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South Australia releases New Climate Change Strategy
The South Australian Government has released the state’s new Climate Change Strategy detailing action to be undertaken by the state to reduce its emissions from the year 2015 to 2050.
South Australia’s Climate Change Strategy 2015-2050 – Towards a low carbon economy details 30 initiatives that the State has committed itself to undertaking, such as advocating for a national emissions trading scheme and decarbonising government’s electricity supply, to help the state reach its ambitious target of zero net emissions by 2050.
South Australia’s Climate Change Minister Ian Hunter said the new Climate Change Strategy sets a framework for renewed effort and action.
“The new Strategy builds on the leadership that has been demonstrated by industry, the community and government since South Australia took early and decisive action in 2007 and introduced the nation’s first climate change legislation” he said.
The new strategy comes just two months after the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources released a series of consultation papers for public comment on the state’s future climate change strategy going forward.
The South Australian Freight Council submitted on behalf of our membership and the wider transport and logistics industry. The submission can be found here.
To kick-start their efforts, the South Australian government will roll out the Low Carbon Investment Plan, which was also just recently released. The Plan develops how South Australia will achieve $10 billion in low carbon generation by 2025.
The South Australian government by setting a target of zero net emissions by 2050 has established its intentions in being a global leader in carbon reduction. It is hoped that South Australia can realise this ambition and attract related investment, creating opportunity for local industry participation and new jobs.
South Australia’s Climate Change Strategy 2015-2050 – Towards a low carbon economy can be downloaded here.
BP Plans to Drill off SA Coast Hit Setback
A proposal by BP to drill off the South Australian Coast in the Great Australian Bight has been rejected by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA). NOPSEMA is the Commonwealth independent statutory agency, separate from the government’s management of resource promotion and allocation, set up to deal with such applications.
All offshore petroleum exploration, production and greenhouse gas activities in Commonwealth waters must meet certain provisions outlined in the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2006. This act ensures that all petroleum or greenhouse gas activity is carried out in a manner consistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development, and carried out in a manner by which the environmental impacts and risks of the activity will be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable. In accordance all proposals must be submitted to NOPSEMA.
Despite being rejected due to concerns with its environment plan, BP still has the opportunity to modify its environment plan in the hope the $1 billion deep-sea oil drilling program can get the go ahead.
BP is eager to drill in the Great Australian Bight, indicating that the region enjoys similar geology to some of the biggest hydrocarbon regions in the world such as the Niger Delta and the Mississippi Delta.
Location of BP's four exploration wells
The proposal to drill four exploration wells met heavy opposition, primarily from The Wilderness Society of South Australia. Modelling from the Society suggested that an oil spill as a result of BP activity in the Great Australian Bight could risk closing all fisheries from South Australia to Victoria and Tasmania. The South Australia’s fishing industry is valued at $442 million a year.
The Wilderness Society of South Australia further stated “it doesn’t appear that BP even completed an oil pollution emergency plan or a comprehensive risk assessment” while also stating that BP have failed to learn from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill five years ago.
While the Deepwater Horizon oil spill originated from 66km off the American coast, the BP proposal would see them drilling for oil in an area roughly 395km (213 nautical miles) west of Port Lincoln and 340km (183 nautical miles) southwest of Ceduna.
Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone extends to 200 nautical miles.
BP confirmed their intentions to resubmit to NOPSEMA with a BP spokesperson, widely reported across Australian media, stating that “NOPSEMA is a diligent and thorough regulator and we expect to have to work hard and take the time to demonstrate that we have got our EP right.”
Six Environmental Transport Policy Papers You Should Read
The International Transport Forum, an intergovernmental organisation with 57 member countries that looks to foster a deeper understanding of the role of transport in economic growth, environmental sustainability and social inclusion has released six concise analyses on critical issues for decarbonising transport for the COP21 climate change conference that took place in Paris.
The 6 papers are
- A New Paradigm for Urban Mobility: How Fleets of Shared Vehicles Can End the Car Dependency of Cities
- Low-Carbon Mobility for Mega Cities: What Different Policies Mean for Urban Transport Emissions in China and India
- The Carbon Footprint of Global Trade: Tackling Emissions from International Freight Transport
- Reducing CO2 Emissions from International Aviation: Policy Options to 2050
- Carbon Valuation for Transport Policy: Towards a More Coherent International Approach
- Adapting Transport Infrastructure to Climate Change: How to Protect Assets Against Increased Risks from Extreme Weather
Those from a freight background are recommended to check out The Carbon Footprint of Global Trade. Worryingly the paper predicts that CO2 emissions from global freight transport are set to increase fourfold. In 2010 they recorded 2,108 Mt of CO2 equivalent emissions produced from trade-related international freight but are predicting that by 2050 this figure will have grown to 8,132 Mt.
The paper proceeds to explain their methodology for calculating future emissions and analyses the impact predicted longer supply chains, the impact of trade liberalisation and other scenarios will have in increasing emissions related to transport and logistics activity.
The six papers can be accessed at http://www.internationaltransportforum.org/jtrc/environment/COP21.html
ICS says Shipping Industry to Cut Emissions by 50% by 2050
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has predicted that the shipping industry will realise a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 (on 2000 levels). The principal international trade association representing ship owners and based in London, UK has said bigger ships, with better engines and smarter speed management with many using clean fuels such as LNG will contribute to this significant reduction.
The ICS timed their comments in the run up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in December. While nations throughout the world will come to Paris to negotiate ways to reduce global carbon emissions the ICS stresses that the maritime shipping industry has already made huge strides in addressing emissions.
Through the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) shipping is the only international industry which has already implemented worldwide policies and regulations to reduce emissions. The IMO set in 2013 a mandatory target where all ships built from 2025 onwards must be 30 percent more efficient than ships built in the 2000s.
While in Paris countries will look to construct a follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol, it is worth noting that almost 70 percent of merchant ships are based in countries not signed up to the Kyoto Protocol. While the Kyoto Protocol only commits countries to land-based CO2 reductions it can illustrate a country’s intentions in reducing its emissions. However, through the IMO some 95 percent of international merchant ships are bound to their regulations and this has been a large contributing factor to the success of the shipping industry in reducing their CO2 emissions by 10% since 2007.
The ICS reports that these emissions reductions are represented across the global shipping sector and promisingly includes developing countries as well as more developed countries.
One of the more immediate steps for the IMO in tackling climate change is to start the collection of CO2 emission from all individual ships. The ICS says the IMO has their backing for this measure and would like to see it mandatory by 2018.
However, the potential for the shipping industry to reduce their emissions by 50% by 2050 has been critiqued by Belgian based Transport & Environment (T&E). The environmental group has said the ICS’s figures are overly optimistic.
In particular T&E said if the shipping industry was able to reduce individual ship’s emissions by 50% due to technological advancements amongst other measures, emissions could rise further if the global shipping fleet expands rapidly as many have predicted.
The ICS looking into the future has said that it expects supply chains to shorten as more emerging economies develop and that they don’t see the tonne/km demand for maritime transport to increase at the same rate as it had prior to 2007 and the GFC.
The ICS references a 2014 study by the IMO in saying that the industry has reduced its emissions by 10% since 2007 and that the industry now only counts for 2.2 percent of the world’s CO2 emissions, in comparison to the 2.8 percent it accounted for in 2007.
T&E has used the same IMO report "Green House Gas Study" to illustrate the unlikelihood of the industry achieving 50% reductions in emissions by 2050. T&E point out that the document states that the overall emissions from the shipping industry could actually increase by as much as 250% by 2050, taking both growth and technological advancement into consideration.
The International Chamber of Shipping’s Annual Review for 2015 can be found at http://www.ics-shipping.org/docs/default-source/resources/policy-tools/ics-annual-review-2015.pdf?sfvrsn=10
South Australia Releases Roadmap to Develop State’s Bioenergy Industry
The South Australian Government has recently released a report that aims to identify opportunities for the state to develop its bioenergy industry.
The report ‘A Bioenergy Roadmap for South Australia’ was developed by Jacobs, under commission by the state government, to analyse the potential for bioenergy throughout the South Australia. As well as the accompanying report Jacobs have developed spatial data to identify potential ‘hotspots’ for the production of bioenergy.
Bioenergy, which is developed from localised and regional waste resources and purpose grown feedstock such as woody weeds, corn and algae, is being touted as a future sustainable supply of energy.
In addressing climate change issues, the state continues to actively seek ways to reduce its emissions associated with energy production. Despite the merits of wind and solar energy it is acknowledged that a wide and diverse range of technologies and fuels will be required to provide energy throughout South Australia at all times and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.
Due to ongoing limitations with energy storage and fluctuating weather conditions, electricity produced from wind and solar may not be always reliable to supply energy in times of high demands. As a result, electricity from bioenergy could be used as another sustainable and environmentally friendly option to power the state’s power requirements during peak times.
Though the bio-energy industry is in its infancy within South Australia Bio-energy is already used in a number of locations throughout the state including various SA Water Adelaide wastewater treatment plants.
The Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis on discussing the findings of the report said "it shows the most prospective area for bioenergy is Penola and Mount Gambier, while purpose-grown biomass crops are best suited to the areas of Peake, Naracoorte, Elliston, Spalding and Cummins."
While the report largely concentrates on electricity generation it does touch on the potential to develop liquid bio-fuels that could be used as a substitute for diesel and petrol in certain engines. However, in its recommendations it does not include the transport and logistics industry as one that could benefit or expand from available opportunities. The released roadmap is the first stage in further developing South Australia’s bio-energy industry so future developments may discuss the opportunity to transport and logistics in more detail.
The document mentions two South Australian programs already creating biofuels. ARfuels in Largs Bay (as well as two other interstate facilities) is currently utilising tallow and used cooking oil to produce 45 ML of bio-diesel per annum. While a pilot program has been setup in Whyalla looking to produce biofuels from algae.
For more information see http://www.renewablessa.sa.gov.au/investor-information/bio-energy-roadmap
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