The White House

Top 3 stories

1) UN climate pledges: US promises 28% emissions reduction, Russia also submits

The deadline for emissions reduction targets ahead of the Paris COP at year’s end was yesterday, and both the US and Russia left it late to submit pledges.

As expected, The White House said it would cut greenhouse gases by between 26 and 28% from its 2005 level by 2025, reports the BBC and everyone else. This pledge, however, only represents a 14% reduction from 1990 emissions levels.

Bloomberg, which also explained the pledge using two charts (one of which is below), says that the US climate submission may be yet come undone by upcoming legal fights over Obama’s executive action environmental regulations.

Russia, though they missed the deadline by a whisker, also submitted yesterday. It promised a reduction of between 25 and 30% from 1990 levels, but with a pretty major caveat: “subject to the maximum possible account of absorbing capacity of forests.”

Only the EU, Norway, Switzerland and Mexico otherwise submitting on time, many of the world’s largest emitters – including China, India, Canada and Australia – have yet to pledge their climate goals, reports the FT.

The Carbon Brief is recording all current and future COP submissions, and perhaps RTCC will run another liveblog like yesterday’s.

(Here’s the Bloomberg chart)

2) Renewables: Huge worldwide investment growth

Global investment in green energy grew 17% in 2014 to £183 billion, and nearly half of that was in developing countries, according to new UN report which also told everyone to not get overly excited.

And a study from the New Climate Institute says action to fight climate change could actually be good for the global economy, capable of creating more than a million jobs, reports Newsweek.

Mexico has set a national target of 5% renewable energy by 2018, and the UK’sGreen Investment Bank has raised £463 million for offshore wind projects.

And reported by EurActiv, Germany’s CO2 emissions fell for the first time in three years (by 4.3%)

3) Oil price (and also reserves) fall

The five biggest oil companies in the world together shed around billion barrels of reserves in 2014, the sharpest decline since at least 2008, writes the FT.

The oil price slipped again yesterday – Brent by 92c and WTI by 48 – following news that the US-Iran nuclear talks intensified, reports the Times.

And according to Quartz, Canada is considering alternatives to the Keystone pipeline as it’s still pretty keen to get that Albertan oil to refineries.

Meanwhile, one of the contributors to a recent report on the health impacts of fracking has been revealed as an anti-fracking activist, reports the Times.

Other news

Recently sacked BBC celebrity Jeremy Clarkson has backed the Guardian’s ‘keep it in the ground’ climate change campaign. (April Fools!)

Finland is building a huge 1,600 panel solar project in a city with only 3.5 hours of winter sunlight.

And the BBC wonders why the media doesn’t cover climate change as often as it once did, and asks ‘are we tired of talking about it?’