Coal

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While many people in India live without electricity, it is looking less likely that Australian coal will supply it. Environmental Change and Security Program/Flickr

The case for Australian coal in India is weakening

"India needs Australian coal" is a view promoted by government and industry alike. But is there really a case for Australian coal in India? The evidence suggests not.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has thrown his support behind coal mining, arguing coal is ‘good for humanity’. Dan Peled/AAP

The facts on Australian coal production

Despite the divestment movement gaining ground, the share prices of our major coal miners suggest there's still strong investor support.
Pressure is mounting inside and outside Australia for greater action on climate. AAP Image/Dan Peled

The pressure is mounting on Abbott to deliver on climate

International and domestic forces appear to be conspiring to significantly ratchet up the pressure on Prime Minster Tony Abbott’s climate policy.
South Australia’s wind farms have coped without baseload power before - they can do it again. Fairv8/Wikimedia Commons

Coal closures give South Australia the chance to go 100% renewable

Coal closures announced this week in South Australia will cause employment pain, but could also help pave the way for the state to go 100% renewable - something that modelling suggests is eminently possible.
As China realises the unpriced costs of coal power, such as air pollution, coal production is starting to fall. Gustavo M/Flickr

The world is waking up to the $5.3 trillion cost of fossil fuels

China's falling coal production suggests the world is waking up to the real cost of coal, calculated as $5.3 trillion in a report released this week.
Safeguarding rainforests is an area where the United Nations has made great strides - hopefully the Paris summit can deliver more of the same. Sze Ning/Flickr.com/Wikimedia Commons

A global deal that drives good decisions: what success at the Paris summit should look like

In the final part of his essay on the Paris climate talks, Nick Rowley explains how a successful deal, whether binding or not, needs to influence directly the domestic policies of the world's nations.
UN lead climate negotiator Christiana Figueres (second from left) has been hailed as having the dynamism needed to drive the Paris talks. EPA/AAP

Why the Paris climate talks won’t be another Copenhagen

The much-hyped 2009 Copenhagen climate summit yielded only a flimsy accord. But, as Nick Rowley writes in part 2 of his three-part essay on the 2015 Paris climate talks, there are several reasons why this year won't see another flop.
BP’s energy outlook would make it difficult to keep warming below 2C. EPA/BERND THISSEN

BP’s extreme climate forecast puts energy giant in a bind

BP's Energy Outlook report forecast an increase in fossil fuel use by a third. That would make it difficult to keep warming below 2C.
Should the EPA figure the cost of reducing mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants for health reasons? Adam

Justices debate benefits and costs of EPA mercury power plant rule

A Supreme Court case could undo a key piece of the Obama's environmental agenda, which hinges on whether the EPA should consider the costs of air pollution controls from coal plants.
Rio Tinto’s Mount Thorley-Warkworth mine in the Hunter Valley, which looks set to expand further. The NSW planning department says it would “not be reasonable” to require Rio Tinto “to completely or even partially backfill the final void”. Lock The Gate Alliance/Flickr

Disused mines blight New South Wales, yet the approvals continue

There are hundreds of derelict mine sites across New South Wales – and the state planning department has admitted it is "not aware of the total size" of large mining voids currently being left behind.
Australia likely has several decades of coal left in it yet. eyeweed/flickr

Four ways to boost Australia’s economy that can help the climate

Australia likely has decades of fossil fuels left to extract, export and burn. That could prove to be a problem if the world comes to an agreement on climate change. Here's four ways to help the economy, and the climate.
The University of Sydney is hoping to chart a path to climate-safe investment. University of Sydney

Universities are (slowly) feeling their way forward on divestment

Another Australian university has outlined plans to reduce the exposure of its investments to climate change, and is taking a contrasting approach to the Australian National University’s high-profile divestment…
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…
Should coal projects be held responsible for the greenhouse emissions that flow from their product, even if it’s burned on another continent? CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Court challenge will test coal mining’s climate culpability

A new legal challenge to the proposed Carmichael coal mine – Australia’s largest – will test in the federal court whether climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions should be taken into account…

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