EU tells Volkswagen to accept weakened CO2 targets

By John Parnell

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Friday 12 October

Last updated: 1735

CBD COP11 in Hyderabad: Discussions on financing the Strategic Plan on Biodiversity have broken down at the UN’s summit in Hyderabad with countries unable to decide what to pursue first, possible sources of finance or appropriate monitoring techniques to keep tabs on the money.

US: The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) has listed the top ten renewable energy producing states…California, New York and Iowa all feature but in what order? (Renewable Energy World)

Indonesia: Palm oil plantations in Indonesia will release more CO2 in 2020 than Canada does from all sources in an entire year. A new report in Nature Climate Change estimates that 558m tonnes of CO2 will be released as a result of forests being cleared for palm oil production. (Nature)

Iceland: German car-maker BMW is to shift its data centres to Iceland in an effort to cut its carbon. The island’s servers can be cooled naturally and run off its ample supplies of renewable electricity, making it an increasingly popular green option for big business. Scandinavia at large has seen data centres from Facebook and Google constructed in Sweden and Finland respectively. (Triple Pundit)

UK: Two thirds of companies listed on the FTSE 350 share index are reporting their carbon emissions it has been revealed. The UK became the first country to make reporting mandatory during Rio+20. As of April 2013, all 1800 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange will be required to provide their emissions data. (E2B Pulse)

US: A group of 120 scientists, engineers and public officials with expertise on sea level rise have written to President Obama and his election rival Mitt Romney to ask them to address the issue when they take part in the final presidential debate there on October 22. The letter says 8 inches of sea level rise during the last century means: “the flooding of city streets and parking areas at seasonal high tides, the abandonment of drinking water wells in coastal communities due to salt water intrusion, and the failure of flood control structures to operate during high tides.” (Union of Concerned Scientists)

CBD COP11 in Hyderabad: The parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity have agreed that the impact of biofuels should be integrated into future discussions. The agreement recognises there is a role for biofuels to reduce carbon emissions but says this should not “aggravate biodiversity loss”.

EU: A leaked letter from EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger to Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn suggests that CO2 regulations on car manufacturers have been relaxed. Companies will have to have an average CO2 output of 130g/km by 2015 and 90g/km by 2020. However “supercredits” earned from producing electric vehicles will permit looser regulation on so-called gas guzzlers and post-2020 will be “completely open” according to the letter. (EurActiv)


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