Climate change weekly wrap (April #4) – news, video and analysis

 All you need to know from the last seven days of international climate change and energy politics


By Ed King

Welcome to RTCC’s weekly wrap, where we pull together the top stories from the past week, and highlight key events to look forward to over the next 7 days.

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Yeb Sano
He was mysteriously left off the Philippines’ negotiating team at the last UN climate talks in Lima, taking part from afar through a series of cryptic tweets. Now Yeb Sano, figurehead for climate justice, has officially quit diplomacy to work with multi-faith campaign OurVoices. Writing for RTCC, he explains why.

Yeb Sano protesting at slow progress during the 2013 UN climate summit in Warsaw (Pic:

Yeb Sano protesting at slow progress during the 2013 UN climate summit in Warsaw (Pic:

Stat of the week
85% by 2050 – Amount of its electricity China could get from renewable sources, say government agencies. An accelerated roll-out could mean peaking emissions in 2025 – five years ahead of target.

Arctic focus
The United States will propel climate change to the top of the Arctic Council’s agenda when it takes the helm of the eight-nation forum on Friday, reports Alex Pashley. Secretary of state John Kerry is primed to use the event to call for tougher global action, and a regional drive to cut emissions of soot or black carbon, a key cause of polar melt.

Shipping is responsible for 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Pic: National Ocean Service)

Shipping is responsible for 2-3% of global greenhouse gas emissions
(Pic: National Ocean Service)

Marshalls matter
The Marshall Islands may be a minnow in terms of global emissions, but they have a whale’s share of ship registrations. At 118 million tonnes, they represent the third largest trading fleet in the world. That means their call this week to target emissions cuts in the lightly regulated shipping sector might just get traction, Megan Darby found. The proposal will be aired at the International Maritime Organization next month.

Quote of the week
Marshall Islands foreign minister Tony de Brum“We are an island nation and shipping is one of our lifelines – we cannot survive without it.
“At the same time, carbon emissions, including those from shipping, pose an existential threat to our people and our country.”

Errant plans
Whither Delhi’s UN climate pledge? It’s taking far longer than officials expected. We can expect a twin-track approach, reports Avik Roy: one plan based on domestic resources plus the prospects for further action with international support.

Meanwhile, Sweden took Canada to task over tar sands emissions and 36 countries including China, the US and Brazil quizzed Australia on its (lack of) climate ambitions.

Barack Obama: No greater threat than climate change

Lampedusa tragedy
Up to 700 migrants are thought to have drowned this week when their ship sank off the coast of Libya, bound for the Italian island of Lampedusa. While conflict may be the immediate driver for those fleeing Syria and the Horn of Africa, Alex Randall says climate change is a significant factor. Europe must make it safe and legal for people to escape these threats, he argues.

7-step programme
Most coal, oil and gas must stay in the ground to avert climate disaster. What is an energy company to do? Help is at hand with RTCC’s 7-step plan to avoid stranding your fossil fuel assets.

And finally – Ed King has been keeping an eye on the UK election. He is not impressed with the calibre of debate. Why are politicians so poor at explaining climate risk, he asks?

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