Climakind Progress Report

Leadership Lacks as Global Temperatures Rise

Leaders' debate lacked leadership
The first leaders' debate 2010 was at best an emotionless, staged and unconvincing debate. Both Liberal and Labour leaders lacked conviction as much as they lacked policy (see the debate). It was a sorry reminder of the state of Australian politics, with no party daring to commit to significant reforms. One clear conclusion came from the channel 7 worm (an indicator of the audience's interest level during the debate). The worm dived into negative territory whenever the words 'climate change' were mentioned; indicating viewers had no confidence in either party's climate change policies.

As far as the climate was concerned this debate was really about a 'Lack of Leadership'. Australia needs an influential politician to champion climate change action.

Global temperatures hotting up while enthusiasm cools off
Though political uncertainty abounds and enthusiasm for climate change has cooled off, global average temperatures keep rising. Yes, difficult as it is to imagine that temperatures are rising in the midst of winter, the world is warmer on average for this time of year. Records indicate that last month was the hottest June ever recorded. Each of the last four months has resulting in a new record high for monthly global average temperatures.

Global temperatures continue on track to make 2010 the hottest year on record. Read more information about global temperatures and scientific expectations for 2010 at the new (prototype) US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website.

China needs a domestic carbon market
In a recent meeting chaired by Xie Zhenhua, deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) it was rumoured that China is considering a domestic carbon trading program. The carbon market would assist in helping China meet its 2020 carbon intensity target, to cut its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 40 to 45 on 2005 levels.

"The consensus that a domestic carbon-trading scheme is essential was reached, but a debate is still ongoing among experts and industries regarding what approach should be adopted," said a participant at the event.

China has made many voluntary commitments to low carbon growth, including a goal of 15 per cent non-fossil energy sources by 2020, roughly doubling the current non-fossil sources of around 7.8 per cent. China currently has the highest hydropower capacity in the world (197 million kilowatts) and the third highest installed capacity of wind power in the world. Wind power has doubled every year for the past four years to more than 22 million kilowatts and is expected to exceed 30 million kilowatts in 2010.

CERT 5: Don't Standby - Take Action
Everyone knows that an electrical appliance consumes power when it is switched on, but what happens when we switch them off? That is when the world of standby takes over. Surprisingly, household appliances on standby can total up to 10% of the electricity bill.

How does this work? Take for example a 42 inch plasma TV. The plasma consumes about 40 Watts per hour on standby and is on standby for 22 hours per day, on average. This equates to around 320 kilograms of carbon dioxide per year (700 pounds). And that is just one TV! Consider all the appliances on standby; CD and DVD players (maybe even a VHS?), stereo, amplifiers, mobile and fixed-line telephone chargers, computers, monitors, printers, internet devices, laptop chargers and gaming devices just to name a few.

The solutions is an energy saving power-board that allows you to remotely turn-off the power at the wall or a one that automatically senses standby mode and switches itself off.

CERT 5 (Carbon Emission Reduction Tip 5) is don't put appliances on standby - take action and turn them off.

See the Climakind Tips to reduce carbon emissions for more energy saving ideas or send your ideas to

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2 August 2010

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Michael Salvatico

// China took only 30 years to have the environmental problems that had gradually emerged in developed countries over 200 to 300 years... China is under unprecedented pressure for both economic development and environmental protection //

Minister Zhou Shengxian
China's Minister of Environmental Protection