Emissions

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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…
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…

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