Russia considers “waving goodbye” to Kyoto ahead of Doha climate change talks

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)

Friday 19 October

Last updated: 1700

UK: Activists from the Push Europe group will congregate outside the Polish Embassy in London and across Europe to protest against the country’s perceived blocking of climate action at the EU. Poland is reliant on coal and is concerned that climate action could prove costly to its dirtier economy. WWF recently questioned the validity of Poland’s veto at the EU. The bloc will be meeting shortly to decide its strategy at the UN climate talks in Doha this November.

China: The Chinese government is set to provide its ailing solar panel manufacturers with state aid and more orders. As well as assisting the firms through a period of massive oversupply that has left prices at rock bottom, the number of solar projects will be ramped-up. The total installed solar capacity will be double that of the year before by the time new year comes. (Renewable Energy World)

CBD COP11 in Hyderabad: The talks’ predicted tense final day is set to end in deadlock on finance with the EU delegation reportedly unwilling to make any additional commitments to those already on the table. (The Hindu)

Saudi Arabia: An influential Saudi Arabian Prince has announced that the Kingdom has set a 100% renewable energy target. There is no date set but the 67 year old Prince Turki al Faisal al Saud said he hopes it will happen in his lifetime. He told an economic conference in Brazil that the country’s oil had better uses than providing domestic energy.

In November Qatar will become the first OPEC country to host the UN’s climate change negotiations. Both countries have identified solar power as a key future technology. (The Guardian)

Australia: The Australian Greens have said that the country must take its climate commitments more seriously now that it has a seat on the UN Security Council. Greens Leader Christine Milne said the appointment meant additional scrutiny and the country would be required to keep its foreign policy pledges, particularly on climate change and immigration. (World News Australia)

US: The US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has stressed the importance of the challenges of “energy diplomacy” that will face her successor. “Energy is essential to how we will power our economy and manage our environment in the 21st century. We therefore have an interest in promoting new technologies and sources of energy – especially including renewables – to reduce pollution, to diversify the global energy supply, to create jobs, and to address the very real threat of climate change.” Clinton will stand down after the US election regardless of the result.

Russia: Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has ordered a review of the country’s continued participation in the Kyoto Protocol and has suggested it could “wave goodbye” to the treaty all together. The country has already indicated that it will not participate in the coming second commitment period. A review of the feasibility of bi-lateral carbon trading with the EU has also been ordered before any decisions are made on its stance at the UN climate talks in Doha next month. Russia is sitting on around €30bn of carbon credits. (The Moscow Times)

US: The availability of cheap domestic shale gas has poleaxed commercial interest in developing carbon capture and storage technology for coal power stations in the US leaving its fate dependent on government subsidies. “Unquestionably, without a carbon price and with low natural gas prices these technologies are having problems drawing investment and attention,” said Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute of Environmental Policy at Duke University. (Reuters)

UK: Scientists at a refinery in northern England have developed a technology to create petrol literally from thin air. The method extracts CO2 from the atmosphere and mixes it with hydrogen from water vapour to create methane (CH4) which can then be refined into petrol. The technique uses electricity at several stage but if this were sourced from renewable energy, carbon-neutral liquid transport fuels would become reality. (The Daily Telegraph)




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