Emissions

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Looking for relief: Southern California Gas Company and outside experts work on a relief well at the Aliso Canyon designed to stop the ongoing natural gas leak. Dean Musgrove/Reuters

California’s Aliso Canyon methane leak: climate disaster or opportunity?

The Aliso Canyon methane leak in California is bad, but it's only a small portion of the methane leaked from the natural gas industry's sprawling pipeline and storage infrastructure.
Ros Kelly was the first in a long line of federal ministers to address themselves to the question of Australia’s emissions target. AAP Image/Lee Besford

25 years ago the Australian government promised deep emissions cuts, and yet here we still are

When Australia's government first pledged to set an emission-reduction target, Jon Bon Jovi was riding high in the charts. The progress made in the 25 years since has hardly been a blaze of glory.
Environment minister Greg Hunt and Prime Minister Tony Abbott announce Australia’s 2030 climate target. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Australia’s 2030 climate target puts us in the race, but at the back

Australia’s new emissions target is not “squarely in the middle of comparable economies". Towards the bottom of the pack of comparable countries, on key indicators. But Australia is coming to the party, and that counts for a lot.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop at the announcement of Australia’s 2030 climate target. AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Australia’s post-2020 climate target not enough to stop 2C warming: experts

Australia will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2030. Experts respond.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has suggested Australia has been true to its emissions reduction commitments but that other countries have not. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

FactCheck: has Australia met its climate goals, while other nations make ‘airy-fairy promises’?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described other countries' emissions reduction targets as "airy-fairy promises that never come to anything." How does that statement stack up against the evidence?
Conditions in Belize are affected by emissions thousands of miles away. Brad Herman

Air pollution from Europe and America is making the tropics drier

Air pollution pumped out by factories and power plants in Europe and North America has led to drier spells in the tropics, thousands of miles to the south. Scientists had long suspected this was the case…
To find out if the carbon price worked, you have to look at the electricity sector. Paul Hocksenar/Flickr

FactCheck: did carbon emissions fall faster before the carbon price?

Emissions fell by six times the rate in the five years before the carbon tax than they did under the carbon tax. – Environment minister Greg Hunt, The Guardian, January 17, 2015. Australia’s total greenhouse…
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…

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