Climate Live: Shipping and oil industries set to accelerate Arctic thaw, says UNEP

By Tierney Smith

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Latest news: Wednesday 19 September

Last updated: 1700 BST

US: A new study has suggested that the US government is drastically understating the potential economic impact of climate change. In 2010, 12 government agencies decided they would all use the same baseline of $21 per tonne as the standard for monetising the social costs of carbon pollution and resulting climate change. The new study has put this figure between two and 12 times this amount. (New York Times)

IEA: Fuel consumption in new vehicles could be slashed by half over the next 20 years and could help to curb the world’s dependency on oil, provided governments set up bold polices to boost the use of available technologies, the IEA have said. (Reuters)

Worldwide: Droughts in the US, China and Russia has highlighted the sensitivity of the global food system to climate. This latest Q&A gives and understanding of how food security could be impacted by climate change in the future. (Guardian)

US: The authors of a bill that would prevent US airlines from participating in the EU’s emissions trading scheme are trying to finalise a compromise with dissenting senators to get the legislation passed before the US Senate goes into recess this Friday. (Reuters)

Arctic: As Arctic ice melts at a record pace, the world’s superpowers are increasingly vying for political and economic influence in the region. While the US, Russia and several EU nations have Arctic territory, experts say they have seen that China is increasing looking at how it too can get involved with the region. (New York Times)

Kiribati: As climate change worsens, many small island states will come under increasing threat from sea level rise. Anote Tong, President of Kiribati, a country made up of 32 coral atolls, has told Radio Australia that the country is already considering that in the future communities may have to relocate away from the country entirely, and said they are currently in talks with East Timor about the possibility of relocating to their Pacific neighbour. (Radio Australia)

Australia: ‘Mega mine’ plans could threaten Australia’s global emissions targets, Greenpeace have warned. They say the unprecedented increase in the scale of mining – which could turn the Queensland region alone into the seventh largest contributor to CO2 emissions on the planet – would nullify the country’s global target. (Guardian)

UK: A new position paper from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers has backed shale gas as part of a balanced energy mix, saying the UK’s reserves could create thousands of skilled jobs. They warned, however, that shale gas is not a “silver bullet” to solve the country’s energy problems. (BusinessGreen)

Arctic: The UNEP have warned that local pollution in the Arctic from shipping and oil and gas industries, which have expanded into the region as the sea ice thaws, could further accelerate that thaw. (Reuters)

US: Wildfires in the Western US are burning bigger and the season is lasting longer, according to new research. The study found that a warming trend has caused the number of wildfires larger than a thousand acres has doubled since the 1970s. (Missoulian)

Japan: Japan’s cabinet has approved a new energy plan to cut the country’s reliance on nuclear power, but have dropped a reference to meet a nuclear-free target by the 2030s. (Reuters)

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