environment correspondent
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Jun 8, 2011

U.N. to upgrade “space weather” forecasts

OSLO, June 8 (Reuters) – A U.N. plan to upgrade “space
weather” forecasts can help the world cope with solar storms
that might wreak up to $2 trillion in damage if the sun repeated
a giant flare of 1859, experts said.

The sun is entering a more active phase due to peak in 2013
on a roughly 11-year sunspot cycle, the World Meteorological
Organization (WMO) said. Power supplies, air traffic control,
communications and satellites can all be disrupted by storms.

Jun 6, 2011

World needs refugee re-think for climate victims: U.N.

OSLO (Reuters) – The world must invent new ways to protect people driven from their homes by climate change without copying safeguards for those uprooted by wars or persecution, the head of the U.N. refugee agency said on Monday.

“There is a protection gap in the international system that needs to be addressed,” United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told Reuters during a conference in Oslo on climate change and displaced people.

Jun 5, 2011

Rising forest density offsets climate change – study

OSLO (Reuters) – Rising forest density in many countries is helping to offset climate change caused by deforestation from the Amazon basin to Indonesia, a study showed on Sunday.

The report indicated that the size of trees in a forest — rather than just the area covered — needed to be taken into account more in U.N.-led efforts to put a price on forests as part of a nascent market to slow global warming.

Jun 3, 2011

Norway to build northernmost green energy building

, Environment Correspondent OSLO (Reuters) – A planned building in Norway will be at the most northern location so far to generate more energy than it uses, demonstrating that “green” buildings can work anywhere, its backers said on Friday.

A group including Norwegian aluminum maker Norsk Hydro and Swedish construction group Skanska said it would construct the six-to-seven-story building in Trondheim, with offices and shops covering up to 9,000 sq meters (96,880 sq ft).

Jun 2, 2011

World should double renewable energy by 2030: U.N.

OSLO (Reuters) – The world should more than double reliance on renewable energy by 2030 as part of goals to slow climate change in a drive that will need strong backing from the private sector, a senior U.N. official said on Thursday.

“The new goal is to have 30 percent of energy supplies from renewable sources by 2030,” Kandeh Yumkella, head of the U.N. Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Jun 2, 2011

Poor nations urged to reform to win climate funds

OSLO (Reuters) – Many developing nations are missing out on a surge in investments in clean energy and need to cut red tape and agree new rules to attract funds to help fight climate change, a U.N. finance guidebook said on Thursday.

Clean energy sector investments worldwide grew 30 percent in 2010 from 2009 to a record $243 billion but 90 percent went to members of the Group of 20 — leading industrialized nations and big emerging economies led by China and India.

Jun 2, 2011

Climate action faces legal gap, no deal this year

LONDON/OSLO (Reuters) – The world will again fall short of a full climate deal this year, after two past attempts, say developed countries which want a narrower focus on forests and funds at resumed U.N. talks next week.

A fresh postponement will all but end hopes of a binding U.N. deal to succeed the Kyoto Protocol before its present round expires at the end of 2012, leaving a legal gap and possible makeshift arrangements for years.

Jun 1, 2011

Rich nations say on track with $30 billion climate aid

OSLO/LONDON (Reuters) – Earthquake-hit Japan and many other rich nations are reaffirming pledges to give $30 billion from 2010-12 to help poor nations fight climate change despite budget cuts, a Reuters survey showed on Wednesday.

Climate aid has totaled $16.2 billion since January 2010, according to submissions to the United Nations by a May deadline. Poor nations have said much of the cash is from existing programs and is not new as promised.

May 30, 2011

Analysis: German nuclear exit plan won’t draw many imitators

OSLO (Reuters) – A German plan to shut all nuclear reactors by 2022 is unlikely to inspire many imitators abroad even though safety worries after Japan’s Fukushima accident have dimmed nuclear industry hopes of a renaissance, experts say.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phase-out plan risks boosting greenhouse gas emissions by aiding fossil fuel producers despite her assurances of a renewed drive to promote greener energies such as wind and solar power, they said.

May 30, 2011

German nuclear exit plan won’t draw many imitators

OSLO (Reuters) – A German plan to shut all nuclear reactors by 2022 is unlikely to inspire many imitators abroad even though safety worries after Japan’s Fukushima accident have dimmed nuclear industry hopes of a renaissance, experts say.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phase-out plan risks boosting greenhouse gas emissions by aiding fossil fuel producers despite her assurances of a renewed drive to promote greener energies such as wind and solar power, they said.