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Shareholders strike out at remuneration as commodity boom fades

Fortescue is

PETER KER Shareholders say remuneration is out of sync with sliding commodity prices.

Carbon neutrality needed within lifespan of people born today, UN says

Carbon neutrality will be needed by 2070 if emissions don't start falling soon, UN says.

Governments are far off track in combating global warming and should phase out net carbon dioxide emissions by 2070, well within the expected lifetime of people born today, a UN study said on Wednesday.

US poll finds most back limits on coal emissions even if power prices rise

US President Barack Obama during his Brisbane speech last weekend.

Jim Polson A majority of Americans support tougher pollution limits on coal-burning power plants even if it means paying more for electricity.

CSG study finds elevated methane levels near gas fields

Fresh clouds over CSG industry: A Santos employee near Narrabri in northern NSW.

PETER HANNAM Methane levels near coal seam gas fields in Australia have been found to be as much as triple normal levels, raising renewed doubts about the global-warming benefits of using the gas compared with other energy sources.

China needs to cap coal use by 2020 to meet climate goals: think tank

China's urban pollution is one prompt for curbing coal use.

China needs to hit its "peak coal" use by 2020 if it is to fulfil its commitment to end growth in climate-warming carbon emissions by the end of the next decade, an influential government think tank said on Tuesday.

Businesses want higher emission cuts

Less is more: business respondents to a survey say emissions cuts can do deeper.

PETER HANNAM Half the firms surveyed backed deeper cuts than 5 per cent of 2000-level emissions by the end of the decade.

India plans to increase solar power five-fold without subsidies

Solar park in Gujarat, home state of India's new prime minister Narendra Modi.

Debjit Chakraborty and Ganesh Nagarajan India said its renewable-energy industry must eventually learn to live without government support and that it's seeking to generate five times more power from solar by 2022 than is currently installed.

Red faces for Tony Abbott on Green Climate Fund

On the sidelines: A protester takes part in a climate change march in New York earlier this year. The Abbott government is

PETER HANNAM The Abbott government has been left squirming on another climate front after key ally Canada said it will contribute to a United Nations climate fund to help impoverished countries cope with global warming. Tony Abbot has said that Australia will not be contributing to the fund.

Wise investment or fossil fools? Queensland backs coal as G20 moves the game on

Campbell Newman says coal remains vital to the future of the Queensland economy.

MICHAEL WEST If you joined the dots you’d conclude that taxpayers are going to subsidise Queensland’s Galilee Basin coal project, despite the G20 calls to end subsidies, low coal prices and some dubious economics.

Climate: US-China pact to curb emissions not enough, CSIRO scientist Pep Canadell says

China and the US will have to do more to curb emissions, CSIRO's Dr Canadell says.

PETER HANNAM The US-China pact to curb greenhouse gas emissions is "unprecedented" but won’t be enough to prevent dangerous climate change, said Pep Canadell, the head of CSIRO’s Global Carbon Project.


Graincorp profit plunges 64% as hot weather hurts crops

GrainCorp fears this year's harvest from Australia's eastern states will be below average amid hot, dry conditions in many areas.

Ross Garnaut: Climate deal marks acceleration by US

No Great Wall between China's Xi Jinping and the US's Barack Obama when it comes to climate action.

PETER HANNAM Ross Garnaut, a China expert and compiler of two emissions trading reviews for governments, said the US-China deal represents a bigger shift for the Americans.

World to breach IPCC's carbon limit by 2040: International Energy Agency

Energy opportunities abound for Australia, the IEA reports.

PETER HANNAM Global energy demand growth will halve by 2025 but fossil fuels will continue to dominate, leaving the planet on a warming trajectory of 3.6 degrees, according to the International Energy Agency.

RET deal off: The only certainty is uncertainty for the clean energy industry

Storms over renewables are becalming investments.

PETER HANNAM Labor's decision to end talks for a compromise leaves the government no options but to try to secure another Palmer United Party back-flip.

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Soaring gas prices spur expansion of energy savings plan

Incentives to curb energy use to be expanded to include gas.

PETER HANNAM Soaring gas prices have prompted the NSW government to expand its energy efficiency support program to include gas as well as electricity.

Climate policy needs to look beyond 2020, says major report

Environment Minister Greg Hunt

LATIKA BOURKE A major report into climate change says Australia will need to substantially lift its carbon emission reduction target to 40 per cent by 2025 and is calling on political leaders to look beyond the short-term debate focused on the 2020 goal.

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Australia urged to focus on post-2020 carbon emissions

Cuts must extend before the end of the decade, The Climate Institute says.

Australia should reduce net emissions by 40 per cent by 2025 and decarbonise the economy by 2050, a climate body report says.

The Australia Institute says coal industry doing almost nothing to ease 'energy poverty'

More coal won't necessarily improve the lives of the poor, a new report says.

PETER HANNAM Claims by federal politicians that new coalmines in Australia would lift hundreds of millions out of poverty were merely echoing hyperbole by big mining companies, The Australia Institute said in a new report.

Powering up: carbon emissions from electricity sector start to climb

Steam rises from the cooling towers of a Hunter Valley power station.

PETER HANNAM Australia’s electricity sector has responded to the end of the carbon tax and rising gas prices by burning more coal, lifting carbon emissions and making it harder for the Abbott government’s direct action policy to meet the country’s 2020 target.

Australian coal mining a challenge for UN climate push

More coal makes for more greenhouse gas emissions.

UN calls to curb greenhouse gas emissions by ending most electricity generation using coal will face some tough challenges, with coal mining going through a growth spurt in countries such as Australia.

Abbott government's Direct Action plan casts pall of uncertainty

Peter Hannam dinkus

PETER HANNAM Opinion Direct Action, the centrepiece of the Abbott government’s efforts to address climate change, remains a largely unknown quantity even in the wake of this week’s breakthrough deal between the Coalition and Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party.

China rushes to harness wind with government help

China's wind industry is booming.

Bloomberg News China is on course this year to build four times the total wind power installed in all of Denmark as developers push to build the turbines ahead of cuts to incentives originally designed to spur the industry.

Direct Action: Clive Palmer and crossbenchers reach deal with Greg Hunt

Clive Palmer and Environment minister Greg Hunt

Mark Kenny, Lisa Cox Tony Abbott has left open the possibility of a return to emissions trading in a trade-off for the Palmer United Party's support for his controversial Direct Action climate policy.

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New Abbot Point dredge plan to dump spoils in wetlands

Reef battle: new dredge plans for Abbot Point expansion.

PETER HANNAM The Abbott government appears poised to fast-track the approval of plans to dump millions of tonnes of dredge from a coal port expansion on to internationally significant wetlands.

Poor nations go for solar, wind at twice the rate of rich ones

Solar in China

Justin Doom Emerging markets are installing renewable energy projects at almost twice the rate of developed nations, a report concluded.

Adani, GVK reject funding boycott claims and point to green credentials

Miners say Citi and Morgan Stanley's moves will not affect the Abbot Point expansion.

PETER HANNAM Proponents of Australia's largest prospective coal mines say they are undeterred by the decision of two leading US banks not to participate in any funding of a related port expansion in Queensland.


We need coal to fight climate change, says Whitehaven's Paul Flynn

Whitehaven Coal managing director Paul Flynn.

MICHAEL KOZIOL Whitehaven Coal managing director Paul Flynn has delivered a spirited defence of the coal industry as an economic and environmental good, saying we may be relying on the fossil fuel to tackle climate change.

Compensation action shadows government proposal to cut renewable energy target: law report

Attention: Photo editors, photo libraries

The attached images are of contemporary wind farms for your photo library. S

These are supplied by Pacific Hydro Ltd which has started to build

Australia's biggest wind farm at Codrington and which has plans for another much bigger 150 megawatt wind farm around Portland, Victoria.

It is our observation that many photo editors are using out of date images, usually containing a mass of small cluttered turbines on landscapes.  We suggest that all such images be replaced by the attached.

PETER HANNAM Lowering the renewable energy target is likely to undermine existing investments while freezing new ones, and open the federal government to demands for compensation, a leading law firm has said in a report.

$2 billion King Island wind farm axed

Untapped: Hydro Tasmania King Island's wind resource

A Tasmanian energy producer has scrapped plans for the southern hemisphere's largest wind farm.

Keystone foes energised as tumbling crude prices squeeze oil sands

Anti-Keystone campaigners may get some help from the markets.

Jim Snyder Falling oil prices have energised opponents of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline tapping Canada's tar sands.

Blow for giant coal port expansion as US banks opt out

The proposed Abbot Point expansion is a turnoff for some major banks.

PETER HANNAM Two more global banking giants have declared they will not participate in funding for the Abbot Point coal port expansion, adding fresh financial doubts for potentially Australia’s biggest coal mines.

UNSW's fossil fuel stance 'a complete failure of leadership'

The fossil fuel debate continues on campuses.

PETER HANNAM The decision by the University of NSW to retain its $50 million investments in fossil fuel-related businesses has been dubbed “a complete failure of leadership” by divestment activists.

Industry warns NSW could lose 10 wind farms, $2.5 billion under Tony Abbott's plan to cut clean energy

New wind farms: Out of reach?

PETER HANNAM Confusion over Canberra’s plans to cut the Renewable Energy Target (RET) will cost NSW at least $2.5 billion in investment by 2020 and mean the state will fall short of the Baird government’s own target for clean energy, industry groups say.

What's watt? The Renewable Energy Target explained

Solar eclipse? What's the future for the RET?

PETER HANNAM Confused by the jargon about gigawatts and "real 20 per cent"? Here are some basics in the debate over the Renewable Energy Target.

Clean energy jobs and investments are at risk, says industry group

Moving out: NSW could miss out on billions of dollars of investment in clean energy.

Peter Hannam, Mark Kenny NSW stands to lose as much as $2.5 billion in investment in 10 approved wind farms that won't proceed if the federal government achieves its goal of slashing the renewable energy target, an industry group said.

General Electric boss calls for certainty over renewable energy target

Need to know: General Electric boss Jeff Immelt wants answers from the federal government.

Anne Hyland Jeff Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric, one of the world’s largest investors in clean energy, has demanded the federal government provide certainty around its renewable energy target.

Renewable energy stall costs first job losses as 100 cut in Victoria

green energy

PETER HANNAM A Victorian manufacturer has become the first employer to cut jobs after the Abbott government revealed its plans to slice the renewable energy target by as much as 40 per cent.

Abbott government 'intent on destroying renewable industry', companies say

Precarious balance: cutting the renewable energy target will damage the industry, companies say.

PETER HANNAM The Abbott government appears determined to destroy the emerging renewable energy sector to protect Australia's fossil fuel industry if its plans to lower the clean energy target are any guide, wind farm developers said.


Drayton, Coalpac knockbacks a 'brutal double blow' for coal miners in NSW

Coal trains

PETER HANNAM The coal industry in NSW has suffered a “brutal double blow” following the rejection by the Planning Assessment Commission of two open-cut mine expansions in the Hunter Valley and the Blue Mountains, the NSW Minerals Council said.

US regulators look to curb methane emissions

Leaks diminish some of the benefits of gas.

Sean Cockerham Pressure is growing on regulators in California and Washington, D.C., to crack down on methane, a greenhouse gas that's 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is accelerating the warming of the planet.

Green Economy Index 2014: Australia ranked last for leadership


INGA TING Australia has fallen sharply in international green economy rankings, coming last out of 60 countries for performance on political leadership and climate change, and 37th overall.

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Warburton reviewer Brian Fisher gets solar panels despite wanting subsidy scrapped

Solar panels retain their appeal - for now.

PETER HANNAM One of the members of the Abbott government's review panel that called for an end to renewable energy support has bought solar panels despite advocating the end of such subsidies.

IPCC lines up for a sixth climate audit as economic costs corrected

New York's climate march last month.

PETER HANNAM More than a quarter of a century old and the bane of global warming sceptics everywhere, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change isn't about to fade into the sunset.

One firm's $2 mine is another's start of global coal empire

Coal mine trucks

Yuriy Humber and Ichiro Suzuki Up Energy Development Group said it has picked the bottom of the coking coal market.

Gas displaces clean energy, won't aid climate fight, scientists say

Gas from fracking of little help to emissions reductions.

Stefan Nicola Increased use of natural gas from a fracking boom won't slow climate change as the fuel will simply replace cleaner energy sources, scientists said in a study.

Global coal industry still in denial over prices, regulation

Sunset for coal? Industry says no.

Clyde Russell These days you would expect a gathering of coal industry executives to be a fairly gloomy affair, given the drop in prices to near seven-year lows, the increasing threat of regulation to control pollution and the general image of the fuel as the main climate change culprit.

Labor will gain little but pain through revived mining tax

Elizabeth Knight Dinkus Dinkus

ELIZABETH KNIGHT The Labor Party's plan to introduce mining tax mark III is one of the most extraordinary policy objectives in living memory. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is either very brave or very foolhardy to think that it will be third time lucky in devising some way to get the mining industry to pay for the budgetary revenue shortfall his government will face should it regain office.

Wind producer Infigen grows hopeful over Renewable Energy Target survival

Wind Farm

Angela Macdonald-Smith Infigen Energy chief executive Miles George says asset write-downs would be premature for the wind power producer given increasing signs that the Renewable Energy Target may survive with only relatively minor changes.

Pacific Hydro write-down

The renewable energy market is being hurt by falling demand for electricity and a lack of certainty in the industry.

Tim Binsted Heavyweight fund manager IFM Investors has taken a $685 million write-down on its Pacific Hydro renewable energy business due to the adverse impact of the Abbott government's Warburton review, weaker electricity demand in Australia, and tax changes in Chile.

$22-trillion-strong investor funds call for climate action

With carbon crunch time approaching, fund managers  want policies to divert money into  renewable energy.

PETER HANNAM Governments everywhere need to introduce stable and “economically meaningful” policies to divert investments away from fossil fuels and into low-carbon alternatives to avoid more radical steps to limit the damage from climate change, 300 leading fund managers said.

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