Latest news from the Tasmanian Climate Change Office
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TCCO E-Newsletter

MARCH 2017

Welcome to the March 2017 edition of the Tasmanian Climate Change Office’s E-newsletter. We’re always interested to hear about your climate change adaptation or emissions reduction projects, events and ideas, so please feel free to send us an email with the details for us to include in future editions or share on Facebook.

Our new staff

We are very pleased to welcome three new staff members to the TCCO team.

Dr Sarah Russell joins us as our new Manager, Adapation. Sarah was previously at the Department of Treasury and Finance, in the Budget Management Branch. Sarah has a PhD from the University of Tasmania in fisheries science, which focused on biology, population dynamics and sustainable fisheries management.

Policy Analyst Merran Ramsay joined TCCO in early December 2016 and will be part of the team for six months. She was also previously at the Department of Treasury and Finance, in the Office of the Tasmanian Economic Regulator (OTTER). Prior to OTTER, Merran gained experience in coastal and land management at the Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water and Environment, in Crown Land Services.

Sophie Smith joins TCCO as our new Graduate Policy Analyst for the next six months. Sophie graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business, majoring in International Relations and International Business.

Bushfire Research Project

In December 2016, the Final Report from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) Bushfire and Climate Change Research Project was provided to the Government.

The Report examined both the impact of climate change in the TWWHA and ways to strengthen future bushfire management in the TWWHA.

The Report makes 18 recommendations, in the four areas of bushfire Prevention, Preparedness, Response and Recovery.

The key finding in the Report is that Tasmania is likely to experience increasing bushfire risk in the future as a result of a changing climate, which will have significant implications for future fire management in the TWWHA. The combination of increased spring and summer dryness; lower rainfall; higher temperatures; and increased occurrence of lightning fires, poses a major challenge to fire management in the TWWHA and the long-term protection of its globally significant natural and cultural values.

The full Report and the Executive Summary are available to download from the TCCO website.

Smarter Fleets program success

The Smarter Fleets program started in June 2015, working with six vehicle fleets across the State. The program aims to reduce passenger vehicle fuel costs and greenhouse gas emissions by providing tailored information and support to fleet managers.

The program has been a great success, with significant savings and positive feedback from the participants. Over the first 12 months the fleets achieved approximately:
  • a 20 per cent reduction in fuel costs; and
  • an 11 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
These initial savings were achieved by:
  • changes in driver behaviour;
  • reviewing vehicle purchasing;
  • fleet policy review and development; and
  • improved fleet data collection and analysis.
The participating fleets are a mix of Tasmanian Government, local government and Government Business Enterprises. The Tasmanian Climate Change Office is investigating options to rollout a second stage of the Smarter Fleets program.

Sea Level Rise

In 2016 we engaged CSIRO to provide updated sea level rise projections and planning allowances for Tasmania. The updated allowances are based on the sea level rise projections provided in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s Fifth Assessment Report (IPCC AR5).

Drawing on the CSIRO work, Tasmania now has sea level rise projections and planning allowances for each coastal municipality in the State, as well as statewide averages for 2050 and 2100 (both relative to 2010 sea levels). The sea level rise planning allowances for each coastal municipality can be found in this table: Tasmanian Local Council Sea Level Rise Planning Allowances.

The projections have been incorporated into the coastal hazards work being led by the Department of Premier and Cabinet's Office of Security and Emergency Management. More information on that project can be found on their website.

More information on the sea level rise projections for Tasmania, as well as the methodology behind the projections, is detailed in the CSIRO report Sea-Level Rise and Allowances for Tasmania based on the IPCC AR5 (PDF).

Environmental Upgrade Agreements

TCCO has started a project to consider the introduction of Environmental Upgrade Agreements (EUAs) in Tasmania. This project involves a feasibility study to investigate introducing finance mechanisms to improve the efficiency of buildings. EUAs are one method of doing this.

The feasibility study was identified as Action 14 of the Tasmanian Energy Strategy Restoring Tasmania's energy advantage. SGS Economics and Planning has been engaged to conduct the study. Hobart City Council is a partner in this project. Meander Valley Council and the Property Council are represented on the Project Steering Committee.

EUAs are financial arrangements that provide low-cost, long-term loans for building upgrades to improve the energy and water efficiency, resource use and operating costs for building owners and tenants. EUAs are voluntary, three-way agreements between a building owner or tenant, a finance provider and the municipal council. The loan is attached to the property rather than the building owner or tenant. Loan repayments are made through council rates.

Although EUAs have been implemented in other Australian jurisdictions, there have been some factors that have prevented their uptake; for example complex administrative arrangements. This feasibility study will investigate whether EUAs can be successfully introduced to improve Tasmania's building stock.

Huonville High School wins international award

TCCO would like to congratulate Huonville High School, which was announced as the winner in the Oceania region of the Zayed Future Energy Prize.

The school was one of 14 schools from around the world competing in the Global High Schools segment of the competition. Their winning project, with a prize of $133,000, will enable them to raise the renewable energy capacity of the school to 60 per cent, up from 2.5 per cent.

The school also plans to set up a Zayed Energy Hub, enabling them to showcase solar, battery storage, insulation models, pellet heating, LED lighting and data management.

Read about the awards ceremony in Abu Dhabi on the ABC News website.
See a short video of the winning project from Huonville High School.

Tasmanian success at fourth Emissions Reduction Fund auction

Two Tasmanian projects were successfully awarded contracts in the fourth Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) auction, held on 16-17 November 2016.

TCCO congratulates the successful bidders, LMS Energy Pty Ltd and Norske Skog Paper Mills (Australia) Limited.

Norske Skog's Boyer paper mill produced Australia's first newsprint in 1941 and currently produces around 290,000 tonnes of paper each year.

The mill generates process steam from its main coal-fired boiler. Their successful abatement project will recover waste thermal energy to produce clean process steam and reduce the demand for onsite steam generation. The project will deliver 250,000 tonnes of abatement.

This project was the only successful energy efficiency project in the fourth auction and will run for seven years.

LMS Energy Pty Ltd now holds contracts under the ERF for three Tasmanian projects and the company is one of the largest providers of Large-Scale Generation Certificates from landfill gas in Australia.

The LMS Energy Dulverton Landfill Gas Project involves installation of a landfill gas collection system to capture and combust gas generated at the landfill from waste.


Fifth Emissions Reduction Fund auction

The Clean Energy Regulator has announced a fifth Emissions Reduction Fund auction will be held on Wednesday 5 April 2017 and Thursday 6 April 2017. The format for this auction will be the same as the previous auction.

To date, the Clean Energy Regulator has contracted 178 million tonnes of carbon abatement at an average price of $11.83 per tonne. More than $440 million remains in the ERF.

New funding opportunities

The National Adaptation Network for Natural Ecosystems has three new funding opportunities available. The Network is an initiative of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF). Funding is available to support work that will minimise the impacts of climate change on Australia's biodiversity, in the following three categories:

UNAA Climate Collaboration Forum and Climate Action Awards

Entries are now open for the 2017 United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) Climate Action awards. These nationwide awards coincide with World Environment Day (5 June) and include the following categories:
  • Climate Change Leadership Award (new in 2017)
  • Excellence in climate Research (new in 2017)
  • Clean Energy Award
  • Infrastructure innovation for a strong climate future Award
  • Protecting biodiversity from rapid climate change Award
  • Business Climate Action Award
  • Community Climate Action Award
  • Climate education and engagement Award
  • Local Government Climate Action Award
  • Media Award for Climate Reporting
Entries close at 5.00pm, Friday 31 March 2017.

This year, the awards will be incorporated into the inaugural UNAA Climate Collaboration Forum. The forum will be held on 7 June 2017 and will showcase climate action initiatives and collaborative workshops. Visit the Forum website for more information about the Awards and the Forum.

Upcoming Events

National Sustainability in Business Conference

Renewables - Markets - Innovation - Opportunities - Capital
This conference, run by the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc, will address the need for sustainable business practices and what this means on a day-to-day basis. The program will feature over 50 presentations, including eight keynote presentations, 45 concurrent sessions, and networking opportunities.
Date: 23-24 March 2017
Venue: Hotel Grand Chancellor, 23 Leichhardt Street, Brisbane QLD
Information and registration: National Sustainability in Business Conference

4th Australasian Emissions Reduction Summit

This event will feature a wide variety of keynote presentations, panel discussions, plenary sessions, and concurrent workshops. It will bring together national and international leaders from business, government, technology and finance, to "explore contemporary business challenges and low carbon opportunities". Some of the topics likely to be covered are:
  • 2017 climate change policy review
  • Carbon offsetting and co-benefits
  • Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) and safeguard mechanism
  • Impact investing and philanthropy
  • Clean technology innovation
  • Domestic carbon markets
Date: 2-3 May 2017
Venue: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne VIC
Information and registrationThe Carbon Market Institute

Australian Clean Energy Summit 2017

The 2017 Australian Clean Energy Summit will bring together heads of industry, government and finance to share the models, trends and technology innovation behind renewable energy adoption and solutions to overcome barriers to change.
Date: 18-19 July 2017
Venue: Hilton Sydney Hotel, 488 George Street, Sydney NSW
Information and registration: Australian Clean Energy Summit 2017

2017 Australian Energy Storage Leadership Series

The Clean Energy Council will hold a series of events around Australia, focused on the opportunities and challenges of energy storage technologies.
Date: 23 February, 30 March, 27 April, 6 June and 21 August 2017
Venue: Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth
Information and registration: Clean Energy Council website

Other news

Two of the latest reports from the Climate Council show the influence of climate change on extreme weather events and storms in Australia.

Climate change and extreme weather events

Released on 8 February 2017, the Climate Council Report Cranking Up the Intensity: Climate Change and Extreme Weather Events has found that heatwaves are becoming hotter, lasting longer and occurring more often. The report states that "while the links between climate change and some extreme weather events such as bushfires and heatwaves are well established, the evidence linking climate change to storms and heavy rainfall is also growing".

The influence of climate change on storms in Australia

A report by the Climate Council has found that "climate change is fuelling more intense and damaging storms in Australia".

The report, Super-Charged Storms in Australia: The Influence of Climate Change, states that Australia is highly vulnerable to increasingly intense storms. This includes storm surges associated with tropical cyclones and east coast lows.

It also found that the annual frequency of potential severe thunderstorm days is likely to rise by 30 per cent for Sydney, 22 per cent for Melbourne and 14 per cent for Brisbane by the end of the century.
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