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Bank won't fund port expansion due to reef fears

Posted by on May 23, 2014 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)


AAP, Sydney Morning Herald, 23 May

A major German bank won't consider funding a controversial Queensland coal port expansion because it says there isn't consensus over how it will impact the Great Barrier Reef.

Deutsche Bank confirmed its position on Wednesday night (Australian time) at its AGM in Germany in front of environmentalists and tour operators.

"As there is clearly no consensus between the Australian government and UNESCO regarding the impacts of the Abbot Point expansion on the reef we will not consider financial applications of an expansion," meeting co-chair Juergen Fitschen said.

The expansion involves dumping three million tonnes of dredge spoil within the marine park.

A bank spokesman confirmed to AAP that Deutsche wouldn't consider any request to finance the expansion unless it was assured the project wouldn't adversely affect the reef.

The United Nation's environment arm, which has said it is considering listing the reef as a World Heritage site in danger, said earlier this month it regretted the federal government's decision to approve the dredging project without properly assessing alternatives.

Greenpeace and the Australian Marine Conservation Society are hopeful the move will put pressure on international and Australian banks to reject investment in developments that may impact the reef.

The green groups say Deutsche Bank has bowed to public pressure after 180,000 Germans signed a petition urging the bank not to fund the expansion.

Environmentalists claim dumping the spoil offshore will damage marine life and expanding the port will turn the reef into a shipping super-highway.

The dredge spoil will be dumped 40 kilometres from the nearest coral reef.

The expansion, which has been given approval on all levels, will turn Abbot Point into one of the world's largest coal ports.

The federal government has said the expansion was approved with some of the strictest environmental conditions ever imposed, while developers have said the dredge spoil will have little impact on marine life.

Deutsche Bank was one of three banks that last year helped Abbot Point leaseholders refinance leases on the existing 30-year-old terminal at Abbot Point.



UN�??s Green Climate Fund �??ready�?? to start work

Posted by on May 22, 2014 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)

by Ed King,, 22 May 2014

Board agree eight essential requirements, meaning GCF is now ready to start accepting funds from donors

The UN’s flagship climate fund could start investing in clean energy projects as early as 2015 after its board agreed how it will operate and who it will work with.

Four intense days of discussion in Songdo, South Korea ended in agreement by the 24-strong board on eight ‘essential requirements’ for the fund to come online.


These included safeguards to ensure it makes socially and environmentally sound investments, together with guidelines on who can distribute money from the GCF, and how much control countries will have over projects it backs.


Speaking from Songdo, Marcela Jamarillo, a climate finance expert from the London-based E3G thinktank, said the meeting had broadly been a success.


“The fund is ready – it has the basic elements. There is a lot of work to do in the details ahead of the next board meeting in October, but I think it is ready for those pledges to start coming in,” she said.


The focus will now turn to how the GCF will get any money.


Branded “too big to fail” by Denmark’s National Bank Governor Per Callesen, a board member, currently it has no reserves to invest in ‘green’ projects, and is relying on donor countries to hand it billions of dollars.


Leading climate change economist Lord Stern recently told RTCC trillions of dollars are needed to invest in low carbon infrastructure in the developing world.


Who the pledges will come from and when they will be delivered is likely to be the subject of future fierce arguments.


Read more

Australia's road to a low carbon economy

Posted by on May 22, 2014 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

JEFFREY SACHS: Well I think the Government is right now afraid of this topic and it's a huge mistake because Australia is the fourth-largest coal reserve country in the world. It's a major coal exporter. It is the eighth-largest CO2 emitting economy in the world. Australia can't say: sorry, we're just not interested.


Australia can provide true global leadership right now and that is to mobilise, together with the other major coal economies, a massive effort on testing - and hopefully proving - the carbon capture and sequestration technology, because that is the only way that Australia is going to be able to use its coal at a large scale in the years and decades to come.


Put in real money, probably $20 to $30 billion I would say, minimum, to get scaled, serious demonstration programs working in China, in India, in Australia, in Canada, in the United States and to test the geology and the engineering of this technology.

Read the full article

(Don't forget Sachs' recommendations destroyed the Russian economy)


Will carbon capture and storage ever make fossil fuels safe?

Posted by on May 22, 2014 at 12:40 AM Comments comments (0)

A UK parliament report has called for renewed investment in the storage of carbon emitted by industry. But will the technology ever come of age? With your help, Karl Mathiesen investigates.

Join the debate. Post your views in the comments section, email or tweet @karlmathiesen

The, 22 April 2014

Read More


Posted by on May 21, 2014 at 11:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Comments from the Adaptation Futures Conference - Third International Climate Change Adaptation Conference, in Brazil, 12-16 May 2014.




  • Update on key emerging climate change and impacts science, including the latest on future extremes, sea level change, water supplies and landscape transformation: How will uncertainties change in the coming decade?
  • Communicating climate risks to facilitate adaptation: What do people want and need to know and how best to understand and deliver information?
  • Building adaptive capacity: Communities, institutions, and individuals lack sufficient capacity for implementation; What are the most effective ways to build capacity? What type of investments in capacity are appropriate and what scale of decision-making should be targeted?
  • General public framing of climate change: their inclusion is key in adaptation processes and there is a need for further exploring this topic. This includes studies such as framing analysis, perception, mental models, value systems or discourse analysis of the media.
  • Sustainable adaptation consider which are the possible repercussion adaptation strategies and practices have for sustainability. Not every adaptation practice is a good one, more attention is required therefore in practice that contribute to social (climate) justice and environmental integrity.
  • Urban resiliency and adaptation strategies including Urban Governance
  • Community Based Adaptation: local level adaptation efforts and lessons from vulnerable communities in both developing as well as developed countries.
  • Examples of adaptations through case studies and best practices, including costs and benefits of implementing these options: What can we learn from past adaptations to environmental change? How can we foster adaptations to futures characterized by surprise, non-linear change and unexpected consequences?
  • Explore monitoring and evaluation frameworks and results for adaptation in the context of scaled up funding for climate change adaptation and increasing implementation practices. This can draw on the wider lesson from the M&E of R&D and development agencies.
  • Adaptation to 4 degrees Celsius warming: As mitigation options are exhausted or delayed how might we face the challenges of adapting to 4 degrees C of warming?





  • Tracking adaptation finance: lessons from tracking and monitoring finance across international and national scales
  • Microfinance for ecosystem-based adaptation: How microfinance help reduce local vulnerability at a scale that matters? What, where, and how?
  • Funding priority research and adaptation: Who pays, and for what, where, and how?
  • Enabling legal frameworks and institutional capacity to strengthen countries’ “readiness” to receive and manage significantly greater domestic and international flows of climate change finance: How estrategies based on barriers assessments and environmental innovativation can be implemented by different countries?





  • Regional studies: Where are the places and people most vulnerable to climate change? What are their adaptation options and strategies for implementation?
  • National experiences: Living and with drought in the Northeast Brazil region: the Brazilian experience.
  • Seasonal climate-hydrological extremes in semiarid regions: Are we adapted?, how policy making can Interact with scientific studies in order to adapt to seasonal and long term droughts-floods on the region?
  • Sectoral and integrated cross-sectoral adaptation planning: national examples
  • Adaptation-development nexus in coastal-delta regions as well as rapidly growing urban areas. The nexus of development and security particularly in arid and semi-arid conflict-prone regions
  • National Adaptation Plans: global UNFCCC mandate and national experience- role of institutions and governance at different levels





  • Methodologies and results of vulnerability and impact assessments in the Latin American and Caribbean region and tools and methods for adaptation assessments: What approaches, tools, and methods are available for analising climate change vulnerability and impact and adaptation strategies.? How do we judge their effectiveness? How do we know whether investments in adaptive capacity and adaptation are working?
  • Mapping climate impacts and vulnerability including scenarios/information analysis, interpretation, reporting and use, development and use of socio-economic scenarios for vulnerability & adaptation assessment
  • Science-policy interface in adaptation; generating and providing climate and socio-economic information for adaptation
  • Incorporating results of climate change vulnerability and impact assessment into national, sectoral and local adapation planning and public budgetting processes-mainstreaming tools and methods: experiences from national governments and development agencies


Abbott out of step on climate change, says Professor Jeffrey Sachs

Posted by on May 21, 2014 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)

(as if we did not know this!!)

by Tom Arup, SMH, 21 May 2014

Australia's reversal on climate change action will ultimately not stick because the rest of the world will make clear that it is unacceptable, globally renowned economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs says.

Speaking to Fairfax Media, Professor Sachs said the extreme shocks and pain of climate change were now being felt across the planet and governments acting in an ''anti-scientific perspective or an extraordinarily short-term perspective'' will be surprised by the response from other countries.

''This government was surprised this week with the reception to the budget,'' Professor Sachs said. ''And I think it is going to be surprised by the global reception of its climate policies as well unless it begins to understand the real situation in the world and what's really expected of a country like Australia.''



Read more

Doubling of Antarctic ice loss revealed by European satellite

Posted by on May 20, 2014 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Continent shedding 160 billion tonnes a year, CryoSat-2 shows, just days after warning over western ice sheet's collapse

Damian Carrington, Tuesday 20 May 2014 02.08 AEST

Antarctica is shedding 160 billion tonnes a year of ice into the ocean, twice the amount of a few years ago, according to new satellite observations. The ice loss is adding to the rising sea levels driven by climate change and even east Antarctica is now losing ice.

The new revelations follows the announcement last week that the collapse of the western Antarctica ice sheet has already begun and is unstoppable, although it may take many centuries to complete.

Coal, climate change collide as customers query banks' green credentials

Posted by on May 20, 2014 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Sydney Morning Herald, 20 May 2014

After 35 years of banking with big Australian banks like National Australia Bank, Paula and Peter Samson closed their accounts to protest the lenders' exposure to the polluting fossil fuel industry.

The Samsons, who live in Perth and drive an electric car, are part of a hundreds-strong, environmentally-driven movement that is taking hold in Australia after sweeping through the United States over the past year or so.

Protesters like the Samsons have withdrawn about $200 million worth of deposits from the "Big Four" banks - NAB, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ - since the divestment campaign began last year, according to data from Market Forces, an independent environmental group that tracks the operations and investments of banks and their effects on the environment.



Read more

Serbia floods threaten country's biggest power plant

Posted by on May 19, 2014 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Sandbags stacked around Nikola Tesla plant 20 miles outside Belgrade as thousands of people are evacuated in Bosnia

Reuters in Obrenovac,, Monday 19 May 2014 20.22 AEST

Soldiers and energy workers have stacked thousands of sandbags to protect Serbia's biggest power plant from flood waters, which are expected to keep rising after the heaviest rains in the Balkans in more than a century killed dozens of people.


On Monday, Bosnian state radio reported that the swollen Sava river, which has wreaked havoc in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia, had again overwhelmed flood defences late on Sunday and flooded parts of the northern town of Orasje. Read More

More turtles to be born female as sand warm

Posted by on May 19, 2014 at 9:50 PM Comments comments (0)

More sea turtles will be born female as climate warms, study shows

Once the sands in which eggs incubate grow too hot, population could become entirely female – risking the reptile's extinction

Michael Safi, Tuesday 20 May 2014 09.33 AEST

Hotter sands triggered by a warming climate could cause greater numbers of sea turtles to be born female, increasing the reptiles’ numbers in the short term, research shows.


But the study, published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, warns that once the sands in which sea turtle eggs incubate grow too warm, the population could become entirely female, risking the animal’s extinction. Read More