World is heading for ‘heart attack’, says UN official

A summary of today’s top climate and clean energy stories.
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UN official Halldor Thorgeirsson. (Pic: IISD)

IPCC: Political leaders who reject urgent action to cut emissions should be punished at the ballot box because the world is heading for a “heart attack” caused by rising temperatures, according to one of the UN’s top climate officials, Halldor Thorgeirsson, speaking before today’s opening of a meeting of scientists and government officials from around the world to negotiate the final wording of a major report on climate change. (Times)

US: On Friday, California governor Jerry Brown signed the state’s first fracking bill into law, which will require oil and gas companies to list the chemicals they use in the fracking process online to go into effect next year. (Climate Progress)

Research: Children will bear the brunt of the impact of climate change because of their increased risk of health problems, malnutrition and migration, according to a new study published on Monday, whilst food prices to soar as a result of warming, undoing the progress made in combating world hunger. (Guardian)

China: Levels of air and water pollution are increasing concerns for China’s population, according to a survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center, which reports that 47% of the 3,226 people it interviewed this year said air quality was a concern, while 40% said access to clean water troubled them. (RTCC)

Research: Asia’s major cities are likely to be the hardest hit by natural catastrophes, both in terms of absolute numbers of lives lost and economic impact, advises a new report by reinsurance company Swiss Re. It indicates India and China, in particular, as facing a significant threat from river flooding, highlighting the urgent need for decisive climate action from city leaders. (RTCC)

Research: Switching to clean energy would pay for itself almost immediately, according to a new analysis, by reducing our reliance on fossil fuels which would cut air pollution, saving lives and therefore money. (New Scientist)

Europe: Germany’s top utility E.ON will acquire UK energy management and efficiency group Matrix, it said on Friday, a move aimed at bolstering new business activities. (Reuters)

US: Microsoft is the latest company to join 650 US companies – employing more than 100,000 people – to sign the Climate Declaration which calls for federal action by the American government to tackle climate change. (Energy Live)

US: Volkswagen says it will bring its first electric car, the e-Golf model, to the United States, “joining an increasingly crowded field of battery-powered vehicles on the market,” which would go on sale in 2015. (NACS)


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