Saturday, September 18, 2021

Australian climate action rated Highly Insufficient by Climate Action Tracker

The Climate Action Tracker, in a new report, has highlighted that Australia, in the leadup to the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow (COP26), is one of the climate action emission reduction and policy laggards. It categorised Australia in the Highly Insufficient category in the Overall rankings. It criticised Australia for effectively submitting the same Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) when the Paris Agreement calls for countries to increase ambition.

It called out Australia among a shortlist: "Of particular concern are governments - Australia, Brazil, Indonesia Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland and Viet Nam - that have failed to lift ambition at all – they have submitted the same or even less ambitious 2030 targets than they had put forward in 2015. These countries need to rethink their choice." 

Monday, September 13, 2021

Australian climate finance falling far short of our fair share, getting worse

A new report highlights the shortfall in developed countries climate finance, including noting Australia as a particular laggard. It estimates the Australian Government is contributing about 8 per cent of what our global fair share commitment should be for the years 2020-2025.

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, has warned developed nations they must deliver on climate finance for a successful outcome from the UN Climate Conference in Glagow (COP26) in November. 

The UN Secretary General, speaking at High-Level Dialogue on Climate Action in the Americas, hosted by the Government of Argentina , said developed nations must deliver on the solidarity agenda. He told the Dialogue: 

“developed nations must deliver on the solidarity agenda. That means support to developing countries on vaccines, debt and liquidity, as well as climate finance. We need a credible plan for delivering on the $ 100 billion dollar commitment made over a decade ago. We need it well ahead of Glasgow, to restore trust.” he said.

In 2009 at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen Australia committed with other developed nations to raising US $100 billion climate finance per year from 2020 to developing countries to assist the transition and global decarbonistion.

Of the 23 developed countries responsible for providing international climate finance, only Germany, Norway and Sweden have been paying their fair share of the annual $100 billion goal. All other countries are falling short.

Australia, Canada, Greece, New Zealand, Portugal and the United States (US) all contributed less than 20% of their fair share of international climate finance. 

Australia has committed AU$1.5 billion (US$1.1 billion) for climate finance for 2021–2025, which means it will be funding only 8 per cent of its fair share over the next five years, according to the study.

The OECD and Oxfam International in recent media releases have also highlighted this shortfall in climate finance commitment, one of the pillars behind the Paris Agreement. (see updates below)

Sunday, September 12, 2021

IPCC report, Labor climate policy and targets: Email to Peter Khalil MP for Wills

The following email was sent to Labor MP for Wills, Peter Khalil on 16 August 2021. As of 12 September 2021 there has been no response or acknowledgement of this email. 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Australia: Carbon Capture and Storage | Honest Government Ad

The Juice Media latest Honest Government Ad on Carbon Capture and storage.

Great dissection of one of the Australian Government Technology Investment Roadmap 'solutions' for climate change that actually results in little climate mitigation while it continues to enrich the Fossil Fuel mining companies.

Global framework on Biodiversity - Australian statement on the Convention on Biodiversity 2030 target

Australia's statement on the Convention on Biodiversity Plenary 24 Aug - Open-ended Working Group 3 on Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework. The Conference of the Parties (COP15) for the Convention on Biodiversity is coming up early next year. I haven't seen any local news on this...

I'd like to highlight this part of the statement in particular:
"Australia welcomes a global target for the protection of 30 per cent of land and 30 per cent of sea by 2030. We support the focus in this target on areas important for biodiversity and through a combination of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. Australia also recognises that Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) must be full partners in the implementation of this target."

You can read the draft global framework on Biodiversity to be put for adoption.

The draft framework includes 21 targets for 2030 that call for, among other things:

• At least 30% of land and sea areas global (especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and its contributions to people) conserved through effective, equitably managed, ecologically representative and well-connected systems of protected areas (and other effective area-based conservation measures) 
• A 50% of greater reduction in the rate of introduction of invasive alien species, and controls or eradication of such species to eliminate or reduce their impacts 
• Reducing nutrients lost to the environment by at least half, and pesticides by at least two thirds, and eliminating the discharge of plastic waste 
• Nature-based contributions to global climate change mitigation efforts of least 10 GtCO2e per year, and that all mitigation and adaptation efforts avoid negative impacts on biodiversity 
• Redirecting, repurposing, reforming or eliminating incentives harmful for biodiversity, in a just and equitable way, reducing them by at least $US 500 billion per year 
• A $US 200 billion increase in international financial flows from all sources to developing countries.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Australia's deception about its LULUCF forestry

Australia makes use of Land Use, Land Use change and Forestry (LULUCF) credits as part of its national emissions profile while most countries do not include this area of emissions. We have done this since the 1997 Kyoto Protocol Agreement when we threatened to wreck the agreement if these emissions weren't included. Subsequently a clause to allow counting of these emissions was included, and it was colloquially known as the Australia clause.

Australia has long used this clause based on land use emissions in the past to allow a target for Australia  to actually grow our emissions, while nearly all other nations had targets to reduce their emissions.

So Australia has cruised along without doing much work in any other sector in decarbonisation, based upon historical reduction in Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry emissions.

Pretty shonky and hardly fair.

A recent remote sensing study has highlighted even further the shonky nature of carbon accounting in LULUCF emissions. The study is called 'Annual Maps of Forests in Australia from Analyses of Microwave and Optical Images with FAO Forest Definition', published 23 August.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Australia Under Increasing Pressure in Leadup to Glasgow UN Climate Conference | Richie Merzian

Via the Australia Institute:
The UK will host the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October – 12 November 2021. The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Where is Australia positioned? With a neglectful approach towards the short term (2030) target and a non-committal 'preference' for net-zero by 2050, Australia needs to do more and will be under pressure from its international allies over the next few months. Does COP actually achieve much? Richie explains it's not a perfect forum but it's the best we have and they can result in incremental changes that build up over time. [Originally aired on Ticker News 23 August 2021]

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Carbon Capture & Storage Failure | Spin Bin with Angus Taylor

Demystifying Carbon Capture and storage as advocated by Australia Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor. Decoding the spin with The Australia Institute Polly Hemming and Richie Merzian.

Despite billions in taxpayer funding over many years, carbon capture and storage has continued to fail every target set for it. However, that hasn't stopped the fossil fuel industry, and Minister Angus Taylor from continuing to spruik the technology as the solution to reducing emissions. Richie Merzian and Polly Hemming delve deep into what's gone wrong, and why the Government continues to support this fairytale solution on the latest episode of Spin Bin.

Friday, June 25, 2021

Federal Government called to investigate environmental impacts of artificial turf and more environmentally appropriate alternatives for sporting surfaces

Conversion of grass sporting fields to Synthetic Turf... The Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) National Conference was held in Canberra last weekend 20-23 June 2021, and passed a motion unanimously "to investigate the environmental impacts of artificial turf and more environmentally appropriate alternatives for sporting surfaces."

Issue 24 submitted by Mitcham Council, SA

That the National General Assembly calls on the Federal Government to investigate the environmental impacts of artificial turf and more environmentally appropriate alternatives for sporting surfaces.

The resolution was passed unanimously, including by the Moreland Councillors in attendance: Cr Adam Pulford, Cr Lambros Tapinos, Cr Oscar Yildiz, Cr Helen Pavlidis and Cr Angelica Pandopolous.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Climatestrike: students continue pressure for Australian climate action

Tens of thousands of students and supporters across Australia engaged in protest calling for an end to fossil fuel projects and to ramp up renewables and increase Australia's weak climate targets.

In over 50 locations across Australia, in all capital cities, and in many regionals centres too, students left school on Friday to demand that the Morrison Government says no to funding dangerous gas and coal projects with Australians’ money and, as an alternative, invests in clean renewable energy, secure jobs and First Nations solutions to protect Country.