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Daily Briefing

17.02.2015
Today's climate and energy headlines
DAILY BRIEFING How razing the rainforest has created a devastating drought in Brazil
How razing the rainforest has created a devastating drought in Brazil

News.

How razing the rainforest has created adevastating drought in Brazil

Twenty million people in Sao Paolo now face severe rationing dueto the disruption of the far-away Amazon’s rain-making machine, theTelegraph reports. The giant Cantareira reservoir system, whichsupplies nine million people, is now only five per cent full, andpredicted to run dry in April. Years of maladministration andneglect play some role in this, but population growth and otherenvironmental factors like climate change and deforestation arealso to blame. Climate change and local weather patterns are alsowreaking havoc in Central America and the US,

Telegraph Read Article

Climate and energy news.

Green Investment Bank launches £100m communityrenewables push

Business Secretary Vince Cable announces initial £60mfunding drive for community-scale projects, as work gets underwayto attract a further £40m from co-investors. The new fundingfollows similar funding commitments for offshore wind projects,waste-to-energy facilities, and energy efficiency programmes,BusinessGreen reports.

BusinessGreen Read Article
Nasa climate study warns of unprecedented NorthAmerican drought

California is in the midst of its worst drought in over1,200 years, exacerbated by hot weather. A new study at Nasa GISSexamines how drought intensity in North America will change in ahotter world, and finds that things will only get worse. Recordtemperatures have intensified the current California drought byabout 36 per cent, the Guardian reports. The research predicts thatthe Central Plains and Southwest region of the US face”unprecedented” megadroughts later this century, RTCCreports.

The Guardian Read Article
EU launches pilot projects to leverage greenenergy spending

European Union climate and energy bosses yesterday launchedtwo projects designed to unleash more than a billion euros ofspending to save energy and adapt to climate change. It is hopedthe pilot projects will help prove a scheme to turn 21 billioneuros of EU and European Investment Bank funds into at least 315billion euros of investment can work. Governments are meant toendorse the broader plan in June but many analysts are skeptical,saying there has been little detail on how private spending will becatalysed. Energy Live Newsalso has thestory.

Reuters Read Article
IEA's Birol says Middle East militancy poses majorchallenge for oil

The rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria presents amajor challenge for the investment necessary to prevent an oilshortage in the next decade, the International Energy Agency’s topeconomist Fatih Birol said today. “The appetite for investments inthe Middle East is close to zero, mainly as a result of theunpredictability of the region”, Birol said.

Reuters Read Article
Paris climate deal must lay ground for globalcarbon trading, MPs say

The Energy and Climate Change Committee says a globalagreement must allow carbon trading between countries to help meetemissions targets, writes BusinessGreen. A global carbon market oflinked emissions trading schemes is “the most cost-effective waypossible” to cut carbon dioxide levels, according to its latestreport. Tim Yeo, chair of the committee, said emissions trading waspreferable to setting a tax because polluters could simply “pay thetax and carry on polluting”, which would not guarantee any level ofemissions reduction.

BusinessGreen Read Article
Small Earthquakes Linked To Fracking Could Lead ToMajor Ones, Government ScientistSays

The process of extracting oil and gas has been linked bymultiple studies to increased incidence of small earthquakes. Theymight be minor, but they could be putting states like Oklahoma andKansas at risk for a major earthquake later on, new researchindicates. “The more small earthquakes we have, it just simplyincreases the odds we’re going to have a more damaging event,” saidUS Geological Survey scientist William Ellsworth. The researchfollows a study earlier this year that linked 2,500 earthquakesover five years in Oklahoma could be linked to the frackingprocess.

ClimateProgress Read Article

Climate and energy comment.

China's carbon emissions: did they really fall in2014?

Emerging data suggest that Chinese coal consumption may havefallen for the first time since 1998, as the country invested inrenewable energy, GDP growth slowed, and air quality topped thepolitical agenda. But can we trust the data, asks RTCC. It could bethat something has gone wrong somewhere with the country’s coalconsumption or GDP data, and we should wait, therefore, beforebelieving that China’s coal consumption fell last year.

Caroline Flint predicts 'clean energy industrialrevolution'

Labour has policies to transform the UK to a low carboneconomy, the Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary says. TheUK is “on the verge of a new, great industrial revolution” thatwill transform the country “from a high-carbon nation to alow-carbon economy”. New, green industries will create jobs andgrowth for Britain, but without the right policies the UK may missthe opportunity, Flint argues.

BusinessGreen Read Article
Real progress on climate change needs trustbetween all political parties

A successful global climate deal in Paris needs the sort ofleadership and cross-party trust that UK parties have shown intheir climate change pledge argues Ed Davey, the UK’s energy andclimate change secretary. While “real progress” has been made onclimate, we must press forward in implementing EU emissionsreductions commitments, and build political momentum for theclimate talks this December, Davey says.

Guardian Read Article

New climate science.

A temporary, moderate and responsive scenario forsolar geoengineering

Claims that solar radiation management – a type ofgeoengineering – will reduce rainfall, increase ocean acidificationor deplete ozone, and that it must be continued forever oncestarted, are consequences of how SRM is implemented not the methoditself, says a new paper. The authors present an option which theysay is temporary, moderate in its ambitions and flexible if newinformation comes to light.

NatureClimate Change Read Article
The environmental impact of climate changeadaptation

While adaptation is an essential part of the policy responseto climate change, poor planning has the potential to generatefurther pressures on ecosystems, according to new research. Thepaper looks at how climate adaptation in the farming sector couldaffect river water quality, a trade-off that illustrates theimportance of anticipating the wider impacts of adaptation whendesigning policies.

Nature ClimateChange Read Article
Efficiency of short-lived halogens at influencingclimate through depletion of stratosphericozone

Bromine substances, produced by seaweed and phytoplankton,deplete stratospheric ozone in the same way as CFCs, but the effectis 3.6 times stronger. Researchers say understanding how thesenatural processes contribute to climate change could be important.An ozone-depleting chlorine substance produced by human activity,and not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, is also rapidlyincreasing.

NatureGeoscience Read Article

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