Environment + Energy – Articles, Analysis, Comment

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New Zealand’s emission reduction target for 2030 is to bring emissions to 30% below 2005 levels, and to be carbon neutral by 2050. from www.shutterstock.com

Why NZ’s emissions trading scheme should have an auction reserve price

With consultation underway to improve the New Zealand emissions trading scheme, experts argue that a reserve price on emissions units could help rebuild confidence in low-emission investment.
Environmental water is not a luxury – it’s vital for river ecosystems and everyone who depends on them. AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Giving environmental water to drought-stricken farmers sounds straightforward, but it’s a bad idea

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has suggested changing the rules to allow 'environmental' water to be diverted to drought-hit farms. But the idea would be far less straightforward in practice.
The industry selling honey and bee products is booming. from www.shutterstock.com

How better tests and legal deterrence could clean up the sticky mess left behind by fake honey row

The bee product industry is booming and in unregulated markets, there is a strong economic incentive to cheat. Self regulation combined with legal deterrence could help clean up the sticky mess.
Idiospermum is otherwise known as “idiot fruit” or ribbonwood. via Wikimedia Commons

It’s hard to spread the idiot fruit

In a few idyllic parts of Queensland grows the idiot fruit, a tall tree with intricate flowers and some of the largest seeds in Australia.
Plastic bags, balloons, and rope fragments were among more than 100 pieces of plastic in the gut of a single turtle. Qamar Schuyler

How much plastic does it take to kill a turtle? Typically just 14 pieces

Autopsies of 1,000 turtles washed up on Australian beaches paint a grim picture of the impact of plastic debris. Even a single piece can be deadly, and on average 14 pieces equals a 50% fatality rate.
Smart meters promise lower bills, but could also reduce your privacy. AAP Image/David Crosling

Sharing your meter data might help cut your power bill, but it needs secure regulation

Smart meters are being rolled out across Australia, offering the opportunity to share data with third parties who promise to help you find a cheaper deal. But this requires strong consumer protection.
Indian has a booming poultry market. Pau Casals/Unsplash

The myth of a vegetarian India

India doesn't eat much meat per capita, but that might be changing: it's the fastest-growing poultry market in the world.
The Mugga Lane Solar Farm in the ACT is part of a new wave of large-scale renewable energy projects. AAP Image/Moaneng Australia

At its current rate, Australia is on track for 50% renewable electricity in 2025

Australia could be getting half of its electricity from renewable energy by 2025, even without government subsidies for new wind and solar projects, according to a new analysis of energy industry trends.
Myrmecocystus honeypot ants, showing the repletes, their abdomens swollen to store honey, above ordinary workers. Greg Hume via Wikimedia Commons

Wasps, aphids and ants: the other honey makers

Honey might be synonymous with bees, but they're not the only insects that come up with the goods.