Welcome to the October 2019 issue of The Australia Institute’s National Energy Emissions Audit (the Emissions Audit).The Emissions Audit tracks Australia’s emissions of greenhouse gases from the combustion of fossil fuels every quarter; this issue contains data up to the end of June 2018. The Emissions Audit will therefore give readers the most up to date possible advice on how Australia is tracking towards meeting its emissions reduction commitment under the Paris Agreement. Fossil fuel combustion accounts for the majority of Australia’s emissions – 72 per cent in the most recent National Greenhouse Gas Inventory for financial year 2015-16.
The Australian National Audit Office is investigating so-called strategic water purchases in the Murray Darling Basin. These purchases were counter to government policy on reducing consumptive use, have not brought balance to the Commonwealth’s water portfolio, were not value for money and did not meet guidelines on transparency, accountability and ethical procurement.
A Ucomms poll commissioned by the Australia Institute of 1,136 residents across Tasmania on the evening of 22nd October, found almost two thirds of Tasmanians want to see takayna/Tarkine protected rather than logged.
Despite state government plans to log old growth and rainforest in takanya/Tarkine, support for preserving the forests in a national park remains strong at just under 66%
“We wanted to test community attitudes, given the governments strong advocacy for logging over the past 12 months and see if it had had an effect” Said Leanne Minshull, Director The Australia Institute – Tasmania
The open letter signed by 47 experts co-ordinated and published by the Australia Institute Climate & Energy Program and complete list of signatories is reproduced in full below. View full media release here.
An open letter to the Government of New South Wales
At the UN General Assembly the Prime Minister claimed Australia has the highest renewable energy investment in the world in per capita terms. This claim is contradicted by multiple data sources including those the government cites, and is misleading. The recent boom followed a collapse caused by the government cutting the Renewable Energy Target. Investment is again slowing and without new policy and planning the industry’s future is uncertain.
New research has revealed that financial services in Australia will not insure against nuclear accidents, and if developers of nuclear power stations were forced to insure against nuclear accidents, nuclear power would be completely uneconomic.
The Australia Institute’s submission to the Inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia, shows that establishing a nuclear power industry in Australia is economically unfeasible, particularly given the uninsurable nature of the technology means the risks of a nuclear incident are borne substantially by Australian taxpayers.
Submission key findings include:
New coal mine proposals in Tasmania appear to be aimed more at increasing the value of the company and extracting government subsidy than at developing a mine that could deliver value for the Tasmanian community.
Providing a comprehensive, up-to-date indication of key electricity trends in Australia.
+ Energy productivity has increased very little since the introduction of the National Energy Productivity Plan in 2015.
+ Australia is falling further behind the main aim of the NEPP; to achieve a 40% improvement in Australia’s primary energy productivity by 2030.
Monetary policy is recognised as being less effective as official interest rates approach zero. There are two main reasons. First, spending in Australia on investment is not very responsive to reductions in interest rates. Second, any reduction in official interest rates is mediated by the banks and other financial institutions. For practical reasons deposit rates cannot go below zero so, in order to maintain interest margins banks have to resist reductions in lending rates and that effectively nullifies any impact of reductions in official interest rates.
Research released today by The Australia Institute shows that preparations have not begun on parts of the Adani royalty deal, which is due for completion on Monday 30 September.