Why climate change puts the poorest most at risk | Financial Times

The largest negative impacts of the shocks being made more frequent by global warming are on tropical countries. Nearly all low-income countries are tropical. Yet these countries are the least able to protect themselves. Thus they are innocent victims of changes for which they bear no responsibility. Read more

An Evening With Dr Paul Fisher

Please join us for a private dinner with Dr Paul Fisher, former executive director at the Bank of England. Dr Fisher is in Australia to brief organisations on the recommendations made by the Task Force on Financial Disclosures and to consider how Australian firms may be impacted. The recommendations could have a considerable impact on the way companies report risk and assess their investments.

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Dr Fisher will also provide an update on developments in Europe, where he is a member of the European Commission’s high-Level Expert group on Sustainable Finance, which is drawing up detailed policy proposals to be implemented in the EU.  You can find the group’s interim recommendations in their first report here.

You will have the opportunity to meet other like-minded senior executives and participate in a conversation with Dr Paul Fisher. 

A limited number of seats are still available.

Click here for more information or to book your seat.

Have you booked your seat for the Climate Alliance National Conference?

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We’re entering an era of unprecedented commercial change. Our energy systems, our cities, and our food production – and everything connected to them – will be transformed.

The speed, complexity and diversity of change is unpredictable. The operating scenario for every business sector has already begun to transform, and our banking and financial sectors are responding.  

The Climate Alliance 2017 National Conference offers you the opportunity to learn more about the key dynamics that will shape new operating scenarios for business.

Speakers include Fiona Wild, Dr Paul Fisher, Chloe Munro and Dr Karl Mallon.

More information and book you seat for Melbourne October 24th

More information and book your seat for Sydney October 26th

APA approved for up to 240 MW in Australia | PV Magazine

The group can now proceed with the development of the Beelbee project, which will be built roughly 40 km west of Dalby, Queensland, according to the Western Downs Regional Council. The local government body has now approved nine solar projects for development in the Western Downs, a region near the city of Brisbane. In August, it gave Singapore-based Equis Energy the green light to build a massive 1 GW solar plant near the town of Wandoan.

UK Ministers launch group to help boost green business investment | The Guardian

A new group led by investors and leading figures from the City of London has been brought together by the government to draw up measures to encourage “green finance” in the UK.

The Green Finance Taskforce will have six months to come up with proposals on how to increase investment in the low-carbon economy and will work with banks and other financial institutions. Chaired by Sir Roger Gifford, former lord mayor of London, the taskforce will look at measures to make the UK’s planned investments in infrastructure, for instance on energy and transport, more environmentally sustainable.

Hot and Dry: Australia's Weird Winter | The Climate Council

Climate Change made Australia’s warmest winter on record an astounding 60 times more likely, according to this latest report by the Climate Council.

The “Hot & Dry: Australia’s Weird Winter,” report shows the nation experienced its warmest winter on record (for average maximum temperatures), while more than 260 heat and low rainfall recordswere also broken throughout the season.

Climate Councillor and ecologist, Professor Lesley Hughes said Australia’s hottest winter in history was related to worsening climate change.  “Without any meaningful action to tackle climate change, we will continue to see many more hot winters, just like this, as global temperatures rise,” she said. “We must take meaningful action to strongly reduce Australia’s emissions from fossil fuels."

Temperature anomalies last 100 years | Antti Lipponen, FMI Beta

How has temperature changed in each country over the last century? This data visualisation shows temperature anomaly – the departure from the long-term average – by country from 1900-2016. Visualisation by Antti Lipponen (@anttilip) of the Finnish Meteorological Institute based on GISTEMP data (CC BY 2.0).

Carmakers face electric reality as combustion engine outlook dims | Reuters

European car bosses gathering for the Frankfurt auto show are beginning to address the realities of mass vehicle electrification, and its consequences for jobs and profit, their minds focused by government pledges to outlaw the combustion engine.

As the latest such announcement by China added momentum to a push for zero-emissions motoring, Daimler, Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and PSA Group made disclosures about their electric programs that could give policymakers some pause.  More

What Lies Beneath | Breakthrough

Human-induced climate change is an existential risk to human civilisation, yet much climate research understates climate risks and provides conservative projections. Reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that are crucial to climate policymaking and informing public narrative are characterised by scientific reticence, paying limited attention to lower-probability, high-risk events that are becoming increasingly likely.  

This latest Breakthrough report argues for an urgent risk reframing of climate research and the IPCC reports. Download the report here.

China has already surpassed its 2020 solar target - Energydesk

By the end of July this year, China’s solar PV capacity topped 112GW, after installing a stunning 35GW in just seven months — more than twice as much as installed by any other country in all of 2016.

As a result, total solar PV capacity now exceeds the government’s 2020 goal of 105GW, set as recently as last year.  More

Harvard scientists found Exxon using the tobacco playbook | The Guardian

As Oreskes documented with Erik Conway in Merchants of Doubt, tobacco companies and several other industries that profited from harmful products engaged in decades-long campaigns to sow doubt about the scientific evidence of their hazards. As one R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company 1969 internal memo read:

"Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the mind of the general public"

The results of this new paper show that Exxon followed this same playbook. While the company’s internal communications and peer-reviewed research were clear about human-caused global warming, its public communications focused heavily on sowing doubt about those scientific conclusions.

Treasurer Scott Morrison says cheap coal-fired power era is ending | AFR

by Phillip Coorey

Treasurer Scott Morrison says the era of cheap, coal-fired power is coming to an end and anyone claiming it is the sole solution to the nation's energy dilemma is propagating a myth.

In comments that push back at calls by Tony Abbott and others that Australia should ditch its commitments to greenhouse gas reduction and just build coal-fired power stations, Mr Morrison said that would not work.

New coal-fired power was much more expensive than that being generated by existing power stations which were nearing the end of their lives, he told a private policy forum over the weekend.

Current coal generators produce power at a cost of between $10 and $40 a megawatt hour whereas the newer, high-efficiency, low-emission plants (HELE) generate power at about $70 to $110 a megawatt hour.

Doubling down on the need for the federal government to adopt a technology agnostic policy approach, in conjunction with a clean energy target (CET), Mr Morrison said the only ultimate solution to price and stability was long-term policy certainty for investors.

"To solve the problem we need to have certainty around investment rules and conditions to enable that capital flow," he said. "That capital is there but it will not come without that certainty and we're working to achieve that.

'System in the future'

"If a HELE plant stacks up or a carbon capture and storage with HELE stacks up, by all means knock yourself out, but let's not think that there's cheap new coal, there's not."

"And [HELE] takes seven years to turn up, so if we think that is all of a sudden going to make your power bills cheaper next month, it won't.

"Whether it's a part of the system in the future, I think the rules will define that, but new cheap coal is a bit of a myth."

Earlier this year Mr Morrison passed a lump of coal around Parliament and said coal has "endured for over 100 years that Australia has enjoyed an energy competitive advantage that has delivered prosperity for Australian business".

On the weekend, he said there was "cheap old coal" coming out of existing stations such as Bayswater and Liddell and it was important the lives of these stations were prolonged to provide adequate base-load power while the sector transitioned.

Mr Morrison's comments came in a speech over the weekend to the Wombat Hollow Forum, a monthly ideas forum featuring high-profile guest speakers. The comments are consistent with other interventions in recent weeks by Mr Morrison as the Coalition girds itself for an internal battle over the design and adoption of a CET.

A CET would apply post-2020 and mandate that a certain percentage of energy be generated from sources designated as clean.

'Green theology'

At a minimum, Coalition conservatives want HELE, or so-called clean coal, designated along with renewables and gas while hardliners such as Mr Abbott now insist emissions reductions should not be a policy consideration, dismissing it as "green theology".

Mr Morrison took issue with this, saying "we've got to get rid of the 'ology' when it comes to how we deal with the energy debate".

"Everyone's got an ology ... climatology, coalology, whatever it is, everyone's got some sort of religious view when it comes to dealing with the energy market," he said.

"What we're focused on is the engineering and the economics and the ideology frankly has to take a leave pass because that doesn't solve the problem.

"If we stay focused on just one part of it, what's the price of this or let's build this, that doesn't, of itself, and arguably even at all, I think, really address the issue."

He said there was no turning back from cleaner energy sources and the intermediate challenge was reliable base-load power until renewables were more reliable.

"The only new power that is coming into the system ... is largely in the renewables area and we know that on the renewables front the system stability elements of that are not anywhere near where they need to be to have the certainty you need to run a proper energy system.

"But that said, we need to ensure that we get the rules right so people can have confidence investing in new energy supply. I don't care what they invest in, if they invest in coal or they invest in wind."