UK must face reality on climate impact of new Heathrow runway

New Scientist

UK transport secretary Chris Grayling says a new runway planned at London's Heathrow Airport will not meaningfully increase carbon emissions, despite upping the number of flights. There's only one explanation: Grayling's favourite author must be Douglas Adams. In sci-fi series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Adams creates something called the Somebody Else's Problem (SEP) field, which enables people to simply ignore what they don't want to see. Grayling isn't alone in deploying one – internationally, the top current user is Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, who signed up to the Paris Agreement on reducing carbon emissions with one hand and is backing one of the world's largest coal mines with the other. There are myriad ways to meet a carbon budget, whether those laid down for the UK under the Climate Change Act or global ones determined by climate science.


Australia announces fund for clean energy, in break with past

The Japan Times

SYDNEY – Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Wednesday said the country would establish a 1 billion Australian dollar ( 760 million) fund for innovation in clean energy, a major departure from his predecessor's much-maligned approach to climate change. Conservative former Prime Minister Tony Abbott was criticized by environmental groups for lagging behind other advanced economies when he announced cuts to Australia's greenhouse gas emissions last year. Abbott, a climate change skeptic who was ousted in a party coup by Turnbull in September, also faced criticism for his strong support for the coal industry and for scrapping an ambitious carbon tax and emissions trading plan in 2014. Turnbull said the new fund would focus on investing in high-tech clean energy technologies. "What that is going to do is every year invest A 100 million in the smartest, most cutting-edge Australian clean-energy technologies and businesses to ensure that we . . .


Prime minister says Australia to have July 2 election

U.S. News

Australia's election campaign will officially start soon with climate change policy and union corruption in the national building industry shaping into key battlegrounds for the July 2 poll. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Wednesday that he was likely to visit Governor-General Peter Cosgrove this weekend to lock down the date and officially start the election campaign. A heartening historical fact for Turnbull is that no Australian federal government has lost power after a single three-year term since the tumultuous early years of the Great Depression. But Australia is now in an extraordinary era of political volatility as it grapples to diversify an economy that thrived on a mining boom that has gone bust. If the opposition center-left Labor Party wins the election, it will mean Australia's fifth change of prime minister in six years.


2,500 scientists implore Australia to protect the Great Barrier Reef

Mashable

More than 2,000 coral reef scientists have sent a letter to the Australian government pleading for it to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Warning that Australia is perceived as a "laggard" on climate action, the letter was sent Saturday after the conclusion of the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium, which was held in Honolulu, Hawaii. Addressed to Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, it was sent on behalf of the International Society for Reef Studies, which represents more than 2,500 coral reef scientists, managers and policy makers. The letter, which was forwarded to Mashable Australia, warns that coral reefs around the world are threatened with "complete collapse" in the face of climate change. "As a result of reef destruction, a quarter of all marine species are at risk and the associated economic losses will expose hundreds of millions of people to decreasing food security and increased poverty," the letter explains.


Known environmental menace, Australia gets the award it deserves

Mashable

You're not only ranked fifth last out of 58 countries in the latest climate change performance index -- you're also the "Fossil of the Day." As spotted by the Guardian, the joke award was handed out Wednesday by the Climate Action Network (CAN), which distributes the award to countries acting in the worst interests of the environment. Australia scored the prize after the country's Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg was heard complaining to U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz about American charities working against Adani's $16 billion coal mine at the COP 22 talks in Marrakech. SEE ALSO: China, India would pick up America's clean energy slack under Trump "Our first Fossil of the Day award goes to...Australia for making ugly complaints about dirty baggage," the group wrote. "Australia ratified the Paris Agreement last Friday, so lobbying for coal expansion at the United Nations climate negotiations is an ugly, ugly thing to be doing."