humanitarian aid.

In its submission, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said “climate change effects could permanently alter normal business, including the accessibility of assets and capability”.

Interestingly, it noted that “there is no internationally agreed position on expanding the current definition of a refugee or impetus to create a new international protection obligation to encompass people displaced by climate change”………

Pacific nations are watching with concern the Australian and Queensland governments’ efforts to promote the huge Adani-owned Carmichael mine, which threatens to open up a massive new coal province.

“The execution of the Adani project will be a huge carbon bomb for us in the Pacific,” Fruean said.

She dismissed the characterisation of funds from rich nations to help her people cope with worse weather extremes and rising sea levels.

“I see it as climate debt,” she said. “We wouldn’t need that aid if it weren’t for these countries investing in fossil fuels, and really creating the damage that we’re seeing in our islands today.” http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/existential-threat-climate-change-risks-finally-grab-australias-attention-20171206-h00am7.html

December 11, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

 Traditional Owners fighting Adani make demands of new Labor Govt

New Queensland polling released showing support for mine delay wanganjagalingou.com.au/wj-make-demands-of-new-labor-govt-on-adani/  ‘Brisbane, 8 December 2017. 

‘With the announcement of a new majority Qld Labor government, and
with the National Native Title Tribunal set to decide today whether to register Adani’s sham Indigenous Land Use Agreement,
the Wangan and Jagalingou Traditional Owners Council have presented a clear set of demands.

Wangan and Jagalingou (W&J) Traditional Owners Council Spokesperson Adrian Burragubba said,

‘“Our fight to protect our country and heritage will continue until Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk acknowledges
that we are the people from that land, and Adani does not have the consent it requires from us for this destructive mine.

‘“We call on the Palaszczuk Government to stand up for our rights and not the interests of Adani.
We have written to our more than 100,000 supporters in the wider community this morning,
asking them to press the Premier and Deputy Premier to demand that the returned Palaszczuk Government –

‘acknowledge that Adani and the Queensland Government do not have the consent of W&J Traditional Owners for the Carmichael mine
remove Queensland’s ‘signature’ from Adani’s contested Indigenous Land Use Agreement
rule out extinguishing Native Title to allow Adani to proceed, even if the ILUA is registered by the NNTT
stop opposing the rightful W&J Traditional Owners in court and wait for all our cases to be heard, and
end Adani’s special treatment – which will enable the destruction of W&J country and heritage – including keeping the Premier’s election promise to veto Adani’s $1BN taxpayer-funded loan”’

‘“This follows an an authorisation meeting of our Claim Group on 2 December at which,
for the fourth time since 2012, our people voted unanimously to reject an Indigenous Land Use Agreement (ILUA) with Adani. … ‘

December 11, 2017 Posted by | aboriginal issues, climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment

For Australia’s cities, climate change is already here

Heatwaves, infrastructure and resilient, The Saturday Paper  Greg Foyster 9 Dec 17  It’s 5pm on a Friday after a week of 40-degree days in Melbourne, and commuters are lined up at platforms on Flinders Street Station, desperate to get home.

But something’s wrong – all the departure screens are blank. Commuters check their smartphones, craning sunburnt necks. Train tracks have buckled, carriage airconditioners have conked out, and now a bushfire threatens transmission lines to the east, the city’s umbilical link with Latrobe Valley power stations. As blackouts cascade across the suburbs, Twitter bristles with the hashtag #Meltbourne. More than half a million people are stranded.

This scenario is fiction, but based on fact. On February 6, 2009, after a string of 40-degree days, telecommunications, public transport, power and lifts really did start to fail. “The city itself very nearly failed,” explains Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle. “We somehow got through that Friday night and got the 850,000 people who were in the centre of the city home. Black Saturday was the next day.”

Doyle shared this anecdote at the opening of Refuge, an arts event held last month that turned North Melbourne Town Hall into a heatwave emergency relief centre. It’s part of the city’s new “resilience” strategy, published in May 2016, to prepare for disasters.

Melbourne’s chief resilience officer, Toby Kent, explains that urban resilience is about the ability of a city – including its institutions, businesses and community – to adapt, survive and thrive in the face of “chronic stresses” and “acute shocks”. The two are related. The chronic stress of severe drought in Victoria from 1995 to 2009, for example, dried out the soil and vegetation, contributing to the acute shock of the Black Saturday bushfires.It’s the same with many other disasters – although they might seem sudden, they usually begin slowly, arising from environmental or social conditions that leave us vulnerable.

Sydney is also working on a resilience plan, Continue reading

December 9, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Australia’s top companies ignore climate change, and we let them 

the mis- or non-management of climate risk is rampant in corporate Australia.

Whether the situation stays like this is up to investors

http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/companies-ignore-climate-change-and-we-ve-let-them-get-away-with-it-20171208-p4yxjg.html Julien Vincent , 8 Dec 17

Last week, APRA Executive Board member Geoff Summerhayes warned the transition to a low carbon economy is already underway and “institutions that fail to adequately plan for this transition put their own futures in jeopardy, with subsequent consequences for their account holders, members or policyholders.”

The speech followed a Centre for Policy Development discussion paper on how companies can follow the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

The TCFD has set the standard for climate risk disclosure since its draft recommendations were released a year ago. Its final recommendations were backed by over 100 companies with a combined market capitalisation of over $3 trillion, which should give an idea to how seriously the TCFD is being taken.

But is it though? Market Forces has just examined the ASX top 50 companies’ responses to the TCFD. Only seven had delivered on the key recommendation to disclose information on how their company performs in a scenario where global warming is held below 2°C, while 31 don’t even mention the TCFD recommendations, let alone implement them.

It isn’t the first warning sign that corporate Australia is failing to manage climate risk. Continue reading

December 9, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Adani coal project in a financial pickle, as Australian and Chinese banks refuse funding

Is this the end of the road for Adani’s Australian megamine?
Australian and Chinese banks have turned it down, and analysts say Adani’s failure to secure funding for the Carmichael mine leaves it high and dry
, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 7 Dec 17 , Adani’s operations in Australia appear to be hanging on by a thread, as activists prove effective at undermining the company’s chances of getting the finance it needs.

China seems to have ruled out funding for the mine, which means it’s not just Adani’s proposed Carmichael coalmine that is under threat, but also its existing Abbot Point coal terminal, which sits near Bowen, behind the Great Barrier Reef.

The campaign against the mine has been long. Environmentalists first tried to use Australia’s environmental laws to block it from going ahead, and then failing that, focused on pressuring financial institutions, first here, and then around the world.

The news that Beijing has left Adani out to dry comes as on-the-ground protests against construction of the mine pick up. Two Greens MPs, Jeremy Buckingham and Dawn Walker, have been arrested in Queensland for disrupting the company’s activities.

Is China’s move the end of the road for Adani’s mega coalmine in Australia, and will the Adani Group be left with billions of dollars in stranded assets?

Environmental laws fail to halt mine

Despite the mine threatening to destroy some of the best remaining habitat of threatened species of birds and lizards, federal environmental laws proved unable to stop the mine in the face of a government that wanted it to go ahead.

The initial federal approval for the mine was overturned after it was revealed the then-minister for the environment, Greg Hunt, had ignored his own department’s advice about the mine’s impact on two vulnerable species, the yakka skink and the ornamental snake.

But Australia’s environmental law leaves very little opportunity for challenging the merits of a minister’s decision – it only allows for challenges on whether those decisions considered everything required by the law. As a result, the minister needed only approve it again, after formally considering the impact on the two species.

Another court challenge argued the approval was invalid because the emissions caused by the mine – which would be greater than those of New York City – were a threat to the Great Barrier Reef. Hunt argued in court, successfully, that there was no definite link between coal from Adani mine and climate change.

It became apparent Australia’s environmental laws were unable to stop a project like this if the government of the day was determined to push it through……. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/07/is-this-the-end-of-the-road-for-adanis-australian-megamine

December 8, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, Queensland | Leave a comment

Adani coal mine project headed to be a big issue at next Federal election?

The future of the Adani mine, Overwhelming public opposition to the Adani coalmine in northern Queensland tipped the scales in state election campaigning. But now that’s over, what influence does it have at a federal level and on the mine’s future? The Saturday Paper,  By Alex McKinnon. 2 Dec 17, 

“……Palaszczuk’s explanation for abandoning her long-time support of the loan was to avoid a potential conflict of interest, arising from her partner’s work on Adani’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) loan application as a consultant for PwC. But state treasurer Curtis Pitt admitted during the campaign that the real reason for Palaszczuk’s about-face was the overwhelming public opposition to taxpayers’ money being used to fund a private mine.

Queensland’s Labor government supports the Adani mine going ahead, to provide jobs in struggling regional areas. But GetUp! environmental justice co-director and Stop Adani campaigner Sam Regester points to the huge swings to the Greens in a swath of inner-Brisbane electorates as proof Labor recognised anti-Adani sentiment was hurting them enough to force a response. Counting still under way in Maiwar could lead to the Greens winning their first seat at a general election, and candidate Amy MacMahon came close to knocking over Labor deputy premier Jackie Trad in South Brisbane.

ON THE ISSUE OF THE NAIF LOAN, AT LEAST, PUBLIC OPINION IS EMPHATIC ENOUGH TO PRESSURE PALASZCZUK INTO KEEPING HER WORD.

“The Greens’ strong position on Adani was directly responsible for their strong showing in the inner city,” Regester says. “Labor tried to have it both ways for three years, and they offset some of the damage by deciding to veto the NAIF loan, but voters rewarded the party that had a consistent stance.”

Given Labor will most likely form a majority government, that balancing act appears to have worked for now. What comes next – for the mine, those opposing it, and the government that could make or break it – is less clear. As counting continues and the Palaszczuk government prepares to go back to work with whatever parliament the voters have given it, anti-Adani campaigners are planning their next moves.

The Stop Adani Alliance, the umbrella organisation of environmentalists, climate scientists, traditional owners and civil society groups that formed to campaign against the mine in March, largely regards the election result as a win. Nicholls’ Liberal National Party, which has backed the mine to the hilt, remains in opposition. One Nation’s promised windfall of seats failed to materialise………

Palaszczuk’s Labor government will likely hold 47 or 48 seats in Queensland’s 93-member, single-house parliament. Once it nominates a speaker, the government will have the barest of majorities, provided every Labor MP stays in line. Given the record of Palaszczuk’s previous government, which lost Pyne and former Cook MP Billy Gordon to the crossbench, that may be too much to hope for. If Labor is forced to negotiate with the KAP’s three parliamentarians, One Nation’s Stephen Andrew, or Noosa independent Sandy Bolton, it may find the competing interests over the Adani mine can’t be finessed away.

On the issue of the NAIF loan, at least, public opinion is emphatic enough to pressure Palaszczuk into keeping her word. ReachTel polling conducted for the Stop Adani Alliance during the campaign found 70 per cent of Queenslanders oppose directing public funding towards the Carmichael project, with voters across political lines expressing strong support for the government using its veto power.

Queenslanders are more evenly split on the larger question of the mine itself, but losing the NAIF loan will compound Adani’s difficulties in securing the $3.3 billion it needs to fund the first stage of the project, and could sink the mine altogether. While Adani has made noises about seeking financing from Chinese banks, such a move would likely require construction materials and infrastructure contracts to be sourced from Chinese firms, further souring the project in the public eye and undermining the argument that the mine will bring local jobs.

So much attention has been devoted to Palaszczuk’s manoeuvring, it’s easy to forget how much of Adani’s ultimate fate lies in Canberra. The federal opposition leader, Bill Shorten, stayed far away from Queensland during the campaign, not least to avoid awkward questions about where he stands. Shorten tied himself in knots trying to articulate his various positions on the mine earlier this year, sometimes changing his mind mid-sentence……..

With the state election over, Shorten and federal Labor no longer have the luxury of dithering. Regester says the anti-Adani movement’s top post-election priority, “besides ensuring the veto goes through” and “working to ensure Adani can’t secure funding from anywhere else”, will be recentring the campaign on the national stage.

“Unless a major party moves on Adani, we’ll be making it an issue at the next federal election,” Regester says, highlighting “marginal seats in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane” where support for Adani could prove costly. Labor’s Terri Butler and the Liberals’ Trevor Evans will be looking nervously at the huge upswing in the Greens’ vote across territory their inner-Brisbane seats cover, while the Stop Adani movement’s large Melbourne presence could see the thumping Greens victory in the Victorian Northcote byelection repeated in Batman, Wills, Higgins and Melbourne Ports…….. https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/news/politics/2017/12/02/the-future-the-adani-mine/15121332005585

December 2, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Immense glacier in Antarctica is melting – NOW!

 

“The majority of the heat that has gone into the global climate system has gone into the ocean, about 90 percent over the last few decades of measurements,” he said. “The hypothesis is ocean temperatures around Antarctica will keep warming and drive the melting of the glaciers. If the glaciers flow faster, sea levels will rise, and that has profound implications for global civilisation.”……..“Climate change is a reality. There’s the whole debate around how we deal with it, and the work we do in Antarctica is influencing our ability to look forward and genuinely understand how much things are going to change,” Australian Antarctic Division director, Dr Nick Gales told HuffPost Australia from Hobart, the base of operations for the AAD.

“It is alarming. There is huge change going on there.

UNFROZEN IN TIME, Huffington Post, Video and Pictures: Tom Compagnoni | Words: Josh Butler, 1 December 17 There’s a glacier in Antarctica so immense that, if it melted, would raise sea levels globally by 3.5 metres.

It’s melting. Right now.

“The facts around climate change are undeniable. It’s happening,” Australian glaciologist Ben Galton-Fenzi told The Huffington Post Australia. “The research we do now isn’t about trying to convince ourselves it’s real, because it’s irrefutable. What we’re trying to do is understand what the response time of the system is going to be into the future, so we can adapt to it.”

The Totten glacier is the biggest in east Antarctica. The glacier itself is around 120 kilometres long, 30 kilometres wide and drains some 538,000 square kilometres of the continent. That’s an area bigger than California. The ice is kilometres thick, but it’s melting at 70 metres a year in some spots. A study released in December reported warmer water was melting the Totten ice from below. Continue reading

December 2, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Banks warned of ‘regulatory action’ as climate change bites global economy

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority says it is quizzing companies about their actions to assess climate risks, Guardian, Michael Slezak, 1 Dec 17, Australia’s financial regulator has stepped-up its warning to banks, lenders and insurers, saying climate change is already impacting the global economy, and flagged the possibility of “regulatory action”.

Geoff Summerhayes from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra) revealed it had begun quizzing companies about their actions to assess climate risks, noting it would be demanding more in the future.

Apra also revealed it has established an internal working group to assess the financial risk from climate change and was coordinating an interagency initiative with the corporate watchdog Asic, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and federal Treasury to examine what risks climate change was posing to Australia’s economy…….https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/29/banks-warned-of-regulatory-action-as-climate-change-bites-global-economy

December 2, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Chinese Government denies receiving application to fund Adani’s Carmichael coal mine

Adani: Chinese Government denies receiving application to fund Carmichael mine, ABC News, 30 Nov 17, By Stephen Long, As Adani angles for Chinese money for its giant coal mine in North Queensland, China’s Australian embassy has made clear that any backing from Chinese state enterprises would need central government approval.

Senior embassy officials have also told opponents of the mining venture that no applications for funding have been made, despite Adani insiders claiming recently that finance from China had been secured.

Over the past month, businessman and environmentalist Geoff Cousins and prominent investment banker Mark Burrows, AO, have held talks with Chinese embassy officials in Canberra to lobby against Adani’s Australian project, amid reports Adani was close to finalising a deal for Chinese backing.

“Myself and Mark Burrows went to see senior officials from the Chinese embassy; we explained that China might think that Australians supported the Adani mine and we gave them a lot of evidence that that was not the case,” Mr Cousins told the ABC.

“The Chinese embassy was very forthright in saying that investment from a Chinese corporation would require the approval of the central government and that also no such proposal had been put.”……….

Chinese funding for the project is becoming more critical as prospects for a subsidised loan of up to $1 billion from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility for the mine railway fade.

The Labor Party, which looks likely to form a government in Queensland, has pledged to effectively veto the loan.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party, which has secured at least one seat in the state parliament, is also opposed to the loan.

Banks across the globe have refused to fund the Carmichael coal mine because of doubts about its financial viability and its potential to worsen global warming. http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-30/adani-china-government-would-have-to-sign-off-on-loans-for-mine/9209188

December 1, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Adani coal mine ‘fundamentally not in Australia’s interests’ – could be a financial disaster

The ‘Kodak moment’ for coal, and why the Adani mine could be a financial disaster, ABC Radio, The World Today By Stephen Long 27 Nov 17, The woman who led the world to a global climate change agreement has a message for Australia: “You really do have to see that we are at the Kodak moment for coal.”

Christiana Figueres, until last year the executive director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, doesn’t mean happy snaps for the family album.

Rather, the decimation of the once dominant photographic company Kodak by digital change — in the same way that coal-fired power is being eclipsed by renewable energy.

She hopes to see coal, like those sentimental moments in time captured in photographs, confined to history — with the world remembering the contribution the fossil fuel has made to human development, while recognising the need to retire it as a fuel source because of its contribution to global warming.

And, she says, it’s happening.

“We just had 25 countries come together [at the latest international climate change talks] in Bonn to say that they are moving out of coal in the short term.

“That does not include Australia or India or China, but you can begin to see the trend.

“India is headed for peaking its coal consumption by the year 2027.”

Adani ‘fundamentally not in Australia’s interests’

Which makes arguments that India needs the coal from Adani’s planned mega-mine in North Queensland — and the Federal Government’s determination to see the mine ahead — baffling to Ms Figueres.

The Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, or NAIF, is considering Adani’s request for a subsidised loan of up to $1 billion to help it build a railway to connect the Carmichael mine in outback Queensland to the Abbot Point Coal Mine near Mackay, which Adani also owns.

By law, the NAIF is not permitted to make loans for projects that would damage Australia’s international reputation……..

this issue of the Carmichael coal mine which, if it goes ahead, would frankly blow completely out of the water any emissions reductions that Australia has committed to.

“Admittedly, those emissions from that coal will not be on Australian territory but they will affect the atmosphere and directly affect the livelihoods and the survival of Pacific islands around Australia.”…….

Various parties are considering court action against the NAIF should it grant the loan to Adani, including NGOs and commercial parties in other coal-mining regions……..

Lest climate change not be a concern, Ms Figueres has a warning to those considering investing in Adani’s Carmichael project that appeals to self-interest — she says it could be a financial disaster.

“I put it to you: do we not have here a financial house of cards?” she said.

Her assessment is based on various considerations.

These include the huge debts Adani’s Australian operations are carrying; the financial plight of Adani’s giant power plant at Mundra, which is meant to take much of the coal, but is on Adani’s own admission financially unviable — losing money and barely covering interest payments on its debt.

Adani Group is trying to flog the power plant to the Gujarat state government for just 1 rupee (about 2 Australian cents) with no guarantees that the Government would use coal from the Queensland mine if it were to take over the ailing plant.

Then there is the possibility that the giant mine, with a license to extract 60 million tonnes of coal a year, would become a stranded asset as the world introduces tougher measures to limit climate change…….http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-27/the-kodak-moment-for-coal,-and-why-adani-could-be-a-disaster/9197134

November 29, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Queensland election result – an ill omen for the Adani coal megamine project

I also suspect that the federal Labor opposition may now adopt a position against the Adani project, in light of Queensland’s state election result.

I suspect that the Adani project is already a stranded asset, and definitely not worthy of either Australian taxpayer support or Chinese investment.

The Queensland election outcome is a death knell for Adani’s coal mine https://theconversation.com/the-queensland-election-outcome-is-a-death-knell-for-adanis-coal-mine-88148  John Hewson The coal mine proposed for Queensland’s Galilee Basin by Indian mining giant Adani has been a moveable feast, with many stories about its scale, purpose, financing, job prospects, and commerciality. The prospect of a return of the Palaszczuk government in Queensland is effectively the death knell for the project.

Continue reading

November 29, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, climate change - global warming, politics | Leave a comment

Centre for Policy Development urges companies to tell shareholders of climate change risks

Australian shareholders should be told of climate risk to profits, says thinktank
Centre for Policy Development urges companies to adopt standardised analysis of climate’s impact on business,
Guardian, Gareth Hutchens, 29 Nov 17, Australian companies need to start developing sophisticated scenario-based analyses of climate risks, and incorporating them into their business outlooks so shareholders know how climate change will affect profitability, a thinktank has said.

However, the Centre for Policy Development (CPD) said companies needed to do so in a standardised way, so investors and regulators were able to easily understand economy-wide risks to whole industries.

The progressive thinktank urged Australia’s biggest businesses to use the Paris climate agreement as the centrepiece for their scenario planning, saying it provided a credible, long-term anchor for policies that limit global warming to well below 2C.

The groups has released a discussion paper, called “Climate horizons: next steps for scenario analysis in Australia”, explaining the best way to do so.

Australia’s financial regulator warned in February that climate change posed a material risk to the entire financial system and urged companies to start adapting. Geoff Summerhayes, from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (Apra), told the Insurance Council of Australia’s annual forum in Sydney in February that Apra wanted companies to start incorporating “scenario-based analysis” of climate risks into their business outlooks.

He said Apra intended to start running stress tests of the financial system to see if it would survive various climate shocks, and all Apra-regulated entities would need to adapt to the coming regulatory changes. “I think the days of viewing climate change within a purely ethical, environmental or long-term frame have passed,” Summerhayes said.

The CPD’s new discussion paper suggested how Australian businesses could be consistent with the country’s international climate commitments under the Paris agreement and with the leading international framework for robust climate disclosures, the Financial Stability Board’s taskforce on climate-related financial disclosures (TCFD).

It said businesses ought to try to develop a standardised approach to scenario-based analysis, and that all scenario analyses should include:

  • A scenario that is genuinely consistent with Paris targets. It should therefore incorporate a high probability of limiting warming to below 2C, and towards 1.5C
  • A scenario that includes the physical impacts of climate change, not just transition risks
  • Engage with the most relevant sectoral or regional scenarios and resources available
  • Be transparent about assumptions and parameters used to develop the scenarios, in line with the TCFD disclosure framework
  • Show evidence that management is overhauling their business models in response to scenario analysis results…….
  • The CPD discussion paper will be discussed at a public forum in Sydney on Wednesday. Summerhayes will be speaking at the event, along with Steven Skala, the chair of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, Christina Tonkin, the managing director of specialised finance at ANZ, and new CPD board member Sam Mostyn. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/nov/29/australian-shareholders-should-be-told-climate-risk-to-profits-says-thinktank

November 29, 2017 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, business, climate change - global warming | Leave a comment

Support for Adani coal mine damaged Liberal-Nationals in Queensland election

Queensland election: how Adani helped undo the LNP’s push to regain power
Exit polls in the state’s south-east found up to 70% of respondents were against the billion-dollar rail line loan for Adani,
Guardian, Amy Remeikis, 27 Nov 17, It was the sleeper issue that ended up dominating the Queensland election campaign – and, in the end, activists believed, may have saved government for Labor.

Labor sits the closest to the majority needed to take government in Queensland, 47 seats, after receiving gains in the south-east, largely helped by a drop in support for the Liberal National party.

Among those were Maiwar, the electorate held by the shadow treasurer, Scott Emerson, who looks to have lost largely due to Greens preferences, along with other LNP-held inner-city seats such as Mount Ommaney and Mansfield, which both look to have fallen to Labor.

Exit polls commissioned by GetUp in those electorates found up to 70% of respondents were against the billion-dollar rail line loan for Adani, while another 30% said Labor’s decision to veto the loan helped decide how they would vote.

“We already know the majority of voters from every single party at play opposed the Naif loan, including LNP and One Nation voters,” the GetUp environmental justice director, Sam Regester, told Guardian Australia. “Taking a stronger position against Adani clearly contributed to the swing in south-east Queensland. Just as tellingly, Labor held on to the regional seats that folks like conservative analysts predicted would fall because of the veto.”…….

Regester said that..voters in the south-east, particularly, saw a point of difference.

“The strong showing of the Greens, particularly in south Brisbane and Maiwar, showed more than anything the value of having the clearest, strongest policy on Adani,” he said. “ For most of the last term of government, the two major parties were equally bad on this key issue, so it’s no wonder they picked up a swag of votes.

“Labor was able to offset this somewhat with the Naif veto but this election made it clear that the Greens can be a threat to both major parties when they’re not up to scratch, particularly on Adani.”……..

Under the Naif rules, the states need to give approval for the loan. On Sunday, Palaszczuk confirmed she would stand by the veto decision. She also committed Labor to not allowing any taxpayer funds to flow to the mine, or its associated infrastructure, although has refused to give details of the royalty holiday granted to Adani, worth about $350m, which she said would be paid back with interest.

“We will veto the loan, they said on the 6th of June that they had the green light that they would build the mine and the rail line and we expect them to get on with it,” a Palaszczuk spokesman said.

The future of Adani now rests on whether it can receive financing to begin construction in the Galilee Basin, with some reports it may be close to securing Chinese money to open the mine. That has the potential to create another issue for the Queensland government, be it the LNP or Labor, as both have said they remain in support of the mine for the jobs it will create, with the Chinese funds potentially coming with Chinese labourer and steel strings attached.

GetUp have not finished fighting the project and Regester said Labor’s position was “still nowhere good enough” and a potential issue for the next federal election.

“After watching Adani dominate the state election, there will be folks in federal Labor keen to not see the next federal election nearly de-railed in the same way,” Regester said. “It’s in their interest to get on the right side of this extraordinary movement and oppose the entire Adani [mine] outright. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/nov/27/queensland-election-how-adani-helped-undo-the-lnps-push-to-regain-power

November 26, 2017 Posted by | climate change - global warming, politics, Queensland | Leave a comment