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Australia falls behind on climate action

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison with US President Biden standing with coal

When it comes to climate action, Australia is increasingly falling way behind the rest of the world.  There’s been a renewed focus on climate change action from leaders right around the globe, with many countries upping their emission targets at the recent Virtual Leaders’ Summit on Climate.  However, the country failed to increase emission targets at the summit, which has prompted concern that the country is falling behind global allies.

“The Australian [emissions] target is out-of-step with the ambition of all relevant comparison countries. The US target blows Australia’s target out of the water.”

Frank Jotzo, director of the ANU’s Centre for Climate and Energy Policy

Scott Morrison refuses to commit to climate action in Australia

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison wasn’t invited to the last climate summit, because his climate targets weren’t high enough. Regardless, President Biden gave Scott Morrison the chance to step forward for Australia in the fight against climate change.

However, the Australian PM delivered what was a largely empty speech. He refused to commit to anything concrete, or make promises on the timing to a net zero carbon future. The nation made no new commitments with Australia still aiming to reduce emissions by 26-28 per cent on 2005 levels over the same period.

They weren’t alone though. Many of the countries responsible for much of the world’s fossil fuel exports and deforestation also fell short in committing to climate action. They include India, Russia, South Africa, Brazil, Indonesia and Turkey.

While Australia’s emissions have fallen, the country is still a world leader on a per capita basis. Australia ranks alongside the United Kingdom, despite a much smaller population.

Global leaders commit to reducing emissions in the US, Africa and China

Biden is setting the tone for other countries by aiming halve emissions by 2030. This comes after the US rejoined the Paris Agreement on climate change. Biden also signed a sweeping executive order that puts the climate crisis at the centre of US foreign policy and national security earlier this year.

Other world leaders have followed suit. Japan, the UK, Africa, Canada and China have all committed to ambitious targets. The UK announced plans to cut emissions by 78% by 2035. Even China agreed to commit to climate action despite tensions with the US. China recently signed a statement agreeing to use technology to cut emissions, committing to net zero by 2060.

Climate

Climate change hot on the G7 agenda

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Climate Problems are forcing us to move

Climate change was hot on the agenda at last week’s G7 Summit in the United Kingdom.

To dissect the latest on the environment, Kristina Haverkamp from the German Energy Agency joined ticker Climate hosts, Holly Stearnes and Scott Hamilton.

Ms Haverkamp said the results from last week’s G7 Summit were “satisfactory”.

“Some say that not enough has been decided but I’ve started to see that as a pavlovian response to what’s been decided at the international level,” she explained.

Ms Haverkamp also said her company, dena, has played a fundamental role in Germany’s renewable future. But there is still a lot of work to do.

“The attitude of the German population is ambivalent. We have 80 to 90 percent support in principle… but at the same time there is strong global resistance that is delaying the necessary expansion of our high voltage transmission grids,” she said.

The G7 leaders – from the United Kingdom, United States, Italy, Germany, France Canada and Japan – have all committed to net zero emissions by 2050. G7 partners also signed a landmark joint agreement at the Summit last week.

President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen tweeted “we will do everything we can to stick to 1.5 [degrees].”

The G7 Summit comes ahead of the COP26, United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow. 

ticker Climate airs Monday 4:15pm AEST, or 2:15am EDT.

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Climate

New GPS tracker tech puts whales on the radar

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Experts say the GPS tracker will pave the way for less-invasive methods of wildlife tracking

Dr Olaf Meynecke from Griffith University’s Coastal and Marine Research Centre (CMRC) shows the new device.

An Australian researcher has developed a world-first GPS technology which will make it easier to track whales in real-time, right from their phone.

Dr Olaf Meynecke from Griffith University’s Coastal and Marine Research Centre (CMRC) led the study. He says the tech could provide important environmental insights. His team will be focusing on coastal and the fine-scale movement of the whales.

“One application will be in resting and breeding areas of species like humpback whales, which use coastal waters and link behaviour to today’s threats such as vessel traffic, water pollution and risk of entanglements,” he told Ticker NEWS.

Advancements in technology

“IT OPENS NEW WAYS OF TRACKING ANIMALS,” MEYNECKE TOLD TICKERNEWS LIVE.

This technology will be a far cheaper option than traditional satellite transmission, and will be able to work on a mobile network. This means the technology is suitable for both short-term and long-term tracking.

“I believe this technology to have a lot of potential as the mobile network is extending and we will undertake further modification to improve the tag design itself. We are planning more deployments along the east coast of Australia and have longer deployments aiming for several days.”

Customised Animal Tracking Solutions

MEYNECKE TELLS TICKERNEWS BRITTANY COLES, WHAT HE HOPES THE TRACKING DEVICE TECHNOLOGY WILL ACHIEVE.

It will monitor migrating humpback whales using a CATS (Customised Animal Tracking Solutions) suction cup tag. The CATs device temporarily attaches to the whale’s skin.

Suction cup tags do not have to penetrate the animals’ skin. Therefore, researchers can use them for short-term and small-scale studies. This GPS technology is usually used in cars and cargo ships.

“These tags are a more cost-effective method and capture more data locations and data points over time. The principle is the same as other suction cup tags. The tag sucks onto the whale’s skin and just falls off. The whales don’t seem to notice them at all,” Dr Meynecke said.  
“wE’RE INTERESTED IN NEAR SHORE WATERS” MEYNECKE TOLD TICKERNEWS LIVE.

The tags are about 20cm long and 10cm wide. They are hydrodynamic for minimal resistance, with water-tight protections.

“Ideally for future studies, we would like to modify the tag so that the antennae is out of the water enough to transmit after the tag comes off the whale,” Dr Meynecke said. 

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Climate

Jane Fonda says Biden hasn’t done enough to tackle the climate crisis

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American actress Jane Fonda demanded US president Joe Biden immediately closes oil pipelines

Jane Fonda joined protesters calling for the closure of the Line 3 Piepline in Northern Minnesota.

“The scientists say we have less than nine years to cut our emissions in half. Line 3 is going in the absolute opposite direction, and the news every day is telling us, emissions are going up, not down.”

President Biden has “done a lot of very good things. But not enough. Not bold enough. And not fast enough.”

Jane Fonda On BBC’s New day

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