Australia: Wind is now cheaper than fossil fuels in producing electricity in Australia, the world’s biggest coal exporter, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. ““The fact that wind power is now cheaper than coal and gas in a country with some of the world’s best fossil fuel resources shows that clean energy is a game changer,” said Michael Liebreich (Bloomberg)
USA: Nuclear physicist Ernest Moniz could be named as the next US Energy Secretary by President Obama, according to Reuters. Moniz is already on Obama’s team of energy advisors and is director of MIT’s Energy Initiative research group, which lists Shell, BP and Saudi Aramco among its founding members. (Reuters)
Africa: Conservation group WWF plans to deploy surveillance drones to aid its efforts to protect species in the wild. The green group says that by the end of the year, it will have deployed “eyes in the sky” in one country in Africa or Asia, with a second country following in 2014 as part of a $5m hi-tech push to combat the illegal wildlife trade. (Guardian)
Arctic: Environmental Ministers from nations bordering the region today called for “urgent action” to reduce black carbon, HFCs, and methane, along with CO2, to help save the Arctic and prevent run-away feedbacks, including the loss of summer sea ice and the release of methane and CO2 from melting permafrost. (AEMM)
EU briefing: What could the budget talks mean for energy investment?
Science: A worldwide review of global rainfall data led by the University of Adelaide has found that the intensity of the most extreme rainfall events is increasing across the globe as temperatures rise. Researchers evaluated the association between extreme rainfall and atmospheric temperatures at more than 8000 weather gauging stations around the world.
Brazil: The Amazon rainforest is less vulnerable to die off because of global warming than widely believed because the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide also acts as an airborne fertilizer, a study showed on Wednesday. (Reuters)
India: Climate change is threatening the survival of a number of Asian bird species, including those in India, a new study warns.
The research conducted by Durham University and BirdLife International says that many avian species from the region are likely to suffer from climate change. (Times of India)
USA: States involved in the developing northeastern U.S. carbon market are expected to announce on Thursday that they will reduce the program’s emissions cap as a way to stimulate allowance trading and strengthen its environmental goals, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. (Reuters)
New Zealand: The Ministry for Primary Industries has announced $1.6m funding for international climate science initiative. The money will go towards agricultural greenhouse gas research. (Radio New Zealand)