Climate Live: US storms could threaten region’s ozone layer & EU Energy Commissioner praises unconventional fossil fuels

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 – Friday 27 July

1705 RTCC answers all your questions about Shell’s move into the Arctic and how it could have implications for us all.

1600 With the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games just hours away Business Green give you 10 top Green Olympics facts.

1500 The London 2012 Games cannot act as a “global policeman” checking on everything done by every one of its partners and sponsors, says David Stubbs, the Olympics’ head of sustainability.

He was answering criticisms that have been made in the build up to the Games about some of its choices of sponsors, such as Dow Chemical and oil giant BP.

1400 Tanzania is one country which could benefit from climate change. A study by researchers from Stanford University, the World Bank and Purdue University found that climate change could mean the country could increasingly export corn to the US and other nations.

1300 The severe drought in the US Midwest is causing even more problems for the country. Barges on the Mississippi River were forced to lighten their loads for fear of getting stuck and concerns continue to grow over food and gasoline prices.

1130 The 175-nation Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species met in Geneva this week. Highlights from the meeting include a plan launched by Central African countries to combat poaching in the region and agreements to penalise countries for lacking regulations on wildlife trade.

The agreement could see seven nations lose their ability to legally trade tens of thousands of wildlife species.

1000 The UK city of Bristol has approved new 20 mile per hour speed limits on residential streets in order to make roads less dangerous for walkers and cyclists.

0830 Strong summer thunderstorms that pump water high into the upper atmosphere could threaten the ozone layer over the United States, according to a new study published in the journal Science. Researchers from Harvard University aim to draw the links between climate change and ozone loss over populated areas.

EU Commissioner Günter Oettinger has praised the US pursuit of unconventional fossil fuels in an apparent contradiction of EU policies. The bloc is currently debating its three climate change and energy targets for 2020 – 20% lower emissions, 20% better energy efficiency and 20% renewable energy.

The London 2012 Olympics have been given the seal of approval from UNEP chief Achim Steiner, who says the Games have raised the bar on sustainability.

In an article for RTCC Nigeria expert Jack Hamilton explains why the increasing levels of violence experienced in Nigeria can be partly explained by the effects of climate change and desertification.

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Video of the day

Great video looking at cycling in Portland, Oregon…

How Bikes Make Cities Cool – Portland from Kona Bikes on Vimeo.

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