According to The Australian Financial Review, the gap between Sydney house and unit prices has blown out to an all-time high, and is poised to widen in the coming months as the current lockdown reignites buyers’ fears of living in high density housing amid surging virus cases.
The premium for Sydney houses over units had grown by 23.1 percentage points to 54.2 per cent since the onset of the pandemic in February last year. This was the widest gap ever recorded in CoreLogic’s books.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Japanese trading giant Mitsubishi has become the latest overseas major to snare a stake in an Australian carbon farming business, acquiring 40 per cent in Australian Integrated Carbon and gaining access to a generator of quality carbon credits.
The Adelaide-based company is developing carbon farming projects across regional Australia, working with farmers to increase carbon and improve productivity. It was the largest bidder of nature-based carbon credits in the federal government’s last two Emission Reduction Fund auctions.
AIC focuses on regenerative agricultural involving modifying land management practices allowing regeneration of native forest and is working across Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and NSW.
According to The Nikkei Asia, Japanese engineering company JGC Holdings and petroleum wholesaler Cosmo Oil are commercializing jet biofuel in Japan for the first time, targeting aviation companies that are under pressure to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to meet green credentials, Nikkei has learned.
Biofuels, also called sustainable aviation fuel, are made from waste plastics or biomass such as algae and wood chips.
JGC and Cosmo are planning to use waste cooking oil collected by Kyoto-based Revo International from restaurants and food factories. The companies are planning to start production in 2025 in Osaka.
Total carbon dioxide emissions from raw materials procurement through burning in jet engines is estimated to be as much as 80-90% lower compared to traditional jet fuel. Major airlines Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways have both already started using SAF, and are set to expand usage in order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Honda Motor Co. is clearing beaches of trash with its own inhouse technology, a green initiative that started after employees noticed during an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) driving test that the beach was covered with litter.
The major automobile maker aims to expand its beach-cleaning activities to allow people to safely walk barefoot once again.
The company registered its patented technology on an intellectual property platform that collects environmental technologies from around the globe with the aim of improving the planet.
Honda’s “Beach Cleaner” is a device towed by ATVs that rakes up garbage. It combs the sand and dredges up small pieces of buried trash. Once the garbage appears on the surface, another device is equipped so it collects the debris.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Australian energy retailers are rushing to prepare for the introduction of five-minute settlements for the wholesale electricity market which comes into effect on October 1.
Although the rule change by the Australian Energy Market Commission was delayed by three months because of the impact of COVID-19, energy companies are still spending millions of dollars to overhaul their IT software to comply with the new requirements by the deadline.
The change from 30-minute to five-minute settlements was introduced to help the National Electricity Market adapt to the changing energy mix with the rapid influx of renewables and will provide a boost to “faster responders” like batteries and other demand-response technologies.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, the industry ministry is taking actions to cut Japan's electricity generation by 10 percent by fiscal 2030.
It also plans to make nuclear energy and other non-fossil energy sources account for about 60 percent of the power output by bolstering renewables, according to sources.
These targets are expected to be incorporated into the new Basic Energy Plan, which may be unveiled as early as July 21. The plan is typically revised every three years, and the ministry has been working on the update to the plan.
Japan is ramping up efforts to meet its goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent from their level in fiscal 2013 by fiscal 2030.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Brisbane house prices could more than double by the time the 2032 Olympic Games roll around, taking median home values above $1.4 million, an economist predicts.
PRD chief economist Diaswati Mardiasmo said this growth rate would be consistent with the market’s past performance during the G20 summit in 2014 in Brisbane, when dwelling prices surged 112.7 per cent over 12 years from when the event was announced in 2003 to 2015, a year after it was held.
“If we use the growth rate to project the next 12 years, we can expect to see the Brisbane median house price could soar to nearly $1.5 million. Even if we only get half of that growth, house prices would still surge to at least $1.2 million when the Olympics roll along.”
According to The Nikkei Asia, automotive suppliers Asahi Kasei and JFE Steel have jumped onto the decarbonization bandwagon by developing processes that save energy and reduce the industry's carbon footprint.
Asahi Kasei, a chemical producer, is creating coating material for automotive steel sheets that can be applied at lower temperatures while maintaining conventional performance. The product could erase 300,000 tons of carbon output annually if adopted by the entire Japanese auto industry.
Coating is the most carbon-intensive auto production process due to the amount of heat involved. Automotive coating is normally baked on in drying furnaces set at 140 degrees Celsius. Asahi Kasei's new coats would lower the temperature to 80 C and decrease the number of baking sessions.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, check-in and other procedures are rapidly being automated and rendered contactless at Tokyo's Haneda Airport to address health issues due to the COVID19 pandemic as well as personnel shortages.
With the summer break approaching, the second since the pandemic flared early last year, aviation industry officials are doing their utmost to reduce chances for passengers to interact with staff at the key gateway to Japan.
Air carriers also began bolstering their anti-virus measures in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics that kicked off July 23.
Japan Airlines Co. upgraded its automated check-in system at Terminal 1 for domestic flights this past spring. The system scans fingerprints with infrared rays, allowing passengers to operate it while holding their finger several centimeters from the screen.
A zero contact solution has also been introduced for the automatic baggage registration equipment put in service last year. This eliminates the need for people to line up at check-in counters to explain the content of their luggage to staff.
According to The Australian Financial Review, BHP has talked up its role in global decarbonisation after aligning itself with Elon Musk’s Tesla as part of a transition away from fossil fuels that could ultimately lead to the sale of its global oil and gas assets.
The resurgent BHP Nickel West division will supply electric vehicle-maker Tesla with the key battery-making material from its mines and refinery in Western Australia under a deal unveiled on Thursday that came with a broad commitment for BHP to work closely with Tesla on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The off-take agreement and collaboration commitments added fuel to fire that BHP is considering exiting oil and gas on top of the sale of remaining interests in energy coal mines.
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