Russia claims COP18 snub could damage hopes of 2015 climate deal

By Tierney Smith

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Wednesday 19 December

Last updated: 1700

EU: The European Commission has approved state aid of €1.88 billion for the Czech Republic and €56 million for Hungary in the form of free carbon allowances. The Commission said the money would be used to modernise energy installations and infrastructure and promote competition. (Reuters)

UK: Energy and Climate Change Secretary, Ed Davey has postponed a decision on whether to include greenhouse gas emissions from shipping and airplanes in the UK’s carbon targets, The decision had been expected next week but will now not be made until 2016, after the next general election. (Guardian)

Germany: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet have agreed to accelerate the construction of 2,800 km of new high-voltage power lines to push forward the country’s shift to renewable energy. (Reuters)

Russia: The final stage of the Doha climate conference saw a “flagrant violation of the rules”, according to a statement produced by the government of Russia. They remain angry after their objections were ignored in the final moments of the conference as the final texts were being adopted.

“The final stage of the Conference was, unfortunately, in flagrant violation of the rules of procedure, which causes serious damage to the multilateral efforts to achieve a just and lasting solution to the problem of global climate change,” the statement read.

“This course of action is radically at odds with the standards and practices of the United Nations system. It undermines the legitimacy of the decision of the Conference on the Kyoto rules, with serious consequences for the process of adoption by the relevant amendments to the Kyoto Protocol and requires analysis in the context of the UN system-wide.”

Brazil: Landowners and farmers will soon be able to trade forests online as Brazil launches a new platform called BVRio. It will allow growers with more untouched forest on their land than is legally required to sell “quotas” to farmers who fall short. (MSNBC)

US: A new study from researchers at the University of Tennessee found that the Eastern US is likely to become hotter and wetter with climate change. It found that heat waves will become more severe in most regions and that there could be a drastic increase in rainfall. (Science Daily)

Indonesia: A top climate change advisor in Jakarta has said that Indonesia could potentially slash its carbon emissions by more than three times the rate of Australia. The announcement follows recommendations by the Climate Change Authority in Australia to keep the country’s current target of 20% of energy from renewables by 2020. (AU News)

Forests: Biodiversity initiatives and clamp downs on illegal forestry mean fewer and fewer ‘green desert’ plantations, investors have told a conference. Green deserts describe large areas of land that contain one species of tree alone – limiting the area’s biodiversity – but investors say companies are increasingly working with local governments to set aside areas to return to primary jungle, reversing the effects of illegal foresting and combating deforestation. (BuisnessGreen)


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