World Leaders Address The UN General Assembly

Drone footage: Massive Indonesian forest fires could emit more CO2 than the UK

has exclusive footage of the forest fires currently raging through Indonesia that will likely release far more carbon dioxide this year than the entire United Kingdom.

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New head of UN climate panel appointed

Hoesung Lee has been named the new head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations body which deals with climate science.

Professor Lee is an expert on climate and sustainable development and becomes the fourth person to lead the influential organisation.

The South Korean saw off competition from Belgian scientist Jean-Pascal van Ypersele in the final round of voting, and will succeed Rajendra Pachauri, who resigned amid scandal earlier this year.

Dr Pachauri spent 13 years at the IPCC, but the latter part of his leadership was marred by a bungled report on glaciers back in 2010 and, more recently, by allegations of sexual harassment against staff.
Speaking to BBC News, Prof Lee said the IPCC would focus on the regional impacts of climate change during his tenure, as well as looking to hear from a more diverse set of voices in the climate debate.

Shell boss warns of oil price spike

Shell’s chief executive has warned prices could suddenly shoot up if they remained low for too long.

Ben van Beurden told a conference in London that there were signs the price of oil was creeping upwards, but stated there was a danger of prices spiking.

The oil executive said the US shale industry, the behaviour of Opec, the demand for oil in the global economy and the cost of production would be the factors that determine price.

He said: “I see the first mixed signs for recovery of oil prices. But with US shale oil being more resilient than we originally thought and a lot of oil still in stock, it will take some more time to rebalance demand and supply.

“After this happens, Saudi Arabia’s strategy and cohesion within Opec will remain key uncertainties. If they get it right and find a new balance, prices will recover – although it remains uncertain how fast prices will recover and at what level they will settle.”

Van Beurden also hit out at Mark Carney
, after the Bank of England governor warned investors they could be left with “stranded assets” if they put their money into fossil fuel companies who were unable to pump out hydrocarbons due to the risk of climate change.

The Dutchman told the audience in London that you couldn’t combat climate change just by leaving oil and gas in the ground.

He also said he was not worried about Shell being left with stranded assets, insisting: “The reality of demand growth is such that fossil fuels will be needed for decades to come.”

Renewables could supply nearly a quarter of Africa’s energy by 2030

Almost a quarter of Africa’s energy needs could be met by renewables in just 15 years
, according to a new report published by International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Africa today gets just 5% of its power from renewable sources.

But the report found that this could be dramatically increased by 2030, if the continent made use of cheap, modern technology currently on the market.

Researchers found that four modern renewable energy technologies could play a major role in the continent’s energy mix: hydropower, wind, solar power, and modern biomass systems for cooking.

Today, wind and solar projects on the continent are already producing record low energy prices.

Read the full report here.

In other news

UK: School solar project abandoned just one year after it was unveiled by Michael Gove as Tory cuts take effect

VW: New chief executive, Matthias Mueller, expects company to begin recalling cars affected by emissions scandal in January

COP21: 400 financial institutions sign investor statement on climate change, urging world leaders to take action on climate change