The Climate Change Authority has been a thorn in the side for the Abbott Government, as we’ve seen over time. The Abbott government tried to kill the Authority, but was thwarted by the Senate.
Now Bernie Fraser, John Quiggin, David Karoly and other good people have been replaced by a bunch who support Direct Action as a policy and seem less than enthusiastic about renewable energy. If the comment by Larissa Waters at the end of the linked piece is correct the Nationals did a “deal with Malcolm Turnbull to keep Tony Abbott’s woeful climate policies in exchange for support.”
2. Sharks help to mitigate climate change
Sharks, we are told, eat the sea creatures who eat marine vegetation. Take out the sharks and more marine vegetation gets eaten, removing a sink for carbon which is more important than the forests of the world.
- Several years ago researchers found that carbon is stored in blue carbon ecosystems in the marine environment.
“They are the seagrasses, the salt marshes, the mangroves and they’re among the most powerful carbon sinks in the world,” Dr Macreadie said.
“So they will capture and store carbon at a rate 40 times faster than tropical rainforests like the Amazon and they’ll store that carbon in the ground for millennial time scales.”
He said as predators were culled and overfished, other marine life consumed more and more vegetation.
- “If we just lost 1 per cent of the oceans’ blue carbon ecosystems, it would be equivalent to releasing 460 million tonnes of carbon annually, which is about the equivalent of about 97 million cars.
So we best be kind to the sharks. Now the NSW Government plans to spend $16 million in what is claimed as a world first strategy in protecting us from sharks.
- ABOUT a fifth of homes in a Far Northern town will be powered by the sun, with Australia’s first commercial diesel displacement solar plant starting operations today.
Rio Tinto and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) have announced the Weipa Solar Plant will generate electricity for the mining conglomerate’s bauxite mine, processing facilities and the township.
At peak output, the 1.7 megawatt plant can generate sufficient electricity to support up to 20 per cent of the town’s daytime electricity demand.
It is the first time a remote Australian mining operation has been supplied with power from solar PV on such a scale.
4. Climate change and financial stability
John D has alerted me to the three items above. He also sent the link to Mark Carney’s speech to Lloyds of London.
For insurers climate change is not a theoretical possibility, it is a reality:
- Since the 1980s the number of registered weather-related loss events has tripled; and
Inflation-adjusted insurance losses from these events have increased from an annual average of around $10bn in the 1980s to around $50bn over the past decade.
The challenges currently posed by climate change pale in significance compared with what might come. The far-sighted amongst you are anticipating broader global impacts on property, migration and political stability, as well as food and water security.
- The combination of the weight of scientific evidence and the dynamics of the financial system suggest that, in the fullness of time, climate change will threaten financial resilience and longer-term prosperity.
While there is still time to act, the window of opportunity is finite and shrinking.
Others will need to learn from Lloyd’s example in combining data, technology and expert judgment to measure and manage risks.
The December meetings in Paris will work towards plans to curb carbon emissions and encourage the funding of new technologies.
We will need the market to work alongside in order to maximise their impact.
With better information as a foundation, we can build a virtuous circle of better understanding of tomorrow’s risks, better pricing for investors, better decisions by policymakers, and a smoother transition to a lower-carbon economy.
By managing what gets measured, he says, we can break what he calls the Tragedy of the Horizon.