India’s plan to stop importing coal deals another blow to Australia

India’s Energy Minister has announced a paradigm shift needs to take place in India’s energy sector. Protecting the environment, supplying off- grid residents and promoting energy security have been the motivations behind the move. The article was originally published in … Continue reading India’s plan to stop importing coal deals another blow to Australia

Voices of Macedon: Debunking the doubters

Renewable energy is a mainstream election issue in the hotly-contested seat of Macedon. Anti-wind farm laws introduced by the Coaltion government in 2011 have hit the Macedon Ranges hard. A large-scale blanket ban on wind farms now cuts across the electorate. The anti-wind farm … Continue reading Voices of Macedon: Debunking the doubters

Australia’s coal industry needs to prepare for global climate action

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This article originally posted at the Conversation. View the original post here.

At the recent midyear UN climate negotiations in Bonn, an unprecedented 60 countries (including Germany) called for a total phase-out of fossil fuels by 2050, as part of a global agreement on climate change to be concluded in Paris in 2015.

Meanwhile, on tour in North America, Prime Minister Tony Abbott declared that:

For many decades at least, coal will continue to fuel human progress as an affordable, dependable energy source for wealthy and developing countries alike.

But Mr Abbott’s “coal forever” scenario is only likely if we fail to develop a global agreement to tackle climate change, which could come as soon as the end of next year in Paris. Such global action would dramatically reduce the use of fossil fuels over the coming decades, particularly coal for electricity production. Continue reading “Australia’s coal industry needs to prepare for global climate action”

Carbon tax axed: how it affects you, Australia and our emissions

This article originally posted at The Conversation. View the original post here.  Australia’s “carbon tax” is being axed – so what does it mean for you and for Australia? We asked Conversation readers to tell us on Facebook and Twitter what questions you’d like us to … Continue reading Carbon tax axed: how it affects you, Australia and our emissions

Australia’s economy will suffer if we fall behind on climate action

Originally posted at The Conversation. View the Original post here.

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Australia’s economy faces grave threats from climate change, but the greatest threat is if we do not make a serious effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

It’s not just the physical impacts of climate change that will hurt Australia’s economy. In a new report released today by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia, I and others argue that falling behind on reducing greenhouse gas emissions leaves Australia’s economy vulnerable to global efforts to tackle climate change.

But so far Australian government and business has focused on the cost of reducing emissions, despite evidence that it will be far more costly to do nothing. Continue reading “Australia’s economy will suffer if we fall behind on climate action”

The Warburton RET Review: Why we walked…

RET MeetingIn Melbourne today, Friends of the Earth met with the Warburton review of the Renewable Energy Target. We attended the meeting in good faith to raise concerns regarding the review process.

Based on the responses, we can only conclude that the Warburton review is not credible. It is deeply compromised.

Friends of the Earth have a track record of engaging constructively with governments in the policy process, even when the odds are stacked against good outcomes for our environment. In this case, it appears the review is leading to a predetermined outcome to weaken the Renewable Energy Target.

The review is led by climate change sceptic Dick Warburton and panel members with close connections to the fossil fuel sector. There is no renewable energy sector representation. The review is only modeling a scenario that assumes no carbon pricing or equivalent mechanism will be in effect between now and 2030.

As a matter of principle, we could not take part in a box ticking exercise when peoples’ jobs and action on climate change are on the line.

Friends of the Earth, who are undertaking an 11-stop fact-finding RET Review Road Trip to get a real understanding of how energy policy affects communities, say today’s meeting confirms public skepticism about the process.

We’ve heard directly from community members that the Warburton review of the Renewable Energy Target lacks credibility.

The Warburton review has been referred to as ‘ideologically driven’ and a ‘witch hunt.’ It is fair and accurate to say, that for many in the community, the review lacks public confidence.

The Abbott government has no other choice but to disregard the findings of the Warburton Review and instruct the Climate Change Authority to commence their own investigation, as required by legislation.

Below is a statement, questions, and concluding remark that was presented to the Warburton Review panel in Melbourne this morning. Continue reading “The Warburton RET Review: Why we walked…”

When will Australians finally stop wasting our energy?

Published by The Conversation. View original article.

Brisbane’s annual City of Lights show, which is sponsored by an oil and gas company. Flickr/Wei Lun Koh (some rights reserved)

From flicking on a light to travelling around town, our lives are utterly dependent on energy.

That’s why it’s so surprising that Australia has been so bad at thinking about our country’s future energy needs. Even after years of sharply rising electricity prices, as a nation we still take it for granted that we’ll have affordable power and fuel for as long as we want them.

With a new federal government in power, what – if anything – has changed? Continue reading “When will Australians finally stop wasting our energy?”

Wind Energy is a Key Wedge in the Fight Against Global Warming

Published by Energy & Policy Institute. View original article.

Wind farms reduce green house gas emissions in the overall electrical grid on close to a 1:1 basis. Typical grids produce 800 g of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) per KWh generated by their mixes of fossil, nuclear and renewable generation, and wind energy displaces virtually all of that. It’s difficult to imagine the mindset in which one would assert that black is white and that wind energy actually increases greenhouse gas emissions or does not reduce them. Yet many anti-wind commentary continues to make this claim based on an overlapping and baseless set of myths. Continue reading “Wind Energy is a Key Wedge in the Fight Against Global Warming”

Biggest grid in US could reach 30% renewables by 2026

By Silvio Marcacci on 10 March 2014

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A new study reveals America’s largest grid operator could exponentially increase the amount of solar and wind electricity on its system, while lowering consumer costs and emissions, without negative effects on reliability. Continue reading “Biggest grid in US could reach 30% renewables by 2026”