New EU climate policy unlikely before 2015: Polandhttp://uk.news.yahoo.com/eu-climate-policy-unlikely-2015-poland-192910930.html#AgyD1Ih The European Union is unlikely to hammer out its new policy on global warming ahead of a global climate deal that could be clinched in 2015, Poland’s environment minister said Wednesday. “A long discussion on climate change is getting underway. There’s no chance that new measures will be adopted during the current terms of the European Parliament and the European Commission,” minister Marcin Korolec told Poland’s PAP news agency. In its efforts to reduce global warming, the international community is to draw up new, universal climate pact by 2015, which should come into effect by 2020. Korolec’s comments come after UN climate chief Christiana Figueres warned last week that the world had entered a “new danger zone”, with record levels of Earth-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere. Korolec believes Brussels could soon propose cutting EU fossil fuel imports by 30 percent by 2030, and back production of electric cars.
Saudi Arabia sees win-win in solar energy boom http://www.arabianbusiness.com/saudi-arabia-sees-win-win-in-solar-energy-boom-502687.html A slide in solar power costs and a surge in oil prices over the last few years has made solar power a win-win strategy for Saudi Arabia: saving billions of dollars of crude for export while making electricity at less than half the cost. Riyadh plans to install 41,000 megawatts (MW) of solar power over the next 20 years, but to date has built only 12 MW – or less than even Britain installed in early May. Despite year round sunshine, the oil and gas rich countries of the Gulf have lagged far behind most of the world in solar power – so far. Saudi energy officials have talked of becoming major solar players for years, but while China built 5,000 MW in 2012 alone, Saudi solar capacity is still insignificant.
EU summit set to turn climate agenda upside downhttp://www.euractiv.com/energy/energy-council-set-turn-eu-clima-news-519883 The draft text says that EU policy must ensure “competitive” energy prices, and declares it “crucial” that Europe diversify its energy supply and develop “indigenous energy resources” – a reference to renewable energies, but also coal, nuclear power and shale gas. One high-profile German MEP Holger Krahmer (ALDE), hailed the end of “climate hysteria” in a jubilant press statement. “For the first time, rising energy costs and the declining competitiveness of the European economy will be rated higher than obviously unenforceable global climate change ambitions,” he said. “The economic and social consequences of collective hysteria can no longer be ignored, as the governments of the EU member states admit in this paper,” Krahmer added, saying that it was right to give more attention to energy sources such as gas and coal.
Climate change boosted human development: studyhttp://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hwnXgtOoR-zxesY9_rBhdfuMHlkA?docId=CNG.945e0940b30f2076656a59b4ea8de2b5.01 PARIS — Early humans living in South Africa made cultural and industrial leaps in periods of wetter weather, said a study Tuesday that compared the archaeological record of Man’s evolution with that of climate change. Anatomically modern humans, Homo sapiens, first made their appearance in Africa during the Middle Stone Age which lasted from about 280,000 to 30,000 years ago. Some of the earliest examples of human culture and technology are found in South Africa — with fossil evidence of innovative spurts whose cause has left scientists puzzled. The record reveals that a notable period of human advancement occurred about 71,500 years ago, and another between 64,000 and 59,000 years ago.
Bangladesh farmers battle water woes http://atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/SOU-01-230513.html HAPAINAWABGANJ, Bangladesh – Fahima Begum rises each morning at dawn and walks two kilometers to a small pond, the nearest source of fresh water. On her way she passes the rusty old hand-pumped tube well that used to supply water to her village in Bangladesh’s arid Barind region until the water table here dropped out of reach.
Beijing Art Show Confronts Climate Change http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2013/05/23/beijing-art-show-confronts-climate-change/ BEIJING — Residents of this smog-choked city are uniquely prepared for an impassioned discussion of the environment, whether it’s the state of the air or the fears about food and water safety. The nonprofit Cape Farewell hopes to inject the topic into the cultural sphere as well. On Friday, it opens “U-N-F-O-L-D,” a group exhibition of works showing artists’ reactions to the environmental impact they witnessed in Greenland, Peru and the Arctic, on trips organized by Cape Farewell.
Absolute emissions cap proposed for Chinahttp://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2013/5/22/carbon-markets/absolute-emissions-cap-proposed-china According to local Chinese media, the government’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has proposed that China adopt an absolute cap on its greenhouse gas emissions by 2016. To date the Chinese government has refused to take on absolute emissions targets, choosing instead to pursue emissions intensity targets linked to their level of economic growth. The current government target is to cut its carbon emissions intensity per unit of GDP by about 40 per cent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels. This would allow for considerable growth in emissions.
World Must Face Up To Climate-Driven Disasters: UNhttp://www.authintmail.com/news/science/environment/world-must-face-climate-driven-disasters-unGENEVA — The world needs to wake up to the risk of a spike in natural disasters linked to climate change and strive to find ways to cut the human and economic cost, the United Nations warned on Tuesday. “We live in a time of huge natural disasters which are made worse by climate change,” the UN’s deputy secretary-general, Jan Eliasson, told reporters at the start of a three-day conference on risk reduction in Geneva.