Coal to be largest source of energy by end of decade, warns IEA

By Tierney Smith

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Tuesday 18 December

Last updated: 1615

UK: The government have set out support levels to encourage new solar and biomass power-generation developments in the period 2013-2017 that they say could boost jobs and unlock investment. (Reuters)

NOAA: November marked the 333rd consecutive month where global temperatures were above the 20th century average, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Global: Climate change is taking place in front of our eyes. That is the conclusion of the Guardian as they take a look back at this year’s extreme weather events.

EU: The President of the EU Commission has called on the continent’s ‘partners’ to show more climate action in 2013.

EU: The first round of a European Commission contest to fund carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects failed to find a winner. This announcement is set to deepen doubts that the technology could emerge soon to help cut emissions. CCS developers will be able to re-submit bids for a second round (Reuters)

EU Environment Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said they aim to award remaining funding for renewable energy and CCS projects within the coming 12 months.

IEA: Coal will be the largest single source of energy by the end of the decade according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The watchdog’s latest coal report shows that demand, largely from China and India with no signs of the demand slowing.

“Without progress in Carbon Capture and Storage, and if other countries cannot replicate the US experience and reduce coal demand [by using more gas], coal faces the risk of a potential climate policy backlash,” said Maria van der Hoeven, the IEA’s executive director. (IEA)

UK: The government could be set for a rebellion on its decision not to introduce a decarbonisation target for the country’s electricity generators. The new energy bill, still being processed, excluded a plan to cut the amount of carbon emitted per unit of electricity generated by a factor of eight. The opposition and the government’s junior coalition partner both back the proposal, which Conservative MP Tim Yeo says is necessary to create a consistent policy environment for investors.

The UK is looking to attract £110bn of investment in its energy infrastructure by 2020. (The Guardian)

EU: Countries in Europe could get an estimated 59% increase in revenue from the sale of carbon allowances over the next three years if plans to strengthen the EU Emissions Trading Scheme are implemented, according to an internal commission note. The Commission proposal – known as backloading – would remove permits from the first three years of the next phase of the carbon market (2013-2015) and put them back on the market at the end of it (2019-2020). (Reuters)

China/India: An explosion of car use has made fast-growing Asian cities, primarily in India and China, the centre of global air pollution. Now a new study published by the Lancet says that the surge in car use in south and east Asia could have led to 2.1 million premature deaths in 2010. (Guardian)

US: Hurricane Sandy may have led to a renewed focus on carbon markets in the US, with a series of reports highlighting the economic and social implications of climate change. The Investment Week climate conference last week heard that companies are increasingly being forced to respond to climate threats. (Business Green)

New Zealand: Climate Change Minister Tim Groser has announced that two types of international carbon credits will be banned from the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. Under the changes, Emissions Reduction Units generated from industrial gas destruction projects and Certified Emission Reduction units from large-scale hydropower projects that do not meet international guidelines with be excluded from the scheme.

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