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The wrong track? The biggest emitters, such as power stations, were largely absent from the government’s first round of greenhouse reduction contracts. AAP Image/Dan Peled

On these numbers, Australia’s emissions auction won’t get the job done

Federal environment minister Greg Hunt has hailed the first round of Emissions Reduction Fund auctions as a "stunning result". But extrapolating the numbers puts Australia behind on its carbon targets.
Scaling back coalmining is one way Australia could make big progress towards its emissions targets. CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Report calls for emissions cuts, but plays down the opportunities

The Climate Change Authority has recommended Australia cut greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2000 levels by 2025. While sensible, the government is unlikely to accept, and the target misses bigger opportunities to cut emissions.
Climate Change Authority chair Bernie Fraser says other wealthy nations have already pledged far deeper emissions cuts than Australia. AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Climate Change Authority calls for 30% emissions cut by 2025

A report from Australia's Climate Change Authority recommends cutting greenhouse emissions by 30% by 2025 if the country is to be seen as a good global citizen in this year's climate negotiations.
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.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been urged to join the fossil fuel divestment movement. Adbar/Wikimedia Commons

Like everyone else, research charities have a duty to divest

The Guardian's divestment campaign is targeting charitable research trusts. John Quiggin says they have a moral duty to divest fossil fuels, regardless of the temptation to research technological climate fixes.
Switching to alternative energy sources, such as renewables, and using more electric cars could double Australia’s energy productivity. NRMA Motoring and Services/Flickr

Australia could double its energy productivity by 2030: report

A new report shows Australia can and should double its energy productivity, increasing economic productivity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Farming makes a huge contribution to global greenhouse emissions, mainly through methane from livestock. Billy Hathorn/Wikimedia Commons

Meat the future: new book sets out the effects of the world’s diet

Meat uses a lot of resources - between three and ten times as much as plants for the same amount of protein. The rich world might be slowly losing its taste for meat, but the developing world isn't.
For the first time, the February monthly average carbon dioxide levels at the Mauna Loa Observatory have passed 400ppm. NOAA/Wikimedia Commons

February carbon dioxide levels average 400ppm for first time

We have hit a new milestone in carbon dioxide levels: the average for February topped 400ppm. It's the first time this has happened in the northern winter, when levels are typically lower than in summer.
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…
The Western Treatment Plant in Werribee, Victoria, largely powers itself using biogas – a by-product of sewage treatment. Jason Patrick Ross/Shutterstock

Biogas: smells like a solution to our energy and waste problems

Could what we flush down the toilet be used to power our homes? Thanks to biogas technology, Australia’s relationship with organic waste – human and animal excreta, plant scraps and food-processing waste…
Julie Bishop will need to fight to rescue Australia’s standing after a dire first week at the Lima climate talks. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Julie Bishop arrives at climate talks amid ignominy for Australia

Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop will have a lot of explaining to do when she arrives here in Lima, Peru, ahead of her address to the UN climate summit tomorrow. It will take all of her diplomatic…
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…
Global action to reduce emissions could threaten Australia’s coal exports. Lock the Gate Alliance/Flickr

Australia’s economy will suffer if we fall behind on climate action

Australia’s economy faces grave threats from climate change, but the greatest threat is if we do not make a serious effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It’s not just the physical impacts of climate…

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