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UK coal burning for electricity surged in 2012

A summary of today’s top climate and clean energy stories.
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Coal produced 39% of the UK’s electricity in 2012 (source: thewritingzone, flickr)

UK: A surge in the burning of coal to generate Britain’s electricity last year helped reverse years of steadily declining carbon dioxide emissions, according to data released on Thursday. (Guardian)

India: Indian energy giant Tata Power has launched its first pilot model of carbon neutral self-powered eco house in the state of Maharashtra. It has zero carbon footprint compared to a modern house, which is believed to emit around 4.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide. (energylivenews)

Philippines: A new agreement will redirect approximately $31.8 million in debt payments owed by the Philippines to the US Agency for International Development toward conservation and will provide grants to conserve, maintain and restore key tropical forests in the country. (gov.ph)

US: Environmentals say that US coal experts are undermining Obama’s climate action plan. A push to expand coal mining operations in the Powder River Basin of Montana and Wyoming, and to build three ports in Oregon and Washington to ship the fuel to Asia, could create more national and global environmental impact than the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. (Huffington Post)

EU: The European Union is seeking universal agreement on the decision regarding an international convention on issues of the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction. (EU)

Pakistan: The Pakistani government will sign a memorandum of understanding with an undisclosed Chinese company this week to establish Pakistan’s first solar park. (RTCC)

Indonesia:  Indonesia’s forestry sector suffers from serious mismanagement and the situation has only worsened in the past few years, costing the government over $7 billion since 2007, researchers at Human Rights Watch say in a new report. (Reuters)

Norway: A new polar code for maritime operations is urgently needed to preserve the environmental integrity of the Arctic Ocean, says the head of the Norwegian Shipowners Association. (RTCC)

Research: Unlike in other parts of the word, tropical ecosystems are capable of generating significant carbon dioxide when temperatures rise, an international team of researchers has found. (Nature World News)

Technology: A new type of glass has been created by researchers at Penn State’s Materials Research Institute. The glass — which is about 1/10th the thickness of display glass — could prove very useful for a variety of applications in photovoltaics. (Clean Technica)

Farming: researchers are developing an online tool that would allow farmers to monitor their greenhouse gas emissions and virtually test ways to reduce carbon pollution. (Phys)

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