Energy

Australia only nation to join US at pro-coal event at COP24 climate talks

Country’s stance described as ‘a slap in the face of our Pacific island neighbours’ Ben Doherty The Guardian Australia has reaffirmed its commitment to coal – and its unwavering support for the United States – by appearing at a US government-run event promoting the use of fossil fuels at the… Australia was the only country apart from the host represented at the event, entitled “US innovative technologies spur economic dynamism”, designed to “showcase ways to use fossil fuels as… Its ... Read More »

Russia’s Gas Strategy Gets Help From Turkey

The Turkish Stream pipeline will make Ankara more energy dependent on Moscow. It will also give Russia a bigger energy foothold in Europe. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe It was November 19 in Istanbul. There, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a ceremony marking the completion of the first underwater segment of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, linking Russia to Turkey’s European shores. The project is a vivid illustration of Moscow’s strategy to strengthen its position ... Read More »

Climate change: Can 12 billion tonnes of carbon be sucked from the air?

Is it remotely feasible to remove 12 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air? Every year. For decades to come. BBC That’s the challenge posed by the latest conclusions of the UN’s climate science panel. It says that only by pulling this heat-trapping gas out of the atmosphere can we avoid dangerous climate change. But according to one leading researcher, there’s a bit of a hitch: “We haven’t a clue how to do it”. The problem is that scientists ... Read More »

Paris is burning

Worries are mounting that the global effort to fight climate change will not meet its goals. By KALINA OROSCHAKOFF Politico They were supposed to always have Paris. Three years after world leaders celebrated the signing of a landmark agreement intended to head off catastrophic global warming, the effort looks to be going down in flames. Scientists say the cuts to greenhouse gas emissions agreed to under the 2015 Paris climate agreement fall far short of what would be needed to ... Read More »

Climate change: CO2 emissions rising for first time in four years

Global efforts to tackle climate change are way off track says the UN, as it details the first rise in CO2 emissions in four years. The emissions gap report says that economic growth is responsible for a rise in 2017 while national efforts to cut carbon have faltered. Matt McGrath BBC To meet the goals of the Paris climate pact, the study says it’s crucial that global emissions peak by 2020. But the analysis says that this is now not likely even ... Read More »

Rio Tinto warns climate inaction poses ‘greatest long-term threat’

The new chairman of global mining giant Rio Tinto has described inaction on climate change as “perhaps the greatest long-term threat” facing the business and promised it would be part of the solution rather than the… Nick Toscano WAtoday Speaking at an investor meeting on Monday, Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson said society – particularly Millennials – were demanding higher standards from the companies they worked for and… He signalled a renewed emphasis from Rio Tinto’s board on environmental, social ... Read More »

Glorious rubbish, have we been wasting your energy all along?

Caieiras, Sao Paulo: As Australia debates the need to spend money on renewable energy projects to power our future without destroying the environment, it is worth taking a look at rubbish. Lia Timson WAtoday Is this never-ending resource being used to our advantage? What if, instead of just seeing it as something to get rid of, we put it to work? That is a question environmental engineer Marcelo Camargo, manager of one of the world’s largest biogas electricity generators on the outskirts of ... Read More »

Australia’s endangered forests are being ‘stolen’ and sold in hardware and office stores

Thousands of hectares of state forest appear to have been logged illegally, an ABC investigation has found, amounting to what some say is the mass “theft” by a government-owned for-profit… By environment, science and technology reporter Michael Slezak and the Specialist Reporting Team’s Penny Timms ABC Trees making up some of Victoria’s most endangered ecosystems are being felled and turned into building products, paper or wood chips by VicForests, which are then sold in retailers such as Bunnings and… The apparently illegal logging ... Read More »

France fuel protest: One dead in ‘yellow vest’ blockades

One protester has died and more than 200 were injured as more than a quarter of a million people took to the streets of France, angry at rising fuel prices. BBC The female protester who died was struck after a driver surrounded by demonstrators panicked and accelerated. The “yellow vests”, so-called after the high-visibility jackets they are required to carry in their cars, blocked motorways and roundabouts. They accuse President Emmanuel Macron of abandoning “the little people”. Mr Macron has ... Read More »

Seafood industry calls for Senate inquiry into seismic testing

Members of the Australian seafood industry are persisting in their calls for an inquiry into seismic testing, despite the Senate having twice rejected the idea. ABC West Coast SA By Samantha Jonscher Seismic surveys, which are used to search for undersea oil and gas deposits, involve firing intense soundwaves into the ocean floor, which fishers worry could disrupt the behaviour of marine life. Southern Bluefin Tuna Industry Association President Brian Jeffriess said not enough is known about the impacts of ... Read More »

Why covering the environment is one of the most dangerous beats in journalism

From the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Kashoggi by Saudi agents to President Trump’s clashes with the White House press corps, attacks on reporters are in the news. Eric Freedman The Conversation This problem extends far beyond the politics beat, and world leaders aren’t the only threats. At Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, we train students and professional journalists to report on what we view as the world’s most important beat. One hard fact is that those ... Read More »

Preserving historical buildings: the most sustainable thing is not to build new stuff

Making heritage buildings sustainable is just as important as preserving their history – and they can offer energy-efficiency lessons of their own Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore The Guardian After grinding grain since 1897, Sydney’s Crago Flour Mill finally cranked to a halt in the mid 80s. Over the years, this handsome industrial Newtown site became rundown, a dusty labyrinth of rooms sprawled over four buildings. Given the job in 2008 of transforming the mill into 47 strata studios, architects Allen Jack+Cottier (AJ+C) ... Read More »

Wins By Democratic Attorneys General Threaten To Multiply Climate Suits Against Big Oil

The oil and gas industry’s expensive victories in the midterm elections could come at a price. By Alexander C. Kaufman HuffPost Democrats scored a string of state attorney general victories on Tuesday night, ousting loyal oil and gas allies and threatening to add to mounting lawsuits against the industry over climate change. The party flipped four states and held 13, re-electing incumbents in seven of them. in an election sweep that secured Democrats 27 states that represent over 58 percent of ... Read More »

‘Bionic mushrooms’ which generate electricity could power our future lighting, say scientists

White button mushrooms have been developed into a new source of green power Sally Guyoncourt The Scotsman Ordinary white button mushrooms have been transformed into ‘bionic’ fungi capable of producing eco-friendly electricity with a little help from some bacteria and nanotechnology. Researchers at the Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey have added cyanobacteria (commonly known as blue-green bacteria) and graphene nanoribbons to the cap of the mushrooms to generate and… Manu Mannoor, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the… ... Read More »

Frydenberg rejects foreign bid for ‘critical’ pipeline network

The Morrison government risks another feud with China over foreign investment after rejecting a $13 billion bid for Australia’s dominant gas pipeline network ahead of a crucial meeting in Beijing that… David Crowe & Cole Latimer, with Kylar Loussikian The Sydney Morning Herald The decision halts a divisive plan from Hong Kong company CK Group to buy APA Group and its massive energy network, giving the overseas bidder two weeks to appeal the ruling amid warnings of… Treasurer Josh Frydenberg issued ... Read More »

Turkey warns oil companies against drilling near Cyprus

President Erdoğan calls foreign energy firms ‘bandits of the sea’ for defying Ankara over hydrocarbon resources Agence France-Presse in Istanbul The Guardian The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has warned foreign oil companies against energy exploration near Cyprus, describing those defying Ankara as “bandits of the sea” who would face a similar response as its foes in Syria. Drilling for hydrocarbon resources off the coast of Cyprus, an EU member, is hugely sensitive. The northern third of the island is occupied ... Read More »