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UK fracking controls loosened to boost exploration

A summary of today’s top climate and clean energy stories.
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Local communities could lose the right to decide whether fracking can go ahead within their midst. (Source: Nicholas T)

UK: Local communities are set to lose control over key environmental decisions affecting whether fracking can go ahead within their midst, it is claimed. (Independent)

EU: Diplomatic talks on a deal to curb greenhouse gas emissions from the global aviation industry have intensified recently as EU and US officials try to stave off the threat of a trade war, lawmakers and observers said. (Euractiv)

China: Environment Minister Zhou Shengxian says China will issue a series of tough measures by the end of July to curb air pollution. The measures will enhance controls over PM2.5, or dangerous airborne particles measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter. Zhou added that curbing air pollution is a “protracted battle.” (China Daily)

Bangladesh: Two years before the 2015 deadline, Bangladesh has achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals set by the United Nations, but the impacts of climate change pose a threat to the country’s progress, experts say. (Reuters)

Europe: An agreement has been reached on changes to EU agricultural policy, starting 2014 – support for sustainable farming, more help for new farmers, and a more even distribution of funding between EU countries. (European Commission)

Germany: BMW’s hotly anticipated i3 electric car will start at £25,680 on the road, putting it in the same price bracket as the market-leading Nissan LEAF, the German automaker confirmed yesterday. (Business Green)

US: Climate data can help predict some crop failures several months before harvest, according to a new study from an international team, including a research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. (Phys.org)

US: Ten Noble laureates have sent a letter to Obama protesting against the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. (RTCC)

UK: The UN’s climate science body has dismissed reports in a UK newspaper that a major new study could suggest climate change will be less severe than once thought. (RTCC)

Research: Scientists at the State University of New York in Albany predict that the Arctic Ocean will be effectively free of ice for the first time in the month of September between 2054 and 2058. (RTCC)

US: The US Department of the Interior has announced plans to increase wind energy. (IBM Times)

Research: Grassland butterflies have declined dramatically between 1990 and 2011 due to intensifying agriculture and a failure to properly manage grassland ecosystems. (European Environment Agency)

Research: When heat waves strike, plants are more interested in self-preservation than in removing pollution from the air, a study has found. (RTCC)

Australia: Giant wind turbine blades have started to arrive in Adelaide in preparation for the construction of South Australia’s largest wind farm. (RTCC)

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