Climate Live: UNFCCC releases report on equity from 2012 Bonn talks & we find out how Heathrow is cutting its Olympic emissions

By Ed King

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Latest news – Friday 10 August

1425 The US Department of Agriculture has  released its forecast for corn production this year. It has knocked 17% of the price as a result of severe drought. Weather conditions are improving but it is too little too late for the corn crop.

1053 The UN has announced the formation of a Sustainable Development Solutions Network to pull together new answers to international development challenges. The body, led by Jeffrey Sachs, will work with universities, UN agencies, the private sector and NGOs to respond to mandate set by the Rio+20 outcome.

1029 Continuing the biofuels debate, the head of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has called on the US to drop its mandatory biofuel production targets. A serious drought is driving up the price of many foods and there are concerns that with some crops designated for fuel production, the situation could get worst.

0932 Is it possible to develop the biofuels industry and feed the world? This is currently a HOT topic – and one James Melik from the BBC has written an interesting article on.

0925 Over 80% of all the visitors to the London Olympics are expected to pass through Heathrow Airport on Monday morning, taking their medals, hangovers and dreams of Rio 2016 with them. Airline emissions are an increasing concern – with the industry expected to grow 5% per year.

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is attempting to take airline emissions under its wing (forgive the cliche), but it’s facing stiff opposition in the USA, Russia and India. That’s the airlines – but how about the airports? In 2007, 8.5 million tonnes of CO2 were emitted by delayed planes waiting on the tarmac in the US alone, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. That’s the same as 1.4 million American cars produce in a year.

John Parnell has been investigating how Heathrow is attempting to control its ever expanding carbon footprint.

0910 If you’re interested in the equity debate, this interview from the Bonn talks covered the main issues

0900 The UNFCCC has released a report on the equity workshop that took place during the Bonn talks in May. You may remember this was a highly contentious session, which exposed the marked differences in interpretations between various parties – especially the developed v developing world. This is best summed up in point 48 from the final discussion;

“On the way forward, representatives of Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa and others supported the establishment of a work programme on equity. On the other hand, a representative of the United States emphasized that it is not productive for the negotiations if Parties have to work on a stand-alone discussion or agenda on equity. A representative of the European Union said that a stand-alone debate on equity would not be productive and called for a focus on application of equity in mitigation and adaptation issues.”

0845 Quiet on the news front today, and these are tough economic times. Even Donald Trump realises the climate is making life hard for business across the world…


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