Alaska’s decision to host the largest oil and gas lease sale of any US state this year is good news for the oil and gas industry, which has been pressing for more access. And while the resulting exploration and production certainly will be good for the overall economy – creating jobs and boosting activity – it is a pity that it is not against a backdrop of better news on the environmental front.
Fiona Harvey talks to Sylvia Pfeifer about the implications of the Cancun negotiations Read more
The gorgeous grounds of the Moon Palace resort in Cancun are chock full of people. Hurrying from one meeting room to another, sitting on the grass with laptops, queuing for soft drinks or munching on sandwiches in the shade of palm trees, taking shelter in the airconditioned lobby – the hotel can never have seen so many thousands of people at one time. Read more
Forestry is one of the key areas of focus at the Cancun climate change talks, now in their second week. A programme – called REDD, for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation – that would provide poor countries with financial incentives to keep their remaining forests standing is being worked out, and has broad support. Read more
The global shipping industry gives rise to more greenhouse gas emissions than the entire German economy. Yet shipping has been all but ignored in international climate change negotiations. Shipping emissions were excluded from the Kyoto protocol, and from the European Union’s emissions trading scheme. Read more
- Accord in danger of disintegration
- Financing: High stakes in low-carbon investments
- Energy use: Technology starts to take hold
- Water: World focus ‘needs to fall on agriculture’
- Resources: Alliances that lead to creative industrial symbiosis
- Science: Academics climb back into the ring of debate
- Fresh approaches: People power employed to detect patterns
- Geoengineering: Finding the formula to make world of difference
- Livestock: Meat eaters pose bigger threat than CO2 output
- Recycling: Goes a long way in the UK
- Adaptation: There is profit to be made from solutions Read more
So what is happening at Cancun?
Environment ministers and government officials from around the world are gathering in Mexico to talk about climate change, and how to tackle the problem of increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Read more
For climate change activists, a new study carried out by researches at Yale entitled Americans’ knowledge of climate change might make the heart sink. And their worst fears appear to have been met with the results showing that 52 per cent of participants scored below 60 per cent on the knowledge test they were set, earning them a lowly F grade. Read more
In the UK’s first ever annual energy statement, Chris Huhne, UK energy and climate change secretary, asked researchers, industry experts and members of the public a series of questions about the country’s energy priorities. The answers to these questions, he announced, will help form the basis of Britain’s pathway to energy security by the year 2050.
In line with David Cameron’s “Big Society” idea, the annual statement is accompanied by a “Call for evidence” and a software, essentially an excel spreadsheet, which models energy supply and demand to show alternative energy policy scenarios. The package is the government’s attempt to raise public support for the upcoming energy policy that will be announced later in the year.
But the spreadsheet currently does not contain any information on costs of any of the technologies, which is essential for the decision-making process that would shape public opinion on the subject. This crucial omission makes the tool ineffective for policy-makers and members of the public seeking to engage with Britain’s energy policy. Read more
A week after the Muir enquiry recommended greater openness in the science of climate change, the government launched a Google Earth Map layer which shows the impact of a 4° C temperature rise in the world including food and water pressures as well links to research outputs of prominent climate change scientists. The move will be welcomed by many, as it will allow the public a new opportunity to explore the uncertainty in climate science.
The Google map layer was launched by the UK Foreign Office in collaboration with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Read more