Monday, March 30, 2009

Climate change experts call on G20 members to commit to action

London 31 March 2009 - A last-ditch effort is being made to insert clearer green commitments into the global economic recovery package.

The move comes amid fears amongst some British government officials that the G20 summit is in danger of missing a unique opportunity to prevent the world from being locked into irreversible and catastrophic climate change.

Gordon Brown yesterday promised that a commitment to tackle the environment will be one of the five tests of the communique due to be released following the summit on Thursday, adding "there were long hours of hard negotiations ahead".

Number 10 counselled caution insisting that the main climate change event of the year will be at Copenhagen in December, when the UN hopes to reach a global deal to replace the Kyoto agreement. More >>>

Sunday, March 15, 2009

U.S. goes solar in tracks of Europe

March 13, 2009 - Solar cells adorn the roofs of many homes and warehouses across Germany, while the bright, white blades of windmills are a frequent sight in the skies above Spain.

If one day these machines become as common on the plains and rooftops of the United States as they are elsewhere, it may be because the financial technique that gave Europe an early lead in renewable energy is starting to cross the Atlantic.

Put simply, the idea is to pay homeowners and businesses top dollar for producing green energy. In Germany, for example, a homeowner with a rooftop solar system might get paid four times more to produce electricity than the rate paid to a coal-fired power plant. More >>>

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The "Flying Dutchman" of Climate Change

His colleagues call him the Flying Dutchman because of all the time Yvo de Boer spends in the air, traveling from one world capital to another as he tries to stitch together a global deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions — and possible save the world.

12 March 2009 - As the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), de Boer is the U.N.'s point man for the ongoing global effort to plan a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. (See pictures of our fragile planet.)

The deadline for a new treaty is coming up fast — at the U.N. climate summit that will be held in Copenhagen at the end of the year.

Though a much more climate-friendly Administration has just taken power in Washington, the main conflicts that have held up talks in the past — including the division of responsibility between China and the U.S., the two biggest carbon emitters in the world — remain deep. De Boer spoke to TIME in New York City, just a few hours before he was back in the air: More >>>

Monday, March 9, 2009

Rising sea levels from global warming 'could wipe out Norfolk Broads'

Rising sea levels caused by global warming could destroy the Norfolk Broads and Thames Estuary within a hundred years, climatologists will warn this week.

Mar 08 2009 - Low lying areas of the UK are under threat because the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are melting faster than previously thought. And climate change is also likely to lead to super storms which will batter the coastlines of Britain.

Cities including London, Hull and Portsmouth are all likely to need new defences to prevent devastating flooding. The dire warning will be made at a climate change conference in Copenhagen this week.

Dr David Vaughan of the British Antarctic Survey told the Observer: "It is now clear that there are going to be massive flooding disasters around the globe. More >>>

Friday, March 6, 2009

North Carolina to Study Sea Level Rise for the Nation

RALEIGH, North Carolina, February 26, 2009 (ENS) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency is awarding $5 million to the state of North Carolina for a statewide risk assessment and mitigation strategy demonstration of the potential impacts of sea level rise caused by climate change.

Announcing the award on Tuesday, FEMA Regional Administrator Phil May said the information and results from this study may help formulate strategies to deal with potential effects of sea level rise along all of the nation's coastlines.

FEMA also will use the results of this study to assess the long-term fiscal implications of climate change as it affects the frequency and effects of natural disasters.

Information from the study will be shared with other states to inform their climate change mitigation efforts. More >>>

Sunday, March 1, 2009

World faces last chance to avoid fatal warming: EU

BUDAPEST (Reuters) -Fri Feb 27 - The world faces a final opportunity to agree an adequate global response to climate change at a U.N.-led meeting in Copenhagen in December, the European Union's environment chief said on Friday.

World leaders from about 190 countries meet in Copenhagen in December to try to agree a global framework to replace the Kyoto Protocol on fighting global warming, which expires in 2012.

"It is now 12 years since Kyoto was created. This makes Copenhagen the world's last chance to stop climate change before it passes the point of no return," European Union Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas told a climate conference in Budapest on Friday.

"Having an agreement in Copenhagen is not only possible, it is imperative and we are going to have it," Dimas said. More >>>