Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Angus Taylor addresses international community at COP25 without mentioning bushfire climate crisis



On Tuesday 10 December Australian Energy Minister delivered Australia's national statement to the United Nations climate conference COP25 in Madrid. While bushfires raged in the state of New Soutrh Wales and across Australia, and even in Angus's own southern Tablands electorate of Hume, there was not a mention of the bushfirers in his address to the international community.

Lots of hype about meeting and beating climate targets, but the reality is the Morrison Government advocated strongly for using Kyoto Prorocol carryover credits to meet Australia's already too low Paris Agreement climate targets.

The advicacy for this met pushback. But it was one of the destabilising factors in the conference that provided distraction and prevented the conference reaching more ambiituos outcomes.

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Madrid Climate Conference COP25 enters overtime as many countries raise lack of ambition amid blockers



The United Nations Climate Conference meeting in Madrid under a Chilean Presidency was due to close on Friday 13 December, 2019, but negotiators have been working overnight trying to overcome multiple issues and blockages on Article 6 on carbon markets, on Loss and Damages, on Finance, on calling for ambition in NDCs that need to be submitted in 2020, in the acceptance of the IPCC Land and Oceans reports.

The Chilean Presidency attempted to reach a balanced approach with updated decision texts on Saturday morning, but was criticised by the blocking countries like Australia, USA and Brazil, while a great many countries and negotiating blocs called for much greater ambition in the textx, highlighting that people are marching in the streets, demanding action, watching the negotiators in this time of climate crisis and climate emergency.

Blunt statement from Mohammed Adow from Powershift Africa: "I would say here in Madrid the governments fucked up..."

This is a live blog....


Friday, December 13, 2019

Brazil wins Colossal Fossil Award at COP25 for Amazon deforestation, land grabbing



The UN climate conference is scheduled to finish on Friday December 13, but almost certainly it will not, held to ransom in particular by a few countries doing much of the blocking. Those countries include Australia, USA and Brazil.

The Final day of COP is the day when Climate Action Network award the Colossal Fossil award for being the worst of the worst./ While Australia was leading the tally scoreboard for daily Fossilof the Day Awards, by acclimation the Climate Action Network decided to use it's perogative and and appoint another country, although one that has been given Fossil awards at COP25. Step forward Brazil. A country that has been doing an extrarordinary amount of blocking in the negotiations in the climate conference, but also a country reversing gains that have been made in previous years with allowing more land grabbing, deforrestation f the Amazon disrupting indigenous communities, and allowing the murder of environmental defenders.

The one light of the day, highlighted by a Ray of the Year award, is the continuing resistance by indigenous people from the Amazon to Australia against fossil fuel extractivism and land clearing, upholding traditional culture and knowledge and environmental integity. Similarly, the youth uprising with Fridays for Future and climate strike provides a measure of hope in action.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Australia received 5th and 6th Fossil awards at COP25 showing lack of climate policy




Australia received two Fossil awards on Thusday night, 12 December, the second last scheduled day of the UN climate conference in Madrid.

The first award was a stand alone for pushing use of Kyoto Protocol credits as carryover to the Paris Agreement which helped undermine negotiations. The second was as part of the Developed nations for lack of ambition in resolving Loss and Damage for vulnerable countries at COP25. This was supposed to be the Loss and Damage COP with the Warsaw Implementation Mechanism on Loss and Damage Review.

That puts Australia with 6 Fossil Awards for COP25 from Nine Fossil Award Ceremonies. Not a good record to have and illustrates the extent of climate policy in-action both at home and internationally.

Fossil Awards to Japan, Brazil and a Ray of the Year to the IPCC



Wednesday Fossil of the Day ceremony was a tough one to organise. Half the Fossil of the Day Team had been locked out of the conference centre by the heavy handed tactics of UN Security. First prize went to Japan for continuing to shun ambition and lock in coal addiction. @nd Fossil award to Brazil for land grabbing and deforestation of the Amazon. We also had a ray of light - a Ray of the Year presented to Youba Sokona, the IPCC Vice-Chair, who presnted two copies of one of the IPCC reports as a gift in return.

A civil society protest action at 2.45pm had occurred outside the Baker Plenary hall, but resulted in between 200-300 people being pushed and shoved out a side door outside the hall and locked out. Read more: UNFCCC closes the door literally on civil society demanding climate justice at COP25.

UNFCCC closes the door literally on civil society demanding climate justice at COP25




Multiple civil society organisations including indigenous and environmental groups co-ordinated a protest outside the main Plenary - Baker Room this afternoon, to protest the lack of action during this COP on multiple fronts, and the continuing attack on the space the civil society. The intention was to protest peacefully for 30 minutes outside Plenary Baker.

The protest was noisy, with chanting and singing. A few banners and small paper and cardboard signs. Security cordoned off the front of the plenary. It was a bit of a crush. and some people sat down. After5 about 20 miniues security pushed people to a rollerdoor to the outside, and then cordoned the door for several minutes before closing it. Locking all those people outside, many without their coats or bags, in the Madrid winter weather.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

4th Fossil Award to Australia at COP25 over 0/100 on climate policy, Kyoto carryover credits, climate inaction


Sydney student climate striker Daisy accepts Fossil award for Australia


Australia received it's 4th Fossil of the Day award of the UN climate Conference COP25 on Tuesday 10 December, 2019. Seventeen year old student climate striker accepted the award with great sadness and frustration and calling for action (Transcript below)

Enele Sopoaga from Tuvalu: message to Australia at #COP25

Enele Sopoaga, diplomat and former Prime Minister of Tuvalu, interviewed on December 10, 2019 at COP25 in Madrid on climate change, Australia, Tuvalu and the Pacific.


Anote Tong, from Kiribati: climate message to Australia at #COP25.

A message to Australia from Anote Tong, diplomat and former president of Kiribati at COP25, recorded Tuesday 10 December. "It is not a numbers game, but a game of survival"

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Call for Ambition at #COP25 by #Mad4Survival coalition lead by Marshall Islands



A press conference this morning at the United Nations climate Conference COP25 launched an ambition drive, Mad 4 Survival, spearheaded by the Climate Vulnerable Forum and lead by the Marshall Islands. Apporopriate that this is being launched on Human rights day. Climate change is already having a massive impact on human rights and human rights are fundamental to all parts of the climate negotiations.

Marshall Islands poet Kathy Kijiner was joined on the panel by Philippines Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda, Shanchita Haque, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations. (Source: media release)

See below for headline speech by Loren Legarda from the Philippines.

Australia wins third fossil award for reducing climate aid funding among trifecta of Fossil Awards for USA at COP25



On Monday December 9, Australia picked up it's third Fossil of the Day award at this United Nationas climate conference COP25 meeting in Madrid.

This award was goven to the USA and Australia for not contributing to the Green Climate Fund on Fonance Day at the conference. Both USA and Australia have stopped pledging any money to the Fund which allocates money for projects in developing countries for both mitigation and adaptation.

Tracking Australia's Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor at COP25



I established this page to track Australian Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor at the UN Climate Conference, but with current events surrounding this scandal plagued minister his attendance at COP25 is still up in the air.

Minister Angus Taylor plane arrived on Sunday.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Greta Thunberg highlights frontline and indigenous climate stories at COP25



At the UN Climate Conference today Greta Thunberg made only a short introductory speech at the Fridays for Future press conference, and used the occasion for young people and indigenous youth from around the world to tell their frontline stories of the Climate crisis, and the climate iumpacts already being felt.

The press conference was only open for media to attend, observers were locked out. My tweets were done in Hall 4 watching the UNFCCC webcast.

Sunday, December 8, 2019

USA wins Saturday edition Fossil Award for blocking Loss and Damage Finance at COP25



Today’s fossil award goes to the United States (US) yet again! Now the USA and Australia are tied in the number of Fossil awards on the scoreboard at COP25.

The official Award citation

🇺🇸 US for blocking financial support to vulnerable communities receiving the blow of the #ClimateEmergency

Richest Country In The World reiterated that they will not support #lossanddamage #finance

This time for blocking financial support to vulnerable communities receiving the blow of climate change - which the US is disproportionately responsible for creating.

Huge climate march in Madrid calls for action from COP25 as world faces climate emergency



Madrid turned out on mass to send a message to the delegates in the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 at Feria de Madrid on Friday night. Organisers estimated 500,000 people. whether this number is accurate is irrelevant, the crowds were huge, families, activists, yoiung and old were present demanding climate justice and action in this time of climate emergency.

There mood was determined, but there was passion and dancing and chanting and singing as people walked the 5 kilometre route from Atochia to Neuvos Ministerios.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Maldives applies for crime of ecocide to be added to International Criminal Court jurisdiction



The Maldives has applied to the International Criminal Court at The Hague for the crime of ecocide to be added to it's jurisdiction. This comes as negotiators meet at the UN Climate Conference in Madrid Spain at COP25. Read more background at the Ecocide Law website.

USA and Russia scoop the Fossil Award, but also a Ray awarded for defending human rights in Article 6



At the UN Climate Conference on Thursday evening, December 5, it was a bit of both sides of the ledger day for Australia. The country was mentioned in brackets with Japan for focussing on insurance in the Fossil citation for USA and Russia, but also part of the Ray of the Day citation on standing up for Human Rights clauses in Article 6 on carbon markets.

The Official #FossiloftheDay and #RayofTheDay citations December 5 at #COP25:

1st 🇺🇸🇷🇺 US & Russia for pushing for weak #LossandDamage outcome

Special mention:
🇯🇵Japan and 🇦🇺 Australia for focusing on insurance

⭐Ray of the Day
Canada, Colombia, Vanuatu, Mexico, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Switzerland - push for HR in #Article6

Thursday, December 5, 2019

ABC The World - Richie Merzian at COP25, Australia wins Fossil Award Day 2

Thursday December 5: Great interview with Richie Merzian, the Climate and Energy Director of the Australia Institute, by the ABC the World Program on the UN Climate conference COP25, Australia's negotiating position and what can be expected, and Australia winning one of the first Fossil of the Day Awards of the conference.

Second Fossil Award to Australia as Slovenia and Bosnia score top award, and Belgium third place



and on the second day of the UN climate conference Australia scored it's second Fossil Award. Slovenia and Bosnia took first for proceeding to develop a coal plant, Belgium was third, who is behind in every climate target and the climate Minister has invented a new greenwash term: "plane pooling".

It was Australia's second Fossil Award of the COP. The first award (yesterday) is what is known as an implementation Fossil award - it is about action or lack of action in the country involved.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Australia receives first Fossil Award at COP25 for bushfire response by Prime Minister



Australia, Brazil and Japan all shared equally the first Fossil of the Day award of the United Nations Climate Conference COP25 in Madrid. A very moving statement was read out by one of the Australian Fridays For Future students in acceptance of the award for Australia.

With massive bushfires in late Spring comprising a 6,000 kilometre fire front, 1.65 million hectares burnt, the East Coast of Australia was on fire, with the smoke plume travelling over the Pacific, South America to the South Atlantic Ocean. An estimate of 1000 koalas killed along with other wildlife and their native habitats.

Clearly The Prime Minister Scott Morrison trivialising the bushfires, and not accepting the link between climate change driving early and more intense bushfires has struck a very raw nerve in the Australian public. We have a climate crisis and the Prime Minister is refusing to put the safety of the Australian public above ideology.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Scientists warn climate tipping points may be close, endorse need for climate emergency action


Two peer reviewed statements by scientists just prior to the UN climate conference COP25 to be held in Madrid, Spain from December 2 to 13, have made clear the existential crsis humanity now faces with climate change and the dire need to ramp up climate action at the climate conference.

The first statement, authored by 5 eminent scientists, but signed by some 11,000 climate scientists, warns "clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency."

The second statement highlights that we may be very close, or perhaps have even initiated, climate tipping points that could push earth into a hothouse state. Our time for action to have some control over future climate may be limited, action now is of the essence, we have a climate emergency. Australian scientist Will Steffen was one of the eminent scientists who authored this statement.

European Parliament declares a climate and environmental emergency before COP25


A few hours ago the European parliament declared a climate emergency by a reasonably wide margin.

The nonbinding resolution said the European Commission must :
  • ensure all proposals are aligned with 1.5 °C target
  • EU should cut emissions by 55% by 2030 (on 1990 baseline) to become climate neutral by 2050
  • Calls to reduce global emissions from shipping and aviation

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

UN Emissions Gap report says 7.6% emissions reduction per year required to meet 1.5C Climate Target, Australia marked as a climate laggard



Global greenhouse gas emissions need to fall by 7.6 per cent each year between 2020 and 2030 or the world will miss the opportunity to get on track towards the 1.5°C temperature goal of the Paris Agreement, warns the latest UN Environment Emissions Gap report. It is clear we have a global climate emergency.

If current committed actions are all undertaken, the world is on target to heat at least 3.2C degrees by 2100 warns the report.

G20 nations account for 78 per cent of all emissions, but 15 G20 members, including Australia, have not committed to a timeline for net-zero emissions.

At the moment Australian total emissions are currently rising, and projected to keep rising past 2030. This is unsustainable. Australia proposes to keep current low targets and no substantial ambition coming into the UN climate conference COP25 in Madrid this December. Indeed, the Australian Government want to negotiate a 'deal' to use an accounting trick to halve our already low 2030 Paris Agreement Target, by arguing Kyoto Protocol credits can be used to meet Paris Agreemnet targets. No other country is proposing similar use of these credits. They are two spearate agreements.

The Australian Government is sending Energy and Emissions reduction Minister Angus Taylor to attempt to bluster a deal for Australia. His overtures are likely to be rebuffed by the global community, especially given the UN Environment emissions Gap report which advises ALL countries need to be reducing emissions, but especially the industrialised nations like Australia.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Bushfires and climate change: Australian Prime Minister denies the evidence



With highest per capita emissions, Australia needs to reduce emissions faster for reducing extreme event risk including Bushfires. Source: The Australia Institute


The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says no evidence links Australia's carbon emissions to bushfires, yet he has been strongly contradicted on link between emissions and bushfires.

The scientific evidence is clear that Climate change is driving catastrophic mega fires.

Australia is not prepared - fire authorities and scientists have been warning governments for years and they haven't acted to reduce bushfire risk by implementing a strong climate and energy policy.

Governments have failed to properly equip and resource our firefighters to deal with a longer fire weather period, much hotter and more intense bushfires.

As part of it's duty of protection of public safety, the Federal Government should be honest with the community about their role.

Australian bushfires so intense smoke crosses the Pacific to South America



The extent of Australia's November Bushfires are massive, and the smoke cloud has gone global.

NASA have tracked the smoke cloud lofted 12-13 kilometres into the atmosphere from the hundreds of fires along the east coast of Australia. This smoke has drifted across the Pacific and South America, and even been detected over the southern Atlantic.

The fires are all the more concerning given this is in Spring season in November, long before the major bushfire season expected during January-February. This is very far from normal.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Serrano Glacier retreating. This is global warming, a climate emergency



A visit to Serrano Glacier in Bernardo O'Higgins National Park in Chile. The Glacier is retreating 10-20 metres per year, according to a Park Ranger when I asked about the current rate of glacial retreat. The Grey Glacier that discharges ice from the south Patagonian ice field is retreating at 5-10 metres per year.


Saturday, November 9, 2019

Chile marches for Dignity and social justice in this time of climate crisis and social crisis


Mass gathering calling for social justice in Plaza Italia, re-christened Plaza De la Dignidad, in Santiago


My friday activity was joining the hundreds of thousands of Chileans demanding dignity, after 3 weeks of protest and social upheaval.

There can be no climate justice without social justice.

East Coast of Australia literally on fire, #bushfires driven by global heating



The east coast of Australia is literally on fire, in early November, with bushfires spread up and down the east coast of Australia, particularly New South Wales. This is not normal for early November.

Fire conditions are exacerbated by the rising temperatures of global heating and change in rainfall patterns, and higher evaporation rates.

Professor David Bowman, a bushfire expert, commented "As a society we are running out of time to adapt to climate change driven bushfires, and policy failure will lead to escalating disasters that have the capacity to eclipse the worst disasters we have experienced."

Friday, November 8, 2019

Santiago walking tour and why just transition important for addressing social crisis and ecological crisis



November 7: Today I did a 3 hour walking tour of Santiago with Marcela from Tour4Tips. They are only running walking tours in the morning due to the social protests.

Many of the museums are closed due to workers being on strike as part of the protest demanding a new constitution and the government address the social crisis with meaningful progress.

Marcela knows her city, and also it’s travails, it’s problems. She is part of the movement for change, but she told people these were her views, to ask other Chilean people. Yes it was a little bit of social and political history combined with culture and food.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

New Zealand zero carbon Bill shows bipartisan leadership



Historic moment for New Zealand as the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern calls near unanimous support for a Zero Carbon bill as acting on the biggest challenge of our time.

"I continue to stand by the statement that #ClimateChange is the biggest challenge of our time and for us here in Aotearoa New Zealand that means for this generation, this is our nuclear [free] moment."

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Reflections on memory, human rights, the Chile Coup, and implication for climate action



So today I went along to Todas las Mujeres Contra todas las Violencia (All women against all violence) Hosted by Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos (Museum of memory and human rights) in Santiago, Chile. It made me reflect on the human rights of all the people that will obliterated by accelerating climate change, unless we all act, and act fast.

Friday, November 1, 2019

COP25 to be hosted in Madrid, Spain under presidency of Chile

It seems the merry-go-round with the UN climate conference COP25 continues.

It appears the Spanish government has offered Madrid as the venue for the next COP 25 climate change summit. This was announced on Thursday by the president of Chile , Sebastián Piñera. The conference would retain the same dates of December 2 to 13.

"Yesterday I spoke with the president of Spain , Pedro Sánchez , who made a generous offer to organize the COP 25 summit in Madrid, Spain, on the same days it was scheduled to take place in Chile; that is, between on December 2 and 13, " Piñera said in a statement at La Moneda presidential palace.

Update 1 November: It is confirmed that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Bureau has met and decided to hold COP25 in Madrid, Spain between December 2 to December 13.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Chile civil society NGOs reject reasons for Piñera decision to cancel hosting APEC summit and COP25 climate summit following social unrest



In a brief statement the UNFCCC announced that COP25 would not be held in Chile as advised by the Chilean President, Sebastián Piñera.

Chilean civil Society climate organisation rejected the decision of the President not to carry out COP 25 in Chile, highlighting that the climate change summit was a great opportunity to relieve the social and environmental problems that affect Chilean people and ecosystems, and to lift some of the leadership lost internationally.

President Piñera indicated that Chile will continue to hold the COP presidency, responsible for shepherding leadership in the UN climate negotiation process for the next year.

Cancellation of the COP has thrown the organisation of the annual UNFCCC climate conference in disarray. With only a month to organise the conference, very few locations would have the ability to stage the event in it's current timetable. Bonn, Germany, where the UNFCCC is headquartered, is a possibility. The conference could very well be delayed, pushed into 2020.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Social unrest in Chile at structural inequality and repression in leadup to COP25 climate conference



There was an estimated one million people on the streets of Santiago, Chile, and large numbers in cities up and down Chile on Friday 25 October, in peaceful protests calling for social justice, better pension system, addressing social inequality, resignation of President Piñera, and a new constitution.

This was triggered just over a week ago by a second fare hike to the Santiago Metro, with school students taking up the protests initially that broadened to general social protest at the cost of living and social inequalities with a deeply neoliberal economic system.

The social crisis is also an ecological crisis.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Escalating social unrest met with tanks and military on the streets of Chile in leadup to COP25


The last week has seen protests escalating in the streets of Santiago and other Chilean cities. This was triggered initially by students reacting against Santiago metro fare increase, the second increase this year. But it highlights poor pensions, a deteriorating health care system, and major social inequalities.

The situation in Chile is tense with a state of emergency declared and curfews imposed, tanks in the streets and troops using live rounds. Reminiscent of the junta years under General Pinochet.

Chile is nominally a constitutional democracy since early 1990s, with the present President Sebastián Piñera a member of the centre right National Renewal Party and a billionaire.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

“We all need to become everyday climate warriors” says John Englart Climate Action Moreland Convenor


John Englart accepting his award from Mayor Cr Natalie Abboud


John Englart, Convenor of Climate Action Moreland, received the annual Moreland Award for Environmental Sustainability at the Moreland Awards on 1st October, 2019 for his advocacy in climate action. More than 200 people attended the awards event at the Coburg Town Hall. Article originally published at Climate Action Moreland website.

Previous to his award, John Englart's name was mentioned during the evening ceremonies as part of three advisory groups: Sustainable Moreland Advisory Group, Moreland Transport Advisory Committee, Community Advisory Reference Group (on level crossing removal).

John has been a resident of Brunswick, Coburg North and Fawkner for 29 years, publishing on climate science and the need for action since 2004, and active in Climate Action Moreland since 2012. He has attended as an NGO Observer for Climate Action Network Australia the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Annual conferences in Paris in 2015 (COP21), Marrakech in 2016 (COP22), and Bonn in 2017 (COP23).

Friday, September 27, 2019

New IPCC report on Oceans and Cryosphere



The IPCC has released a new scientific report reviewing scientific research on global warming and how it impacts oceans and cryosphere, and knock on effects on marine ecosystems, fisheries, coastal systems and sea level rise, and water systems.

Kristina Dahl, senior climate scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists, said:
“Our oceans have absorbed the vast majority of extra heat added to the planet by heat-trapping gases emitted by humans. As the latest IPCC report shows, the consequences for the health of our oceans and the safety of coastal communities are already grave and will worsen as the planet continues to heat up.

“The report details how glaciers and ice sheets around the world are rapidly shrinking in response to human-caused warming. This loss of land-based ice will further accelerate rising seas levels, which will have stark implications for communities whose cultures, livelihoods or water supplies are glacier-dependent, as well for coastal communities across the globe more broadly.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Australian missing in action at UN Climate Action Summit



It has been well noted that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not attend the UN Climate Action Summit.

Indeed, the Secretary General made clear that only those nations that brought updated plans would be allowed to speak. But the Australian Prime Minister could still have attended. The Government chose not to, as the Morrison Government has no plan for extra ambition, no speech written, no climate and energy policy of substance.

Australian total emissions continue to rise, with National Greenhouse Gas Inventory to March 2019 showing a 0.6% increase.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Greta Thunberg at Climate Action Summit: "young people are starting to understand your betrayal"



Three speeches from the UN Climate Action Summit: Greta Thunberg, António Guterres UN Secretary General, and Pope Francis.

Greta Thunberg full speech at UN Climate Summit, New York

"This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!

"For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.

With today’s emissions levels, our remaining CO2 budget will be gone in less than 8.5 years.

You say you “hear” us and that you understand the urgency. But no matter how sad and angry I am, I don’t want to believe that. Because if you fully understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And I refuse to believe that.

The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5C degrees, and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

Maybe 50% is acceptable to you. But those numbers don’t include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of justice and equity. They also rely on my and my children’s generation sucking hundreds of billions of tonnes of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist. So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us – we who have to live with the consequences.

To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5C global temperature rise – the best odds given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – the world had 420 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide left to emit back on 1 January 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatonnes. How dare you pretend that this can be solved with business-as-usual and some technical solutions. With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone in less than eight and a half years.

There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures today. Because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.

You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us I say we will never forgive you. We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Gas expansion policy is Labor's climate policy problem

The Labor Party wants to act on climate change, yet on April 23rd during the election campaign Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced reform of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund. As part of this reform process $1.5 billion would be allocated to constructing a gas pipeline network enabling development of new gas fields in the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory, and the Galilee Basin in Queensland, as well as the existing Bowen Basin gas fields.

This is new infrastructure that would enable export of gas, and the development of new gas fields. It is sharply at odds with reducing emissions and stopping development of new fossil fuel reserves.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Time to wake up to the climate emergency says Christina Figueres



Extinction Rebellion and student climate strike movement civil disobedience actions receives support from Christiana Figueres to wake us up to the climate emergency.

Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Christiana Figueres, is an important architect of the Paris Agreement negotiated in 2015.

She has released a video statement on the importance of civil disobedience and protests by #ExtinctionRebellion and the Student #climatestrike in waking us up to the #climateemergency and need for political action on climate change.

Australian politicians and #climateelection candidates should all watch, take note, and undertake ambitious action if elected. There is no more time for delay or denial.

Here in Australia the student climate strike has 3 simple basic demands:

* Stop Adani coal mine
* No new coal or gas projects
* 100 percent renewables by 2030 target

Anything less than this, does not respect the science and the threat to society from climate breakdown.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

"If our house were falling apart..." Greta Thunberg on the need to address climate breakdown



In the last week Greta Thunberg, the 16 year old Swedish climate activist, has travelled to Rome and met with Pope Francis, appeared before a 25,000 climate-strike Fridays for Future protest in Rome calling for increased climate action, and attended the Environment Committee of the Europoean Parliament in Strasbourg.

They were all significant events and highlighted her important role as a catalyst in speaking truth to power in facing the climate crisis and climate breakdown, in motivating change and action by politicians.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Greta Thunberg accepts German Golden Camera Award


Greta Thunberg was awarded a special Golden Camera award at Germany's media awards night. She dedicated the award in her speech to the activists fighting against the destruction of the Hambach Forest for lignite mining and to all activists fighting to keep fossil fuels in the ground.

She also called on the celebrities gathered to use their influence to raise awareness of the global crisis.

"I dedicate this award to the people fighting to protect the Hambach Forest. And to activists everywhere who are fighting to keep the fossil fuels in the ground.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Melbourne Airport Runway expansion, risk management and aviation emissions



A Response from Australia Pacific Airport (Melbourne) to my questions on runway expansion and aviation emissions.

On my first question, regarding factoring in the possibility for development of east coast high speed rail and it's impact on flight projections, they utterly failed to answer my question.

This is a big fail in their risk management and in their corporate business model.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Melbourne's Extinction Rebellion Declaration Day



About 150 people attended Extinction Rebellion Day in Melbourne in the Treasury Gardens.

There was no blocking of bridges, no arrests made. It was a pretty tame affair, really. The Climate Guardian angels were present and provided a note of solemnity. Composer and choir master Stephen Taberner was there and gave a quick workshop on street chants.

There was a short march up to Treasury Place where the declaration was read out. A copy of the declaration was also handed to a security officer between the locked bars of the Australian Government offices.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Domestic Aviation emissions are booming while Melbourne Airport plans ignore climate risk management


Growth in domestic transport emissions compared: note aviation emissions growth is well ahead of other transport modes. Source: Charting Transport.com: Update on Australian transport trends (December 2018)


Melbourne Airport Corporation had a drop in session on 13 March at the Hume Global Learning Centre at Broadmeadows. I dropped in to raise that Melbourne airport needs to address aviation emissions growth as part of their business model for airport expansion. This also needs to be dealt with as part of their Risk Management Plan.

My presence sends a signal that Melbourne Airport Corporation need to start to address the issue of airport expansion inducing growth in aviation emissions and non-CO2 climate impact.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Greta Thunberg: "We are school striking because we have done our homework...We need knew politics. We need knew economics."



While tens of thousands of children were climate striking and marching through the streets of Brussels, Greta Thunberg addressed the European Economic and Social Committee at the EESC event "Civil Society for rEUnaissance".

Greta articulated that it is time for politicians to listen to the scientists and the science, "We don't have any other manifestos and demands. Just unite behind the science. That is our demand." she said.

She argued cogently that politicians don't want to talk about the climate crisis, but raise conspiracies to mask their own inadequacy in addressing a problem that has gone on for decades with little action.

She accused the European Union of doing only half the emissions reduction that is needed Europe should double what its commitments for its fair share. (Read Guardian article: Greta Thunberg tells EU: your climate targets need doubling)

To answer the argument put forward that students should be in school, Greta suggested that adults should take the place of students on the street, striking for change, "or better yet, join us to speed up the process." she said.



Greta addressing the student climate strike rally in Brussels: "we will be a pain in the arse, we will keep on striking until they do something"




The student climate strike in Basel Switzerland, has resulted on Wednesday in the city declaring a climate emergency, passing the resolution by a two thirds vote (by 71 votes to 17 against and 6 abstentions). The resolution was drafted by climate strike kids.

Read Greta Thunberg's full speech below:



"Tens of thousands of children are school striking for the climate on the streets of Brussels. Hundreds of thousands are doing the same all over the world.

"We are school striking because we have done our homework. And some of us are here today.

People always tell us they are so hopeful. They are hopeful that the young people are going to save the world. But we are not. There is simply not enough time to wait for us to grow up and become the ones in charge, because by the year 2020 we need to have bended the emissions curve steep downwards. That is next year.

We know that most politicians don't want to talk to us.

Good, we don't want to talk to them either.

We want them to talk to the scientists instead. Listen to them. Because we are just repeating what they have been saying and saying for decades.

We want you to follow the Paris Agreement and IPCC reports.

We don't have any other manifestos and demands. Just unite behind the science. That is our demand.

When many politicians talk about the school strike for the climate, they talk about almost anything except the climate crisis.

Many people are trying to make the school strikes a question of whether we are promoting truancy or whether we should go back to school or not. They make up all sorts of conspiracies and call us puppets who cannot think for ourselves. They are desperate to remove the focus from the climate crisis and change the subject. They don't want to talk about it because they know they cannot win this fight, because they know they haven't done their homework, but we have.

Once you have done your homework you realise that we need knew politics. We need knew economics where everything is based on a rapidly declining and extremely limited global carbon budget.

But that is not enough. We need a whole new way of thinking. The political system that you have created is all about competition. You cheat when you can because all that matters is to win, to get power. That must come to an end. We must stop competing with each other. We need to co-operate and work together and share the resources of the planet in a fair way.

We need to start living within the planetary boundaries, focus on equity and take a few steps back for the sake of all living species.

We need to protect the biosphere, the air, the oceans, the soil, the forests.

This may sound very naive, but if you have done your homework you know we don't have any other choice. We need to focus every inch of our being on climate change, because if we fail to do so then all our achievements and progress have been for nothing.

And all that will remain of our political leaders legacy will be the greatest failure of human history, and they will be remembered as the greatest villans of all time because they have chosen not to listen and not to act.

This does not have to be. There is still time.

According to the IPCC report we are about 11 years away from being in a position where we set off an irreversible chain reaction beyond human control. To avoid that, unprecedented change in all aspects of society need to have taken place within this coming decade, including a reduction in our CO2 emissions by at least 50 percent by the year 2030.

And please note that those numbers do not include the aspect of equity, which are absolutely necessary to make the Paris Agreement work on a global scale. Nor do they include tipping points, or feedback loops, like the extremely powerful methane gas released by the thawing Arctic permafrost.

They do however include negative emission techniques on a huge planetary scale that is yet to be invented, and that many scientists fear will never be ready in time, and will anyway be impossible to deliver at the scale assumed.

We have been told that the European Union intends to improve its emission reduction target. In the new target the EU is proposing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent below its 1990 levels by 2030. Some people say that is good, or that is ambitious. But this new target is still not enough to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. This target is not sufficient to protect the future of children growing up today.

If the EU is to make its fair contribution to staying within its carbon budget of the 2 degree limit, then it means an 80 percent reduction by 2030, and that includes aviation and shipping. So around twice as ambitious as the current proposal.

The actions required are beyond manifestos or any party politics.

Once again they sweep their mess under the carpet for our generation to clean up and solve.

Some people say we are fighting for our future, but that is not true. We are not fighting for our future, we are fighting for everyones future.

And if you think we should be in school instead, then we suggest you take our place in the streets, striking from your work, or better yet, join us to speed up the process.

I am sorry, but saying that everything will be alright and continue doing nothing at all is just not hopeful to us. In fact, it is the opposite of hope, and yet this is exactly what you keep doing. You can't just sit around waiting for hope to come. Then you are acting like spoiled irresponsible children.

You don't seem to understand that hope is something you have to earn.

And if you still say we are wasting valuable lesson time, then let me remind you our political leaders have wasted decades through denial and inaction.

And since our time is running out we have decided to take action. We have started to clean up your mess, and we will not stop until we are done."

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Extreme Heat withering the trees in Albury


It's been an incredibly hot summer so far if you live in Australia's inland. Record breaking heat is impacting the health of people and roasting the vegetation.

Take the City of Albury- Wodonga as an example.

The towns of Albury-Wodonga straddle the Victoria-New South Wales border, on the Murray river. It is an important regional city with both the Hume Highway and Sydney Melbourne rail passing through.





MEDIA RELEASE – JANUARY 2019: ALBURY’S HOTTEST MONTH EVER – 1/2/19

Record breaking January temperatures coupled with low rainfall have caused significant stress on local plants including death of less established trees, burnt leaves, defoliation of deciduous trees, increased eucalypt limb falls and premature fruit drop.

Albury’s January temperatures were the hottest on record, with an average day time temperature of 37.4 degrees, 5.1 degrees higher than the long term average of 32.3, according to Bureau of Meteorology data.

“These record-breaking January temperatures, including 11 days over 40 degrees, have had widespread impacts on our area” said Lizette Salmon, convener of Wodonga Albury Toward Climate Health (WATCH).

“As well as the blue-green algae problem and many people complaining of listlessness and irritability, we’ve received 60 reports from 30 citizen scientists describing impacts such as fatigued outdoor workers, decimated rhubarb, pumpkin and spinach crops, stressed and dehydrated wildlife and melting wax in bee hives. But the most frequently reported phenomenon has been the number of stressed trees.”

“A local arborist said he’d had double the number of limb fall call-outs from Vic Roads, a council worker said there was more summer leaf litter than any previous year and an orchardist estimated he’d lost 90% of his avocado crop due to premature fruit drop. Just look around our streets and you’ll see lots of stressed trees. Established trees in urban landscapes provide amenity, microclimate and biodiversity, so losses will impact greatly.”

Former curator of the Albury Botanic Gardens, Paul Scannell, said he too had noticed many changes in local plants this summer. “Natives like hakeas are dropping like nine-pins, avenues of ashes and other European and Asian specimens including Japanese maples, planes, conifers and elms are suffering. It’s the extreme temperatures, compounded by lack of water and attack by insects and diseases having an accelerated impact.”

“While defoliation, limb loss and fruit drop are natural responses to extreme conditions, this shutting down for self preservation can only go so far. If the heat and dry persist they’ll need to be well maintained with watering, mulching and, in the case of some street trees, air shattering the ground to open layers, or mechanical aeration to allow moisture to the root zone. Even then, they may not survive long term. If plants are suffering, insects are suffering, birds are suffering and lizards are suffering. It’s all interconnected. I anticipate that in the next 20 years there will be a 30 to 40 percent change of plant species we can use in gardens. We need to take strong action on climate change as well as selecting plants that are more likely to survive a heating planet.”

After advocating for climate action for more than a decade, Mrs Salmon has lost much faith in federal government. “Scientists have been warning us about these heatwaves for years and this January has been an absolute scorcher, yet the Prime Minister and his government are completely ignoring it. Their wilful silence and decades of inaction are disgraceful. Although Mr Morrison says we’ll meet the Paris climate targets he’s using dodgy accounting to ‘carry-over’ credits from Kyoto towards Paris. To pass on a habitable planet to our children we need to replace coal-fired generation with renewables and pumped hydro storage at emergency speed. It will be quicker and cheaper than more fossil fuels.”

Reference:

Monday, February 4, 2019

Politician responses to the record extreme heat for Australia January 2019


I've done some tracking on twitter across the political divide on climate and the heatwave events, going back to 22 December 2018 (the start of Christmas/New Year 1st heatwave event). December and January were record hot for Australia.

Australia's Hottest January on Record as we head into a climate election


Just as climate change has been driving up temperatures in Australia to record levels, the political temperature is also rising for a climate election for May 2019.

Australia has just experienced its hottest December on record, followed by its hottest January. It's already been a very hot summer with record breaking temperatures, and it's not yet over.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Heatwave round 3: climate diary of an Australian heat event


Welcome to my third daily diary of an Australian heatwave event. This heat event is marked by persistent heat from the Pilbara and Central Australia from mid December 2018 that sends out waves of heat to impact the south east population centres of Adelaide in South Australia, Melbourne and inland Victoria, western NSW spreading to include Canberra and Sydney.

Read my diary entries for the Christmas New Year heatwave: Climate Diary of an extreme heatwave across Australia and climate heat impacts, covering Dedcember 22 to January 6.

I followed this up with a second blog article documenting the heat event from January 14 - January 19: Take 2: Climate Diary of an Australian heatwave - January 2019
Heat Health alerts issued for Melbourne and Victoria
Over the weekend of 19-20 January the heat retreated to the Pilbara and Central Australia, but the heat event is far from dissipating. Heat Records continue to be broken.

Why am I documenting this? Because climate change is a primary driver of more extreme heat events. Read the Climate Council 2014 Report on Heatwaves: Hotter Longer, More often.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Climate change, Fish Die-offs, algal blooms, drought and water mismanagement in the Murray Darling Basin

Rob McBride and Menindee resident, Dick Arnold stand in the Darling river, holding Murray cod that have lived through decades of droughts and floods, but could not survive this human-made disaster. Image: Kate McBride


NSW Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair revealed the latest fish die-off has occurred at Lake Hume on the NSW-Victorian border. The numbers of dead fish are much smaller than at Menindee: perhaps about 1800 according to the NSW Department of Primary Industries. Cause of the deaths are still being investigated. Lake Hume is controlled by the Murray Darling Basin Authority and is currently 30 per cent full.

Niall Blair is trying to divert blame to drought and heatwave conditions rather than ongoing corruption (water theft) and mismanagement of water flows and over-allocation of water to upper Murray Darling basin irrigators (especially cotton), at the expense of environmental flows, to ensure the health of the Murray Darling river ecosystem through drought periods. The Australia Institute have now researched and published a discussion paper which holds the NSW Government and Murray Darling Basin Authority water mismanagement as culpable for the massive fish kill in the Darling river near Menindee.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Take 2: Climate Diary of an Australian heatwave - January 2019

Round two for extreme heat roasting of Australia this summer.

The first heatwave round ocurred over the Christmas New Year period for which I did a daily climate blog. I followed this up with some simple analysis of the Maximum temperatures for capital cities and a number of regional towns. A further article looked at Mapping the heat trend in Australia's capital cities for 2018 and future projections.

While Sydney's eastern suburbs temperatures will be in the low 30s in the coming week, residents of Penrith and Richmond in Western #Sydney will swelter through four or five days above 40C says Dean Narramore a meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology.

The heatwave will impact large regions of inland Australia with lesser impact of perhaps some extreme heat days for coastal cities and towns. Major international sporting events such as the Australian Tennis Open in Melbourne and the Tour Down Under cycling event in South Australia will see their extreme heat policies implemented.

“Particularly northern South Australia, they’re looking at maybe five days in a row above 45 and normally they might only get five or 10 a year,” meteorologist Dean Narramore said on Sunday, according to The Guardian report.

It is well past time to take rapid action on climate, to reduce emissions and set ambituous targets that are our fair share of the Paris Agreement climate goals to keep global temperatures well below 2 degrees celcius and strive to meet a 1.5C target.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Burning the carbon budget: the aviation emissions profligacy of Finance Minister Mathias Cormann


The silence on aviation emissions is deafening. And our politicians are some of the worst at exacerbating aviation emissions and climate impact from aviation.

Take Liberal Party Finance Minister Mathias Cormann for example.

His flight to Perth in June last year using a VIP jet for the forward journey contributed 9428 kg of CO₂e climate impact.

A return commercial flight business class amounts to 2355 kg of CO₂e climate impact.

The excess climate impact (and this is a very conservative figure) was 7073 kg of CO₂e climate impact.

This flight journey by Mathias Cormann was a rort at taxpayers expense and the expense of future generations through it's climate impact.

Friday, January 11, 2019

2018 third hottest on record for Australia with protracted drought, persistent heat


Australia's average temperature in 2018 was 1.14 °C above the 1961–1990 average, making it slightly warmer than 2017 said the Bureau of Meteorology in the 2018 Annual climate statement.

"When we look across all of Australia in 2018, we can see that every single state and territory had above-average day and night-time temperatures," Dr Bettio said.

"The average maximum temperature for the country as a whole was particularly warm, sitting 1.55 °C above the 1961–1990 average, making 2018 Australia's second warmest year on record for daily high temperatures.

"Average minimum temperatures for 2018 were 0.73 °C above average, the eleventh-warmest on record.

"The only part of the country to buck the trend for above average temperatures was the Kimberley region, which had cooler than average nights for the year."

On temperatures 2018 was Australia's third-warmest year on record; a year of protracted drought and persistent warmth.

Meanwhile, Australia still has no effective climate or energy policy, no consistent plan to phase out coal or gas fossil fuels, no plan to reduce transport emissions, a problem with increased vegetation clearing in Queensland and New South Wales. Australia's emissions are rising over the last 4 years and Environment department Data shows that Australia is unlikely to meet it's low 26 percent emissions reduction target by 2030.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Mapping the heat trend in Australia's capital cities for 2018 and future projections


The Is it hot right now? website provides a daily view on daily average temperatures for Australian capital cities, comparing the average temperature to it's history for that day, to see where it sits in the distribution of temperatures typical for the time of year.

The site was developed by climate researchers Mathew Lipson, Steefan Contractor and James Goldie. The data comes from the Bureau of Meteorology's ACORN-SAT.

Mat Lipson provided the Yearly average temperature charts and the 2018 heat maps for each city. The trend in rising temperatures is clearly visible in each. I have added details for each city of future projections done by CSIRO in 2015.

In the year heat maps for each city you can still see the fluctuations in temperature due to weather events, but the cold days (blue) are getting rarer, and the hot days (red) are getting more common, a telling sign of the long term climate temperature trend affecting all regions of Australia.