Greg Combet announces Australia’s carbon price will be linked to the EU scheme, Arctic ice has retreated to a record breaking low and it is not over yet, Kyoto 2 will save us all money – if we get on board and much, much more.
“I get lots of messages urging me to challenge Tony Abbott and I just don't respond to them”
- Malcolm Turnbull quoted in The Australian Financial Review
A smattering of media outlets have reported that Arctic ice has melted to a record low, in a summer which has not been warm, and three weeks before the melt season will have peaked. Every day, a piece of ice the size of Tasmania is melting from the Earth’s cooling system… every single day.
And an icebreaker has become the first ship from China to cross the Arctic Ocean, underscoring Beijing's growing interest in a remote region where a record thaw caused by climate change may open new trade routes.
Meantime, in Antarctica….
And it's been a good week for carbon pricing. On Monday, a Nielsen poll suggested 52 per cent of Australians haven't felt a negative impact since it was introduced. And yesterday afternoon came news that the government would link the Australian carbon price to the European Union scheme in a pragmatic decision which has largely been applauded.
Environment groups are pressuring the Gillard government to re-commit to the Kyoto Protocol by citing new legal advice claiming Australian companies will be unable to directly access cheap international carbon credits unless it does.
Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery writes in the Herald Sun that ‘we may well look back at 2012 as a tipping point, the beginning of the clean energy era.’
Speaking of embracing the clean energy era, China will plough $372 billion into energy conservation projects and anti-pollution measures over the next three-and-a-half years, part of a drive to cut energy consumption by 300 million tonnes of standard coal, the country's cabinet said last Tuesday.
Australian international development deputy head Ewen McDonald has been given the task of heading up The Green Climate Fund which will channel a fund totalling $US100 billion to help the developing world mitigate and adapt to climate change from 2020 onwards.
In the US, Cyclone Isaac hits and has turned into a full blown category 1 cyclone which is heading for the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.
And we nearly got to the end of the wrap without mention of the amazing turn around on the Olympic Dam expansion. Tony Abbott has had all sorts of problems explaining if he had – or had not in fact read BHP’s statement when he suggested the carbon price had an impact on the reduction of mine’s size.
In the Queensland, a two million dollar solar farm, generating 1400 kilowatt hours a day is now powering two–thirds of the Townsville RSL Stadium. The solar energy produced here equates to cutting 460 tonnes of carbon pollution each year or taking approximately 100 cars off the road. Go Queensland.
In an unfortunate turn of events three heavyweight journos Rosslyn Beeby, Deborah Smith and Leigh Dayton have been axed, drastically reducing the field of staff reporters most likely to write intelligently about climate science in Australia. It is our loss. 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