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  • Can the Direct Action Plan be blocked in the Senate?

    Posted 24/04/2014 by Alex St John
    Senate chamber
    The leader of the Palmer United Party (PUP), Clive Palmer, has this week expressed an intention not to support the Abbott Government’s Direct Action Plan, the Coalition’s climate change policy, in light of reports that the Government was planning to tighten eligibility for the aged pension. Mr Palmer has suggested that his party would block the policy in the Senate when three PUP senators take their seats after the first of July. The Environment Minister, Greg Hunt, cast doubt on this by saying that the Direct Action Plan will be part of the federal Budget, which is traditionally passed by the Senate. Mr Palmer replied that PUP could ‘reconsider its stance’ on passing the repeals of the carbon pricing mechanism and the Minerals Resource Rent Tax, if this happened. So which parts of Direct Action will actually need to be passed by the Senate? Read more...

    TAGS: climate change

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  • The IPCC's fifth report: the time for adaptation is now

    Posted 1/04/2014 by Alex St John

    On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the second part of its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) - Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. Unlike the first instalment of AR5, which reviewed the physical science basis of climate change, this report reviews research that outlines how climate change might affect ecosystems and societies. In Australia, most public and political discussion of climate change policy has centred on mitigation strategies – that is, how best to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions – rather than on the impacts that climate change could have, or how best to adapt to those impacts. AR5 makes it clear that climate change impacts are already being felt in Australia, and will become more severe in the future.  So what might AR5 hold for Australian policymakers?

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    TAGS: climate change

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  • Chronology of climate change in Australia

    Posted 3/12/2013 by Anita Talberg
    The Parliamentary Library has published a timeline of climate policy in Australia. The chronology begins in the 1970s, around the time that the Australian Academy of Sciences published a report asserting that human activities are likely to contribute to warming. The document charts the journey of Australian climate policy from then until today.The chronology reminds us that in the 1980s Australia considered an emissions reduction target of 20% on 1988 levels by 2005. This target was indeed adopt... Read more...

    TAGS: climate change, emissions trading

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  • Stronger targets proposed in Climate Change Authority draft report

    Posted 30/10/2013 by Anita Talberg
    Image source: Climate Change Authority
    Today the Climate Change Authority (CCA) released a draft version of its ‘Targets and Progress Review’. The review, which according to the Clean Energy Act 2011 must be finalised by 28 February 2014, is to be used by the Minister in determining Australia’s emissions reduction goals under the carbon price mechanism. The draft report proposes two sets of caps; each set of caps defines a different emissions trajectory between now and 2020, and then to 2030. The CCA is calling for stakeholder input ... Read more...

    TAGS: Carbon Pricing Mechanism, climate change, emissions trading

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  • What the latest IPCC report says about Australia

    Posted 8/10/2013 by Anita Talberg
    Image source: CAWCR
    Since the 1900s the world has warmed an average of 0.85 degrees and the sea has risen an average of 19 cm. So affirms the 2,216-page draft report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on 27 September 2013 (see separate FlagPost on the IPCC). The first instalment of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) presents the latest science on global climate change. But Australia has a unique climate, influenced by both Indian Ocean events and the highly variable El Niño South... Read more...

    TAGS: climate, climate change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

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  • What is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and how does it work?

    Posted 4/10/2013 by Anita Talberg
    Image source: CAWCR
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on 27 September the first instalment of its eagerly anticipated Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). As with past reports, this one is likely to spark ongoing discussion about the threat from climate change and how to deal with it. But what is the IPCC and what exactly does it do?What is the IPCC?The IPCC is an intergovernmental body established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation in 1988 to... Read more...

    TAGS: climate change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

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  • Countries trading greenhouse gas emissions

    Posted 6/06/2013 by Anita Talberg
    Over the last three years, the global carbon market has more than doubled in volume but almost halved in value. In that time a further eight countries, states or cities have adopted a carbon market as their primary means for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Yet the price for one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent has dropped by as much as 100 per cent in some markets. A new paper from the Parliamentary Library provides a basic overview of the size and value of the global carbon market and de... Read more...

    TAGS: carbon markets, Carbon Pricing Mechanism, climate change, emissions trading

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  • Latest US climate Bill follows Australian lead

    Posted 18/02/2013 by Anita Talberg
    The US seems to be following in the footsteps of Australia, at least in terms of climate policy. Last week, Senators Sanders and Boxer introduced into Congress a Bill that establishes a carbon price. Like Australia’s Clean Energy Act, the US’s proposed Climate Protection Act would see the majority of carbon tax revenue flowing back to households to assist with rising energy prices. Also proposed, and comparable to Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation, is a $500 billion program to co-inve... Read more...

    TAGS: carbon tax, climate change, united states

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  • Introducing the Doha Climate Gateway

    Posted 11/12/2012 by Anita Talberg
    Image source: COP18 website
    On 8 December 2012—a day later than scheduled—the 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concluded. With it, ended the Bali Roadmap (see previous FlagPost) and began the new era of climate change negotiations: that of the grandly-named Doha Climate Gateway. This FlagPost describes what the Gateway opens onto, and outlines some other items that were discussed (although possibly not resolved) at Doha. Remembering the scienceOn 1... Read more...

    TAGS: climate change, international relations

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  • What happened to Kyoto at Doha

    Posted 11/12/2012 by Anita Talberg
    Image source: COP18 website
    The latest international climate change negotiations that took place over the last fortnight in Doha, Qatar, marked the end of the Bali Roadmap. This 18th Conference of the Parties (COP18) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change finally signed off on the climate change action plan that had been in place since negotiations in 2007. Coming into Doha there were two main negotiating streams: one that discussed the Kyoto Protocol and how to extend it beyond its expiry on 31 Decem... Read more...

    TAGS: carbon markets, climate change, international relations

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