Corporation reveals it has cut energy consumption by 20 per cent thanks to switch to greener studios, but carbon impact of travel keeps climbing
New report by NGOs accuse UK and Germany of undermining efforts to tackle climate change by continuing to rely heavily on carbon intensive coal
New Aldersgate Group report argues clearer electricity label could help to mobilise green energy investment
New scheme launches in Victoria after Mayor branded claims Oxford Street has world's worst NO2 levels as 'b*ll*cks'
Bridget Boulle of the Climate Bonds Initiative reveals how green bonds will prove critical to global efforts to decarbonise
When a new road centipedes its way across a landscape, the best of intentions may be laid with the pavement. But roads, by their very nature, are indiscriminate pathways, granting access for travel and trade along with deforestation and other forms of environmental degradation. And as the impacts of roads on forest ecosystems become clear, governments and planning agencies reach a moral crossroads.
Department of Energy & Climate Change, 16 July 2014 | A blueprint which sets out the basis for the UK’s continued support for the EU ETS and outlines the priority areas for future reform: tackling the surplus of allowances; protecting sectors at risk of competitive disadvantage; and improving efficiency while cutting unnecessary red tape.
Owen Paterson's attack on the environmental movement ignores both climate risks and the mainstream success of the green economy
Wide-ranging new report argues the UK needs more airport capacity, but it must come hand-in-hand with green innovation
By Agus Purnomo and Yani Saloh letter to the editor, The Jakarta Globe, 16 July 2014 | A recent study on primary forest cover loss in Indonesia in the years 2000-12 that was published in the journal Nature Climate Change proposed some startling figures which led to the unsubstantiated and unhelpful Jakarta Globe editorial of July 2, which claimed that “a new study has proven that [President Susilo Bambang] Yudhoyono’s statements [on deforestation] add up to nothing but lip service and empty promises.” Let us state clearly and up front that we welcome this study and thank the authors for their attempt to contribute to a better understanding of deforestation issues in Indonesia. We are proud that the lead author, Belinda Margono, is a home-grown talent from the Ministry of Forestry. Some of the figures proposed are indeed startling. If they are true, they certainly give cause for concern. However, not only are the finding counterintuitive, the conclusion is an outlier...
By Michael Bachelard, The Age, 29 June 2014 | Indonesia is destroying its tropical rainforests faster than Brazil, and the rate is soaring despite a five-year moratorium on new clearing. Exhaustive new figures show Indonesia is probably the single largest deforester in the world, and that most destruction is happening in lowland and peat forests in Sumatra and Kalimantan, the only habitat in the world where tigers, orangutan, elephants and rhinoceroses live together. The University of Maryland study, derived from satellite data and published in Nature, gives the lie to official Indonesian figures that claim the rate of deforestation has slowed under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s national forest moratorium, imposed in 2009.
By Bryan Adkins, La Luta Continua, 14 July 2014 | As I work for a company that is working hard to promote REDD+ projects worldwide, as well as the active development of REDD+ jurisdictional programmes, and national policies, it may seem slightly strange that I am saying that REDD+ has some challenges. However, practically speaking, I think we have a real opportunity with REDD+ to create transformational impact on the ground. If we are going to do that, we need to address some key aspects of how REDD+ is implemented, that are currently creating challenges. With a combination of innovative approaches, dialogue, pragmatism and cooperation, I believe that these challenges can be overcome.
By Amy Moas, Capitol Weekly, 17 July 2014 | If protecting trees in Mexico so that companies can pollute more here sounds dubious, that’s because it is. In reality, it’s impossible to guarantee that the forests used as offsets would remain standing over thousands of years. Tropical forests face the same threat as those in California, which has lost large tracts of forest to fires and other causes. Yet CARB has identified projects in Chiapas Mexico, and Acre in the Amazon as potential first suppliers of credits. Fires, droughts and illegal activities are not the only problems that make forests unsuitable as part of carbon offset schemes. Tropical forests are home to millions of people. In recent years offset projects have repeatedly led to serious human rights violations and threatened the livelihoods of local communities and indigenous people living there.
By Thomas Hubert, CIFOR Forests News Blog, 17 July 2014 | With climate change proceeding faster than previously expected, there is a growing realization that adapting to it will be as important as mitigating it. But how policymakers build resilience to climate change raises thorny questions. At what point do we stop pursuing incremental changes in favor of disruptive, transformative change? Do transformations occur only when it is too late? And what even constitutes a “transformation”? A recent conference saw climate and development experts grapple with these questions, drawing on real-world examples that reflected a diversity of approaches to some of humanity’s most pressing challenges. “In some situations, incremental adaptation may not be sufficient,” said Claudia Comberti of the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute.
By Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar, The Guardian, 18 July 2014 | Forest cover in India increased by 5871 sq km (2266 sq miles) between 2010 and 2012. That’s the cheery headline news from the State of the Forest Report 2013 released this month by India’s environment minister, Prakash Javadekar. The findings appear to mark a turnaround from the previous survey, which had found a marginal decline in forests. But the fine print reveals a less rosy picture. The bulk of the increase in forest cover – about 3800 sq km – was in just one state, the report shows, and is partly attributed to a correction in previous survey data. In fact, India may be losing quality forests. Dense forests are degrading into scrub or sparsely covered forest areas in many states, says the report. “Moderately dense” forest cover – areas with a tree canopy density of between 40-70% – shrank by 1991 sq km in the two-year period, while “open forests” with less than 40% canopy increased by 7831 sq km.
Residents in South Downs National Park inform government they refuse permission for fracking beneath their land
By Ben Garside, Reuters, 14 July 2014 | The European Union handed out too many free carbon permits in its Emissions Trading System and did not set a deep enough emission reduction goal, China's top climate negotiator said on Monday. China, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases blamed for climate change, is testing its own carbon markets and aims to set up a national programme by 2017 to help curb its emissions. Prices in Beijing's pilot carbon market became the highest in the world last week, rising to 74.07 yuan per tonne following a crackdown on compliance after some companies had ignored a key reporting deadline.
AP, 14 July 2014 | Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed former Irish president Mary Robinson as his special envoy for climate change. She has a mandate to mobilize world leaders to take action at the climate summit the U.N. chief is hosting in September. U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Monday the Sept. 23 summit will be "an important milestone" to mobilize political commitment for a global climate agreement by 2015 and spur action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build "climate resilient communities."
By Megan Rowling, Thomson Reuters Foundation, 15 June 2014 | Aid group Oxfam has called on other rich nations to follow the example of Germany, which has promised €750 million ($1 billion) for the U.N.'s fledgling Green Climate Fund. "This announcement ends the deafening silence we've had so far around the empty Green Climate Fund that is supposed to support poor countries in the battle against climate change. Now others must follow suit," Oxfam Germany's Jan Kowalzig said. "If rich countries such as the U.S., France, the UK, Japan and others manage to collect at least $15 billion in pledges ahead of the upcoming U.N. climate negotiations in Lima at the end of the year, this could give the talks a significant boost," he added in a statement.
By Stian Reklev and Kathy Chen, Reuters, 15 July 2014 | Nearly every carbon emitter covered by China's largest pilot emissions scheme met Tuesday's compliance deadline, a government official said, as permit prices slipped to an all-time low amid ample supply and with no last-minute scramble for allowances. The Guangdong scheme - one of China's seven pilot carbon markets aimed at controlling greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming - caps the carbon output of 202 electricity generators and manufacturers. The pilot markets are to prepare China for the launch of a national emissions scheme later in the decade that is expected to be the world's largest. The country is the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter and is under increasing international pressure to slow down the rapid growth in its emissions.