The Bullroarer - Monday 26 November 2007

SMH - Australians wake up to new era after Rudd crushes Howard

Australia's new leader Kevin Rudd vowed Sunday to tackle climate change and Iraq war policy, a day after sweeping veteran prime minister John Howard from power in a stunning election landslide.

SMH - Business sees clean energy expansion

Energy and environment business heads are looking forward to the expansion of clean energy markets under the new federal Labor government. After Labor swept to victory in Saturday's election, prime minister-elect Kevin Rudd began holding meetings with officials about the mechanics of signing the Kyoto Protocol on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. He has promised to sign Kyoto so Australia can be full negotiating partner at the next round of emissions talks at the Climate Change Conference in Bali in two weeks.

Financial and Energy Exchange (FEX) chief executive and founder Brian Price, says Labor is on the path to making Australia the centre of a clean energy technology and sustainability industry. ... During the election campaign, Labor made several climate change and clean energy pledges in an open reply to a letter from industry think tank Environment Business Australia (EBA).

The commitments included pledges to bring forward the start of a national emissions trading scheme to no later than 2010, to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent by 2060 and to generate 20 per cent of Australia's energy from renewable sources by 2020.

SMH - Yudhoyono invites Rudd to Bali talks

ABC - Oil prices to keep rising as demand grows

ABC - Sydney pushes Rudd for cities policy - Cullen Assumes NZ Will Escape Oil Prices Fallout

The Australian - Worley Parsons shares soar on Saudi refinery talks

WORLEYPARSONS said today it is in advanced talks with Saudi Arabian Oil, the world's largest oil company by production, about building a $9 billion refinery. The engineering company may manage the construction of a planned 400,000 barrel-a-day refinery in eastern Saudi Arabia, which will process Saudi heavy crude oil and supply the local market, people familiar with the process told Dow Jones Newswires on Sunday.

The Australian - Beijing to prepare for oil shortages

NZ Herald - Geothermal plant in Contact's Taupo plan - Contact sells land over Mokai geothermal resource

Energy Current - Petratherm awarded geothermal leases in Spain

Geelong Advertiser - Geelong's geothermal goldmine

Greens Blog - Election silence on Peak Oil

Solar Cities Congress - 3rd international Solar Cities Congress, February 2008

The International Solar Cities Congress is part of the International Solar Cities Initiative and the 2008 Congress will be the third solar cities congress.

The objectives of the International Solar Cities Initiative are to support UN energy and climate policies by stimulating the interest of cities into becoming benchmark cities that commit to ambitious emission reduction goals; help cities systematically integrate renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and industries into environmental, economic and city planning; and provide scientific support for the validation and design of effective measures and policies for Solar Cities.

The 3rd Congress will appeal to all professionals and individuals with an interest in sustainable energy and its role in our urban environment. The International Solar Cities Initiative (ISCI) has been formed to address climate change through effective measurable action at the urban community level. The members of ISCI are cities, institutions and individuals who want to help each other in this task.

Business is a major focus of the Congress, and anyone in the business of sustainability, market growth and forecasts will find the information presented throughout the program invaluable, particularly on the Wednesday, which has been designed as a special business day and features Robert F Kennedy Jr.

Yudhoyono's invitation to Rudd (for whatever possible motive) reminds me of an old song by Chris de Burgh.

And then the ferryman said "There is trouble ahead,
So you must pay me now."
(Don't do it!)
"You must pay me now."
(Don't do it!)
And still that voice came from beyond, whatever you do;

Don't pay the ferryman!
Don't even fix a price!
Don't pay the ferryman
Until he gets you to the other side.

Hmmm - yes - tricky situation that one - no easy answers there...

I always liked that song too.

The commitments included pledges to .... generate 20 per cent of Australia's energy from renewable sources by 2020.

At current rates of population and economic growth (last 5 years' average 3.24%) Australia in 2020 could be using 50% more energy than today. If only 20% comes from renewables as pledged we will still be using 20% more fossil fuels than we are today.

Agreed - these sorts of targets aren't all that helpful (something we've discussed before).

Its better to aim for a percentage reduction of present day emissions - eg reduce emissions by 60% by 2030 or suchlike.

In the real world, I still thinks its better to implement a carbon tax, make the rate increase monotonically over time, give people a tax cut to compensate and put some sort of penalty into WTO trading rules for non-compliers.

The tax and tariff systems already exist and are vigorously enforced, and thus have some hope of making cuts in emissions real by virtue of making them uneconomical.