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Published by Solve Climate, leading US climate change blog.
Australia’s Senate passed a renewable energy law today, a few days after opposition and minority parties joined forces to kill the federal government’s carbon-trading plan.
The new law sets a national renewable energy target that requires utilities and other large electricity users to procure 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2020. It comes with the promise of releasing about $22 billion in stalled investment funds, but it also carries concessions for heavy energy users and big coal, including an amendment declaring coal-seam methane gas a renewable energy source.
In a speech yesterday at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, energy secretary Steven Chu again repeated his declaration that nothing less than a technological “revolution” is necessary to meet America’s energy challenge and to ensure the US position as a leading global economic power.
Speaking alongside Congressman Ed Markey, Chu told his audience that future US prosperity depends upon widely deploying renewable energy, developing carbon capture and storage capabilities, and increasing energy efficiency–but most importantly, it depends upon becoming a leading innovator in clean energy technologies.
Published by the Breakthrough Institute, a progressive think tank based in Oakland, California.
This week marks the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk, the event which made the US the first and only nation to accomplish one of the greatest technological feats in human history. While space-race aficionados will argue that US-Soviet competition continued beyond the 1969 moon landing, for the layperson, Armstrong’s ‘small step’ marked the end of the space race.
In 2009, the United States faces a new global competition, one that will have far greater implications for the future of our nation and the world: the clean energy race
Published by the Breakthrough Generation.
Climate change can be framed in many ways. It could be framed as a problem of democracy—how can the short-term feedback mechanisms of democracy, namely election cycles, cope with emergent long-term problems? It could be framed as a problem of international governance—how can the anarchy of nation-states deal with challenges that transcend their national borders? And it might also be framed as a problem of perception—how can ‘we’ as individuals, citizens, and consumers, deal with problems that are disembodied and imperceptible in our daily lives? Even though these framings are relevant to climate change policy debates, one particular framing features prominently: climate change as a pollution problem.
Australian politicians, climate change advocates, and policy makers currently frame climate change in this way, and is illustrated well by the title of the Australian Government’s climate policy—the ‘Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme’ (CPRS). While the pollution framing is obvious in the title, the influence of this framing is much deeper. The pollution frame appears to have influenced the Australian Government’s approach to climate policy—its aims and instruments—as proponents a carbon cap-and-trade view the implementation of such a scheme as the best way to reduce Australia’s carbon pollution.