Daily Links Mar 24

So many of the responsibilities of local governments place them at the forefront of the climate response,  from operating planning schemes, maintaining local roads and streets and providing for emergency recovery. Their task is so much harder when the federal government does nothing to reduce the risk of the biophysical and socioeconomic impacts of climate change and does nothing to address the contributing factors in the first place. 

Post of the Day

Ensuring that transformation of global energy sector is people-centred

Ministers, industry leaders and stakeholders from civil society met today at an event in Paris organised by the International Energy Agency to discuss how to ensure that their clean energy transition policies are people-centred and inclusive.


On This Day

March 24


Ecological Observance

National Tree Planting Day – Uganda


Climate Change

Ensuring that transformation of global energy sector is people-centred

Ministers, industry leaders and stakeholders from civil society met today at an event in Paris organised by the International Energy Agency to discuss how to ensure that their clean energy transition policies are people-centred and inclusive.


‘Polar temperatures will get worse with war’: Experts speak out on extreme heat events

One leading researcher said the unprecedented polar heatwaves combined with growing interest in fossil fuel extraction amid Russia’s war in Ukra


UN sets 5-year goal to broaden climate early warning systems

The chief of the United Nations announced a project Wednesday to put every person on Earth in range of early weather-warning systems within five years as natural disasters have grown more powerful and frequent due to climate change.


Greenhouse gas reporting is about to get whole lot easier

The challenging task that countries face in reporting on greenhouse gas emissions and removals under the United Nations’ climate framework is about to get easier, thanks to a collaborative effort by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and key partners.


The four horsemen of the apocalypse are destroying planet Earth

David Shearman

Climate change and loss of biodiversity are the terrible twins working together to threaten human existence. Unfortunately, their wicked problems are accompanied by two equally important drivers of calamity —population and economic growth. These four horsemen gallop in unison and must be considered together.



Seed capital: Telstra turns tree planter to reduce its carbon footprint

Telecommunications giant Telstra is starting its own carbon farm, growing trees to reduce its emissions.


To protect your super, funds are taking a closer look at the climate

Chaos is bad for superannuation funds and climate change could mean a lot of chaos. Mary Delahunty, who analyses these scenarios for one of the country’s biggest super funds, takes us inside the attempt to reduce uncertainty.


Food farmers call for pause on solar farming until government review complete

Renewable energy’s social licence could be at risk if community concerns aren’t addressed, says Climate Council councillor. 


Endangered potoroo bouncing back from the brink after Black Summer bushfires

Much of the adorable marsupial’s habitat in Victoria and NSW was wiped out during the disastrous summer of 2019-20, but a survey has returned some surprising results.


Inside Dan Ilic’s latest plan to take on fossil fuel-funded candidates at the election

Ahead of this year’s election, comedian and self-styled “investigative humourist” Dan Ilic has kicked off his latest campaign against candidates backed by the fossil fuel industry.


Timing questioned over $5.4 billion Qld dam fund

The federal government has committed $5.4 billion to build a dam in North Queensland, but the “interesting” timing of the announcement has been questioned, with the project still awaiting approval.


Governments accused of failing to act as temperatures rise – podcast

Heatwaves have caused more deaths in Australia in the past 200 years than any other natural hazard, and are overwhelmingly affecting lower socio-economic communities.


‘Rort’: Massive Aussie farming scheme panned

Australia’s carbon credit scheme has been called a “rort” by the former head of a major environmental watchdog.

Weary councils demand climate action, cash

More than 30 mayors and councillors from councils across Australia are demanding stronger climate change action from the Morrison government.


Assessing your climate risk: Why acting now can secure a sustainable future

Identifying and proactively addressing repercussions of a changing climate are crucial for sustainable, resilient, and profitable businesses now and in the future.


US carbon rules may pin Australian banks to ‘financed emissions’ [$]

Australian banks may have to take more responsibility for the carbon emissions of residential mortgagees and other customers if new US laws are formalised.


Hydrogen investment in Australia tops $250b [$]

Global interest in hydrogen has grown substantially as countries strive to develop new energy sources to drive a transition away from fossil fuels


How retail investors can offset their carbon footprints [$]

Carbon credits are one tool large emitters use to offset emissions. But can retail investors get in on the action – and speed the transition to net zero?


More carbon traders join call for Taylor to delay ERF contract overhaul

More participants in Australia’s carbon markets have called on Angus Taylor to delay a controversial overhaul of the Emissions Reduction Fund.

“Everyone disagrees with him”: Turnbull takes aim at Angus Taylor

Turnbull labels latest gas industry subsidies “surreal”, and says energy sector has been united by Angus Taylor: “Everyone disagrees with him”.

AGL says energy hubs and offshore wind could bring early closure of coal plants

AGL says Bayswater coal plant could close by 2030 and Loy Yang A by 2040 if new energy hubs built and market conditions met.


Coalition donor Whitehaven Coal the biggest winner in government’s ‘donation’ to Ukraine [$]

Bernard Keane

Well done to Whitehaven Coal: it has given $98,000 to the federal Liberal Party in recent years and just got handed $31 million under the pretext of helping Ukraine.


The permanent case against pointless fuel excise changes [$]

AFR editorial

What the Financial Review editorialised in 2001 against John Howard’s fuel excise election bribe stands today as the permanent case against what the Morrison government might do in next week’s budget.


Only gas can keep us powering into future [$]

Terry McCrann

Gas has to be at the absolute core of our energy use to 2050 and beyond if we are to find our way back to a rational future where coal and nuclear provide the majority of our electricity.


The Wentworth Project: polling shows voters prefer Albanese for PM, and put climate issue first in ‘teal’ battle

Michelle Grattan and Max Halupka,

In the very marginal Sydney eastern suburbs seat of Wentworth, where the Liberals are being challenged by a high profile “teal” candidate, Scott Morrison is unpopular, Anthony Albanese is preferred PM, and climate change tops issues people say will influence their vote.


Scott Morrison uses Ukraine war to push coal agenda

Jennifer Wilson

Scott Morrison is sending coal to war-ravaged Ukraine in a move that appears solely for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry.



Company behind chemical spill that killed hundreds of fish identifies itself

A representative from a Victorian transport company tells residents a fire led to chemicals leaking into waterways, flowing to a popular lake and beach.


Fines issued during opening days of Victoria’s duck hunting season

Allegations shooters have exceeded bag limits and inhumanely dispatched birds during the first week of the Victorian duck season have been reported to authorities.


‘Tough’ new laws set to deter Victorian animal activists trespassing on farms

The Victorian government says new laws passed in Parliament yesterday are the toughest of their kind in Australia and will deter people from trespassing on farms.


Little penguins to benefit from CSIRO’s new invasive weed solution

CSIRO researchers have found that the fungus, Venturia paralias, specifically attacks the invasive coastal weed called sea spurge (Euphorbia paralias), which threatens nesting sites of native species including little penguins (Edyptula minor), as well as impacting on the wider coastal ecosystem. Current control methods include removing the weed by hand or chemical sprays.


Geelong slashes carbon emissions

A swag of clever and creative initiatives helped the City reduced carbon emissions across its operations by 30 per cent in the four years to June 2021.


$500,000 to release timber documents

Victoria’s Attorney General Jaclyn Symes says it would take two-and-a-half years to retrieve documents underpinning the decision to phase out native forest logging.


Leave the car keys at home. We need to get back on public transport

Age editorial

One of the most striking features of the COVID-19 lockdowns in Melbourne was the quiet. With little traffic on the roads, the city went eerily silent. That is now a distant memory as many people prefer to use their car over public transport.


New South Wales

Two more climate protesters disrupt trucks at Port Botany

Two climate activists blockaded Sydney’s main port late on Wednesday afternoon, the third protest at Port Botany in two days.


‘I want them deported’: German brothers behind climate protests that blocked peak-hour traffic in Sydney

NSW Acting Premier Paul Toole wants two German nationals deported for holding climate protests which blocked peak-hour traffic.


Could a brumby reserve solve Kosciuszko’s wild horse conundrum?

A Snowy Mountains resident says the debate about the High Country’s wild horses could be solved by establishing a “brumby reserve” that would bring jobs to the region


3500 tonnes of flood waste collected in first stage of clean-up

Collection contractors have undertaken a mass clean-up of all major flood affected areas in the Byron Shire, collecting over 3500 tonnes of waste.


Sales of anti-Scott Morrison bin stickers surge after Liberal council threatens rubbish services

Sydney’s Hornsby Shire Council says political stickers could ‘cause confusion’ and prevent waste pickup



Major dam project in north Queensland secures funding pledge

A $5.4 billion plan to build the Hells Gates Dam announced by the federal government is set to create water security for the region, particularly for the agricultural sector.


Morrison government committed $5.9bn for dams without advice from water infrastructure board

Proposals for two Queensland dams have not been scrutinised by body set up to provide ‘expert advice’


‘Build it bigger’: Bob Katter rages over $5.6bn mega dam [$]

A furious Bob Katter is threatening to switch support to Labor after the Coalition’s $5.6bn mega dam proposal failed to deliver on what he was promised.


Commitment to reach net zero emissions by 2030

Cairns Regional Council has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2030 and moving to 100% renewable energy for its operations.


UN mission must see coral bleaching to get ‘whole picture’ of Great Barrier Reef, experts say

Government’s reef envoy says visiting scientists ‘have to see the good and the bad’ as widespread bleaching confirmed


Queensland mulls Bradfield scheme report as minister damns PM’s pledge

The state has been urged to approve a new $5.4bn dam near Townsville, in a move that has put a key political proponent of an even more ambitious water security plan offside.


Saving the Great Barrier Reef: these recent research breakthroughs give us renewed hope for its survival

Paul Hardisty et al

With yet another coral bleaching event underway on the Great Barrier Reef, we’re reminded of the tragic consequences of climate change.


South Australia

Mali vows to fight for SE, says sorry for selling forests [$]

New Premier Peter Malinauskas has vowed to fight for the South East, as he apologised for Labor’s decision to privatise forests during a visit to the area.



Planned burns continue in North as TFS ramps up Autumn fuel reduction effort

Tasmania Fire Services’ are continuing to manage planned burns at Mount Stronach and South Mount Cameron in the North as part of a larger statewide Autumn fuel reduction and bushfire prevention effort.


Northern Territory

Traditional owners target international financiers in legal bid to block billion-dollar gas project

Tiwi and Larrakia elders fear their sea country could be impacted by Santos’s Barossa gas project in the NT, one of the biggest developments announced in the Australian oil and gas sector in recent years.


‘A long wait for recognition’: Historic handback to return Kakadu to traditional owners

After decades of waiting, nearly half of Kakadu National Park will today be handed back to Aboriginal traditional owners, recognising their deep connection with country.


Rare earths miner says NT separation plant could supply 5pc of world’s processed product

Arafura Resources says its planned facility near Alice Springs will be pivotal in reducing Australia’s reliance on China for materials essential to the production of renewable energy technology.


Western Australia

WA power network buckled under ‘unprecedented demand’ during summer heatwave

An independent review into widespread power outages over the Christmas period finds Western Power’s network was unable to keep up with demand as Perth sweltered through multiple days over 40 degrees Celsius.


Pilbara rock art custodians want pause on Burrup projects

Traditional Owners of Murujuga want to be able to care for their heritage on the Burrup Peninsula without industry support – and want a pause on Woodside’s Scarborough LNG project until they can properly consider its impact.

Conservation work at popular Freo tourist spot revealed

 New conservation works to restore and reinforce the Arthur Head cliffs and the Whalers Tunnel in Fremantle were officially opened this week.


South West land council ‘assured’ of heritage protection amid Perth bridge controversy

The South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council says a heritage management plan will be created to protect sites around the proposed Lloyd Street Bridge in Perth’s eastern suburbs.



The world’s richest people are going nuclear

In recent weeks, some of Silicon Valley’s most famous technologists have hailed a historically polarising energy source — nuclear power — as a solution to both cutting carbon emissions and weaning the world off now-controversial Russian gas.


4 sustainable food systems to save the planet

As the war in Ukraine heightens food insecurity, a new report argues that producing what we eat in a sustainable way will lessen dependence of imports while fighting climate change.


Could a behavioural change campaign save energy and cut Russian gas imports?

In an interconnected energy world, if Europe cuts imports of Russian oil and gas it will need to source it from elsewhere, contributing to a squeeze on global supplies and global price rises in oil and gas.


Neighborhoods feeling the heat as medium density housing robs suburbs of street and garden trees

Researchers are calling for new national planning policies to mandate the inclusion of trees in any future housing developments and architectural designs.


Stinking out the office isn’t the only risk for tuna at lunch — how much can I safely eat?

By Simon Apte and Chad Jarolimek

A tin of tuna is significantly cheaper than many types of fresh meat or fish. But how much can you eat before you need to worry about mercury?


Thinking of swerving high fuel prices with an e-scooter or e-bike?

Abraham Leung and Madison Bland

Petrol prices are hitting eye-watering highs. As global affairs put pressure on the availability of commodities, we’re likely to continue seeing volatile petrol prices in the future. So there’s never been a better time to embrace alternative modes of transport such as e-bikes and e-scooters (also called “micromobility” devices).


Jacinda Ardern finds it’s not easy being green when petrol prices soar

Henry Cooke

She promised a carbon zero future, but New Zealand’s Prime Minister has agreed to cut fuel taxes as the price at the pump shot up to $NZ3 a litre.


If the UN wants to slash plastic waste, it must tackle soaring plastic production – and why we use so much of it

Sabrina Chakori et al

You pick up a piece of plastic litter from the beach, and get a small buzz. You’ve done something for the environment. But then you look around, and see plastic everywhere. It’s much more than you could pick up.


Why do companies need climate transition plans?

Paul Simpson

It is only through robust, science-based and publicly monitored climate transition plans that we can hope to advance towards a green economy and limit global heating to 1.5°C. The time for action is now.


Nature Conservation

Willem Dafoe narrates the story of the world’s rivers in this stunning new Australian documentary

River, a follow-up to box office hit Mountain, is a history of the planet and human civilisation told via waterways, and argues that the fate of both are inextricably intertwined.


How oceans play key role in fight against climate change

Oceans are crucial to keep the planet alive. Not only are they the source of food and work for millions of people but they also are essential to weather control, and without them, life on this planet would be impossible.


Pressure grows for deal to save nature at crunch talks in Geneva

Campaigners warn time running out for governments to halt and reverse the destruction of wildlife and ecosystems that support the planet


New research finds plankton may have unexpected resilience to warming ocean waters

New science published in the journal Nature reveals that as the ocean warms, some plankton can absorb more climate-warming carbon than previously thought.


Lack of transparency over cost of conservation projects hampers ability to prioritize funds for nature protection

A new study has found that costs of conservation projects are rarely reported, making it difficult for others to make decisions on the most cost-effective interventions at a time when funding for biodiversity conservation is severely limited.

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