<> on December 8, 2015 in UNSPECIFIED, United Kingdom.

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UK: Government plans thousands of homes in flooding zones

We have a new investigation, this time into the UK government’s flagship housing scheme.

It turns out nearly half of the areas earmarked for fast-tracked housing development are at significant risk of flooding, making thousands of homes potentially uninsurable.

The Telegraph have also covered this story.

This comes as it was revealed that the government recently rejected advice from its climate change advisers on formulating a plan to deal with impending floods, The Guardian reports.

Chancellor George Osborne yesterday announced the creation of a £50 million fund for families and business hit by devastating floods in Cumbria and Lancashire, reports the BBC.

Reports claim the damage done so far stands at around £500 million.

Meanwhile Portland, Oregon has seen its wettest day ever, with USA Today reportingthat the record-breaking storm is causing floods and landslides.

COP: The US goes big as ‘crunch time’ arrives

John Kerry yesterday pledged to double US funding to $800 million for countries trying to adapt to climate change, in what is seen as a move to appease India, according to Bloomberg.

The US has also now entered the ‘high ambition coalition’ of more than 100 countries aiming to go beyond the traditional 2C target to stopping warming at more like 1.5C,reports the BBC.

And now to Kyla our reporter in Paris:

It is crunch time here in Paris as ministers worked through last night in order to produce yet another draft text for later today.

Yesterday afternoon the latest version was released and everyone seemed cautiously optimistic. the fact that the 1.5C option is still in the text is a huge signal of how far the narrative has shifted since the last UN climate talks, some have said.

But getting a clear ‘long term goal’ in the text also remains crucial. Overall the text is looking a lot cleaner than expected with fewer bracketed options. Basically, the low hanging fruit has been dealt with and now it’s time to resolve the thorny political issues.

Chief among them: Loss and damage, which Kyla explained the significance of in a blog the other day.

And the Carbon Brief have done an analysis on how much money developing countries would require to meet their 2030 climate commitments: $3.5 trillion (with an asterisk).

And finally just the other day we had Gender Day at COP, so Georgie Johnson wrote up three examples around the world of solar power project in which women are taking the lead.

Climate sceptics: Lord Lawson’s think tank under review

Following on from our big ‘academics-for-hire’ investigation earlier this week, The Global Warming Policy Foundation – a climate sceptic think tank run by former UK Chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson – has been placed under review by the charity commission, reports The Independent.

The Indy has also profiled the wealthy backers behind the infamous (in some circles) GWPF.

In other news

UK: The government has proposed raising the discount VAT rate for solar panel and wind turbine installations to the outrage of clean energy advocates who say the measure will up the price of rooftop solar by £900 overall, reports Business Green.

New Zealand: Shell may pull out of NZ as it seeks to streamline its business in the low-oil price era, reports The Telegraph.

VW: Volkswagen execs will this morning give a recorded update of the diesel scandal that has rocked the enormous car company. Watch it here.