A weekly report on the politics, economics and science of climate action
By Jenny Goldie, CCL member from the electorate of Eden Monaro, NSW.
It has been a torrid summer in Europe. Wildfires have been burning across Italy, Spain, Greece and Turkey amid one of the most severe heatwaves in decades. In several places temperatures have been rising above 40°C.
New Intergovernmental Reports for Climate Change
Given the on-going climate-related disasters, perhaps it is appropriate that on Monday the 9th of August we finally get the first of three parts of the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the first since 2013-14. I suspect it will make for grim reading so steel yourself!
Mining no more in the Gardens of Stone
It’s always pleasing when coal mining gets shut down, in turn preserving local ecosystems. Here in NSW there was a significant victory recently. Centennial Coal cancelled its Angus Place coal mine application this week, saving five threatened wetlands in the Gardens of Stone near Lithgow. The coal that will now be kept safely in the ground is equivalent to two years of NSW’s total emissions. We will save the atmosphere a bit of heat from this project.
Carbon Capture Investments Plans
In Federal Parliament this week, Labor and the Greens failed to remove the ability of ARENA to allow investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS) and hydrogen made with fossil-fuels. Nevertheless, ARENA can still make its own investment decisions based on merit. CCS, of course, is yet to prove itself at scale. We can only hope that the $1.9b package allocated to ARENA last year will be spent wisely.
First Florida, now the North Atlantic Ocean
Last week I mentioned that, in one day, meltwater from Greenland would have covered the state of Florida in two inches of water. It is no surprise then that climate scientists have detected warning signs of potential collapse of the Gulf Stream from too much freshwater in the North Atlantic. They found “an almost complete loss of stability over the last century” of the currents known as Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC). New analysis shows the currents may be nearing a shutdown.
Hey Liberal Party, 2050 is too late!
One wonders where Scott Morrison is and why he does not care about the state of Australia’s climate, now or in the future. It’s quite tragic. The Federal Government is being dragged kicking and screaming to adopt a Net Zero Emissions target by 2050, not that they have as yet. Scientists have indicated that 2050 might be too late to stay within the targets of the Paris Climate Agreeement, and that the date must come forward by at least ten years. A new report this week for the Breakthrough Institute by Ian Dunlop says NZE by 2050 is a “dangerous illusion”.
- 5 things to watch for in the latest IPCC report on climate science. On Aug. 9, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will release its most comprehensive report on the science of climate change since 2013. It will be the first of four reports released under the IPCC’s latest assessment cycle, with subsequent reports coming in 2022.
- Net zero target for 2050 is too slow, and a strategy for climate failure. Long-term targets are an excuse for “procrastination”, and even targeting net zero by 2050 will only lock in fossil fuel use, Australian think tank says.
- Climate change is the existential crisis. An unfortunate side-effect of Australia’s battle with the Delta strain over the last eight weeks has been to distract attention away from the catastrophic impacts of climate change in the northern hemisphere
- Here’s how we can build clean power infrastructure at huge scale and breakneck speed. A new report outlines the radical reforms and paradigm shifts that decarbonization will demand.
- Why cutting methane emissions is key to fighting climate change. Reducing methane emissions is crucial to fighting climate change. The invisible gas traps over 80 times more heat than carbon dioxide—and we’re emitting more than we thought.
- BHP says electric car era is dawning earlier than expected. Australia’s largest miner BHP has described 2020 as an “inflection point” for the rapidly approaching electric vehicle revolution as Elon Musk’s Tesla sold more than half a million battery-powered cars and sales in Europe more than doubled
- It’s not the heat, it’s the damage. Two questions lie at the heart of the climate crisis.
- Technology won’t be enough to tackle climate emergency, researchers say. Researchers say relying on technologies alone will not be enough to avoid a climate emergency, and question the viability indefinite economic growth.
- Millions more people vulnerable to flooding in next decade, study shows. Populations in flood-prone regions is increasing, with 57 countries especially susceptible
- Beyond emissions: The call to pull carbon out of the atmosphere. Many observers expect the latest UN climate report to say that warming beyond 1.5 degrees is already locked in. So what are we going to do about it?