Can Hunt sell the Senate a half-baked Direct Action?

Can Hunt sell the Senate a half-baked Direct Action?

In the wake of the Carbon Pricing Mechanism’s repeal, the government is tasked with a short-term challenge. Having reaffirmed its commitment to achieving Australia’s current Kyoto Protocol target (unconditionally reducing our 2020 emissions by 5 per cent compared with 2000 levels) the government, somewhat awkwardly, does not have an active policy mechanism to achieve this.

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Robust decision making - a requirement for embedding adaptation

Robust decision making - a requirement for embedding adaptation

I just presented at the IPWEA Sustainability in Public Works 2014 conference. My job was to outline the innovative methods that the City of Greater Geelong and Net Balance have implemented to respond to climate change.

Geelong has taken an interesting route, being one of the leaders in understanding and realising the benefits of embedding climate change considerations into their council operations early on in 2010. The key message of my presentation was the importance of embedding new ways of thinking and new ways of decision making to deal with climate change and the uncertainty associated with it, rather than just focusing on understanding climate and its impacts.

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Lessons from Bhopal

Lessons from Bhopal

December 2nd this year will mark the 30th year anniversary of the Bhopal gas tragedy, the world’s worst industrial disaster, the scale of which was unprecedented.  Around 4,000 people perished, around 4,000 more were severely or permanently disabled, around 40,000 were temporarily partially injured and over half a million were injured.  The stillbirth rate increased by up to 300% and neonatal rate by around 200%.

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Climate Risk Attenuation

Climate Risk Attenuation

In working in the dynamic field that is adaptation to climate change, it is  often exhausting trying to navigate the politicization and media coverage of the  ‘big CC’, and encourage stakeholders in various industry contexts to  ‘proactively’ adapt. It often gets me thinking though, when will climate risk  become a component of the traditional risk profile for corporations? Isn’t it  inevitable?

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Importance of recalibrating the carbon bubble

Importance of recalibrating the carbon bubble

Our economy as well as global economies are  unhappily only too familiar with bubbles and stranded assets/costs. The most  recent example that led to the global financial crisis is subprime mortgages –  where the inflated value was belatedly recognised, leading to recalibration at  significant global costs. The resulting stranded assets were the repossessed  houses, and the implications of stranded costs are what we are continuing to see  unfold across failing economies whose banks were more directly invested in the  bubble than Australia.

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Planetary Boundaries: Are we pushing our planet off the cliff?

Planetary Boundaries: Are we pushing our planet off the cliff?

Everything that we know has limits, whether they  relate to physical, psychological or capital stocks. Stocks need to be  replenished; assets maintained; brains rested for them to keep going, except  perhaps one quite relevant phenomenon, human stupidity, according to French  novelist Gustave Flaubert, who once proclaimed "earth has its boundaries,  but human stupidity is limitless".

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Supply chain sustainability increasing in value

Supply chain sustainability increasing in value

Now more than ever, businesses are reaping the rewards of investing in supply  chain sustainability. According to a recent Supply Chain report released by the  Carbon Disclosure Project, companies are increasingly seeing benefits flow from  the expansion of low carbon products and services, including operational  efficiencies and improved business reputation.

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Real cost of technology

Technology, especially computer technology, is widely heralded as the likely saviour from a number of large social and environmental impacts. This ‘enabler’ is seen as having the potential to deliver on the millennium development goals as well as capacity to help mitigate environmental degradation, including climate change. This is because the measurable economic impact and efficiency delivered by technology is unquestionable.

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Why should Obama care?

Why should Obama care?

Two words – Hurricane Sandy. Governor Andrew Cuomo, of New York, has said  that Sandy will cost thirty-three billion to his State alone. Whether Sandy had  a bearing on President Barrack Obama’s re-election outcome is hard to say. Obama  was seen as both empathetic and the better candidate to deal with global  warming, post the hurricane. But, there are four factors to consider here – link  between global warming and hurricane activity, the link between global warming  and power dissipation of storms, population and wealth.

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The Environment versus the Economy: A Losing Battle?

The Environment versus the Economy: A Losing Battle?

As one of the first few engineers to have qualified as an environmental  engineer in the Australia, I have witnessed a turf-war like no other between economic edvelopment and the environment (including local community impact),  both locally and globally. The past two decades have crystallised several  battlegrounds, including climate change, hazardous waste, product stewardship  and packaging, native title, resource limitation/depletion, impact on world  heritage areas, water scarcity and urban sprawl.

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Forests are the Flags of Nature

Forests are the Flags of Nature

They say forests are the flags of nature - when the flag falls, you know that it is the end of the race.  2011 marks the International Year of Forests, as a consequence of a resolution adopted by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, re-affirming amongst other commitments, to the Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests.

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