In case you missed it.
Our top-five takeaways for this week: the world falls well short on climate pledges; make coal companies pay to clean up their own mess; is Glencore the resource sector's Lehman Brothers?; half of global coal output not worth digging up; and research shows that 6 out of 10 Australians think Big Business and Mining Companies have too much influence.
1/ World falls well short on climate pledges
An analysis of the world's climate pledges by MIT and ClimateInteractive suggests that the total impact of the climate pledges made by countries in the lead-up to COP21 in Paris will fall well short of the 2°C target.
In fact, they are only likely to reduce global warming from the 'do nothing' trajectory of 4.5°C to a trajectory of 3.5°C.
The world will need to at least double its efforts to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and a global moratorium on new coal mines would be a good start.
2/ Make coal companies pay for costs of cleanup
In the wake of last week's industry insider warning that taxpayers may foot the bill for cleaning up mine sites unless government and industry step up, the Greens this week proposed a direct levy on coal miners to fund environmental rehabilitation work on former coal mine and storage sites as well as the retraining of coal industry workers for the clean energy jobs of the future.
3/ Glencore’s bet on coal went horribly wrong
When Glencore purchased Xstrata two years ago in the biggest mining merger ever, chief executive Ivan Glasenberg commented,
"To really screw this up, the coal price has got to really tank."
This week Glencore’s share price fell to 82.5 per cent below what it was when the merger took place in May 2013 -- a loss of approximately $33 billion.
And in an ominous sign for the coal industry, some are now suggesting Glencore could be the resource sector's Lehman Brothers.
4/ Half the world's coal isn't worth digging out of the ground
Half of the world's coal isn't worth digging out of the ground at current prices, according to Moody's Investors Service. So why on earth would we want even more new coal mines?
It's time for a global moratorium on new coal mines. Take action at http://nonewcoalmines.org.au/take_action
5/ 6 out of 10 Australians concerned Big Business and Mining have too much influence
Research by The Australia Institute shows that 6 in 10 Australians are concerned big business and mining companies have too much influence. However, the Coalition, from opposition, encouraged them to become “political activists” and “fight” government policy. Former PM Tony Abbott even called on business to “stand up” to help the government remove “obstacles” for the Adani coal mine, such as protections of federal environmental law.”
"There’s a tremendous irony here: on the one hand, the government is arguing to silence environmental ‘activists’, while on the other hand he wants industry lobbyists – whose fees are also tax deductable -- to become activists,” said The Australia Institute Executive Director, Ben Oquist.