Today's climate and energy headlines:
- Court action to save young from climate bill
- China withdraws intention to participate in ICAO’s CORSIA aviation offset scheme
- Government 'will miss fuel poverty target by more than six decades'
- Japan govt signs off on energy policy keeping source targets unchanged
- Venezuela says it will receive $250 mln from China to boost oil output
- Ireland: Businesses lobby against ban on gas exploration
- The south barely reacting as the north burns tells you everything you need to know about England
- Does the moon hold the key to the earth’s energy needs?
- Adaptation to climate change in the Mekong River Basin: introduction to the special issue
A hearing is set to be held on today at the High Court today for an activist group hoping to sue the UK government over climate change, the BBC reports. The campaigners, known as Plan B, argue that the government is discriminating against the young by failing to cut emissions fast enough. The group is seeking permission from a judge to launch formal legal action. Ministers have previously said they will review climate targets in light of the 1.5C Paris Agreement goal, however Plan B notes it has not yet commissioned a review or set a time frame for it. Last week the government’s official climate advisors, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), said the UK is already struggling to tackle emissions in many sectors where reductions are needed to meet its current climate commitments (Carbon Brief covered the CCC’s report in depth). Separately, BusinessGreen reports on a new Energy Institute poll of young people on climate change. The poll of 1,300 youngsters attending the professional body’s science and engineering fair in March found 95% do not believe enough is being done by adults to tackle the damaging effects of climate change.
China has officially withdrawn its intention to participate in the UN’s CORSIA aviation offsetting scheme, Carbon Pulse reports. The move deals a “massive blow” to efforts to rein in the aviation sector’s rising emissions, says Carbon Pulse. Separately, Climate Home reports that the UN’s shipping agency has agreed to consider measures to curb industry dominance, which are “seen as a threat to its climate goals”. The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO)’s governing council agreed to set up a working group to consider industry participation as part of a wider overhaul of the organisation’s governance in response to concerns raised by campaigners and backed by 12 countries. Carbon Brief covered the shipping sector’s new climate goal when it was agreed earlier this year.
The government is on track to miss a key fuel poverty target by more than half a century, the Guardian reports. The government target aims to upgrade as many fuel-poor homes as possible in England to energy efficiency band C by 2030, but at the current rate homes are being insulated and upgraded the target will not be met by 2091 at the earliest, the report by thinktank IPPR has found. The IPPR called for reform on the main government scheme for tackling the problem, the energy companies obligation (ECO). Separately, the Telegraph reports on government plans to push back a “crucial deadline” on the roll-out of a new breed of smart meter. The new meters tackle the problem of some smart meters “go[ing] dumb” when consumers switch energy supplier, but the roll out could be delayed by another two months, the Telegraph says.
Japan yesterday approved an updated basic energy policy, Reuters reports. The revised plan left its ideal mix of power sources for 2030 in line with targets set three years ago. Nuclear power is allocated to supply 22-20% of Japan’s power mix in 2030, up from 2% in 2016, despite criticism this places too much emphasis on the controversial power source. Carbon Brief has updated its recent profile of Japan, which covered the progression of the country’s climate and energy policy in depth, to reflect the news.
The China Development Bank will give Venezuela $250m to boost oil production, the South American country’s finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, Reuters reports. “We have clinched an authorisation for direct investment from the China Development Bank, to increase PDVSA’s production, of more than $250m,” the statement said. [PDVSA is Venezuela’s state-owned oil and natural gas company.]
A proposed ban on oil and gas exploration will undermine energy security and do little for the environment, Ireland’s largest business lobby group has claimed, the Times reports. The Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Amendment) Bill, put forward as a private member’s bill by Solidarity-People Before Profit, proposes to stop the issuing of new exploration licences for fossil fuels. But lobby group Ibec said the “vital role” of natural gas in the economy should not be overlooked. Conor Minogue, senior energy executive with Ibec, said that the proposed bill could increase greenhouse gas emissions because Ireland would be importing natural gas from as far away as Russia.
“How much blame can we place for the recent destruction on climate change?,” asks Will Gore, deputy managing editor of The Independent, in a feature arguing there is a lack of newspaper coverage on the “vast fires destroying square mile upon square mile of our northern uplands”. “Certainly parts of England have just experienced their driest ever June,” he notes, with temperatures reaching 32C. “It’s notable too of course that the burning of peat, that great carbon store, further impacts on the climate,” he adds. “All this follows one of the wettest starts to the year on record, pointing to the now well-established notion that the primary impact of climate change on our weather is at the extremes: cold is colder, wet is wetter and hot is hotter.”
An extraordinary array of devices promise to unlock the vital energy potential of tidal power, writes Guardian environment editor Damien Carrington in features looking at the emerging tidal sector. “Using giant kites, blades and paddles, and mimicking pogo sticks, blowholes and even the human heart, groups around the world are on the cusp of harnessing the colossal power of the oceans.” While the costs remain “worryingly high”, the sector is “frothing with ideas” adds Carrington.. “[H]undreds of companies are developing an extraordinary array of devices and backed by billions of dollars of investment,” he notes.
Climatic change has published a special issue on climate change adaptation in the Mekong River Basin. The focus on the Mekong is “critical”, the authors of this introduction say: “past research on climate change adaptation in the basin is limited, key areas in the basin have been identified as vulnerable to climate change…and the basin is developing rapidly”. The special issue will cover four themes: impacts on water, nutrient, and sediment flows, adaptation in urban centres, adaptation in rural areas, and transboundary river management.
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