Climate Live: UN climate change talks continue in Bangkok; Antarctica sitting on mass methane stores; Water stress could render Gaza strip “unliveable”

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 – Thursday 30 August

1710: Japan has presented three future energy scenarios for 2030 to the public with 0%, 15% and 20-25% contributions from nuclear. All three plans include a renewable contribution of at least 25% and cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 23%.

1700: India has given its stamp of approval to a $4bn plan to boost the production of electric and hybrid vehicles. It wants 500,000 of the vehicles on its roads by 2015.

1600: Oh dear…

1500: UK think-tank IPPR released a report in association with energy consultancy GL Garrad Hassan into the efficiency and reliability of wind farms, which finds no technological reasons why turbines should be supported.

1430: The Cook Islands and New Caledonia announce marine reserves which together could mean 2.5 million square kilometers of protected ocean.

1400: Practical Action’s Nick Milton gives his thoughts as the latest round of UNFCCC talks gets underway in Bangkok.

1316: When could we see the entire disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic? The question is on everyone’s lips as the region witnesses a record melt this summer.

The answer, however, is still no clearer as varying climate models predict sea ice could remain in the region until 2015 or could go on for decades.

1230: We’ve pulled together a selection of comments from tweeters out in Bangkok during this morning’s climate talks…

1155: Impressive growth rates in US renewable energy are a cause for celebration but their total share of electricity generation remains low. Solar in particular has long way to go.

1130: This is a fun story, five crazy ideas to save coral reefs.

1030: The head of the UN climate change agency has stressed the importance of the talks in the coming years as work on a new global deal begins in earnest.

“The next three years are set to drive the next two decades of the international response to climate change,” said Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UNFCCC.

0930: The LDCs have released a statement ahead of the Bangkok talks call for more finance for adaptation. The LDCs group’s chair, Pa Ousman Jarju, of Gambia said:

“We need massively increased finance for adaptation and for action to reduce emissions and we need to set up a proper international co-ordination process to deliver resources for adaptation to those in most need.

“We cannot live with these issues being deferred until a new agreement is negotiated in 2015 and that would not even come into effect in 2020.

“We are experiencing global warming induced drought, water and food shortages now. The drought in the USA is costing insurance companies money, but the droughts in the LDCs are causing loss of life and livelihoods, malnutrition in our children and huge dislocation which is very serious for our survival.”

The group said four main objectives must be completed in Doha, with work beginning this week including the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol II, beginning a new treaty negotiation, raising the level of ambition and concluding the LCA track of negotiations under the Bali Action Plan – delivering on finance and adaptation.

0855: The UNFCCC climate change talks have resumed in Bangkok. We’ll bring you regular updates from the conference as climate finance, a new Kyoto commitment period and work on a global emissions deal continues.

0845: Antarctica could be hiding massive stores of the potent greenhouse gas methane according to new research. The study found that the organic material underneath the ice could outnumber that in the northern hemisphere’s permafrost region by a factor of ten.

Experiments also confirmed that there is biological activity underneath the ice, which means natural processing are continuing to create carbon dioxide and methane. There are fears these gases could be released as the ice retreats.

0830: The head of the Palestinian water authority has told delegates at World Water Week in Stockholm that the Gaza strip will be unliveable unless a new desalination plant is built. Water stresses in the region have the potential to exacerbate existing tensions.

Top tweets

Picture of the day

The ice sculptor at the opening reception of the Bangkok meeting seems to be the biggest talking point of the conference so far…

Picture courtesy of @brandoncwu

Read more on: RTCC General News |