Saturday, October 29, 2016

Frydenberg in Hazelwood power station closure talks with Engie in Paris




Rather than just meeting Environment Minister Segolene Royal and discuss the upcoming COP22 in Marrakech, the real reason Josh Frydenberg was in Paris was to meet with the Management of Engie, the owners of the Hazelwood coal fired Power station.

It has been rumoured Hazelwood may close down as soon as April 2017, and Engie is under pressure from the French state to disengage from coal. The French state owns a one third share of Engie.

Engie, trading as GDF SUEZ/ Australian Energy, is listed as the third highest carbon polluter in Australia by the Australian Conservation Foundation. In the 2014-2015 year Hazelwood Hazelwood was responsible for 15.5 MT CO2-e of emissions. It's emissions intensity was 1.4 Tonnes CO2/MWh. (See Australia's Biggest Polluters PDF)

"We're very conscious at the Federal Government level of the heightened speculation about Hazelwood's future," he told 774 ABC Melbourne's Mornings with Jon Faine as reported at the ABC online.

Australia making efforts to ratify #ParisAgreement by 15 November at #COP22



Segolene Royal, France's minister for the Environment, in tweeting a photo with Josh Frydenberg, appeared to announce when Australia is likely to lodge our Paris Agreement ratification documents.

"Entretien avec le ministre de l'Environnement d'Australie : l'Australie met tout en Ĺ“uvre pour ratifier l'#AccordDeParis le 15/11 #COP21" she said.

This translates as: A meeting with the Australian Environment Minister: Australia is making every effort to ratify the #ParisAgreement by 15/11 #COP21

An unusual way to hear about an Australian treaties process and when it is likely to be complete.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Warm ocean water melting Antarctica from below adding to sea level rise



Latest observational data from Amundsen Sea embayment (ASE) of West Antarctica confirms the retreat of ice shelf grounding lines caused by warmer water melting the underside of the ice shelves.

Warm ocean waters are melting the junction of the ice shelves where they meet the bedrock, so that the grounding line retreats. This then allows for an acceleration in glacier dischange of ice mass to the sea increasing sea level rise.

Many of the glaciers of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) have topographies where they get deeper as they go further inland.

As the ice shelf grounding line retreats into deeper areas due to basal melting by warmer water, it moves much more rapidly, which then allows more warm water to continue the process of basal melting, and so the ice mass discharge from the glaciers speeds up.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

New Victorian Solar Feed-in Tariffs to recognise Greenhouse gas avoidance



First published at Climate Action Moreland.

New solar feed-in tariffs (FIT) are being introduced by the Andrews Labor government in Victoria, based on the time-of-day - peak, off-peak and shoulder – which better reflects current electricity pricing. The new tariff structure will also compensate solar households with a tariff component taking into account the environment value of greenhouse gases avoided.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced the changes as a fairer way to pay people for the solar and wind power they produce for the electricity network.

“Victorians should be fairly compensated for the power they generate – plain and simple.” said Lily D'Ambrosio. “Households will now be compensated through the most cost effective and fairest system available, which is through a time-of-use feed-in tariff.”

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Seagrass carbon Storage - marine biosequestration could be important for negative emissions


Updated 28 October.

Blue carbon is part of the solution to tackle climate change. So why aren't we talking about it far more?

Blue carbon refers to the carbon sequestration potential of coastal ecosystems: that zone reaching from just above the high tide mark to the coastal shallows. It includes salt marsh, mangroves and seagrass meadow ecosystems.

We need to take care and nurture our coastal ecosystems as they can play a vital role in bio-sequestration of carbon at rates far in excess of forests and soil carbon farming.

Biologists working with seagrasses met to present papers and discuss scientific practices at the 12th International Seagrass Biology Workshop (ISBW) (Conference website) in Wales 16th to 21st October. Just before the conference 122 scientists across 28 countries associated with the World Seagrass Association released a statement on the global importance of conserving and expanding seagrass meadows.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Nobel prize for Literature to Dylan. The Times they are a changin': two songs through a climate change prism



The 1964 classic protest anthem The Times they are a changin' by Bob Dylan is just as relevant as a song about climate change. That is the poetic greatness of Bob Dylan, who has just been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for 2016.

Try listening to Blowin in the Wind as an ode to wind turbines and wind power as part of the solution to the necessary energy transition to a zero carbon economy and social justice.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Australia on outer as Paris Agreement comes alive for Marrakech #COP22


Article first published at nofibs.com.au

This year's annual United Nations climate conference is meeting in Marrakech from November 7-18. Our Nofibs reporter John Englart will be attending as an NGO Observer for Climate Action Moreland/CANA.

An international milestone was passed this week with Canada, the European Union, India and even New Zealand ratifying the Paris Agreement. The agreement was negotiated in December 2015 at the United Nations Climate conference in Paris COP21.

The significance of this is that the two thresholds set for the agreement coming into effect - ratification by at least 55 nations and 55 percent of greenhouse gas emissions - has now been met. The Agreement enters into force thirty days after both thresholds are passed. The UN has now determined the Paris Agreement goes into effect as 4 November 2016.