Author: Julian Atchison (Julian Atchison)

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Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Levels Have Decreased 15% from 1990
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Australia’s Greenhouse Gas Levels Have Decreased 15% from 1990

Recently Reported Greenhouse Gas Level: 515 Mt in 2020, a Decrease of 15% from 1990 (Source: Australian Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources) The Australian government releases national emissions data on a quarterly basis. The latest release (for the April-June quarter of 2020) reports national emissions at 515Mt CO2 equivalents, a 3% drop from...

Big Leap Forward in the Renewables Sector and Continued Lack of Federal Response to Climate Needs in Australia
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Big Leap Forward in the Renewables Sector and Continued Lack of Federal Response to Climate Needs in Australia

The July to October period has seen some incredible leaps in the Australian renewables sector despite lack of federal government support. The state of Tasmania is currently legislating a world-leading 200% renewable energy target. In October, South Australia became the first major jurisdiction in the world to be powered by 100% rooftop solar for any...

CSIRO and ARENA Leading Climate Mitigation Research in Australia
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CSIRO and ARENA Leading Climate Mitigation Research in Australia

Australia has two major government-funded bodies leading on climate mitigation research: the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). CSIRO’s mandate is broad, and the organisation is tasked with tackling Australia’s biggest future challenges by partnering with industry and universities. It has eight research units (with climate mitigation...

Green Job Opportunities in Australia Being Ignored By Current Government
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Green Job Opportunities in Australia Being Ignored By Current Government

Despite Australia’s status as the biggest exporter of fossil fuels in the world, there are relatively few Australian jobs in fossil fuel extraction. The “mining” sector – which covers coal and mineral ore mining, as well as oil and gas extraction – makes up only 1.9% (~250,000) of Australia’s labour force. But mining (and especially...

Australians Living on Low-Incomes Have the Fewest Protections from Climate Change Impacts
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Australians Living on Low-Incomes Have the Fewest Protections from Climate Change Impacts

In 2013 the now-defunct National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility raised the spectre of climate risks to disadvantaged Australians. Three heavily disadvantaged local government areas in the state of South Australia – Port Adelaide, Port Pirie and Berri – face the brunt of extreme weather events, rising temperatures, decreased rainfall and sea level rise but...

Retrofitting the Aluminium and Steel Industries in Australia
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Retrofitting the Aluminium and Steel Industries in Australia

Even before COVID, Australia’s steel and aluminium manufacturing industries were at an interesting crossroads. Aluminium smelters in Australia currently operate at a massive financial loss and require significant government subsidies. Australian steel-making produces a relatively expensive product that often struggles for relevance in a crowded market. And, both have suffered from long-term uncertainty over climate...

Habitat Destruction in Australia is Accelerating, Making Way for Property Development and Agriculture
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Habitat Destruction in Australia is Accelerating, Making Way for Property Development and Agriculture

Australia is home to eight of the world’s fourteen different terrestrial habitats, with over one million unique species and thousands of distinct regional ecosystems. Around 20% of Australia’s landmass is protected under the National Reserve System (NRS): a framework introduced in 1992 to conserve Australia’s international status as a “region of mega-diversity”. Different regions provide...

Fossil Fuels Likely to be Leveraged as an Economic Kick-Starter in Australia
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Fossil Fuels Likely to be Leveraged as an Economic Kick-Starter in Australia

At the time of writing, Australia is in a hopeful position. Strong leadership from state governments has squashed the pandemic curve and prevented significant damage to Australia’s medical system. While lifting restrictions on people’s movement is months away, the nature of Australia’s post-pandemic recovery is beginning to be discussed in earnest. Surprisingly, Australia’s conservative government...

Australia States Waiting for Federal Go-Ahead to Transform Their Energy Grid
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Australia States Waiting for Federal Go-Ahead to Transform Their Energy Grid

Since the Paris Agreement was signed in December 2015 the Australian energy sector has been trending away from fossil fuels. Electricity generation from fossil fuel sources has declined and has been replaced almost exclusively by wind and solar power. Decommissioned coal power stations have not been replaced with new coal or gas: instead, there is...

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