Category Archives: Climate Policy & Planning

‘Coalsheviks’ want to head renewable energy off at the pass

On Wednesday morning Ben Potter’s article in the AFR Coalition fiddles as renewables remake grid told business leaders and politicians what is actually happening before their eyes.

Over at the Oz the headline was:

      Abbott call: Pull out of Paris deal

    and

        NATS DEMAND THREE COAL POWER STATIONS

      So, what is going on? We’ll look at the Nats first, then Abbott, and finally, the real world. Things are coming to a crunch point which will determine how Malcolm Turnbull’s stewardship is seen by future generations. Continue reading ‘Coalsheviks’ want to head renewable energy off at the pass

      Australians speak: what does the government hear?

      In the Lowy Institute Poll 2018 (interactive version here) respondents were asked to rate 11 threats to Australia’s vital interests as (1) a critical threat, (2) an important but not critical threat, or (3) not an important threat at all. Here’s the result:

      At 58% climate change came third. However, a stubborn 11% thought climate change not a threat at all. Continue reading Australians speak: what does the government hear?

      Climate clippings 224

      1. Oil and car companies are suddenly investing in electric vehicles. Here’s why.

      Joe Romm’s article was also posted at RenewEconomy.

      AEMO’s fast track electricity plan

      The headline in the SMH was

      Australia’s energy operator proposes ‘fast change’ scenario to cut emissions by 52 per cent by 2030

      followed by:

        Greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector would be reduced at twice the rate proposed by the Turnbull government under a radical new plan outlined by the Australian Energy Market Operator.

        The “fast change” model puts the public operator on a collision course with policymakers after AEMO outlined a potential cut of 52 per cent to all electricity emissions by 2030, double the rate required to meet our Paris climate change commitments.

      The bit I’ve highlighted was wrong. AEMO charted a doable scenario double the rate specified by the Turnbull government, but it was derived from the ENA CSIRO Low Emissions Technology Roadmap, which looked at what would be required to meet the 2°C target under the Paris Agreement. Continue reading AEMO’s fast track electricity plan

      Saving the Great Barrier Reef – seriously?

      Back in February this year Malcolm Turnbull (acting for the Commonwealth Government, of course) stumped up $60 million to future proof the Reef. Now we have Great Barrier Reef gets funding boost as PM tells ‘doomsayers’ to be optimistic. Via the NY Times and Gizmodo There’s $500 million more now to save the Great Barrier Reef:

        including $200 million in funding to reduce agricultural pollution and $100 million for “reef restoration and adaptation,” which includes a project to grow stronger corals in laboratories. Other projects include killing off invasive species like the crown-of-thorns starfish and community engagement and enforcement

      Everyone, except the ABC, is telling Turnbull, that’s fine and dandy, but won’t do much good unless we get serious about climate change. Continue reading Saving the Great Barrier Reef – seriously?

      NEG: the plan to do less than nothing

      I did not get my full post on the NEG (National Energy Guarantee) finished last night, so it will have to await the COAG meeting today.

      Commentators seem to think the NEG will get an amber light from the states. The main problem is that in terms of emissions reduction the NEG has been evaluated as worse than doing nothing by Reputex. To the world it will look like it is – Australia keeping up appearances while putting the mockers on renewable energy and giving coal the best chance ever to keep wrecking the planet. Continue reading NEG: the plan to do less than nothing

      Saturday salon 14/4

      1. “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die”

      Two problems here. The first is that the above quotation is not found in the bible or Shakespeare, it’s a conflation of Ecclesiastes 8:15 and Isaiah 22:13, plus you could throw in Luke 12:19.

      The second problem is more serious. It’s true – kind of. Comprehensive research has shown that if you drink more than five drinks a week every extra glass of wine ‘will shorten your life by 30 minutes’. Continue reading Saturday salon 14/4

      Energy crisis? What energy crisis?

      About a month ago Meridian Australia’s CEO Ed McManus said that while the electricity market can turn on a dime, stability had returned to the market and the trend looks good. They had just concluded a swag of hydro, wind and solar power deals which will deliver cheaper electricity than the company could buy in the wholesale market. So their retail arm Powershop was offering a 5 per cent price cut to consumers.

        Electricity contracts for delivery in 2019 were trading at more than $92 per megawatt hour in Victoria and $108/MWh in South Australia a year ago, when SA and NSW had just suffered power shortages and the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood power station loomed.

        Contracts for 2019 have since fallen to $82.90 in Victoria and $94.36 in SA, while contracts for delivery in Victoria in 2020 and 2021 are trading at $76/MWh and $69/MWh and contracts for 2020 and 2021 in SA are trading at $86/MWh and $85/MWh.

      Continue reading Energy crisis? What energy crisis?

      The South Australian election matters for climate change


      When this is published SA voters will be lining up to select a new government. That is the hope. I understand the betting market favours a hung parliament. No pundit I’ve heard is willing to pick a winner. Kevin Bonham talks about the difficulty of modelling the outcome, with the entry of SA Best and the redistribution. The ABC has guidance on how we can follow the election and an Online Election Page.

      On climate change the election matters. There is coverage at:

      . Continue reading The South Australian election matters for climate change

      Four Corners: Weather Alert

      The Four Corners episode Weather Alert sets out its intent from the beginning:

        How Australia’s warming climate is changing the way we live and work.

        “This is very ‘now’. This isn’t a future problem which is 10 or 20 or 30 years (away).” Climate Risk Expert

        Across Australia, farmers, small businesses, government planners and major corporations have stopped waiting for politicians to decide whether climate change is real. They’re acting now.

      Continue reading Four Corners: Weather Alert

      New Deputy PM is a climate denier

      New Deputy PM Michael McCormack (Mick Mack) is a garden variety climate denier according to Paddy Manning at The Monthly:

        Given he is our new deputy prime minister, it is not surprising that “who is Michael McCormack?” pieces are now popping up everywhere. And yet, they glide over his worst offence: he appears to be just another National Party climate change denier.

      Continue reading New Deputy PM is a climate denier