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Ukraine Crisis

Should Australia ditch coal by 2030?



The Australian government has made it clear that the country will continue to both produce and export coal well beyond 2030

This comes despite strong warnings from a top UN climate official who says failing to reduce fossil fuels will “wreak havoc” on the economy.

Australia is currently on the battleground against many other developed nations which are working hard to phase out fossil fuels entirely by 2030.

Selwin Hart, UN Assistant Secretary-General said wealthy nations must stop using coal power by 2030.

This is to prevent global warming from getting worse…and within the agreed target of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

During a speech to ANU, Hard said many investors are increasingly abandoning coal in favour of renewables, which are now cheaper in most places

He said he fully understands the role that coal and other fossil fuels have played in Australia’s economy, with mining accounting for just over 2 per cent of Australia’s labour market 

“But it’s essential to have a broader, more honest and rational conversation about what is in Australia’s interests because the bottom line is clear.

He says If coal isn’t phased out, climate change will wreak havoc across all sectors 

Australia’s minister for resources backs coal power for driving economy

The nation’s minister for resources says “the future of this crucial industry will be decided by the Australian Government, not a foreign body that wants to shut it down”

The minister believes shutting down the sector entirely will “cost thousands of jobs and billions of export dollars for Australia’s economy”.

Meanwhile, the government holds that Australia has an important role to play in supplying coal to various nations.

It says “coal consumption throughout Asia is forecast to grow over the next decade to meet the energy demands of countries like China, India and South Korea”.

Australia stands as the second-largest exporter of coal in the world, and the minister stands firm on the fact that “Australia has an important role to play in meeting this demand”.

Ukraine Crisis

Zelensky’s hometown in Russian crosshairs



Ukraine said on Wednesday that Russia might be building a strike force to target Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy’s hometown

Ukraine has warned that Moscow could be preparing new offensive operations in southern Ukraine.

Russia occupies broad stretches of Ukrainian territory in the south of the country,

Much of which Russia captured early on in the war after it launched its February 24 invasion.

Ukraine has also said that Russia has begun to assemble a military strike force – and may be aiming for Kryvyi Rih – the hometown of the Ukrainian president.

“It’s also quite likely that the enemy is preparing a hostile counter-offensive with the subsequent plan of getting to the administrative boundary of Kherson region”

Ukraine southern military command

However, Ukraine has also said it was to mount a counter-offensive to regions of Ukraine that Russia currently holds.

Kryvyi Rih is a steel-producing town around 50km (30 miles) from the southern frontline of the war.

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Ukraine Crisis

Grain vessel allowed to leave Ukraine waters



A cargo vessel carrying grain for export has been permitted to leave Ukrainian waters via the Black Sea in a rare Russia-Ukraine agreement

The vessel, named “Razoni” under a Sierra-Leone registration left the port of Odesa bound for Lebanon, carrying 26,000 tonnes of grain on board.

It’s the first cargo vessel that’s been permitted to carry cargo on the Black Sea following an export agreement between Ukraine and Russia that was brokered by Turkey and the United Nations.

Russia and Ukraine account for a third of the world’s global wheat supply between them.

But Russian blockades of Ukraine’s Black Sea coast as well as the ongoing war have meant exports have plummeted – leading many nations to worry over interrupted food supplies.

Crew aboard the vessel spoke of their concerns about sea mines.

“To be honest, I am scared from the fact that there are naval mines. This is the only thing that I fear during this trip, as for the other things, we are used to them as sailors.”

Abdullah jendi, junior engineer aboard razoni

But they also spoke of their joy at being allowed to sail through.
Junior engineer Abdullah Jendi said it was a great feeling.

“Everyone on the ship was very happy,” he said. “I can say that it was the best feeling we have had in 2022.”

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Ukraine Crisis

Russia cuts down European gas supply



Russia cuts gas capacity to Europe to a fifth of normal supplies, sending prices soaring and EU nations agreeing to voluntary rationing

Russia has cut down supplies of gas via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany to a fifth of its usual capacity.

Gazprom, Russia’s state run energy and gas firm, has blamed the current reduction on a turbine that was undergoing repairs in Canada.

But the German government has said there’s no technical reason for the current supplies to be limited.

It comes as the European Union member states agreed to voluntary rationing of gas supplies – aiming for a 15 per cent reduction in gas usage between August and March next year.

But the agreements have been messy, with many exemptions being granted for several EU nations where a 15 per cent reduction is not feasible.

Moscow says that the recent spike in gas prices is down to Western sanctions, and that it’s not responsible for the price hike – insisting it is a reliable business partner when it comes to gas.

But critics of Moscow say that it’s using blackmail, holding supplies of gas hostage as a weapon of war.

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