Two stories from potential Trans Pacific Partnership reflect the vagaries of green politics, as well as the beneficiaries thereof.
First up, via teleSUR English, an Australian measure professing to be for the benefit of the Great Barrier Reef but probably more to the benefit of a prime minister tarred by his involvement in the Panama Papers scandal and the Down Under corporate solar sector:
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who is facing a tight re-election race, pledged on Monday to create a US$738 million fund for the Great Barrier Reef as the largest living organism on Earth faces its worst coral bleaching in recorded history.
“This reef and all coral reefs face big challenges,” Turnbull told reporters, adding that money will be granted in a “reef fund” over 10 years that will be administered by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, or CEFC, a funding body that his unpopular predecessor, Tony Abbott, twice tried to abolish.
“Much of this will come in the form of financing solar energy, which of course will reduce emissions but also enable farmers to manage their land more efficiently,” Turnbull said.
Recent polls have shown that most young Australian are more interested in social and environmental issues than economic concerns, and the threat faced their most beloved international icon—and one of the world’s natural wonders—has helped shape this election campaign.
And the second story addresses other measures of taking on climate change, this time by accommodation for the benefit of its human victims.
From the Yomiuri Shimbun, going green in Japan:
This summer the Environment Ministry will examine five model projects it set up across the nation with the aim of helping people outdoors feel cooler. The projects use a combination of mechanisms for harnessing natural power such as water and wind.
The ministry will collect data from the models, such as wet bulb globe temperatures and windchill temperatures. Starting next fiscal year, it plans to let local governments and companies across the nation use the data to find measures to cope with hot weather.
One of the models was set up in May in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture. It uses underground water to cool the air at a bus stop waiting area.
Kumagaya is known as one of Japan’s hottest spots. In August 2007, a temperature of 40.9 C was recorded in the city — the second-highest on record in the nation.