Climate Live: Finance key at Bangkok climate talks, MP calls for new climate change economics review and rapid warming threatens biodiversity

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 – Tuesday 4 September

1700: Lots of praise for Energy Minister Charles Hendry on Twitter as it is suggested he has lost his position in today’s re-shuffle…

1645: EU chief negotiator, Artur Runge-Metzger told RTCC that despite claims earlier in the week that they had turned their back on a 30% reduction target, the EU are still considering the raised level of ambition.

He said: “We are not closing the door, our 30% offer stays on the table and we have also offered to have a review of our targets that would be adopted in Doha and in the years thereafter.”

Full story to follow shortly on

1630: A new study finds that climate change could lead to fewer clouds.

While it is widely acknowledged that the warmer the air the more water can evaporate but now researchers from Germany and the Netherlands have shown this is not always the case. They found an increase in CO2 make the climate warmer, but also allows less water to evaporate.

1530: Back to Bangkok now and the Chair of the LDCs tells RTCC that he is confident that Australia will sign up to a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

He said: “Australia are still considering the option of a second commitment period, the European Union are still talking to them. Australia need to come on board and we want them to be a part of this as soon as possible.”

He also warned that states unwilling to sign up to a second commitment period would be denied access to CDM carbon credits by developing nations.

1430: The UK saw a reshuffle of government minister today, which many warn has left the Cabinet less green.

1330: Australia’s top polluters, from steel firms and coal miners to airlines, will save about 2.5 billion Australian dollars over five years following the decision to align the nation’s carbon scheme with Europe, according to analyst firm RepuTex.

1230: More from those tweeting from within the Bangkok talks…

1200: The US Democrats will this week adopt an official platform ahead of the presidential elections that identifies global climate as “one of the biggest threats of this generation” and pledges to take action to curb greenhouse gas emissions both domestically and internationally.

Climate Change got 18 mentions within the text.

1100: Adopt a Negotiator tries to shed some light on the confusion of the LCA track of negotiations – the discussions which focus on the Bali Action Plan – over the last few days.

1030: As countries lay out their own individual visions for the Durban Platform, the bare ideas of a future deal begin to take shape, although nothing concrete is expected until negotiations ramp up in 2013.

0930: RTCC’s latest youth profile focuses on Australia, the work of the AYCC and their aims to re-power the country – replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.

0830: Talks are continuing in Bangkok today, where finance continues to be a key issue of debate as NGOs and developing countries both raise concerns that wrapping up the LCA – discussions focused on the Bali Action Plan –  could stall progress this vital topic.

Adopt a Negotiator, who are following the negotiations on the ground, give you an update on where the talks currently stand and some of the issues moving forward.

He explains the importance of decisions on the LCA, climate finance and how to develop the Durban Platform and how crucial they will be moving forward to Doha.

A new coalition of countries – the Like Minded Group – have also been getting some attention over the last few days as they become a formal negotiating group.

The group, which brings together an unlikely coalition of countries, has got a lot of attention at the talks as it could represent the first significant split with the G77.

One British MP has called for a fresh, independent study into the economics of climate changed. Peter Lilley criticised the report produced six-years ago by economist Sir Nicholas Stern – which warned that costs of inaction would outweigh those of acting – saying it “was not fit for purpose.”

New research from scientists at the universities of York, Glasgow and Leeds have found that the Earth’s biodiversity generally increases as temperatures rise over the long term, but that rapid global warming is expected to have the opposite effect.

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