Mastodon 2023 | Climate Citizen Mastodon

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Climate Breakdown has begun warns UN Secretary General as world experiences hottest June-August period on record.

You know things are serious  when the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres escalates the rhetoric. On 6th September he commented on the latest World Meteorological Organisation report saying that Climate Breakdown has begun.

"The dog days of summer are not just barking, they are biting.

"Our planet has just endured a season of simmering — the hottest summer on record.  Climate breakdown has begun.

"Scientists have long warned what our fossil fuel addiction will unleash.  Our climate is imploding faster than we can cope with extreme weather events hitting every corner of the planet.

"Surging temperatures demand a surge in action.  Leaders must turn up the heat now for climate solutions.  We can still avoid the worst of climate chaos — and we don’t have a moment to lose."

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Global warming driven Lethal Heat poses huge mortality risk. Business needs to lead, guided by government policy says Fortescue Chairman Andrew Forrest

Dr Andrew Forrest, Iron Ore Billionaire and Chairman of Fortescue, gets that we have a climate emergency.

Maybe it was that marine science degree he did.

Fortescue has set real zero emissions targets by 2030, not net zero, no fiddling with carbon offset credits with questionable integrity.

He wants the phase out of Fossil Fuel Subsidies, better regulation by government, including to stop approval of new coal, oil and gas.

While governments need to lead on regulation, businesses need to also step up, forget carbon credits, real zero emission targets are needed.

He understands what we face with deaths from Lethal heat as temperatures rise. Yes, including in the northern bounds of Australia where temperatures over 35C plus high humidity will cause significant rates of heat related death.

He argues businesses need to lead on this at APEC meeting in November proposing to major economies of USA, China and India in particular, to render illegal any action that would prevent mitigation of global warming.

He concluded his presentation:

"Business people, if we are not fighting with our own governments, can lead this and make it happen.
Thats what I'm asking.
A simple agreement led by business, fast.
Because it is business, and I need you to know,
it is business that is causing global warming.
It is business that will kill your children.
It is business which is responsible for lethal humidity.
But it is policies that guide business.
You must hold us to account.
Don't let us with our clever advertising blame you the consumer. Or you the public or individual. Thats rubbish.
Business, guided by government will either destroy or save this planet.
Hold us to account.
Make us change."


Saturday, August 19, 2023

Is Australia prepared for a wildfire emergency in 2023 summer?

Queensland Fire incidents map Sat 19 August 11am

Early Fire season started this weekend in SE Queensland. Warmer temperatures with climate change is driving earlier fire seasons, more intense fire weather.

This fire season in Queensland is one month earlier start than the 2019-2020 bushfire season.

Key Points:
🔥 BOM says conditions ripe for high fire danger
🔥 Meteorologists warn people must take precautions
🔥 Australia's worst recorded bushfire season of 2019-2020 sparked on Queensland's Granite Belt in Sep 2019, burnt for months.

According to the Buraeu of Meteorology fire danger for the following regions were rated high on Friday: Capricornia, Central Highlands and Coalfields, Darling Downs and Granite Belt, Wide Bay and Burnett, Southeast Coast. All other regions were rated as moderate fire danger.

Thursday, August 3, 2023

Record Extreme heat in Chile, Argentina... in winter.

We are just having a record warm winter in Tasmania, parts of Victoria and Sydney, slightly more pleasant temperatures, but in Chile and Argentina in South America at the moment it is winter...

Australian climate heatwave expert A/Prof. Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick (@sarahinscience) described the South American heat event:
"what the actual F**K. this is totally insane. When I first saw this, I had trouble believing it myself. I'm shocked. Buenos Aires broke a record by over 5C - that's like Sydney experiencing a 30+C day at this time of year. This is bonkers. #climatechange"

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Tasmania breaks July winter temperature records; Sydney records hottest July temperature

Temperature records tumble during winter in Tasmania in July. And Sydney set a new warmist July record. It seems July temperature records aren't only being broken during the northern hemisphere heatwaves, but also in the depths of winter season in Australia.

In Tasmania:

  • statewide mean maximum temperature was 1.40 °C above the 1961-1990 average, the warmest on record. 
  • statewide mean minimum temperature was 2.63 °C above the 1961-1990 average, the warmest on record since observations begun in 1910. 
  • Minimum temperatures were more than 8 °C higher than average for parts of the north-east on the 8th.
  • 13th July particularly warm. Many sites had their highest daily minimum temperature for July on record.
  • Hobart had its warmest July night on record reaching  13.0 °C (137 years of observations).

"For Tasmania, the July statewide mean maximum temperature was 1.40 °C above the 1961-1990 average, the warmest on record. For New South Wales this July was the fourth-warmest on record, for Victoria the sixth-warmest on record and for South Australia the tenth-warmest on record."

"Tasmania's statewide mean minimum temperature was 2.63 °C above the 1961-1990 average, the warmest on record since observations begun in 1910.  For Queensland this July was the seventh-warmest on record."

"much of Tasmania had a very warm night on the 13th. Many sites had their highest daily minimum temperature for July on record. Hobart had its warmest July night on record reaching  13.0 °C (137 years of observations)."

This follows a warm June with temperature and rainfall records falling:

  • A couple of sites had their highest June temperature on record and a couple of others their highest daily minimum temperature on record on the 17th due to a prevailing and warm north to north-westerly airstream.
  • A few sites had their highest June daily rainfall on record and a couple their highest total June rainfall on record.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Satire: Worldwide temperatures offers incredibly ‘hot’ travel deals | while Aviation promotes 'Sustainable' Aviation Fuels

Satirist Mark Humphries does some marketing for the aviation and international travel industry, taking into account current climate conditions in this new Age of Global Boiling. It reflects the amount of travel advertising reliant on boosting aviation, which exacerbates the climate crisis.

Voiceover: "Ironically emissions from air travel are part of the problem".

Meanwhile the Tourism and aviation industry pin their hopes for growth on Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). But these fuels are problematic, not a silver bullet.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

"The era of global warming has ended; the era of global boiling has arrived." says Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General made a blistering speech launching an analysis by the World Meteorological organisation confirming July 2023 as the hottest month ever recorded by a large margin. 

He called for "Leaders must lead, No more hesitancy. No more excuses. No more waiting for others to move first. There is simply no more time for that." He called in particular for "stop oil and gas expansion, and funding and licensing for new coal, oil and gas.".

Will Australia's Labor Government listen to this call? They have already approved new coal and gas, and Scarborough Gas and Beetaloo Gas and pending.

July temperatures have brought climate disasters to the northern hemisphere. Global Sea Surface temperatures are off the charts, particularly North Atlantic sea surface temperatures.

Antarctic sea Ice formation is 6 deviations from the mean trend, with a risk of tipping points.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Climate Signals: Record global daily temperatures, Sea Surface temperatures, and Antarctic sea ice extent decline

Across the globe we are seeing incredible anomalies in global temperatures, sea surface temperatures and Antarctic sea ice extent decline.

Record global daily temperatures in July

"23rd day of record global temperatures, likely the hottest 23 days in the last 100,000+ years, making much of the planet unsafe for children and other living things." Professor Eliot Jacobson

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Open Letter to the Commonwealth Bank Board to stop financing fossil fuels

Commonwealth Bank are preparing a new Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) policy framework which the Board of the Bank will consider on August 9, 2023. I sent the board members the following email raising my concerns and asking them to take action.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

High Ambition Coalition calls for End to Fossil Fuels and Move Towards a Clean Energy World in leadup to COP28

While Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese lauded joining the Climate Club as Australia stepping up in climate policy ambition, the real ambition was outlined in a statement by the High Ambition Coalition last Friday, 14 July 2023, calling for Ending the Fossil Fuel Era & Move Towards a Clean Energy World.

If Australia has true climate ambition it should join the High Ambition Coalition and implement policies that reflect actual high climate ambition, not just rhetoric.

For a brief period at COP21 in Paris in 2015 Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for Australia did endorse the High Ambition Coalition 1.5C target that formed the basis of the Paris Agreement. But we didn't carry through with any  follow up climate policy commitments to justify membership of the Coalition.

Australia joins the Climate Club but PM evades question of Fossil fuel expansion and export

Guardian Cartoon by Fiona Katsaukas

On Tuesday 11 July Prime Minister Anthony Albanese committed Australia to joining the 'Climate Club' while visiting Germany. 

While this sounds like a positive action there are no detailed commitments or changes required in Australia's climate policy direction, according to Prime Minister Albanese. 

Many people think this is more rhetoric rather than climate action.

The club is an initiative in 2022 of German Chancellor Olav Scholz, from the Social Democratic Party, whose ruling coalition is made up of parties from the centre-right to the Greens.

The ABC analysis article talks about the central tenets of the club: 

  • Designed to help lower emissions by pressing governments to put a minimum price on carbon.
  • That countries with a carbon price should tax imports from countries without one, via a Carbon Border Adjustment mechanism (CBAM).
  • The idea is that these twin policies will foster a world in which economic growth can continue, but be decoupled from carbon emissions almost completely by 2050. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Over 61,000 heat related deaths during 2022 European summer

New research estimates over 61,000 heat related deaths in Europe in 2022. And that comes after heat alerts and other climate adaptation measures implemented after the massive death toll of 73,000 from the 2003 heatwave. 

What will the summer bring for Australia? With record temperatures being set around the world (see June climate signals and records), and ElNino formation boosting temperatures.

Meanwhile Australia is approving new thermal coal and gas, and continues fossil fuel subsidiaries to the tune of $11billion per year with no public plan to phase these subsidies out.

Will heat related deaths be at a similar level in 2023 in Europe? 

Will we see a similar number of heat related deaths in the southern hemisphere summer?

What should also be noted is that climate impacts are not gender neutral. Research has found that older women died at higher rates than men.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Ozone layer in Recovery, Montreal Protocol reducing Greenhouse gases set to avoid global warming by about 0.5–1°C by 2050

Photo: IISD/ENB OEWG contact group meeting
The Montreal Protocol, the little international treaty that reduces ozone depleting substances but also assists greatly with reducing greenhouse gases causing global warming.

The 45th Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol met in Thailand between 2 to 7 July 2023.

The IISD/ENB summary report of the meeting notes:

"The success of the Montreal Protocol was again highlighted and further specified by the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP): stratospheric ozone is on the way to full recovery, expected by around 2040 for the near-global average, around 2045 in the Arctic, and around 2066 in the Antarctic. At the same time, the decline in ozone depleting substance (ODS) emissions due to compliance with the Protocol is set to avoid global warming by about 0.5–1°C by 2050, compared to an uncontrolled increase in ODS. Another 0.3–0.5°C of avoided warming by 2100 is estimated due to the phase-down of HFCs, the ozone-friendly but climate-warming greenhouse gases controlled under the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol."

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Shipping levy on maritime emissions opposed by Australia at IMO conference

Shipping, in transporting around 90% of world trade, creates about 1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gasses, or nearly 3 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions. It is about the same amount as Germany or Japan. 

Pacific Island nations including Solomon Islands and Marshall Islands, proposed the introduction of a $100 per tonne levy on maritime emissions in order to make cleaner fuels cost-competitive with the dirtier heavy fuel oil that is the industry standard. 

But Australia appears to have joined Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, Brazil and other major states, to oppose this Pacific initiative for a levy on maritime emissions. Climate Home report identifies Latin American countries were also most vocal against the measure.

Fiji had proposed for the IMO, supported by a broad coalition of other Pacific nations, small island states and Least Developed countries:

  • 37% GHG emissions reductions by 2030
  • 96% by 2040 
  • full decarbonization of shipping industry by 2050. 

A carbon levy and global fuel standards was also proposed as part of the basket of measures. 

Conference outcomes:

  • failure to agree on absolute emission reduction targets for 2030 and 2040, 
  • identified “indicative checkpoints” of at least 20%, striving for 30% emission reduction by 2030, 
  • at least 70%, striving for 80% reduction by 2040. 
  • aim to reach only net-zero “by or around, i.e., close to 2050”, depending on “national circumstances”.
  • Green fuel mandates deferred.
  • “pricing of greenhouse gas emissions” (a levy), deferred, earliest would be in 2027.
John Maggs, from the Clean Shipping Coalition, said:

 “There is no excuse for this wish and a prayer agreement. They knew what the science required, and that a 50% cut in emissions by 2030 was both possible and affordable. Instead the level of ambition agreed is far short of what is needed to be sure of keeping global heating below 1.5ºC and the language seemingly contrived to be vague and non-committal. The most vulnerable put up an admirable fight for high ambition and significantly improved the agreement but we are still a long way from the IMO treating the climate crisis with the urgency that it deserves and that the public demands.” Read more by Clean Shipping, 7 July, 2023, UN agrees on a new climate plan for global shipping, but not 1.5°C aligned.

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Climate signals: June 2023 heat records. We have a climate emergency

Have you been watching earth's vital signs recently. I have. They are very concerning. But minimal mainstream reporting of all the signals and temperature records being broken.

Jeff Berardelli, Florida based WFLA News Channel 8’s Chief Meteorologist and Climate Specialist described the situation:

"In my 3 decade-long career being a weather forecaster, and now Chief Meteorologist and Climate Specialist, I have never observed so many of Earth’s vital signs blinking red. Meteorologists and climate scientists all around the world are in awe by the simultaneous literal “off the charts” records being broken. Yes, it’s climate change."

Let us start with this twitter thread by Assaad Razzouk (@AssaadRazzouk)

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Major Scientific review of Synthetic Turf environmental and health impacts released by NSW Chief Scientist

NSW CSE synthetic turf report a lot to chew over
A major review and report on current scientific assessment of synthetic turf was published by the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer. This is of global significance. 

The NSW government released the NSW Office of the Chief Scientist and Engineer Review report on synthetic turf on Friday 9 June 2023. The actual report is 77 pages but includes 19 appendices, bringing the document up to 539 pages. The Review final Report was ready for publication on 13 October 2022, but release was delayed as the document was made Cabinet-in-Confidence and its release delayed due to the NSW election and change of government

The Review’s analysis and insights focussed on four key questions:

  •  What do we know about synthetic turf materials and their use in NSW?

  •  What are the trends and initiatives and their applicability to NSW?

  •  What are the potential health impacts of synthetic turf?

  •  What are the potential environmental and ecological impacts of synthetic turf?

Embedded within the report are 19 appendices containing science based assessments of synthetic turf issues, including: health issues, air pollution and exposure, Odorant monitoring, heat impacts and thermal comfort, heat related health risks, Contaminants and the environment, environmental plastics and microplastics, hydrology, PFAS, soil health, Impact of artificial lights at night, bushfire risk, and Life cycle analysis, and natural turf sporting surfaces.

Much of the report and the science assessments, the key findings and recommendations, have great relevance for Victoria and other states, both for the State Governments and Municipal Councils.

Many of the commissioned experts, from diverse research areas, identified a singular major knowledge gap - that chemical constituents of synthetic turf components, and their associated human and environmental health impacts, are not fully known. (9.1 page 73)

Key insight in the report executive summary questioned the long term sustainability of synthetic turf sporting surfaces given changing climatic conditions due to global warming::

"Overall, it is not clear whether expectations about the longevity and carrying capacity of synthetic fields can be met under Australian climatic conditions, potentially influencing decisions about installation and cost-benefit considerations"

The review also proposed that increased performance of natural turf surfaces may be able to meet the demand for use:

"Best practice guidelines for improving the performance of natural turf have been developed in NSW.  If applied to installation and ongoing management of natural turf sporting fields, these practices may allow increased performance of natural turf fields to meet demand"

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Australia at Global Plastics Treaty negotiations in Paris #INC2

The second meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) of the Plastics Treaty ocurred from 29 May – 2 June 2023 in Paris, France. Referred to with the hashtag #INC2. The first meeting convened 28 November - 2 December 2022 at Punta del Este, Uruguay, which I reported on. The aim is to complete negotiations by the end of 2024 and create a global, legally binding plastics treaty. 

Katherine Lynch (Australia) at the final Plenary

Australia's Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek attended the first day of the conference, then returned to Australia. Australian official Katherine Lynch played a key role in co-facilitating Contact Group 2.

In 2022 Australia joined the High Ambition Coalition of 20 nations including the UK, Canada, France, and Germany that aims to end plastic pollution by 2040, including a legally binding target to phase out plastic waste products by 2025. But some countries, including the United States, Saudi Arabia and China, want to make targets voluntary. Read more at Sydney Morning Herald (28 May): Australia steps in to stop countries watering down plastics pact.


  • Delegates mandated the INC Secretariat to prepare a zero-draft of the treaty in advance of INC-3.
  • INC3 scheduled for Nairobi, Kenya in November 2023, to work on a Zero draft. 
  • Committee welcomed offers to host INC-4 by Canada (Ottawa April 2024) and INC-5 by the Republic of Korea towards the end of 2024.
The options paper from INC2 will inform the ‘zero draft’, the text with legal language that will form the blueprint of the final treaty. 

An important decision will be what kind of treaty: a treaty focused on global obligations, where every country needs to comply with an international set of standards (like the Montreal Protocol or Minamata Convention)? Or should it be a treaty that relies on nationally determined measures, where countries set their own goals and targets (like the Paris Agreement)?

This blogpost was updated frequently over the week.

Importance of funding active transport infrastructure in Merri-bek budget to 2027

Separated Upfield Bike Path past Moreland Station
On behalf of Climate Action Merribek I sent in a submission to Merri-bek Council on their draft budget 2023-2027 on May 19. You can read the CAMerribek submission in full: Major backtrack on active transport projects in Draft Merri-bek Council Budget jeopardizes Climate Targets.  

Tonight, 29 May 2023, I fronted before Council Budget committee to speak to this presentation. There were a substantial number of submissions on Council Budget, evidently more than half focussed on the need for funding for more active transport infrastructure as a priority with many people opting to speak in person or online to Council on their submission.

My speech is below. As I only had 2 minutes to deliver, I excised a few paragraphs as marked with brackets, and still went slightly over..

There were some excellent presentations from citizens from Glenroy, Fawkner, Coburg North, Coburg, Brunswick West and Brunswick highlighting different facets of the problem, often with personal stories.

I have also included key findings of a new Climate Council report on Decarbonising Transport which support my presentation arguments and that of the CAMerribek submission.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Logging Native Forests in Victoria to end by 1 January 2024, saving 14 million tonnes of carbon by 2030

Cudos to Premier Dan Andrews and the State Labor Government who took the giant step of announcing the end to native forest logging in Victoria by 1st January 2024. The State Government announced an extra $200 million in funding for transition of affected workers and communities in the 2023/24 budget.

In October 2022 the Victorian Forest Alliance and The Tree Projects published a report which found that an immediate end to native forest logging could prevent 14 million tonnes of carbon emission by 2030. 

 Key facts from the report:

  • Native forest logging in Victoria emitted around 3 million tonnes of carbon in 2021.
  • Emissions from native forest logging are equivalent to the annual emissions of 700,000 cars.
  • Regrowing forests on average only ever hold up to 50% of the carbon of the original forests before they are logged again.
  • Close to 90% of Australia’s wood now comes from Australian plantations.
  • Logging plantations produces 60% less carbon dioxide emissions than the logging of native forests.
Transition is always difficult process, but it can bring new opportunities in Land management and conservation of the forests, and for recreational and tourist opportunities. It also helps guarantee the purity of Melbourne's water supply. It opens up roles for indigenous knowledge in land management, conservation and for managing bushfire threat.

We are likely to see the creation of a Great Forests National Park that many conservationists and scientists have called to be established.

Submission on Synthetic Turf to Moonee Valley Council for JH Allan Reserve

The following submission to Moonee Valley Council was made 22 March 2023 regarding a plan to redevelop JH Allan Reserve, including a proposal to turn open space natural grass sports field to a synthetic turf soccer pitch. 

I followed my original submission with an addendum on 4th April due to new information before the consultation closed.

Even during that short time period a new scientific review and new research had become known regarding the threat of airborne microplastics, with synthetic turf implicated as one source for airborne microplastics. 

The redevelopment of JH Allan Reserve in Keilor East  was identified in the Moonee Valley Soccer Strategy presented to Council meeting in September 2022. The strategy identified opportunities to improve sports infrastructure at J H Allan Reserve. 

Upgrade to lighting using new energy efficient LED sports lights to the eastern sports field is under consideration to improve evening use and minimise light spill and glare.

Repurposing of the western sports field natural grass currently used as a cricket oval and open space to a synthetic turf soccer pitch is under active consideration. 

Once again we see Soccer driving the push for synthetic turf, without a consideration of possible alternatives, including new research on improved natural turf surfaces providing increased capacity.

"At this stage, no scoping or design work in relation to this potential development has commenced." said Moonee Valley Council. "initial estimates based on similar recent projects indicate this development would cost between $4-$5 million."

After 7-10 years the synthetic turf matting and infill will need to be replaced. Current cost for a soccer pitch synthetic surface replacement is $750,000 (Estimate for Clifton Park 2023/24 Merribek Council Capital Works Budget)

In Mid-2023 there will be a Report back to Moonee Valley Council following the completion of the community consultation process.

Having Milleara Gardens Kindergarten located next to the Western oval where the Synthetic turf conversion is proposed should also raise concerns in particular about possible urban heat impacts on learning and airborne microplastics pollution and childrens health. This was not included in my submission or addendum.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Guest Post: Despairing about climate change? These 4 charts on the unstoppable growth of solar may change your mind


Andrew Blakers, Australian National University

Last year, the world built more new solar capacity than every other power source combined.

Solar is now growing much faster than any other energy technology in history. How fast? Fast enough to completely displace fossil fuels from the entire global economy before 2050.

The rise and rise of cheap solar is our best hope for rapidly mitigating climate change.

Total solar capacity tipped over 1 terawatt (1,000 gigawatts) for the first time last year. The sector is growing at around 20% a year. If this continues, we’ll hit 6 terawatts around 2031. In capacity terms, that would be larger than the combined total of coal, gas, nuclear and hydro.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Australia ramps up funding for energy efficiency in Budget 2023. Baba Brinkman: Insulate it

The Australian Government in Budget 2023 put forward: Aus$1bn in “low-cost loans for double-glazing, solar panels and other energy efficiency improvements that will make homes easier – and cheaper – to keep cool in summer and warm in winter”; and Aus$300 million for energy efficiency social housing upgrades;

On the down side, a new coking coal mine was just approved by the Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek that will boost emissions. This is the Isaac River mine in the Bowen Basin of Queensland. (ABC News) Coal tracker estimates this mine will produce Lifetime emissions. 7 million tonnes. Coal produced. 3 million tonnes. Lifetime is 7 years.

Energy efficiency is not sexy,, and is complex to do to avoid rorting and addressing equity. But must be done.

Friday, May 5, 2023

Melbourne Protest at Korean Government agencies funding the Santos' Barossa Gas project

“The Korean government agencies funding and insuring the Barossa gas project face significant and mounting risks on two fronts — native title and climate-related risks.” says an April IEEFA report.

The Barossa Gas project is located in Sea Country associated with the Tiwi Island in the Northern Territory. This Gas field has extremely high levels of CO2. 

A protest was held organised by the Beyond Gas Network outside the South Korean Consulate on St Kilda Road, Melbourne on Thursday 4 May, 2023. A letter addressed to the President of Republic of Korea via the Consul general was attempted to be presented.

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Australia talking renewables at Petersberg Climate Dialogue 2023 while new gas projects launch

Senator Jenny McAllister at
Petersberg Climate Dialogue

The Petersberg Climate dialogue is ocurring in Berlin, Germany over 2-3 May 2023. About 40 countries are represented. Australia is represented by Senator the Hon Jenny McAllister, Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy.

The Dialogue is co-hosted by Germany and the incoming UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) President, which for 2023 is the United Arab Emirates.

Actions under discussion include on climate change mitigation, energy transition, adaptation and loss and damage, and climate finance.

According to the press release Minister McAllister will participate in high-level political discussions on global energy transitions and adaptation action and co-facilitate discussions on new funding arrangements to address loss and damage arising from climate change impacts.

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Email to the Treasurer for Budget 2023: stop subsidising fossil fuels

Dear Treasurer, Jim Chalmers
I know this is a late request and that the major decisions for Budget 2023 have already been made and signed off.

Yet as an Australian citizen who takes a strong interest in politics and Federal Government decisions, I feel it is important to register my suggestions for the budget. 

Addressing the climate, biodiversity and pollution crises are uppermost in my mind. But I am also aware of cost of living pressures, the housing crisis, the health crisis and level of poverty that low jobseeker, single parent and other government allowances engender,and the extent of the government deficit. And the change in global geopolitics has meant increased defence spending. 

Addressing all these issues requires hard choices. I'd like you firstly to reconsider the Stage 3 tax cuts, which addresses the revenue side. These were legislated prior to the pandemic. I don't think they were good taxation policy even when formulated, now they are disastrous.They greatly increase inequality while reducing government revenue at a t8ime of large deficits.

I know that tax subsidies to Fossil fuel companies are running at about $11 billion per year. We need to stop offering carrots to fossil fuels. I know it is difficult cutting a program of subsidies, but perhaps there can be staged phaseout over a the forward estimates? Now would be the time to start such a phaseout as part of addressing budget repair.

I would also like to see  the Petroleum resource rent tax (PRRT) legislation updated to better capture windfall profits of fossil fuel companies. It is a disgrace that Australia does not have a sovereign weath fund that shares the huge profits that have been made in mining and export of our fossil fuel and mineral resources.

Minister, I know the Regional development Fund , CEFC and ARENA are helping to fund renewables expansion, renewable hydrogen, green steel. This investment is vital to develop a renewable-powered export industry.. Green steel and aluminium made by us is natural value adding supporting Australian jobs and industry.

My last request is that the Budget establish a National Energy Transition Authority to effectively manage the impacts for workers and communities of phase-out of coal and gas in our electricity sector as we ramp up renewable energy solutions supported by pumped hydro and grid level batteries, and micro-grids.

Treasurer, I know your government is already acting on climate change, but the speed of action in multiple sectors is also important. I have read the latest IPCC 6th assessment Synthesis report and understand the climate crisis we are in. Given this, I think my suggestions above are moderate and sensible.

Yours sincerely,
John Englart

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Guest Post: Labor’s scheme to cut industrial emissions is worryingly flexible


BHP steelworks at Port Kembla Phto: John Englart

Rebecca Pearse, Australian National University

The federal government today proposed new rules to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from Australia’s polluting industrial sector. The rule changes apply to a measure known as the “safeguard mechanism”, and are supposed to stop Australia’s top 215 emitters, such as new coal, oil and gas projects, from emitting over certain thresholds, or “baselines”.

The safeguard mechanism was established by the Abbott Coalition government in 2016. It’s been widely criticised for lacking teeth – indeed, industrial emissions have actually increased since the mechanism began.

The safeguard mechanism was reviewed last year and Labor had promised a revamp. The fine detail of the changes is crucial, because it will determine how well Australia brings down its emissions on the path to net zero.

So would Labor’s proposed reforms, if implemented, be effective and equitable? Unfortunately, it appears no. They involve only very modest changes to a very flexible regime, and many issues plaguing the safeguard mechanism under the previous government continue.

Ozone action on track, helping avoid 0.5C of global warming by 2100 says UNEP

Ozone recovery is back on track says the latest UNEP assessment report on ozone depletion and recovery.

Rogue emissions from China of ozone-depleting chemicals had threatened to delay recovery by a decade. But the emissions were stopped, says the New York Times.

“That ozone recovery is on track according to the latest quadrennial report is fantastic news. The impact the Montreal Protocol has had on climate change mitigation cannot be overstressed. Over the last 35 years, the Protocol has become a true champion for the environment,” said Meg Seki, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Ozone Secretariat. “The assessments and reviews undertaken by the Scientific Assessment Panel remain a vital component of the work of the Protocol that helps inform policy and decision makers.”

Monday, January 9, 2023

Chubb Review into the integrity of Australian Carbon Offsets sends mixed messages

Chubb review into the integrity of carbon offsets ignores the elephant in the room argues the Climate Council: too many major emitters are buying ACCUs so that they can continue to pollute as usual.

“The Chubb Review has provided some positive recommendations for improving the integrity and transparency of carbon credits. But the most important question is: where and how will carbon credits be used?" says Climate Council Head of Advocacy Dr Jennifer Rayner

“Big polluters shouldn’t be able to keep polluting as usual by offsetting much or all of their emissions under the Safeguard Mechanism."

The Chubb Review found the carbon offsets scheme was "fundamentally" well designed when it was first introduced, but called for more data transparency which would improve integrity, recommending that "the default should be that data be made public, including carbon estimation areas" and the government should consider a national platform to share this information.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

2002 Cabinet Documents: Climate change impacts acknowledged by Foreign Minister Downer and Environment Minister Kemp as Australia refuses to sign Kyoto Protocol

Howard Cabinet in 2002

Cabinet documents released by the National Archives from 2002 shine a light on the conservative Liberal-National Party Coalition Government of Prime Minister John Howard in refusing to sign on to the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol, and also the decision not to proceed with a High Speed East Coast Train network linking Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Brisbane.

The Cabinet documents highlight that Cabinet Ministers Alexander Downer (Foreign Minister) and David Kemp (Environment and Heritage Minister) acknowledged that climate impacts would be felt by Australians, no matter what measures were taken. Rather than planning for the future as suggested by a Treasury Department submission, little action was taken regarding expansion of the fossil fuel sector, or long term inter-capital transport planning.