EU refuses to ban Arctic oil drilling

By John Parnell

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

Wednesday 10 October

Last updated: 1745

Norway: The carbon tax on fossil fuel producers in Norway has been nearly doubled as the country looks to launch a $2bn climate fund. (Environmental Finance – subscription required)

UK: In an interview with the BBC’s Hardtalk programme, EU climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard has said that the recession is no reason to sell out the environment.

“It’s dangerous for Europe to only look at the narrow, short-term costs,” she said adding that a lack of investment in new green industries and energy, could hand the market advantage to emerging economies.


CBD COP11 in Hyderabad: A group of Indian environmental NGOs has said that the UN must review its stance on large hydropower plants stating that the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) backs the technology, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)is opposed.

“While one UN convention is supposed to be working for protection of biodiversity, another is incentivising destruction of biodiversity and the two do not seem to talk to each other,” said Himansu Thakkar, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP). (Times of India)

Australia: The Australian opposition leader has said he would de-link the country’s carbon market from the EU system.

“You wouldn’t put the Australian dollar into the Eurozone. I have nothing against Europe. But I tell you what, they’re hardly economic or environmental models for anyone,” Tony Abbott said in parliament. (Sky News)

CBD COP11 in Hyderabad: The Indian Government has been urged to stop wasting money on building seawalls and to plant mangroves instead. Deepeak Ipte from the Bombay Natural History Society says the walls are destroying sandy beaches while mangroves can protect coastlines and create new habitats at the same time.

Luxembourg: A meeting of European Finance ministers has seen the possibility of a financial transaction tax (FTT), the so called Robin Hood Tax, come closer. A group of 11 EU nations have begun hammering out the final details for the scheme that would charge a small levy on currency, stock, and commodity trades. The money raised could be used for climate projects. (AP)

Meanwhile a group of 58 organisations has pleaded with the World Bank to throw its weight behind the FTT.

CBD COP11 in Hyderabad: Braulio Dias head of the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)told RTCC time is running out for governments to take collective action and implement agreed plans to protect the world’s oceans, forests and grasslands.

EU: Plans for a moratorium on Arctic drilling has been blocked in Brussels. An Environmental committee had proposed the law but it has been swiftly ruled out by the European Parliament’s industry committee. (EurActiv)

Australia: The first solar farm in Australia capable of providing large-scale supply has been switched on. The Greenough River Solar project will provide 3000 homes with power. With country investing $10bn in renewables it could become the first of many. (Reuters)

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