Company behind Dubai’s ski slope to receive cash from UN carbon market

By John Parnell

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Wednesday 31 October

Last updated: 1500

Thailand: The prospect of conflict over water resources will create the need for “hydro-diplomacy”, a conference in Bangkok has heard. A combination of climate change, population growth and urbanisation are squeezing the world’s freshwater supplies.

“Nothing will be more effective for reaching a consensus on transboundary water management agreements than for…states to sit together and exercise hydro-diplomacy,” said Khaled M. AbuZeid, director of technical programmes at the Arab Water Council. (AlertNet)

Scotland: The Scottish First Minister has announced an increase in Scotland’s 2015 renewable energy target to 50%. A 2020 target to generate the equivalent of 100% of the country’s electricity demand from renewable sources had already been set. Scotland has become a hub for established and emerging technologies including offshore wind and wave and tidal generators. (BBC)

Worldwide: False optimism could be masking the extent of the dangers of climate change with Western Europe and low-lying Pacific Island Nations facing severe consequences sooner than expected. Hugh Montgomery, director of the UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance says food shortages could mean some people in the UK starving within 20 years. Meanwhile climate scientist Michael Mann says the extent of sea level rise is being down-played and some Pacific islands could be evacuated with a decade. (Guardian)

US: Hurricane Sandy could force climate change on to the agenda of the next US President with more comparable events likely in the future. The storm set to empty the coffers of the Government’s flood insurance programme. The cost of the storm is estimated at $5-10bn of insured damage and an additional $10-20bn of knock-on economic losses. “The sort of storm we just saw is likely to be more common in some of the most populated and valuable areas of the country,” said Sharlene Leurig, senior manager for insurance and water programs with the sustainable investment advocacy group Ceres. (Reuters)

Canada: Carbon trading plans for several Canadian provinces will be jeopardised unless they link in with the EU carbon market an analyst has warned. Australia has already announced its plans to integrate with the European platform in 2018. Andrei Marcu from the Centre for European Policy Studies told a conference in Bangkok both systems could flounder without the tie-in. He also said South Korea’s carbon market would benefit from linking with the EU set-up. (Bloomberg)

UAE: A property developer in the UAE has had its energy efficiency programme approved for registration with the UN’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). Majid Al Futtaim Properties, the company behind Dubai’s indoor ski slope, will be able to sell carbon credits earned from the emission reductions across its property portfolio. The CDM allows countries with commitments to reduce emissions under the Kyoto Protocol to fund offsets in the developing world. Typical projects include clean cook stoves and solar water heaters as well as increasing the efficiency of industrial infrastructure in emerging economies. (Zawya)

UK: The UK’s recently appointed Energy Minister John Hayes has called for more attention to the aesthetics of the environment when making decisions on wind farm planning. Writing in the Guardian, Hayes said the UK needed an energy mix that included “new nuclear, gas, new carbon capture and storage technology, and renewable energy of the right kind”. Meanwhile, former Environment Minister Michael Heseltine, has called for a mammoth and controversial tidal power project to go ahead. The Severn Barrage would have a greater capacity than two new nuclear power stations but would also flood a large area of wetlands. (Guardian/Wales Online)


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