Obama welcomes Pope’s climate call, Republicans cry foul

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

(Pic: White House/Flickr)

(Pic: White House/Flickr)

By Ed King

US president Barack Obama says he deeply admires Pope Francis’ call for a global deal to tackle climate change, and hopes governments will “reflect” on his message.

“As we prepare for global climate negotiations in Paris this December, it is my hope that all world leaders – and all God’s children – will reflect on Pope Francis’s call to come together to care for our common home,” Obama said in a statement.

The Pope’s letter to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics was heavily trailed, with his views on the the moral and ethical dimensions of climate change well known.

But as I argue here – it’s the timing and strong rhetoric – calling environmental degradation a “sin” that make this document stand out.

Our live blog pulled together all the reaction from a frenetic day.

All the green NGOs welcomed his views. Carbon traders said his dismissal of carbon credits was misguided. Lead US Republican and devout Catholic John Boehner said he respected his right to speak out.

For a different take – try Nick Butler in the FT (£) “A papal message that misses the point.”

China’s climate pledge

Expected out on Wednesday, in the end there was silence. Some sources suggest it could now appear at the end of the month or even later.

Nevertheless, premier Li Keqiang has emphasised China will target an emissions peak by 2030.

But that’s just the peak. The decline in CO2 is likely to be slow, Professor Yufeng Yang, lead author of the annual China Energy Outlook told a meeting in London this week. Goodbye 2C?

Peru’s climate pledge

Ambitious or foolhardy? Alex Pashley runs the numbers on its draft proposal.

STAT: Last month was the hottest May on record since 1880, with temperatures 0.87C above last century’s average.

Venezuela – the climate paradox

Heard of the petro state awash with cheap gas and always at the front of calls for climate ambition? Nope. You’re not Caracas. It is Venezuela – and it has no plans to ditch fossil fuels.

Greening the world in 9 graphs

We’re set to blow the carbon budget by 2040, but there is another way – says the International  Energy Agency. Megan Darby was at the launch of their most recent report and runs through the analysis.

Global energy-related CO2 emissions in the INDC scenario and remaining carbon budget for a >50% chance of keeping to 2C (IPCC and IEA data; IEA analysis)

Global energy-related CO2 emissions in the INDC scenario and remaining carbon budget for a >50% chance of keeping to 2C (IPCC and IEA data; IEA analysis)


A data crunch of recent polls shows that where climate is discussed, Tea Party supporters score high on ideology, but low on facts. Check the comments below the line. And keep your replies clean.

QUOTE: “I don’t believe in climate change. I’m convinced by the evidence” US Rear Admiral David Titley.

UK frack-attack

It’s all kicking off in the UK over new plans for shale gas fracking. Lancashire council will decide whether to give Cuadrilla the green light to start drilling next week.

Supporters say the UK needs a secure supply of gas and tough environmental regulations will minimise the local and climate risks.

Critics ask why the UK government censored a study into fracking last year. We’ll find out soon enough – this week it was ordered to release a full un-redacted version.

Elsewhere – the political consensus on fracking is floundering, while the government has also decided to slash support for onshore wind. Useful analysis on this by the Guardian’s Damian Carrington.

Want this sent directly to your inbox? CLICK HERE.


Alex Pashley donned his tie-dye and joined this week’s Climate Coalition MP lobby – here’s his report.

Moisture mill

Evaporating water could be an energy source for the future. Seriously. Megan Darby has more.

And finally…

What do the former heads of the CIA, EPA, US Treasury and an assorted group of ex Admirals, Generals and scientists have in common?

Answer: They all think climate change is one of the most serious challenges facing the world. Check out their video messages or watch Hank Paulson below.

Read more on: Breaking News | |