joomla templates

Environment UK

Online Magazine and Directory

Tue06272017

Last update10:30:50 AM GMT

Back Climate Change Climate Talks

Climate Talks

Ricardo-AEA led research informs climate change strategy

altA major research programme led by Ricardo-AEA for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will help to inform the policies described in a UK government report on adapting to the effects of climate change, which was laid before parliament yesterday

The first report on the National Adaptation Programme (NAP) sets out what government, businesses, communities and civil society are doing to prepare for and adapt to climate change. The Ricardo-AEA research programme, called PREPARE, produced five significant studies published by Defra yesterday which will help government to design the types of policies and services described in the NAP. Ricardo-AEA delivered the PREPARE research programme in partnership with Ipsos MORI, Alexander Ballard Ltd, the University of Leeds and a panel of experts in climate change adaptation.

Read more...

Economic Stagnation Is No Excuse For Climate Inaction

altGovernments around the world have increasingly been using economic stagnation as an excuse for climate inaction. But a letter published today in Nature Climate Change by Dr Chris Hope, Reader in Policy Modelling, Cambridge Judge Business School and Mat Hope, School of Sociology, Politics, and International Studies, University of Bristol, suggests this neglect is unwise.

The research estimates the mean damage caused by emitting an additional tonne of carbon dioxide today is $107 per tonne if economic growth in the rich world is around 2% per year. But if rich economies continue to stagnate the mean damage rises to $138 per tonne.

Read more...

Strong backing for Environment Agency warning

altSevern Trent Costain is strongly backing the warning from the Environment Agency of the need for businesses to prepare for future weather extremes. Managing Director, Wayne Earp said: “The Environment Agency assessment of the likely trend for more extreme weather in future is borne out by the events of 2012, when the country suffered both drought and flooding.

“There are a number of potential effects on businesses, ranging from vulnerability to flooding itself to serious water supply issues as declining river and groundwater levels make existing supplies problematic.”

Read more...

FTA scheme leads the way for carbon reduction

altThe Freight Transport Association has welcomed the conclusions of the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Freight Carbon Review, published today. Based largely on the success of FTA’s Logistics Carbon Reduction Scheme (LCRS), government has decided to continue working with industry to improve freight’s carbon performance.

The LCRS was endorsed by the Department for Transport in 2011 and has shown over the last three years that industry is capable of voluntarily recording and reporting carbon emissions without the need for additional tax and regulation. Additionally, the scheme has set a carbon reduction target to reduce the carbon intensity of its freight operations by 8 per cent by 2015 against a 2010 baseline.

Read more...

1.5C rise in temperature enough to start permafrost melt

altA global temperature rise of 1.5C would be enough to start the melting of permafrost in Siberia, scientists warned on Thursday. Any widespread thaw in Siberia's permanently frozen ground could have severe consequences for climate change. Permafrost covers about 24% of the land surface of the northern hemisphere, and widespread melting could eventually trigger the release of hundreds of gigatonnes of carbon dioxide and methane, which would have a massive warming effect.

Read more...

How much will climate change cost?

altThe impact of climate change on local, national and global organisations and economies is growing. A paper published in CIWEM’s Water and Environment Journal this week says local authorities should be proactive in climate change adaptation and mitigation to avoid ever-increasing costs.

In a paper published in the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management’s (CWIEM) Water and Environment Journal earlier this week, M. Ncube et al. examined the impact of rainfall variability on municipalities’ water and energy demand in South African local governments.

Read more...

Emissions trading scheme: EU committee passes 'rescue' reforms

altReforms aimed at rescuing the European Union's landmark carbon-cutting mechanism, the emissions trading scheme (ETS), are back on track after attacks from business lobbyists and Conservatives.

A key committee of the European parliament judged in favour of the reforms on Tuesday, meaning that they will move on to be debated by the whole parliament, probably in April. However, it was unclear on Tuesday whether there would be an additional stage of scrutiny before the parliamentary vote, during which time the measures could be watered down.

Read more...

EU urged to revive flagging emissions trading scheme

altInvestors and a group of large businesses have urged the EU to revive its flagging emissions trading scheme (ETS), ahead of a key vote in the European parliament next week.

Shell, General Electric, Kingfisher, Unilever and EDF were among more than 30 large companies signing up to call for reforms that would raise carbon prices and restore confidence in the scheme, which is meant to cut the EU's carbon output. The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), which represents investors and asset managers worth €7.5 trillion, also joined the call for reform.

Read more...

University of Oxford to identify 'stranded' high carbon assets

altOne of the UK's leading universities will on Monday launch a new research programme aiming to help investors identify assets that could be left "stranded" by climate change, declining resources and the emergence of new green technologies.

Backed by HSBC, Aviva, WWF-UK and Climate Change Capital, the four-year University of Oxford research programme is attempting to flag up high-carbon sectors and assets that could be dramatically devalued or written off by the continuing shift towards a greener economy.

Read more...

John Kerry's confirmation as secretary of state delights climate campaigners

altJohn Kerry's confirmation as secretary of state on Tuesday installs a veteran climate champion in a pole position for Barack Obama's second term.

Kerry, who describes himself as a "passionate advocate", sailed through his confirmation on Tuesday afternoon, a legacy of his nearly three decades in the Senate.

Now campaigners hope Kerry will help deliver a win on their signature issue: blocking the Keystone XL pipeline from the Alberta tar sands.

Read more...

Nicholas Stern: 'I got it wrong on climate change – it's far, far worse'

altLord Stern, author of the government-commissioned review on climate change that became the reference work for politicians and green campaigners, now says he underestimated the risks, and should have been more "blunt" about the threat posed to the economy by rising temperatures.

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Stern, who is now a crossbench peer, said: "Looking back, I underestimated the risks. The planet and the atmosphere seem to be absorbing less carbon than we expected, and emissions are rising pretty strongly. Some of the effects are coming through more quickly than we thought then."

Read more...

Nicholas Stern: 'I got it wrong on climate change – it's far, far worse'

altLord Stern, author of the government-commissioned review on climate change that became the reference work for politicians and green campaigners, now says he underestimated the risks, and should have been more "blunt" about the threat posed to the economy by rising temperatures.

In an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Stern, who is now a crossbench peer, said: "Looking back, I underestimated the risks. The planet and the atmosphere seem to be absorbing less carbon than we expected, and emissions are rising pretty strongly. Some of the effects are coming through more quickly than we thought then."

Read more...

EU carbon price crashes to record low

altThe European Union's flagship climate policy, its emissions trading scheme (ETS), saw the price of carbon crash to a record low on Thursday after a vote in Brussels against a proposal to support the struggling market.

The price of a permit to emit a tonne of carbon dioxide fell 40% at one point to €2.81 today, far below its record high of €32, before recovering to more than €4 later in the day.

The ETS, aimed at reducing emissions from Europe's entire energy and industrial sectors, has been plagued by an oversupply of permits due in part to over-generous initial allocations following lobbying by industry.

Read more...

Ban Ki-moon: climate agreement tops 2013 wishlist

altThe UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon says his top hopes for 2013 are to reach a new agreement on climate change and to urgently end the increasingly deadly and divisive war in Syria.

The UN chief told the Associated Press that he's also hoping for progress in getting the global economy humming again, restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, promoting political solutions in Mali, Congo and the Central African Republic, and providing energy, food and water to all people.'

Ban laid out this ambitious wishlist in an interview before heading to the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, saying he plans to take "the uncommon opportunity" of being with 2,500 government, business and civil society leaders in the Swiss ski resort to exchange frank views on these issues.

Read more...

Mineral dust sprinkled in oceans could absorb vast amounts of carbon: study

altSprinkling billions of tonnes of mineral dust across the oceans could quickly remove a vast quantities of climate-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to a new study.

The proposed "geoengineering" technique would also offset the acidification of the oceans and could be targeted at endangered coral reefs, but it would require a mining effort on the same scale as the world's coal industry and would alter the biology of the oceans.

"It certainly is not a simple solution against the global warming problem," said Peter Köhler, at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, who led the study. It would require 100 large ships operating all year to distribute 1bn tonnes of the mineral olivine, although it might be possible to use the ballast water in existing shipping instead.

Read more...

Boris Johnson says snow casts doubt on climate change science

altThe one thing we can now forecast with near certainty during any cold snap is that a Telegraph writer will use the plunging mercury to breezily state it provides the necessary proof to declare that the theory of global warming is over-hyped, unscientific bunkum.

The typical reaction to such verbiage is mocking laughter, or, if you've awoken on the wrong side of the bed, huffy exasperation. The best strategy is to view these articles as trolling, for that is largely what they are: blatant attempts to jam a sharp stick into a seething nest that is The Climate Debate. These writers want to wind you up and provoke a reaction. By doing so, you are playing into their hands. Do not feed the trolls, as the saying goes.

Read more...

Climate change inaction the fault of environmental groups, report says

altA Harvard academic has put the blame squarely for America's failure to act on climate change on environmental groups. She also argues that there is little prospect Barack Obama will put climate change on the top of his agenda in his second term.

In a research paper, due to be presented at a Harvard forum next month, scholar Theda Skocpol in effect accuses the DC-based environmental groups of political malpractice, saying they were blind to extreme Republican opposition to their efforts.

Read more...

Climate change inaction the fault of environmental groups, report says

altA Harvard academic has put the blame squarely for America's failure to act on climate change on environmental groups. She also argues that there is little prospect Barack Obama will put climate change on the top of his agenda in his second term.

In a research paper, due to be presented at a Harvard forum next month, scholar Theda Skocpol in effect accuses the DC-based environmental groups of political malpractice, saying they were blind to extreme Republican opposition to their efforts.

Read more...

'Dark snow' project turns to crowdfunding for Greenland expedition

altThere is already much excitement in the arts, media and beyond about the potential of crowdfunding - via sites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo – to finance projects that might others have remained an unfulfilled dream. To date, though, few scientific expeditions have successfully utilised crowd-funding.

The Dark Snow Project hopes to change this. Jason Box, a climatologist based at the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University, is hoping to raise $150,000 over the coming months to pay for an expedition this summer up onto the "ice dome" of Greenland to gather samples of snow. The project's website explains:

Read more...

Drought-damaged states face poor outlook as dry weather persists

altA persistent drought held its grip on America's bread basket on Thursday, with no sign of relief for the four main wheat-growing states.

The poor outlook for winter wheat, which accounts for about 70% of the US crop, has raised fears about further food prices shocks, after widespread failure of last year's corn and soybean crops.

Read more...

Rogue geoengineering could 'hijack' world's climate

altThe world's climate could be hijacked by a rogue country or wealthy individual firing small particles into the stratosphere, claims a warning that comes not from a new Hollywood movie trailer but a sober report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The deployment of independent, large-scale "geoengineering" techniques aimed at averting dangerous warming warrants more research because it could lead to an international crisis with unpredictable costs to agriculture, infrastructure and global stability, said the Geneva-based WEF in its annual Global Risks report before the Davos economic summit later this month. It also warned that ongoing economic weakness is sapping the ability of governments to tackle the growing threat of climate change.

"The global climate could, in effect, be hijacked. For example, an island state threatened with rising sea levels may decide they have nothing to lose, or a well-funded individual with good intentions may take matters into their own hands," the report notes. It said there are "signs that this is already starting to occur", highlighting the case of a story broken by the Guardian involving the dumping of 100 tonnes of iron sulphate off the Canadian coast in 2012, in a bid to spawn plankton and capture carbon.

Read more...