Posts tagged ‘Australia’
Climate Action Moreland advocates Australia should go back to the climate science on what we should do in terms of greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to take to the Paris UNFCCC climate negotiations in December 2015.
In 2007 Australia formally signed on to the Kyoto Protocol. The agreement negotiated that year, called the ‘Bali Roadmap’, adopted in a footnote the IPCC 4th Assessment report strong greenhouse gas reduction targets for Industrialised countries of 25 to 40 per cent reduction on 1990 levels by 2020. We think we should adopt this as a benchmark, that we agreed to in 2007. This would require shifting Australia’s 2020 target from 5 per cent on 2000 levels to 25 per cent reduction on 1990 levels. This then would place Australian climate action in accord with what the best scientific advice demands as our fair share.
For 2025 we should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent reduction on 1990 levels. Norway has already committed to this target.
For 2030 we should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 per cent reduction on 1990 levels. Switzerland has already committed to this target. While Australia is responsible for about 1 per cent of global emissions at 18.3 tonnes per capita, Switzerland by comparison is responsible for 0.1% of global greenhouse gas emissions with 6.4 tonnes per capita.ii Europe submitted it’s target as 40 per cent reduction in emissions on 1990 levels by 2030.
We should aim to be carbon neutral by 2050, after which Australia should try to be carbon negative through soil carbon farming initiatives, afforestation, development of blue carbon sinks, and technological filtering the air of carbon dioxide. This is in accord with the negotiations that took place at Lima in December 2014, that articulated that “an aim of zero net emissions by 2050”.
Our targets for 2020 and 2025 are higher than the Climate Change Authority over the next decade as they reflect the scientific recommendation for much larger carbon reduction earlier. The Authority put forward in March 2014 that Australia’s 2020 target should be 19 per cent reduction on 2000 levels. In their latest review for post 2020 they argue:
“a 30 per cent reduction by 2025 remains reasonable and achievable even if Australia does not strengthen its 2020 target beyond the minimum 5 per cent reduction. If Australia is able to do more than 5 per cent by 2020, this would allow a more gradual acceleration of effort beyond 2020….a 2030 range of 40 to 60 per cent below 2000 levels, and a long-term emissions budget to 2050. These goals would help Australia make a fair contribution to global climate action to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees.”
The targets by the Climate Change Authority are based on comparable international action, and the belief that we have a carbon budget which we can expend in the transition, and has been advocated as part of the IPCC 5th assessment report. But the global carbon budget does not reflect some of the unknowns such as the permafrost feedback and other possible climate feedback mechanisms that would reduce this budget.
The Climate Action Moreland targets reflect the argument that for a 90 per cent chance of staying under 2 degrees Celsius the global carbon budget is already used up. This is explained in David Spratt’s latest report: Recount. It’s time to do the math again.
Global and Australian decarbonisation by 2050 is feasible.
Higher targets for Australia may not be easy to achieve, but we won’t know until we start.
Work on deep decarbonisation has been done at Monash University and by Climateworks, published 2014, and explained at the Conversation (Australia can get to zero carbon emissions, and grow the economy) to show that:
“Not only can we reach net zero emissions by 2050, this can be achieved without major structural changes to the economy, and minimal impact on Australians’ lifestyles.”
A 2013 report by Ecofys (PDF) investigated whether global carbon neutrality was possible to achieve by mid century and concluded it was technically and physically feasible as long as we rapidly escalate decarbonisation.
In the words of Nelson Mandela “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
Read our full submission to the Australian Government UNFCCC climate targets taskforce as a PDF for downloading: 20150424-CAM-submission-Australia-post-2020-targets or below. Note that the blue headings are directly taken from the White paper issued by Prime Minister and Cabinet which they requested specifically answered. The text below also corrects some spelling and typographical errors discovered after formal submission:
On Tuesday Australia’s Foreign Affairs minister Julie Bishop took the podium at the United Nations Climate Summit to an almost empty plenary to announce that Australia was balancing economic growth with climate action, with a puny 5 per cent cut on 2000 level by 2020 using $2.55 billion to fund this cut in emissions. (Read her her speech) Australia’s climate stance has been savagely condemned at New York summit, not least by our neighbours, Pacific Island nations who accuse us of abandoning them to the plight of more extreme weather and rising seas.
For the Paris meeting in December 2015 Australia needs to come up with new targets for after 2020. Bishop told the summit: “Australia will consider its post 2020 target as part of the review we will conduct in 2015 on Australia’s international targets and settings. This review will consider the comparable actions of others, including the major economies and Australia’s trading partners.” There was no mention that the Climate Change Authority had already conducted a review of comparable targets to 2020 for Australia and found that a target of 19 per cent reduction in emissions by 2020 already could be justified.
Climate Change – Bush fires – Emission Targets have all been in the news but all for the wrong reasons.
It’s time we take action, work together and turn things around.
I was in the South pacific recently and saw first-hand the impact of global warming, evidence of seas rising – erosion of islands, root crops such as Taro harder to grow due to the rise of salinity in the soil…
In Australia we talk about reducing emission, in the South Pacific they are talking about how to survive..
I have returned with fire in my belly to do something that will make a difference. On my own I feel overwhelmed but I believe together as a community we could make a real difference… so I invite you to become involved in Climate Action Moreland, meet like-minded people and put your ideas into action…
To start off there are a few things already organised: Dates for the diary …
A report commissioned by WWF Australia released on 28 October 2013 warned that Australia has nearly blown its carbon budget already. On 30th October the Climate Change Authority released it’s draft report which recommended Australia strengthen its minimum 2020 target and identified two options for further consideration: a 15% cut by 2020, followed by 35-50% cuts by 2030; or a 25% cut by 2020, followed by 40-50% cuts by 2030. Read the Climate Institute statement on this report.
Next CAM Meeting: Monday 11th November
Monday 11th November – the monthly CAM meeting at the at the Edinburgh Castle Hotel 681 Sydney Rd Brunswick VIC 3056
6 for dinner (not mandatory )and networking with the meeting starting 6.30 pm. We meet in the meeting room just ask for CAM at the bar.
Things that have been raised to discuss:
- How to improve the communication amongst members
- Actions what do we want to focus on ?
- Updates of Moreland Community Forum relating to the East west Tunnel project
- Environment Victoria and Tax the Sun petitions – street stall ?
- Protest Meeting No East West Tunnel Expand public transport
East West Tunnel Meeting: Tuesday 12th November
Tuesday 12th November – City of Moreland Public Information Meeting on the East West Tunnel.
Estonian Club, 43 Melville Road, Brunswick West.
Time still to be confirmed –
National Climate Rally Day: Sunday 17th November
Sunday 17th November 11:00 am – Treasury Place Melbourne 3000
Climate Rally – Australians want a Stronger Action On Climate Change.
WEAR HOT SUMMER COLOURS. Think red, orange, yellow – shirts, clothes, signs, banners, facepaint, hats, umbrellas and any other creative ideas. Together we will turn up the heat on climate action! Also bring water, hat and sunscreen. See Getup for other locations around Australia, or the AYCC website.
Look out for the Climate Action Moreland Banner
Protest Meeting No East West Tunnel: Thursday 28 November
Thursday 28 November, 6.30pm Protest Meeting No East West Tunnel Expand public transport
Venue: Temple Park Senior Citizens Centre, 24 Gray St, Brunswick West
This meeting has been called to launch a grassroots campaign group in Moreland against the East West tunnel. CAM has been asked by Sue Bolton if they will endorse this event — I said yes in principle but want your thoughts before confirming – so please contact me if you wish to discuss or oppose endorsement .. SallyRose 0431 445 930 4th Nov so flyers can be developed etc.
Initiated by Sue Bolton, Socialist Alliance Moreland councillor
Possible endorsing organisations: Brunswick Residents Network; Climate Action Moreland; Sustainable Fawkner; Sustainable Coburg; Royal Park Association; Friends of Moonee Ponds Creek; PTUA; SLIMS; RATS, VITAL
Introduction by Sue Bolton
Possible speakers: Kay Oddie, Friends of Moonee Ponds Creek; A CAM member (Climate Action Moreland) ARE YOU INTERESTED ? please contact SallyRose 0431 445 930
Other Actions: Fossil Fuel Divestment
Other actions you may want to be part of:
Fossil Fuel Divestment
Do you have your money in one of the four big banks-ANZ, Commonwealth, NAB or Westpac?
Have you heard of Fossil Fuel Divestment?
On 26th October, at the ANZ branch in Melbourne’s Bourke St Mall, dozens of customers came out to close their accounts in protest over ANZ’s role as a leading lender to the coal and gas industries. This is part of our “put your bank on notice” campaign that has been running for the past six months.
Earlier the organization called Market Forces revealed that ANZ and the rest of the big four banks have been lending billions of dollars to dirty coal and gas export projects – many of them inside the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Hundreds of Australians – you might even be one of them – have put their bank on notice, saying that unless loans to coal and gas projects stop, they’ll be taking their money elsewhere.
Hope to see you at one or ALL of the events …
The renewable energy target bill has now been passed in Parliament, legislating that 20 percent of electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020. The scheme works by compelling electricity retailers to buy electricity from renewable sources.
Investment in electricity from tidal and wave technologies will get a boost, but the geothermal industry is voicing disappointment that no portion of the target was set aside for it. Considering the huge potential of geothermal energy in Australia, this is a kick in the teeth for large scale renewable energy production.
Industry has again put out its hand, demanding yet more government money. Under new concessions demanded by the Coalition, the number of industries to be compensated for higher electricity prices was increased from three to about 40. Once again the government kneels down before the already massively subsidised fossil fuel industry.
Incredibly, electricity from coal seam methane gas – a coal mining waste product – has been classified a renewable energy source and will earn rewards under the scheme. So coal miners are given renewable credits for burning fossil fuels.
While the government will now be patting itself on the back and promoting its green credentials to anyone willing to listen, there is a long, long way to go before Australia is free from the stranglehold of the fossil fuel industry. And a renewable energy target wouldn’t even be necessary if the market was set up to accurately reflect the true cost of carbon emissions. But that day seems a long way off.