In this, the last working week of 2012, the Renewable Energy Target is announced, we get some great news about investment in solar technology, some research about how biased the media coverage of Australia’s price on carbon really is, the IPCC leaked report tells us climate change is real and more about ice cores. All this and more…
“A world-class collaboration of this scale ensures we are well on our way to lower the cost of solar thermal technology.”
- Dr Alex Wonhason, CSIRO’s Energy Transformed Flagship Director on Australia’s A$35 million contribution to solar thermal research initiative.
Australia’s renewable energy target has been announced. Or, was it? Essentially, nothing has changed. It took the Climate Change Authority an hour to tell us the target has not changed and they would not be setting a 2030 target until after 2016.
With the IPCC fifth summary report being leaked, much has been written about the use of the words ‘virtually certain’ in terms of climate change. The media has been in the news itself, with the ABC Maurice Newman’s words upon resigning… and here David Karoly’s (et al) research on the bias in the media around the reporting of the carbon price.
Encouraging news this week is that brown coal carbon pollution has been reduced, and that has been attributed to the carbon price. Yay. And in Queensland, the first carbon farming project of its kind has been approved – with SelectCarbon partnering with a local landowner in the table lands north of Cairns. Still in Queensland, the coal industry tell us they have taken great steps forward and opened their first clean coal carbon capture plant. Good old Queensland, it always reverts to type.
And the Federal government announced it will give more than $83 million for research into solar technology, in partnership with the US. The bulk of the money will go to programs aimed at developing the next generation of solar cell.
Peter Hannam tells us we are on the cusp of a wind energy boom and outlines the projects in the pipeline. Flinders Island’s privately owned turbine already provides 25 per cent of the island’s power and it has more ambitious plans…
Further south, the Australian Antarctic Division will be part of a project which will drill into the ice and unlock more vital information from ice core samples from some of the oldest ice in the region.
The Sydney University plans to grow a type of plankton to clean up the oceans and solve climate change have been axed.
While on the upside, these tiny spotted tree frogs, once endangered to the point of being extinct, have been re-introduced into the Mount Buffalo National Park in Victoria as part of a national recovery plan to help the little amphibians thrive again.
And the US ambassador to Australia has recently taken delivery of his electric car which he has named Elvis. The Holden Volt was received in Canberra at the US Embassy and promptly plugged into a garden bed.
And now it is time, to turn off our computers, resist the temptation to check our email accounts hourly, find our family and loved ones, and clear the decks for some time to enjoy some good food and wine (or whatever your poison might be) and reflect on all the wonderful things which have happened this year.
We have plenty of challenges ahead but right now it is important to enjoy a break and some peace and joy with the people you love. Merry Christmas and a happy new year.
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