USA: Vice President Joe Biden has defended Barack Obama’s record on climate change in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. “In the very beginning, we decided that we had to move on this. And we thought, cap-and-trade. But it got shut down, even when we had a Democratic Congress. So from that point on, the president has been trying to figure out how he can use his executive authority to make some real changes,” he said.
Biden said the administration faced a number of hurdles including climate sceptics and powerful energy interests that claim “that anything we would do to deal with global warming would be a job-killer”. (The Hill)
Australia: Figures within Australia’s opposition coalition have said it should consider abandoning its climate change policy given the “dire economic circumstances”. The Direct Action Plan would see businesses and farmers submit their emission reduction proposals with $10.5bn set aside to fund the cheapest projects up until 2020. (Sydney Morning Herald)
Marshall Islands: A water shortage on the Pacific Marshall Islands has forced Australia and the US to offer desalination equipment. There is no immediate end in sight to the drought and instances of conjunctivitis and diarrhoea are on the rise. Some families are surviving on 4.5 litres a day. (The Guardian)
GEF: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has launched projects in Asia, Latin America and Africa to cut the levels of harmful chemicals released into the atmosphere. Persistent organic pollutants, organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation, are commonly released from burning plastic or other industrial processes. 90% of human exposure is through food, mainly meat. (RTCC)
USA: God will not save humanity from climate change a US Senator has said after a colleague suggested there was no need to act as “God won’t allow us to ruin the planet”. Whitehouse said the Senator in question and those who shared that view, sought “magical deliverance from our troubles, not divine guidance through our troubles”. (Raw Story)