Environmental News

Report on gasfield leaks is premature, says industry

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The coal seam gas industry has written to the vice-chancellor of Southern Cross University, attacking research that shows high levels of methane and carbon dioxide leaking from a gasfield.

The letter accuses two researchers, Isaac Santos and Damien Maher, of sloppy work and says it is ''deeply concerning'' that the university has not publicly released all its data before the academic, peer-review process is completed.

Dr Santos and Dr Maher found large-scale gas leaks in a gasfield operated by BG Group at Tara gasfield on Queensland's western downs. The findings, contained in a submission to the federal government, suggest the industry may not have properly accounted for gas leaks, which could have implications for human health and greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more: 

Degrees of devastation: major report warns of drastically hotter planet

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The World Bank has warned the planet is on track to warm by four degrees Celsius this century - causing increasingly extreme heat waves, lower crop yields and rising sea levels - unless significant action is taken to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

In a major report released ahead of the year-end United Nations climate summit in Qatar, the bank says changes associated with four degrees of warming would have dramatic and devastating effects on all parts of the world, including Australia, but that the poor would be most vulnerable.

Read more: hhttp://www.theage.com.au/environment/degrees-of-devastation-major-report-warns-of-drastically-hotter-planet-20121119-29l3c.html

New Murray water purchasing tender opens

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Federal Water Minister Tony Burke says good progress has been made recovering water for the environment in the Queensland section of the Murray-Darling system but more must be done.

The first of three new water purchasing tenders for the Balonne region in the state's south opens today.

The other two tenders will open in February and April next year.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-19/new-murray-water-purchasing-tender-opens/4379218?section=qld

Solmessis plans 20MW solar plant in Qld – with no govt money

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Australian solar developer is proposing to build a 20MW solar PV plant in central Queensland, the first utility scale solar farm in the country  to be constructed without drawing on subsidies or incentives beyond the renewable energy target.

The company, called Solmessis, has made a development application for a 35MW solar farm  on the outskirts of the small town of Balcardine, around 520km west of Rockhampton and about 1,000km north-west of Brisbane. The DA is scheduled to go before a council meeting this Thursday.

Read more: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/solmessis-plans-20mw-solar-plant-in-qld-with-no-govt-money-75569

Australia to sign second Kyoto protocol

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Australia will sign up to a second commitment to the Kyoto protocol, ahead of what the Gillard government expects will be a comprehensive global emissions agreement taking effect in 2020.

Signing the first Kyoto protocol was one of the first acts of the Labor government in December 2007, following John Howard's reluctance to back the agreement.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet told a carbon expo in Melbourne on Friday that Australia was "ready to join a second commitment period" of the protocol, which is to be discussed at global climate talks in Doha in December.

Read more: http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/australia-to-sign-second-kyoto-protocol-20121109-291zs.html

Green activists target Brisbane coal conference

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Tuesday, November 13, 2012

About 50 protesters have gathered outside an inner Brisbane hotel to highlight their concerns about the coal industry.

Brisbane is hosting a Galilee Basin coal conference to discuss new mining ventures in the central Queensland inland.

Environmental group Greenpeace says the plan to open up the area will add to greenhouse gas emissions.

Greenpeace says new coal export terminals to service the mines will also threaten the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-12/green-activists-target-brisbane-coal-conference/4366498?section=qld

Climate study to focus on coral DNA

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The genetic make-up of corals will be studied in Australia and Saudi Arabia to understand how they may one day be able to survive climate change.

Scientists say over the past century the world's water temperatures have increased by 0.8C, leading to increased acidity and coral bleaching.

Now researchers want to understand why some species die from bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef when temperatures rise in summer, but can survive in the Red Sea in Saudi Arabia, where the water is on average eight degrees hotter.

Read more: http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/breaking-news/climate-study-to-focus-on-coral-dna/story-e6freono-1226513071015

Reform package pushes gas as new energy leader

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Tuesday, November 13, 2012

AUSTRALIA could become the world's biggest gas exporter but its domestic use of fossil fuels will decline as the carbon tax drives a gradual switch to renewables such as wind and solar, the government's energy white paper says.

The long delayed paper, released on Thursday, urges the deregulation of electricity pricing and the roll-out of smart meters, which give businesses and households greater ability to use cheaper, off-peak electricity, as part of a package of reforms to curb soaring power prices.

It also calls on state and federal governments to put in place regulations to overcome environmental and local objections to the coal seam gas industry so that coal seam gas reserves can be fully exploited.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/reform-package-pushes-gas-as-new-energy-leader-20121108-290xo.html

Are Queenslanders forgetting their water saving habits?

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Southeast Queenslanders have broken the water-saving habit, with statistics showing they have increased their consumption by about a quarter since this time last year.

In some cases, water usage has gone well over the voluntary conservation water use target of 200 litres per person per day, in areas such as the Gold Coast, Redlands, the Sunshine Coast and the Scenic Rim.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/are-queenslanders-forgetting-their-water-saving-habits-20121112-2986x.html

Randers: What does the world look like in 2052?

Admin Keep Queensland Beautiful - Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What will the world look like in 40 years time. In 2052, will we have enough food and water? Will there be too many people? Will our standard of living be higher. Will we have taken decisive action on climate change.

To briefly summarise Jorgen Randers, the renowned Norwegian futurist, the broad answers to those are yes, yes, maybe, no and no. But it’s the way he reaches those conclusions that makes his latest book 2052: A global forecast for the next forty years, so compelling.

Randers made his name as the co-author of the book “The Limits to Growth”, which underpinned the Club of Rome’s work on resource depletion and helped spawn the sustainability movement. Not that he thinks the book and his work had that much impact. “I spent 40 years working on sustainability and failed. The world today is a much less sustainable world,” he lamented during a visit to Australia this week.

Read more: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2012/randers-story-61888