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Cameron to be quizzed on energy and climate change

David Cameron will be forced to defend his government’s record on climate change when he appears in front of MPs on the Commons Liaison Committee today.

Opposition politicians on the committee have already accused the Prime Minister of double standards on climate; with SNP and Labour figures arguing that Cameron’s rhetoric at international events like the UN Climate Conference in Paris have not been matched by the Conservative’s domestic policies.

The government has come under heavy fire in recent months for scrapping a £1 billion competition for a large scale Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) plant, and for making substantial cuts to renewable energy schemes.

SNP MP, Angus MacNeil, commons committee chairman told BBC News: “The prime minister said that carbon capture and storage was crucial to meet our climate change targets.

“Yet the government’s long-promised carbon capture competition has become the latest low-carbon policy to be chucked on the scrapheap by the government.”

Cameron’s appearance comes less than 24 hours after the Guardian revealed that the government had missed it’s own targets to cut carbon emissions.

Efforts announced in 2010 to reduce emissions, lower water waste and reduce domestic flights fell short on every level; but still saved taxpayers an estimated £185 million.

Melting icebergs help mitigate climate change

They may be the most dramatic symptom of global warming, but melting icebergs are also helping lessen the worst effects of climate change, according to new research.

The Guardian report that the fresh water released by the bergs helps trap carbon emissions in the ocean, rather releasing them into the atmosphere.

The study, published by the journal Nature Geoscience, found that the nutrient rich waters released by the melting giant icebergs forced carbon to the bottom of the ocean, preventing it from seeping into the atmosphere.

All of this doesn’t change the fact that melting icebergs pose a major threat to the planet, with the collapse of the Western Antarctic ice sheet alone likely to increase sea levels by as much as four metres.

Oil price continues to plummet toward $20 a barrel

Oil prices continued to tumble yesterday, falling 6% to a new 12-year low, as volatility in the Chinese market threatened to push the price of crude to just $20.

Reuters report that uncertainty over the Chinese market and Yuan currency could see further falls in the price of oil; with Morgan Stanley warning of prices falling as low as £20-25. Goldman Sachs also suggested falls to $20.

Continued instability in the oil market has already led to major companies announcing dramatic job cuts. Before Christmas, Shell announced it would lose 2,800 jobs as part of its merger with BG Group.

The oil slump has now reached such levels that the New York Times reports that Saudi Arabia is considering selling-off shares in state run firm Saudi Aramco.

The Russian economy, already affected by Western sanctions, has been hit particularly badly; with economic problems in China also affecting its manufacturing exports to the Far East.

In other news

Elon Musk: Tesla chief says Apple developing electric car

Poland: Major coal plant loses construction permit after NGO pressure (In Polish)

Brazil: Solar gets tax exemptions in boost for South American country’s renewables sector

US: Arch Coal files for bankruptcy as commodities slump continues   

US: Anger as Alabama governor used BP oil spill funds to fix up mansion