Australia presses for ban on controversial ocean climate fix

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Australia: Australia is looking to ban a controversial ocean geoengineering technique by including it in existing legislation on dumping. Fertilising oceans with chemicals such as iron can boost the growth of plankton and absorb more CO2 into the oceans. Australia backed by South Korea and Nigeria, will seek to have it added to the London Protocol, that governs rules on ocean dumping, so that no more fertilisation takes place until more research has been completed. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Up close and personal with plankton (Source: Flickr/Eelke Dekker)

USA: Extreme weather cost US taxpayers $96bn last year, more than was spent on education or transport, according to a study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). The report also found that public money for the clean-up outspent private insurance by a ratio of 3:1. While climate change can be attributed as the cause of a single weather event, it is thought to be ‘loading the dice’ in favour of more extreme conditions. As well as Superstorm Sandy, the US was also affected by widespread drought and wildfires in 2012. (NRDC)

China: Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli has called for the country’s industrial sector to take the opportunity of tackling overcapacity to shift towards high-tech, low carbon sectors. Zhang said industrial transformation was key to the county’s sustainable development and was also a chance to address growing public concern on pollution and smog. (Xinhua)

Canada: The surprise result of the provincial election in British Columbia by the incumbent Liberal Party has lowered expectations that its existing modest carbon tax will be reinforced. The loss for the NDP party also means a conditional green light for two pipeline projects to run from Alberta to the west coast for export. (The Globe and Mail)

Climate science: A new analysis of scientists’ articles on global warming and climate change has found almost unanimous agreement that humans are the main cause. It showed 97% of scientists attribute much recent warming to human activities. (RTCC)

Biofuel protesters outside Westminster yesterday (Source: ActionAid)

UK: Protesters headed to Westminster yesterday calling for the UK to develop a sustainable biofuels industry. ActionAid recently published a report on the benefits of shifting away from conventional biofuels that use crops that could otherwise be used as food, to new sources that use waste material and grasses that grow on land unsuitable for farming. It says this could create jobs and cut greenhouse gas emissions.


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