Sunday, October 31, 2021

Morrison at the G20 in Rome - blocking coal phaseout and deflecting climate ambition

G20: Macron and Merkel sit talking while Morrison alone

Before COP26 in Glasgow leaders of the G20 countries will be meeting in Rome on 30-31 October. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will attend both high level leaders meetings.

While there is a block of countries working on phaseout of coal, Australia joins India and China in resisting G20 call to phase out coal.

The Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA) on 20 October issued a statement saying COP26 must consign coal power to history. Since its creation in 2017 by the United Kingdom and Canadian governments, the PPCA has grown to more than 130 members, including countries, cities, regions and businesses around the world. This includes 41 national Governments. In Australia subnational governments of The ACT, Cityof Sydney and  City of Melbourne have endorsed the PPCA.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Victoria reduces emissions by 24.8%, on track for 45-50% reduction by 2030

Victoria achieved a 24.8 per cent emissions reduction between 2005 and 2019 and the state’s annual emissions dropped below 100 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent for the first time since 1994. This are pre-pandemic 2019 figures, and it is likely emissions have further declined during the pandemic. 

The results were contained in a report tabled in the Victorian parliament .

The Andrews government has met its legislated pledge to cut emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 ahead of schedule, and is on track to meet its target of a 28 to 33 per cent reduction below 2005 levels by 2025, and 45-50 per cent by 2030.

Guest video: Fact-checking & Debunking Morrison's Net Zero 2050 'Plan' | Good COP Bad COP


The Australia Institute:

So Scott Morrison and Angus Taylor announced a net zero emissions by 2050 plan that projects that things will go wonderfully and that they won't need to change anything, especially not phasing out fossil fuel! How good.

However, their supposed confidence in beating their very weak 2030 target isn't enough to actually legislate any changes or increased commitments. This one is a real bin fire, and to help us along, and in honour of COP26 beginning in Glasgow very soon, we're drinking Scotland's finest scotch. Join us as we unpack loads of spin, mistruths and discuss what Australia should actually be taking to COP. (Hint: support and protection of the fossil fuel industry doesn't make the cut)

Friday, October 29, 2021

Methane Pledge debated by Barnaby Joyce and Mike Cannon Brookes highlighting lack of net zero transition plan

Bush Summit 2021 with Clare Armstrong, Barnaby Joyce and Mike Cannon-Brookes

Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce said he took credit for preventing Australia signing the Global Methane Pledge as part of Australia's Net Zero 2050 Plan. It was one of the 3 page list of demands to commit to Morrison's Net Zero by 2050 Plan.

Methane was identified in the most recent IPCC 6th Assessment report as important to reduce emissions this decade due to its high Global Warming Potential in short term time frames like 20 years. "Strong, rapid and sustained reductions in CH 4 emissions would also limit the warming effect resulting from declining aerosol pollution and would improve air quality." said the report. Nature Science journal also highlighted in an editorial on 25 August 2021: Control methane to slow global warming — fast.

The issue of not signing the Global Methane pledge was raised at the Daily Telegraph Bush Summit on Friday 29 October in a discussion compared by journalist Clare Armstrong with Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce and Co-founder and CEO of Atlassian Mike Cannon-Brookes. It also highlighted the lack of any rigorous transition plan in the net zero 2050 policy, and lack of any transition plan for the agriculture sector.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

COP26 Climate Summit Honest Government Ad | with References



Honest Australien Government Ad on COP26 by Juice Media. 

If you want to hear the bloody truth on what Prime Minister Scott Morrison is taking to the UN climate Conference at Glasgow, COP26, then this video gives you the important background information. 

This post provides references for the information in the video. This is a third party solidarity action to support this Honest Government Ad by Juice Media.


Australia is failing to update low 2030 climate emissions targets from 26-28% cut by 2030 to take to COP26. Government projections show emissions reduction may achieve 30-35% by 2030, but Government is refusing to increase the formal target. 

Independant modelling, purely based on the actions of state governments, by Climate Works Australia associated with Monash University, shows that 37-42% cut by 2030 may be achieved, The Federal Government is often working against state government action. 

Recently the Business Council of Australia produced two reports and advocated a 46-50% emissions cut by 2030. The Business Council of Australia represents many blue chip Australian corporations from many sectors (incliding mining). The second report was commissioned with the Australian Council of Trade Unions and two major peak environment organisations. 

See more references after the Youtube video.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Offshore wind Bill debated in Canberra to unlock offshore wind energy resource

Greater Gabbard Windfarm Courtesy SSE

"For a government that talks up 'technology not taxes' it is so disappointing that we've had to wait so long for this legislation" says Labor MP Kate Thwaites, who says the ALP supports the #OffshoreWindBill but the policy needs more work to deliver for jobs and communities. 

Australia's first #OffshoreWindBill creates a licensing and regulatory regime. It is a key first step for unlocking an avalanche of offshore wind farm proposals. 

The Bill also clears the path for renewable export projects such as the massive Sub Cable project in the NT, which is looking at up to 20GW of solar, and more than 40GWh of battery storage, with most of it to be exported to Singapore via sub-sea cable.

The Bill is called: Offshore Electricity Infrastructure Bill 2021 [Provisions] and Offshore Electricity Infrastructure (Regulatory Levies) Bill 2021 [Provisions].

The Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre (Blue Economy CRC)  found there is the potential for 2000 GW of offshore wind capacity for Australia. The Australian Energy Market Operator has identified several offshore wind zones that could accommodate up to 40GW of offshore wind.

Guest Post: Australia’s clean hydrogen revolution is a path to prosperity – but it must be powered by renewable energy

Source: FFI - Andrew Forrest at Gladstone announces hydrogen electrolyser project

 John Mathews, Macquarie University

Days out from the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow, the Morrison government on Tuesday announced a “practically achievable” path to reaching its new target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

As expected, the government will pursue a “technology not taxes” approach – eschewing policies such as a carbon price in favour of technological solutions to reduce emissions. Developing Australia’s fledgling hydrogen industry is a central plank in the plan.

UNEP Emissions Gap: planet heading to 2.7C climate catastrophe without needed 2030 ambition at COP26

UNEP Emissions Gap 2021: Global emissions 1970-2020

The UN Environment Program published 2021 Emissions Gap - The Heat is on report analysing current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) revealing world on track for a global temperature rise of 2.7°C by the end of the century. 

Commitments made for 2030 but not yet submitted in an updated NDC – only take an additional 7.5 per cent off predicted annual greenhouse gas emissions in 2030, compared to the previous round of commitments. Reductions of 30 per cent are needed to stay on the least-cost pathway for 2°C and 55 per cent for 1.5°C. 

Australia submitted an updated NDC in December 2020 with no change in 2030 targets, which will be the policy position at COP26, although Prime Minister Morrison & Energy Minister Taylor will try to spin a projection of a 30-35 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 'beating' our extremely low target. 

Australia also falling short on our fair share of climate finance.

On reducing Methane emissions the report says Australia is one of the worst emitters, a reason to sign on to The Global Methane Pledge

"Among the major emitting countries analysed, China, the Russian Federation, India and Australia show the greatest emission gaps for methane, with their NDC reductions relative to their 2°C reductions less than the global mean for both 2030 and 2050. Methane reductions in 1.5°C least-cost pathways are 44 per cent at the global level by 2030 compared with 2015, rather than 34 per cent for 2°C." 

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Morrison Net Zero 2050 Plan a fraud, with plans to double coal exports, new gas expansion

Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor with 'Net zero Plan' slide

Prime Minister Scott Morrison accompanied by Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor announced Australia's commitment to Net Zero by 2050. But there will be no change to the 26-28% emissions reduction target by 2030 that was submitted in 2015 to the Paris Agreement.

ABC political analyst Laura Tingle commented "All this time to wait for a 15 page slide set with literally nothing new in it...." and "The plan is based on our existing policies".

Australia is taking a technology not taxes meet and cheat projection to Glasgow, which is another way of climate delay and denial while expanding fossil fuel production

"You will be supported by our data projection that will see us exceed our 2030 target with emissions reduction of up to 35% by 2030. We will keep our commitment, though, when it comes to our pledge that we made, and took to the last election of 26 to 28%, but we will meet it, and we will beat it. And we’ll beat it with emissions reductions we believe about the 35%." said Morrison. 

Yeah the work of all the states will see Australia achieve 37-42% emissions reduction. Federal Government doing SFA according to modelling on 2030 climate targets.

"This is the right plan for Australia – to summarise the outcome from it, which we’ll see in the plan, Australians $2,000 better off on average in 2050 compared with no Australian action." says Angus Taylor. 

But acting fast with renewables with strong 2030 targets showed citizens would be $5000 better off according to Business Council of Australia report. Guardian Australia Politics Live

Find below Ministerial press release, video of the press conference, some twitter commentary, and statements by Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese and shadow Climate spokesperson Chris Bowen.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Australia's 2030 climate targets for COP26

Source: Climate Council: from Paris to Glasgow report, 21 October, 2021

The Nationals have now given in principle support for Net zero by 2050. But 2050 is so far in the distance it is effectively irrelevant to what commitment and ambition Australia takes to the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow, COP26. 

Ratcheting up 2030 ambition and targets is what is really at issue. This was written into the Paris Agreement that countries increase ambition after 5 years. That time is now. Senate estimate questioning on 25 October reveals Australia's 2030 target not being updated (See update at end of post)

While we wait for the Liberal Party to reflect upon the Nationals Party confidential 3 page list of demands on committing Australia to Net Zero by 2050 target, lets reflect a bit more on the 2030 target for Australia. 

According to Climate Works Australia analysis, actions by Australian state governments has already set a de facto emissions target of 37 - 42 percent by 2030 based on a 2005 baseline eclipsing the 26-28 per cent set in 2015 by Prime Minister Abbott that formed part of Australia's initial Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and updated NDC this year.

ClimateWorks Australia: defacto national target set by state actions of 37-42%

For Australia to be in the ball park for dealing and to be taken seriously at the UN climate talks it really needs to match the commitments of USA, Europe and UK. The lower end of that range is 46 to 50 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 on 2005 baseline. The Climate Council says a science based target is for Australia to aim to reduce emissions by 75% below 2005 levels by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2035.

At the moment Prime Minister Morrison is taking to the G20 and Glasgow COP26 a commitment for net zero by 2050, but no change in 2030 climate targets as submitted in our NDC, no plan to increase our climate finance to our fair share, and no indication we will sign on to the Global Methane Pledge.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Business, Unions, Environment Organisations outline Australian clean energy transition vital for jobs and new export revenues

There has been a range of reports just published on why Australia should accelerate transition and transformation to a clean economy and phase out Fossil Fuels. The Business Council of Australia On Sunday 10 October The Business Council Of Australia (BCA) released a report, reversing previous stance on a net zero target and upgraded 2030 interim emissions reduction targets.

Four days later a report by global services consultancy Accenture commissioned jointly by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF), WWF-Australia, ACTU and BCA was released - Sunshot: Australia’s opportunity to create 395,000 clean export jobs, charting a path for the country through the global transition to net-zero that delivers new jobs and replaces high carbon exports with clean export revenue.

These reports make it clear there are tremendous advantages in moving early with rapid ramp up of renewables, hydrogen, green steel, rare earth minerals, and services and training in the new energy economy. Thousands of jobs would be created, the great majority in regional areas allowing a transition of existing workforces with retraining in related or new skills. The benefits would flow to regional areas and the whole economy.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Australia's Technology not taxes Meet and Cheat Strategy for #COP26 while increasing fossil fuel production


Looks like Australia's technology not taxes Government slogan policy is part of its Meet and Cheat strategy.

Meet Australia's absurdly low 26-28% by 2030 climate targets for the UN climate talks in Glasgow - COP26 - ignoring that the Paris Agreement specifically requests that new NDCs with greater ambition be submitted, the ratchett mechanism.

While lobbying the IPCC to water down and delete need for phaseout of fossil fuel power, claiming carbon capture Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) (none of which is built) will keep these coal and gas stations running. Delete references to the power of the Fossil Fuel Lobby in influencing government decisions, despite this being fully referenced from multiple sources.

These comments were made on the 6th Assessment Working Group III report on mitigation (climate solutions) currently in preparation due for release in 2022.

Meanwhile Australia received a scathing profile in the 2021 Production Gap report highlighting Australia has no effective phaseout or transition plans for fossil fuel production, and in fact is planning to increase production.

There goes any semblance of credibility (if any was left) for the UN climate talks.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Exposing Australia's Smoke and Mirrors Climate Diplomacy | Good COP Bad Cop

The Australia Institute's  Richie Merzian and Alia Armistead discussion of the smoke and mirrors climate diplomacy by Australia over a long term, including The Australia clause. 



Friday, October 15, 2021

Carmichael coal mine threatens irreversible damage to Doongmabulla Springs and local ecology says new study

Doongmabulla Springs threatened by Carmichael mine

New hydrology research from Flinders and Darwin Universities highlights the Bravus (formerly Adani) Carmichael Coal mine being develeped in the Galilee Basin of Central Queensland may permanently damage the Doongmabulla Springs and the acquifer water it depends upon, and with it local ecosystems.

The natural springs are environmentally significant and are also of great spiritual and cultural significance to the Wangan and Jagalingou Indigenous nation.

Groundwater scientists warn more research is needed to measure and fully understand the aquifer sources that feed the springs.

“Even if the springs’ source aquifer is partially dewatered for mining operations, there is a serious threat of permanent damage,” says Flinders University PhD candidate Mr Robin Keegan-Treloar, the lead author of a new paper in the international Journal of Hydrology.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

More ambitious climate action needed say Australians in 2021 Climate of the Nation Poll

The Australia Institute commissioned Climate of the Nation survey. This is  the longest continuous survey of community attitudes to climate change in the country.  The Climate Institute produced the report from 2007-2017 before the survey was taken over by the Australia Institute.

The quantitative survey was conducted by YouGov from 2-11 August 2021. The sample comprised 2,626 Australians aged 18 years and older. The overall margin of sampling error is 1.91%. The sample was distributed throughout Australia.

By the numbers:

  • 82% of Australians are concerned climate change will result in more bushfires, more droughts and flooding, and animal and plant species extinction
  • 82% of Australians support a phase-out of coal fired power stations
  • 79% of Australians rank solar in their top three preferred energy sources, compared to 15% for coal and 19% for gas
  • 75% of Australians are concerned about climate change
  • 74% of Australians support state governments putting in place incentives for more renewable energy
  • 71% of Australians support government subsidies to reduce the cost of purchasing an electric vehicle
  • 70% of Australians would consider switching to electric hot water systems
  • 69% think Australia should set targets and implement domestic action to limit global warming to 1.5-2°C and achieve net zero emissions
  • 67% of Australians think Australia should be a world leader in finding solutions to climate change
  • 66% of Australians think the Australian Government should stop new coal mines
  • 64% of Australians support requiring all new car sales in Australia to be zero emissions vehicles by 2035
  • 61% of Australians support a levy on fossil fuel exports to help pay for climate disasters
  • 60% of Australians support Australia following the IEA pathway and not approving new gas, coal or oil projects
  • 55x is the factor by which Australians overestimate gas and oil industry contribution to Commonwealth revenue
  • 23% of Australians support the current level of fossil fuel industry subsidisation, compared to 57% that oppose it
  • 12% of Australians prefer Australia’s economic recovery to be primarily powered by gas, while 63% prefer renewables investment

Richie Merzian, Climate & Energy Program Director, The Australia Institute, sums up the survey:

Climate of the Nation 2021 reveals the extent of the hunger Australians have for leadership on climate change. Two-thirds agree that Australia should be a world leader in finding solutions to climate change. More than two-thirds want Australia to commit to net zero emissions and set targets to limit global warming to 1.5-2°C. At the very least, that requires halving Australia’s emissions this decade (approximately doubling the current 2030 emissions reduction target) and not approving new gas, coal, or oil projects. While Australians support changes at a policy level, they are also willing to make changes themselves; to electrify their homes and their vehicles and power them using sun, wind, water and batteries.

Australian diplomacy in 2021 has thus far been disappointing. Our leaders have stubbornly resisted increasingly urgent calls by the United Nations and our key allies to increase Australia’s climate ambition and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels. 

I am not going to even try and summarise each section of this report but present 13 of what I consider to be the key graphs. 

Watch the launch of this survey report 13 October 2021, with Labor Shadow Spokesperson for Climate Change Chris Bowen on Youtube or below.

The Graphs showing community concern













References:


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

This is Loss and Damage - Who Pays? It must feature at COP26 in Glasgow


In the powerful new film, "This is Loss and Damage - Who Pays?", climate activist, Vanessa Nakate, and Loss and Damage experts, Professor Saleem Huq and Harjeet Singh, offer a compelling way out of the Loss and Damage finance stalemate: an international mechanism funded by the fossil fuel polluters who caused the crisis.

The film is part of the launch of the Make Polluters Pay campaign, led by a coalition of  charities and organisations in the leadup to the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, COP26. The campaign aims to raise public awareness about the urgent need for loss and damage funding, paid for by the biggest polluters. 

So what are some possible mechanisms to raise money for a Loss and Damage Fund? A Robin Hood style Financial Transactions Tax is possible. A Climate Damages Tax levied on existing fossil fuels extracted.

Panel discussion of Loss and Damage video.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Clean, healthy and sustainable environment now designated a human right by UN Human Rights Council


The UN Human Rights Council at its 48th session recognised, for the first time, that having a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is a human right. The Human Rights Council also established the position of Special Rapporteur on Climate Change.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, in a statement called on Member States to take bold actions to give prompt and real effect to the right to a healthy environment.

“The Human Rights Council’s decisive action in recognising the human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment is about protecting people and planet – the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat. It is also about protecting the natural systems which are basic preconditions to the lives and livelihoods of all people, wherever they live,” the High Commissioner said. “Having long called for such a step, I am gratified that the Council’s action today clearly recognises environmental degradation and climate change as interconnected human rights crises.”

Friday, October 8, 2021

Australian Aviation CO2 emissions equivalent to 5 coal power stations


A new website uncovers the aviation emissions associated with 1300 airports globally, covering 99 per cent of passenger flights. Twenty four of those airports are located in Australia producing carbon emissions equivalent to five coal fired power stations.

The aviation sector would have been the sixth-largest emitter of CO₂ in 2018 if it were a country, responsible for 2.5 per cent of global emissions. Up until the pandemic aviation was growing 5 per cent annually since 2013. Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, the sector remains off-track for limiting global heating to 1.5ºC.

Aviation emissions for the website is based on data from 1300 airports from 2013, 2018, 2019. The website was a joint project by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), International Think Tank ODI, and Transport and Environment (T&E).

This is the first global attempt to focus on the infrastructure that enables and induces air travel and leads to more CO₂ emissions in future decades.