Germany: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told the Petersberg Climate talks that failing to act on climate change now will only have greater economic impact on developed countries. “Doing nothing means that is will be much, much more costly for us all,” she told the conference.
German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier acknowledged there was growing momentum for a deal through the UN process but feared progress was still insufficient. “The international awareness that we need to reach a milestone by 2015 is growing [but] in many areas is still too slow and not enough,” he said. (Deutsche Welle)
EU: Green infrastructure should be integrated into planning processes across the continent, a new report from the European Commission recommends. It plans to develop guidance for member states by the end of 2013, with a view to implementing the policy from 2014-2020. Examples include allowing a natural wetland to absorb the excess water from heavy rain instead of building expensive flood prevention barriers and planning for green spaces and fresh air corridors to mitigate the negative effects of summer heat waves. (EU)
Canada: The World Trade Organisation (WTO) has deemed a scheme to promote renewable energy in Canada as unfair. The country lost an appeal in defence of the programme that offered above market prices for electricity generated from renewables, but only if those firms purchased their equipment locally. (Reuters)
USA: The US ethanol industry is in recovery after a year of high corn prices caused many producers to drop out. Production is now at a 10 month high of 857,000 barrels a day, according to the US Department of Energy. Ethanol uses 40% of the US corn harvest. Critics say biofuels put undue pressure on food supplies and prices. (Financial Times, subscription)
EU: The chair of the Green party at the European Parliament has said that a recent decision not to reform the EU carbon market has “destroyed the foundation of common European climate policy”. Reinhard Buetikofer said climate policy was now perceived as a burden to industry, rather than an opportunity. (Bloomberg)