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John Howard made sure he was facing the same way as other world leaders on climate policy, unlike the current Prime Minister. AAP Image/David Crosling

How John Howard could help turn Tony Abbott around on climate

Throughout his prime-ministership, which ran from 1996 to 2007, John Howard’s perspective on climate change was informed by geopolitics more than science. The Kyoto Protocol, the key international climate…
To match the US, Australia would have to increase its emissions reduction target to 25% below 2000 levels. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

FactCheck: are Australian and US climate targets the same?

If you use the full Kyoto period — 1990 to 2020 — the US is minus 5% and Australia is almost exactly the same. Environment minister Greg Hunt, Radio National, November 17. We and the United States are…
Economic growth is a significant contributor to the climate change crisis. www.shutterstock.com

To get climate change under control, our growth fetish must go

The recent US-China climate announcement is a significant development in humanity’s equivocal response to the climate crisis. Despite over four decades of political engagement with climate change, tangible…
China and the US have announced new climate change targets. China says emissions will peak around 2030. Rolex Dela Pena/AAP

US–China emissions deal will put pressure on Australian growth

While most of the world is celebrating the US–China pact on climate change, the deal puts pressure on the Australian government and resources companies to rethink relations with China. The deal, signed…
The shared stance by Australian prime minister Tony Abbott and Canada’s Stephen Harper is a formidable barrier to a global climate deal. Office of Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper

Making change happen in G20 climate talks: Beijing pact not enough

Having reached a landmark agreement with China this week to limit greenhouse gas emissions, US president Barack Obama heads to Australia for the G20 summit of economic superpowers. The China deal will…
By prioritizing economic growth and the fossil fuel industry over environmental protection, Australian PM Tony Abbott and Canadian PM Stephen Harper are a formidable barrier to a global climate deal. Office of Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper

Making change happen in G20 climate talks: Beijing pact not enough

Having reached a landmark agreement with China this week to limit greenhouse gas emissions, US president Barack Obama heads to Australia for the G20 summit of economic superpowers. The China deal will…
Arguably for the first time, the United States and China have truly listened to one another on emissions cuts. EPA/Petar Kujundzic

US-China climate deal: at last, a real game-changer on emissions

The new US-China climate deal is a game-changer. The United States, the world’s biggest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, has pledged to cut emissions by 26-28% by 2025 relative to 2005 levels, while…
A tourist train from Sheringham to Holt steams past an offshore wind farm, one of many that have sprung up along the UK coast. Gerry Balding/Flickr

UK shows how Australia can cut emissions without a carbon tax

Australia’s carbon price has gone – but a UK review released this week shows that to lay the foundations for a low-carbon economy, pricing carbon is far from the whole story. Over recent months, as Australia’s…
Melt pond on the Greenland ice sheet. NASA / Michael Studinger

What climate tipping points should we be looking out for?

The concept of a “tipping point” – a threshold beyond which a system shifts to a new state – is becoming a familiar one in discussions of the climate. Examples of tipping points are everywhere: a glass…
Australia’s Tim Cahill never loses sight of the goal – and neither should we on climate change. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

Keeping our eyes on the ball is the only way to hit our climate target

Kicking goals is a whole lot easier when you’re running hard, with a clear line of vision. But amid so much backpassing and confusion on climate policy in Australia, it could be easy to lose sight of what…
The Castelao stadium in Fortaleza was the first of Brazil’s World Cup stadiums to receive green certification. Pedroichimaru/Wikimedia Commons

The real story behind Brazil’s ‘greenest World Cup’

This year’s World Cup was supposed to be the “greenest ever”, with FIFA taking measures to account for the event’s greenhouse gas emissions, including an estimated 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide…
Australia has a possible path to 100% renewables – if governments and business can be persuaded to take it. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Renewable energy target can go all the way to 100% – if we let it

The political outlook for renewable energy is not great – and I’m not just talking about the view out of Joe Hockey’s car window. The Renewable Energy Target (RET), which aims to deliver 41 million megawatt-hours…
Greg Hunt says he is confident the Emissions Reduction Fund will meet its target of cutting carbon pollution by 5%. AAP Image/Daniel Munoz

Direct Action policy still leaves loopholes open for big polluters

The long-awaited White Paper on the A$2.55 billion Emissions Reduction Fund answers some questions about how the Abbott government’s Direct Action climate plan will work. But it looks like the policy will…
Better appliances and energy-efficiency rules saved Australians more than A$3 billion on electricity last year alone. Shutterstock

Energy-smart appliances cut Australian power bills by billions

The latest review of Australia’s energy-saving appliance scheme has delivered a rare trifecta: a good news story for the economy, the community and the environment. According to my estimates from data…
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – shown at UN headquarters with Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop last year – is urging governments and businesses to bring “bold pledges” to a UN summit later this year. EPA/Jason Szenes

Australia trounced Kyoto climate target, new report reveals

After a week of mostly bad news on climate change, new figures reveal that Australia easily beat its first internationally-agreed…

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