This week wild weather is in the news, an Australian firm looks at exporting an off-grid renewable power plant to relieve islands from dependence on diesel, experts say not using our super as a method to mitigate climate change could be ‘in breach’ and the first carbon farming piggery is up and running.
“(I am) personally opposed to all renewable energy, I think it’s too expensive and it’s phasing the cheaper power out.”
- Coalition Senator Ron Boswell, an outspoken critic of the Renewable Energy Target
With most of the wild weather news happening in the States this week, The Climate Institute released a report stating that Australia’s transport and electricity networks will not be able to cope with frequent extreme weather events. The report conservatively estimates ‘the annual cost of unmitigated climate change on Australia’s infrastructure at about $9 billion in 2020 rising exponentially thereafter.’
Our friends at Baker & McKenzie and the Asset Owners Disclosure Project (AODP), this week argued that trustees in charge of Australia's $1.4 trillion in superannuation who failed to consider climate change risk may be in breach of their fiduciary duties.
And as I am sure you are aware already, the Climate Change Authority has made initial recommendations on Australia’s 2020 Renewable Energy Target (RET). It wants the Government to leave the target as it is. So far it is safe, and that is good news.
Climate Leader and executive secretary of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, has been in town. She urged Australia to recommit to Kyoto 2. While she was here she spoke clearly and loudly about Australia’s fortunate position in terms of being rich in renewable energy sources. And environmentalists tell us that a green revolution to make EU energy almost totally carbon-free by 2050 would generate 3 trillion euros in fuel saving and create around half a million extra jobs by 2020.
In the meantime, The Australian reports that we are looking to export an off-grid power plant, prototype developed by Hydro Tasmania, to island communities throughout the Asia-Pacific region. By reducing reliance on diesel generators, the wind and solar plant will save $4.5m a year.
Back home, a report says that households might be paid to reduce their electricity use in peak times according to recommendations made by an alliance of organisations including the Brotherhood of St Laurence and CHOICE. The report finds that around a quarter of electricity costs are driven by "super peaks" - typically a few very hot or cold days when power consumption surges during peak periods.
Australia's first carbon farming piggery has been registered at Blantyre Farms in Young, NSW. Farm owners Edwina and Michael Beveridge's 22,000 pigs are now generating more than enough clean energy to power the entire property and the farm no longer pays a cent for electricity.
And scientists are telling us that industrial pollution is putting the health of 125 million people at risk worldwide and is as dangerous in the developing world as malaria or tuberculosis, according to a new report. 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