AGL IS ONE OF Australia’s largest energy companies with a marketing budget to match, so that money can be chucked at everything from sports teams to community festivals. But all of the spin and sponsorship hides a grim truth. In the villainous league of Australia’s worst coal-burning polluters, AGL is the number one offender — literally, the worst of the worst.AGL is leading the way in harmful coal pollution
Australia must commit to a net-zero carbon emission target to avoid becoming an international pariah, writes Professor John Quiggin.Morrison missing the memo on climate change
Some Chinese energy providers have been told to stop importing Australian coal amidst trade tensions between our countries, writes Professor John Quiggin.China tightens the screws on Australian coal imports
Toxic emissions from burning coal can cause serious health damage to not only the environment but to all humans, including the unborn, writes David Ritter.Coal burning causes capital crimes against humanity and nature
They often call selling roadkill on the stock market as offering a share shouldn’t be better called a dead or dying parrot. Remember Howard’s 2nd tranche of Telstra shares?
The giant coal port Dalrymple Bay is up for sale. The financial engineering wizards from Brookfield want out. Brookfield’s debt is humungous, and green hydrogen is looming as a mortal threat to coking coal. They can’t offload it to professional investors, so they are now targeting the mums and dads for a float on the ASX, while even angling for a bail-out by the Queensland Government. Michael West reports on one of the trickiest financial juggling acts you will ever see.Desperate Dalrymple: Brookfield dumps coal port on mums and dads in ASX float as Queensland moots bail-out – Michael West
Crisis has proved renewable energy is now a safer investment, and accelerated the shift
The document marked “not for public disclosure” notes the banks recognises “the time has come” to make the transition
ANZ is the biggest lender to coal mining in Australia
The bank loans money to Whitehaven Coal, the operator of the controversial Maules Creek mine
Globally in 2018, coal-fired electricity generation accounted for 30% of CO2 emissions and coal power facilities were the single largest contributor to the growth in emissions. Australia is the largest coal exporter in the world and is responsible for more than a quarter of world trade.
So, it is fair to say that coal is the single greatest driver of the climate emergency that has led to Australia’s catastrophic spring fire season.
Clive Palmer’s Waratah Coal has applied for a mining lease and environmental assessment to build a coalmine four times the size of Adani’s Carmichael mine in the Queensland Galilee Basin, reports Guardian Australia. If burned, coal in the west Queensland seam alone could shift the earth’s climate a third of the way to 2 degrees of warming. Palmer, who spent upwards of $60m in political advertising in the run up to the federal election, is also planning to build a coal-fired power station in the state. The news comes as Senator Malcolm Roberts accuses the Bureau of Meteorology of removing a graph that “goes against the narrative of the climate extremists” in a Senate estimates hearing. In the hearing Greens Senator Hanson-Young asked if the Morrison government had been briefed regarding “the climate emergency”. Climate Change and Energy Innovation deputy secretary Jo Evans replied that she does not use such terminology, preferring to “stick to a factual description”.
At what cost has always been the question asked but never answered by the LNP (ODT)
transitioning takes time, leadership and policy.
Germany’s transition to a low-carbon economy with its “Energiewende” has taken 30 years. It will decommission all its coal plants by 2038. Beijing has stated its intention to clean up its polluted cities, so it will increasingly turn to cleantech for its power supply to improve air quality.
Countries such as China ad Japan – our significant coal customers – see the future, and it’s not coal.
The announcement by Suncorp that it will no longer insure new thermal coal projects, along with a similar announcement by QBE Insurance a few months earlier, brings Australia into line with Europe where most major insurers have broken with coal.
US firms have been a little slower to move, but Chubb announced a divestment policy in July, and Liberty has confirmed it will not insure Australia’s Adani project.
Other big firms such as America’s AIG are coming under increasing pressure.
Even more than divestment of coal shares by banks and managed funds, the withdrawal of insurance has the potential to make coal mining and coal-fired power generation businesses unsustainable.
Where is that multi million $$ going to be spent? (ODT)
Mining giant BHP is facing renewed pressure to abandon its membership of the Minerals Council of Australia after it was revealed the lobby group is directly involved in an upcoming multimillion-dollar pro-coal advertising blitz.
Let us be clear: as Australian domestic and export emissions head to 14-17 per cent of world emissions, we have a responsibility for many deaths from heatwaves, floods, storms and drought. Doctors regard Adani as a health issue and so will every other country.
Clearly, if the world is to avoid catastrophic global warming, all nations will need to share action and the recalcitrant ones will be targeted by those doing their humanitarian duty.
On being arrested, Clément said:
“That is very strange. It’s like they have something to hide, right? Because if you arrest a journalist and then you say to the journalist that he has to keep away from Adani’s sites, what’s happening on these sites?”
He may well ask the Queensland and Federal Governments what is happening. The approval processes allowing this mine are likely to become an educative international example of how not to manage the environmental, health, economic and industry needs of resource development.
one single wind renewable project in that region creates, all by itself, 350 jobs. That number will fritter down once the construction phase has finished. But, there are 10 more solar projects approved and one more under consideration for the region. And we are talking about just one small Council in Nth Qld.
The Left-wing side is not exactly starved of media in all this commotion but does not match the engineered noise on the Right.
MEDIA STUNT PUSHING ADANIOutlets such as News Corp publications in the area are glad to assist with the noise-making, as demonstrated by the great newspaper “Adani” stunt held just before Easter, 18 April.
Both the Brisbane Courier Mail and Townsville Bulletin confronted candidates from the major parties demanding a declaration for or against the contentious Adani coal mine proposal (‘Coal shoulder — convoy not welcome: 15,000 reasons to move on mine’, CM, 18 April 2019, pp1,4-5; ‘Stop mine games: give us the real story’, TB, pp1-3).
All said, the national broadcaster continues setting a standard for its comprehensive news and transparent coverage and, as an independent but public agency, for its accountability to all. Imagine the one-sidedness if they sold the ABC to private buyers.
Coal in TRANSITION (ODT)
Glencore will instead focus on metals such as cobalt, nickel, vanadium and zinc, which are all key components of batteries as it targeted lower carbon industries as its customers.
“We aim to prioritise capital investment to grow production of commodities essential to the energy and mobility transition and to limit our coal production capacity broadly to current levels,” the company said as part of its results announcement.
The mine was first knocked back in December 2017, but Gloucester Resources Limited (GRL), the privately owned company behind the proposal, was granted the right to appeal the decision.
Summing up his judgement on Friday, Preston said: “In short, an open cut coal mine in this part of the Gloucester valley would be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“Wrong place because an open cut coal mine in this scenic and cultural landscape, proximate to many people’s homes and farms, will cause significant planning, amenity, visual and social impacts.
“Wrong time because the greenhouse gas emissions of the coal mine and its coal product will increase global total concentrations of greenhouse gases at a time when what is now urgently needed, in order to meet generally agreed climate targets, is a rapid and deep decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. These dire consequences should be avoided.”
OOPS somebody has tripped and erased this inconvenient truth (ODT)
ONE OF AUSTRALIA”S newest and most efficient “supercritical” coal-fired power plants – CS Energy’s 750MW Kogan Creek Power Station on the Darling Downs in Queensland – tripped unexpectedly on the weekend, taking out 500MW of generation out of the mix for several hours on a hot Saturday afternoon.
Now, this is neither particularly unusual or even newsworthy, as Hugh Saddler has explained here, coal plants regularly “trip”, even the newest ones. And while inconvenient for the market operator and not great for wholesale prices, this rarely leads to customers losing power.
It does, however, go to the point that coal power – regularly and vigorously championed by the Federal Coalition as the only reliable source of “fair dinkum power” – is not necessarily all that reliable. Particularly not in the heat.
In this recent South African case we see yet another example of corruption between government connected people and the coal Industry. Trying to prop up a dying industry requires desperate measures and the hunt is on for pollies open to “incentives” to promote their product.
Australia finds itself in exactly this position and personally, I want to see a Federal ICAC in place to deal with the growing influence being exerted by the Coal industry because things are only going to get worse. Clearly the product is already too expensive and smoke appears to be seeping out from under under the door leading to the Coalition Party Room. I’m sure there’s a fire in there somewhere.
A new report by the University of NSW, commissioned by the CFMMEU, sketches two futures for the 8000 direct employees in Australia’s 23 coal-fired power stations: one is a just transition into new jobs with no forced redundancies, emulating Germany’s Ruhr district; the other is the entrenched poverty left by market disruption in coal districts like Appalachia in the US, where pointless ideological warfare takes the place of proper planning. Given that 10 coal-fired power stations have shut down in Australia without a transition plan since 2012, and the Coalition’s science-deniers are in charge of energy policy, still trying to stave off the inevitable decarbonisation, this country is on course for the latter.
Hazelwood was the prime example of what not do: the Greens argued for years for a just transition, but the major parties at state and federal level were in denial. Suddenly, when the time came, workers got short notice and power prices spiked across the National Energy Market, even though the closure was completely predictable. Now, says Sheldon, when AGL does the right thing and flags that it will close Liddell in 2022, “it gets canned for it”.
Renewables are stealing the march over coal in Australia, and the international outlook is for lower coal demand. Today the international Coal Transitions project released its findings, based on global coal scenarios and detailed case studies by teams in China, India, South Africa, Australia, Poland and Germany.
Shocking as this sounds, the U.S. government is — by its own admission — willing to murder up to 1,600 Americans a year to enrich a few coal billionaires. By Basav Sen | August 28, 2018
EU doesn’t think Australia 1% of the words emmissions are insignificant as the Conservatives do (ODT)
The Coalition’s internal climate war risks damaging the economy after Europe declared it would reject a $15 billion trade deal with Australia unless the Morrison government keeps its pledge to cut pollution under the Paris accord.
The EU bloc is Australia’s second largest trading partner, third largest export destination and second largest services market. The EU was also Australia’s largest source of foreign investment in 2017.
Mr Morrison – who is in Jakarta for trade talks – and Trade Minister Simon Birmingham declined to comment on the European Parliament’s position.
Increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by human activity are stripping away the nutritional benefits of staple food sources such as rice and wheat. The study, which was conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and released on Monday, also revealed that 175 million people could suffer from zinc deficiency and another 122 suffer from protein deficiency by 2050.
It also pointed out that more than a billion women and children may lose a large percentage of their iron intake, which could put them at risk of anemia and other illnesses.
Sam Myers, the main author of the study, said the research shows how man-made decisions related to “what we eat, how we move around and what we decide to buy,” is making our aliments less nutritional, “putting our health at risk.”
The study indicated that elevated atmospheric levels of CO2 have resulted in harvests with decreased nutritional value. It showed that areas with high levels of atmospheric CO2 resulted in harvests with three to seventeen percent less protein, iron and zinc.
WHAT LIES FROM AUSTRALIA”S COALAPHILES HAVE YOU HEARD RECENTLY (ODT)
India has achieved 70 gigawatts of installed renewable capacity, and has another 40 gigs under construction or already bid on. That would take it to 110 gigs of mainly wind and solar.
New Delhi had set a goal of 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022, and clearly will reach it early, though 80 gigs rather than 100 gigs of it (as originally planned) may be solar. Now the government has increased the goal to 225 gigs of renewables by March of 2022.
The ABC can now reveal the content of those documents, including a section Adani has fought for the past year to keep secret.
That section suggests that later on March 27, while Adani was applying for a last-minute extension to its temporary pollution licence, it appeared to know the water it was likely to dump would be so polluted it would breach the licence.
It did not take long, following last week’s release of the ACCC report on power prices, for some pro-coal members in the Coalition to come out arguing that the report is justification for new coal-fired power stations.
The report, in fact, barely mentions coal-fired power but rather, power available when it is needed. The CSIRO, AEMO and others have said that dispatchable power can come from renewable energy with storage, in the form of batteries or pumped hydro, gas peaking plants when demand is high or addressed with demand management.
Andrew Wheeler will be the acting administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now that Scott Pruitt has resigned. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for coal, natural gas, chemical, and utility companies, and former chief of staff for the Senate’s most ardent climate denier, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK).
When a large number of apparently sane people suggest, not only prolonging existing coal-fired power but building more coal-fired power stations, we must consider what is causing the psychosis, writes Dr Graeme McLeay.
Global warming and its resultant climate change is no longer a theory.
It is a stark reality, as even a casual reader must grasp:
- 16 of the warmest years on record this century;
- unprecedented melting of the polar ice caps with the Arctic experiencing heat waves;
- many species, including the infectious sort, occurring out of their normal range;
- sea level rise and coastal erosion;
- an extended bushfire season in both hemispheres;
- droughts in Africa, the Middle East, Northern India and Pakistan; and (dare we mention it, Australia)
- global coral reef bleaching.
And the list goes on. Already the effects on human health and well being are widespread.
Last month, it emerged that One Nation had asked for a new coal-fired power plant in North Queensland in return for supporting the government’s business tax reforms.
Is all this pro-coal jockeying actually necessary for our energy or economic future? Our analysis suggests that renewable energy is a much better choice, in terms of both costs and jobs.
AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Netherlands will ban the use of coal in electricity generation in the coming decade and shut down two of its five coal-fired plants at the end of 2024 unless they switch fuels.
Over the last year, wind and solar power tariffs have fallen to a record low of around Rs2.4 per unit, much lower than the average of Rs3.7 per unit at which analysts say coal-based power is currently being sold on India’s power exchanges.
The Government and the ACCC
the confident assertions on the Liddell Power Station by the ACCC Chairman Rod Sims remind me of the surgeon having completed a brilliant operation to save the sight of an elderly patient — he removes his mask, smiles and acknowledges the admiration of his team when a junior nurse puts up her hand and says rather apologetically, “But Sir, the patient has died”.
There are economists on the ACCC Board who would have been expected to review the full life-cycle costs of coal before Mr Sims made his statement. Did they ignore or were they unaware of the work of eminent Yale economist William Nordhaus? Nordhaus demonstrated, using full cost accounting of all externalities, that coal now has no value to the community — work confirmed by other groups of economists.
Indeed coal is the most expensive energy modality apart from nuclear energy. It requires exceedingly good discipline by the government to do a “John Cleese” and not “mention the war” – the war being the word “health” – for to do so would undermine the ideology that coal is “good for humanity“.
The Dirty Pro- Coal Speeches Abbott gave in Britian had no effect on the enviroment.
As Tony Abbott and other prominent Coalition MPs make the case that Australia should be building new coal-fired power stations, Conservatives in Britain are pushing a very different agenda.
The Tory Government wants to end the use of unabated coal in the UK within seven years, and the policy is being driven by Claire Perry — the cabinet minister responsible for energy policy, who believes environmentalism is not a philosophy exclusively owned by the green-left.
“Conservatism to me is about protecting what you inherit and improving it,” Ms Perry told the ABC.
“So whether it’s making sure the economy is robust for the next generation or whether it’s about stewarding this beautiful environment that we live in, that for me is the essence of my conservatism.”
Conservatives have been at the forefront of action on climate change in Britain for decades.
The new Monash Forum wants to get the Government to build new coal-fired power stations. Manchester University’s Marc Hudson says its all smoke and mirrors.
The coal industry has a new voice in parliament, in the form of the so-called Monash Forum – an informal government faction featuring former prime minister Tony Abbott and backbench energy committee chair Craig Kelly.
A bomb a lemon no longer wanted being scrapped over as cheap pickings
A new contender has emerged in the fight to extend the life of an ageing coal-fired power station, with Delta Electricity willing to enter a contest against Alinta Energy to buy the Liddell plant.
Disclosure regarding the $7.5bn Kemper plant in Mississippi throws further cloud over promise of clean coal energy
How America’s clean coal dream unravelled
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has invited the head of coal at multinational mining giant Glencore, a company which routinely avoids paying a cent of company tax, to join him on a gala diplomatic mission to the United States to visit President Donald Trump next week.
Global warming skeptics advertising in The Australian deny funding from the fossil fuel industry, but the evidence suggests otherwise, writes Dr Norm Sanders.