Climate change a priority for Obama’s second term

By Tierney Smith

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Thursday 20 December

Last updated: 1205

Norway: With the new UN climate deal still year’s away, Norway have announced they will steps up their efforts investing in the slowing of tropical deforestation as part of “first aid” to slow climate change.

“In the meantime we must give the climate first aid,” Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said. (Reuters)

Oceans: Changes in ocean salinity reveals the impacts of human climate change, according to a new study. Comparing ocean data against climate models, the researchers said they found that the changes seen matched those that would be expected from human induced climate change. (ABC Science)

US: President Obama has identified climate change as one of his top three priorities in his second term. In an interview for Time’s Person of the Year he said the economy, immigration and climate change and energy could be at the top of his agenda for the next four years. (The Hill)

UK: Businesses are being urged to reduce their energy demand over the Christmas period by switching off appliances – including PCs, vending machines and fridges – as they head out for the holidays. Figures from the Carbon Trust show that office equipment consumes around 15% of electricity in UK offices, costing £300 per year, and it is expected to rise to 30% by 2020. (Business Green)

UN: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon says the recent climate change conference in Doha has kept the international community on track for a comprehensive, legally binding agreement by 2015.

“That is what governments have pledged to do, and it is what they must achieve,” he said in his end of year press conference. “As a spur to what we know will be very difficult negotiations, I intend to bring world leaders together in 2014.” (UN)

Wales: In what could be seen as an ironic move, the Big Pit, Wales’s national coal museum has announced that it will install 200 solar panels. The panels are expected to produce about 6% of the museum’s energy. (Guardian)

Mexico: Two new studies have shown that Mexico and its neighbours could be at the top of the list of countries vulnerable to global warming. They show that a combination of warmer weather and less rainfall in the coming years could devastate yields of the countries’ traditional crops like corn and beans, as well as the region’s coffee harvests. (Reuters)

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