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addressing climate change « Previous | |Next »
January 15, 2006

If the climate crisis is fundamental to our real conditions of life, then global emissions curves must decline, and this cannot really be achieved without firm caps expressed as targets and timetables. Yet the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development assumes that it is up to industry to do what is needed.and governments onlyneed to put up a few hundred million dollars in research funding. Industry plans to innovate with climate-friendly technologies first, then create a market.

Alan Moir

It's greenwash ---Moir is right. We have the presentation of big energy as environmentally friendly whilst it continues to deploy or advocate the use of environmentally destructive technologies in the background. The Asia Pacific Partnership group will not begin to reduce the growth in emissions until around 2020, In the meantime, real cuts in greenhouse pollution using existing technology under the Kyoto Protocol are occurring now in Europe, Japan and the developing world.

Summertime in Australia means heatwaves, electricity crisis and power blackouts in SA and Victoria. The possibility of a power crisis across the nation is due to the growth in peak demand increasing faster than growth in base load from coal-fired power stations due to economic growth and the use of air-conditioners.

Two points can be made here.

First , as this quote points out markets are important to facilitate the transition to more sustainable energy use:

...given the brief time we have to bend the emissions curves, efficiency and common-sense political realism both demand that mitigation be connected to markets. This is not to say that such markets must not be strongly and creatively regulated. Nor is it to deny that markets are easily exploited by the wealthy and the powerful. Nor is it to claim that markets are the only institutions by which significant mitigation efforts can be channeled, that carbon taxes, emissions permit auctions, and development funds do not have critical roles to play, and that these might not someday eclipse carbon markets. The point, though, is that many of the criticisms that trading skeptics have focused on markets applies as well to the alternatives, that, whatever the institutional structure of the climate regime, vulnerable communities, in the South and in the North as well, must be empowered to protect their own interests during the transition to a low-carbon economy.

A realistic view? Yet the Australian government is carbon trading markets.

Secondly, what is also needed is an ongoing government commitment to solar power. Solar energy is produced on-site, so does not have to be delivered, and is produced during the hottest weather, corresponding with peak power demand, mainly to run air-conditioners. Yet it is expensive to put PV systems on a house. There needs to be some assistance to home owners and developers to purchase PV systems and by paying a higher price to purchase solar electricity, recognising its real value in alleviating peak-load pressure on the electricity grid.

Yet the Federal government has reduced its rebate to homeowners from $8000 to $4000. Though owners of PV systems can sell their power into the electricity grid, they are currently paid the same price as for power generated in cheaper coal-fired power stations. This does not recognize the peak loading power. Yet solar power is the key to the rapid growth in peak demand.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:42 PM | | Comments (0)