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Barnaby back: Why it’s a disaster for climate policy | ticker VIEWS

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Australia has a new Deputy Prime Minister, with Barnaby Joyce now controlling the Nationals Party. Joyce has previously been at the forefront of controversy and has been known for his lack of recognition of climate change. So what does this represent for Australia’s climate policy and targets?

A bad move for Australia’s climate change policy

Australia is increasingly divided and isolated on its climate policies and targets. The rest of the world is moving towards reducing its carbon footprint, well before 2050. The UK has recently moved towards 78% carbon reduction by 2035, compared to 1990 levels.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison was inching closer towards 2050 targets, after the G7 summit. The Nationals party didn’t like this, and now Barnaby Joyce is reappearing in the Deputy Prime Ministers seat.

Australia is expected to step up its ambitions in a constructive way at the global climate conference in November. Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young says Joyce is not the right person for the role.

“Australia is going to be expected to play a constructive and important role there. But those, like Barnaby Joyce, who don’t even believe in the science on climate change. He doesn’t think its a problem. He doesn’t think Australia needs to transition from fossil fuels. It puts Australia at stark odds to our closest allies… It leaves us out in the cold… this is going to be embarrassing.” 

“It makes Australia a laughing stock on the world stage”

“It’s bad for the climate, its bad for gender equality, its bad for Australian women.” 

Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young

Road to net zero: Environment Minister insists there will be no change

Australia’s environment minister is insisting there’ll be no change to the government’s climate policy, despite the return of Barnaby Joyce as Deputy Prime Minister.

The environment minister Sussan Ley insists the preference to reach net zero emissions by 2050 is still the government’s position.

Mr Joyce was elected as Nationals leader in a spill on Monday. He’s expected to demand greater control over future climate change policy.

The Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Mr Joyce will negotiate terms for a new agreement this week

On tickerCLIMATE this week

Scott Hamilton and Holly Stearnes spoke with the director of IEEFA, Tim Buckley. IEEFA is the institute for energy economics and financial analysis and are accelerating the transition to a diverse, sustainable and profitable energy economy.

Buckley says the decision to put Barnaby in this leadership position, is going to cause chaos for Australia.

“The fact that any Australian political leader can talk about climate science denial and can talk about fossil fuel subsidies, is ludicrous in this day and age.”

Tim Buckley, IEEFA

https://twitter.com/tickerNEWSco/status/1406884202289668100

Joyce’s return to this leadership position has sparked major concerns. Energy expert and co-host of Ticker Climate, Scott Hamilton, is baffled by the decision and says it will be a challenge for the Australian Prime Minister.

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison can’t even get bipartisanship within the coalition on climate policy.” 

Scott Hamilton

The end of coal

The International Energy Agency roadmap to net zero emissions says the world can afford to have no new unabated coal, oil or gas developments in the world from now on. All major training and military partners are now taking action by subscribing to the Paris agreement. When considering what this means for world coal exports and what the future of coal in Australia looks like, Buckley says there will be no use for coal at all.

“All of our major trading partners have committed to net zero emissions. The writing is on the wall for this industry. We need to talk about solutions. ” 

Tim Buckley, IEEFA

One of Australia’s largest hoped for coal export markets is Vietnam, but even they don’t need Australia’s coal. Vietnam recently installed 9 gigawatts of rooftop solar in one year, that’s three times more than Australia did in ten years. Australia is heavily relying on Vietnam to import its coal, but why would they do that when they can do their own domestic zero emissions solutions at are at a lower cost?

“There is no future for thermal coal at a 20 year view”

Tim Buckley, IEEFA

[International Energy Agency, Net Zero by 2050]

Other climate news this week:

In Australia, the NSW Government will put an end to stamp duty on electric vehicles, to increase uptake. Drivers will also be offered thousands of dollars in other incentives, as part of the $500 million plan.

The extraordinary plan will be revealed this week, with a plan for battery-powered vehicles to account for more than half of all new car sales by 2031. However, there’s a catch, EV drivers will be hit with a road-user tax within six years to fund road and infrastructure spending.  

“We’re charging up the nation to make NSW the Norway of Australia when it comes to electric vehicles.”

Environment Minister, Matt Kean 

South Korea has now committed to a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030. They have also committed to net-zero by 2050. This is a bold statement against climate change from South Korea, who are a really important trading nation.

Holly is an anchor and reporter at Ticker. She's experienced in live reporting, and has previously covered the Covid-19 pandemic on-location. She's passionate about telling stories in business, climate and health.

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Trump’s campaign tactic – debase and disgrace the legal process

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Donald Trump, former president of the United States, hated Arraignment Day I in Manhattan two months ago, the first time a former president had been criminally charged. 

Trump was being forced against his will into a proceeding he had utter contempt for.  He was being arrested and fingerprinted and photographed under an indictment under the jurisdiction of Manhattan in New York City for allegations of hush money payments and fraudulent bookkeeping practices to conceal criminal activity. Trump heard the charges read out against him and he entered a plea of not guilty.

Trump had a terrible day. Trump wore a scowl throughout. His countenance was fearsome.  What Trump hated most about his arraignment in New York is that he had to sit at a table with his counsel side by side with him — equal to him — and with the judge above him looking down on him. Trump could not control the discussion and could not interrupt to make his points.

Trump was subordinate to the judge. He was subordinate to no one as president.

Arraignment Day II

Arraignment Day II in Miami will be worse from Trump, even more stressful.  The charges are substantially more serious:  the alleged violation of federal criminal statutes involving the alleged mishandling and illegal possession of classified documents, lying to legal authorities, and obstruction of justice.  Potential penalties run to years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.

Trump throughout his business life had always crafted his affairs to avoid being a defendant. But in his term in office, he was caught up in it big time. He was a defendant in two impeachment trials – again, unprecedented events – and left office in disgrace.

But Trump does not feel disgraced. He never does.  Trump does not have a reverse gear.  He never retreats.  Never admits. Never concedes. Never yields.  Trump is never embarrassed. Trump never feels ashamed. When something goes wrong, it is always the fault of someone else.

And Trump never repents.

Trump can feel this way because Trump is waging war on behalf of his armies in “the final battle” for the future of the county. In his first, fiery post-indictment speech in Georgia, Trump said, “They’ve launched one witch hunt after another to try and stop our movement, to thwart the will of the American people.  In the end, they’re not coming after me. They’re coming after you … “Either we have a Deep State, or we have a Democracy…Either the Deep State destroys America, or WE destroy the Deep State.”

It is a powerful formulation, and his true believers love it.

Hours later, In North Carolina, Trump mainlined his distilled message for the Republican crowd:

“We are a failing nation. We are a nation in decline. And now these radical left lunatics want to interfere with our elections by using law enforcement.

It’s totally corrupt and we cannot let it happen.

This is the final battle.

With you at my side we will demolish the Deep State.

We will expel the warmongers from our government.

We will drive out the globalists.

We will cast out the communists.

We will throw off the sick political class that hates our country.

We will roll out the fake news media.

We will defeat Joe Bide and we will liberate America from those villains once and for all.”

Any lesser mortal would be staggered by these events.  Any other presidential candidate would be driven from the race.  But not Trump.

Debase and disgrace

Trump is using the same playbook today as he successfully triggered after being charged in New York:  debase and disgrace the legal process by terming it completely political.  Trump said the federal indictment is “election interference at the highest level.”

Almost every other Republican running for president has adopted this line, insulating Trump from pressure to leave the field.

Trump’s chief opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said after these indictments: “The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society. We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation.”

Republican congressperson Nancy Mace: “This is a banana republic. I can’t believe this is happening.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene: “Democrats are arresting their political enemies. and they work together in their corrupt ways to get it done.”

Trump is using his affliction to raise millions of dollars from his base.

Trump will likely face Arraignment Day III in Georgia in August.  A state prosecutor is expected to charge Trump with criminal interference in the certification of Georgia’s vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

As of now, there is no sign of cracks in Trump’s support among Republican voters.  There is no surge to another candidate.  What remains to be seen is whether Republican voters, as they see Trump spend his days in courtrooms and his evenings at rallies around the country, reach a conclusion that this is a spectacle too far, too much to bear, and that they want to turn to another conservative populist who stands for them in the political trials— and not the criminal trials – of 2024.

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Donald Trump’s legal woes will serve him well

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It’s not often that a U.S. President faces federal indictment, but if it’s going to happen to anyone, it might as well be Donald Trump first.

The news that Donald Trump is facing a federal investigation over the removal of secret documents from the White House in 2021 came as no surprise.

Keen watches of the Washington soap opera have seen this playbook before, albeit in a different form.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a Washington outsider. But as seriously damaged as he may be (thanks to the events of January 6), his support base has only grown whenever he faces scrutiny.

For his supporters, his legal woes mirror their own relationship with the government – a giant, unfair beast that picks and chooses its fights.

Trump is accused of storing sensitive documents—including those concerning matters of national security—in boxes, some even in a shower.

The documents were seized last August when investigators from the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.

The Department of Justice has historically avoided charging people who are running for public office. Whether they should do that is a debate for another day. But it’s happening now. And it’s making it all too easy for Trump to claim there is a concerted campaign to get him away from the White House.

Trump exposed the deep state. IF they exist, they probably don’t want him back in power. Whether they exist doesn’t matter really, because plenty of Trump’s supporters agree with him, and believe the secret state is working against them. Call it QAnon, call it a conspiracy – it doesn’t matter in a democracy.

The DoJ now has to go all in. Failing to secure a conviction would be a serious embarrassment for the department.

This is the second time Trump has been indicted in recent months, yet the opinion polls show he only increases his popularity among MAGA and Republican voters. It leaves the Republican party in a difficult position. Support their leading candidate or support the law?

As other Republicans rallied around the embattled candidate, Trump held on to his loyal base of supporters.

For the Democrats, and for Biden, another reality will soon sink in – if Trump becomes President, and they lose office next year, how will a Trump-run DoJ deal with them?

Broadly, the tit-for-tat one-up-manship of U.S. politics is breaking tradition and potentially breaking the country.

 

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