Climate Newsletter 1 Sep 2018

After the tumultuous events of last week resulting in a new Prime Minister, things went from bad to worse, at least as far as energy and climate policy was concerned. Josh Frydenberg, in the previous Cabinet, held the twin portfolios of energy and environment. Thus the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), with its two major objectives of reliability and lower prices, also had the critical environmental plank of emissions reduction. Former PM Turnbull took emissions reduction out of the NEG and that was the death of NEG and, somewhat ironically, his Prime Ministership.

Turnbull does have one good thing going for him and that is his son Alex Turnbull. Alex said, following his father’s political demise, that coal miner’s were exerting too much influence on the Liberal Party and that it made no economic sense to build new coal-fired power stations.

New Prime Minister Scott Morrison – disastrously – has split energy and environment and appointing well-known anti-wind campaigner from the Monaro, Angus Taylor, as Minister for Energy, and former coal company lawyer Melissa Price as Minister for Environment. Taylor has said he will not include emissions reduction in any energy policy. This makes it very hard to meet our commitments under the Paris Agreement though, fortunately, PM Morrison says he will not take Australia out of it.

Minister Price now has the onerous task of honouring the Paris commitments but, without energy/electricity policy as a lever, has little hope of achieving anything given the difficulties of lowering emissions in the other sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and transport.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister of Samoa,  Tuilaepa Sailele, has berated a number of international leaders, including ours in Australia, for not doing enough on climate change and declared that climate deniers should go to a mental hospital(!)

Also on the international front, a Canadian court has quashed the sale of the planned Trans-Mountain pipe-line that would have taken oil from the Alberta tar sands to Vancouver after pressure from the indigenous people along the route. A highly significant victory for the First Peoples and defeat for PM Justin Trudeau.

Climate change is World War III, and we are leaderless

David Shearman

The Western world is bereft of leaders and now the US and Australia have deserted the trenches by trading ideology for human lives and health

On first day as PM, Morrison learns difference between Big Battery and Big Banana

Scott Morrison gets lesson when major transmission fault causes outages in NSW. Tesla big battery helped keep lights on in SA, Big Banana didn’t lift a finger for NSW.

New wind and solar now competes with existing coal and gas

Dave Jones

Rising carbon, coal and gas prices mean new onshore wind and solar can compete with the short-term costs of existing coal and gas plants.

The death of Trans Mountain pipeline signals future of Indigenous rights: Chiefs

As a federal court quashes the controversial project, lawyers and Indigenous leaders agree it’s more clear than ever that Canada must modernize its view of Aboriginal rights.

Taylor confirms no interest in emissions, but says he’s no climate sceptic

New energy minister Angus Taylor has confirmed what was largely expected: that he has no interest in emission reductions under the remit handed him by prime minister Scott Morrison, and that his primary focus will be on reducing prices for consumers.

World leaders who deny climate change should go to mental hospital – Samoan PM

Tuilaepa Sailele berates leaders who fail to take issue seriously, singling out Australia, India, China and the US

Tropical forests are flipping from storing carbon to releasing it

Illegal logging and land seizures are driving this ominous yet overlooked scientific trend.

Turnbull’s hedge fund-manager son says miners exerting ‘undue influence’ over Liberal Party

Speaking out after his father lost the Liberal leadership, Alex Turnbull described Australia’s energy policy as 10 years of “panic and mania”, and said it made no economic sense to build new coal-fired power plants.

India’s devastating rains match climate change forecasts

Once-a-century rains that have pounded the Indian state of Kerala and displaced 1.3 million people are in line with the predictions of climate change.

Rain brings relief in NSW and Queensland, but drought far from over

Parts of drought-ravaged eastern Australia receive more rain in two days than in previous months combined

Newsletter from Jenny Goldie
President Climate Action Monaro

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