Shell forced to abandon Alaska drilling without tapping any oil

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)

Thursday 1 November

Last updated: 1710

UK: Planning documents have revealed that the UK’s recently appointed Energy Minister, a vocal opponent to wind farms, blocked an application for a new development on his first day in office. The project for two 126m turbines was seven miles from his family home. (GreenWise Business)

Green Climate Fund: A prospective levy on the shipping industry could be worth as much as $10bn a year to the Green Climate Fund, according to WWF. Mark Lutes told RTCC that a prospective deal could compensate poor nations, reinvest in energy efficiency within shipping and still have at least $10bn for climate finance. Negotiations on a market based mechanism to reduce the industry’s CO2 output are ongoing.

Climategate: Following a BBC Radio documentary on the Police inquiry into the Climategate email theft, the journalist behind the programme has released some of the additional material he acquired from a Freedom of Information request. The material handed over by detectives working on the case includes the staff list of a right-wing think tank and the Police’s media strategy, which was designed to reduce impact on the UN climate talks in Copenhagen, which immediately followed the release of the stolen emails. (BBC)

Antarctica: Nations have failed to agree a deal to establish new conservation areas off the coast of Antarctica amid opposition from Ukraine, Russia and China. The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) hopes to establish protected areas for the benefit of marine life as well as to improve research into the effects of climate change. CCAMLR, made up of 25 nations plus the EU, will meet again in July next year to try to break the deadlock. (Reuters)

US: Calls for New York City to build a series of flood barriers have been renewed in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Several proposals have been put forward in the past but the State’s governor Andrew Cuomo has voiced support for a serious review of the solutions on offer. One proposed scheme would cost $6bn, around half the estimate of Hurricane Sandy’s insured damage.  (Daily Mail)

US: The US Green Party’s presidential candidate has been arrested at the site of a protest against the Keystone XL pipeline. Jill Stein was arrested in Texas for criminal trespass after bringing food to protesters taking part in a sit in at a construction site for the pipeline. Keystone XL will transport tar sands oil from Canada to the US Gulf Coast to be refined. (Reuters)

China: The solar energy trade war has taken a new turn with China adding the EU to its current anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigation of the US and South Korea. The EU is already examining accusations that China is deliberately selling its own solar products at artificially low prices while the US has placed heavy import duties on Chinese solar products. (Reuters)

US: Shell has shut down its Arctic drilling programme off the coast of Alaska for the season. The company’s efforts suffered a series of delays during the summer with a key support vessel struggling to acquire the necessary coastguard permits to sail in the region. The company was able to drill test wells but ran out of time to explore for actual oil reserves. (New York Times)

South Africa: The South African government has signed a $5.4bn renewable energy deal. The agreement will see two concentrating solar energy plants, eight wind farms and 18 solar farms constructed. The country is targeting the installation of 3.7 GW of installed renewable energy by 2020. The latest deal represents 1.4 GW of that goal. (Independent)

Maldives: The former President of the Maldives and prominent climate activist Mohamed Nasheed will go on trial on Sunday. Nasheed was removed from office and charged with abuse of power. Writing in the Financial Times, he said the outcome of his trial is a foregone conclusion adding that his country, at severe risk to rising sea levels, was now literally and metaphorically slipping into the abyss. (Financial Times)


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