President Obama breaks his climate silence on MTV

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 29 October

Last updated: 1530

Poland: The Polish environment minister Marcin Korolec has claimed that the EU’s decision not to ban the carry-over of carbon credits from the first Kyoto commitment period into the second period is about ensuring flexibility. Korolec said the decision was to protect “our right to preserve and dispose of the emissions reductions achieved under the Kyoto Protocol”. Critics however, say Poland wants to ensure it has enough credits to permit it to stick to its coal-dependant, carbon intensive economy. (UPI)

Qatar: Imams in Qatar will turn the spotlight on environmental issues during the UN climate change agency’s COP18 summit in Doha. The Holy Quran includes 1500 verses related to the environment. Around 150 mosques in the country will host lectures on reducing energy and resource consumption, climate change and other environmental challenges on November 27.

Geneva: A new atlas of climate change health impacts has been launched by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). The report links outbreaks of malaria, dengue and even meningitis as a result of climate variability and extreme events such as floods. (AlertNet)

US: The post-election future of the key subsidy for wind energy in the US looks slightly brighter after the possibility of a compromise appeared. President Obama has said he would retain the Production Tax Credit (PTC) but Romney is keen to shelve it. However, Republican plans for a gradual phase-out have emerged, that would be preferable to its complete removal on January 1, 2013. (New York Times)

South Korea: President Lee Myung-bak has placed climate change among the country’s top three priorities as it celebrated its election to the UN Security Council. Speaking at an event in Seoul to mark the event the President said South Korea was committed to: “The recovery of the world economy and maintaining world peace. I would also like to state that we will get actively involved in getting the world prepared for climate change.”

South Korea was recently selected to host the UN’s Green Climate Fund, held the Ministerial meeting ahead of the Doha climate talks and is the venue for the 2014 UN Convention on Biodiversity’s biannual summit. (Yonhap News Agency)

US: President Barack Obama has broken his climate silence during the weekend. He told MTV: “We’re not moving as fast as we need to. I am surprised it didn’t come up in the debates.” Obama listed a number of energy efficiency standards enforced during his presidency and stressed the need to pursue new technologies that would allow the economy and the climate to be helped in tandem.

“If we do those things then we can meet the targets I negotiated with other countries in Copenhagen to bring our emissions down by about 17%.” (TreeHugger)

Worldwide: The global consumption of coal reached record levels last year threatening to derail the world’s carbon emission reduction efforts. Coal’s share of energy consumption rose from 25% to 30%, taking it the highest level since 1969, according to figures from the World Coal Association. Coal emits more carbon dioxide and other pollutants than alternative fossil fuels such as gas. (The Guardian)


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