Peter Bahouth, Executive Director
November 29, 2010
Climate Action Hotline
According to a study published in Nature Geoscience, world carbon dioxide emissions fell 1.3% between 2008 and 2009, with increased coal use limiting this decrease. In the U.S., emissions fell 7% because of the sinking economy, better energy efficiency, and cleaner energy according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Emissions are expected to rise again as the economy recovers, and are predicted to hit a record this year.
The UN climate negotiations begin today in Cancun, Mexico, where expectations are much lower than at the Copenhagen Conference last year. In the lead up to the talks, UNEP released a report highlighting the gap between countries’ emissions pledges in the Copenhagen Accord, which would still result in 2.5-5 degrees Celsius of warming, and the 2 degree target mentioned in the Accord itself. Showing continued momentum for action, thousands of mayors agreed to voluntarily cut greenhouse gas emissions and enable their residents to track their progress online, an agreement which will be formally announced in Cancun this week. In other positive news, 56 religious leaders urged the Senate to oppose any effort to weaken or delay implementation of the Clean Air Act.
The U.S. government meanwhile made a series of announcements on climate: the EPA finalized two rules for underground storage of carbon dioxide; the Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will protect 187,000 square miles of polar bear habitat, the largest proposal for an imperiled species ever; the Interior Department announced it will fast track permits for wind projects off the coast of the mid-Atlantic; and the White House cleared the final rules for setting standards for the national renewable fuels mandate.
Months after the oil spill has left the headlines, Greenwire obtained an earlier version of the presentation of the President’s oil spill commission, which showed that BP, Haliburton, and Transocean made a series of decisions to save time and money that may have increased the chances of disaster.
Finally, at the request of USA Today, a number of experts found that Wegman report, which criticized the integrity of climate scientists and was used heavily in climate debates in 2006, was plagiarized from Wikipedia among other sources.