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Articles on Direct Action plan

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Environment minister Greg Hunt will now push forward with his Direct Action policy, after successfully negotiating with Clive Palmer. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Palmer deal gives green light to Direct Action – experts react

The federal government’s Direct Action climate policy, a A$2.5 billion scheme aimed at paying polluters to cut their greenhouse…
Having two children could leave more carbon emissions than you can save by changing lightbulbs. p.Gordon/Flickr

How family planning could be part of the answer to climate change

You’ve changed your lightbulbs, you recycle, you’ve retrofitted your house, cycle when you can, and drive an electric car when you can’t. You’re doing your bit to reduce your carbon emissions and prevent…
Tony Abbott may have planted a few trees, but he’s also sought to bury many of Australia’s environmental safeguards. Britta Campion/AAPImage

Abbott’s environment agenda is even harsher than he promised

Before the 2013 election, Tony Abbott gave us fair warning that he would turn the clock back on the environment. As promised, his government has devoted itself to short-term economics and the sort of hardline…
Clive Palmer, with the unlikely backing of Al Gore, may have found a way to salvage something from Australia’s looming climate policy vacuum. AAPImage/Alan Porritt

Stopgap carbon policies: far from perfect, but better than nothing

Climate policy is back on the agenda in Canberra this week, with the focus on the government’s centrepiece Direct Action plan. The Coalition will have to negotiate with the Palmer United Party, which will…
Forestry is credited under New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme. World Resources Institute/Flickr

Carbon pricing is still the best way to cut emissions, if we get it right

The Coalition government has recently axed Australia’s carbon “tax”, leaving us with no carbon price. Alternatives include the government’s “Direct Action” plan, or Clive Palmer’s proposed emissions trading…
The new budget has served up a big hit to Australia’s environment. Anton Balazh/Shutterstock

Litany of deep cuts for environmental programs

Budgets are often framed as give and take. But in the case of the environment, the government is taking large amounts of money in cuts, while giving little back beyond funding the Direct Action climate…
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…
Changing how we consume energy is the best way to mitigate climate change. Adam Bowie/Flickr

We all need to pay for climate change mitigation

While the latest IPCC report on mitigation doesn’t recommend any particular strategy for reducing carbon emissions, it suggests changing energy consumption is a key mitigation strategy. According to the…
Politically, the carbon tax issue has been great for Tony Abbott, allowing him to position himself as a friend to business. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Climate policy: could it be the boxing Prime Minister’s glass jaw?

Nine years ago, I spent long days inside Downing Street working with the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair on how to position his government on the global climate problem. Blair was keen to work out…
Leading economist Ross Garnaut has weighed in on the WA Senate re-election and the importance of keeping the carbon tax. AAP/Julian Smith

Why the world has reason to watch the WA Senate election

There’s been a lot of international focus on Western Australia in recent weeks. The search for the lost Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 is being led from Perth. But it also turns out that Western Australia…
Australia’s new climate policy fails on three fronts: global action, crediting, and land. Flickr/mrhong42

Australia’s climate plan: are you serious?

The Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF), the central pillar of Australia’s Direct Action climate policy, continues to attract a fair bit of derision with its credibility said to be “hanging by a thread”. Is…
We need more types of electricity in our mix. Flickr/Chip_2904

Act now on Australia’s power system or pay more later

Australia has a problem with its power system that goes to the core of many issues we’re facing at the moment — increasing coal and gas prices, changing electricity usage, and climate change. That’s the…
Tony Abbott’s government has lacked the assured certainty the Coalition showed in winning office. AAP/Stefan Postles

What’s going on with the Abbott government?

For every opposition, the prospect of taking office – attaining politics’ ultimate prize, often after years of hard grind – can be relied upon to drown out the little noises of self-doubt and self-criticism…

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