The Federal Government has announced $6.2 million in grants through the Green Car Innovation Fund for the production of lighter cars that will reduce carbon emissions.  The grants have been awarded to component manufacturers CFusion, Toyoda Gosei Australia, Composite Materials Engineering and Hirotec.

Federal Minister for Innovation Kim Carr said the components being developed to retool the automotive industry will help in the manufacture of cheaper and more environmentally acceptable cars.

"In this case, we expect the four projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 133,000 tonnes and significantly reduce fuel consumption," he said.

The Queensland Government has released its Green Door policy which will see the state government agencies work with local government and referral agencies to accelerate the development assessment of projects that that demonstrate exemplary sustainability performance.

Research into how variations in atmospheric and ocean variations contribute significantly to droughts and floods such as those recently experienced across south-east Australia and Queensland has been presented at a workshop hosted by the South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative (SEACI),  a three-year, $9 million research program investigating the causes and impacts of climate variability and change throughout south-eastern Australia.

CSIRO has awarded a five-year research fellowship to Dr Wenju Cai to head up a new research team to conduct work into  better understanding the impact of climate change on Australia, with particular focus on the extremes of flooding and droughts around the country.

The Queensland State Government has announced the opening of Australia’s largest flat panel photovoltaic (PV) solar array.

Regional Natural Resource Management (NRM) groups will share $11 million of Queensland Government funding to continue their work improving and preserving the state’s environment.

The CSIRO have published a joint research paper showing the results of research conducted into the effects of a +4ºC rise in global temperatures, finding that such an increase would lead to major reductions in annual rainfall in southern Australia, significant increases in evaporation across the country and reduced snow cover in alpine regions.

James Cook University has opened its Australian Tropic Sciences and Innovation Precinct in Townsville, which will conduct research into sustainable natural resource use in Australia’s tropics.

The Federal Government has announced an additional $38 million in spending initiatives aimed at improving the quality of water entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon.

The Federal Government and the Greens have announced that the carbon price package prevents native forest woodchips being counted as a renewable energy fuel.

A new Climate Change Authority (CCA) is to be established to provide expert advice on the Federal Government’s carbon pricing mechanism. It will be chaired by the former Reserve Bank Governor and former Treasury Secretary Bernie Fraser.

A new Biodiversity Fund is to be established to support projects that deliver biodiversity and related environmental benefits under the Federal Government’s carbon price policy.

The City of Subiaco has been recognised as Western Australia's most Sustainable City for 2011.

An independent audit by WWF-Australia has praised efforts to build the National Reserve System as 'arguably the Australian Government's biggest conservation success story'.

Greenearth Energy Limited has announced that it has successfully concluded negotiations with Yeda Research and Development Co. Ltd., the commercial arm of Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, for an exclusive, worldwide Research and Licence Agreement, which it will assign to an ultimate subsidiary company NEWCO2FUELS LTD (NewCo2Fuels), for a revolutionary technology that has the ability to convert CO2 emissions into fuel.

Recent data showing WA as having the lowest recycling rate in the nation could point to ineffective use of funds being collected through the State Government’s landfill levy, according to the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA).

The Tasmanian Minister for Environment, Brian Wightman, has announced the appointment of two new members to the board of Tasmania’s Environment Protection Authority.

Decreasing autumn and winter rainfall over southern Australia has been attributed to a 50-year decrease in the average intensity of storms in the region – a trend which is forecast to continue for another 50 years.

The Australian Industry Group today released an independent report by Ernst and Young which assesses the Government and Opposition climate change policies.

Ai Group Chief Executive, Heather Ridout, said: "This timely analysis was commissioned in the understanding that whether it's the Government or Opposition who ultimately determine the direction of climate policy, both sides share the same very challenging targets and business will bear a major share of the burden of adjustment."

The report was commissioned by Ai Group to help members and the broader community understand and assess the two major proposals to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions. Ernst & Young's independent assessment considered the Government and the Opposition policies (as currently understood) against principles Ai Group has developed in consultation with members to guide our contributions to the climate change policy debate. Ernst & Young was also asked to develop constructive suggestions for improvement where the policies fell short of these principles.

"Ernst and Young found that as they currently stand, neither the Government nor the Opposition policies fully meet our principles for climate policy. Both need significant improvements in critical areas, and the report makes constructive suggestions for such improvements," Mrs Ridout said.

"In Ai Group's view the parties have considerable work left to flesh out their policies. We support the recommendations of this report for improving both sets of policies.

"In particular, based on the Ernst and Young report, we believe that to meet Ai Group principles the Government policy needs to:

The NSW Government has announced two reviews of renewable energy policy at its recent Solar and Renewable Energy Summit.

A research paper highlighting key flaws with the current climate policy options has been released by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA).

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