Saturday 27th of February 2021

solving the climate crisis...

coal and gas

Pacific leaders have condemned Australia’s Paris climate target as “one of the weakest”, urging Canberra to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and abandon its Kyoto carryover credits.

Fourteen Pacific leaders, including former presidents and prime ministers, foreign ministers, archbishops and other church leaders, have penned an open leader to the prime minister, Scott Morrison, “as Pacific Islander leaders whose homelands and cultures face certain devastation from climate change”.


“Pacific island nations have long been leaders in driving global progress to combat climate change,” the letter says. “However, Australia’s current Paris Agreement emission reduction target remains one of the weakest among wealthy nations.”


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you will be able to sue scomo...

An Australian university is offering what it describes as the world’s first undergraduate degree in climate law, predicting an escalation of compensation claims, class actions and human rights issues due to changes in weather patterns.

The dean of Bond University's law school, Professor Nick James, said he created the degree after observing the deep concerns among high school students about the impact of climate change on their futures.

“My thinking was these people need to learn how to actually get out there and make a difference,” he said. “What we need at the moment are people who are trained in climate science, but also go out there and advocate for reform.


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gas-fired scomo catastrophe...

'Zero return': government savaged over taxpayer grants to open up new gas basin in Australia

Coalition funding for gas exploration in Northern Territory labelled a costly plan ‘for a climate catastrophe’

The Morrison government has been accused of embarking on an “expensive plan for a climate catastrophe” after it announced it would pay the gas industry up to $50m to speed up exploration in the Northern Territory.

The commitment, revealed on Thursday, also prompted warnings that taxpayers’ money could flow offshore to companies linked to tax havens and a Russian oligarch.


Keith Pitt, the federal minister for resources, water and northern Australia, said the government would offer grants to accelerate exploration and development in the NT’s Beetaloo basin, which lies south of Katherine and has been estimated to hold more than 200,000 petajoules of gas.

He said Beetaloo had been described as “the hottest play on the planet” with the potential to be a world-class gas resource that could transform the NT economy and create 6,000 jobs over 20 years.

The basin’s potential as a gas source has attracted the attention of investors from around the globe, including a company that has Viktor Vekselberg – a Russian oligarch who collects jewel-encrusted Faberge eggs and has been sanctioned by the US – as a major shareholder, and another company, whose ownership is unclear and is registered in the US tax haven state of Delaware.

Pitt said the funding was “a key, early step” in the government’s promised “gas-fired recovery” which received $28.9m in the budget. The grants would apply only to work that occurred before June 2022 and could cover up to 25% of a company’s exploration costs, capped at $7.5m per gas well.

Scott Morrison’s ‘gas-led recovery’: what is it and will it really make energy cheaper?Read more

The minister’s statement on Thursday did not mention the government’s climate commitments, which have been repeatedly criticised for their lack of ambition compared with other countries.

Gas is often described as having half the emissions of coal but studies have suggested it could be significantly more than that due to methane – a potent but short-lived greenhouse gas – leaking during extraction and transportation.

Climate campaigners at 350 Australia said the grants for the gas industry were a “shameful waste of public funds”. The group released an analysis that suggested the potential emissions from five gas basins the Morrison government would like to open up could cancel out the government’s climate policies five times over.

Lucy Manne, the group’s chief executive, said the government’s strategic gas basin plans were “an expensive plan for climate catastrophe”. “They should be investing in creating secure jobs in renewable energy, green manufacturing, and planning for an economic recovery that invests in climate solutions,” she said.

Bruce Robertson, a gas analyst with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, said the grants would bring “zero return” for taxpayers.



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