May 22, 2022

Climate Change News

Saving The Planet

Having spent a decade framing emissions reduction in apocalyptic terms, now the Coalition must present different facts | Katharine Murphy

Wwith 14 million people closed and news in Sydney getting worse and worse, and with Scott Morrison firmly avoiding apologizing for moving too slowly against vaccines by the time the word regret crossed his lips, all eyes were put in the pandemic.

It was a week where any other interesting information sank like a stone, so we left room for one of the lost ideas.

On Tuesday, the Beyond Zero Emissions group released a report based on ACIL Allen’s economic analysis. This work found that establishing renewable energy industrial sites in two Australian regions would create 45,000 new jobs and generate $ 13 billion in revenue by 2032. The two regions identified by the report were the Hunter in New South Wales and Gladstone in central Queensland. If you follow politics closely, you will know that these regions will be hotly contested in the next federal election.

In the world predicted by this report, areas dedicated to renewable energy would support energy-intensive companies during the transition to low emissions. You may have to repeat that phrase because the Coalition has spent more than a decade telling Australians that renewable energy and heavy industry are fundamentally incompatible.

In case this cacophony of mendacity has become entangled in your cognition, let me repeat: new industrial areas of renewable energy would be created to support activity such as aluminum smelting, production and manufacture of hydrogen and chemicals for the new energy economy. This conversation is about reindustrializing Australia for the global low-emission economy, using existing industrial sites that have been domestic entrepreneurs and exporting power plants for generations because these regions have skilled workers, deep-water ports, existing transport infrastructure and access to energy resources. renewable energy.

The report says a renewable enclosure in Hunter could unlock a new $ 28 billion capital investment in the region, including $ 8.6 billion for storage / reaffirmation capacity, as well as transmission lines, freight networks and renewable hydrogen infrastructure and exports. There is an aluminum smelter in the Hunter, which according to the report will need 800-900 megawatts of confirmed power.

At Gladstone, Australia’s second-largest aluminum smelter (on Boyne Island), the analysis points to new manufacturing activities that attract additional capital investments of $ 7.8 billion to the region, including $ 1.7 billion of dollars for key infrastructure, such as storage and reaffirmation facilities.

If Morrison is inclined to run the pivot, has spent months telegraphing (the challenge toward a zero net commitment for 2050), this week’s report contains some useful fodder. Forecasting the future is always a function of inputs and outputs, with a strong overlap of uncertainty. But delving deeper into opportunities for two industrialized regions that are at the forefront of the troubled Australian carbon wars marks a welcome break from the armed hyper-partisan wind stock market over the costs of the transition.

Morrison, armed with his “preference” for reaching zero net by the middle of the century, had already entered this territory (the territory of opportunity rather than cost) before the Barnstorm arrived a month ago. But Barnaby Joyce has returned to national leadership and the first set of predictions associated with the resurrection suggested that the clean zero was already dead, buried and cremated.

Maybe so, but Morrison hasn’t folded the tent.

Before Joyce defeated Michael McCormack, generic discussions had begun in the relevant cabinet subcommittee on the direction Morrison wanted to go. But people insist that there was no specific proposal on the table and that no decisions were made at that time. The current discussion around government is that four different options are being worked out with the goal of incorporating nationals: informed options for obvious organizational issues, like what can we say about long-term goals? Is agriculture inside or outside? What do you do with methane?

The ambition continues to have something concrete to say at Glasgow’s Cop26 in November. But before anyone gets to Glasgow, the government must first square its own circle. Having spent a decade framing emissions reduction in apocalyptic terms, now the Coalition must present different facts. He must present a transition plan where the transition seems more of an opportunity than an armageddon.

Senior players believe that Joyce is open to a zero deal (despite her daily salad of words, ranging from roller coasters to the couple to highs and reflections on the menu price). Should it not seem a hasty optimism, history is a precedent.

It has now been forgotten for a long time, but Joyce was disciplined in a political sense during the period when Malcolm Turnbull tried to sign the national energy guarantee. Turnbull’s problem during the Neg’s crusade was mainly in the Liberal Party room, not so much with the nationals. This is one of the reasons Joyce felt hurt after Turnbull attacked her forcefully once the Deputy Prime Minister’s private rapes erupted into the public domain. Joyce felt he had been a good soldier in hard work.

After that conscious decoupling, Joyce, sitting on the bench, returned to her populist snake. It will be really fascinating to see what he does now, with the full responsibility of coalitionism once again resting on his shoulders.

Joyce’s party room is divided. Some will help you sign in at zero for a price. Other colleagues are non-hard, and non-hard will not be persuaded by the modeling that says coal and gas workers can become hydrogen producers or wind turbine manufacturers. If ultimately Joyce chooses a deal instead of no deal, we can expect the hand grenades to come out.

Speaking of hand grenades, the Liberals are breastfeeding some of them. Some metropolitan liberals do not want to endure other awkward elections as they suffered in 2019 when they experienced the wrath of the sick components until the death of the Coalition decade that destroyed climate action. These MPs want to be able to point out tangible actions, not smoke and mud signals, and patience is not in abundance.

These are difficult times for the Coalition. The next elections were supposed to be framed by a booming economy and were based on the exceptionality when it comes to managing the pandemic. But the emergence of the Delta strain has drilled a major hole in this plan.

Government MPs say it is bad on the ground right now, as bad as opinion polls suggest. Voters are angry about the slow pace of vaccination deployment and are also raising doubts about Morrison. When you talk to MPs, you get the same status report: the crowd has moved, we’re behind, especially with younger voters; if Pfizer appears, we may be able to pull it off and reap the benefits of ownership, but it’s not clear if there’s enough time to push people back.

With regard to climate and energy policy, Labor has its own difficult internal debates. But Anthony Albanese does not let any grass grow under his feet. Unloaded from the relentless requirements of governing, and so far, one step ahead of quarantine restrictions: the Labor leader has been campaigning falsely, pinging between Tasmania and Queensland, going to pubs, cafes and workplaces, trying to connect with voters leaving Labor in 2019.

Labor strategists report that the reception on the ground in Queensland is better than for a while, and significantly better than in 2019. Albanians are no longer affected by questions about the future of coal in central Queensland. The cultural wars of Adani’s election are, of course, dangerous and ever-present, but right now, the problems don’t seem as resonant as they did 12 months ago.

Camp Albanese knows the Coalition has a big electoral buffer in Queensland due to the significant positive changes of 2019. People also know the good reception voters have when they find out if they can trust the worker instead of the expressions of abduction. But as the government goes through a harsh winter, in Camp Albanese, the current mood leans toward optimism.

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