Climate Live: Shell asks for more time on Arctic drilling, Formula E electric car racing series announced

By John Parnell

– 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 29 August

1700: Australian climate change minister Greg Combet has today hit back at claims that this week’s carbon price policy reversal will blow a hole in the federal budget.

The government announced it was scrapping a $15 carbon ”floor price”, yesterday, which was previously planned for 2015 when the carbon tax becomes a market-based emissions trading scheme.

1600: Japan’s Ministry of the Environment has declared the Japanese river otter extinct.

The subspecies was last seen in 1979 in the city of Susaki on the island of Shikoku and is said to have been killed-off by overhunting and loss of habitat from development.

1500: Normal weather in the UK has got hotter, rainier and sunnier according to the Met Office latest long-term averages.

1400: A market analyst at Reuters warns that the dwindling Arctic sea ice being seen this year will impact the climate before it impacts climate policy saying it is “unlikely to spur new policies to curb fossil fuels without more evidence of environmental impact.”

Yesterday environmentalist George Monbiot said the day marked the moment “the world went mad” referring to the headline hitting third runway debate in the UK, coinciding with the record breaking sea ice melt in the Arctic.

1300: The French government could be showing signs of splits over a row over nuclear energy. The Green Party – who have two ministers in the government – has condemned comments made by Arnaud Montebourg, the minister for industrial recovery describing nuclear power as an “industry of the future”.

The Socialist party – who led the government – had made a deal with the Green Party before this year’s elections promising to reduce the share of nuclear inFranceto 50% by 2025.

1200: The latest renewable energy Country Attractiveness Indices report from Ernst & Young warns a lack of policy clarity and increased government support for gas risks could be delaying the development of the UK’s renewable energy sector.

1100: MeyGen, Aquamarine Power, Pelamis Wave Power and ScottishPower Renewables were among the energy developers set to compete for the Scottish Government’s £10 million Saltire Prize, launched in Orkney.

1000: Retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc has become the latest company to join the Field to Market alliance aimed at making agriculture more sustainable. It joins other Fortune 500 companies including Cargill and Kellogg Co.

0900: The fuel efficiency of US cars and light trucks will nearly double by 2025 under a new standard finalised by the Obama administration. Vehicles will get 54.4 miles to the gallon under the new standard.

0830: The decision to halt construction of the Belo Monte dam in Brazil has been overturned by the country’s supreme court. The dam, which will be the world’s third largest hydropower project, was on hold after a court ruled that indigenous people had not been properly consulted, rendering some its construction permits void.

0820: A new electric car racing series has been announced by the international motor sport authority, the FIA.The competition will start in 2014 and will use city street circuits. It is hoped that Formula E will help to change attitudes toward electric vehicles as well as encouraging increased research and development into the technology.

0815: Shell is looking to extend the Arctic drilling season in order to get its summer programme back on track. The company has been trying to drill its first wells in the Chukchi Sea between Alaska and Russia but has been hampered by logistical problems. Environmentalists are concerned that the operation is too risky and that any oil spill would be hard to clean up.

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Image of the day

Infographic The Water Rich vs. The Water Poor presented by Seametrics looks at the disparity in access to water between wealthy and underdeveloped countries…

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