Good Monday morning and welcome to this edition of the Fresh Air Brief, a weekly overview of trending climate news, and upcoming meetings, events and issues that our tcktcktck partners & peers are tracking. Fresh right now:
- Climate & energy trade fights are heating up
- Germany’s $270 billion renewables shift biggest since WWII
- Rio+20 preparatory negotiations underway in New York
- Webinars, webinars and more webinars – WWF, WRI, Practical Action and the World Bank Institute all have something to offer this week
Mankind kept 2011 global temperatures near record – WMO
Human activity kept global temperatures close to a record high in 2011 despite the cooling influence of a powerful La Nina weather pattern, the World Meteorological Organization said on Friday. On average, global temperatures in 2011 were lower than the record level hit the previous year but were still 0.40 degrees Centigrade above the 1961-1990 average and the 11th highest on record, the report said. Reuters has more.
Climate & energy trade fights are heating up
Following recent action from China on airlines’ inclusion in the EU ETS; India is moving to take similar measures, barring Indian airlines from sharing emissions data with the EU or buying carbon credits. The EU’s Climate Chief, Connie Hedegaard, is braced for continued global backlash, but pressing on. Meanwhile in the world of solar energy, US manufacturers are planning to file dumping charges against Chinese panel makers and are seeking US import duties to offset what they say are illegal subsidies by the Chinese government. Some analysts wonder if these developments are a harbinger of the new climate politics.
The US policymakers fight global warming by any other name
President Barack Obama ended a near two-week speaking tour of the United States in the midst of an unprecedented spring heatwave, touting his energy policies. The notable absence of the words “climate change” from those speeches may signal a new White House communications strategy that could further frustrate environmentalists and abandon high-profile public discussion about climate change to Obama’s climate-skeptic opponents.
Germany’s $270 billion renewables shift biggest since war.
Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is not shy about publicly discussing climate issues, is planning a reconstruction of the country’s energy market at a scale not seen since the allies leveled Germany in World War II. Germany aims to replace 17 nuclear reactors that supplied about a fifth of its electricity with renewables such as solar and wind. Bloomberg has more on the story.
What our partners are focused on now
Negotiations on the Rio+20 Zero Draft Outcome Document underway in New York
A good number of our tck partners and peers have a presence in New York for the First Round of ‘Informal-Informal’ Negotiations on the Rio+20 Zero Draft of the Outcome Document and Third Intersessional Meeting of Rio+20. We’ll do a wrap-up of any news from these meetings in the next Fresh Air Brief, but in the mean-time you can follow developments from afar via IISD’s reporting service and the twitter hashtag #RioPlus20.
Greenpeace renews calls to save the Amazon with new Rainbow Warrior expedition
The world is turning more of its attention toward Brazil in anticipation of the Rio+20 conference this June. From concerns about the Belo Monte Dam to a pending vote on controversial changes to Brazil’s forest code, people don’t like everything they see. Encouraging Brazil to help lead the world toward a more sustainable future with action, Greenpeace launched an awareness-raising expedition down the Amazon River aboard the Rainbow Warrior and is reiterated its call for an end to deforestation in Brazil by 2015 and globally by 2020.
Earth Hour 2012
WWF is pushing for another major Earth Hour 2012 on 31 March at 20:30 PM. In 2011, more than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011, sending a powerful message for action on climate change.
Resources and opportunities
WWF media launch of Water Risk Filter: A tool to assess and mitigate water risk @ 8:30 & 15:00 GMT, 28 March
According to a new study by WWF and German development bank DEG, the shortage of freshwater is not only becoming more and more of an ecological risk, but it also is rapidly becoming a major business growth risk – one that investors need to take into account. WWF partnered with The German development bank, DEG, to develop the Water Risk Filter to help companies assess and mitigate water risk. WWF plans to hold two media briefings by teleconference/ WebEx on Wednesday 28 March at 08:30 GMT and at 15:00 GMTto launch the new tool. This press release has additional info and dial-in details.
World Resources Institute webinar with Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri on India’s Climate Policies & Perspectives @ 20:00 GMT, 28 March
World Resources Institute, the Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy and the Environmental Defense Fund co-host a monthly webinar series, Climate Change Solutions: Frontline Perspectives from Around the Globe. This month, Dr. Rajendra K. Pachauri discusses climate policy from India’s perspective. Dr. Pachauri will offer insights gained from his multiple roles in the international climate policy arena: Director General of the Energy and Resources Institute, Director of the Yale Climate & Energy Institute, and the Chair of the IPCC. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. This announcement has dial-in details, speaker bios and background on the event.
Practical Action webinar: Energy and earning a living: the key to ending poverty? @ 11:00 GMT, 30 March
Join Practical Action and guest speakers on Friday 30 March for a debate on the goal of universal access to energy and how important energy access is to people’s ability to work their way out of poverty. The webinar starts at 10:00 GMT and is being held in support of the Practical Action’s recently released Poor people’s energy outlook 2012. See this press release for dial-in details, speaker bios and contact info.
World Bank Institute webinar: NAMAs after Durban – What lies ahead? @14:00 GMT, 3 April
The recent Durban Climate Conference made important progress towards clarifying the international operational framework for Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs). Will these recent developments foster international cooperation and accelerate NAMAs design and implementation in developing countries? WBI’s 3 April webinar will address key outcomes of Durban related to NAMAs; give an update on NAMA proposals across sectors; and discuss challenges ahead for NAMAs development and implementation. See this announcement for the webinar link, speaker bios and additional information.
TckTckTck’s Rio+20 Blogger Prize deadline extended
There’s still time to join the Tcktcktck team in Rio by winning the Rio+20 Blogger Prize. We’re looking for a climate-smart blogger or videographer to join our on-the-ground team in Rio June 12-23rd; and help us share stories and keep climate change and renewable energy on the agendas of world leaders. This is a rare chance for you to join our team and be part of the action (with expenses covered).
Win a Date with History
If had two minutes to tell the world’s leaders what kind of future you want, what would you say? Tcktcktck is looking for young people between the ages 13-30 who are willing to share their bold vision for the Earth. The Date with History winner will have a chance to speak at the UN Rio+20 Earth Summit.
Other upcoming moments on our calendar:
26th March – US Senate is expected to vote on repeal of ‘Big Oil’ subsidie
26th-29th March – ‘Planet under pressure’ conference brings together top experts on climate from numerous sectors in London
28th March – IPCC to release full ‘SREX’ report demonstrating that many extreme weather systems become more powerful, & dangerous, due to climate change
- 27-28th March – Creating Climate Wealth Conference in Washington DC – illustrating that economic and environmental progress are not mutually exclusive
29th-30th March – OECD’s biannual Environment Policy Committee meets in Paris – environment ministers will meet to discuss a range of topics related to climate change and Rio+20
Connect you with our partners in the trenches
As always, if you’re looking to dig into any of these issues and want to connect with our partners in the trenches, Fresh Air is here to help. Email me and I’ll help make it happen.
That’s all for this week’s Fresh Air Brief. We’re eager to learn how to make this as useful as possible, so all feedback is welcome. We’re also eager to accept suggestions for leads, content and opportunities you’d like to promote. Get in touch.
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Til next time.
By Joshua Wiese
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About the AuthorJoshua Wiese is a project director at the Global Campaign for Climate Action. He runs the Adopt a Negotiator project and publishes our weekly Fresh Air Brief
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