September’s climate thermometer: who’s hot, and who’s not?

Who has shown some cool, green leadership this September… And who is heating up the planet? 


Who’s hot and who’s not in the world of climate change?

Every month, RTCC takes a look at the heroes and villains of the news over the past 30 days.

Revolutionising the ubiquitous thermometer motif, we’ve decided “hot” means bad, because global warming is bad.

0CSalmon – or was it beef?

Sceptics and scientists came together over a meal of salmon in September to try to resolve their differences and create a new harmony in the usually heated climate debate. 

Often seen as bitter adversaries, the fact that such a group should be able to meet for civil conversation may seem remarkable. Yet each participant stressed that the gulf between scientists and sceptics is not as wide as assumed – even on science.

Could this usher in a new era of good manners and respect when it comes to climate change?

Perhaps, although controversy flared up as soon as the article was published. One participant said they ate salmon and another insisted it was beef stew. We demand more evidence.

1CFrancois Hollande

Romantically, it has been a bad month for French president Francois Hollande. Environmentally, he’s been heroic. At the UN’s climate summit, he pledged $1 billion to the Green Climate Fund.

He wasn’t alone, but France’s donation trumped others by a long way.  Switzerland, Denmark and Norway also made pledges of $100m, $70m and $33m respectively. Luxembourg pledged $6.4m, with a further $5.5m from the Czech Republic.

The Green Climate Fund was set up under the UN in 2010 to channel the $100 billion that rich countries have promised to provide to developing nations every year from 2020.

2CUnited States

At last Tuesday’s climate summit in New York, Obama told world leaders the US would hit its target to cut emissions 17% from 2005 levels by 2020. It seems to be going the wrong way about it.

The latest data from the EPA shows US greenhouse gas emissions are rising. Emissions from 8,000 large industrial sources in 2013 were up 0.6% on the previous year, driven by an increase in coal use for power generation.

While it does not give the whole picture, the upward trend is consistent with recent figures from the Energy Information Administration. Those showed emissions from energy use in the first half of 2014 were 2.7% higher than the same period last year.

3C – Miguel Arias Cañete

More than 270,000 people have signed a petition calling for MEPs to block the appointment of “petrolhead” Miguel Arias Cañete as EU climate and energy commissioner.

The former Spanish environment minister was criticised over his connections to fossil fuel businesses. Recently he sold off shares in two oil companies: Petrolifera Ducar and Petrologis Canaris.

He faced tough questions about his oil links at at European Parliament hearing, which led the Green Party to declare him unfit for the job.

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