Climate Newsletter 10 March 2018

Jenny Goldie:  President CAM

I hope you saw the excellent Four Corners program on Monday night which showed farmers taking action on climate change while politicians fail to do so. It also included this quote from a corporate risk expert:

“It is clear that directors do have duties to take climate risk into account as a foreseeable financial risk, and a failure to do so may expose them to liability for a breach of their duty of due care and diligence.”

Bring it on.

Floods continue to wreak havoc in Queensland with some places recording 100mm in an hour. It bears out Dorothea McKellar’s description of a land of “droughts and flooding rains” but there is an extra edge to it these days. You feel climate change is making these events more extreme.


Sometimes life is good and this week it was the appointment of former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg as UN special envoy on climate change. It is an antidote to President Trump’s denialist views. Trump, meanwhile, is bleeding staffers for one reason or another, but one rising star in the White House is Peter Navarro who is very strong on climate change so, you never know, he may be able to turn the president around on the issue.

If the Brits can do it, we can too. As they turn away from coal, their carbon emissions have fallen to levels last seen in the 1890s. See below.

On Wednesday, the Climate Council has launched its latest report, Clean and Reliable Power: Roadmap to a Renewable Future,” (see attached) on the National Energy Guarantee (NEG). It includes the following key messages:

  • The proposed NEG risks derailing Australia’s investment and jobs boom in renewable energy and storage
  • The expected 26% emissions reduction for electricity by 2030 under the NEG is inadequate to tackle climate change.

You may be aware that the NT government has been holding an inquiry into the benefits and risks of fracking, the findings of which will be handed down on 26 March. The organisations Seed and the Australian Youth Climate Coalition (AYCC) are campaigning against fracking and are planning a national day of action  to Ban Fracking in the NT on 21 March.

All the best, Jenny

Beware the green dragon, not the red one
Crispin Hull, Canberra Times, 4 March.

As China’s President Xi Jinping came closer this week to becoming the next Emperor of China for Life, western leaders wrung their hands and worried about China’s military power; cyber power and soft power – meanwhile naively surrendering, without a scintilla of opposition, primacy the one field that made the British and then the American empires world dominant – energy.

A ‘pit bull’ for climate could soon sit next to Trump
An ascendant aide in the Trump White House has warned of the threats posed by climate change, has argued for taxing carbon, has promoted wind power and was even endorsed by the Sierra Club.

As climate change parches Somalia, frequent drought comes with conflict over fertile land
Special correspondent Jane Ferguson and videographer Alessandro Pavone report on how climate change is threatening a way of life that has sustained Somalia for millennia.

Australian homes, business installed 6.5 solar panels per minute in 2017
It’s official: CER data says Australian homes and businesses installed record total of 1057MW of solar, mostly on rooftops, in 2017.

McCormack’s climate view a bigger concern

Michael McCormack’s climate change views leave constituents high and dry.

Michael Bloomberg is the new UN special envoy on climate change and says he hopes Trump ‘changes his mind’ on Paris Agreement

While politicians question the reality of climate change, farmers and businesses act
One of Australia’s biggest wine makers has already moved part of its operation to a cooler climate and other industries are also taking action. They’re not waiting for the politicians to make up their minds about the changing climate.

Dutch plan to build giant offshore solar power farm
“There is more sun at sea and there is the added benefit of a cooling system for the panels, which boosts output by up to 15 percent.”

The Precautionary Principle asks “How much harm Is avoidable?” rather than “How much harm is acceptable?”
”Acceptable harm” has brought us to the brink of disaster. Risk assessment is easily manipulated. Two groups of fully qualified risk assessors, given identical data, can reach wildly different estimates of risk.

Analysis: UK carbon emissions in 2017 fell to levels last seen in 1890

Carbon Brief analysis shows the UK’s CO2 emissions from fossil fuels fell by 2.6% in 2017, driven by a 19% decline in coal use.

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