China is the business case for green energy

The Conversation: 29 Sep 2014: China is already on the record in viewing its clean technology sectors as key drivers of future prosperity and export platforms.  Even though per Chinese capita use of renewables is still modest, the absolute size of the renewables investment in China allows new industries to scale up, which in turn leads to lower costs as efficiencies are captured. Through the principle of circular and cumulative causation, this leads to further market expansion and further cost reductions. The cost reductions then create opportunities for countries in the rest of the world to become involved in renewable energy as well. Continue reading China is the business case for green energy

Climate March: Melbourne: 27 November 2015

World leaders will be gathering in Paris to make a deal to ensure a safe climate.  And a climate mobilisation in cities around the world will show we are sick of waiting. The time is now.

Friday 27 November at 5:30 pm
Melbourne CBD

Environment Victoria

Key Words: OzPolitics
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Scientists worried about cold ‘blob’ in North Atlantic amid record hot spell


It’s been an extremely warm year. So why is a patch of ocean in the north Atlantic bucking the trend?  The fact that a record-hot planet Earth coincides with a record-cold northern Atlantic is quite stunning. There is strong evidence, not just from our study, that this is a consequence of the long-term decline of the Gulf Stream System in response to global warming.

Sydney Morning Herald: 28 Sep 2015: Chris Mooney

Key Words: climate
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The Emergency Climate Movement

We are living in a state of planetary emergency. To have a chance of averting the collapse of civilization and the destruction of the natural world as we know it, we must mobilize our society, on the scale of World War Two and at war time speed, to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.  The fact that we have already heated the world to such dangerous levels and show little sign of stopping, is evidence of widespread institutional failure. We cannot expect anyone else to save us. We must organize to save ourselves.

EcoWatch: 26 Sep 2015: Margaret Klein Salamon

Key Words: International
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Six oil companies are calling for a global carbon pricing system

In June 2015, six large European oil companies – BP, Shell, Statoil, Total, BG and Eni – called for an international price on carbon. Citing a desire to reduce business uncertainty, the companies asked world governments and December’s UN Conference on Climate Change in Paris, for country-by-country carbon prices and a framework to link them into a global system.

Continue reading Six oil companies are calling for a global carbon pricing system

China to launch of carbon market in 2017

For the first time, China will confirm that 2017 is its launch date for a national carbon market to help meet its goals of reducing emissions after they peak around 2030.  The market will cover key sectors including power generation, iron and steel, chemicals and cement.  It will be designed based on what was learned from the seven regional pilot exchanges that are in operation in China.

ABC News: 25 Sep 2015

Key Words: International
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One photo highlights the severity of California’s drought

One photo shows the severity of California’s drought

A new study in the journal “Nature Climate Change” confirms that California is in the midst of a serious drought: the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountain range is lower than it has ever been in the past 500 years.  The study is supported by photos taken by NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer satellite in 2010 and 2015, in March when the snowpack is usually at its peak. The white area of snow, the mountain range’s reserve of water in the form of snow, has diminished dramatically in the past five years alone.  Deeper analysis revealed that in 2015, the Tuolumne River Basin in the Sierras contained just 40% as much water in the form of ice and snow as it did when the region’s snowpack levels were highest in 2014.

Business Insider: 15 Sep 2015

Key Words: Extremes

Institutions worth $2.6 trillion have pulled investments out of fossil fuels

The Guardian: Damian Carrington and Emma Howard:
23 Sep 2015

Over 2,000 individuals and 400 institutions are now committed to pulling their money from fossil fuel companies, together representing a remarkable $2.6 trillion of investments.  The value of the funds committed to selling off their investments in coal, oil and gas companies has rocketed in the last year, rising 50-fold. Major pension funds and insurance companies have joined the universities and churches that founded the divestment movement, all of whom fear the impact of climate change on both the world and the value of their investment portfolios.  Among the biggest divestors are the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, held by Norway, and two of the world’s biggest pension funds, in California.
(One trillion = one million million: Wikipedia)

Key Words: Divestment
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US-China agreement on Emissions & Clean Energy

In the November 2014 emissions agreement between the US and China:

  • The US agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions to26 – 28% below 2005 levels by 2025, a doubling of its previous commitment.
  • China agreed to cap its emissions by 2030 or earlier. China has never capped its emissions before.
  • China agreed to increase its renewable energy to 20% of the total.  This will require China to add 800-1,000 gigawatts of nuclear, wind, solar and other zero-emission generation capacity by 2030.  This is more than all the coal-fired power plants that exist in China today.  It is close to total current electricity generation capacity in the United States.  This enormous investment in renewable capacity will drive further cost reductions in renewable energy.
  • The agreement could lead to A$ 4.5 trillion loss in revenue for oil and gas over the next 15 years.
  • For Australia to match the US goals, Australia would have to set a 30% emissions reduction by 2025 compared to the current 5% of 2000 levels as by 2020.

Continue reading US-China agreement on Emissions & Clean Energy

Power Company to link 20 houses with solar panels, storage and smart control

A group of homes will, in effect, become a zero-emissions neighbourhood power plant.  PowerStream is Ontario’s second largest municipally owned electric utility, with 375,000 customers spread across 15 communities. It has begun an experiment with the so-called internet of energy.  Twenty residential properties in Toronto’s Richmond Hill neighbourhood will have solar panels and small battery systems installed. All 20 systems will be tied together and operated as a single system using batteries and software provided by Sunverge of San Francisco.

Continue reading Power Company to link 20 houses with solar panels, storage and smart control