Pressure grows on Romney and Obama to mention climate change in debate

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: Wednesday 3 October

Last updated: 1700

Japan: Following Tokyo’s decision to phase out nuclear power over the next three decades, cleantech advisers question whether it could become the next big centre for renewable energy growth. (Financial Times)

UK: After omitting talk of the environment from his keynote speech, Labour leader, Ed Miliband used his Q&A session at the Labour Conference today to talk of the party’s commitment to the issue, and arguing that their views on climate change and the green economy is what sets them apart from the Conservative party. (BusinessGreen)

US: The Interior Department of the US government is creating a panel of outside experts to help steer its scientific work on the effects of climate change on natural resources. They are seeking roughly 25 members for the new committee. (The Hill)

RTCC: We offer a round-up of this week’s UNFCCC climate change finance workshop from those who were tweeting from inside the event.

As the sunsets over the Arctic and winter arrives, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Colorado has put together two animations observing the record breaking conditions seen in both the Arctic and Antarctic this year.

This week’s youth group profiles young people in Costa Rica. Following in the footsteps of former President Jose Maria Figueres, now chairman of the Carbon War Room, and UN climate chief Christiana Figueres the group are supporting the countries aim to go carbon neutral by 2021 and are pushing for more collaboration in Central America.

UK: Brighton University’s city centre campus will become home to the UK’s first building made onsite entirely out of waste this autumn. Designed by Brighton-based architect Duncan Baker Brown, it will be built from waste and surplus material from local building sites and other local industries. (Guardian)

Poland: Shale gas exploration is a priority for the Polish government, according to Deputy Environment Minister, Piotr Wozniak. He wants a new shale gas law to come into force next year. Poland granted 111 shale exploration licences to ExxonMobil , Chevron and other firms, but reports that it could have enough gas to last 300 years now appear exaggerated. (Reuters)

Wind: Danish manufacturer Vestas has revealed that its giant offshore wind turbine will be even bigger than anticipated, offering 8MW of capacity – 1MW bigger than previously announced. The turbine will weigh 800 tonnes, 187 metres tall and with 80 metre long blades and the company has said they will start producing test blades at its Isle of Wight facility before the end of the year. (BusinessGreen)

EU: The European Commission has drawn up plans to outlaw hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in domestic refrigerators and freezers by 2015, and commercial coolers by 2020. (EurActiv)

Finland: Latest plans to phase out coal by 2025 could make Finland the first country to phase out the energy source. (Huffington Post)

Oceans: Scientists have warned that ocean acidification could be messing with the minds of fish. At a symposium called the Ocean in a High-CO2 World they said that more acidic waters caused clown fish to leave their home waters, and caused sea snails to ignore potential predators. (Scientific American)

UK: Campaigners have said they are disappointed that UK Labour Party chief Ed Miliband failed to mention the environment or the green economy in his keynote speech at the party’s conference. Craig Bennett from Friends of the Earth tweeted: “Where was the green bit? He needs a one planet approach to complement his one nation vision”. (Business Green)

US: Will President Barack Obama or his challenger Mitt Romney mention climate change or the environment in tonight’s debate, the first of three ahead of the US Presidential Election? 160,000 petitions have been delivered to chair Jim Lehrer. (The Hartford Guardian)

EU: A leaked draft report has revealed that hundreds of problems found at European nuclear plants could cost €25 billion to fix. The report was commissioned after Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster and examines how Europe’s reactors would cope during extreme emergencies. (BBC)

EU: Opposition to the inclusion of aviation in the EU-ETS is rumbling on. The head of the aviation industry’s trade body IATA has become the latest person to speak out against the inclusion of international airlines in the European Union’s emissions trading scheme, claiming it will spark a trade war with the USA, India and China.

Oceans: Greenhouse gas emissions up to the present day have triggered an irreversible warming that will cause sea levels to rise for thousands of years, scientists have warned. A study, published in Environmental Research Letters, finds that the world could already be committed to a sea level rise of 1.1 metres by the year 3000.

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