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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tony Abbott is Afraid of Innovation


"The carbon tax will reduce Australia’s domestic coal use from over 70 per cent of our power needs to under 10 per cent, absent carbon capture and storage.

The Australian coal industry will only survive because the Chinese, without a carbon tax, will do what we are no longer supposed to do: namely buy and burn coal.

Australia’s biggest export industry will only endure because others will do what we think we should no longer do ourselves."

28 MAY 2014

"It’s particularly important that we do not demonise the coal industry.

If there was one fundamental problem, above all else, with the carbon tax was that it said to our people, it said to the wider world, that a commodity which in many years is our biggest single export, somehow should be left in the ground and not sold.

Well really and truly, I can think of few things more damaging to our future."

Meanwhile, in news from the real world:

China to ban new coal-fired power plants around Beijing over pollution concerns

BEIJING | 12 September 2013 | China announced Thursday that it will ban new coal-fired power plants in three key industrial regions around Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in its latest bid to combat the country's notorious air pollution.
(Read more ...)

U.S. lays out strict limits on coal funding abroad

By Anna Yukhananov
WASHINGTON | 29 October 2013 | (Reuters) | The United States said Tuesday it plans to use its leverage within global development banks to limit financing for coal-fired power plants abroad as part of Washington's international strategy to combat climate change.
(Read more ...)

UK urges global climate deal, halt to funding for overseas coal-fired power

London (Platts) | 20 November 2013

"It is completely illogical for countries like the UK and the US to be decarbonizing our own energy sectors while paying for coal-fired power plants to be built in other countries," UK energy and climate change secretary Ed Davey said.

The UK will also join the US in agreeing to end support for public financing of new coal-fired power plants overseas, "except in rare circumstances in which the poorest countries have no feasible alternative," Davey said.

When burned, coal emits roughly twice the volume of carbon dioxide per unit of energy produced than natural gas -- putting coal-fired power plants in the firing line for governments and regulators seeking meaningful emissions reductions.

The UK and US will work together to secure the support of other countries and Multilateral Development Banks to adopt similar policies, Davey said.
(Read more ...)

UK puts brakes on coal fired power plants

“As part of our commitment to accelerating the transition to low-carbon energy systems worldwide, the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden will join the United States in ending public financing for new coal-fired power plants overseas, except in rare circumstances. We will work together to secure the support of other countries and multilateral development banks to adopt similar policies.”
(Read more ...)

China set for carbon pricing: new study

ASIA & THE PACIFIC | 10 October 2013 | As Australia moves to scrap its pioneering carbon-pricing scheme, China is expected to have seven pilot pricing systems in place no later than 2015, followed by a national scheme, according to a new survey from ANU.

The survey – a joint initiative between the Centre for Climate Economics and Policy in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific’s Crawford School and Beijing-based NGO China Carbon Forum – collected the opinions of 86 China-based carbon pricing experts.

The survey found strong confidence that China will introduce carbon-pricing mechanisms in coming years, that the price of emitting carbon will rise over time, and that China will have both a national emissions trading and a carbon tax by the end of the decade.
(Read more ...)
Tony Abbott - afraid of a price on carbon
Tony Abbott - afraid of a price on carbon

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mining products that endanger human health

Long before propaganda sponsored by the coal mining lobby that climate change is a scam....
"Although the health risks associated with asbestos had been long observed and were confirmed scientifically early in the Twentieth Century, it was not until the 1970s that the Australian community was made aware of the problem.
Each year 500 men and 100 women develop mesothelioma in Australia, and this is expected to rise to 900 new cases a year by 2020.
As former workers in environments contaminated by asbestos began to fall sick and die in ever increasing numbers, a series of cases put before Australian courts after 1980 established a precedent for civil damages to be awarded to sufferers of asbestos related diseases."
(National Health and Medical Research Council).

"Australia has the second highest rate of asbestos-related cancer deaths in the world." (The Mesothelioma Center)

Product liability: CSR Limited and/or certain subsidiaries (CSR) were involved in mining asbestos and manufacturing and marketing products containing asbestos in Australia, and exporting asbestos to the United States.

CSR’s involvement in asbestos mining, and the manufacture of products containing asbestos, began in the early 1940s and ceased with the disposition of the Wunderlich asbestos cement business in 1977.

As a result of these activities, CSR has been named as a defendant in litigation in Australia and the United States.

In Australia, asbestos related personal injury claims have been made by employees and ex-employees of CSR, by others such as contractors and transporters and by users of products containing asbestos, as well as residents of and visitors to Wittenoom. As at 30 September 2013, there were 479 such claims pending.

In the United States, claims are made by people who allege exposure to asbestos fibre used in the manufacture of products containing asbestos or in the installation or use of those products. As at 30 September 2013, there were 690 such claims pending.

CSR has been settling claims since 1989. As at 30 September 2013, CSR had resolved approximately 3,571 claims in Australia and approximately 136,421 claims in the United States.

As at 30 September 2013 a provision of $397.8 million has been made for all known claims and reasonably foreseeable future claims.

Forensic experts work on a mass grave with more than 700 bodies of victims of Typhoon Haiyan
Forensic experts work on a mass grave with more than 700 bodies of victims of Typhoon Haiyan

Bureau of Meteorology Interactive Forecast Maps
Bureau of Meteorology Interactive Forecast Maps

2014 will begin very hot over parts of Australia, as a band of intense heat sweeps across the nation putting records in serious danger with temperatures likely to near 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) in parts. (weatherzone)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Emissions Reduction Handouts

The Coalition Government has a plan.

It is full of hope.

No facts are available.

The Coalition Government intends to repeal the Clean Energy Future legislation BEFORE any details of its replacement legislation have been written.

Update, 18 December 2013 - Direct Action Plan in tatters
Today Tony Abbott said "We've got to accept though that in the changed circumstances of today the renewable energy target is causing pretty significant price pressure in the system."

Not too long ago Tony Abbott proclaimed that the carbon tax was THE cause of energy price pressures. When pressed at an interview he could not think any other policy measure to limit rising energy prices. (See his interview with Lisa Wilkinson on 14 November 2012: Abbott: The Man without a Plan )

Just 100 days ago Tony Abbott went to an election with his Direct Action Plan.
In that plan he said: "Our goal is for one million additional solar energy roofs on homes by 2020, including either solar power or solar water heating systems.

To achieve the goal of one million additional solar energy roofs by 2020, the Coalition will provide an extra $1000 rebate for either solar panels or solar hot water systems. The program would be capped at 100,000 rebates per year and would therefore be capped at a total cost of $100 million per year."

Key Dates  
Release of Emissions Reduction Fund Terms of Reference 16 October 2013
Submissions due in response to Terms of Reference 18 November 2013
Release of Green Paper December 2013
Release of White Paper and Exposure Draft legislation Early 2014
Commencement of Emissions Reduction Fund 1 July 2014

The Coalition Government claims it is committed to reducing Australia’s emissions by 5 per cent from 2000 levels by the year 2020.

Legislation to repeal the carbon tax [sic, Clean Energy Future legislation] is the first Bill it has brought before the new parliament. 

In place of the carbon tax, the Government will give handouts (institute incentives) for businesses, farmers, households and other entities to invest in technologies that it hopes will reduce our emissions at lowest cost.

Direct Action handouts - socialism disguised as environmentalism
Direct Action handouts - socialism disguised as environmentalism

The Government is hoping this Direct Action Plan will efficiently and effectively source low cost emissions reductions that will contribute towards our 2020 target.

The Government has on 18 November 2013 completed receipt of submissions on the design of the Emissions Reduction Fund, the centrepiece of the Direct Action Plan. 

Emissions Reduction Fund 

The Emissions Reduction Fund will commence operations on 1 July 2014, after the repeal of the carbon tax, and will be designed to purchase low cost abatement. 

The Government sought business and community views from 16 October to 18 November 2013 on the design of the Emissions Reduction Fund including:
  • the likely sources of low cost, large scale abatement to come forward under the Emissions Reduction Fund;
  • how the Emissions Reduction Fund can facilitate the development of abatement projects, including through expanding the Carbon Farming Initiative and drawing on the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme;
  • the details of auction arrangements to deliver cost effective outcomes;
  • the governance arrangements that will support the Emissions Reduction Fund, including the role of key institutions such as the Clean Energy Regulator; 
  • the details of the monitoring, verification, compliance and payments arrangements for successful bidders at auction;
  • transitional issues relating to the existing Carbon Farming Initiative; and
  • the design and operation of a mechanism applying to emissions above the business as usual baseline.