1. UK: Tories to end some onshore wind subsidies a year earlier than planned
New onshore wind farms will not receive government subsidies from 1st April 2016, a year earlier than planned, according the department of energy and climate change (DECC).
The announcement could affect as many 3,000 wind turbines which do not yet have planning permission. Sites that have already received planning permission will be exempt from the changes.
In 2014, the government pumped £800m into onshore wind subsidies, in which wind farms generated 5% of the UK’s total electricity.
The move to end onshore wind subsidies is part of longstanding manifesto commitment from the Conservative party.
The move may not apply to two other forms of subsidy for onshore wind, leaving government policy on wind couched in confusion.
Leading figures in the renewables sector and senior officials in the Scottish government have voiced their opposition to the plans. The majority of new wind farm sites will be north of the border.
Fergus Ewing, Scottish minister for business, energy and tourism, reacted to the news by warning that the proposal would likely be challenged in the courts using judicial review.
Gordon MacDougall, managing director of Renewable Energy Systems, told the BBC the move was a “political intervention” and described wind as the cheapest form of renewable energy.
2. UN report: Millions displaced as worlds’ poorest feel the heat from climate change
Nearly 60million people had to flee their homes to escape persecution, war and the effects of climate change, according to the United Nations (UN).
59.5million people were displaced in 2014, a report by the UN refugee agency found, with climate change described as wreaking havoc on local communities. Half of all those displaced were children.
The figures include 11million people forced to leave their homes, but remaning in their own country. Close 2.5million people displaced hail from the Darfur region in Sudan.