New UN climate deal text: what's in, what's out

  • 07 Oct 2015, 16:00
  • Sophie Yeo
UNFCCC meeting with Christiana Figueres

UNFCCC meeting | Flickr

The UN has released the latest draft of the text that will eventually be hammered into an international climate change agreement in Paris this December.

The text, written by co-chairs Dan Reifsnyder from the US and Ahmed Djoghlaf from Algeria, bears many of the hallmarks of its two previous incarnations. There is the same flurry of square brackets (231, to be precise, indicating that there at least 231 points still up for negotiation) and deluge of acronyms - and the same core issues running throughout the document.

But, in many ways, the text is a skeleton of previous versions. At 20 pages, it is about a quarter of the length of the 76-page document released in July, and the  86 pages from February.

In other words, it is the first time that the co-chairs have made substantive reductions to the Paris text.

At UN sessions taking place throughout this year, countries have  expressed concern at the slow pace of the negotiations. The text responds to a call for a "step change in the pace of negotiation", say the co-chairs in a note accompanying the text.

Behind the scenes, diplomats have been engaging in intense discussions to speed along the process. The hope is that countries will start to converge around what should go in - and stay out of - the final deal.

Nonetheless, slimming down the contents of the document remains a politically sensitive task, with nations often reluctant to say let go of their favoured positions.

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The Carbon Brief Interview: Dr Hoesung Lee

  • 07 Oct 2015, 12:20
  • Roz Pidcock
Dr Hoesung Lee World Energy Congress in South Korea.

Dr Hoesung Lee | Corbis

Dr Hoesung Lee is a professor in the economics of climate change, energy and sustainable development at Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. He has been the vice chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change since 2008. This week Dr Lee was named the new chair of the IPCC.

On the burden on IPCC scientists: "I think the burden is quite high. However, at the same time...many of them take great pride in sharing this experience with fellow scientists."

On how adaptation and mitigation complement each other: "The community would benefit more by recognising the complementing nature of the two approaches."

On opening plenary sessions to the media: "One can improve the transparency of the process without opening the whole details of the deliberations process, I believe."

On the limitations of economic modelling: "Right now the major stumbling block in the study of climate change economics is to have some reasonable understanding and estimates of climate damages."

On a carbon tax: "If you ask me to choose the most important work in climate change issues, then I'll choose carbon price. That's because it is the driver to put us into the right track." 

On the "hiatus": "I think that trying to read too much from 10-year temperature changes is more or less like trying to extract too much information from, should I say, daily fluctuations of stock prices."

On a carbon budget for 2C: "Ideally, it should be very effective, but in reality I do not see carbon budgets having much impact on action."

On the feasibility of 2C: "The IPCC report indicated that negative emissions are required to achieve a 2C goal and the technology to achieve that goal is not yet available."

On the future of the IPCC: "Perhaps we may have reached a point where we have done enough of identifying problems and we may have time now to see the solutions."

On climate skeptics: "The IPCC is certainly open to those who are skeptical of climate change and global warming to come into our arena and present their views."


CB: The IPCC has confirmed there will be an AR6 [sixth assessment report], how do you think its scope or function might be different from AR5? Do you think there will be differences?

HL: Oh, I think there was a great deal of discussion about the future of the IPCC at the end of the last cycle of the IPCC and, overall, the consensus was that we would follow more or less a similar structure as we have adopted for the last reports. In terms of reports and the frequency of those outputs, we don't generally expect much change from the previous cycle. I hope that there has to be some meaningful improvements in the way the IPCC outputs in the future.

CB: You mentioned the timing of the reports there, it has been decided to continue the big assessment reports every five or seven years or so. Would you have prefered to see smaller, maybe more frequent report on specific regions or topics?

HS: I think specific reports on specific regions will be very much in demand, but the constraint is whether the climate science community will be able to share that burden of many specific reports, in addition to the reports for the major assessments. So, the constraint is really on the potential contributors to the IPCC assessment cycle.

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Daily Briefing | Korea's Hoesung Lee named head of UN climate panel

  • 07 Oct 2015, 09:00
  • Carbon Brief Staff
Dr Hoesung Lee World Energy Congress in South Korea.

Dr Hoesung Lee | Corbis

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Factcheck: How much energy does the world get from renewables? 
Zero-carbon sources of energy are key to cutting emissions, and in the power sector they are already being added more quickly than fossil fuels. So just how much energy does the world get from renewables? Carbon Brief has two charts to show where we are today, and how far we've come over the past half century.  Carbon Brief 

The Carbon Brief Interview: New IPCC chair, Dr Hoesung Lee 
In September, Carbon Brief interviewed then-IPCC Chair candidate, Dr Hoesung Lee. With Dr Lee winning the election last night, take a look at what the IPCC's new head thinks about the feasibility of 2C, a carbon tax, and the future of the IPCC.  Carbon Brief

Climate and energy news

Korea's Hoesung Lee named head of UN climate panel 
Hoesung Lee of South Korea has been named the new head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body tasked with assessing climate science. Prof Lee, an expert on climate economics and sustainable development, was elected to chair the panel at its ongoing meeting in Dubrovnik, Croatia. He is the fourth person to lead the IPCC in its 27-year history. Lee was elected ahead of five other candidates, beating Belgian Jean-Pascal van Ypersele - another former IPCC vice-chair - in a run-off, reports the Guardian. Speaking after being elected, Lee said: "The next phase of our work will see us increase our understanding of regional impacts, especially in developing countries, and improve the way we communicate our findings to the public," reports The Hindu. Several climate change scientists said they didn't know Lee, reports the New York Times, with Princeton's Michael Oppenheimer saying Lee is "relatively quiet." In his Dot Earth blog at the NYT, Andy Revkin described Lee's election as "apt" considering "the importance of Asia in coming years, both as the dominant source of growth in greenhouse gas emissions (India in particular) and as a rising force in energy research and innovation (South Korea, China and Japan)". Today there will be further elections to fill 33 roles in the IPCC bureau, reports Climate HomeReuters also has the story. BBC News 

Shell chief pops Carney's 'carbon bubble' 
The boss of Royal Dutch Shell has accused Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, of a "lack of realism" in his comments about climate change. Ben van Beurden, Shell's chief executive, dismissed Mr Carney's warning last week that investors in the industry risked being left with billions of dollars' worth of "stranded assets" - oil and gas that could never be extracted because of carbon regulation - as simplistic. Speaking at an oil industry conference in London, van Beurden said he was not worried about Shell ending up with stranded assets: "The reality of demand growth is such that fossil fuels will be needed for decades to come.". "Where I'm really concerned is the fact that the arguments that are being put forward - their seductive simplicity - mean that meaningful climate change action is being delayed," he added. In his speech, van Beurden urged oil majors and utilities to come on board in backing a tax on carbon emissions, reports Climate Home. van Beurden also said there are signs the price of oil could start to recover, reports the Guardian, but warned of the risk of a "spike" in oil prices should Opec keep pumping oil flat-out, says the Financial TimesThe Times 

BBC says sorry for Quentin Letts' climate sceptic Met Office show 
The BBC has admitted a Radio 4 programme broadcast this summer discussing the role of the Met Office did not meet the organisation's required standards on accuracy or impartiality. "What's the Point of the Met Office", presented by Daily Mail columnist Quentin Letts, attracted a number of complaints from listeners and climate change experts. The BBC apologised for the "unfortunate lapse", adding: "In giving voice to climate change sceptics, [the programme] failed to make clear that they are a minority voice, out-of-step with the scientific consensus." Climate Home also has the story. BusinessGreen 

UN drops plan to help move climate-change affected people 
A reference to a "climate change displacement coordination facility" to help manage those escaping rising sea levels, extreme weather and ruined agriculture has been removed from the draft agreement for the crucial UN climate talks in Paris. The facility would have provided "organised migration and planned relocation", as well as compensation to those having to leave their homes. Australia in particular opposed the idea, says Milman: "Australia's opposition to the creation of a body to help people escaping the ravages of climate change appears to have paid off." The Guardian 

Pakistan PM delays climate pledge over provincial rivalries 
When the UN deadline passed last week, Pakistan was the fifth biggest emitter not to have submitted a climate pledge. Yet according to top climate official, Arif Ahmed Khan, his department delivered a draft plan to the prime minister's office four weeks ago. It set out three options for greenhouse gas emissions cuts from business as usual by 2030. The preferred target is 10%, rising to a maximum 18-20%. Provincial rivalry, inter-departmental battles and bureaucratic caution have been blamed for the delay, says Darby. Climate Home

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Factcheck: How much energy does the world get from renewables?

  • 06 Oct 2015, 14:05
  • Simon Evans
Solar panels against the deep blue sky

Solar panels | Shutterstock

The world cannot avoid dangerous climate change without moving to "near zero emissions" before the end of the century, according to the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Zero-carbon sources of energy will be key to this transition and in the power sector they are already being added more quickly than fossil fuels.

So just how much energy does the world get from renewables? Carbon Brief has two charts to show where we are today, and how far we've come over the past half century.

Fossil free

Last week,  Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England,  warned that fossil fuel assets could become unburnable, stranded assets that no longer have value -- with broad implications for financial stability. His comments continue to  divide opinion.

Yet if the world is to successfully avoid dangerous warming, fossil fuels must ultimately be either replaced by  zero-carbon alternatives or used with  carbon capture and storage.

Not  everyone believes this to be a plausible future. In an article in  the Telegraph on 1 October, Jeremy Warner wrote:

"Thirty years of extraordinarily costly research and development has resulted in a renewables industry that today accounts for a stunning - wait for it - 1 per cent of global energy supply."

In the  Sunday Times on 4 October, Rod Liddle wrote:

"Carney, with wind turbine nailed to his forehead, has decided he doesn't like hydrocarbons. Coal, gas and oil. He thinks we should probably leave one third of the world's reserves of hydrocarbons right there where they are, in the ground. Leave it where it is and invest in what are euphemistically called renewables, which contribute 1% of the world's energy needs. Right-ho, Mark - that's the entire basis of the western economic system well and truly buggered, then."

Renewable share

The two columnists are scathing of renewables, giving identical figures for the renewable share of world energy. Are they right? In short, no.

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Daily Briefing | Coal-fired power stations ‘to close’

  • 06 Oct 2015, 09:00
  • Carbon Brief Staff
Coal fired power station with cooling towers releasing steam into atmosphere

Coal power station | Shutterstock

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Factcheck: Aerosols research misinterpreted to 'alarming extent', says study author 
On Friday the Express claimed that the discovery of a new "natural coolant" by scientists has thrown "previous estimates of rising temperatures into doubt" - following in the footsteps of similar articles elsewhere. But a co-author of the study tells Carbon Brief the researchers "completely disagree" with the way their study has been reported, and that these articles are a "misuse of our research". Carbon Brief

Climate and energy news

Coal-fired power stations 'to close' 
Britain will shut down all its coal-fired power stations by 2023, under plans being drawn up by ministers before a United Nations climate change conference in Paris next month, the Times reports. It is understood that Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, could announce the plan before the conference begins on November 30. Under the proposals, Britain's ten coal-fired power stations, the biggest supplier of electricity for decades, would be forced to convert to alternative fuels, fit carbon capture and storage equipment, or shut. Coal - the most polluting fossil fuel in terms of carbon emissions - generated about 30% of electricity in the UK last year. The plan "is likely to add to fears" that new renewables will not come on to the system quickly enough to replace the lost coal-fired generation capacity, the Times writes. "While fossil fuels have a role to play in meeting our energy ­demands, evidence shows that coal as a percentage of total generation has ­fallen from 40 per cent in 2012 to 29 per cent in 2014", a DECC spokesperson said. The Times 

UN releases 20-page negotiating text for climate deal 
The UN has produced a slimmed-down negotiating text for the global climate pact due to be signed in Paris this December - less than a quarter the length of the last version, published in July. The document clarifies which elements will be legally binding and which go into a 'decision document' that can evolve over time. The legally-binding portion will include a long-term global goal for peaking or phasing out greenhouse gas emissions. The draft has no official status - the only way such pre-negotiation negotiations can take place, notes Andy Revkin in the New York Times. The problem is that the draft remains "riddled" with square brackets, he writes. The Guardian also carries the story. Climate Home 

Leaders 'will not negotiate' at Paris climate talks 
Summit organisers of the Paris climate conference want to reverse the way such talks have been held in past years by summoning world leaders at the start, and then leave the nitty gritty of forging a deal to their representatives. By doing so they hope to avoid a repeat of the Copenhagen summit five years ago - widely regarded as a failure after "fraught last-minute, closed-door negotiations". "The French idea is to have heads of state come at the beginning to make statements - they will not negotiate, you won't have them in closed doors," an EU source told Politico. Politico 

China is working to reach its emissions peak before 2030 deadline, analyst says 
China may aim for an earlier greenhouse gas emissions peak before its 2030 deadline, according to Qi Ye, director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy in Beijing. "China hopes to peak as early as possible because it understands it's in the national interest and to the benefit of the people in terms of health considerations", he told the Guardian Australia. This will put a greater onus on Australia to work with its key trading partner on renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.  Guardian 

BP finalises $20.8bn Deepwater Horizon settlement 
BP will pay a higher than expected $20.8bn to settle civil claims with US federal and state authorities over the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster, an oil spill and explosion that killed 11 workers. The deal announced on Monday is the largest ever reached by the Department of Justice with a single entity. The Telegraph also has the story. Financial Times 

Renewables could supply nearly a quarter of Africa's energy by 2030, says report 
Almost a quarter of Africa's energy needs could feasibly be supplied by renewables within the next 15 years, according to a report by IRENA released yesterday. Hydropower, wind, solar power, and modern biomass systems for cooking, could all play a major role in the continent's energy mix. With 50% of all energy use in Africa today coming from traditional biomass, around half of the projected increase in renewable energy capacity would come from modern biomass-based heat applications. BusinessGreen 

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Factcheck: Aerosols research misinterpreted to 'alarming extent’, says study author

  • 05 Oct 2015, 16:45
  • Robert McSweeney
Evening sun behind clouds above the sea, Hermaness, Unst, Shetland Islands

© Matthias Graben/Corbis

In its online edition on Friday, the  Express claimed that the discovery of a new "natural coolant" by scientists has thrown "previous estimates of rising temperatures into doubt".

The story followed in the footsteps of similar articles on the  Register and  Breitbart, two websites which have a history of publishing climate sceptic articles. The Register said the new research meant "there isn't as much urgency about the matter [climate change] as had been thought". While a Breibart article by James Delingpole claimed it presents "further proof" that "the reason that all that predicted 'global warming' has failed to materialise is that it has been countered by the planet's natural cooling effects."

The Express and Breitbart quoted Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a climate sceptic lobby group, as saying: "Here is more evidence...that climate models...should never have been trusted in the first place."

But a co-author of the study tells Carbon Brief the researchers "completely disagree" with the way their study has been reported, and that these articles are a "misuse of our research".

Theexpress Isoprene

The Express, online edition, Friday 2 October.


The new study, published last week in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, concerns natural emissions of a compound called "isoprene". Despite sounding like a material a keen cyclist would wear, isoprene is actually a gas that helps aerosols form in our atmosphere.

Aerosols are tiny liquid or solid particles in the air. They have a direct effect on temperature by scattering sunlight, and an indirect effect by stimulating clouds to form, affecting how much sunlight reaches the Earth's surface. Overall, they generally cool the Earth's surface, counteracting - but not offsetting - the warming impact of rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Aerosols have natural sources, such as  volcanic emissions and  plant vapours, and manmade sources, such as car exhausts, factories and power plants.

Isoprene isn't an aerosol in its own right, but combines with other chemicals in the atmosphere,  such as oxygen, to create them. These particles are big enough for water vapour to condense onto, allowing clouds to form.

Scientists know that isoprene is produced by plants and trees on land and by plankton in the oceans. But the new study finds that it is also produced by the interaction of sunlight with chemicals in the top tenth of a millimetre of the ocean surface.

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Daily Briefing | Lord Adonis to resign Labour whip and chair George Osborne's infrastructure body

  • 05 Oct 2015, 09:00
  • Carbon Brief Staff
Lord Adonis, Labour Peer attends the Arup-Cicero Infrastructure breakfast debate, at the offices of Arup, London.

Lord Adonis | Michael Walter/Troika

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Analysis: India's climate pledge suggests significant emissions growth up to 2030 
India's greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 would climb by around 90% compared to current levels, according to Carbon Brief analysis of its climate pledge to the UN. However, it would remain far below its peers on a per capita basis. And, at $2.5tn over the next 15 years, India's pledge has a significantly higher price tag than other INDCs.  Carbon Brief

Climate and energy news

Lord Adonis to resign Labour whip and chair George Osborne's infrastructure body 
In a story leading many of the UK's newspapers, one of Labour's pre-eminent thinkers is to resign his party's whip in the House of Lords after being recruited by George Osborne to head a newly created National Infrastructure Commission. Andrew Adonis, Tony Blair's former policy chief, will sit as a cross-bench peer to allow him to chair the new statutory body that will advise the government on new infrastructure projects. These will cover roads and rail, including the east-west HS3 rail line, the new north-south Crossrail 2 line linking Surrey and Hertfordshire, and energy projects such as the new generation of nuclear power stations.  Reuters says the International Monetary Fund has encouraged Britain to spend more on infrastructure, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says British government capital spending ranked 18th out of 24 developed countries in 2013.  The Guardian 

India's pledge clears a significant hurdle towards a climate deal in Paris 
India's climate pledge to the UN has received lots of media attention over the past few days. The Guardian notes that "with India's plan for curbing carbon emissions now in, most of the major developing economies have responded to the UN's requests for the commitments on climate change that will form the keystone of an agreement to be signed in Paris this December". The  FT says that "New Delhi's submission represents a milestone for international climate negotiations stretching back 20 years that have failed to stem rising carbon emissions...New Delhi's 38-page submission to the UN was the last from any big economy." The  BBC says that "India's contribution, which promised to reduce the carbon intensity of their emissions but didn't commit to peaking their CO2, drew praise from around the world...But many environmentalists were critical, saying the plan would see a "phenomenal increase" in the use of coal...The plan says that India's transition will cost $2.5 trillion, a "scary number" according to one observer. It is unclear how much of this money will come from India's own resources and how much from the international community and investment." The story is also covered by  InsideClimateNews,Climate Home,  AP,  Time,  Nature and  Scientific American.  The Guardian 

Nuclear power plants in 'culture of denial' over hacking risk 
The frontpage of the FT carries a story about a new Chatham House report which argues that a "focus on safety and high physical security means that many nuclear facilities are blind to the risks of cyber attacks". "Cyber security is still new to many in the nuclear industry," said Caroline Baylon, the report's author. "They are really good at safety and, after 9/11, they've got really good at physical security. But they have barely grappled with cyber." The  BBC also has the story.  Financial Times 

Six experts vie for top U.N. climate science job 
Reuters previews this week's vote for the new chair of the IPCC, the UN's climate science body. "The outcome of the vote is hard to predict, especially after Sierra Leone's Ogunlade Davidson, a former IPCC vice-chair, joined the race in recent weeks, scientists and officials said. He could be well placed, if developing countries back him in the one-nation, one-vote election. 'He's thrown a wild card into the race,' one scientist said, asking not to be named because of the sensitivity of the vote." Last week,Carbon Brief published a comprehensive summary of the candidates' views.  Reuters 

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Analysis: India's climate pledge suggests significant emissions growth up to 2030

  • 02 Oct 2015, 17:40
  • Simon Evans and Sophie Yeo
Taj Mahal on a bright and clear day

Taj Mahal | Shutterstock

India's greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 would climb by around 90% compared to current levels, according to Carbon Brief analysis of its climate pledge to the UN.

Its  intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) promises a 33-35% reduction in emissions intensity by 2030, compared to 2005 levels.  This could see India eclipse the EU and US in terms of total emissions in 2030. However, it would remain far below its peers on a per capita basis.

India's INDC also pledges to nearly triple its renewable energy capacity by 2022 and to raise the share of zero-carbon electricity generating capacity to 40% of the total by 2030.

At $2.5tn over the next 15 years, India's pledge has a significantly higher  price tag than other INDCs. Carbon Brief dives into the numbers and the politics around India's INDC.

Rising emissions

India's population and economy are  growing rapidly, yet hundreds of millions still live in poverty without access to electricity. So India has been fiercely protective of its right to prioritise economic development.

As a result, its INDC in framed in terms of emissions intensity -- the amount of greenhouse gases emitted per unit of GDP. While India's pledge promises to cut its emissions intensity in 2030 to a third below 2005 levels, its growing economy means actual emissions will still increase.

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Daily Briefing | Will cut greenhouse gas emissions intensity, move to non-fossil fuels by 2030, India tells UNFCCC

  • 02 Oct 2015, 09:00
  • Carbon Brief Staff
India's flag

India's flag | Wikimedia

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IPCC chair election: how the views of the candidates compare 
Next week, the election will take place to choose the new chair of the IPCC. Over recent months, Carbon Brief has been interviewing all the candidates. Here, we provide a gridded summary of the key points they made.  Carbon Brief

IEA scales back UK renewables forecast, citing policy uncertainty 
A new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA) says the future for UK renewables is less optimistic than it looked a year ago, in part because of uncertainty over government policy following the general election in May.  Carbon Brief 

Paris 2015 Tracking country climate pledges - updates include Botswana and Honduras 
The deadline for INDC submissions passed yesterday, but the UNFCCC received a flood of last-minute entries. Catch-up on of what all the latest countries said in their submissions with our popular tracker.  Carbon Brief

Climate and energy news

Will cut greenhouse gas emissions intensity, move to non-fossil fuels by 2030, India tells UNFCCC 
One day after the formal deadline, India has submitted its much-anticipated post-2020 climate pledge - or INDC - to the UNFCCC, reports the Indian Express. "India has said it will ensure that its greenhouse gas emissions from one unit of GDP in 2030 is at least one third lesser than what it used to be in 2005. It has also said that it intends to produce about 40 per cent of its electricity in 2030 from "non-fossil fuel based sources" like solar, wind or hydropower." The  Times of India notes that "India's INDC do not bind it to any sector specific mitigation obligation or action, including in agriculture sector". The  New York Times says: "Under the plan, India does not commit to an absolute reduction in carbon emissions levels, unlike other major polluting economies, including those of the United States, China, the European Union and Brazil. India's emissions would continue to rise, but at a slower pace than business as usual."Reuters says that the INDC includes a section that suggest preliminary estimate suggests that "at least $2.5 trillion will be required for meeting India's climate change actions between now and 2030". TheGuardian,  EnergyDesk and  Carbon Pulse also carry the story.  Indian Express 

Climate plans by 140 nations mark progress, but not enough: experts 
Plans submitted by 140 nations to limit their greenhouse gases would go some way towards tackling climate change, but not enough to prevent the planet from warming by well over 2C compared to pre-industrial times, experts say. A Climate Action Tracker (CAT) by four European research groups projected the plans, if implemented, would limit average temperature rises to 2.7C above pre-industrial times by 2100, down from 3.1C estimated last December. "We're below three degrees for the first time," Bill Hare of Climate Analytics, which is part of CAT, told Reuters. "We're obviously far from where we need to be, but this is a signal that the process can work." He said the main contributor was Beijing's plan, issued in June, to get emissions from burning coal, oil and natural gas to peak by around 2030.Climate Home and  Associated Press also carry the story.  Reuters 

Industry warns government solar subsidy cuts put 27,000 jobs at risk 
Up to 27,000 people who make a living from the UK's burgeoning solar power industry could lose their jobs as a result of the government's aggressive cuts to the popular feed-in tariff subsidy scheme, a new industry-backed analysis has claimed. The Solar Trade Association commissioned TBR Economic Research to investigate how many people are employed directly by the solar industry, in a bid to understand the potential impact on jobs of the government's controversial feed-in tariff review.  BusinessGreen 

Netherlands enters appeal against climate ruling 
The Dutch government has appealed against a court order to target deeper greenhouse gas emission cuts. In July, district judges ruled the Netherlands must reduce emissions at least 25% from 1990 levels by 2020. Existing policies are set to yield 17%. It was a groundbreaking victory for campaign group Urgenda, which brought the case backed by almost 900 citizens. But after a parliamentary debate last week, the government confirmed plans to challenge the verdict in the appeals court. Environment minister Wilma Mansveld questioned the judge's interpretation of the state's "duty of care" towards citizens - a crucial factor in the case. That could have implications for other policy areas, she said.  Climate Home 

Power stations' wasted energy 'costing consumers £9.5bn a year' 
Wasted energy at electricity power stations is adding hundreds of pounds to the cost of household bills, a report warns. More than half of the energy generated at electricity plants is lost before it gets to households because massive amounts of heat is allowed to escape uncaptured. The waste adds £9.5bn a year to energy bills and equals the power generated by 37 nuclear power stations or wind turbines covering two fifths of Scotland, says the report, which was signed by EEF, the manufacturers organisation, and Greenpeace.  The Times 

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IEA scales back UK renewables forecast, citing policy uncertainty

  • 02 Oct 2015, 06:00
  • Simon Evans
Wind turbines at Little Cheyne Court

Wind turbines | Oast House Archives

The future for UK renewables is less optimistic than it looked a year ago, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The amount of renewable capacity added in the UK will fall by half between 2015 and 2016, says the IEA's Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015, in part because of uncertainty over government policy following the election in May.

Globally, the IEA expects renewables to be the single largest source of new electricity generating capacity, accounting for nearly two-thirds of all additions to 2020. However, the UK policy environment is not alone in leaving question marks over support for renewables, the IEA warns.

Carbon Brief has a short summary of the report.

UK uncertainty

Since the UK's general election in May, a series of renewable energy policies have been  rolled back or put  under review. "Policy uncertainties have emerged," the IEA says, citing changes to support for onshore wind, solar and other renewables.

Compared to its 2014 outlook, the IEA says its UK forecast for renewables is "less optimistic...with a dip in 2016 due to slower expansion of onshore wind and solar". This dip will see growth rates fall by more than half, from around 4 gigawatts (GW) added in 2015 to below 2GW in 2016.

Though it expects growth rates to recover, the IEA does not expect annual additions to return to pre-election levels (chart, below).

Renewal -capacity

Past and projected renewable generating capacity additions in the UK between 2013 and 2020. Source: IEA Medium Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2015.


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