Australia pledges $165 million to UN climate fund

LIMA, Peru (AP) — Australia has made a surprise pledge of 200 million Australian dollars ($165 million) to a key U.N. climate fund.

Expectations of an Australian contribution to the Green Climate Fund were low after Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told The Associated Press last week that Australia would continue to help developing countries cope with climate change through its own aid program.

Australian researchers claim more efficient solar panels


By splitting solar cells in panels, researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia claim to have increased their electricity conversion rate to 40 percent, AFP reports.

AP Interview: Australia won't pay to climate fund

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia will continue to directly pay for climate change adaptation in vulnerable South Pacific island nations through its aid budget rather than donate to a U.N. Green Climate Fund designed for the same purpose, the foreign minister said Friday ahead of climate talks in Peru.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said governments should judge for themselves whether bilateral action to reduce the impact of climate change on developing countries was a more efficient use of aid money than donating through the U.N.

French and Australian leaders discuss climate

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The French president told Australia's prime minister Wednesday that countries should make their own decisions on how to achieve any binding greenhouse gas reduction targets that emerge from a United Nations climate change conference in Paris next year.

The Australian government has been widely criticized by green groups for repealing in July a two-year-old carbon tax levied on Australia's worst industrial carbon gas polluters aimed at reducing to the nation's greenhouse emissions.

Australia raises El Nino alert


The El Nino watch is now an alert in Australia, where the Bureau of Meteorology is reporting a 70 percent chance of the Pacific weather pattern that can bring heavy rain to South America but drought in Asia, Bloomberg reports.

Climate agreement puts pressure on Australia

The Wall Street Journal

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had hoped to keep climate change off the agenda of this weekend's G20 summit in his country, but the new greenhouse gas agreement between the U.S. and China will likely put the issue back on the table, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Australian opposition rejects renewable targets as too weak


Australia's opposition Labor Party has rejected Prime Minister Tony Abbott's proposed 20 percent renewable energy target for electricity generation, saying the plan would cut original goals by 40 percent, Reuters reports.


Falling oil prices pose problems for Australian LNG

The Wall Street Journal

Because prices for liquefied natural gas are usually linked to oil products, the stark decline in oil prices from high production is cutting LNG prices, threatening the profitability of a number of in-progress projects in Australia, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Brisbane airport bans climate ad ahead of G20

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A bid by environmentalists to confront world leaders with a digital billboard highlighting climate change has been thwarted by Brisbane airport authorities who deemed the message too political.

Brisbane Airport will be the Australian gateway for leaders of 20 economies when they gather in the Queensland state capital next week for the annual G20 summit.

Plans for Antarctic marine reserve falter again

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A plan to protect a vast swath of ocean off Antarctica by creating the world's largest marine reserve appeared headed for failure for the fourth time.

The countries that make decisions about Antarctic fishing finish a 10-day meeting Friday in Hobart, Australia.


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