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CCNet 26/11/12

World Leaders Face Riddle Of Lack Of Warming

China Seeks Delay Over Global Climate Treaty 


 
The most recent global temperature record, released this week, shows the average global temperature fell last year for the second year. There is now general agreement that the rising trend has stalled. This is the background against which governments will meet in Doha to negotiate a globally binding agreement to cut carbon emissions, as agreed at last year’s meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. --Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 24 November 2012
 
 

Ipcc climate models predict global temperatures  warming 17 years sept 2012
 
 
 
Beijing wants industrialised countries to commit to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions before agreeing to an extension of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Beijing’s top climate negotiator said yesterday that international discussions for a new global climate treaty starting from 2020 should not begin until next year, after the securing of renewed pledges by developed nations at climate talks starting next week to reduce their greenhouse gas emission from 2013. --Li Jing, South China Morning Post, 23 November 2012
 
 
 
 
The EU's debt crisis has sapped its ability to lead the way in global climate talks, which began in Doha on Monday, and build on a fragile victory it clinched a year ago. European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard's drive to keep Europe at the vanguard of the global effort has been sabotaged at home and abroad by the debt crisis, which has drained energy or inclination for anything else. --Barbara Lewis, Reuters, 26 November 2012
 
 
 
 
The impact of the today’s Energy Bill announcement could be “catastrophic” for businesses in the UK. James Constant, Chair of EnergyForecaster.co.uk said: “The impact of these increased costs will be a serious concern for businesses if it is applied to them. While the exact rise to business energy bills is currently unknown, we predict the Energy Bill will continually push bills up for businesses over the next decade. Our most recent Business Energy Barometer showed that as many as up to 300,000 companies could go out of business if energy bills continue to rise by 15%/annum, which looks increasingly likely due to these increases.” --Energy Live News, 23 November 2012

 
 
 
Green energy subsidies will come back to haunt the government. As energy bills go up, the coalition will become increasingly unpopular. These policies will prove to be economically and politically costly. At a time when many countries are returning to cheap and abundant fossil fuels, Britain alone seems prepared to sacrifice its economic competitiveness. We will undermine our recovery by wasting billions on one of the most expensive, least efficient forms of energy. Millions will be consigned to fuel poverty. The only saving grace is that the government has refused to adopt new unilateral carbon targets, and it may be ready to give shale gas extraction the go-ahead without further impediment. –-Benny Peiser, City A.M., 26 November 2012
 
 
 
 
Mankind must go green or die, says Prince Charles – The Prince of Wales has warned that mankind is on the brink of “committing suicide on a grand scale” unless urgent progress is made in tackling green issues such as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, intensive farming and resource depletion. Adopting uncharacteristically apocalyptic language, the Prince said the world was heading towards a “terrifying point of no return” and that future generations faced an “unimaginable future” on a toxic planet. However Dr Benny Peiser, director of Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the Prince’s views were still out of step with mainstream thinking. “He is really a good representative of the environmental movement as such and it is not a personal issue,” he said. But he added that the “extreme alarm and extreme concern” was “over the top and not helpful to the debate. It doesn’t convince any governments or any ministers and in the end it is over the top and won’t be heard.” --Jonathan Brown, The Independent, 24 November 2012
 
 
 

The Central Intelligence Agency has disbanded its Center on Climate Change and National Security, a unit formed in 2009 to monitor the interplay between a warming planet and intelligence and security challenges. The creation of the office drew fire at the time from some Republicans, who said it was an unnecessary expense and a distraction from the agency’s focus on terrorism and other more immediate threats. The agency did not say whether the closing was related to budget constraints or other political pressures.  --John M Broder, The New York Times, 21 November 2012
 

 
 

1) World Leaders Face Riddle Of Lack Of Warming - The Australian, 24 November 2012

2) China Seeks Delay Over Global Climate Treaty - South China Morning Post, 23 November 2012

3) Europe’s Debt Crisis Saps EU’s Will To Lead Climate Debate - Reuters, 26 November 2012

4) Energy Bill’s Impact ‘Catastrophic’ For UK Businesses - Energy Live News, 23 November 2012

5 ) Two-Thirds Of Guardian Readers Say NO To Green Energy Bill - The Guardian, 26 November 2012

6) Benny Peiser Tells Prince Charles His ‘Extreme Alarmism’ Is Falling On Deaf Ears - The Independent, 24 November 2012

7) And Finally: It’s All Over As C.I.A. Closes Its Climate Change Office - The New York Times, 21 November 2012
 
 
 
1) World Leaders Face Riddle Of Lack Of Warming
The Australian, 24 November 2012

Graham Lloyd

The most recent global temperature record, released this week, shows the average global temperature fell last year for the second year. There is now general agreement that the rising trend has stalled.

Around Doha, the capital of Qatar, which boasts the world’s highest per capita carbon emissions, ramshackle humpies made of car tyres and recycled shipping pallets are springing up amid the city’s shiny skyscrapers.


Doha, Qatar
Doha: The 'low-carbon' capital of the world (for one week only)

Together with a fleet of low-cost electric cars to ferry the A-list, the low-cost buildings are the organisers’ eye-popping way to draw attention to the UN’s annual climate change conference that kicks off on Monday.

In keeping with Doha’s immaculately manicured image, the most common expression on eco-friendly portals has been surprise that it was possible to recycle anything in the Arabian sheikdom.

It is a mixed message that illustrates the state of global climate change negotiations. As usual, a raft of reports restating dire predictions has been released to coincide with the conference.

The World Meteorological Organisation confirmed atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide had risen to 390.9 parts a million, the highest on record.

A World Bank-commissioned report, Turn Down the Heat, warned that mankind was on track for a 4C warmer world, marked by extreme heatwaves, declining global food stocks, loss of ecosystems and biodiversity, and life-threatening sea-level rise.

The research was undertaken by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and mirrors the warnings of many institutions, including Australia’s Climate Commission. A UN Environment Program report said countries were not doing enough to keep the world from warming 2C above pre-industrial levels.

“Not only are nations failing to close the gap between their actions and the two degrees goal,” says Union of Concerned Scientists director Alden Meyer, “but the gap is actually widening.”

Last month’s Hurricane Sandy, which flooded New York City, has been widely cited as evidence that climate change is about bigger storms, not just higher temperatures. For climate change campaigners this is fortunate because the most recent global temperature record, released this week, shows the average global temperature fell last year for the second year.

The decline is not considered statistically significant – temperatures remain well above the long-term average – and is explained by the strong La Nina weather patterns that caused rain havoc across eastern Australia. But it is nonetheless counter-intuitive to claims that global temperatures are spinning out of control, just as increasing ice cover in Antarctica runs counter to the high level of scientific concern at increased ice melt in the Arctic.

Full story

 

2) China Seeks Delay Over Global Climate Treaty
South China Morning Post, 23 November 2012

Li Jing

Beijing wants industrialised countries to commit to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions before agreeing to an extension of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol

Beijing’s top climate negotiator said yesterday that international discussions for a new global climate treaty starting from 2020 should not begin until next year, after the securing of renewed pledges by developed nations at climate talks starting next week to reduce their greenhouse gas emission from 2013.

But Xie Zhenhua also said that countries are still divided on which of the two focal points should be prioritised, resulting in a cloud of uncertainty over the United Nations talks due to begin on Monday in Qatar, which will last until December 7.

China, the world’s top carbon dioxide emitter, wants to first secure a second commitment period of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that would go into effect from January 1 and which China hopes will include strong commitments from industrialised countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, according to Xie, who is deputy director of the National Development and Reform Commission.

“Building on such progress, countries can move forwards to seek a consensus for the post-2020 scheme, with formal negotiations to be launched next year,” Xie said.

Analysts said China’s preference to delay negotiations is likely to be met with strong opposition from countries such as the United States, which has been trying to blur the divide between developed and developing countries in climate negotiations.

The Kyoto Protocol, the first phase of which expires at the end of this year, is the only existing global treaty that binds most industrialised nations on their emissions of greenhouse gases, while sparing China, India and other large, emerging economies, which have caught up quickly in carbon emissions.

Li Yan, a Greenpeace China climate campaigner, said that an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, with fewer countries ready to renew their emission-reduction pledges, would have only limited effectiveness in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. But Li said the accord remains politically significant after serving as the foundation for climate talks for nearly two decades.

“It is understandable that China and other developing nations do not want to see the new treaty move too fast before the sorting out of other problems – rich countries’ commitments on emission reduction, financing and technical aide,” Li said.

Full story
 

3) Europe’s Debt Crisis Saps EU’s Will To Lead Climate Debate
Reuters, 26 November 2012

Barbara Lewis

The EU's debt crisis has sapped its ability to lead the way in global climate talks, which began in Doha on Monday, and build on a fragile victory it clinched a year ago.

The European Union is one of the few to have promised to sign up to a second emissions-cutting period under the Kyoto process, the only international pact on tackling climate change.

But European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard's drive to keep Europe at the vanguard of the global effort has been sabotaged at home and abroad by the debt crisis, which has drained energy or inclination for anything else.

In Europe, some EU member states, the heavy industry lobby and those within the EU executive who echo its views have steadily chipped away at Hedegaard's attempts to legislate against carbon, arguing they are unaffordable in cash-strapped times.

She was also forced to yield to international pressure, led by the United States, and freeze the EU requirement that all aviation using EU airports pay for emissions under the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme. That means only internal EU flights are bound by its rules for now.

Full story
 
 
4) Energy Bill’s Impact ‘Catastrophic’ For UK Businesses
Energy Live News, 23 November 2012

The impact of the today’s Energy Bill announcement could be “catastrophic” for businesses in the UK

Energy Forecaster, an online site that provides insight into the future of business energy, said if the increased energy costs for domestic consumers announced by DECC is applied to firms, it will seriously affect businesses.

The initial details of the much-awaited Energy Bill revealed today states energy suppliers would be able to pass on the cost for low carbon energy infrastructure to customers. This would mean an increase from this year’s £2.35 billion to £10 billion by 2020, which DECC estimated would add around 7% to consumer bills.

James Constant, Chair of EnergyForecaster.co.uk said: “The impact of these increased costs will be a serious concern for businesses if it is applied to them. While the exact rise to business energy bills is currently unknown, we predict the Energy Bill will continually push bills up for businesses over the next decade. Our most recent Business Energy Barometer showed that as many as up to 300,000 companies could go out of business if energy bills continue to rise by 15%/annum, which looks increasingly likely due to these increases.

“It is admirable that the government is trying to place a greater importance on environmental goals. However, in the face of economic difficulties, it is questionable whether this is the best way to do it when considering the possible negative impact on businesses in the UK.”

Price comparison site uSwitch.com said although it welcomes the clarity on the impact of future investments of household energy bills, the additional charges following the recent string of gas and electricity price hikes would be a “blow” to consumers.

Full story
 
 
5 ) Two-Thirds Of Guardian Readers Say NO To Green Energy Bill
The Guardian, 26 November 2012

The government’s deal over a new energy bill is expected to lead to higher gas and electricity bills in the coming year. The Guardian has calculated an increase of £60-£80, while the Telegraph expects bills to “rise by up to £178 a year”.

In principle, would you prepared to pay more for renewable energy?


31% Yes
69%  No
 
This poll is now closed

 
 
6) Benny Peiser Tells Prince Charles His ‘Extreme Alarmism’ Is Falling On Deaf Ears
The Independent, 24 November 2012

Jonathan Brown

Mankind must go green or die, says Prince Charles – The Prince of Wales has warned that mankind is on the brink of “committing suicide on a grand scale” unless urgent progress is made in tackling green issues such as carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, intensive farming and resource depletion.

Adopting uncharacteristically apocalyptic language, the Prince said the world was heading towards a “terrifying point of no return” and that future generations faced an “unimaginable future” on a toxic planet.

In a pre-recorded speech broadcast in acceptance of an lifetime environmental achievement award, the Prince said green views that had once seen him written off as a “crank” were now backed by hard evidence.

He told the gala ceremony for the 7th International Green Awards at Battersea Power Station in London that fossil fuels and supplies of fresh water were under pressure while the stability of weather patterns was threatened and “vast amounts of CO2” were still pumped into the atmosphere. “Humanity and the Earth will soon begin to suffer some very grim consequences,” he said.

“It’s therefore an act of suicide on a grand scale to ride so roughshod over those checks and balances and flout nature’s necessary limits as blatantly as we do.

“The longer we go on ignoring what is already happening and denying what will happen in the future, the more profoundly we condemn our grandchildren and their children to an unbearably toxic and unstable existence. We simply have to turn the tide.”

The Prince has been criticised throughout his life for getting involved in public affairs, writing to ministers and airing his views on contentious subjects ranging from architecture to alternative medicine.

His most controversial intervention came in 2010 when a £3bn scheme to redevelop the Chelsea Royal Barracks was dropped after the Prince lobbied the Prime Minister of Qatar over the sustainability of the project describing it as a “gigantic experiment with the very soul of our city”. The Prince said that the lifetime achievement award was an acknowledgement for what he described as his “rather inadequate efforts” to create change.

“All those years ago when I began to see that this could be so, I found myself labelled with every term that describes a crank,” he said.

“I don’t actually recommend it as a pastime but, extraordinary as it may seem, nowadays … that intuitive feeling has been backed up by a mass of scientific evidence in every possible field confirming that our predominant approach is having a very adverse effect on nature.”

However Dr Benny Peiser, director of Lord Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation, said the Prince’s views were still out of step with mainstream thinking.

“He is really a good representative of the environmental movement as such and it is not a personal issue,” he said. But he added that the “extreme alarm and extreme concern” was “over the top and not helpful to the debate”.

“It doesn’t convince any governments or any ministers and in the end it is over the top and won’t be heard.”
 
7) And Finally: It’s All Over As C.I.A. Closes Its Climate Change Office
The New York Times, 21 November 2012

John M Broder

The Central Intelligence Agency has disbanded its Center on Climate Change and National Security, a unit formed in 2009 to monitor the interplay between a warming planet and intelligence and security challenges.

The creation of the office drew fire at the time from some Republicans, who said it was an unnecessary expense and a distraction from the agency’s focus on terrorism and other more immediate threats. The agency did not say whether the closing was related to budget constraints or other political pressures.

Todd Ebitz, a C.I.A. spokesman, said that the agency would continue to monitor the security and humanitarian challenges posed by climate change as part of its focus on economic security, but not in a stand-alone office.

“The C.I.A. for several years has studied the national security implications of climate change,” Mr. Ebitz said in an e-mailed statement. “As part of a broader realignment of analytic resources, this work continues to be performed by a dedicated team in a new office that looks at economic and energy matters affecting America’s national security. The mission and the resources devoted to it remain essentially unchanged.”

Full story


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