Climate Live: BASIC members meet in Brazil to thrash out COP18 position

By Tierney Smith

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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– Updated from 0830-1700 BST (GMT+1)

Latest news: Friday 21 September

Last updated: 1700 BST

US: California’s top air regulators gave a stern defence of the state’s forthcoming carbon cap-and-trade system at a hearing, battling back against complaints from industry that it will cost jobs and drive up consumer prices. (Reuters)

The Netherlands: Royal Dutch Shell PLC is suing Greenpeace International in an attempt to stop the environmental organisation from holding any protest within 500 metres of any Shell property – or face a €1 million fine. A verdict to the suit, being argued at Amsterdam’s District Court is not expected for two weeks. (Huffington Post)

UK: Majority of people, questioned for the Break the Bag Habit campaign, think that 5p charges on single-use carrier bags should be introduced in England to cut litter and waste, with 75% saying they would cut down on the use of plastic bags if there was such a charge. (Sky News)

UK: Green groups have slammed a report from Institute of Directors on shale gas saying it is “simplistic” and based on unverified commercial resources estimates. Jenny Banks, energy policy officer at WWF-UK said: “This report appears to take commercially driven industry estimates at face value and makes some fairly iffy assumptions about the potential for shale gas in theUK.” (BusinessGreen)

Pakistan: Pakistan is loosing 362 billion rupees annually on account of environmental degradation, the country’s Federal Secretary for Climate Change Mahmood Alam has said. Alongside other speakers he said that climate change had made achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) a daunting challenge. (Business Recorder)

Australia: A report commissioned by Australia’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency said more accurate measurements on how much methane leaks from the country’s growing coal seam gas fields was needed to work out the industry’s contribution to global warming. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Africa and Asia: New research has found that crops in Africa and South Asia could see average yield decreases of up to 8% by the 2050s, a consequence of the impact of climate change in the regions. (Environmental Research Web)

Worldwide: As climate change proceeds an editorial in Nature warns that better models are needed before extreme weather events can be reliably linked to global warming, as nations, communities and individuals may begin to seek compensation for losses and damages. (

UK & Ireland: The first electricity interconnector between Great Britain and Ireland, a €600 million subsea cable capable of transmitting 500MW of energy, went live yesterday, allowing the export of Ireland’s abundant supply of wind energy to theUK. (E2B)

Morocco: By 2020 Morocco plans to obtain 42% of its power from its own sources of wind, solar and hydro energy, and solar power plants to be built in the deserts around Ouarzazte could be powering homes by 2014. (Guardian)

BASIC: Representatives from Brazil, South Africa, India and China have met to define a common position ahead of the UN climate change conference in Doha. Brazilian negotiator Luiz Alberto Figueiredo said the main topic of focus will be the future of the Kyoto Protocol, which the BASIC bloc want to see extended to 2020. (Washington Post)

Kenya: Kenyan Environment Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere has called on the government to set aside more fund to address the effects of climate change, due to recent impacts including extreme weather events like floods and droughts which have impacted both the lives of people and the economy. (All Africa)

EU: The European Parliament is seeking a decision on a proposed change to the EU’s carbon law, the chairman of the assembly’s environment committee has said. The draft amendment would enable the EU to curb an excess of carbon permits and curtail oversupply in the world’s biggest cap-and-trade system. (Bloomberg)

EU: Airline Lufthansa will team up with Australian biofuels company Algae.Tec for a new plant, to be located in an unnamed European country, which will produce aviation fuels from algae. (BusinessGreen)

UK: Britain’s shale gas reserves could create up to 35,000 jobs and meet 10% of the country’s gas requirements for a century, according to a new report from the Institute of Directors. The report comes just weeks before ministers are expected to give the go-ahead to more fracking despite environmental concerns over the technology. (Financial Times)

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