Europe: The head of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has defended its coal investments and warned that low carbon ideology should not steer decisions on which energy projects it backs.
EBRD’s energy chief Riccardo Puliti said: “Affordability is a problem, even in developed countries, and security of supply is a problem,” adding that these considerations meant it could not issue a blanket ‘no’ on coal. The EBRD has invested £221m in coal between 2007-2011. With gas prices high in Europe at present, cheaper, dirtier coal is enjoying a resurgence. (The Guardian)
Science: Half of common plants and one third of animals are at risk from climate change according to a new study by the University of East Anglia. If no action is taken to curb emissions by 2080 the research found significant losses in habitat and major damage to biodiversity. (RTCC)
Norway: State-owned oil company Statoil has defended its involvement in the Canadian tar sands despite the government’s commitment to the 2°C limit on global warming. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted warming of 3.6°C on a scenario where the carbon intensive oil sands are fully exploited. (Energiogklima.no)
South Asia: A group of MPs from 11 South Asian countries, including Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will meet the UK’s climate change Minister Greg Barker to press for more ambitious climate action. The visit comes as the UK Government faces increasing scrutiny of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. (RTCC)
World: More than 32 million people were displaced by natural disasters last year including floods, droughts and storms. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) said 98% of these people were affected by climate and weather induced events. (Sierra Express Media)
Singapore: Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson has said that the company’s trips to space will generate less carbon emissions than people might expect. “We have reduced the (carbon emission) cost of somebody going into space from something like two weeks of New York’s electricity supply…to less than the cost of an economy round-trip from Singapore to London,” Branson said at his Carbon War Room organisation’s conference in Singapore. (AFP)