Climate Newsletter 5 March 2018

Jenny Goldie: President CAM

The weather seems to get crazier and crazier with a deluge in Canberra not long ago then Brisbane last night, while Europe freezes from “the beast from the east”, and that  followed a heatwave in north-eastern US, never mind the one in the Arctic. This is all to be expected under climate change yet it is all coming about much faster than expected.

The federal government has bought Snowy Hydro from NSW and Victoria for $6 billion for the purpose of implementing Snowy 2.0 (pumped hydro as a form of energy storage). We share Giles Parkinson’s concerns (see below), however, that this may prevent the other main form of storage – batteries – from taking off.

The latest data from GetUp and Green Energy Markets show:

  • The solar industry now supports more than 10,000 full time jobs
  • Queensland is leading the country on renewable jobs with 6,421 construction jobs. (Note: This is way more jobs than the Adani coal mine will generate.)


  • South Australia now leads the world in overall solar power generation (as a proportion of total electricity generation) and is second only to Denmark in wind generation.

We were thankful that the successor to Barnaby Joyce as Deputy PM and leader of the Nationals was not Adani-loving Resources Minister Matt Canavan, nevertheless, it seems that the new leader Michael McCormack has a history of opposing climate action as well, so it’s back to square one after all.

All the best, Jenny

Government buys out states’ Snowy Hydro shares for $6b
The Federal Government announces it will spend $6 billion buying out New South Wales’ and Victoria’s shares in Snowy Hydro Limited, bringing it one step closer to starting work on the Snowy Hydro 2.0 scheme.$6b/9500908

Will Turnbull’s Snowy Hydro continue its war against battery storage?
Giles Parkinson
Turnbull’s purchase of Snowy Hydro means he is now both utility owner and policy maker. More concerning is that the newly purchased Snowy Hydro has a strong economic interest in preventing the battery storage market from taking off.

Climate change pushing weather extremes ‘off the scale’, says global cities group
Storms, floods and other extreme weather events are hitting cities much harder than scientists have predicted, said the head of a global network of cities tackling climate change.

The Nationals have changed their leader but kept the same climate story
Marc Hudson, University of Manchester
Barnaby Joyce had a long history of opposing climate action. His successor Michael McCormack seems to think the same way, despite climate being a growing threat to the Nationals’ rural voters.

National Energy Guarantee leaves no guarantees
David Ryan
There are some significant issues still to be resolved around the NEG – complexity and potential costs are concerning.

Canberra storm drains ‘unable to cope with major rain events’, report warned
Just weeks before a “1-in-100-year weather event” flooded some Canberra residents’ homes and brought parts of the city to a standstill, a report warned the capital’s storm-water drains would be insufficient in a major downpour.

Australia’s biggest coal state, NSW, also biggest electricity importer
South Australia’s renewables grid is often criticised for relying on “imports” from other states. But no grid relies more on imports than NSW, the grid with the highest percentage of coal generation.

South32’s shift away from thermal coal puts BHP to shame
Where South32 has moved to divest from thermal coal, BHP is increasing its exposure – and undermining its climate credentials.

Arctic warming: scientists alarmed by ‘crazy’ temperature rises
Record warmth in the Arctic this month could yet prove to be a freak occurrence, but experts warn the warming event is unprecedented

It will be warmer at the North Pole next week than in much of Europe
The polar vortex split, and now the North Pole is comparatively balmy.



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