Todd Stern: Climate talks need more than “paper ambition”

By John Parnell

– The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Thursday 10 January

US: Ambitious climate action requires a more realistic approach, the US climate change envoy Todd Stern has said. Commenting on the pursuit of a perfect, legally binding deal with strict rules and punishments for non-compliance Stern said: “Too many countries would see it as threatening to their core interests in growth and development. This is paper ambition, but we need real ambition.” (US Government)

UAE: Three quarters of the UAE’s potable water disappears between tap and sewage treatment triggering a new investigation by the Gulf nation. 500 million gallons of water are leaving the system each day and with the vast majority of that sourced from expensive desalination, the lost water also wastes fuel and causes further greenhouse gas emissions. (The National)

El Salvador: Volcanically active developing countries including Indonesia, the Philippines and East African nations should follow El Salvador’s lead and develop their geothermal resources. Geothermal energy capacity doubled globally in the past two decades but is still nowhere near its potential, according to the Worldwatch Institute. (EarthTechling)

Global: Half of the world’s food ends up as waste according to a new study by the UK’s Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). In a report released today the organisation says as much as two billion tonnes of food are wasted each year. In the UK 30% of the vegetables produced by the country’s farmers are not harvested because they feel to meet supermarket’s exacting standards. (The Guardian)

Jordan: A freak snowstorm has hit the Middle East bringing as much as a foot of snow to Jordan. Snowfall also hit Damascus, the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. (The National)

UK: Plans to build a £25bn six-mile long tidal barrage producing as much power as four nuclear reactors have “significant climate change benefits”, advocates of the scheme told a committee of MPs in London today. Conservationists remain unconvinced however that the plan for the Severn Estuary could successfully recreate the existing unique wetland habitat. (E2B Pulse)



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