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Who do we trust on climate change?

The Pope repeats his warning on climate change

A year has passed since the Pope issued the Encyclical on Climate Change. He has now called for urgent action to stop climate change and proposed that caring for the environment be added to traditional Christian works of mercy such as feeding the hungry and visiting the sick.

US and China ratify the Paris Agreement ahead of 2016 G20

Shortly before the 2016 G20, the US and China formaly ratified the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

‘Senior Obama adviser Brian Deese said the joint declaration should push other countries to formally join the agreement.

“The signal of the two large emitters taking this step together and taking it early, far earlier than people had anticipated a year ago, should give confidence to the global communities and to other countries that are working on their climate change plans, that they too can move quickly and will be part of a global effort,” Deese told reporters.

India is also poised to join the agreement this year, Deese said, adding that Obama was expected to meet Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of a Group of 20 nations meeting.

China represents just over 20 percent of global emissions while the United States accounting for 17.9 percent, Russia 7.5 percent and India 4.1 percent.

(Reuters, 3.9.16)

Australia worst among G20 countries on climate action

See the statistics on Australia’s poor performance on climate action.

Australia – the Pacific pariah on climate change

‘Australia’s continued determination to dig up coal, while refusing to dig deep to tackle climate change, has put it increasingly at odds with world opinion. Nowhere is this more evident than when Australian politicians meet with their Pacific island counterparts.

‘It is widely acknowledged that Pacific island states are at the front line of climate change. It is perhaps less well known that, for a quarter of a century, Australia has attempted to undermine their demands in climate negotiations at the United Nations.’

(Wesley Morgan, The Conversation, 7.9.16)

Queensland’s Carmichael mine: is it time for Adani to bow out gracefully?

John Quiggin (The Conversation 31.8.16) suggests that despite winning the latest court challenge, the economics are against the development of the controversial Carmichael mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.

‘Adani Enterprises, from which Adani Mining was spun off last year, is among the major investors in renewables. And, a little later than in China, the Indian government and people are waking up to the disastrous health effects of burning coal. Several “ultra mega power projects” (massive coal-fired power plants) were cancelled recently. More are likely to follow.

‘So the long-term trend for coal demand and coal prices can only be down from the current peak, itself far below the A$120 per tonne that prevailed when the Galilee Basin project was first put forward in 2010. It follows that there is no time to lose in developing the Carmichael mine, if it is ever to be profitable.’

Renewables are getting cheaper all the time: here’s why

Bonnie McBain (The Conversation, 8.8.1) explains why renewables are getting cheaper:

‘The challenges of transitioning to a renewable electricity sector are no doubt great, but our ageing generator infrastructure means that an overhaul will soon be due. Even though the price of electricity from old coal power plants is currently cheaper than that from many new renewable plants (because the former are already paid off), cost reductions mean a strong business case now exists for renewable technologies investment.’

Queensland University of Technology leads the way in divesting from fossil fuels

Nick Kilvert reports for the ABC (5.9.16) that QUT is the first university in Queensland to commit to divesting from fossil fuel shares.

‘The Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC), which handles QUT’s $300 million external funds purse, has been directed to ensure it has “no fossil fuel direct investments” and “no fossil fuel investments of material significance”.

‘The move makes QUT the first university in Queensland and the second largest in Australia to withdraw investment in fossil fuel companies.’

One Nationa’s Malcolm Roberts: climate change denier with a career in the coal industry

Malcolm Roberts’ opinions on climate change are well-known, what receives less publicity is his career in the coal industry.

Roberts’ entry on the One Nation website includes references such as: ‘Malcolm … rose quickly through management ranks to lead and turnaround underground coal mines, a coal processing plant and managed an ocean shiploader. He has also led the operational development of Australia’s largest and most complex underground coal project, setting many new industry firsts.’ (see link below for full entry)

Gamesmanship rather than statesmanship

‘It’s the Planet, Stupid’: Clarke and Dawe on media coverage of the political games in Canberra that is swamping rational discussion over critically important policy issues. (ABC, 23.3.16)

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