A major shift towards clean energy targets is being seen among some of Australia’s leading businesses and brands, writes David Ritter.Major corporations rush towards clean energy commitment
The deaths of more than 174,000 people from the coronavirus could have been avoided if it weren’t for the harmful, man-made pollutants dirtying the air.
The population, science and business are all onside but the LNP isn’t(ODT)
We have truly lost our moral compass, following get-rich-quick cults and ignoring the needs of those who do not have a chance to ‘have a go’!
We waste food while the poor in other countries – and some in our own – are starving.
We have developed a throw-away economy where manufacturers build in obsolescence.
We pollute to the point that some fresh water sources are no longer suitable for consumption.
The rate of loss of species diversity is enormous. No surprise, when we recognise that humankind is the Earth’s most dangerous predator!
The clock is ticking ever closer to Doomsday, and all the wealth, in financial terms, which a few have accumulated, will not save them forever when the air and water are polluted and the temperatures soar out of control! They might end up living lonely lives in luxurious caves!
Government funding cuts and concentration on research that brings in money has not yet quite destroyed the CSIRO. We have plenty of sources of viable plans for action.
Recognizing that it’s the right thing to do — both for their local economies and for the world we’re leaving to our children — U.S. states are now leading the charge on clean energy. Already this year, New Jersey voted to establish a target of 50 percent by 2030. Colorado regulators approved a plan from the state’s largest utility to move to 55 percent renewable energy by 2026. California, the world’s fifth largest economy, just joined Hawaii in making an impressive commitment to 100 percent clean power by 2045. Florida’s solar development soared to make it the nation’s second biggest growth market in the first quarter of this year. In fact, six of the top 10 solar growth markets were states that have Republican governors. Texas has continued to dominate the U.S. wind market.
Reflecting on the many different people and places of America’s clean energy success story, two things are clear. First, that our love of homegrown renewable energy is one thing that unites this divided country. And second, despite headwinds from Washington, states can and will power our country with clean energy.
China’s massive, floating solar farm is just the latest in a series of moves geared toward making the nation less reliant on fossil fuels.
We can create a modern national energy system if we let informed regulators and the Chief Scientist Alan Finkel do their work unhindered.
We can’t keep ignoring the enormous elephant that is renewable energy in our economic policy
“This is a requirement, this is a requirement, this is a requirement.”
The prospect of a ‘golden age’ of cheap and green energy is being put at risk by constant Government tinkering that is driving away investors, the industry has warned. In an interview with The Independent, Lawrence Slade, the chief executive of Energy UK, highlighted 10 different changes over the past year or so that he said were undermining confidence in the sector.
Solar panels being cleaned at the Ain Beni Mathar Integrated Combined Cycle Thermo-Solar Power Plant in Morocco. The World Bank provided technical assistance and managed the overall project.
World Bank will only fund coal projects in cases of ‘extreme need’ due to the risk climate change poses to ending world poverty, says Jim Yong Kim
The World Bank will invest heavily in clean energy and only fund coal projects in “circumstances of extreme need” because climate change will undermine efforts to eliminate extreme poverty, says its president Jim Yong Kim.
Talking ahead of a UN climate summit in Peru next month, Kim said he was alarmed by World Bank-commissioned research from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, which said that as a result of past greenhouse gas emissions the world is condemned to unprecedented weather events.
“The findings are alarming. As the planet warms further, heatwaves and other weather extremes, which today we call once-in-a-century events, would become the new climate normal, a frightening world of increased risk and instability. The consequences for development would be severe, as crop yields decline, water resources shift, communicable diseases move into new geographical ranges, and sea levels rise,” he said.
“We know that the dramatic weather extremes are already affecting millions of people, such as the five to six feet of snow that just fell on Buffalo, and can throw our lives into disarray or worse. Even with ambitious mitigation, warming close to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels is locked in. And this means that climate change impact such as extreme heat events may now be simply unavoidable.”
But the bank, which has traditionally been one of the world’s largest funders of fossil fuel projects and has been accused of adding to the problem of climate change, said it could not ignore the poorest countries’ need for power.
“We are going to have to focus all of our energy to move toward renewable and cleaner forms of energy. But on the other hand we believe very strongly that the poorest countries have a right to energy and that we not ask these energy poor countries to wait until there are ways of ensuring that solar and wind power can provide the kind of base load that all countries need in order to industrialise,” said Kim.
“The stakes have never been higher.We cannot continue down the current path of unchecked growing emissions. The case for taking action now on climate change is overwhelming, and the cost of inaction will only rise,” he said.
Kim was backed by Rachel Kyte, World Bank group vice president and special envoy for climate change. “It will only be in circumstances of extreme need that we would contemplate doing coal again. We would only contemplate doing [it] in the poorest of countries where their energy transition as part of their low-carbon development plan means that there are no other base load power sources available at a reasonable price,” she said.
“The focus is on being able to ramp up our lending and the leveraging of our lending into all forms of renewable energy. That’s the strategy. It includes everything from all sizes of hydro through to wind, to solar, to concentrated solar, to geothermal. I think we’re invested in every dimension of renewable energy. That is what we’re concentrating on.”
The bank’s report showed that with a 2C warming, soya and wheat crop yields in Brazil could decrease 50-70%. “In the Middle east and north Africa, a large increase in heatwaves combined with warmer average temperatures will put intense pressure on already scarce water resources with major consequences for food security. Crop yields could decrease by up to 30% at 1.5-2C and by almost 60% at 3-4C. Pressure on resources might increase the risk of conflict,” it said.
Climate change posed a substantial risk to development and cutting poverty, the report said, adding that action on emissions need not come at the expense of economic growth.
But the bank made no commitment to cut funding for oil or other fossil fuel exploration. Analysis earlier this year by Washington-based NGO Oil Change International showed that the bank had funded $21bn (£13bn) of fossil fuel projects since 2008, including $1bn of oil and other fossil fuel exploration in 2013.
“The bank has taken an important first step in essentially stopping its support for coal-fired power plants, but climate change is caused by more than just coal,” said Stephen Kretzmann, director of Oil Change International. “The vast majority of currently proven fossil fuel reserves will need to be left in the ground if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change, but last year the bank provided nearly $1bn in support for finding more of these unburnable carbon reserves.”