This week, where do you start? The price on carbon is a fact, energy use is set to fall for the first time ever, Ross Garnaut reminds us that China is in front on in terms of emission reduction and we all hope that Simon at GetUp! is feeling much better and WHAT is Craig Emerson doing?
‘Both sides have used emissions to divide us instead of uniting us.’
- Tim Colebatch, Economics Editor, The Age
Did we ever think the day would come when we got sick of discussing the carbon price? I think most of us are there now. Happily on June 2, day one of the carbon price nearly 300 businesses made their support of the carbon price clear. The Businesses for a Clean Economy alliance is here.
And Clean Energy Regulator Chloe Munro has burst out of the blocks saying she is ready to get serious to make sure the organisations who are due to pay carbon price – do indeed meet their commitment. And Ross Garnaut who we have not seen for such a long time has taken the opportunity to remind everyone that we ‘should be a little bit sensitive to that fact - and sensitive to what others are doing’, specifically - that China and the US are doing ‘quite a lot’ to reduce their carbon emissions.
Professor Garnaut went on to explain to Lateline that the carbon price discussion ‘is being treated as a football game – with more importance being placed on the scores.’
Energy use in Australia is set to drop for the first time. The Australian Energy Market Operator was quick to add that the increase in rooftop solar is a contributing factor. At the same time Love Energy managing director Richard Mintz explained that installing solar is now ‘a genuine option’ to keep power bills down.
And as if we have any more room on our fridges for anymore Government sponsored pamphlets about the carbon price – you need to know that you are likely to receive one next time you get a bill from energy provider explaining that only $9 of every $100 on your electricity bill – can be attribute to carbon price. And Climate Presenter Robin Gunning expresses the view of many in her local newspaper.
Munmorah coal fired power station in NSW has been closed – given that it has been in mothballs for two years, the timing of the announcement is interesting. So, we need to get it over and done with – what does Craig Emerson think he is doing? That was painful but it is over now.
And while you might not agree with everything he says – Tim Colebatch makes some well-considered points, in particular: ‘A carbon price works because it gives business and individuals an incentive to cut greenhouse gas emission’ …. and ‘the beauty of this tax is that you can avoid it, by using less electricity and gas. Of all the options to cut emissions, it pushes us towards making our use of energy more efficient.’
We watch in horror as the Arctic looks like its heading for a record breaking level of sea-ice loss. Locally Australian experts report that the most significant contributors to sea level rise is that the is thermal expansion … and that the Poles are melting. Bill McKibben sums in up in the Daily Beast, if it’s all a hoax, it’s got excellent production values.
And for those of us who love a good infographic – here is one showing what LED lighting could do for our city’s energy efficiency. Watch this beautifully made video featuring a homeless polar bear to the haunting underscore by Radiohead lads. See you next week.
This Week in Climate Change (formally The Week That Was), a weekly review of climate change politics, policy, innovation and science from Climate Reality Leader Andrew Woodward. @climatecomm