Some cleantech policy and politics news from the last week….
Australia Unveils Transformational Carbon Tax Plan
Australia, the largest per-capita global warming contributor, just unveiled a huge plan for economic reform and global warming action yesterday, a plan that would tax carbon emissions of top greenhouse gas polluters. This is a major boost to all those looking to stop catastrophic, out-of-control climate change. Parliament is supposed to vote on the plan before the end of the year. [Reuters]
Can Invest in Renewable Energy AND Reduce the Deficit
Does investing in renewable energy mean increasing the deficit? Heck no! We can cut greenhouse gases and reduce our dependence on foreign oil and health nightmare coal while reducing the deficit as well. [Center for American Progress]
France — 1st Nation to Ban Fracking
France has just taken a bold step forward on fracking for shale gas and oil, becoming the first country in the world to ban it outright. [Planetsave]
Cleantech, like Human Genome Project, Needs Government Investment to Transform Society
Government has moved society forward on a number of critical fronts by investing in innovation until businesses can profit from doing so. Recently, a study showed that the Human Genome Project cost the government $3.8 billion, which probably sounds like a lot and may sound wasteful to you, but it also found that it “created over 310,000 jobs and drove economic growth of almost $800 billion” — think it was worth it? Cleantech needs the same continued investment that the Human Genome Project had to transform our economy to a clean energy economy — the benefits would be tremendous, but the struggle to convince fossil-fuel-funded politicians to see the light is not an easy one. [Climate Progress]
EPA Finalizes Cross-State Air Pollution Rules
The EPA has finalized cross-state air pollution rules that will protect millions. Of course, certain politicians will try to make this into bad news, but there’s really no bad news about keeping our air and water clean and our climate livable. [Natural Papa]
Collaboration the Way to Address Climate Change
Collaboration — across industries, companies, organizations, and sectors and within them as well — is key to addressing climate change. Such collaboration is blooming in a number of cities and regions now, setting a good example for others to follow. [Global Warming is Real]
Republican Lawmakers May Give U.S. Consumers a $12.5 Billion Bill for No Good Reason
Republicans are planning to bring a bill to the House floor this week that would cost consumers approximately $12 billion a year. The bill would repeal new light bulb efficiency standards. While GOP lawmakers and front groups love to scare people about jobs and the economy, they really don’t seem to care about these very much when it comes to policy decisions. [Climate Progress] [NRDC]
New Hampshire Governor Keeps State in Regional Cap-and-Trade Program (Because of Obvious Benefits)
Yes, the fossil fuel industry has launched a massive attack on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Inititaive (RGGI), a 10-state cap-and-trade program in the Northeast. But some politicians are standing up to the industry in support of the highly beneficial program. One such politician is New Hampshire Governor John Lynch, who vetoed a bill to pull NH out of RGGI last week. [Climate Progress]
UK Prime Minister Pledges Support for Marine Energy and Then Slashes Its Budget
Well, the subheading above says it all. I know, you probably can’t imagine a politician going back on his word, but from time to time it does happen. UK Prime Minister David Cameron promised to put “rockets” under the marine energy sector not long ago, for example, and has now reduced its budget. [Guardian]
GOP Loves Cutting Big Oil Taxes
While individuals across the country suffer, Big Oil is raking in massive, incomprehensible profits. That is due in no small part to the tremendous subsidies Big Oil receives from the U.S. government/U.S. taxpayers. Think Progress has a post on this topic with the appropriate title, Big Oil Welfare. [Think Progress]
Threat of War to Increase from Climate Change
If you think clean energy investment is expensive, try thinking about all the costs that will ensure from not investing in clean energy — high fuel prices, multi-trillion-dollar disasters, higher food and water prices, etc. Now, don’t forget to add war and violence to the list. UK climate secretary recently briefed defense experts on exactly this matter. [Guardian]
30 African Ministers Have Renewable Energy Meeting
As heads of some of the countries likely to be most hurt by climate change, numerous African ministers are doing all they can to address the concern, including meeting up about how to increase the use of clean, renewable energy. [Huffington Post]
Obama Administration Initiatives Give Offshore Wind the Spark it Needs to Blow Up
After falling way behind many countries in offshore wind energy, the industry is expected to boom soon, due in large part to offshore wind energy policies of the Obama administration (policies we’ve covered a number of times here on CleanTechnica). [Greentech Media]
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