Australia’s energy policy is a tangled mess built on a foundation of lies simon holmes à court opinion the guardian gas cap light


“Seasonally adjusted, weather normalised” emissions for the September 2018 quarter did fall by a little over 1%. However, this cherry-picked data point deceptively obfuscates the true message that Australia’s emissions have risen year on year since Tony Abbott and Greg Hunt gleefully despatched the carbon pricing mechanism in mid-2014 and replaced it with gas tax the emissions reduction fund (ERF) the next year. Emissions increase under the emissions reduction fund

Under the ERF, large corporates have been issued credits to change fuel-oil engines for diesel, and diesel engines to gas, even when they would have done so in the normal course of business. Landfill gas generators installed to meet methane emission regulations have received millions of unnecessary credits. In one case a generator was built 13 years before the ERF. Agribusinesses gas finder have swapped clearing permits for carbon credits, a legitimate activity, but highly questionable in cases where the permits had been issued just weeks before conversion to credits. And even then, only 20% of the headline 193Mt of emissions gas key staking tool reductions have been “delivered”.

After the hottest Australian summer on record, which included bushfires in Queensland rainforests and 1,000 years old Tasmanian forests, floods and mass fish kills, and as we head into election season, our warming climate is again front of mind for many swinging voters — voters who are sick of inaction and tired of lies. Australian summer mean temperature

As at the 2007 election, voters are ahead of a Coalition government on the need to respond to the climate crisis. Perhaps more so, with extreme summer temperatures, a slew of natural disasters and calls electricity and magnetism worksheets from parts of the community that are increasingly hard to ignore, such as the thousands of students who will strike on 15 March in 38 cities and towns around the country.

(Of course, the carbon deficit will increase if projects such as the Hunter Valley HEZ project revealed on Wednesday is ever built — though I believe it is highly unlikely for a range of reasons, including financial viability, social license, water and gas in california coal access, environmental approvals and carbon risk.) Australia’s 695–762 million tonne carbon deficit

The centrepiece of the Orwellian sounding “solution” is nothing more than a simple rebadging of the flawed ERF but with one third the annual funding. The new fund aims to spend $2bn of public money to reduce emissions by 103Mt by 2030. Meanwhile, the Wheatstone and Gorgon LNG projects in Western Australia are on track to emit 203Mt over gas efficient cars 2012 the same period, at no cost to owner Chrevron, an international company well known for its aversion to contributing to our public coffers.

Imagine if a cardiologist made you promise to lose 10 kilograms. Six months later you return having put on an extra two kilos, so now you need to lose electricity games 12 kilos. “No problem doc”, you say, “I didn’t put on 10 kilos back in the 1990s, so if you subtract those, I now only need to lose 2 kilos.” You might be able to convince yourself, but your power generation definition medical team, and your heart, won’t care for your logic.

The key commitment of the Paris agreement is to keep global warming to well below two degrees celsius. The only way to achieve this is to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. No amount of tricky accounting will fool the brutal physics of climate change, or negate the clear warnings of the world’s leading climate scientists that anything above 1.5 degrees will be catastrophic.