Carbon Economy


Loons take over the energy asylum

According to the AFR, it is all Trump’s fault: As Donald Trump given Malcolm Turnbull international cover to backtrack on climate change policy? At the same time the government this week was signalling its intention to abandon a clean energy target, President Trump was dumping Barack Obama’s limits on carbon emissions from power plants. You


Aussies oppose Adani. So why are politicians persisting?

By Leith van Onselen Over the weekend, thousands of Australians across the country joined protests against the Adani Carmichael mega-coal project. From The ABC: Rallies in locations including Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Port Douglas in North Queensland heard messages against Indian company Adani’s proposed mine in the Galilee Basin… Protesters spelled out


Adani white elephant won’t even pay Australian tax

By Leith van Onselen Yesterday, it was former Indian environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, and the former head of India’s Ministry of Power, E.A.S Sarma, sounding the alarm on Adani’s track record and the Carmichael coal mega-mine’s viability: “Adani Group’s track record on environmental management within the country [India] leaves a lot to be desired,” Mr Ramesh


Former Indian minister slams Adani’s poor track record

By Leith van Onselen The justification behind the proposed $1 billion concessional loan from Australian taxpayers to Adani to build the Carmichael coal project has taken another hit today with a former Indian environment minister sounding the alarm on Adani’s track record and the mega-mine’s viability. From The ABC: India’s former environment minister Jairam Ramesh


Why renewables will soon be cheaper than coal

Cross-posted from The Conversation: In a recent Conversation FactCheck I examined the question: “Is coal still cheaper than renewables as an energy source?” In that article, we assessed how things stand today. Now let’s look to the future. In Australia, 87% of our electricity generation comes from fossil fuels. That’s one of the highest levels


Renewables must double to meet Paris Agreement

Via The Australia Institute today: Under the Abbott Government, Australia signed the Paris climate agreement, committing to reduce carbon emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030. The electricity sector will play a significant role in meeting these targets, as it accounts for 35% of the country’s total emissions. A central question concerning the electricity


BHP sacks Minerals Council coal trog

The winds of change are upon us: BHP’s falling out with the Minerals Council of Australia has claimed the scalp of the lobby group’s chief executive, Brendan Pearson. …his advocacy for coal and opposition to the Finkel review’s Clean Energy Target left him and the MCA increasingly isolated from BHP, with the simmering tensions coming


An island made of coal

Coal is fast disappearing from the future of the global energy mix. As the EIA noted this week: The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s latest International Energy Outlook 2017 (IEO2017) projects that world energy consumption will grow by 28% between 2015 and 2040. Most of this growth is expected to come from countries that are not in the


Do-nothing Malcolm spruiks coal to stop climate change

What kind of a hollow suit is this bloke? Malcolm Turnbull has slapped down Tony Abbott, declaring the former prime minister was wrong in saying the emissions targets signed in Paris Agreement were aspirational. The Prime Minister said his predecessor was being disingenuous in arguing Australia could scrap plans to cut emissions by 26 to


Science systematically understating climate change

A new report from David Spratt who is Research Director for Breakthrough and co-author of Climate Code Red: The case for emergency action. His recent reports include Recount: It’s time to “Do the math” again, Climate Reality Check, Antarctic Tipping Points for a Multi-metre Sea-level Rise and Disaster Alley: Climate change, conflict and risk, and


Go the pope, not the dope

by Chris Becker First the Pope: Pope Francis, called upon world leaders on Wednesday to “listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer most because of the unbalanced ecology.” Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I, the head of the Orthodox Christian Church, will issue a joint message to commemorate


Coalition doyen: Strayan Sun no good for power

From Nick Cater executive director of the Menzies Research Centre, the Coalition’s chief think tank: Last week the Victorian government showed casual disregard for the findings of the Finkel review by committing itself to a renewable energy target of 40 per cent by 2025. It announced the construction of yet more solar farms and promised households


Earth swelters

From the NOAA: The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for July 2017 was the second highest for the month of July in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back 138-years to 1880. The year-to-date global temperature was also second warmest on record. This monthly summary, developed by scientists at NOAA’s


Are electric vehicles cost-competitive?

The biggest risk to the thoughts I have presented on energy costs are the assumptions about the cost of batteries. Battery costs have been shrinking at 20% per annum for the last few years. If that cost improvement continues for the next 5-10 years then disruption for the energy sector will have arrived. If it


2017 second hottest year on record, so far

by Chris Becker There’s more sobering news from the NASA with 2017 already shaping up as the second warmest year on record, with average temperatures up 0.9C already, and could outpace the warmest year ever – 2016. More from The Guardian: 2017 hasn’t had the warming influence of an El Niño event. El Niños bring


Coal prices are peaking

by Chris Becker Macquarie are out with a research note that won’t make the carbonised troglodytes in the Liberal Party happy, suggesting that coal prices have peaked after recently reaching $90 per tonne. They put the recent rally down to seasonality, not a new macro trend: While Chinese coal supply has been recovering back to


Uhlmann vs Bolt on the G19

Apparently this ABC Insiders video hasbeen well-reived in the US: What did we learn about @realDonaldTrump at this #G20? @CUhlmann explains. #Insiders — Insiders ABC (@InsidersABC) July 8, 2017 That pretty much sums it up for me. The loon pond answers via Andrew Bolt: Sounds plausible, if you forget who Trump replaced. Didn’t Russia


Volvo abandons internal combustion engine

Via Reuters: Geely-owned Volvo Car Group said on Wednesday all new models launched from 2019 will be fully electric or hybrids, spelling the eventual end to nearly a century of Volvos powered solely by the internal combustion engine. The Gothenburg-based company will continue to produce pure combustion-engine Volvos from models launched before that date, but


Three years to prevent climate change

Via The Guardian: Avoiding dangerous levels of climate change is still just about possible, but will require unprecedented effort and coordination from governments, businesses, citizens and scientists in the next three years, a group of prominent experts has warned. Warnings over global warming have picked up pace in recent months, even as the political environment


Finkel delivers, but for what?

Do-Labor Malcolm is happy at the AFR: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says chief scientist Alan Finkel’s report on energy security will take the “ideology and politics” out of climate policy. Dr Finkel will present his review to Mr Turnbull and premiers at COAG in Hobart on Friday. The centrepiece of Dr Finkel’s report is his recommendation


Loon Pond stirs on energy

From King Toad of the Loon Pond: Mr Abbott said the nation’s power system should be run to provide “affordable, reliable energy, not primarily to reduce emissions”. “My anxiety, based on the reports we have seen, is that the scenario which the Finkel report is recommending gives us not 50 per cent, but 70 per


Will the loons cause energy chaos AGAIN?

Via The Australian, even as just about every business interest in the country and world condemns the Trump Paris dump: A breakaway group of Coalition MPs is urging Malcolm Turnbull to consider pulling Australia out of the Paris climate accord after Donald Trump abandoned the agreement and shattered the international consensus on limiting global temperature