Tony Abbott could scrap Australia’s renewables target

Today’s top five climate change stories chosen by RTCC
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Source: Flickr/Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Source: Flickr/Foreign and Commonwealth Office

1 – Tony Abbott could scrap Australia’s renewables target
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has signalled that he might reel back the country’s renewable energy target or even scrap it altogether when it it reviewed next year. He said that lower energy prices are now the government’s primary goal, and the rationale behind the scheme no longer exists, reports the Guardian.

2 – Chevron accused of breaking environmental laws
The US Environmental Protection Agency has told Chevron that it found dozens of failures to comply with federal environmental laws in an investigation into a 2012 fire at the company’s refinery in Californa, Reuters reports. In the days following the fire, 15,000 San Francisco Bay area residents sought treatment for respiratory irritation due to the smoke plume.

3 – Two-thirds of UK land opened for fracking
Fracking companies will be able to license two-thirds of the UK’s land, with new areas opened up in the Midlands, Cumbria and Wales, a government map shows. The Guardian reports that major energy companies have expressed interest in new shale gas licenses, and around 150 applications are expected, covering around 15% of the UK.

4 – Hydropower to provide renewable energy in West Africa
West African states in the Niger River Basin plan to build three hydropower dams over the next five years in an attempt to tackle climate risks and reduce poverty, reports AlertNet. The projects, a 102 megawatt (MW) hydropower dam at Fomi in Guinea, a 25 MW hydropower plant in Toussa, Mali, and the 565 MW Kandadji dam in Niger, aim to boost irrigation, reduce desertification and improve the economy.

5 – Scientists record hottest November since records began
Last month set a new record, with scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recording the hottest November since records began in 1880, report Associated Press. The global average temperature was 13.7C, or 0.78C above the twentieth century average. It was the 37th consecutive November with above average temperatures.

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