Climate Live: MPs call on UK to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, EU takes action against emission trading surplus & NASA reports ‘extreme melt’ in Greenland

By Tierney Smith

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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– Updated from 0900-1700 BST (GMT+1) 

Latest news – Wednesday 25 July

1700 Military veterans and former lawmakers in the US have urged Congress to continue funding the Pentagon’s biofuel programme, saying US dependence on foreign oil has been a key factor in wars over the past two decades.

1640 A US governmental panel has criticised oil firm BP’s approach to safety prior to the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2012 saying they focused too much on the little details of personal worker safety and not on big systemic hazards.

1550 New report to be released by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is expected to warn that companies are worrying so much about the possible negative impacts of climate change that they are not realising the possible opportunities.

1420 Worldwatch Institute warns that global waste could double by 2050 unless materials are incorporated into a circular economy approach – where materials are reclaimed, recovered and reused.

1300 A new report from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) – looking at how Beijing was able to slash the cities air pollution and carbon output – offers London 2012 organisers one simple solution to do the same – stop the traffic.

1145 In the UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey has been doing his best to maintain it’s him who is in charge of UK energy policy – and not the Chancellor George Osborne:


1130 Nepal is on the front line of climate change – we’ve got a special report from a youth group who are busy trying to educate their fellow citizens about how they can do their bit to respect the environment.

1115 The European Commission has today taken action to shore-up the EU’s Emission Trading System (ETS) by  proposing to delay the auctioning of carbon allowances. There is currently a massive over-supply of credits – some estimate it to be 1.4 Billion allowances.

Experts believe that delaying new allowances is needed to prevent further falls in the carbon price, which is already low. The move must now be agreed by Member States and the European Parliament. EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard has been busy tweeting:


1100 France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Finland, Jordan and the UK have joined the US-led Climate and Clean Air Initiative, bringing the total number of signed-up states to 21. The ‘coalition’ have pedged to take action against emissions of black carbon – or ‘soot’, methane and hydroflurocarbons (HFCs).

0900 MPs have called for the UK to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies at the next round of UNFCCC talks in Qatar. In their report the energy and climate change committee also said the UK and Europe should show political leadership and push for EU-wide 30% emissions targets for 2020.

Also in the UK, subsidies for onshore wind energy generation are to be cut by 10%, the government have announced. The Treasury is thought to have favoured a larger cut of 25%.

Cutting soot and other air pollutants could help ‘buy time’ in the fight against climate change, a senior US official has said. Seven more nations have joined the Washington-led Climate and Clean Air Initiative aimed at reducing these short-lived emissions.

An extreme melt event in Greenland occurred in mid-July causing 97% of the ices sheet’s surface to start melting, according to NASA.

Top tweets

Some of the fall-out from the Renewables Obligation announcements in the UK…

Stat of the day

The largest wind turbine in the world is 20 storeys tall and has blades the length of a soccer pitch.

Picture of the day

The NASA images showing a unusually high thawing of the Greenland ice sheet.

Credit: Nicolo E. DiGirolamo, SSAI/NASA GSFC, and Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory

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