#ReefElection: Bandaids for an unmitigated reef catastrophe reports @takvera #ausvotes

An election promise by the Prime Minister to divert $1 billion in Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) funding to improve reef catchment water quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions has been soundly criticised as legally problematic, inefficient and far below the funding scientists say is required to Save the Reef. As they say, the ‘devil is in the detail’. [View the story “#reefelection: Bandaids for an unmitigated reef catastrophe” on Storify]

UNESCO report on Heritage sites affected by #climatechange censored in #ReefGate scandal reports @takvera

A UNESCO report identifies World Heritage sites at risk from climate change, but there is no mention of Australian sites in the report. The Australian Government requested that all mentions be deleted, and this was complied with by UNESCO. This censorship of science should raise many questions. Professor Will Steffen’s statement on ReefGate from the Climate Council: “Last year I was asked to review an international scientific report on the impacts of climate change on World Heritage sites and tourism. I reviewed a case study on the Great Barrier Reef, focussing on the increasing risks to tourism from climate change. “Overnight the report was released – but mysteriously, the Great […]

Can Labor wedge the Coalition on #climatechange in #ausvotes? asks @takvera

Action on climate change is a live issue at the 2016 election, but it is still divisive. The Australian Labor Party unveiled it’s climate action plan to take to the Federal Election, likely to be on July 2. A lot of deliberative thought and nuanced politics have gone into this plan with targeted changes in different sectors. Environment and community groups, along with the Business Council of Australia, broadly said the plan was positive, although there were criticisms raised about the need for climate policy to become bipartisan to ensure stability in the economic transitions needed. Environment groups stressed that it was a useful starting point and much better than […]

#Coralbleaching prompts #Environment Ministers: Strong urgent action needed #climatechange – @takvera

In a late night conference call on Wednesday night 20 April 2016 between Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, Queensland State Environment minister Steven Miles and Environment ministers from other states it was agreed that what is currently happening on the Great Barrier Reef is alarming and is an issue of concern not just to Queenslanders but to all Australians. Ministers all agreed that strong and urgent action was needed on climate change. The call included Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority chairman Russell Reichelt and Queensland University’s Global Change Institute director Ove Hoegh-Guldberg. Greg Hunt participated in the call from Melbourne Airport shortly before boarding a plane to New York […]

With rising emissions Australia applies Kyoto credits to meet 2020 #climate target reports @takvera

The latest analysis from Reputex energy consultancy shows that Australia will not meet our 2020 emissions reduction target, except by using carry over credits from the Kyoto Protocol first commitment period (2008-2012). Reputex highlights that the Government’s own figures indicate Australia will continue on a new upward emissions trajectory, with forecast growth of 6 per cent to 2020, despite current climate policy. The market report by Reputex estimates emissions growing to 4 per cent above 2000 levels by 2020 and that trend continuing with Australian emissions unlikely to peak before 2030. The growth of our emissions is the opposite to most developed economies. RepuTex executive director Hugh Grossman said the […]

Intense #Bushfire hits Surf Coast Christmas Day forcing evacuations – @takvera #vicfires

We are already getting a taste of the future with climate change with record temperatures in December, extreme bushfire alerts, and intense bushfires like the Separation Creek and Wye River bushfire causing town evacuations on the Surf Coast near Melbourne. On Christmas day BOM Tasmania reported in a tweet “A sweltering 36 degrees in #Hobart today – the hottest Christmas Day on record! Cool change early tomorrow”. Temperatures in Adelaide reached 37 degrees, the hottest Christmas Day in 29 years, just short of the temperature of 37.3°C reached in 1986. In Victoria the Great Ocean Road was closed and settlements evacuated due to a major bushfire out of control on […]

Australia agrees to 1.5 degrees inclusion in #COP21 Draft climate agreement reports @takvera

As Environment Minister Greg Hunt departs after the first week and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop takes over negotiations at the UN climate conference, Australia has supported inclusion of the 1.5 degrees limit in the main draft text along with the 2 degrees limit, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. This is an important goal for many of our Pacific neighbors and nations of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. One hundred and eight nations, so far, have said they want this lower limit included. #Germany officially supports the 1.5deg goal along with 108 other countries from the #climatevulnerableforum #COP21 pic.twitter.com/lPjB1n2Byc — Kellie Caught (@kelliecaught) December 4, 2015 Among civil society there is […]

Australia’s #climate stance for Paris #COP21 reports @takvera #Auspol

It seems that Australia has flexibility in negotiating for a global climate agreement in Paris. Minister Hunt even expressed that there is some room for Australia to lift it’s targets, after a review, through purchase of carbon credits. But it appears there is no extra funding to the Green Climate Fund on the table. Australia as a mid-level power carries some influence at sensitive negotiations such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) annual summit, called the Conference of Parties or simply COP. This year in Paris is the 21st year of negotiations, hence COP21. Tom Arup in The Age has a good summary of the Australian […]

Can a leopard change it’s spots? Australia’s schizophrenic #climate diplomacy at #COP21 reports @takvera

It seems Ministers from 62 nations were won over by Australian Environment Minister Greg Hunt’s charm at Precop with applause being delivered to speeches from Ministers from both Australia and Canada. (see my article on the Paris Precop ministerial meeting) Australia is being seen as back on side diplomatically on the climate issue, especially after Hunt was a important broker in a deal phasing down HFC emissions in the Montreal Protocol update last week. Just a couple of weeks ago Greg Hunt was being rebranded by activists as the Minister for Coal for approving the Adani Carmichael Coal mine in Queensland’s Galilee basin for the second time. A mine that […]

Canada welcomed at Paris #PreCOP #climate Ministerial meeting says @takvera #COP21

A high level informal Ministerial pre-summit climate conference is currently under way in Paris to try and close some of the differences in negotiating positions to set up momentum for the Paris Climate Conference. The outstanding highlight has been the return of Canada to the serious climate discussion table, although it is still very early to see how strong Canada’s climate policy and negotiating position will be. The French Government is putting a lot of diplomatic effort into the UN climate conference (COP21), due to start on Monday November 30 with an initial leaders summit with more than 100 Heads of State attending. The Draft negotiating text is currently some […]