Ministers meet in South Korea to set agenda for Qatar 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)

Monday 22 October

Last updated: 1730

Poland: After being the target of protests during the weekend, Poland may have done a little to improve its standing with environmentalists. It has announced that its electricity providers will have to increase the percentage of renewable energy they sell to consumers by 1% a year. The growth rate during the past four years was just 0.6% in total. (Renewable Energy World)

South Korea: The President of the upcoming UN climate change talks, Qatar’s Deputy PM Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, has said there will be a workshop dedicated to raising ambition at the talks. Forty-eight Ministers are meeting to discuss the agenda for November’s meeting in Doha. The “ambition gap”, the difference between pledged emission reductions and the cuts necessary to limit warming to 2°C, has been a hot topic for several years.

Djibouti: The latest country to set itself the target of sourcing 100% of its energy from renewable sources might come as a surprise. President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti told the World Energy Forum in Dubai that the country would pursue a number of technologies to hit its goal by 2020. (WAM)

US: With the final US Presidential debate taking place this evening, the US-based campaign group Climate Silence has said that if there is no mention of climate change in tonight’s exchange, it will be the first time the topic has gone ignored since 1984. (ThinkProgress)

Brussels: A European think-tank has suggested that the Green Climate Fund should be used to purchase some of the glut of UN carbon credits that have forced prices to rock-bottom. The price of a tonne of carbon associated with the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was just $1.44 last week, and the Centre for European Policy Studies says the GCF could help. A tonne of carbon in the poor performing European trading system costs almost ten times more. (Bloomberg)

UAE: Nuclear powered desalination has been touted as the future of the UAE’s water security. The process uses electricity from a nuclear power plant to remove the salt from seawater to create fresh drinking water. Other countries in the region, including Qatar and Saudi Arabia are investigating solar-powered desalination techniques. The sustainability of the region is in the spotlight in the ruin-up to the UN climate change talks in Doha this November. (MENA FN)

Worldwide: The International Energy Agency (IEA) has released data on global CO2 emissions from 1971 to 2010 in order to supply the latest data for the UN climate change talks in Doha. Just ten countries, including China and the US, were responsible for two-thirds of the world’s emissions. Global CO2 output rose 4.6% in 2010 compared to 2009, which saw a decrease.

CBD COP11 in Hyderabad: The UN Biodiversity talks concluded in Hyderabad in the early hours of Saturday morning. Finance was unsurprisingly the sticking point but countries were eventually able to agree a deal whereby developed nations would double their support for biodiversity protection to $10bn annually.

South Korea: The Ministerial level preparatory meeting ahead of November’s UN climate change talks in Doha is taking place in Seoul today and tomorrow. Ministers and lead negotiators from 48 countries and parties are attending including the US, Bolivia, EU, South Africa and Qatar . The meeting is designed to help set the agenda for the two-week summit. Discussions are largely off the record until the conclusion of the meeting.

Green Climate Fund: The Green Climate Fund’s (GCF) host city was announced as Songdo, South Korea on Saturday morning amid rumours that the US had been lobbying for the eventual winner. Karen Orenstein of Friends of the Earth US, told RTCC that the States was backing the Korean bid and was keen to see “some physical distance” between the GCF and the UN climate change agency in Bonn. Rumours of US involvement in the process emerged earlier last week and appear to have been accurate. The German city had also bid to be host.


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