Green News

A mix of green cars were used for staff and stars at this years Oscars.

Time To Set Emissions Targets

Economist Ross Garnaut who yesterday delivered the interim report on climate change suggested that Australia potentially faced the greatest dangers in terms of climate change, and its impact on key industries.
At the same time he also recognised the opportunities to work with other nations to improve the access and technology to deliver clean energy.

Australia has not yet firmly committed to a 2020 target for greenhouse emissions, which is required in order to meet the 2050 target of a 60% reduction in emissions. Currently this is the figure all involved nations are working with to avoid dangerous climate change.
Mr Garnaut's final report is due in September.

Hydrogen Hybrid 7 Series for BMW

The hybrid BMW currently in Melbourne to show off its dual hydrogen / petrol capabilities.

The Hydrogen 7 bi-fuel car was launched today in Melbourne by BMW and could be the next step in the revolutionising of the car industry.

The car can run on either hydrogen or petrol with the performance remaining the same which ever 'mode' the car is in.

When the car runs on hydrogen it is emission-free making it an environmentally alternative mode of transportation in the future providing car makers can overcome some initial hurdles with the technology.

The BMW Hydrogen 7 will be on display at Federation Square from January 21st to 29th so get down there to check it out.
More on Hydrogen hybrid cars here.

Saving Australia's Native Birds

The easiest way to preserve our native birds and their habitats is to recycle paper products and ALWAYS buy recycled paper products too.

After taking my kids to the Healesville Sanctuary yesterday, we learnt that the simplest way to save native Australian birds is to try to purchase recycled paper products, and recycle your own paper as much as you can.

By doing this, less of our old growth forest need to be used to produce paper products. It is in these forests is where hollow trees exist which provide homes for much of our native birdlife.

Plastic Bags To Go

Australian Environment Minister, Peter Garrett said it hoped to phase out plastic bags by the end of 2008. More than 4 billion bags are used each year in Australia with many turning up on beaches and harming wildlife and marine environments.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of China has recently announcing that shoppers will have to pay for plastic bags, while super-thin bags will be totally phased out.It will be interesting to watch the backlash and see if the Australian government stands firm on the issue, or backs down to instead impose a levy like the Chinese intend to.

Blitzing Water Saving Figures for Melbourne

Victorian Water Minister, Tim Holding announced today that Melburnians had used 16 percent less water than last year,a saving of 69 billion litres. The promising figures have surpassed the per capita water consumption targets set for 2020 and have achieved the same results as if harsh Stage Four restrictions had been imposed.

In real terms it means that per capita each person is now using 277 litres per day, as compared to 422 litres in the 1990's.Unfortunately greenhouse gas emissions did not show such promising results...see following report

Victorian Greenhouse Emissions Soar

Brown coal seems to be the main culprit in Victoria's woeful level of greenhouse emissions

Annual greenhouse emissions for Victoria have soared by almost 30 percent since 1990, but in comparison NSW emissions are only up by 7 percent.

So why the huge difference between the two states?
Victoria uses brown coal, one of the highest producers of greenhouse emissions, whereas NSW uses black coal with up to 50% less emissions.In comparison to other pollutants in the state, in the last year 59% was from coal, 27% from petroleum and 14% fromnatural gas.

A Victorian government spokesman said that the state was investing heavily in clean-coal research as well as renewableenergy sources and introducing mandatory five-star energy ratings in all new houses.

Rudd Ratifies Kyoto in First Official Act

Ratifying the Kyoto Protocol has become the first official act of the new Australian government, led by Kevin Rudd.

The announcement at the UN conference currently underway in Bali, was greeted with long applause by attending delegates.Thus the pressure slowly increases on the United States, now the only developed country which has not yet ratified the treaty.

Prime Minister Rudd and Treasurer Wayne Swan will be accompanied by the Environment Minister Perter Garrett and Climate Change Minister Penny Wong to attend the 12 day summit next week.

Who on Earth Cares?

If you care enough to spare 5 minutes of your day and put a letter in the post, then hit the Who on Earth Cares website to show the nation and your government that you give a damn about climate change.

The website has been put together by the Australian Conservation Foundation with the help of a few celebrities, notably Cate Blanchett, a vocal supporter of the cause.

Just by making a pledge to each make minor changes we can see how quickly the numbers add up. So by each of us acting locally, hopefully we can create a tide to effect global (and government) change. Be sure to send your letter to your local member to drive home the message of how important global warming is to us as an issue.

Stark Warning on Global Warming

Latest report from Spain gives a grim warning on global warming if nations do not  come together.

From Valencia in Spain comes the announcement that 'global warming is unequivocal, and carbon dioxide already in the atmosphere commits the world to rising sea levels. This, from the most recent report from the world's top climate experts who recently shared the Nobel peace prize with Al Gore.

The report by UN scientists shows that enough carbon dioxide has built up in the atmosphere that it puts at risk islands, coastlines around the world and somewhere between a fifth and two-thirds of the world's species.

Un Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called on the world's two biggest contibutors, the United States and China, to do more to slow global climate change.

He said "The world's scientists have spoken clearly and with one voice," and looking ahead to an upcoming climate conference in Bali, Indonesia, next month. "I expect the world's policy-makers to do the same."


Flying Green with Virgin

Virgin Blue has recently been advertising its new Carbon Neutral flights now available in Australia. Like many other carbon offset programs, by making a financial contribution, Virgin Blue then invest in government approved projects and also improving the emissions from the running of their fleet.

If you travel by aeroplane frequently then this might just be the tonic to help you rest easy on all those emissions being produced each time you fly.

For more details visit Virgin Blue Carbon Offset

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