Obama’s new climate plan to boost UN talks, says White House

CRIB NOTES AUGUST 3-7: White House promises “tough” plan, Iran gets hot, oil stocks slump

(Pic: White House/Flickr)

(Pic: White House/Flickr)

By Ed King

CLEAN POWER PLAN: US president Barack Obama will present his much-heralded climate plan to the nation later on Monday. It aims to slash greenhouse has emissions from coal power plants – with a goal of reducing these 32% by 2030 from 2005 levels.

According to a fact sheet sent to reporters by the White House on Sunday (below) that’s a 9% increase on a previous proposal. To quote, the plan will:

“Continue American leadership on climate change by keeping us on track to meet the economy-wide emissions targets we have set, including the goal of reducing emissions to 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and to 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.”

Here’s all you need to know in our explainer. And here’s the president:

DIPLOMATIC PUSH: This isn’t the end for climate change as far as Obama is concerned this year. Spokesperson Brian Deese told reporters in a conference call late Sunday he would be making speeches on clean energy in Nevada shortly, at an Arctic summit in Alaska at the end of August and would discuss strategies with the Pope when they meet on September 23.

GLOBAL IMPACT: It’s likely to kick off an avalanche of law suits, but the successful deployment of the plan is vital for a UN climate deal, says Thoriq Ibrahim, Minister of Environment and Energy for the Maldives and head of the alliance of small island states.

He emailed this statement to RTCC. “US leadership is not only essential for a successful outcome in Paris, but it is also indispensable to managing climate change over the long term. We have already seen the Obama Administration step up their climate diplomacy this year and I can tell you it has been most appreciated by the international community. While it will take some time to fully evaluate what was announced today, we welcome the clarity the United States has given on how it intends to reduce its emissions and we hope we see even more ambition from them and other countries in the near future.”

ASIAN MONSOON:  Heavy seasonal rains have affected thousands across India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Burma say UN officials. In Pakistan 81 died and 300,000 were directly impacted, 14 died in Vietnam while 36 were killed by landslides in Nepal.

UK EFFICIENCY: 38% of emissions cut between now and 2050 need to come from energy efficiency, says the International Energy Agency. And the UK is an unlikely leader here – according to analysis by Gerard Wynn the country’s energy consumption has fallen to below 1965 levels.

BMW… ELECTRIC: CEO Harald Krueger has hinted more of the car giant’s ‘i’ models could be released soon. The i3 and i8 series were launched in 2013. More from Reuters.

COAL SLUMP: The biggest US miner of coal used in steelmaking will file for bankruptcy on Monday, says Bloomberg. Alpha Natural Resources inc is facing the “worst commodities slump in more than a decade” it reveals. The Virginia based company will follow Walter Energy, Patriot Coal and James River Coal in filing for protection over the past 15 months.

OIL TUMBLE: Shares in some of the world’s top energy firms tumbled on Friday, reports the FT. Exxon, Chevron, Shell and Centrica all reported a drop in profits, due largely to the collapse in oil prices. According to the paper, “Oil companies and traders are now bracing themselves for several years of low prices.”

MALDIVES OIL: Fisheries Minister Dr Mohamed Shainee says he’s considering proposals to allow explorers to hunt for oil and gas in the country’s waters, says the Haveeru website. The Maldives, as you read above, lead the small island states at UN climate negotiations.

HEAT RECORD?: The Iranian city of Bandar Mahshahr hit 154F (67C) on Thursday and 164F (73C) on Friday. According to Andrew Freedman at Mashable, this “challenged the all-time global record high heat index”, which is calculated combining air temperature and humidity. The region is currently suffering a blistering heat wave (see below). 

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