Politicians are basking in the ‘thrill’ of fossil fuels, but this election is Australia’s last chance to reset our climate stance | Bell Hair

WIt has been astonishing in the Australian election debates how they have completely banished the terrible catastrophes that climate change has caused to our country over the past few years – indeed, in the past few months.

There are now residents of towns up and down the East Coast whose homes have been destroyed by terrible floods – some twice in just a few weeks.

It now appears that the Liberal National Coalition is completely divided on net zero – at a time when the Secretary-General of the United Nations High-level team of experts, of which I am a member, began discussions about the best way for non-state actors to achieve net zero. The creation of this group closely follows the recently completed IPCC report which many see as the last warning we will get from the scientific community about the need to act before it is too late to avert catastrophe.

As the world advances on climate action, it appears that the Ukraine crisis will prompt the world to accelerate the adoption of both renewables and hydrogen by about a decade. But here in Australia the narrative from Conservatives and the gas industry is that to deal with the current energy crisis we have to expand gas and, to some extent, coal: that’s complete nonsense.

Many do not have insurance, but even if they do, they wonder if rebuilding in the same place makes sense. Where do they go? What do these people think when they see politicians on the campaign trail arguing for more fossil fuels, and more emissions? However, the ABC Voting Compass He makes clear that climate change is a major issue for Australians in this election.

Many of the same regions were, only a few years ago, devoid of the infernal wildfires that tore through seven million hectares, burned homes and farms, and driven species to near extinction. Here in the West, we’ve seen record heat and unprecedented wildfires in the Southwest over the past summer

The Great Barrier Reef is going through another major bleaching episode, and the scientists who study it are standing by themselves with concern — and frustration at the lack of action on climate change, not least from their own government.

This is Australia with just over 1.1 degrees of global warming. If all governments had climate goals that match Australia’s, we would be heading for at least three, if not four, degrees of warming.

Climate change debate erupted in Australia’s elections this week after Matt Canavan smashed the Morrison government’s so-called net-zero target – and pushed continued coal use.

The federal government’s net goal is a hoax. Her plan will cut emissions to only 66% of what is needed, and the cuts to 84% will be achieved via offsets and carbon sequestration, unheard of until now from the new technology. The rest, who knows?

What a disaster it turned into carbon sequestration.

Andrew Macintosh of the Australian National University, the man who helped develop the system, I used the word “fraud”. To describe this elusive scheme. his investigations for her rort . detection Which led to millions being paid for carbon credits for forests that had already declined, driving up emissions – contrary to what they are credited with doing.

But relying on compensation is exactly what the gas industry wants politicians to do. And he seems to be going his way, which is not surprising, Looking at the money he got for political parties.

Not only does he do elusive carbon credits, he also promotes a magical technological fix on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), a completely unproven industrial application that is supposed to store carbon emissions underground so the industry can keep pumping them.

Except it is not. Australia has its own poster child for CCS failure: Chevron’s Gorgon Project in Western Australia. Well developed by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis release achieved On this week’s Gorgon Project: “If Chevron, Exxon, and Shell Can’t Power Gorgon CCS Technology, Who Can?”

The project failed to achieve any of its objectives by a margin of 50%. As the IEEFA points out, redressing the targeted CO2 shortfall could cost the Gorgon US$100-184 million – but ultimately it is the Australian taxpayer who will pay the price.

However, the government’s “low carbon emissions plan” includes funding for four new CO2 capture and storage projects across the country, in a kind of blind loyalty to a dead industry that aims to destroy all of our future. All at the expense of taxpayers, with hundreds of millions in subsidies.

What’s very interesting is that those of us in the UN net zero group are getting feedback from stakeholders globally, and we have a clear message: the use of compensation should be very limited. Governments – and companies – should come up with targets that are in line with 1.5 degrees of warming – with no “overshoot” (warming more than 1.5 and bringing it back down somehow) and focus on the critical issue of real emissions reductions.

The other message we get is that companies’ net zero targets also need to include emissions from their products – the so-called “Scope 3” emissions. So the likes of Woodside Energy will be responsible for the emissions that export markets cause to burn the gas it sells to them.

Another message is that we need a clear date for the phase-out of fossil fuels. We already know, for coal, this should be 2030 for the OECD, and gas must also be phased out on a fast track. In fact, the IEA’s net-zero scenarios show that Australia’s gas emissions should peak by 2025, around the same time. Scarborough Woodside-Pluto expansion is set to boot.

It clearly shows Scott Morrison’s position on this whole question little dance Which he did when the company reached financial closing for Scarborough, a massive fossil fuel emission project that “couldn’t be more exciting for”.

Words fail me to respond to feelings like this, re-emergence Devastating climate wars This week’s election campaign led by Morrison himself offers no sense of “excitement,” but the sheer fear that this election is the last chance our political class will have to reset its stance on climate change.