Climate Live: EU to investigate China solar panel imports & Danish Minister calls for climate to top political agenda

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 – Thursday 6 September

1700: Staff working at one of the Paralympics major caterers have claimed large amounts of food prepared for teams are being thrown away. The Games’ environmental watchdog has called for Locog to investigate.

1630: Canada has been accused of issuing a misleading update of its emissions reductions by the Climate Action Tracker.

In August Peter Kent announced the country had reached the halfway point of its goal reducing emissions by 17% compared to 2005 levels but CAT says that the claims were not based on the same rules as the Copenhagen Accord (which the target was pledged under) that measures against a historic baseline but was obtained by comparing emissions with its own “business as usual” estimates for emissions.

US Presidential Election candidates took part in an online debate on science this week, with climate change and energy featuring prominently. The debate shows the key differences and similarities between the two candidates.

1600: Could Russia be set to do a U-turn and sign up to a second commitment period of Kyoto? Reports from Russian newspapers say the government is set to bow to pressure from business who say a second commitment period would be good for the country.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister, Arkady Dvorkovich said on Twitter: “This decision has not been taken” but did not completely rule it out.

1530: Following this week’s reshuffle in the UK government, the BBC reports that Energy and Climate Change Minister Ed Davey will take personal control of renewables policy, as two new ministers appointed – new Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson and new Energy Minister, John Hayes – both oppose wind farms.

The reshuffle has been branded by some campaigners as “declaring war” on the environment.

Some of the world’s most vulnerable countries have called for increased ambition from countries ahead of COP18 in Doha.

In a joint statement, the LDCs and AOSIS called for countries to submit legally binding emissions targets for a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and for countries who are not signed up for the new period to also pledge strong emissions reductions under the LCA.

1430: Speaking at the Policy Network conference in London today, UK Labour party leader Ed Miliband attacked the coalition government for failing to provide adequate support and stability for green business.

He accusedd Chancellor George Osborne of failing to deliver a coherent policy to promote low carbon growth and said opportunities for green growth were being missed because of government infighting.

1330: Oxfam’s Tracey Carty takes a look at what the impact increased extreme weather from climate change will have on food prices.

1230: Increase precipitation and river discharge in the Arctic Ocean could potentially speed up climate change as it can lower salinity and cause warmer surface temperatures, according to a new US study.

1130: UK cycle commuters could soon be rewarded for their environmentally friendly choice of travel. Cyclescheme – the provider of the government’s cycle-to-work tax break incentive programme – is set to launch “BikeMiles”.

Working in a similar way to Airmiles, riders will receive one BikeMile for each mile cycled, which can be redeemed against local and national retail offers. The scheme will be available to the 300,000 people who have brought or borrowed a bike to cycle to work via Cyclescheme.

1030: Just day’s before the announcement of Japan’s new national energy strategy, which some believe could include a target of abandoning nuclear power by 2030, the head of the company at the centre of the Fukushima nuclear accident has urged a re-think.

The government is under pressure from both anti-nuclear voters and pro-nuclear business interests ahead of the announcement on the country’s future energy mix.

0930: 50% of Indonesia’s environment has been damaged on a national scale, according to the country’s environment minister Balthasar Kambuaya. He added that the damage has largely been caused by human activities.

0845: The European Commission has said it will investigate suspected ‘dumping’ of solar panels by Chinese producers following complaints by a group of European solar companies, led by Germany’s SolarWorld.

The group has made complaints that Chinese solar firms have been selling panels below market value across Europe, but the investigation has drawn warnings fromChinathat restrictions its solar exports would hurt the global clean energy sector.

Ice scientist Professor Peter Wadhams told BBC Newsnight last night that the loss of Arctic ice is effectively doubling mankind’s contribution to global warming.

The fight against global warming should move to the top of the world’s political agenda, Denmark’s Climate Minister Martin Lidegaard said. He also urged the European Union to lead in the shift to climate-friendly policies.

In an online discussion hosted by the WWF’s Climate and Energy Forum he said: “Climate change is not only an environmental time-bomb, it is a serious threat to our economies and wellbeing. The writing on the wall is crystal clear: we have to act now.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin, who has previously tracked a Siberian tiger and posed with a polar bear, this week flew with cranes – using a hang-glider – to lead the endangered birds on their migration route.

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President Putin flies with cranes…

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