Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Opinion Poll: Support for 45 per cent climate targets and emissions trading

Polling done by Essential vision shows that most people approve the higher climate targets and the proposed Emissions Trading Scheme in Labor's climate plan. The polling was published on May 3 and supports previous polling in March that a majority of Australians want greater action on climate change.

The survey found that 57 per cent of voting age people approved of the Labor Party’s higher climate targets that more closely match the science and carbon emissions policy. Just 21 per cent disapproved of these targets and implementation of an ETS.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Guest Post: Great Barrier Reef bleaching would be almost impossible without climate change

I have followed climate change and marine science for about 10 years. This latest climate attribution research by Australian climate scientists shows clearly that the massive coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef would not have occurred without human caused climate change. It is attribution climate science done in near real time. Cutting edge stuff.

The researchers also dispel arguments that this coral bleaching event was due to the strong El Nino this year, but primarily long term temperature warming of oceans. It underlines that coral reef ecosystems face a bleak future with coral bleaching events from warm waters being a regular occurrence in as little as 20 years time.

Read and weep, and then focus your anger on the intransigence of many politicians, first in denial then, like Environment Minister Greg Hunt who pay lip service and make nominal commitments, while supporting the agents of greenhouse gas emissions in approving the massive Adani Carmichael Coal mine.

Great Barrier Reef bleaching would be almost impossible without climate change

Andrew King, University of Melbourne; David Karoly, University of Melbourne; Mitchell Black, University of Melbourne; Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, The University of Queensland, and Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick, UNSW Australia

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Can Labor wedge the Coalition on #climatechange in #ausvotes2016?

Original article published at nofibs.com.au

Action on climate change is a live issue at the 2016 election, but it is still divisive. The Australian Labor Party unveiled it's climate action plan to take to the Federal Election, likely to be on July 2. A lot of deliberative thought and nuanced politics have gone into this plan with targeted changes in different sectors.

Environment and community groups, along with the Business Council of Australia, broadly said the plan was positive, although there were criticisms raised about the need for climate policy to become bipartisan to ensure stability in the economic transitions needed. Environment groups stressed that it was a useful starting point and much better than the Coalition government targets and policy, but didn't go nearly far enough to meet the obligations now enshrined in the Paris Agreement of limiting warming to well below 2 degrees and aspire to 1.5 degrees limit on warming.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Guest Post: John Hewson - Shorten can wedge Turnbull on climate

I recently wrote how I still feel ashamed of Australia during and after the Paris COP21. Australia signed the Paris Agreement in New York on April 22, but is still not showing signs of walking the talk on climate action. I am far from the only one who are critical of current Government political inaction in addressing climate change from across the political spectrum. Here is John Hewson, an Economics Professor and a former opposition leader of the Liberal National Party in 1993, who accused the Government, and Environment Minister Greg Hunt, of 'blatant hypocrisy'...

John Hewson, Australian National University

It was all a bit much for me to see Environment Minister Greg Hunt wallowing in the signing of the Paris Agreement on emissions reduction in New York this week. His commitment to its ratification by year end, after opposing the pricing of carbon and attempting to close down the renewables industry, is nothing short of blatant hypocrisy.

Further, it was galling to hear him boast that, “We’re now on track to meet and beat our..targets and our Paris 2030 targets are strong and ambitious and they have been welcomed and hailed”, and then to attempt to create the impression that “our domestic climate change policies” have and will continue to deliver “real outcomes”.

Is #1o5C #ParisAgreement temperature pathway possible?

At COP21 in Paris we committed to a temperature target of well below 2 degrees C and aspire to limit global warming to 1.5C, and to decarbonize after 2050. We need to examine pathways to 1.5C to see if it is possible. Dr Joeri Rogelj is one of the few researchers who has studied 1.5C pathways.

This seminar was put on by the Australian-German Climate Energy College at Melbourne University.

So what will it take to achieve 1.5C? Is it possible?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Victorian Coal royalties increase in State Budget

Original article published at Climate Action Moreland

The Andrews Government will increase coal royalties in the 2015/16 budget to approximately match the rate levied in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. This should be welcomed.

The rate will increase three fold from January 1st 2017 and is estimated to raise $252 million over the forward estimates over the next 4 years.

This will prove useful for helping to fund the health support for the LaTrobe Valley, as well as health and education expenditure for the state. $51.2 million was promised in the state budget to implement the recommendations of the Mine Fire Inquiry and improving health outcomes for the Valley.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

As Greg Hunt signs #ParisAgreement, I am still ashamed of Australia's abysmally low climate targets

A Record 176 nations signed the Paris Agreement at a UN ceremony in New York, Australia among them. But Australia was also snubbed by not being invited to a meeting of the Coalition of High Ambition the night before. It seems our last minute belated membership that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was so happy to highlight and share with me last December in response to one of my tweets, hasn't brought any ongoing diplomatic benefit.

I am sure our support for coal, abysmally low targets and ineffective emission reduction policies that track for a 4 degree world have something to do with it. I tweeted my shame to Julie Bishop in Paris during COP21, she replied to me that there was no need for my shame, that she had accepted a late invitation to join the Coalition of High Ambition.

Funny but I still feel ashamed. Australia is signing on but is still not showing signs of walking the talk on climate action.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Nationals Senator Fiona Nash stuffs head in sand as Great Barrier Reef suffers severe bleaching

A second member of the Australian Government, Deputy Leader of the Nationals NSW Senator Fiona Nash, has declared climate science is not settled and articulated on the need to adapt. This follows a statement by Attorney General George Brandis in the Senate on Tuesday that climate science was not settled.

Senator Nash is responsible for regional development, communications and health. She told Sky News interviewer David Speers there were "varying views" on climate science and she was of the opinion it was still up for debate, but that we need to adapt.

This comes as Great Barrier Reef Coral Bleaching prompted Australian Environment Ministers to have an emergency phone hook up and heated debate. At the end they called for strong and urgent action needed on climate change.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Coral Bleaching prompts Australian Environment Ministers: Strong and urgent action needed on climate change

This article was originally published at nofibs.com.au

In a late night conference call on Wednesday night 20 April 2016 between Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, Queensland State Environment minister Steven Miles and Environment ministers from other states it was agreed that what is currently happening on the Great Barrier Reef is alarming and is an issue of concern not just to Queenslanders but to all Australians.

Ministers all agreed that strong and urgent action was needed on climate change.

Townsville MP Ewen Jones praises #coal as #Reef suffers massive coral bleaching

Original article published at nofibs.com.au

Ewen Jones is the Liberal Party Federal MP from the Townsville based north Queensland electorate of Herbert. He stated on the ABC QandA program on Monday night, "We have just had the Carmichael mine approved and I think that is a good thing for us."

Both the Liberal National Party Federal Government and the Labor Queensland State Government have approved for development the huge Adani Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee basin in Queensland. But the coal mine is widely seen as a major climate carbon bomb that would make achieving the under 2 Degree C temperature target adopted in Paris as impossible.

At current coal prices and with the coal export market to India and China tanking, development of the mine is seen as simply un-economic in current circumstances without massive government subsidies. And that is exactly what Liberal MP Ewen Jones proposed on ABC QandA program on Monday night.