Polish environmentalists complain of harassment and visits from “secret police”

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)

Tuesday 30 October

Last updated: 1715

Australia: Calls to cut the country’s target to produce 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 have been rejected. A new report by the Climate Change Authority said changing the target would create uncertainty for investors. Utility firms and energy intensive industries had been calling for a reduction in the goal. (Renewable Energy World)

Worldwide: The price of UN carbon credits could remain at rock bottom levels until a raft of new emissions trading schemes begin in 2015. An oversupply of credits has contributed to prices plummeting. New regional schemes in China and the US are in development and both Australia and South Korea will begin trading in 2015.

“Right now, prices are low and may stay that way until the new systems are established by around 2015,” said Sung-Woo Kim, head of Climate Change and Sustainability for KPMG Asia Pacific. (Bloomberg)

Japan: A draft agreement of the new global deal on greenhouse gas emissions should be finished at next year’s UN climate talks, according to the Japanese Government. In a submission to the UNFCCC, Japan says the first half of next year should be spent holding roundtables, workshops and reviewing suggestions from third parties before finalising a draft of the new deal at the COP19 talks in November 2013. The new deal will see all countries, rich and poor, pledge to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Kenya: The group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is meeting in Nairobi to discuss its negotiating position at the Doha climate change talks. The bloc is expected to prioritise progress on the Green Climate Fund and filling the gap in planned finance between 2012 and 2014. Ensuring developed nations make ambitious pledges in a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol will also feature on the agenda. (Xinhua)

Haiti: The devastation left by Hurricane Sandy was being counted in Haiti as the storm grabbed headlines elsewhere. With 52 already confirmed dead the country is now bracing itself for severe food security consequences with much of its crops destroyed and fears of price shocks growing. A number of droughts have already created global concerns for food prices. (AlertNet)

US: Former President Bill Clinton has waded into the climate debate ahead of the US election with a dig at the Republican party. Speaking at a university in Florida Clinton said: “America is the only major country in the world where any major political party is denying climate change instead of arguing about what to do about it”. (Guardian)

US: At least thirteen people have been killed by Hurricane Sandy as it passed through some of the most densely populated areas of the US last night. Millions have been left without power and several of New York’s Subway tunnels have been flooded. As many as 69 were killed, mostly in Haiti, when the storm passed through the Caribbean last week. (Reuters)

Poland: Environmental activists in Poland have claimed that they are being hampered by interference from the state. A Polish Treasury Minister denounced the NGO Client Earth as “working against the public interests of the state” while the press has referred to them as “eco-terrorists”. A lawyer for the NGO said “a climate of fear was being developed”. Other environmentalists claim to have received visits from secret police. (EurActiv)

UK: Hitachi has bought the Horizon nuclear power project from the utilities E.ON and RWE. The deal will see engineering firms Rolls Royce and Babcock build two plants, one in Wales one in England with a total capacity of 6GW. A report has been released on the same day claiming that renewables in the UK will generate more power than nuclear by 2018. (BBC/Guardian)




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