Carbon Economy


Abbott still not sold on climate change threat

by Chris Becker Sheriff 2.0 Tony Abbott is hearing but not receiving some powerful signals across the world that his government’s “she’ll be right” stance on climate change cannot continue. Even President Obama laid into recalcritants like Australia, Canada, China and India labeling it as a bigger threat than terrorism in an impressive speech at the


Big money calls for carbon price

From the AFR: The globe’s largest investment funds, worth a collective $20 trillion, have called on world governments to move urgently on climate change policy and provide a stable setting for green investment before a key United Nations summit next week. The group of 300 investors, which includes Australia’s Investor Group on Climate Change as well


China accelerates carbon pricing

Ah, the irony of it all, as the communists go where the capitalists fear to tread. From the AFR: China is accelerating plans to introduce a national carbon trading market, with a framework expected to be in place by 2016, as the government puts environmental policy at the top of its agenda. The National Development


Has Abbott blundering saved the RET?

From the Australia Institute’s Richard Denniss today in Crikey: In a clear vote of no confidence in the Australian economy, Australia’s largest ever investment in solar energy was scrapped this week. The problem for the government is that while there is a big difference between media strategy and economic strategy, this government doesn’t appear to


Renewable energy target cut would hit Budget

Cross-posted from The Conversation Reducing the renewable energy target would cost the federal budget about $680 million more to meet Australia’s target of 5% emissions reduction by 2020, according to modelling released today by climate and conservation groups. The modelling found that cutting the RET would increase the profits of coal power stations while boosting


In thrall to climate change denial

From the AFR this morning: The federal government is moving towards abolishing the Renewable Energy Target rather than scaling it back in a move that will cost almost $11 billion in proposed investment and which is at odds with the views of its own Environment Minister. The Australian Financial Review understands Prime Minister Tony Abbott has asked


Coal baron slams Maurice Newman

Really, I thought our Maurice did a great job of slamming himself but Fairfax has made sure of it: The Abbott government’s chief business adviser Maurice Newman’s latest contribution to the national debate urges us to prepare for global cooling. Global warming has supposedly paused for the past 18 years and Newman’s preferred scientific advisers


Welcome to the carbon price gouge

From the ABC: The WA Government has refused to commit to removing an extra charge added to public transport fares when the carbon tax was introduced. In 2012, the Government said public transport fares would jump 1.5 per cent to recover the estimated cost of the carbon tax. Opposition transport spokesman Ken Travers said it


How will the RET affect power bills?

Cross-posted from The Conversation: The review of the Renewable Energy Target is due to be handed to the federal government any day now, yet amazingly there are still conflicts over whether the policy makes electricity more or less expensive. Amid claims that the target raises power prices, most people will want to know what will


It’s crazy politics alright, Dick

There’s nothing like the smell of a plutocratic barny in the morning. From the chairman of the Government’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) review, Dick Warburton: The RET review, due to be handed to the federal government in the next two weeks, is expected to reduce the minimum amount of Australia’s electricity required to be produced from clean


Libertarians are unable to see climate change

By David Collyer, cross-posted from Prosper Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his government do not believe in climate change. They have erased all of the measures Rudd and Gillard introduced to shift Australia to a low-carbon future. If they merely doubted climate change, they would simply zero-price the behavior-changing settings and await more information. This


The long dark carbon tunnel ahead

Two pieces this afternoon sum up what I’m thinking but am too disenfranchised to write. Bernard Keane of Crikey captures my feelings: The carbon price is dead. Australia thus slips back into its pre-2007 role as an active opponent of serious action on climate change, having removed a functional, effective and low-impact carbon pricing scheme and replaced


Inexplicable freeze in renewable investment

In case you’re wondering about the strength of the Government’s anti-climate change agenda, consider this: Australia’s investment in renewable energy all but dried up in the first half of 2014 amid uncertainty fuelled by the government’s latest review of the mandatory target, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. In the six months to June, just


Garnaut: why Australia is out-of-step on carbon

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Ross Garnaut was the architect of the Labor government’s carbon pricing scheme, which looks likely to be scrapped this week despite last week’s brinkmanship in the Senate. The Conversation asked Professor Garnaut where this leaves Australia on the world stage, whether we have any tools left to cut greenhouse emissions, and


The Coalition’s carbon debacle for business

Citi nicely captures everything that’s wrong with the Coalition’s carbon policies today: Huge Uncertainties — There remains considerable uncertainty around whether and in what shape the repeal bill, and the government’s proposed Direct Action scheme bill, will be enacted. Running company valuation scenarios seems unproductive, given the rapidly moving political landscape. On balance, we expect  the


Climate Clive back flips on carbon price

From Crikey’s Bernard Keane: … in Clive Palmer, the Coalition faces someone who makes Abbott look like he has a maniacal obsession with consistency. The key to understanding Palmer is that he’s always about what’s ahead. What’s in the past is irrelevant. The issue of consistency simply doesn’t arise, because Palmer eternally moves forward, toward the


Climate, nation forgotten in policy scab grab

Careful what you wish for. From the AFR: A key business organisation, the Australian Industry Group (AIG), said the entire business community was frustrated at the prospect of yet another ­policy vacuum on climate change, saying it would only increase business uncertainty, create a perception of risk, and affect investment decisions. “Everyone in the business


Prepare for sweet FA carbon discounts

Ready yourself for the great disappointment of no carbon price: Qantas Airways has officially abandoned a “carbon surcharge” on its domestic and regional fares in anticipation of the likely repeal of the carbon tax. However, the move is unlikely to result in lower airfares because the airline said the competitive nature of the domestic aviation


Coalition carbon obsession risks it all

Last night the world’d most prominent conservative commentator, the FT’s Martin Wolf, wrote that: We do not have a Chinese or an American atmosphere. We have a global atmosphere. We cannot run independent experiments upon it. We have instead been running a joint experiment. This was not a conscious decision: it happened as a result


Who wins if the RET is cut?

You may recall that recently the Federal Government’s own modelling (from ACIL Tasman)  showed that dumping the Renewable Energy Target would cost consumers a lot more in the long run. More modelling along those lines arrives today via Paddy Manning at Crikey:   There are tens of billions of dollars and perhaps hundreds of millions of tonnes of


Tony Abbott’s carbon war shifts to renewables

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is determined to rid Australia of all carbon mitigation it seems. From the AFR: Tony Abbott has sparked a war with the renewable energy sector by claiming their product was driving up power prices “very significantly” and fostering Australia’s reputation as “the unaffordable energy capital of the world”. …The attacks came


The Libs betrayal of carbon markets

From the AFR’s John Kehoe: Former US Treasury secretary Hank Paulson, a long-time Republican who served in the Nixon and Bush jnr administrations, likened the emerging climate change “bubble” to the financial risks that built up under his watch before the 2008 crisis. …“Risk management is a conservative principle, as is preserving our natural environment


With respect, what is Al Gore on?

Al Gore continues to weigh into the Australian climate debate and not in an altogether constructive fashion. From the News: AL GORE has warned Tony Abbott to “change or get out of the way” of sensible environmental policy, labelling the Prime Minister a “straight-out climate denier”. Speaking to Vice after forging an unlikely alliance with Clive Palmer,


Premature celebration on carbon renegade

It seems the Abbott Government’s celebrations upon repealing the carbon tax might have been premature (via MB reader Disco Stu): According to The Australian today, several Senate cross-benchers have threatened to vote against the carbon tax’s repeal unless the Government extends subsidies to the automotive industry, which are slated for abolition once the local industry


Hottest global May on record

From Bloomie: The average temperature of Earth’s surface last month exceeded all other Mays before it, since record keeping began in 1880, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. The monthly temperature was 1.33 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the average May. That may not seem like much, but on a planetary scale, it’s