Thursday, December 13, 2018

Australia’s carbon emissions highest on record, data shows

Australia’s carbon emissions are again the highest on record, according to new data from the emissions-tracking organisation Ndevr Environmental.
 The Bluescope steel works at Port Kembla, Wollongong.
 Australia is still on track to miss its Paris target of a
26%-28% cut to carbon emissions on 2005 levels by 2030.
 The latest data show emissions are again the highest on record.
Ndevr replicates the federal government’s national greenhouse gas inventory (NGGI) quarterly reports but releases them months ahead of the official data.

Data it has produced for the year up to September 2018 shows Australia is still on track to miss its Paris target of a 26%-28% cut to emissions on 2005 levels by 2030.

Matt Drum, the managing director of Ndevr, said if emissions continued at their current rate, Australia would miss the target by a cumulative 1.1bn tonnes.

When excluding unreliable land use data, Australia’s emissions for the year to September reached 558.3m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, an all-time high.


Read the story from The Guardian by Lisa Cox - “Australia’s carbon emissions highest on record, data shows.”

Drivers airlifted to safety as freak rain closes freeway

Drivers were winched to safety after becoming trapped in their vehicles on the Hume Freeway as heavy rain brought floods and emergency warnings to northern Victoria on Thursday afternoon.
The flooded Hume Freeway, near Wodonga, on Thursday afternoon.
Victoria’s State Emergency Service had responded to more than 20 requests for assistance by 1pm (ADST), including reports of up to 100 cars trapped on the freeway near Wangaratta, in the state’s north-east.

Drivers and passengers waited on the tops of their vehicles before they could be airlifted away from the flooded road, as emergency services warned of worse weather to come later in the afternoon.


Daily Updates: what’s happening at COP24 this year?

I attended the huge march for climate action that took place on Saturday in Katowice, to demand action from country negotiators at COP24.

Reflecting the growing climate movement around the world, there was a strong youth presence at the march, with demands for urgent action from those with the power to protect younger people and future generations. Many international observers from NGOs who are participants at COP24 attended the march, along with environmental activists from around the world. The march was also extremely well attended by locals who want their country to give up its coal dependence for the sake of the planet and its people.

Read the report from Climate Counsellor Professor Hilary Bambrick -  “Daily Updates: what’s happening at COP24 this year?

Banks urged not to fund coal power as government moves to underwrite projects

Environmental and progressive activist groups are urging Australia’s major banks and financial institutions not to fund new coal projects now that the Morrison government has flagged taxpayer assistance for power generation.
 Government conservatives are focused on the Liddell
power station and want to use new ‘big stick’ powers
to extract the ageing plant from its owner AGL.
The Australian Conservation Foundation, GetUp, Greenpeace, Environment Victoria, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, the Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility and the Australia Institute wrote on Thursday to chief executives of the major lenders, warning the provision of finance for new coal, or retrofits of old coal-fired power stations, would be inconsistent with their public commitments to the Paris agreement.

The pressure on financial institutions follows the energy minister, Angus Taylor, calling for expressions of interest in new power generation projects to be underwritten by taxpayers, including, potentially, new coal builds or retrofits.


Read the story from The Guardian by Katharine Murphy - “Banks urged not to fund coal power as government moves to underwrite projects.”

Parts of Victoria hit with a month's worth of rain in a day as cyclone menaces north

Seventeen people have been rescued by helicopter and 100 people are stranded in their cars on a flooded Hume Highway in northeast Victoria.
A pedestrian walks along a flooded street
in the south of Melbourne on Thursday.
With more than a month’s worth of rain already fallen across parts of northeast Victoria as wild weather rages across the state, authorities say some people have not heeded warnings about driving into floodwaters.

“We’ve seen people that have had to be rescued from the roofs of their cars, 17 people in total, and 100 people have been stranded just to the south of Wangaratta,” Victoria State Emergency Service chief officer Tim Wiebusch told reporters.


Read the story from The Guardian by Australian Associated Press - “Parts of Victoria hit with a month's worth of rain in a day as cyclone menaces north.”

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

‘Fake action': Australia's secret path to hitting Paris climate goals.

Australia could use a little-known loophole to help meet up to half its Paris climate commitments in a move that analysts warn could undermine the global accord.
Activists dressed in polar bear costumes protest on the
 sidelines of the COP24 climate talks now taking place in
 the Polish city of Katowice.
Neither Environment Minister Melissa Price nor Labor will rule out counting Australia's expected credits from beating its 2020 goal under the soon-to-be-superseded Kyoto Protocol against its 2030 Paris pledge.

The analysts say such a move by Australia would encourage other nations to follow suit.

One ex-member of Australia's negotiating team said the government had considered using the credits for some time even though it went against the spirit of the Paris accord signed in 2015. While not formally on the agenda at the current climate talks in Poland, the issue of Kyoto credits is expected to be discussed in coming days.


Read the story from The Sydney Morning Herald by Peter Hannam - “‘Fake action': Australia's secret path to hitting Paris climate goals.

Melissa Price denies being 'L-plate minister' but is unable to say when emissions will fall

Australia’s environment minister, Melissa Price, says she cannot pinpoint the time when carbon emissions will come down but has nonetheless expressed confidence the Morrison government has the right policies to do the job.
The environment minister, Melissa Price, says she is not an ‘L-plate minister’. 
Price, who has struggled since being appointed environment minister after the Liberal party leadership implosion, told ABC radio on Wednesday night the government was both reviewing some of its policies, and had the right policies, and “no one could pinpoint” when carbon emissions would come down during the at times tense interview with Patricia Karvelas.

On Wednesday Price was branded “an environment minister on L-plates” by fellow Liberal Concetta Fierravanti-Wells after a recent incident in a Canberra restaurant where three witnesses say she disparaged Pacific nations to the former president of Kiribati.


Read the story from The Guardian by Katharine Murphy - “Melissa Price denies being 'L-plate minister' but is unable to say when emissions will fall.