The Dirty Energy Finance Corporation

By Gerard Drew. The Fifth Estate, April 14 2015.

The Energy White Paper released last Wednesday didn’t just try and ignore global action on climate change. It actively sought to work against it.

Hazelwood Power Station

Zero emissions goal must be included in climate change deal

By Stephen Bygrave. RenewEconomy, April 10 2015

In December this year world leaders will hopefully agree a meaningful international agreement on climate change. Pressure to deliver is significant following the failure at Copenhagen 5 years ago.

Communities take lead on renewable energy as big projects stall

By Giles Parkinson. RenewEconomy, March 10 2015

The market for large-scale renewable energy projects may well be at a standstill in Australia, but at the community level, things are happening quickly.

Dozens of projects have emerged as state governments tap into local ideas, offering grants for innovative projects that allow solar and other renewables to be developed at a local level, for innovative financing packages, and even the development of localised smart grid.

10 million solar roofs

Byron Bay first regional Australian city to commit to zero emissions

By Oliver Milman. The Guardian, March 9 2015

Byron shire says it aims to be a 'zero emissions community' within 10 years by upgrading public transport, improving agriculture and retrofitting buildings. 

Byron Bay has become the first regional Australian city to commit to cutting its carbon emissions to zero. Photograph: Byron At Byron/AAP

Byron Bay has become the first place in Australia outside the major cities to commit to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions to zero over the next 10 years.

Byron shire aims to lead Australia on zero emissions community plan

By Giles Parkinson. RenewEconomy, March 9 2015

Byron Shire – in the northern rivers region of New South Wales – is aiming to become the first region in Australia to become “net zero emissions”, with a goal to reduce emissions from energy, transport, buildings, waste and land use to zero within 10 years.

The push by Byron mayor Simon Richardson means that Byron Bay will be the first town or council in Australia to adopt the master-plan created several years ago by the think tank Beyond Zero Emissions.

The idea is to dovetail the plan with other local initiatives, including a stream of community-based renewable energy developments, the creation of the country’s first community energy retailer, and the proliferation of rooftop solar at the household and business level.


Clouds gather over coal market as Treasury predicts price ‘flatline’

By Sophie Vorrath. RenewEconomy, December 16 2014

In yet another sign that the global coal market is in terminal decline, the federal government’s mid-year economic and fiscal outlook (MYEFO) has predicted that thermal coal prices will flat-line through to mid-2016 at $US63 per tonne – well below current market expectations.

The gloomy Treasury forecast for coal reinforces multiple analyst warnings that Australia risks being saddled with billions of dollars in stranded fossil fuel assets, as prices fall, climate restraints kick in and fossil fuel projects become uneconomic and/or unsustainable.

Last week, UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey warned that fossil fuel companies could become “the sub-prime assets of the future… Investing in new coal mines is going to get very risky”.

According to the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), the MYEFO coal forecast is further evidence that Australian governments – both state and federal – should exercise extreme caution on any plans to commit taxpayer funds to building infrastructure to open up the Galilee Coal Basin in Queensland.

Tesla arrival tells us that the future is electric transport

By Stephen Bygrave. In RenewEconomy, December 16 2014

The Tesla Model S launch earlier this week marks the beginning of electric vehicle technology becoming commonplace in Australia.  Add to that the trends we are seeing in electric bicycles and motorbikes, and it is clear that the electric transport revolution is well underway.


Photo: Sam Parkinson

Passenger vehicles currently contribute about 7% per cent of Australia’s total CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions; with a shift to electric vehicles powered by renewables this could be eliminated.  Beyond Zero Emissions, an Australian-based, not-for-profit climate change solutions think-tank, is currently developing a zero carbon plan for personal transport.

Partnership promises to help Australian households move to zero emissions

By Jessie Richardson. Property Observer, December 11 2014

A new project from a network of organisations wants to help Australians cut their energy bills - to $0.

The Energy Freedom alliance provides home owners with information about how to achieve net zero energy emissions.

A number of the partner businesses, which include Cherry LED and Energy Matters Solar, are also offering discounts and rewards as part of the Energy Freedom project. The venture is headed by Beyond Zero Emissions, a subscriber funded not-for-profit which works with the University of Melbourne's Energy Research Institute.

Is Canberra prepared for a China carbon slowdown?

By Tristan Edis. Business Spectator, November 27 2014

The government is finding itself in the rather uncomfortable position of feeling a bit like former Labor treasurer Wayne Swan. It appears that, in spite of apparently choosing highly conservative assumptions about likely budget revenue, the government faces the prospect of having to make significant downgrades in expected revenue inflows due to a large slide in the price of iron ore and coal.

As the Parliamentary Budget Office illustrated in a report released recently, the outlook for the government budget is built on a series of assumptions of what is believed to be likely to occur into the future. But these can turn out to be wrong for a variety of reasons (as we are now seeing) which can have a material impact on the government budget. For that reason we need to actually prepare for a variety of potential plausible scenarios, not just one single outcome.

Beyond Zero warns Lib-Nat govt on coal forecast

By David Twomey. EcoNews, November 26 2014

A leading climate change think tank has challenged forecasts from Australia’s conservative Liberal-National government on future coal and gas exports, arguing they pose a risk to the national economy.

The Beyond Zero Emissions (BZE) report has taken aim at predictions by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) of exports continuing to increase until at least 2050. 


BZE said that was despite recent announcements on carbon emission reductions by the United States and China, and the UN Environment Program’s (UNEP) call to end carbon pollution by 2070.

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