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Monday, January 29, 2024

IPCC plans 7th assessment cycle reports including Climate Change and Cities, Short-lived Climate Forcers, Carbon Dioxide Removal

The 60th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) met in Istanbul, Turkiye from 16–19 January 2024  (IPCC-60). This session started the planning for the seventh assessment cycle which will run over the next 5-6 years. More than 300 delegates from 120 governments met to determine the work cycle of what reports to produce. 

Outcomes include reports from the three Working Groups, plus a Synthesis Report as in previous assessment cycles. Special reports will include: Special Report on Climate Change and Cities, Methodology Report on Short-lived Climate Forcers, Methodology Report on Carbon Dioxide Removal Technologies, Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage. All three are important foundations for climate policy decision making.

Some climate scientists had previously called for a special report on catastrophic climate change, a blind spot in peer reviewed research and thus in the IPCC assessments. No mention made of this in reports of the IPCC meeting.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Australia on track for 82 percent renewables target by 2030; IEA notes global acceleration in Renewables

Looking at 2023 renewables achieved a 38.4 percent average share of the electricity grid in Australia. This puts Australia just about on track to meet the 82 per cent renewables by 2030 target. 

Keep in mind Utility scale solar is still ramping up. New onshore wind farms are in the development pipeline. Offshore wind will only start coming into the system around 2030 but will rapidly ramp up in subsequent years. 

The IEA has also released a new report on the acceleration of renewasbles, which puts the target of tripling renewables globally by 2030 within reach if governments implement key policy measures.

Andrew Forrest's Squadron Energy’s has turned the shovel on the 414 MW 69 turbine Uungula Wind Farm near Wellington in NSW on Thursday, within the Central-West Orana Renewable Energy Zone and has an approved connection to the existing transmission grid. Squadron Energy has a commitment to delivering 14GW of green electricity, powering the equivalent of six million homes. There is a further 6GW in Squadron’s development pipeline to follow.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

2023 set new global temperatures record at 1.48C anomaly above pre-industrial: Copernicus

Last year, 2023, at 1.48C anomaly averaged over the whole year, came within a whisker of being 1.5C above pre-industrial temperatures. The Eurpean Copernicus Climate Change Service has released its latest analysis for the year past. Have no doubt we have a climate emergency. This year, 2024, is likely to build upon the land and ocean warming, particularly with an El Nino in play, to produce an even hotter year, with more extreme weather events.

Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service said "2023 was an exceptional year with climate records tumbling like dominoes. Not only is 2023 the warmest year on record, it is also the first year with all days over 1°C warmer than the pre-industrial period. Temperatures during 2023 likely exceed those of any period in at least the last 100,000 years.”  

Meanwhile, Fossil Fuel producers like Australia, Norway, US, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China UAE, Azerbijan are expanding production to cook the planet and all of us, when the science based assessments clearly say we have too much fossil fuels already in production.

Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan acknowledges climate change a factor in extreme rain and flood events

Premier Jacinta Allan has acknowledged that climate change is a factor in extreme rain and flood events, and that more needs to be done in planning to mitigate extreme weather and flood events as part of climate adaptation, along with reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Bureau of Meteorology has identified the first nine days of 2024 were Victoria’s wettest since records began in 1900, with an average of 62mm falling across the state since 1 January. The area-average of 62mm of rain from 1 January to 9 January beat the previous opening nine-day record of 50mm set in 1970. Using an area average for daily rainfall to 9am 8 January, the Bureau of Meteorology estimated 5.4% of Victoria was at Highest on record for rainfall for that day, with several site specific all time rainfall records surpassed. 

Interviewed by Richard Willingham on ABC Melbourne, Premier Jacinta Allan said; 

"There is clearly a change in our climate. Growing up in this part of the world, these summer storm events, it is troubling that it is becoming more common and the ferocity of these events. It does speak to the fact we need to recognise that the climate is changing. It does go to those broader measures we need to take as a government, as a community, as a society for action to transition to renewable energy, transition to how we can take stronger climate action."

"Separate to that, what also needs to be considered obviously as we plan for new houses, new communities, or how we build projects, these weather events and the impact of these weather events do need to be factored in. Indeed, legislation that went through the Victorian Parliament last year, our climate legislation, did require that the impact of the climate be factored into the planning initiatives at the earliest Opportunity."

".... What used to be a 1 in 100 year event for communities like Rochester have had 3 big flooding events in 10-11 years. The impact of climate does need to be considered in terms of future planning and decisions."

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Addressing shipping emissions with Professor Alice Larkin in interview with Kevin Anderson

Shipping emissions is one of those niche areas, part of Transport emissions, that needs to be tackled. There is both a huge freight and logistics component, a smaller passenger component and the tourism component of cruise ships.

Most of the interview is focussed on the Freight component. About 3 percent of global emissions are due to shipping. This is about equivalent to the emissions of Germany.

The shipping sector is large, complex, with many different vessels, many actors. 

About a third of all goods transported by ship are fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas. So the implementation of the Paris Agreement should see a reduction in transport of fossil fuels.

Other major areas are the transport of consumer goods in container vessels, and bulk carriers such as carrying iron ore or minerals or food and grains.

Dr Jennifer Francis on weather whiplash, 2024 and beyond "Expect surprises, destruction, suffering..."

New research has investigated abrupt swings in extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere. This is being driven by Arctic amplified warming and slowing of the Northern Hemisphere Jet stream.

Changes to the Jet Stream is one of the areas that Dr Jennifer Francis has been focussed on. Francis is Senior Climate Scientist with the Woods Hole Institute in the US. Her recent research has been in weather whiplash, abrupt changes in extreme weather as it applies to North America and Europe.

This interview below is with Nick Breeze and she says for 2024 expect surprises, more broken weather records, and extreme weather will get even worse.

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Gas field and Coal mine extension approvals on eve of 2023 Christmas.

So on the Friday before Christmas both the Federal Labor Government and New South Wales Labor Government have approved new Fossil Fuel Projects. It is called putting out the trash. To try and limit scrutiny and media coverage of these actions. To release them when the public are focussed on christmas and holidays.

NOPSEMA approved Shell Australia Crux gas field development in the northern Browse basin off the North West shelf of Western Australia.

The Minns Labor Government in New South Wales recommended approval of an expansion of Idemitsu's Boggabri coal mine which will be responsible for 63 million tonnes of GHG pollution. The expansion proposes to increase annual direct greenhouse gas emissions by about 14% from 2023 to 2036.

And Some positive news: the new Queensland Premier announced a ban on new oil and gas drilling in the Lake Eyre Basin and floodplains.

Friday, December 22, 2023

Australia has 117 new coal, gas, LNG projects in the pipeline at the end of 2023

Australia is expanding oil, gas, coal, despite the 'transition away from Fossil Fuels' decision at the UN Climate Conference COP28.  In a Climate Crisis the first best action is to stop digging. 

A new report released by the Federal Government on 18 December - Resources and Energy Major projects 2023 - outlines some 117 new coal and gas projects across the continent. Some of these may not get through the approvals process, or the Safeguard Mechanism. Some may prove uneconomic to proceed to the final stage. But many are still on the cards and may go into production. 

Most of these fossil fuel projects are driven for the export market.

The Albanese government has approved or extended eight fossil fuel projects and two carbon capture projects since taking office in May 2022 reports Callum Foote for Micheal West Media in September.

Documents released under Freedom of Information last week show the $1.5 billion allocated by the Federal Government for the Darwin Middle Arm petrochemical development of common use infrastructure may balloon out to $3.5 billion. This is an incredible fossil fuel subsidy for Fossil gas expansion.

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Queensland sets 2035 emissions reduction target of 75% below 2005

The new Premier of Queensland Steven Miles has announced for Queensland  a new emissions reduction target of 75% below 2005 levels by 2035. This will be a legislated target.

Queensland already has a commitment to deliver 50% renewable energy by 2030, 70% by 2032, and 80% by 2035.  

The Premier Steven Miles said, “By legislating this target, we will create certainty for industry and bridge the gap between the city and the bush. This announcement is only possible because of the landmark Queensland Energy and Jobs plan, which will see 80 per cent of our energy generated by renewables in 2035."

Update: A first crunch point will come on 22 December when Queensland Labor's Environment Minister Leanne Linard may sign off on Whitehaven’s Winchester South coal mine. The Winchester South coal project is one of over 100 new coal and gas projects in the pipeline in Australia - fuelling catastrophic climate change and leading to more heatwaves, floods and fires.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Australia at COP28 Climate Diary

UN climate conference, the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) is ocurring in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates from Monday November 30 to Friday December 12, 2023 (but may also go into overtime). 

This is my digital diary of Australia at COP28 in Dubai. I have attended four previous COPs (2015-2019) in person. For COP26 Glasgow in 2021 and COP27 Sharm El-Sheikh in Egypt in 2022, I kept a Digital diary of Australia at the climate conference.  I will be following whats going on at COP28 in Dubai online. Follow with me. I'll be updating this blog post regularly over November-December 2023. 

President-Designate for COP28, is Dr.Sultan Al Jaber, who is the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the United Arab Emirates, managing director and group CEO of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC Group), and chairman of Masdar, a state owned renewable energy company.

Australia will be represented at the ministerial level by Climate and Energy Minister Chris Bowen and Assistant Minister Jenny McAllister. See Tracking Australian Ministers and Australian pledges at COP28.

UNFCCC COP28 website for documents. UAE COP28 website. Civil Society COP28 Climate Justice Hub, DCCEEW international climate action page. Australia at COP28. Carbon Brief Negotiating Text Tracker | Fossil of the Day awards leader Board

I'll be including detail from IISD Earth Negotiating Bulletin for each day. I might pluck details from the full report, especially relevant to Australia, and will post the 'In the Corridors" section which provides a concise  'vibe' summary on the negotiations. I might include details from other sources as needed.


18 December - Full Negotiations summary Report from IISD/ENB 

This is a detailed summary of the negotiations and outcomes. Most of the focus has been on the energy package and its loopholes in the Global Stocktake package. But there were many other decisions that were also made, but not really covered in reporting. Island states and least Developed Countries particularly highlight the lack of progress in Adaptation, adaptation finance, and general climate finance. ENB listed these other outcomes:

  • the adoption of the framework for the GGA established in the Paris Agreement, which aims to guide the implementation of the goal and, among other things, establishes impact, vulnerability, and risk assessment (by 2030), multi-hazard early warning systems (by 2027), climate information services for risk reduction and systematic observation (by 2027), and country-driven, gender-responsive, participatory, and transparent national adaptation plans (by 2030);
  • the designation of the consortium of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the UN Office for Project Services as the host of the Santiago Network on loss and damage;
  • the launch of the implementation of the work programme on just transition pathways, with at least two hybrid dialogues to held prior to the two annual sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies;
  • the decision to continue and strengthen the dialogue to exchange views on and enhance understanding of the scope of Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement (on aligning finance flows with low-GHG climate resilient development) and its complementarity with Article 9 of the Paris Agreement (on climate finance); and
  • the decision to convene an expert dialogue on mountains and climate change and an expert dialogue on the disproportionate impacts of climate change on children at the Subsidiary Bodies meetings in June 2024.

A Functional Creature or Unwieldy Beast?

In the GST process, countries had to take a hard look at the Paris Agreement. They found gaps and weaknesses on implementation, ambition, and provision of finance. The delayed action by developed countries on finance and mitigation eroded trust among parties. With little common ground on the history or the future, countries could not agree if the Paris Agreement, as reflected through the GST, was fit for purpose, or a beast unable to pivot in light of science.

While many hailed the decisions adopted in Dubai as a triumph for multilateralism, small island developing states felt left behind, unwilling to trust the promises of developed countries that “we see you and stand with you.” The way forward, as charted by the GST, is unlikely to live up to the Paris Agreement’s goals. The sources of the problem—fossil fuels—still have ample footing to fight for survival. The creature revealed is a Paris Agreement better able to deliver a climate-safe world, and with more strength to fight the monsters threatening this future. But there is a long way to go, especially on support and leaving no one behind.

As historic as the first GST was, no one meeting can save the world. A trifecta of Presidencies will undertake a “Mission for 1.5°C” to try to catalyze early action in line with science. The finance goal to be agreed on in 2024 will not only sort out the direction for the next decade, but likely also to the middle of the century, and could constitute an important step toward actually accelerating a just energy transition and adaptation action—giving meaning to the words celebrated in Dubai. In turn, 2025, which is when countries are supposed to submit their more ambitious, hopefully 1.5°C aligned, NDCs, will show whether the fundamental idea of the Paris Agreement’s ratchet up mechanism allows the creature to walk into the future with its head held high.