Top stories

Politicians hide behind rhetoric at UN climate conference

Politicians are refusing to reveal whether their policies will tackle climate change, at the UN climate conference in Germany.

Despite cross-country support for a promise to keep global temperature rises below the danger mark of 2C, key countries China, India and Brazil have failed to say how they will contribute to that target at a national level. All three countries argue national contributions should be kept quiet until the Paris climate conference later in the year.

The EU, together with the African Union, have previously warned that emissions targets will not be enough to avoid the 2C increase.

The inaction from the emerging economies comes as the world’s poorest countries call for urgent action to tackle climate change at December’s climate conference.

At the UN conference in Bonn, the Angola government official, Giza Gaspar Martins, who is leading negotiations for the world’s poorest nations called for the target to be lowered to an increase of 1.5C, after warning that countries were already being affected by shifts in the climate.

BP calls for renewables investment

BP has called on politicians at the UN climate conference to deliver a “substantial” deal on climate.

In the latest sign that those most responsible for climate change are starting to shift their position, Bob Dudley, chief executive of the British oil and gas company, called on leaders to encourage investment in renewables and energy efficiency by the time of the Paris talks.

But at a time of shifting positions on climate change, one man can be relied on for his consistency.

Erstwhile climate change denier and Australian prime minister Tony Abbott has suggested that wind turbines, as well as being “visually awful” may have “potential health impacts”.

Citing no evidence, Abbott, who has pledged to reduce the number of wind farms in his country, told a right-wing talk show host:  “I do take your point about the potential health impact of these things … when I’ve been up close to these windfarms not only are they visually awful but they make a lot of noise.”

Blue skies over Beijing

The people of Beijing, China have been waking up to an unusual sight this morning, blue skies.

The usually smog-filled city is enjoying a month of (relatively) clean air. Research by Greenpeace found that the concentration of harmful PM2.5, a particular matter in the air which is small enough to get into your blood stream, fell by 13% in the first quarter of this year.

A milder winter, combined with government efforts to curb dirty coal plants is being credited with the sudden change in the cities appearance..

US becomes largest producer of oil and gas

In more surprising news, the US has overtaken both Saudi Arabia and Russia, respectively, to become the words top oil and gas producer.

An analysis by BP found that US oil production rose to a record high last year of 1.6million barrels a day. While gas production has been boosted by the countries now relentless exploitation of its shale deposits.

Other news

China: China cautioned by oil giant over energy slowdown

Solar: Privately funded ‘solar sail’ space craft passes first test

Europe: Majority of MEPs support fracking moratorium in symbolic vote