Carbon Economy


An guide to white-anting climate science

Cross-posted from The Conversation. A recent headline – Failed doubters trust leaves taxpayers six-figure loss – marked the end of a four-year epic saga of secretly-funded climate denial, harassment of scientists and tying-up of valuable government resources in New Zealand. It’s likely to be a familiar story to my scientist colleagues in Australia, the UK, USA and


Citi: Investors should brace for climate change

It’s always interesting to get beyond the politics and look at what the money is doing when it comes to climate change. Citi has a note out today doing just that: Conference Call — Today, Citi hosted a client conference call with Professor David Karoly, an expert in climate science from Melbourne University, who has


Europe recommits to a carbon price

From the AFR: Lawmakers at the European Parliament have approved a rescue plan for the European Union’s system for trading carbon-emission credits. Their hope is to revive prices for carbon credits, which have been so low that the system is creating few incentives for smokestack industries to cut back on their emissions of greenhouse gases.


Australia’s climate reputation hits new low

Cross-posted from Giles Parkinson at Reneweconomy. Australia’s reputation at the international climate change talks hit a new low on Wednesday after the G77 and China took offence at what they described as the hard-line tactics and “bad behaviour” of the Australian negotiators and walked out of a crucial meeting. The Australian delegation was accused of


Australia wins obstruction gong at UN climate talks

From Giles Parkinson at Reneweconomy: The ministers arriving this week (with the notable exception of Australia) will have much to do, because inside the negotiating rooms things did not go well in the first week. Some progress was made in items such as defining market mechanisms for forest protection, but others such as loss and


Backsliding on climate finance harms Australia

Cross-posted from The Conversation. Australia’s refusal to support developing countries’ efforts under a new climate change agreement or the new UN Green Climate Fund will further undermine its claims to being a good international citizen. According to media reports, Cabinet has authorised negotiators at the current UN climate talks in Warsaw to affirm our target to reduce domestic greenhouse


Carbon margin battle is joined

The ACCC this morning declared that it would pursue 9% price reductions for electricity from providers and 7% from gas providers as the carbon tax is cut. I’ve argued previously that will be difficult to engineer, not least because the costs of “direct action” will be even higher as new low carbon capacity must replace


Crikey attacks Hugh Morgan on climate

Crikey’s Paddy Manning has a red hot go today at former Western Mining doyen Hugh Morgan for yesterday’s declaration in an interview withThe Australian that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change would be remembered as a “Chicken Little”, like the Club of Rome: It is hardly worth attacking Morgan, who is entitled to his opinion, and good luck


Cimate Authority exposes Abbott

From the SMH: In a draft report that is likely to ignite further debate about the Abbott government’s policies, the Climate Change Authority said Australia should aim for a 15 per cent cut in emissions by 2020 compared with 2000 levels as a “minimum option”. The authority, which the Coalition has vowed to scrap, said


Why is Antarctic sea ice growing?

Cross-posted from The Conversation. Recently NASA reported that this year’s maximum wintertime extent of Antarctic sea ice was the largest on record, even greater than the previous year’s record. This is understandably at odds with the public’s perception of how polar ice should respond to a warming climate, given the dramatic headlines of severe decline in Arctic


Kinglsayer executes carbon price

The news this morning is that the Kingslayer is moving to fell another former ally. From the SMH Labor is expected to support axing the carbon tax, with senior figures – including leader Bill Shorten – now convinced that its case for action on climate change is more easily sold if the politically ”toxic” tax


Economists trash “direct action”

Leading economists have overwhelmingly rejected Tony Abbott’s direct action climate change policy and backed carbon pricing. For what its worth, a Fairfax Media survey 32 of 35 prominent economists supported carbon pricing: Internationally renowned Australian economist Justin Wolfers…said direct action would involve more economic disruption but have a lesser environmental pay-off than an emissions trading


Abbott slams fire, warming link

From the AFR: In a wide-ranging interview with right-wing columnist and broadcaster Andrew Bolt, due to air on television on Sunday, Mr Abbott slammed the ABC and other media organisations for suggesting this month’s bushfires were a result of climate change. “I suppose, you might say, that they are desperate to find anything that they


Sydney burns as carbon price goes

From the SMH: A senior United Nations climate change official says there is ”absolutely” a link between climate change and bushfires and has warned that the Coalition government will pay a high political and financial price for its decision scrap carbon pricing. In an interview with CNN’s Christine Amanpour on Monday, the head of the


Industry still wants to trade carbon

The Australian Industry Group is on crusade this morning to render “Direct Action” moot. From the AFR: The Abbott government’s direct action climate change policy is unlikely to reduce carbon emissions sufficiently, and the money set aside for it would be better spent on paying for pollution reduction in developing counties, the Australian Industry Groups


Carbon price repeal won’t cut your bills

As I’ve said. From the SMH: Hugh Saddler, a principal consultant for energy analysts Pitt & Sherry, said it had been ”almost impossible” to see the carbon price footprint when it was introduced, and it would be no easier if it was removed. The Australian Bureau of Statistics agreed. ”The ABS is not able to


Carbon price ritual sacrifice begins

From the SMH: Tony Abbott will have the first half of a constitutional trigger for a double-dissolution election in place by Christmas, after announcing plans to present his carbon price repeal legislation this year. The move keeps open the chances of another election in the first half of 2014 if the eight bill package is


China launches carbon price pilot

It’s one of those spectacular ironies of history when the communists push forward into market reforms where the capitalists fear to tread. But that’s where we’re at today with carbon pricing. As Australia prepares to dismantle its emissions trading scheme via a politically driven government with little interest in markets and a clever coal billionaire


Carbon price goes way of the dodo

From Climate Spectator (which will no doubt wind up now): With the announcement yesterday from the AEC that Palmer United candidate Zhenya Wang has likely won a Senate seat, the carbon price now appears doomed. The latest count has the Coalition with 33 seats, requiring another six votes to achieve a majority. The Palmer United


IPCC: It’s getting hotter

The AFR this morning reports that: The latest findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the science of climate change, on whichThe Australian Financial Review has been briefed, are expected to upgrade the likelihood that man-made activity is causing global warming to 95 per cent. It is now “unequivocal” Earth has warmed since the start of


Is hydraulic fracking for natural gas safe?

By Leith van Onselen Technological advancement and the shale gas revolution currently underway in the United States has encouraged other countries to seek to extract natural gas trapped in shale rocks or coal seams via the process of hydraulic fracking. This process essentially involves drilling and inserting a pipe deep into the ground and then


Coalition axes Climate Department

By Leith van Onselen It hasn’t taken long for the new Coalition Government to fulfill its election promise to disband the Climate Commission and sack its commissioners: The Coalition is delivering on an election promise to dispense with the commission, saving taxpayers $580,000 this financial year and $1.6 million in following years… “The Coalition believes


Where to for Coalition energy policy?

Cross-posted from The Conversation The Coalition has returned to government at a time of uncertainty and rapid change in almost every area of energy policy. With an energy policy released and a responsible minister named, what can we determine about where this new government is headed? The Coalition’s formal policy tries to address some of


Leaked UN report sees ice melting faster

From Bloomie: Ice in Antarctica and Greenland is disappearing faster and may drive sea levels higher than predicted this century, according to leaked United Nations documents. Greenland’s ice added six times more to sea levels in the decade through 2011 than in the previous 10 years, according to a draft of the UN’s most comprehensive study on