Obama’s “fiscal cliff” deal boosts US renewable energy sector

By John Parnell

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Wednesday 02 January

Last updated: 1620

Media: Coverage of climate change in the US rebounded in 2012 to levels not seen since the 2009 climate change talks in Copenhagen. The New York Times wrote more climate change stories than at any point in its history, while the five big US newspapers hit the 300 article mark for the first time since the collapse of the 2009 UN climate negotiations. (Climate Central)

Arctic: An oil rig being towed back to port has run aground off the coast of Alaska. The Kulluk, part of Shell’s faltering drilling efforts in the Arctic was separated from its tug on more than one occasion providing fuel to environmentalists that oppose the drilling. (New York Times)

US: The US renewable energy industry received a boost from the deal to prevent the so-called “fiscal cliff”. The agreement extends the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for another year and while this will not provide long term certainty, it was initially feared the PTC would disappear completely. (GigaOM)

France: Climate change could be threatening French wine according to new research. Many varieties of grapes native to France could soon be better suited to England according to the study, which French winemakers have echoed with their own experiences on the ground. (CNBC)

China: The Chinese Government is to release live air pollution data from 74 cities after strong public pressure. Details on pollutants including particulate matter have previously been released by monitoring stations at foreign embassies, much to the disapproval of Chinese officials. (Times of India)

Germany: The first hybrid train has been launched in Germany. The diesel train has been retrofitted to collect and store energy generated during braking and could cut emissions from its 22 mile commuter route by 25%. (Treehugger)

India: Freshwater will be become a scarce resource by 2050 according to the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri. Speaking at a lecture yesterday Pachauri said South East Asia would be particularly vulnerable with flooding and disease reducing the availability of safe water sources. (Times of India)

Denmark: A new poll has found that 78% of Danes aren’t bothered by giant wind turbines within 1.2 miles of their homes. The country generates 26% of its electricity from wind, the highest proportion in Europe. (Earth Techling)



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