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Articles by Giles Parkinson

Environment: green policies casualties of Abbott’s vengeance mission

Tony Abbott seems to have taken personal umbrage as a result of Greens and green-minded MPs denying him power in 2010. Now he’s in charge, and our sustainable programs are on the chopping block.

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This may be as good as it gets for Australian wind energy

Wind energy in Australia has hit a record share of electricity production. But antipathy to wind turbines, and the anticipated trashing of supportive policies, means wind in Australia may be reaching its peak.

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The world is cooling, Abbott’s biz adviser insists. Bunkum

Despite all evidence to the contrary, Tony Abbott’s business guru Maurice Newman is still convinced the world is cooling. Here’s some facts to add to his case.

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IPCC puts more heat on Abbott’s anti-science climate policies

The IPCC says action on climate change is urgent but affordable. The Abbott government says it will “wait and see”, all the while dismantling the mechanisms that could achieve higher targets.

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Risk? What risk? The fossil fuel industry walks both sides of the street

The IPCC report says climate change impacts are occurring now, and the risks of greater impacts need to be managed. The fossil fuel industry relies on politicians and business to ignore those risks.

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Can energy utilities avoid same fate as telecom companies?

The fixed-line telephone business has lost nearly half its customers. What can energy utilities learn from that experience? Is there anything they can do to stop customers going solo?

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Policy uncertainty drives renewable energy investors overseas

Australia is missing out on hundreds of billions of dollars in renewable energy markets as investors are driven offshore by the policy uncertainty of the Abbott government.

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As fossil fuels rule with an iron fist, renewables flapping in the wind

Wind farms have been shown to have no ill health effects, but that won’t stop the anti-renewables lobby from repeating the furphy that they are bad for your health. All in all, it’s a bad time to be in the business of clean energy.

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What Dick might do: the seven disasters that could befall the RET

Cancelling the Renewable Energy Target altogether, scrapping remaining solar credits, capping wind — all are at stake in the federal government’s review that has the energy sector nervous.

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Sceptical review: clean energy finding no friends in high places

The renewable energy sector has talked tough on the government’s review of the Renewable Energy Target, but in reality the industry is in very deep trouble. Dick Warburton seems certain to scale it back.

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As AGL digs into coal, has renewable energy lost a friend?

Now that AGL proposes to further increase its leverage to fossil fuels and become the largest coal-fired generator in the country, exactly how supportive of renewable energy will it be?

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David and Goliath battle over solar: why they want you on the grid

Australian households are flocking to solar, screwing up the business models of the nation’s state-owned electricity generators. Politicians have yet to come to grips with the situation.

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Will Abbott appoint an IPA man to a renewables review?

Talk in Canberra is the government is poised to appoint a leading anti-wind and anti-solar campaigner from the IPA to a new panel to review the renewable energy target. It spells disaster for the sector.

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Tony Abbott’s half-baked war on renewable energy

The Abbott government seems to hate renewable energy, but the march of progress is unstoppable at this point. The only question is, when will the government get out of the way?

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Among drama and compromise, UN climate talks inch forward

The UN’s annual climate talkfest has wrapped up, with some limited progress made towards a global deal on emissions in 2015. Tony Abbott faces a challenge in playing any kind of role in such a deal, with some countries ‘venemous’ towards Australia at the talks.

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T-shirt diplomacy: Australia gives offence at UN climate talks

The UN’s annual climate summit will soon wrap up, and the Australian delegation is under fire for not taking negotiations seriously, blocking progress, wearing T-shirts to officials talks, and giggling. Crikey reports from Poland.

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Australia a ‘wrecking ball’ at UN climate summit

The UN’s annual climate summit is halfway through, and Australia is acting as a wrecking ball, working against any consensus. There goes our long-held reputation as a constructive force in finding a solution to climate change …

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The ‘Coal COP’: UN climate change summit begins in Poland

The UN’s annual climate change summit kicks off in Poland today. The stakes are high and the obstacles are serious — and Australia has sent no minister or parliamentary secretary. But there is some hope for the summit.

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Five reasons why Rudd’s ETS move should make us wince

Scrapping the carbon tax might push household costs higher rather than lower. That and other problems await the Labor Party as it seeks to wedge Tony Abbott with emissions trading.

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Obama warms to climate fight with direct action Congress bypass

Barack Obama says it’s time to bypass “flat-earthers” and act on carbon. His plan invokes direct action — doubling down on coal and power plant emissions. Giles Parkinson and Sophie Vorrath of RenewEconomy report.

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Obama’s new global warming push leaves Abbott in the cold

Barack Obama championed a cap-and-trade scheme on climate change yesterday. With a hostile Congress, he’ll struggle to achieve it. Still it leaves the Tea Party-esque Tony Abbott behind on climate policy.

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‘Game changer’: renewables now cheaper than coal, gas

New analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance concludes that renewables are already cheaper than new-build coal and gas in Australia. And gas may not even be needed.

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Doha(rd) 2012: should we ditch the UN climate process?

The United Nations’ climate summit in Doha tied up a few loose ends over the weekend but was, at best, a patch-up job. Is the UN process worth the time and effort?

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Carbon capture technology: climate superhero or rort?

There’s a reason fossil fuel giants — and some environmental groups — just love carbon capture technology. But is it really the answer to climate change?

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The rise of the solar voter — they’re not where you think

Analysis shows where Australia’s solar panels are — and it’s not in the inner-city latte set. Some politicians may need to rethink their view on support for solar.

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