Prof Ross Garnaut, economist
Well, a week IS a long time in politics. Bye bye Julia and hello Kev. And we have a new climate change minister, a new proposal for a replacement for the price on carbon, an ETS, and a new Cabinet. And two of our much loved Independent MPs have resigned. Eric Knight writes that Prime Minister Rudd must declare his hand soon on what to do about the issue of climate change. It’s a matter of economic freedom.
And just as the ink dried on the business cards – the Federal Climate Change Department is moved back from Industry to the Environment. And a year down the track after the carbon price, The Conversation writes - have our carbon emissions reduced? A new report spells out how we must do much more to repair and prepare Australia’s landscape in the face of climate change.
Friend of the ACF and former liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser says he will campaign with the Greens to prevent a Coalition control of the Senate. Gee, times are interesting.
All of which overshadows the Obama administration’s recent announcements to limit carbon emissions from existing coal fired power stations and prioritise investments in renewable energy. This week, US based computer giant Apple Inc has announced plans to build a new solar farm to power its data centres.
And China announced that it has launched a regional ETS, with a country-wide scheme to follow by 2015. The Potsdam Institute modelling finds that one in ten of the world’s population will be living in a climate hotspot by the end of the century.
Back home in Australia, news of the CEFC’s $37.5m investment in a wind farm in NSW is welcomed and Australia’s largest solar farm based in the ACT has been given the go ahead. Yay! And what is Mac Gen doing in terms of getting rid of its carbon pollution? It has announced a plan to turn it into jet fuel :/
And we read yet more evidence to connect the unusually active El Niño in our Pacific region to high concentrations of carbon pollution in the atmosphere. Read the paper here. And of huge concern – some of our most loved trees, conifers, have made it onto the endangered list, while more animals join the list of extinctions. And new research strengthens the case that climate change spelt the demise of Australia’s mega fauna – all those years ago.
Meantime prominent Australians (and Climate Leaders) have signed an open letter to the big four banks to ask them to divest from fossil fuel investments. You can too.
In his wisdom, Opposition leader Tony Abbott has announced his plans to fast track approvals of coal mines. Maybe he knows something that Barack Obama is not across.
And does anyone remember Lonesome George? The tortoise who was a travelling companion of Charles Darwin? Well, he will soon be defrosted – and stuffed – and put on display at the research centre in the Galapagos Island from whence he came. Bye for now...
Image courtesy of Flickr user Dave Sutherland (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)