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Europe and the 'why me?' approach to decarbonisation

Guardian climate change - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 14:51

A slowdown in the EUs pace of climate action may inspire unintended reciprocal measures in the runup to the 2015 global climate summit in Paris

In the economically flush days of 2007 as states prepared poker stances for an anticipated Kyoto II deal in Copenhagen, the EUs climate and energy targets for 2020 were seen as a me first! moment.

Six years later, the blocs sequel is already being denounced by the clean energy industry and environmentalists as a why me? package that barely rises above the EUs own business as usual forecasts, and comes with caveats that could render it toothless.

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Naomi Klein on climate change and austerity - video

Guardian climate change - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 11:08
Naomi Klein on why she thinks climate change offers the most positive argument against the 'brutal logic' of austerity, why we need to go back to the 'polluter-­pays' principle and why we should nationalise energy companies. The author and activist was talking to Owen Jones at a Guardian Live event at Westminster's Central Hall on 6 October 2014 Continue reading...






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"Not here, not anywhere." Why Naomi Klein is against fracking - video

Guardian climate change - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 11:01
Climate change activist and author Naomi Klein explains why she's against fracking, why she's worried about the rise of 'extractivism' and why we need to build an infrastructure for the next global economy. Klein was talking to Owen Jones at a Guardian Live event at Westminster's Central Hall on 6 October 2014 Continue reading...






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Coalition urged to raise its commitment for greenhouse gas cuts

Guardian climate change - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 07:10

Greens and Labor push for bigger cuts after EU leaders committed to 40% by 2030.

The Australian government has been urged to scale up its ambitions for greenhouse gas cuts after European Union leaders struck a deal to reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030.

Talks in Brussels overnight culminated in one of the first major commitments to post-2020 emissions cuts before a crunch United Nations gathering in Paris next year. The Paris talks are expected to involve nations thrashing out long-term emissions goals.

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EU leaders agree to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030

Guardian climate change - Fri, 24/10/2014 - 02:29

Climate commissioner hails strong signal ahead of global Paris summit but key aspects of deal left vague or voluntary

European leaders have struck a broad climate change pact obliging the EU as a whole to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030.

But key aspects of the deal that will form a bargaining position for global climate talks in Paris next year were left vague or voluntary, raising questions as to how the aims would be realised.

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EU leaders set to strike climate deal to cut greenhouse gases 40% by 2030

Guardian climate change - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 19:17
But Poland threatens to use veto against agreement aimed to set the stage for Paris summit if it is not granted exemptions

European leaders were expected to strike a broad climate change pact obliging the EU as a whole to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030.

But key aspects of the deal that will form a bargaining position for global climate talks in Paris next year were left vague or voluntary, raising questions as to how the aims would be realised.

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Centrica boss attacks contradictory UK power policy

Guardian climate change - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 17:57
British Gas owners CEO questions wind subsidies and plans to help fund old coal-fired plants

Sam Laidlaw, the chief executive of Centrica, has urged the government to reconsider its support for offshore wind and other costly low-carbon technologies because it will raise the cost for energy consumers at a time of lower wholesale power prices.

The energy boss and former government adviser also attacked ministers for allowing energy companies to propose coal-fired power stations for a new subsidy scheme when Britain was trying to cut carbon emissions.

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2014 Arctic sea ice extent - 6th lowest in millennia | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian climate change - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 14:00

Despite claims of Arctic sea ice expansion, 2014 saw the 6th-least ice in more than 1,450 years

The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that this year we saw the 6th-lowest minimum Arctic sea ice extent on record. Research has shown that most of the long-term decline in sea ice, or the death spiral as its come to be known, is due to human-caused global warming.

Natural factors play a role in the extent of the Arctic sea ice as well, especially changes in weather conditions on a year-to-year basis. For example, 2012 shattered the previous record low Arctic sea ice extent because on top of the human influences, the weather conditions were ripe for a dramatic decline that year. In 2013 and 2014, weather conditions were closer to normal, so they didnt break the 2012 record. As a result, the usual suspects have declared that Arctic sea ice is now expanded compared to 2 years ago.

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EU climate policy being 'taken hostage' by Ukip, MEPs say

Guardian climate change - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 13:23

David Cameron must show courage to face down Ukip-friendly backbenchers or UK risks undermining a strong 2030 goal on saving energy, warn MEPs

Five graphs that explain the EU 2030 climate deal

Ukip is casting a shadow over Europes climate change policy, MEPs say, as David Cameron and EU leaders arrive in Brussels on Thursday to agree goals on carbon emissions and energy.

The meeting on Thursday and Friday is a chance for leaders to set out their stall for action to tackle greenhouse gas emissions ahead of a global UN summit in Paris next year, where it is hoped nearly 200 countries will agree a climate pact.

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Dont despair. We can help those whose lives are threatened by climate change | Tim Farron

Guardian climate change - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 12:30
As EU leaders meet to agree carbon targets make your voice heard on the greatest risk to health, agriculture and business

Last week Owen Paterson gave a predictable speech. He was careful to avoid complete denial of climate-change science, his analysis was laced with some fair points, but his unspoken conclusion was dangerous. He would like to believe that climate change is not as bad as the green blob makes it out to be. And I would really like to be able to agree with him. It would just be easier.

Because for most people including me, the heart of the climate debate is not scientific, its psychological. We dont want to face up to a seemingly overwhelming truth if its not right in front of us. If theres no solution, or the solutions take time to get right, then wed rather not hear about the problem. Or the crucial climate talks coming up this week, this year and next.

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Why rivals like PepsiCo, Coca Cola, Unilever and P&G are joining forces

Guardian climate change - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 12:22

Business competitors have realised that greater impact can be achieved by working in close alliance on big sustainability issues

At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, environmental campaign group Greenpeace ran a global campaign depicting a polar bear balancing on a lonely piece of ice. The campaigns focus was the damage to the ozone layer caused by fluorinated gases, such as HFCs. And its target was global drinks giant Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola subsequently joined with Unilever and McDonalds to form the Refrigerants Naturally! partnership. Created in 2004, the business-led coalition has two founding aims: to promote the sale of refrigeration units free of fluorinated gases (F gas free); and, to push for a regulatory framework that encourages climate-friendly alternatives.

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Five graphs that explain the EU 2030 energy and climate deal

Guardian climate change - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 11:42

As David Cameron prepares to join EU leaders to set new targets for emissions, energy savings and renewables, we look at the data and what it means for the UK

David Cameron joins other EU leaders on Thursday to decide a new set of energy and climate targets for Europe for the first time in half a decade.

On the table are three new targets for 2030. The big one is a binding goal of getting Europes emissions down 40% on 1990 levels, a cut that international observers and environmentalists say is unambitious. Heres the chart that explains why the pink line is what the blocs 28 countries are already on track for, and the green is where emissions should end up with the target:

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Can art inspire climate change action? An ice installation aims to do just that

Guardian climate change - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 07:00

To coincide with the latest IPCC climate report, 12 blocks of Greenland ice will be left to melt in Copenhagen City Hall Square as a visual representation of climate change

This weekend 12 enormous blocks of ice weighing 100 tonnes will be left to melt in Copenhagens City Hall Square as a striking visual representation of the reality of climate change. The ice, collected from a fjord outside Nuuk, Greenland and displayed in clock formation, is intended to be a physical wake-up call to encourage people to transform climate knowledge into climate action.

Later this month, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will present its Fifth Assessment Report, the most comprehensive assessment of scientific knowledge on climate change since 2007. But it may not lead to action. The information presented by the IPCC is overwhelming and scary and most of it, too complex to be able to translate into effective actions.

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Climate activists warn BHP Billiton shareholders of coal's profit risk

Guardian climate change - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 05:38

A former chairman of the Australian Coal Association will tell the resource companys AGM climate change could destroy profits

Shareholders in BHP Billiton risk seeing the value of their investment destroyed by climate change, a former chairman of the Australian Coal Association will warn on Thursday.

As Australias biggest mining company faces a slew of protests at its annual general meeting in London, Ian Dunlop will tell shareholders that the value of coal assets in particular could drop very quickly.

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Fossil fuel divestment campaign targets UCL and BHP Billiton

Guardian climate change - Thu, 23/10/2014 - 05:30

University College London under fire for sustainability institute funded by mining giant BHP Billiton, which faces protests at its London AGM

The fast-growing campaign to persuade investors to dump fossil fuel stocks has set its sights on a twin target of the worlds biggest mining company and one of the globes best universities.

The mining giant BHP Billiton will face protests at its AGM in London on Thursday over its £6m association with University College London (UCL) and the effects of its activities around the world.

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