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California ramps up climate change action as state-wide carbon trading begins

By John Parnell

- The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Wednesday 14 November

Last updated: 1540

Qatar: A trial to use evaporated see water to cool and irrigate desert plantations will open in Qatar later this month. The Sahara Forest Project (SFP) proposes using a number of technologies to mimic the natural hydrological cycle. If the $5.3m trial is successful a 200 hectare site in Jordan could follow. (CNN)

US: The launch of the Californian carbon trading system, set to start its first auction later today, could have hit a snag. A last minute legal move by the state’s Chamber of Commerce is attempting to stop the state from selling credit. It says emissions allowances should only be handed out for free. The 350 companies bound to the scheme were only required to buy credits covering 10% of their emissions. (Kansas City Star)

EU: Talks in Brussels yesterday to secure EU cash for climate finance failed to deliver firm pledges. Commenting on the talks Oxfam’s Lies Craeynest said: “Finance ministers have mainly laid down conditions for developing countries in order to receive climate finance, but forgot to add what they can expect to receive in return.” (Reuters)

UK: A Greenpeace investigation has confirmed a split in the UK Conservative Party, one half of the ruling coalition Government, on environmental issues. A video released by the group shows one MP entering a rival candidate in a by-election on an anti-wind farm ticket and a second stating that Chancellor George Osborne backs MPs campaigning against wind farms. (Green and Blue Tomorrow)

Global: Wind power production could meet 20% of the global electricity supply by 2030 according to the latest Global Wind Energy Outlook report. The study, produced by the industry group the Global Wind Energy Council, says an increase to 12% by 2020 could be enough to generate 1.4m new jobs and CO2 reductions of 1.5bn tons a year. (GWEC)

US: California will launch its emissions trading scheme later today when its holds the first auction of carbon credits. The platform covers around 350 of the state’s largest industrial emitters. Annual sales of credits are anticipated to generate $1bn a year. In 2015 it will expand to include distributors of home heating fuels and there are hopes that transportation will eventually be covered too. (Reuters)

UK: The business lobby CBI has called on Europe to clarify its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2030 to provide longer term guarantees for low-carbon investors. “Emissions trading is key to unlocking business investment in low-carbon technology to help get the economy growing. But at the moment the carbon market is not delivering for Europe because of its short-term focus,” said Rhian Kelly, CBI Director for Business Environment policy. The current EU target is to reduce emissions by 20% by 2020, a goal that some assessments say has already been achieved.

 

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