Climate Live: Shell boss defends Arctic plans and coral reefs under threat from climate change

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: Monday 17 September

Last updated: 1700 BST

Arctic: While sea ice in the Arctic hit record lows last month, scientists have yet to announce the sea ice minimum, as the ice has continued to melt through much of September. The Carbon Brief take a look back over this summer’s coverage to give an overview of what this melt could mean.

EU: The EU energy and climate commissioners have confirmed their plans to limit crop-based biofuels to 5% of total energy consumption and said they were not pushing for biofuels that would compete with food. (Reuters)

Arctic: UK ice expert Peter Wadhams from Cambridge University has predicted that the final collapse of Arctic sea ice in summer months could come within just four years. (Guardian)

UK: Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood used London Fashion Week to call for a ‘climate revolution’ and urged people not to buy her latest collection.


Antarctic: British explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes is to lead an expedition in March 2013 to track changes in mass of the polar ice caps.

China: China’s investment in solar power generation is expected to reach $39.5 billion during the 12th Five-year plan. The industry is also expected to employ 500,000 people, according to a development plan from the National Energy Administration. (ChinaDaily)

UNFCCC: Following the latest round of climate talks which took place in Bangkok, there is growing concern that developed nations are pushing to kill the Bali Action Planand its working group without allowing a proper transfer of outstanding issues. (

Arctic: Shell has announced it will no longer be drilling for oil in the Arctic this year.

Following damage to the containment dome aboard the Arctic Challenger barge during tests of the system in Alaska, Shell have said it has revised its plans and will no longer drill into hydrocarbon zones this year. The company will instead drill wells – known as ‘top holes’ – which will then be capped and abandoned for the winter.

Peter Slaiby, vice-president of Shell Alaska has defended the project in Alaska, saying the company is acting in a responsible and accountable way, and had learnt from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. (Guardian)

China: This week, the UK government will be travelling to China to help the country and others replicate its online 2050 Calculator tool. The Department for Energy and Climate Change says China hopes to use the calculator to engage the public on how energy decisions translate on the ground. (Business Green)

Oceans: Scientists have warned that as man-made greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the world is running out of time to save its coral reefs from the damage caused by climate change. (Huffington Post)

UK: Climate change targets could cost British motorists £35 extra a year by 2020, to ensure European biofuels targets are met, according to a new report from Oxfam. (Telegraph)

UNEP: This weekend marked the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty to protect the ozone. The protocol represents one of the best examples of successful international treaties.

Africa: UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has said that the UNFCCC has in the past not done enough on adaptation and has called on African nations to take the lead on these negotiations at the forthcoming COP meeting in Doha.

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