Climate Newsletter 18 Nov 2018

The death toll from the California fires rises inexorably with 76 dead and over 1200 still missing. President Trump still denies any connection with climate change, unlike outgoing Governor Jerry Brown and Los Angeles fire chief who do say there is a strong connection.

A number of school children walked out of school this week to protest inaction on climate change. Meanwhile the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has warned they may be the last generation to see coral reefs.

Some good news came from the NSW government this week. It unveiled its Transmission Infrastructure Strategy to enable a more rapid development of the state’s renewable energy potential. The Strategy aims to bring forward $2.5 billion worth of high voltage transmission projects, shore up the power grid, and accommodate a $23 billion wave of renewable energy investment.

Meanwhile, the Climate Council has issued yet another report, this time on climate change and water scarcity. It warns of worsening drought and more extreme weather events, and says the impact will be felt severely on the NSW northern tablelands.

It was startling to see Woodside CEO Peter Coleman advocate a carbon price but it may have been a case of vested interest as Woodside deals largely in gas, not coal, and a carbon price would favour lower-emitting gas. Nevertheless, gas is the guilty party when it comes to Australia’s emissions, since half of Australia’s emissions are linked to WA Gorgon’s gas plant.

The International Energy Agency (IEA), the top global energy watchdog but often slow to come to terms with reality, has finally acknowledged that the world cannot build any more fossil fuel plants. This is important, as our federal government flags new coal-fired power stations, ignoring the pressing need to reduce emissions.

Meanwhile, the insurance giant IAG has warned a failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could result in a world that is “pretty much uninsurable”, with poorer communities likely to bear the brunt of the effects.

Don’t forget the Victorian election on Saturday 24 November with Labor strengthening its renewable energy targets while the Liberals promise to get rid of them. Labor is also wanting to extend rooftop solar rebate to renters.

All the best, Jenny
Newsletter by Jenny Goldie
President Climate Action Monaro

World has no capacity to absorb new fossil fuel plants, warns IEA

The world has so many existing fossil fuel projects that it cannot afford to build any more polluting infrastructure without busting international climate change goals, the global energy watchdog has warned.

Want to slow down climate change? Plant a tree

A new comprehensive study shows planting more trees and preserving fields and wetlands can help to combat climate change.

Longer fire seasons threaten to disrupt US-Australia firefighting cooperation

Longer bushfire seasons in Australia and the US threaten to disrupt the sharing of vital personnel and equipment between the two countries, fire experts and coordinators have revealed.

Greens policy would outlaw thermal coal as it is ‘no longer compatible’ with human life

Under Greens policy, it would no longer be legal to dig, burn or ship thermal coal by 2030

Half of Australia’s emissions increase linked to WA’s Gorgon LNG plant

Carbon emissions from nation’s largest LNG development were meant to be captured. More than two years on, the storage still hasn’t started

Climate Council issues grim warning on looming water security crisis

The Climate Council releases a report linking climate change with worsening droughts, and extreme weather events such as bushfires and floods.

Woodside CEO urges climate fix

Woodside boss Peter Coleman has some advice for politicians including a call for clarity on tax reform and global co-operation on carbon pricing.

Deluge and drought: Australia’s water security in a changing climate

Climate Council of Australia

This report argues that significant impacts on and risks to Australia’s water security are already evident, and these risks will continue to escalate unless deep and rapid reductions in global greenhouse gas pollution can be achieved.

‘Problem in waiting’: why natural gas will wipe out Australia’s emissions gains

LNG is often touted as a good alternative to coal but the increase in production means increased emissions that will cancel out any recent savings

Next generation ‘may never see the glory of coral reefs’

Undersea forests, bleached and killed by rising ocean temperature, might disappear in a few decades, experts warn

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