This week in Queensland, Anthony Albanese has been devastating in exposing the lies, hypocrisy and absurdity of the National party’s election “promise” to build a new coal-fired power station. That even the idea of building such a power station hasn’t demolished the economic environmental and political credibility of the Morrison government tells you a lot about what is wrong in Australian politics today. But how do we square the circle on the broader coal debate? Internationally, the debate between those who think it’s time we talked about fossil fuel supply (think Adani, the Keystone XL pipeline or the Canadian oil sands) and those who want to keep the focus on fossil fuel demand (think talk of targets, trajectories and closing down coal power stations) has been brewing for some time. But there’s no need to fight. Alfred Marshall was the economist who invented what we now think of as supply and demand curves. He was once asked whether it was supply … [Read more...] about New coalmines in Queensland don’t help existing communities, they hurt them
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Farmers and activists in NSW’s Bylong Valley say they are concerned about the damage to water quality and prime agricultural land in the area if development of two coalfields is given the green light by the state government. The NSW deputy premier, John Barilaro, has confirmed to locals Guardian Australia’s report in October that the state’s powerful advisory body for strategic release has recommended opening up for development two coalfields in the area: Wollar and Hawkins-Rumker. Consideration of the new areas comes after NSW’s Independent Planning Commission rejected Korean company Kepco’s proposal to build a $260m coalmine in the valley at nearby Mudgee because it threatened groundwater and farming, in addition to failing to do enough to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The fate of the IPC is now in the balance, with a review of its role under way following a furious campaign against it by the mining lobby and the Daily Telegraph. A spokeswoman for … [Read more...] about Farmers in NSW’s Bylong Valley fear for water and prime land if coalfields developed
On Sunday, the baroque-and-bling Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh (suites a mere £6,500 a night) is expected to host the launch of the biggest privatisation in history. Aramco, the holder of Saudi Arabia’s oil reserves, is likely to come to the market with a price tag as high as $2 trillion. The kingdom is only selling a small portion of the company, but if it achieves anywhere near that price, Aramco will be valued at more than BP, Shell, Google, Walmart and Netflix combined. It’s a monster. It is easily the world’s worst polluter, topping the Guardian’s list of the 20 biggest companies responsible for a third of all the planet’s carbon emissions since 1965. Aramco is head and shoulders above the rest, and is behind nearly 5% of all global emissions over the last half century. You don’t have to sign up to Extinction Rebellion to know that if we burn all the oil in Saudi Arabia’s vast reserves, we’re never going to tackle the climate … [Read more...] about Why are we being herded into buying part of the world’s biggest polluter?
Joe Biden is reportedly only seeking on term as president should he win the general election in 2020, a source revealed in an article published Wednesday morning. 'If Biden is elected, he's going to be 82 years old in four years and he won't be running for reelection,' a prominent adviser to the campaign told Politico. Four people who regularly talk with Biden said right now the candidate is focused on quietly indicating that he likely won't run for a second term – but they claim there is still the option of making a public pledge. All four individuals claim it is almost 100 per cent inconceivable that he will run for reelection in 2024 should he clinch the presidency in 2020. The prominent adviser believes making that reality public could help him, especially among younger voters who are not as excited about his candidacy and believe his presidency would become a road-block to younger Democrats. Revealed: Joe Biden, 77, would not seek reelection in 2024 should be win the White … [Read more...] about ‘No more years!’ Joe Biden would NOT run for reelection if he wins the White House—putting future of the Democratic Party in the hands of his running mate
Your article (Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all global carbon emissions, 10 October) highlights the biggest polluters and contributors to the climate crisis over the last half-century – the “uncooperative crusties” of capitalism. It is these companies that are standing in the way of progress. But we shouldn’t just look at the carbon they have pumped into the atmosphere, but also the money – our money, in banks and pension funds – that they have invested and the power that huge amount of capital gives them. They can choose to either transform their businesses into something positive for the planet or to extend the shelf life of a carbon-based business model well past its best-before date. This week, the Treasury select committee asked me, ShareAction and the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association what investors can do about the oil and gas industry. My answer was that we need to use more than just persuasion. Our money can shape … [Read more...] about Where the blame lies for the climate crisis