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Greenhouse gas levels hit a record as Nats gain more power from net zero deal

As Australia edges towards a national 80 per cent COVID-19 vaccination rate, preparations are being made for the booster program.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration's vaccine committee and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation met on Monday to discuss the next phase of the vaccination program - booster jabs.

While boosters have been made available for severely immunocompromised Australians, they have yet to be approved for the general public.

It is likely mRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer and Moderna, would be predominantly used for the third vaccine doses.

Nats gain cabinet position out of net zero deal

The Nationals have emerged with more power in the federal Coalition in a trade off with Prime Minister Scott Morrison for a lukewarm backing of the 2050 net zero climate target.

Today, Mr Morrison will outline the government's plan to get to carbon neutrality, ahead of him attending the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

Greenhouse gas levels hit record

Greenhouse gas concentrations hit a record last year and the world is "way off track" on capping rising temperatures, the United Nations says, showing the task facing climate talks in Glasgow that are aimed at averting dangerous levels of warming.

A report by the UN World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) showed carbon dioxide levels surged to 413.2 parts per million in 2020, rising more than the average rate over the last decade despite a temporary dip in emissions during COVID-19 lockdowns.

New powers for Victoria's health minister 

According to the summary the bill will provide the health minister with "broad powers to make pandemic orders" on the advice of the chief health officer. Currently, only Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton can issue such orders.

The laws will bring Victoria in line with jurisdictions such as NSW and New Zealand, where the health minister is directly accountable to parliament.

Majority of NSW COVID cases outside Sydney

The majority of COVID-19 cases reported in NSW are now being diagnosed in the regions and smaller cities, rather than in Sydney where the Delta outbreak first took hold.

Of the 294 cases reported on Monday, 166 - or 56 per cent - were outside the state capital.

The state also surpassed 500 deaths yesterday from the start of the June Delta outbreak.

The Facebook papers

Thousands of pages of internal Facebook documents provided to Congress by a former employee depict a conflicted company where data on the harms it causes is abundant, but solutions are halting at best.

The crisis exposed by the documents shows how Facebook, despite its regularly avowed good intentions, appears to have slow-walked or sidelined efforts to address real harms the social network has magnified and sometimes created.

Not sure what the Facebook papers are? Here's an explainer.

Australians hoard 200 million unused shoes

Australians are being urged to take a small step towards improving the environment by recycling the estimated 100 million pairs of unused shoes across the nation.

A survey from national recycling initiative TreadLightly has found the average Australian owns about five pairs of shoes they don't wear.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of the more than 1000 people surveyed keep the shoes for a "rainy day or for sentimental reasons", while more than half (51 per cent) throw them in the rubbish.

- with Australian Associated Press

This story Greenhouse gas levels hit a record as Nats gain more power from net zero deal first appeared on The Canberra Times.