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Friday, May 27, 2016

How Many Climate Policies Does the Coalition Have?

At the Paris COP21 talks in December 2015 the Australian Government signed on to the 1.5 degree warming target when it cut a deal with St Lucia, a Caribbean island nation, to back the target in exchange for being allowed to carry over its savings from the Kyoto Protocol.

Before this in June 2015 the Australian Government produced a booklet "Coal in India" with projections of India's demand for coal out to 2040. There are 3 different scenarios for these projections - via the International Energy Agency:
  • Current Policy Scenario which projects energy demand based on policies already in place.
  • New Policies Scenario which takes into account announced policies to reduce coal-fired energy production that haven't yet been implemented.
  •  The 450 scenario that projects coal demand where carbon emissions are limited to levels consistent with global warming increasing be 2 degrees Celsius.
Then on 13 May 2016 the Australian Government announced its support for expanding the Australian coal export industry based upon a projection that India's demand for coal would triple by 2040.

This is the "Current Policy Scenario" that the Australian Government charted in June 2015.

The Australian Government is now funding new coal fired power stations in India and Indonesia through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. It has allocated nearly $1 billion of taxpayer funds for this purpose.

Australian PM announces new commitments at Paris climate talks

Posted on 01 December 2015
Today world leaders gathered in Paris on a wave of historic momentum in the fight against climate change. An unprecedented 150 Heads of State will stand up and speak about climate change, demonstrating Climate Change is clearly at the top of the political agenda

Prime Minister Turnbull announced three new commitments including ratifying the second commitment period of Kyoto protocol, doubling clean technology R&D by 2020, and additional climate finance for vulnerable countries.

WWF welcomes the announcements as useful steps towards tackling the global problem of climate change, but Australia can and should do more, with current technology, as part of its fair share to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Speech by Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia
The Future and Growth of Mineral Exports, and the Policies to Support Mining Jobs and a Strong Economy
Date:   Friday, 13 May 2016 4:02 PM
Location:   NSW Mining Industry and Suppliers Conference, Sydney
Introductory remarks
I’d like to acknowledge my fellow speakers Stephen Galilee, CEO, NSW Minerals Council; and Dr Brian Fisher, Managing Director, BAEconomics.
It’s great to join you for your annual conference, my first since being appointed Minister for Resources, Energy and Northern Australia.
More than seven months into this role, I have been highlighting the work your members do to support the Australian economy and to support jobs.
The mining industry and commodity exports provide an economic lifeline for our regions and the rest of Australia.
And NSW has a special place in Australia’s commodity export trade.
Indeed, New South Wales—from the Hunter, through the Central West, to the Illawarra—has pride of place in Australian mining history.
Australia’s first commodity export started here in this state.
It’s been more than 200 years now since that happened—since the first shipment of coal left Newcastle.
Today, Newcastle boasts the world’s largest coal export terminal, delivering much-needed jobs and revenue to the state’s economy.
Challenges and Future Prospects
Of course, there are challenging market conditions facing the resources industry.
Like you, we continue to monitor the volatility on world commodity markets because any impacts extend to government finances as well.
We’ve come to the end of a decade long super cycle marked by record prices as a result of an unprecedented ramp up in demand. We’ve returned to more normal, cyclical patterns of demand.
Unfortunately these developments have resulted in job losses, particularly in resource-dependent towns and regions around the country.
These challenging market conditions are expected to continue for some time.
However, I’m confident that Australia is better placed than most other countries to ride out the current cyclical downturn and be ready for the next market upturn.
Our pre-eminence as a global resources and energy powerhouse is built on the Australian industry’s ability to innovate and adapt in the face of intense global competition and volatile prices.
An example of such innovation that will be well known here in NSW is Northparkes’ fully automated underground mining operations. The breakthrough, a world first, allows the mine to operate continuously 24/7, delivering optimal daily production at improved safety and reduced cost.
By 2020, India is forecast to overtake China, Japan and the EU to become the largest coal importer in the world as it seeks to almost treble coal fired power generation between now and 2040.

Coal in India, June 2015

Office of the Chief Economist

Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

Coal in India - June 2015

The IEA World Energy Outlook

The IEA WEO provides three scenarios for long term energy use and the mix of sources that will supply it.

The first is the Current Policies Scenario (CPS), which is essentially ‘business as usual’ and projects the trajectory for energy consumption and production based on economic, energy and climate change policies that are already in place. The second is the New Policies Scenario (NPS) which is the IEA’s central scenario and takes into account announced policies that are yet to be enacted.

For example, it includes policies announced by the United States to accelerate the decline of coal-fired electricity , which will take effect from 2017 at the earliest and announced measures by China to reduce local pollution and limit coal use.

The third scenario, the 450 scenario, models a world where carbon emissions are limited to levels consistent with global temperatures increasing by just 2 degrees Celsius. This scenario outlines a set of policies and actions that would produce a trajectory of energy related greenhouse-gas emissions consistent with this international goal.

India's coal demand, by scenario

Australia to contribute $930 million to Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Joe Hockey says

Australia will become a founding member of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), Treasurer Joe Hockey has announced.
Mr Hockey has committed to contributing $930 million into the bank over the next five years, making it the sixth largest shareholder.

New Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank struggles to convince on environment and sustainability issues

Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance was quoted praising the AIIB's readiness to provide USD 1 billion in loans to Indonesia over the next four years, including for coal-fired power projects