Specific Solutions

Australian Climate Change Authority (CCA): Draft report released on targets

Posted on 1 November 2013 by James Wight

On Wednesday, Australia’s independent Climate Change Authority (CCA) released the Targets and Progress Review Draft Report. The new Liberal government plans to abolish the CCA, and the legal requirement to set an emissions target, as part of legislation to repeal the former Labor government’s carbon price. Labor is now reportedly debating whether to negotiate on the bills, but at present Labor continues to defend the existence of the CCA and a cap on emissions. CCA is conducting the Review in accordance with existing law, but acknowledges the Government’s plans to replace the carbon price with an Emissions Reduction Fund, arguing that advice on selecting an emissions target remains relevant regardless of the chosen policy mechanism.

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Community Based Solutions -- Why the Opposition?

Posted on 19 December 2011 by John Gregg

Much current thinking about climate change and renewable energy has been based on rational economic theory and standard modelling. A core assumption of this approach is that individuals always seek to maximise their utility; however, in many fields where human behaviour plays a substantial intervening role—such as finance, health, or taxation—this assumption has been shown to be flawed. It must therefore be of concern that the same flawed assumption is prominent in the response to climate change.

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Towards a climate change scenario that is ecologically sustainable, fair, and welfare-increasing

Posted on 19 November 2011 by Philip Lawn

Dr Phil Lawn visited recently from Flinders University and gave a lecture at UWA. The audio-video recording of the lecture can be found here, and the abstract of his talk is shown below.

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Carbon Free in the Desert

Posted on 22 September 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Australia’s CO2 emissions are among the highest in the world, when expressed on a per capita basis. When our historical responsibilities are taken into account, we are 14th—out of about 200 countries in the world. Nonetheless, political figures and the media like to point fingers at other countries whose per capita emissions are even higher than ours. For example, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) spew out nearly 30 tonnes of CO2 per capita, compared to our 19 tonnes (but don’t rejoice—the Swiss get by with about 5 tonnes, or nearly 75% less than us!).

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Nuclear Power: Thanks, but No Thanks

Posted on 8 August 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

In two recent posts (here and here), colleague David Hodgkinson eloquently presented the case for nuclear power as one strategy to deal with climate change. Rather than revisiting all arguments in favour of nuclear power or against it, he focused on three core issues: (a) expense, (b) nuclear waste, and (c) militarization. In addition, Hodgkinson suggests that unless we put in place an infrastructure now, an ostensibly “cheap” nuclear power option will be precluded when the world gets serious about emission cuts within the next 10 years or so.

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Earthworker Cooperative Update

Posted on 5 August 2011 by Stephan Lewandowsky

Some time ago we introduced the Earthworker Cooperative, a cooperative dedicated to providing finance, assistance with marketing strategy, R&D and networking of the various, loose strands of the social sector of the Australian economy. Their goal is to create a powerful force for the collective good, on behalf of its member cooperatives, unions, shire councils, faith-based communities and individuals.

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Saying Yes to Nuclear: Part II

Posted on 1 August 2011 by David Hodgkinson

An earlier post set out the climate change problem. This post sets the role of nuclear power, or nuclear energy, in addressing that problem. My argument is that nuclear power (with renewable energy) is an important option for achieving electricity production with a small carbon footprint – for reducing emissions.

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Reducing Electricity Use in Households (and Businesses)

Posted on 20 July 2011 by Carmen Lawrence

Well before the recent fuss about increases in energy prices, the reduction of electricity use by households and businesses had already been identified as an important national policy goal, with benefits for the climate, the electricity supply sector, business costs and household budgets. However, despite increasing costs to both users and producers and warnings about the impacts of climate change, consumption of electricity continues to rise and is predicted to continue rising over the coming decades. This increased demand, and the need to shift away from fossil fuel sources, is driving costly investment in the electricity generation and distribution networks, further increasing the cost of power. These higher electricity prices, in turn, are causing heightened community sensitivity to price, and problems for some household budgets, particularly those of low income earners (although as a proportion of household budgets, power costs are not rising). While the probable effects on prices of the introduction of a price on carbon are being wildly exaggerated by the tabloid press and political opportunists (and the compensation overlooked), it is clear that helping households and businesses cut their electricity consumption would assist in reducing the impact of rising prices. And by all accounts, there is plenty of room to move without compromising current standards of convenience and comfort.

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Aussie Workers Taking the Lead

Posted on 27 May 2011 by Dave Kerin

Why Earthworker Cooperative?

The United Nations has declared 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives in recognition of their contribution to socio-economic development and in particular their track record in impacting poverty reduction, employment generation and social integration.

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Zero Carbon Australia: We can do it

Posted on 20 May 2011 by James Wight

Britain has just announced an emissions reduction target of 50% by 2025. Germany has adopted a renewable energy target of 35% by 2020 and 80% by 2050. Japan is talking about moving away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy, toward renewables. Even China is investing in equally massive amounts of fossil fuel and renewable energy capacity. These are four of the top ten economies and greenhouse gas emitters of the world. Certainly they could be doing more, but they are leaving Australia for dead.

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Germany Over-Achieves Again

Posted on 19 May 2011 by John Gregg

News updates on Germany’s renewables achievements and objectives to 2020 caught my attention because I had recently drafted a policy paper on solar PV feed in tariffs in WA, and naturally a quick literature review highlighted Germany as the pace setter in clean energy policy delivery and outcomes.

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Feed In Tariffs – The Devil Lies In The Details

Posted on 13 May 2011 by John Gregg

Climate Change “is the greatest market failure the world has seen”

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China, Carbon, and the Carbon Tax

Posted on 12 May 2011 by Ben McNeil

This week’s Australian budget, with its withdrawal of subsidies for renewable energy, has left many commentators wondering if we’ve turned our back on carbon-neutral power. They should focus on the main game – the introduction of a carbon tax later this year. Without this, our renewable industry really will be left behind.

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What Can I Do?

Posted on 7 May 2011 by Anne Young

What can I do to reduce my carbon footprint? There has been much talk and public debate about taxes, trading schemes, emission cuts and jobs lost or gained. Putting all that aside, what role can each individual play in reducing one’s carbon footprint?

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A Plan for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

Posted on 4 April 2011 by Dana Nuccitelli

We recently examined how Australia can meet 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020.  Here we will examine how that goal can be scaled up for the rest of the world.

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A Plan for 100% Energy from Wind, Water, and Solar by 2050

Posted on 27 March 2011 by Dana Nuccitelli

We recently examined how Australia can meet 100% of its electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020, and the Ecofys plan to meet nearly 100% of global energy needs with renewable sources by 2050.  Here we will look at another similar, but perhaps even more ambitious plan.

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