There were three scams in the Government’s release of the latest quarterly update of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory for March 2018.
The first, as reported by the ABC, FOI documents obtained by the Australian Conservation Foundation show that the Government sat on the report for seven weeks, then released it on 28 September, just before national football finals in the AFL and NRL, and amidst media preoccupation with the royal commission into banks.
That means the report was available to government from 10 August, fully two weeks before Malcolm Turnbull was turfed out on 24 August. Hence while political decisions were being made about the National Energy Guarantee, important information was being withheld.
Secondly, now the data is out, this is what the government wants us to concentrate on:
The Australia Institute has looked at the penetration of renewables required in the electricity market to meet our Paris commitments, and come to the conclusion that we need from 66 to 75% renewables by 2030, rather than the weak 26-28% currently being assumed in relation to the Finkel review.
The basic issue is simple. If we don’t maximise the reductions in the electricity sector, we’ll have trouble meeting our overall Paris commitment, full stop. It will require a large and expensive effort in other areas such as agriculture. Completely decarbonising electricity was always the low hanging fruit. We appear to be ignoring this strategy completely, and the new report does not help all that much. Continue reading Are we serious about our Paris commitments?→
Donald Trump in announcing that the USA will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement made a big fuss about the Chinese being able to increase their emissions, and that this was unfair to the US economy.
It’s happening, he says, through the action of consumers and industry.
“This is a consumer revolution, as much as it is an energy transformation empowering Australian households, communities and businesses,” Shorten said. (It is) putting control back in the hands of the user, shifting the balance away from big power companies.”
Laura Tingle is wonderful when she loses patience. She reckons Abbott’s climate policy is “the dodgiest bit of public policy in recent years, possibly since the Coalition’s now infamous $11 billion hole in its 2010 election policy costings.”
She describes the policy a “rubbish” and says that the real target is the Labor Party. Abbott wants to argue that Labor would wreck the economy with higher electricity charges. Continue reading Abbott’s climate con→
The Abbott Government’s 2030 emissions target aims to put us at the back of the pack internationally, and the Government will do next to nothing to achieve the target. Continue reading Climate clippings 150→
When the first named cyclone in July appeared off the Queensland coast some asked whether this was caused by climate change. My response would be that a single event is weather. Climate is about changes in the patterns of weather over time.
When I heard Greg Hunt spruiking the first auction under the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) last week, he sounded like a used car salesman. He has form on cherry picking statistics and imaginative accounting, so it’s best to ignore what he said and look to other sources (please note, there is other commentary in the link, including from Tim Flannery).
At its December meeting of ministers in Paris the UNFCCC will strike a post-Kyoto international deal on climate mitigation post 2020. Countries were asked to put forward their draft plans by the end of March. Abbott deliberately ignored the deadline, putting forward a discussion paper (see Emissions reduction the Abbott way) with a submissions deadline of 24 April. Australia will submit its proposals in May. In this way Abbott has the chance to look at everyone else’s homework before he writes his own. Continue reading Abbott is making Australia a joke on climate change→
The Abbott government’s just-released discussion paper on emissions reductions makes no mention of the global goal to limit warming to 2°C. In fact it appears to aspire to a world where 3.6°C is acceptable.
The Government is reviewing it’s post-2020 emissions targets in the context of negotiations for a new global climate agreement to be concluded at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties in Paris in late 2015 (30 November to 11 December). The paper calls for submissions by 24 April as to what our target should be, how it should be expressed, what the impact on Australia would be, and
“which further policies complementary to the Australian Government’s direct action approach should be considered to achieve Australia’s post-2020 target and why?”
The paper says that Australia’s target should be fair, ambitious, easy to understand and transparent. Also Australia’s target will be, it says, “consistent with continued strong economic growth, jobs growth and development in Australia.”
From The Guardian:
many observers are deeply alarmed that the discussion paper does not mention the 2C goal, but does mention a scenario that could result in almost 4C global warming.
Discussing Australia’s special “national circumstances”, the discussion paper says that “for the foreseeable future, Australia will continue to be a major supplier of crucial energy and raw materials to the rest of the world, especially Asian countries. At present, around 80% of the world’s primary energy needs are met through carbon-based fuels. By 2040, it is estimated that 74% will still be met by carbon-based sources because of growing demand in emerging economies.”
That scenario derives from the IEA world energy outlook 2014 whose “new policies scenario” was based on targets then adopted. The world has now moved on. RenewEconomy gives this table which reflects some of the recent targets announced:
The Conversation has an interactive map to monitor countries’ contributions as they come in.
The discussion paper notes that Australia’s population is growing much faster than comparable countries, and that we have an economy more heavily dependent on coal. This sounds like a set-up for special pleading. The Climate Change Authority thoroughly examined our circumstances last year and argued for a reduction trajectory range of between 40 and 60% below 2000 levels by 2030.
Parkinson advises that the paper was prepared in the PM’s office, not the environment department, or the foreign affairs department which has carriage over international climate talks. Obviously the subject is too important to leave to people who know or care.