Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Climate Snippets - 10 December

Climate change news from Aotearoa and around the World.

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Poznan progress slow but steady, say officials.

A senior diplomat has defended the lack of progress at UN climate talks in Poland, and insisted that real action in finding a successor to the Kyoto protocol is not required until next year. Insiders say the Poznan negotiations are edging towards the low-level achievements expected from the two-week meeting. A formal work-programme has been agreed to take the talks forward in 2009, which the UN hopes will climax with a new worldwide treaty to curb carbon emissions agreed at the meeting in Copenhagen. Debate remains over how to liberate millions of pounds collected from a levy on the sale of carbon credits, which is intended to help poor nations adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Green campaigners criticised the slow progress. Oxfam said a refusal by rich countries to discuss deeper emission cuts was a "wasted opportunity". Greenpeace said delegates had "taken a year to agree what they already agreed at [2007 talks in] Bali".
Climate Change Select Committee established.

New Zealand needs to build a broader consensus about how to make progress on climate change issues, Climate Change Minister Nick Smith said today in releasing the terms of reference for the select committee to review the Emissions Trading Scheme and related matters. Dr Smith confirmed that the special select committee was being set up to honour the terms of the confidence and supply agreement between National and ACT. "The new government takes a more modest view of New Zealand's role in the global efforts to tackle climate change. "It is appropriate to have a fresh look at our policy response and the Emissions Trading Scheme given the poor track record on emissions, the changed economic environment, and the rushed way the legislation was passed. "The choice of Peter Dunne in the chair is a quite deliberate step to build a broader consensus across the parliament. Mr Dunne had previously taken steps to take such an initiative but these were rebuffed by the previous government.

  • National - Craig Foss, Nicky Wagner, Paul Hitchison, Hekia Parata (4)
  • Labour - David Parker, Moana Mackey, Charles Chauvel (3)
  • ACT - Rodney Hide (1)
  • Greens - Jeanette Fitzsimons (1)
  • United Future - Peter Dunne (1)
  • Maori Party - yet to be named (1)
EU Leaders agree 20% 2020 renewable energy target.

EU leaders agreed yesterday to combat climate change by ordering that a fifth of Europe's energy mix should come from renewable sources within 12 years.
The agreement, hailed as a "landmark" deal and a breakthrough by politicians and the green lobby alike, came before a crucial EU summit opening in Poland tomorrow at which 27 prime ministers and presidents are supposed to finalise an ambitious package to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020.

The agreement reached yesterday paves the way for a law obliging all EU countries to meet national targets for renewable energy. Two points had threatened to derail the legislation: the insistence that biofuels comprise 10% of transport fuel by 2020, and an attempt by Italy to loosen the law by ordering a review of progress on renewables in 2014. The review date was retained, but the compulsory target and national quotas also survived.

In Brief

Green Party Address in Reply 2008 – Fitzsimons ‘Saving the banks while the biosphere collapses.’

Ecoflation, a new worry, could hit consumer goods.

Millions of birds could die from oilsands development: report.

Greenpeace: Don't flush our climate down the John.

Protesters break into secure area at UK airport.

Monbiot: A beardful of bunkum.

Best of the Net

Video: Greens show support for Emission Trading Scheme.

Video: Birds and Canada's tar sands: Why America's number 1 source of oil is removing millions of birds.

Video: Monbiot confronts UN.

Action Alert: climate talks falter as Italy and Poland play politics with global climate's future.

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