US considers shifting climate talks to new forum outside UN process

By John Parnell

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Friday 16 November

Last updated: 1610

US: The past 332 consecutive months in the US have all shown above average temperatures and 2012 is likely to be the warmest on record in the US. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has said there is a 90% chance that this year beat all others in terms of temperatures. (Yahoo)

Peru/Australia: Mixed news for solar projects today with Australia cutting its subsidy for solar power 6 months early. The decision has been criticised by the industry body for destabilising the country’s solar sector. Peru meanwhile has approved a $210m deal with a US private equity firm for two soalr projects. (Sky News Australia/UPI)

Egypt: The Egyptian climate change negotiator Ambassador Ahmed Ihab Gamaleldin has expressed his concerns about climate finance and technology transfer ahead of the Doha talks. Speaking at an event in Cairo he said: “Lowering our carbon emissions means we’ll have to replace technology that costs €100 with technology that might cost us €100,000. We don’t want to borrow money for this. First we had an agreement about technology transfer, and now they told us to rely on the private sector…the private sector will never be willing to finance adaptation measures. There is a complete refusal to talk about intellectual property rights. (Green Prophet)

EU: The European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, has said President Obama should now be able to press ahead with efforts to tackle climate change beyond its own borders. “I hope that the re-elected president will pull his whole weight now into this area. I’m absolutely sure that that could make a difference not only internally in the United States, but also at the international scene.” (Washington Post)

US: The US is reported to be considering shifting elements of the UN climate change negotiations to the Major Economies Forum (MEF), a grouping that accounts for around 85% of the world’s emissions. The news agency EurActiv reports that the US has decided this is a more comfortable arena for climate change talks. Michael Starbæk Christensen, the deputy head of cabinet for EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, said: “Ideally we would like to see as much happening inside the UNFCCC as possible,” he continued, “but if we can engage with the US in other forums, it is the action that counts”. (EurActiv)

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