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Daily Briefing

19.02.2015
Today's climate and energy headlines
DAILY BRIEFING Catholics in 45 countries are fasting for climate action
Catholics in 45 countries are fasting for climate action

News.

Catholics in 45 countries are fasting for climateaction

This Lent, Catholics all over the world are making astatement with their abstinence by giving up food andcarbon-intensive habits to raise awareness for climate change,Grist reports. The climate justice fast, organised in part by theGlobal Catholic Climate Movement, aims to galvanise politicalleaders into committing to climate change action. Each of the 45countries that signed up for the climate justice fast were assigneda day to abstain, beginning with Peru, the site of the most recentUN climate talks. RTCCalso has the story.

Grist Read Article

Climate and energy news.

EU introduces new rules to make cookinggreener

The sale of energy wasting ovens and cooking hobs will bebanned across the European Union, following a new set of rulesdesigned to improve the efficiency of cooking appliances, Reutersreports. The European Commission says the policy, known asecodesign, could consumers’ yearly bill by 50 euros per year. Thelaw was given a “warm welcome” from celebrity chefs and the Women’sInstitute, according to The Guardian.

Reuters Read Article
UK watchdog says big energy groups do not enjoyunfair advantage

Britain’s competition authority has yesterday rejectedsuggestions that the biggest energy suppliers enjoy an unfairadvantage by owning their own power generating businesses. Thissuggests that the big six suppliers may avoid a forced break-up oftheir generating and retail operations.

Financial Times Read Article
Gulf states facing social and economic crisis asoil revenues crash

Declining oil revenues and young populations could landMiddle East leaders with growing headache, according to a new studyby Chatham House. Gulf states must stop relying on fossil fuels astheir main source of income or face a social and economic crisis.”The situation is more pressing than many observers realise, evenfor these wealthy countries, because their public spending isrising so fast”, the study says. The price of oil is hovering justover $50 and experts are divided on how long that might last.

Citigroup to set aside $100 billion to fund greeninitiatives

Citigroup Inc said it would set aside $100 billion to fundenvironmental projects over the next decade, doubling the amount ithad earmarked for such projects in 2007, Reuters reports. Thethird-largest U.S. bank said it would fund projects related torenewable energy, greenhouse gas reductions and sustainabletransportation.

Reuters Read Article
Threat of mass migration for 13 million Indians,Bangladeshis in disappearingSundarbans

Seas are rising more than twice as fast as the globalaverage in the Sundarbans, a low-lying delta region in the Bay ofBengal, where some 13 million Indians and Bangladeshis live.Scientists predict much of the Sundarbans could be underwater in 15to 25 years, forcing a singularly massive exodus of millions of”climate refugees”, Fox reports. “If all the people of theSundarbans have to migrate, this would be the largest-evermigration in the history of mankind,” Tapas Paul, an environmentalspecialist with the World Bank said. The World Bank is spendinghundreds of millions of dollars assessing and preparing a plan forthe region.

Fox News.com viaAssociated Press Read Article
BP energy outlook highlights climate actiongap

Without further policies, the oil major forecasts a 37% risein energy demand by 2035, with two-thirds coming from fossil fuels.This would blow the emissions budget consistent with a 2C world.”It is not for us to lead, it is for us to do our job and respondto the incentives and structures provided by policymakers,” arguedBP’s chief economist Spencer Dale. The outlook challengesgovernments to match their climate goals with effective policies,RTCC reports.

Dash for coal threatens Indonesia climate goal,warns IEA

A rapid expansion of coal-fired power generation threatensIndonesia’s climate goals, analysts have warned. The largest coalexporter in the world, Indonesia plans to triple its use of thefossil fuel at home for power by 2025 – but also aims to cuts itscarbon dioxide emissions 26% by 2020. “Clean coal” technologies,which reduce some pollutants, will be “critical” to reconcile thesegoals, the IEA said. While Indonesia has significant untappedpotential for geothermal, biomass and hydro energy, much of it islocated far from demand centres.

Canadian mounties target anti-oil activists insecret memo

The US security establishment views climate change as realand a dangerous threat to national security – but Canada takes avery different view, according to a secret memo seen by theGuardian. An intelligence report from the Royal Canadian MountedPolice casts doubt on causes and consequences of climate change andidentifies anti-petroleum movement as a threat to Canadiansecurity. It fails to mention any of the findings of theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Globe and Mail, which was the firstto report on the memo, said the tone of the RCMP memo reflects thehostility of the Harper government towards environmental activists.

TheGuardian Read Article

Climate and energy comment.

Big oil must adapt to new era of lower prices,says Lord Browne

The former chief executive of BP says oil companies mustmake long-term changes and play a bigger role in climate changedebate, in a speech to the City last night. Oil companies will haveto adapt their business models to a new era of lower prices and puta greater emphasis on reducing emissions in order to survive, hesaid. His remarks come after Britain’s top two international oilcompanies, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, announced deep cuts tospending.

Telegraph Read Article
Should journalists become climate changecampaigners?

RTCC reports on a debate hosted by Channel 4 anchor JonSnow. Journalists are typically expected to be impartial, but it’sequally important to offer a sense of balance to the differentarguments writes Ed King, and “routinely ignoring the potentialimpacts of climate change is failing the audience”.

New climate science.

Quantifying atmospheric methane emissions from theHaynesville, Fayetteville, and northeastern Marcellus shale gasproduction regions

The amount of methane that escapes to the atmosphere duringshale gas production may be lower than earlier studies suggest. Newmeasurements taken from a research aircraft suggest the overallleak rate from three major natural gas basins spanning Texas,Louisiana, Arkansas and Pennsylvania is about one percent of gasproduction, in line with federal estimates, say the authors.

Journal of Geophysical Research:Atmospheres Read Article
Intensification and spatial homogenization ofcoastal upwelling under climatechange

Scientists expect coastal upwelling in some of the world’smajor oceans to get stronger as climate change alters the windpatterns that drive such systems. A new paper predicts theupwelling season, which supports vibrant fisheries and marineecosystems by bringing nutrient-rich deep water to the surface,will start earlier and end later in high latitudes by the end ofthe 21st century, with important implications for marinebiodiversity.

Nature Read Article
Climate-conflict research: some reflections on theway forward

A decade of research on the link between climate change andviolent conflict has revealed some interesting patterns but fewrobust results, says a new study. The research takes stock of theevidence on this complex topic, and presents five priorities forfuture research to develop a better understanding.

WIRES climate change Read Article

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