- Inverell cattle farmer Glen Morris
WHILE Queenslanders were told climate change has put their coastal homes at risk by Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery, folks in Canberra woke to the news that the ACT Labor Party plans to source 90 per cent of the ACT’s power from renewable sources by 2020. And an academic at the Australian National University has said it is achievable. Maybe they could compare notes with their opposite numbers in South Australia.
If only those quirky Queenslanders (I am one, so I am allowed to say that) could put their money where the sun shines – they could – according to Dr Flannery, be a solar super state.
Meantime a WWF and Climate Risk report tells us that investment in renewable energy projects is set to stall. Its modelling is based on the magic date of 2020, a vision which comes up again and again with the discussion around the Renewable Energy Target. The Business Council of Australia has added its voice to calls to adjust the target amid fears it will unreasonably drive up power prices.
And while we are on the subject of electricity prices, a nationwide survey of 1020 households, conducted in June, found 55 per cent of respondents were "very" concerned and another 30 per cent "quite" concerned about their electricity bills, stating prices have risen in recent years, nearly 40 per cent. To which Choice boss Matt Levey commented "We have spent $11 billion on energy infrastructure that is only used four days out of every year. This is clearly a broken system."
Australia has a suite of seven bills, removing the floor price and establishing a formal linking to the EU Emissions trading scheme. The scheme will convert to a floating price cap-and-trade scheme on 1 July 2015. A fixed price of $23 per tonne of carbon emissions now applies to facilities emitting over 25,000 tonnes of CO2-e per annum.
What have China and Newcastle got in common? China is emerging as Newcastle's major research partner in the $100 million dollar "Smart Grid, Smart City" project.
And Greenpeace have said publically that carbon emissions from coal mines in Queensland's Galilee Basin will eclipse the whole of the United Kingdom's output. Of course government and industry groups have something to say about that.
And a local beef producer says the cheap marketing campaigns run by the big supermarkets are costing the environment. While a new report tells us that climate change will see some insect species drop like (fruit) flies. A new app may help track the species at risk from climate change.
The good folk at HSBC tell us that India, being the second largest producer of rice, wheat and sugar is also the most vulnerable to water scarcity (and the subsequent cessation of the production of any rice, wheat …. or sugar).
And seven more families have left the Carterets Islands as climate change refugees, as they could no longer grow crops in their food gardens. They are to be resettled in Bougainville where they hope to restart their lives afresh. Until the week after next … go well.