Category Archives: Environment

MICHAEL LAMBERT. The shambles of Australia’s national electricity policy.

Australia has rich energy resources, both fossil and renewable, and a well considered electricity market design, as evidenced by the National Electricity Market (NEM), so why is our electricity market policy overall in such a shambolic state?  Successive national governments … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Infrastructure | 2 Comments

BOB DOUGLAS An algal industry ready to bloom

A high level Roundtable held in Canberra in November 2017 concluded that  algal technology can help to  protect the Great Barrier Reef and create new jobs and growth  for regional areas.

Posted in Economy, Environment | 1 Comment

DAVID KING AND PETER BROOKS. Coal is the new tobacco.

Coal is the new tobacco in terms of the harms it has on our health.  No hospital would think of lending its logo to support the marketing of cigarettes or allowing any of its key decision makers to have strong … Continue reading

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JULIAN CRIBB: When optimism spells disaster…

One of the most dangerous threats to the human future in this, the Age of Perils, is … optimism.

Posted in Climate change, Environment | 1 Comment

BOB DOUGLAS. Minimising Existential Threats of our own making.

Events that could permanently and drastically curtail humanity’s potential or even cause human extinction are often referred to as existential threats.   A moderate sized asteroid hitting our planet is a prime example.  It could wipe us all out in a … Continue reading

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JOAN STAPLES. Environmental NGOs, Public Advocacy and Government

Environmental NGOs fear the Federal Government is moving to limit their public’ advocacy by requiring them to spend 50% of their income on practical environmental tasks such as tree planting.

Posted in Environment, Taxation | 1 Comment

LESLEY HUGHES. Solving the climate crisis: one city at a time

Although Trump has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement, many cities in the US (and in Australia) are taking climate change matters into their own hands, thumbing their collective noses at ideological-driven policy paralysis at the federal level.

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GILES PARKINSON. How the far Right have hijacked Australia’s energy policy

If you ever wondered just how comprehensively the Far Right has hijacked the Coalition’s energy policy, it’s worth reading the speech by NSW energy minister Don Harwin we reported on last week.

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GILES PARKINSON. Garnaut: CET may be useless without higher emission targets

Leading economist professor Ross Garnaut says the clean energy target recommended by the Finkel Review could be useless in meeting current emission reduction targets, because technology change and coal retirements will get us there in any case.

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Environment | 1 Comment

GILES PARKINSON. Coal on limited lifespan as CCS hopes go up in smoke

The coal industry is facing a new crisis point as a group of leading scientists call for the construction of new coal generators to cease within three years, and as the industry’s flagship “clean coal” and carbon capture and storage project went … Continue reading

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TONY MAHER. Energy future debate needs to put people first

Without bipartisan support for the key planks of energy policy, we will continue to have electricity shortages, higher than necessary prices and investment decisions being made by governments based on populism. Workers shouldn’t be used as a pawn in a … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Environment | 1 Comment

STEVE DOVERS. Australia as world leader in conservation?

With the environment a low political priority and few significant environmental initiatives in recent years, maybe Australia just isn’t up to being the world leader in conservation it once was. But an analysis of our past achievements shows that we … Continue reading

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BRUCE THOM. Disaster preparedness and climate change: a national conundrum

Australia’s  policies on climate adaptation and disaster preparedness are not being brought together across jurisdictions to make the nation more resilient to inevitable shocks, let alone the insidious effects of reduced rainfall and water supplies. Professor Bruce Thom suggests how … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Environment | 2 Comments

IAN DUNLOP. Facing “Disaster Alley”, Australia shirks responsibility

The first responsibility of a government is to safeguard the people and their future wellbeing. The ability to do so is increasingly threatened by human-induced climate change, the accelerating impacts of which are driving political instability and conflict globally. Climate … Continue reading

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BRUCE DUNCAN. A scorecard on Pope Francis

Unexpectedly, Pope Francis has emerged as one of the most significant world leaders. Largely unknown before his election, Jorge Bergoglio as Pope Francis has assumed the moral stature of a new Mandela, and not just among Catholics.

Posted in Climate change, Politics | 1 Comment

TONY SMITH. The political ugliness we cannot hide

Half a century ago in The Australian Ugliness Robin Boyd reminded us what  happens when architectural planners embrace utilitarianism and abandon aesthetics. During the days of the Howard Coalition Government, examining the invasion of Iraq and policy on asylum seekers, … Continue reading

Posted in Current affairs, Democratic Renewal, Environment, Politics, Refugees and asylum seekers | 7 Comments

OISÍN SWEENEY & KEVIN EVANS: Coalition governments have abandoned nature. Can we turn this round?

 As the Coalition’s relentless internal struggles over energy ideology capture media headlines, a dramatic roll-back of protections for nature is underway. At State and Commonwealth levels Coalition governments have defunded environment programs and unpicked key legislation. Even fundamental conservation actions … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Environment | 1 Comment

FRANK JOTZO. Reviewing the Finkel Review and the political response

Alan Finkel’s electricity review offers a chance to break the political impasse over climate and energy policy. Its key recommendations, including for a clean energy target – which would support a gradual transition from coal to renewables – are supported … Continue reading

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IAN VERRENDER. Why you’re about to pay through the nose for power

It was a rare moment of triumph for a Prime Minister frustrated in his dealings with a difficult Senate.

Posted in Climate change, Politics | 1 Comment

JOHN MENADUE. The Abbott and Turnbull legacy on climate change and energy policy.

This is a repost of an article that was originally posted on 15 February 2017. I have reposted this in light of current controversy on the Finkel Report. Let’s be clear, the Coalition and particularly the Liberal Party and Malcolm … Continue reading

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MUNGO MacCALLUM. The Finkel Report and Malcolm Turnbull – compromising at the expense of the planet.

It has little if anything to do with the real issues around climate change: it is all about satisfying Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, George Christensen and Eric Abetz. 

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Environment, Politics | 1 Comment

GILES PARKINSON. Finkel decoded: The good, the bad, and the very disappointing

The Finkel Report on the future of the national electricity market falls short of its opportunity to redefine energy markets. It has been focused on trying to find a pathway through the toxic energy politics in Australia, and accommodating the … Continue reading

Posted in Climate change, Economy, Environment | 2 Comments

JULIAN CRIBB. Green China.

Capitalising on failures of US leadership, China is emerging as a potential ‘great green power’ of the 21st century. 

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BERNARD KEANE. Low emissions target: a win for both Turnbull and climate denialists, a loss for everyone.

The beauty of a  Low Emissions Target as a climate action policy is that, as a kind of lowest common denominator, it means everyone wins — and for that matter loses.

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CHRISTIAN DOWNIE. Time for China and Europe to lead, as Trump dumps the Paris climate deal

President Donald Trump’s announcement overnight that he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement comes as no surprise.  

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CHRISTIAN DOWNIE. If the US can’t make coal clean, what hope is there for Australia?

The Prime Minister’s recent decision to back coal rests on the assumption that it can somehow be made “clean”, or more precisely, that carbon, capture and storage (CCS) technologies can be made to work for coal plants. The problem is … Continue reading

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IAN DUNLOP. The Leaders We Deserve?

Rarely have politicians demonstrated their ignorance of the real risks and opportunities confronting Australia than with the recent utterances of Barnaby Joyce, Matt Canavan and other ministers promoting development of Adani and Galilee Basin coal generally, along with their petulant … Continue reading

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PETER Sainsbury. Crisis … what crisis? Australian government discussion paper downplays climate change

By ratifying the Paris Agreement on climate change in November 2016 the Australian government committed to a target of reducing Australian carbon emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030. The government also agreed to review its climate change policies … Continue reading

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RICHARD CURTAIN.  Good information on outcomes is missing in the Higher Education Reform Package.

The Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham, in the new Higher Education Reform Package released on 1 May, states that ‘Students deserve improved information from which to make an informed choice on the most relevant course of study … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE. A rigged gas market and market failure.

Yesterday, the government announced that it would impose an Australian Domestic Gas Security Mechanism on gas exports from July this year.  This will give the government authority to limit companies’ gas exports if they are emptying Australian gas reserves to … Continue reading

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