A great honour to be invited along to a 1 million women 2nd birthday event in Melbourne last night, an evening with Paul Gilding talking about his recently released book based on 35 years immersed in issues of sustainability and climate change.
The Great Disruption outlines the challenges of continuing along the pathway of infinite economic growth as we come up against the limits of physics, biology, and chemistry. If we continue to draw down our natural capital, heading further and further into debt, we will soon discover we no longer have the capacity to pay off the bill when it arrives in the mail.
According to Gilding, who has closely analysed the sustainability science, all environmental indicators are under stress and we are operating at 150% of the Earth’s capacity and planning to grow further as many of the world’s population aspire to a western style of living. Infinite growth on a finite planet is simply not possible, especially when it begins to lead to environmental and social tensions, within, and between, countries. Read the rest of this entry »
A classic TED presentation by Ray Anderson, CEO of Interface…
Another successful and well attended Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association Carbon Solution Forum this morning, held at EPA Victoria. Topic of the day was “prepare for energy and infrastructure risks with climate change”, with guest presentations by:
An energy network response to climate change John Theunissen (Director, Smart Networks, SP-Ausnet)
John provided us with a fascinating picture of today’s energy landscape, emphasising the increasing impact of climate change on networks and how the electricity supply ecosystem is responding to the change drivers by developing more intelligent networks. John highlighted the strategic smart grid imperatives and SP-AusNet’s focus on business processes, analytics, data environment and communication networks as well as identifying areas for industry to engage. Read the rest of this entry »
The 2011 Premier’s Sustainability Awards were held on the 9th June 2011, held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, the first convention centre in the world with a six green star environmental rating. The awards night recognises and rewards organisations that are improving business efficiency and reducing environmental impacts, helping forge a more sustainable Victoria. All nominated organisations are pioneering smarter ways of doing business that help the economy, the environment and society. Read the rest of this entry »
Ross Garnaut released the updated 2011 Climate Change Review on 2nd June 2011, describing the political battle over a carbon tax as “a fight between an old political culture of special interests and the national interest”
Amongst his findings, Professor Garnaut suggests:
That putting a price on carbon is essential to reduce emissions as much as possible, as cheaply as possible.
An independent committee would likely recommend a 2020 emissions reduction cut of between 10 and 15%.
- A starting carbon price of $26 – raising $11.5 billion in the first year – should be set.
- Households should get 55% of revenue via compensation, rising to 65 per cent by 2021-22, with industry getting less, sliding from 35% to as low as 20% by 2021.
Starting with a carbon tax of $20 to $30 a tonne, then, after three years, convert it to an emissions trading scheme in which the market would set the carbon price, and permits could be bought wherever they are cheapest (such as by saving forests in Indonesia or Papua New Guinea).
A proposal to take politics out of Australia’s future decisions on climate change by setting up three independent agencies to advise the government on future targets, on future industry assistance measures and to administer the scheme.
To compensate households for rising utility bills, Professor Garnaut says the tax-free threshold should be lifted to $25,000, leaving 1.2 million Australian’s paying no tax. But he also says tax thresholds should be changed for those earning more than $80,000 a year, meaning they will get no compensation.