1,200 coal plants planned worldwide despite climate change warnings

By Tierney Smith

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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– Updated from 0830-1700 BST (GMT+1)

Tuesday 20 November

Last updated: 1700

COP18: The Project Developer Forum – a clean energy campaign body – has offset the emissions from the travel and accommodation of 10,000 participants to the Doha climate conference. The group have pledged to transfer 25,000 Certified Emissions Reductions into the Clean Development Mechanism Registry’s voluntary cancellation account. The group says it aims to highlight the plummeting value of CERs.

Australia: For the first time in several years, the government will not be sending a minister to the international climate change negotiations. Greg Combet, Minister for climate change and energy efficiency will not be heading to Doha next week for the UNFCCC talks and the government will instead be represented by parliamentary secretary for climate change Mark Dreyfus. (Sydney Morning Herald)

UK: Energy industry officials have raised concerns that the Prime Ministers new plans to force companies to move customer on to the lowest available tariff could create a market ‘devoid of innovation’ and lead to the shelving of new green tariffs, electric car tariffs and smart grid pilots. The new scheme will see companies limited to offering four tariffs per meter type to customers. (BusinessGreen)

Solar: Chief Executive of the Desertec initiative, Paul van Son has denied reports of turmoil over the plans to generate 15% of Europe’s energy from Saharan solar power. The project has been hit with the withdrawal of two major investors, Siemens and Bosch, in recent weeks, while the Spanish government has reportedly backed away from a deal to build solar plants in Morocco. (Guardian)

Worldwide: Atmospheric volumes of greenhouse gases hit a new record in 2011, according to the World Meteorological Organisation’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. The report found the volume of CO2 grew at a similar rate to the previous decade and reached 390.9 parts per million (ppm) – 40% above the pre-industrial level. (Reuters)

Canada: Environment Minister Peter Kent, often painted as the villain at the international climate change meetings has said global warming presents a real and present danger. He said recent extreme weather events are forcing politicians in both Canada and the US to focus on the issue of climate change. (Yahoo News)

COP18: Experts have warned that while the extension of the Kyoto Protocol is likely to take the central role at next week’s climate conference in Doha, progress in other key areas including a new global deal on climate and more financial aid to help vulnerable states cope with climate impacts should not be put off. (Reuters AlertNet)

Germany: Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, a German climate scientist and advisor to Chancellor Angela Merkel has said politicians need to get their act together on climate change. He warned that the goal of keeping global warming below 2°C by 2100 would need a massive rethinking of priorities. (Spiegel Online)

Worldwide: 1,200 coal-fired power plants are being planned worldwide, new research from the World Resources Institute has revealed. The expansion comes despite warnings that the carbon emissions must peak within the next few years to avoid dangerous climate change. Three-quarters of the plants will be built in China and India. (Guardian)

EU: The green farming agenda could face the axe in the EU budget as the future of the Common Agricultural Policy remains uncertain. Green advocates warn that some governments are pushing to weaken proposals intended to create natural defences against pesticides and fertilisers in crop fields. (Euractiv)

Worldwide: A coalition of the world’s largest investors have called on governments to ramp up action on climate change and boost clean-energy investment or risk trillions of dollars in investment and disruption to economies. In an open letter, the alliance of institutional investors said growing greenhouse gases and more extreme weather are increasing investment risks globally. (Reuters)

UK: WWF have called on Prime Minister David Cameron to take control of elements within the Conservative Party that undermine investor confidence, jobs and growth in the green economy. The group have launched a campaign calling for a strong Energy Bill. (GreenClick)

Business: The world’s largest chocolate company, Mondelēz International – parent company of Cadbury’s – has announced plans to invest $400m over the next 10 years to help suppliers improve their sustainability efforts. (BusinessGreen)

Scotland: French based nuclear and renewables group Areva has promised to open a wind turbine manufacturing base in Scotland in readiness for a major expansion in North Sea windfarms. (Guardian)

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