Carbon Economy


Australia’s economy to suffer if it falls behind on climate action

Cross posted from The Conversation: by Martjin Wilder Australia’s economy faces grave threats from climate change, but the greatest threat is if we do not make a serious effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s not just the physical impacts of climate change that will hurt Australia’s economy. In a new report released today by the Committee for Economic Development


Wind farmer threatens Hockey with bull

The Canberra Times is carrying a story striking back at Joe Hockey’s utterly offensive recent comments about wind farms: The Bungendore farmer hosting wind turbines that Joe Hockey says are utterly offensive is challenging the Treasurer to a bull fight. Luke Osborne says George, his prized Angus bull, who has lived peacefully under the turbines for years,


Hockey: Wind power “utterly offensive”

Our Treasurer has tendency towards bluster and today he’d done himself no favours. From the ABC: Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey says he finds wind turbines “utterly offensive”, but is powerless to close down the ones operating outside Canberra. Speaking to Macquarie Radio, Mr Hockey was being asked about whether the Government would target clean energy


Green energy packs its bags

From the AFR‘s Chanticleer today: Contrary to popular opinion, leading businessman Dick Warburton does not have any pre-determined views about the future of Australia’s $20 billion Renewable Energy Target scheme. While it is reassuring he is determined to be completely impartial in his rapid fire review of the RET scheme, Warburton makes it clear in an


China, US rally on climate change

From the FT: China and the US have begun an ambitious new phase of talks on curbing their carbon dioxide emissions that observers say is the most promising development in nearly 20 years of global climate change negotiations…Harvard University’s Professor Robert Stavins, an expert in global climate negotiations, said the extent to which the US and China


Abbott senior advisor sees global cooling

From Giles Parkinson at Renew Economy: Maurice Newman — who heads a triumvirate of climate change sceptics heading key Abbott advisory bodies (Dick Warburton on the renewable energy review and David Murray on banking) — was interviewed on ABC TV’sLateline program on Tuesday night. He said, in part: “We’ve had, since 1996, 17.5 years where the temperature has


Palmer United declares war on youth

The future is not playing a prominent role in Palmer United policy. When the annals of climate change are written by the super-evolved cockroaches that survive us, Clive Palmer is going to feature prominently as an insectian hero. From The Australian: CLIVE Palmer has warned he will scupper the government’s ­direct action climate change plan in


Very cheap climate insurance

From the FT: The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s third report of a trio on global warming, released on Sunday, focuses on “mitigation” – how to fight rising temperatures by limiting the build-up of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. …The key objective is to keep the average worldwide temperature rise


Climate change skeptics are irrational

From Alan Moran at the Herald Sun: IN The Wolf of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio’s mentor says, “Nobody knows if the stocks will go up, down, sideways” and explains that the stockbroker’s job is to “Move the money from your client’s pocket into your pocket”. There are similarities with the climate change game. Nobody knows whether


UN: Climate change broad and worsening

From the New York Times: Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported Monday, and they warned that the problem is likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control. The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that


Is the game up for fossil fuels?

By Leith van Onselen Paul Gilding has written an interesting (but long) piece at Renew Economy discussing some of the emerging trends in the renewable energy space, and arguing that established players in the fossil fuel industry are facing inevitable collapse: I think it’s time to call it. Renewables and associated storage, transport and digital


IPCC: 2015 last chance for cheap mitigation

From the FT today, the head of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra Pachauri says: “We will have to work much harder to win this battle now than we would have been required to do 10 or 15 years ago…The challenge is daunting but I don’t for a moment feel pessimistic,” he said,


Heatwaves: Hotter, longer, more often

Cross-posted from The Conversation. Heatwaves are one of the most important climate-related risks for Australians. Sometimes called the “silent killers”, they cause the greatest number of deaths of any natural disaster type in Australia, and have significant impacts on infrastructure, agriculture and biodiversity. As the climate continues to warm, heatwaves are becoming hotter, longer and more frequent.


Global press labels Abbott green vandal

By Leith van Onselen The UK Independent has launched a full blown attack on the Abbott Government’s environmental credentials, labeling it the “most hostile in history”: In Western Australia, endangered great white sharks are being slaughtered. In Queensland, dredging spoil is to be dumped on the Great Barrier Reef. In Tasmania, ancient forests – harbouring


Abbott to stack renewable panel?

From Giles Parkinson at Crikey: The renewable energy industry in Australia might be tempted to pack their bags and find another country to conduct their business if the latest talk in Canberra is true: sources say that the Abbott government will name Alan Moran, an anti-renewable zealot from the Institute of Public Affairs, to a


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