- Martijn Wilder, Climate Leader and lawyer
Minister Greg Combet has announced that the Government has accepted the Climate Change Authority’s Renewable Energy Target – which means we will move towards a 60 per cent Renewable Energy Target for 2030. ACF has welcomed the announcement in light of recent industry pressure to weaken it.
Meantime an Australian expert has criticised planning laws which do not account for the impact of increased flooding. And our Kiwi friends are watching in despair as the rolling green of New Zealand turns crispy and brown. The drought in the Land of the Long White cloud is big news.
While UN agencies are hoping to avert a food crisis, Russian, Chinese and African countries attempt to strengthen national drought policies after warnings that climate change would increase their frequency and severity. A World Future Council Report tells us that feed in tariffs for African renewable energy projects would lift the continent out of poverty (and give it a reliable low carbon energy source).
Back here in Australia, AFL chairman and Rio Tinto director Mike Fitzpatrick has called for politicians to stop meddling in issues such as investment in renewables and focus on providing certainly on this in an election year. Does that remark apply to former politicians?
The Productivity Commission report looking at the Australian Government’s response potential climate change risks rejected the call to underwrite insurance premiums for households in flood prone areas. And Niels Bohr Institute research shows that a tenfold increase of the frequency of extreme storm surges is expected if we allow a global temperature increase by two degrees Celsius.
The Australian reports that this was the hottest summer not only on land, but also on sea - with March being yet another record breaker. And Victorians have spent more than $4 billion on paying for the damage caused by climate change.
We await news that Australia and the US have officially combined efforts in terms of developing a renewables industry. A new four-megawatt solar farm will soon sit on a Canberra traffic island Majura Parkway. In Victoria, industrial action at the Loy Yang B coal fire power plant is threatening its operations. And we already knew, but now official … those who claim turbines make them sick, need to get a second opinion.
China is staying focussed on its plan to introduce a carbon price, and the EU is considering a report which states that lowering vehicle emissions improves employment, health and the environment.
Sea level rise contributed to the severity of Cyclone Sandy, former Vice President Al Gore reports on his blog. And Swiss scientists tell us that detached Greenlandic glaciers are contributing up to 20 per cent of the melt that is causing sea level to rise.
And it was only a matter of time, but Poo Power has arrived and hopes to clean up in the energy sector. Tish boom. Have a great week.