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  1. Averting a Climate Catastrophe: Solutions for Home, Work, Community and Nation John Kaye Ph: 0407 195 455 Email: john@nsw.greens.org.au April 2006 (v6a)

  2. Presentation Outline 1 • Brief Introduction: The Bad News • What is Greenhouse? • Australia: the climate bandit • Climate consequences  • Sources of greenhouse pollution • Energy: The Good News • The non-solutions: clean coal and nuclear • Renewable energy solutions • Energy efficiency solutions • Saving the planet, generating jobs, becoming a world leader in climate solutions 

  3. Presentation Outline 2 • Transport: More Good News • Climate friendly solutions • The Politics of Greenhouse • why the political process not responding     • making the politicians take notice

  4. Carbon dioxide concentrationsincreased by 30% from 1000 AD to 2004 AD Data Source: World Watch Institute

  5. The Greenhouse Effect Source: Saskatchewan Interactive

  6. Global temperature 1861-2004 http://www.met-office.gov.uk/research/hadleycentre/obsdata/globaltemperature.html

  7. International Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) (web site: www.ipcc.ch) • Set up by • World Meteorological Organisation & • United Nations Environment Programme • Leading climate scientists • cautious and rigorous • Working Group 1: Scientific basis of climate change • 635 scientists • 4,621 refereed scientific papers "There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities."

  8. Climate change models predict observations temperature anomalies (oC) modelling with actual increases in greenhouse gas concentrations Stott et al, Science 2000

  9. But not without increased greenhouse gas concentrations modelling without actual increases in greenhouse gas concentrations Stott et al, Science 2000

  10. Variations of the Earth’s surface temperature; 1000 to 2100 10 From: IPCC – 3rd Assessment Report 2001

  11. Impacts of unchecked climate change (IPCC data: www.ipcc.ch/pub/wg2SPMfinal.pdf) • Temperature rise • extreme heat events • ice melting (permafrost and caps)  release of CO2 & methane • Sustained changes to rainfall patterns • droughts, floods & continental "summer drying" • Increased frequency & severity of extreme climate events • cyclones, typhoons, hurricanes, floods, droughts • Sea level rise • IPCC: 0.88 m by 2100 or worse (currently increase = 2 mm/year) • UK Met Office (Jan 2006): ice melt  7 m rise in long term • Changed wind patterns • spread of disease-carrying insects

  12. Consequences of unchecked climate change • Human: • widespread drought & famine • insect borne diseases • floods and inundation of populated areas • increased war and conflict • Natural ecosystems • loss of habitat and species • End of Permian Period (271 m years ago) • rapid temperature rise of 60 C • 90% of life on planet disappeared

  13. Climate refugees • 1.5 m sea level rise means 17 million homeless in Ganges River delta • Calcutta is 3 m above sea level • Dhaka is 5 m above sea level IPCC 2001 Adapted from Milliman et al. (1989).

  14. Per Capita Emissions Australia leads the way! Data Source: The Australia Institute – Sept 2001

  15. Australia: Climate Bandit www.joelertola.com/ grfx/chrt_greenhouse.html

  16. Australian Coal Exports • approximately 730 million tonnes CO2 each year • 37 tonnes per person each year • + 27 tonnes in Australia = 64 tonnes per person each year • 231 million tonnes of coal exported in 2004/05 • worth $18.3 billion (to whom?) • 77% of total Australian coal production • Australia = largest exporter in the world • about 30% of world trade • Newcastle = world's largest coal export port • (about 10% of world trade)

  17. Discussion Questions: Climate Change • Can we afford to ignore the evidence? • Effects of changing temperature on environment? • Impacts on low income countries? • What are the implications of global dimming? • Climate change: fact or theory? • What changes have you observed locally? • Are these necessarily caused by climate change?

  18. Trends in Australia's Emissions In 2003: • 550 million tonnes CO2 equiv. • Plus approx. 730 million tonnes CO2 in export coal Data Source: Australian Greenhouse Office

  19. Stationary Energy • 268 million tonnes CO2 equivalent (Australia - 2003) • About 70% electricity generation • About 30% gas and other fuels • Fastest growing greenhouse source • 37.2% increase from 1990 to 2003 • Air-conditioning, lower efficiency houses (lighting, heating), commerce and industry • NSW electricity industry dominated by coal • 90% of energy generation is coal burning • Rest hydro, small amount of gas

  20. The big problem: Coal fired generators Mt PiperPower Station Lithgow, NSW

  21. 18,000 jobs lost in Australia’s coal industry from mid 1980’s to 2002 From: Diesendorf 2004

  22. Non-solution 1: Geosequestration

  23. Problems with Geosequestration (Carbon capture and storage) • Will it work? • Unproven technology • Cost • Estimates vary: • A$10/tonne CO2 (Batterham) • A$140/tonne CO2 (US DoE) • Limited suitable storage sites close to sources • Long term risk • Release due to geological activity • rupture or leakage • Passes problem to next generation

  24. Non-solution 2: “Clean” Coal

  25. Non-solution 3: Nuclear Energy

  26. The Nuclear Fuel Cycle 27 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_power

  27. Nuclear Power Issues • Waste storage • Plutonium half life = 24,000 years (about 700 generations) • Accidents • Three Mile Island; Chernobyl • Sellafield Nuclear Facility (UK) 2005 • Leak undetected for 9 months • 20 tonnes of uranium & plutonium dissolved in nitric acid • Containment can only be entered by robots • Weapons & Terrorism • Plutonium = inevitable by-product of nuclear power • Mohamed ElBaredei, IAEA: • “… the emergence of a nuclear black market, the determined efforts by more countries to acquire technology to produce the fissile material usable in nuclear weapons, and the clear desire of terrorists to acquire weapons of mass destruction”

  28. Nuclear Power Issues II • Costs: • Heavily subsidised • “In 1998, cumulative subsides to nuclear power had an equivalent cost of [US]$1,411 per household.” (REPP, 2000) • Greenhouse gas emissions • Mining and processing (milling) low grade ore • Resource scarcity • If all world’s electricity demand supplied by nuclear, would exhaust high grade ore in 4 years(Smith & van Leeuwin)

  29. The good news:There are solutions and they work! • Australia does not need • Coal (clean or otherwise) • Geosequestration • Nuclear • "Clean Energy Future for Australia" • (wwf.org.au/ourwork/climatechange/cleanenergyfuture/) • Halve emissions by 2040 with existing technologies • Wind (20%) • Bio-electricity (26%) • Natural gas (17%) • Solar heat • Energy efficiency

  30. Solution 1: Wind Albany WA: 12 x 1.8 MW units = 75% of Albany’s electricity needs (image source: Western Power)

  31. Wind & jobs • wind (with 80% Aus content) creates: • 4 x number of jobs as coal • for each unit of energy generated Data Source: Diesendorf 2004

  32. Wind generation and the economy Data Source: Diesendorf 2004

  33. Wind Issues • Some (potentially) non-issues: • Noise • Bird strike • Care with siting • Fluctuations in availability • Limited to about 20% of electricity generation in Aus. • Some real issues • Scenic impacts • Wilderness & native vegetation impacts (esp. access roads) • Siting and development assessment process • Community involvement not “community consultation” • Needs to ensure that all affected parties share in benefits • Needs to respect local and environmental values

  34. Solution 2: Bio-electricity • Sunshine Coast, Qld: • Ergon Energy • Suncoast Gold Macadamias

  35. Bio-electricity: “Closed” Carbon Cycle Carbon released from combustion is carbon recently taken from atmosphere

  36. Issues with bio-electricity • Local environmental pollution • Land degradation • Water scarcity • Native forestry wastes • A distraction from the main game • Will cause more forests to be destroyed • Not needed: • Australia can generate 26% of its electricity from bio-electricity by 2040 without native forest residues

  37. Solution 3: Solar Heating (especially hot water) Direct solar: e.g. solar water heater

  38. Solar Water Heaters • hot water = 27% of domestic energy use • about 5% of all water heater installations are solar • about 36,000 each year • costs $800 - $2,100 more than conventional electric system: • pays for itself in 5 - 10 years • plus subsidies from Federal Gvt (RECs): • $500 to $1000 or more depending on size • other systems: • electric heat pump • high efficiency gas

  39. Jobs in Solar Installation

  40. Solution 4: Energy efficiency

  41. Energy Efficiency: 9,000 new jobs • Ministerial Council on Energy • 20% to 30% reduction in energy consumption possible • 12 years benefits using available technology: • Employment increase by around 9,000 (+0.1%) • GDP $1.8 billion higher (+0.2%) • 9% reduction in stationary energy consumption (-213 PJ) • 9% reduction in greenhouse emissions (-32MT)

  42. Impact on GDP (Using available technology) Data Source: Australian Ministerial Council on Energy

  43. Energy Savings by Sector Data Source: Australian Ministerial Council on Energy

  44. Greenhouse Sources in the Home

  45. Your Home • Water heating • Choice of solar, high efficiency instantaneous • Low flow shower heads • Space heating & cooling • Window shading • Insulation • Refrigeration, washing machine, appliances • Efficiency (5 star rating) • Lighting • High efficiency lights • House design for solar capture and energy performance

  46. Discussion Starters: Stationary Energy • Nuclear energy: would we ever see its benefits outweighing its dangers? • Wind energy: sacrificing scenic values for the climate? • Making the polluters pay: higher prices but lower bills for all? • What’s gone wrong: Why wont my rooftop solar panel compete with Mt Piper power station?

  47. Transport and Greenhouse Gases • One of fastest growing sources of greenhouse pollution • 1990 to 2003 increased by 28.8% • 79.8 million tonnes CO2 equivalent (2003) • 15% of all of Australia’s greenhouse emissions

  48. Transport Emissions – TrendsAustralia: 1990 to 2003(data source: Australian Greenhouse Office)

  49. Transport greenhouse emissions by mode (data source: Australian Greenhouse Office) Data source: www.greenhouse.gov.au/gwci/transport.html

  50. Hybrid Vehicles