Canada’s Alberta tar sands emit more carbon than previously thought

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 15 November

Last updated: 1650

Australia: The Australian energy and resources minister Martin Ferguson has said the country may have to turn to nuclear power if other clean technologies do not become price competitive. “The Australian government’s responsibility is to test all forms of clean energy and if at some point in the future we don’t get the breakthrough on baseload clean energy, Australia will need to think seriously about considering nuclear,” said Ferguson. (World Nuclear News)

Brazil: The lead Brazilian climate change negotiator has said that Doha should not attempt to increase the scale of emission reduction pledges. “We have to be very focused on what needs to be done in Doha and not be diverted to other important issues that probably can’t be solved quickly, such as the ongoing question of ambition,” said Luiz Alberto Figueiredo. (Guardian)

Bonn: The United Nations climate chief has called on China’s new leadership to ensure the country remains committed to a low-carbon future and engaged in the next round of negotiations later this month. In an interview with RTCC, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN climate change secretariat, the UNFCCC, said it was “absolutely critical” that China’s new Communist Party leader Xi Jinping maintained levels of investment in renewable technologies and energy efficiency measures. (RTCC)

USA: President Obama has pledged more work on climate change during his second term and to use green growth to develop national support for the climate agenda. Speaking at his first press conference since re-election, Obama said consultations on this new push would begin immediately. (RTCC)

Brazil: The future of the Kyoto Protocol should be the main focus of the COP18 talks in Doha according to Brazil’s lead negotiator Ambassador Luiz Alberto Figueiredo. He says the debate on whether the world needs stronger greenhouse gas cuts to keep the planet from warming by 2C should be postponed till 2013. (Guardian)

EU: The European Parliament will vote on whether the EU should adopt a 30% emissions reduction target under the Kyoto Protocol ahead of the UN climate change conference in Doha. The vote will take place at the Parliament’s plenary next week.

Qatar: COP18 President Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah is meeting with the Cypriot Ambassador to discuss the upcoming climate change talks. Cyprus currently holds the rotating EU presidency and will take a leading role in the negotiations that start at the end of the month. (The Peninsula)

Canada: Canadian oil sands emit 9% more greenhouse gases than other crude oils, according to the IHS CERA. The figure is a slight increase on previous estimates. A decision on the new Keystone XL pipeline to export oil sands from Canada to US refineries is expected early in the New Year. (Reuters)

UK: The UK has continued its gradual tidal energy roll out with a further three projects given approval. Fledgling tidal energy technologies have largely been limited to trial projects but the UK now has 41 sites operational or in development. The government believes marine energy could account for 20% of the UK’s electricity demands. (Reuters)

UNFCCC: The UN climate chief Christiana Figueres spoke to RTCC yesterday with less than two weeks to go till the next climate summit in Doha. She talks to Ed King about her hopes for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the role of China and the US at the talks and what Doha must deliver on climate finance.

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