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BASIC countries call for raised ambition at Doha climate talks

By Tierney Smith

- The day’s top climate change stories as chosen by RTCC
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Wednesday 21 November

Last updated: 1310

COP18: Yvo de Boer, advisor on climate change and sustainability for KPMG and former UN climate chief writes for the Guardian on why it is still important for country governments, businesses and civil society to continue to fight for an international climate treaty.

US: A group of scientists in the US grain-growing state of Iowa have warned that this year’s harsh drought was a sign of things to come and should spur more action to prepare for the challenges of climate change. (TehranTimes)

COP18: The world’s largest oil-exporting countries have been asked to consider imposing a small carbon tax on oil to help break the deadlock over finance for poorer countries in the UN climate talks. The Ecuador-led initiative, submitted to the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) could see a 3-5% tax levied on ever barrel of oil exported and could potentially raise $40-60 billion a year for the green climate fund. (Guardian)

EU: Climate change effects are already been felt across Europe and are set to get worse, the European Environment Agency has warned. In their new report, the agency said the past decade has been the warmest on record for Europe and that the cost of damage caused by extreme weather events is rising. (BBC)

UNEP: The transition to a low carbon global economy is not happening fast enough to avoid catastrophic climate change, the United Nations Environment Programme has warned. Their latest Emissions Gap Report says that even the most ambitious emissions reduction pledges would not be enough to avoid a 2°C temperature rise this Century.

COP18: Ministers from Brazil, South Africa, India and China – also known as the BASIC countries – have called on developed nations to scale up ambition on their emissions reduction targets at next week’s climate conference in Doha. They have also called on countries to sign up for a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol to last eight years from 2013-2020. (China Daily)

China: The government aims to highlight climate efforts taking place locally ahead of the COP18 conference. Its latest report, China’s Policies and Actions for Addressing Climate Change outlines the actions taken by China over the past year to mitigate and adapt to climate change – including measures to promote low-carbon communities and advance international cooperation. (Xinhua)

Transport: General Electric is set to buy 2,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles made by Ford for its corporate fleet. As part of the deal, Ford would jointly market GE’s alternative fuel infrastructure technology, including charging stations and natural gas fuelling stations, to its commercial buyers. (Reuters)

UK: Fossil fuel-fired power stations with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology could produce electricity as cheaply as nuclear and renewable energy technologies by 2020, according to a government-backed task force. The group, a collaboration between the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Crown Estate and industry representatives, found the sector could generate electricity for around £100 per MWh by the early 2020s. (BusinessGreen)

UK: Schools could be missing out on £3000 a year in environmental savings, according to research from behaviour change charity, Global Action Plan. The study found that effective sustainability initiatives could save schools in England a total of £76 million in one year. (Global Action Plan)

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