environment correspondent
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Oct 31, 2014

U.N. talks of tough global climate targets, vague on national action

COPENHAGEN, Oct 31 (Reuters) – - A draft U.N. guide for slowing climate change says world greenhouse gas emissions may have to fall to a net zero this century but is vague about what each nation should do now.

About 500 delegates, including scientists and government experts, are meeting in Copenhagen to edit the report, which is meant to guide policymakers in setting national goals for a global climate deal at a U.N. summit in Paris in late 2015.

Oct 28, 2014

Nordic, Baltic states face ‘new normal’ of Russian military threat

OSLO/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Fears of Russia re-asserting its Cold War dominance in the Baltic Sea are forcing countries there to re-think their defenses, prioritizing military spending at home and reducing participation in far-flung U.N. or U.S.-led missions.

Sweden’s fruitless search for a submarine — dubbed by locals “The Hunt for Reds in October” — and Russian violations of airspace are seen as elements of what one defense minister called a ‘hybrid warfare’, where fear and propaganda are deployed to keep countries on their toes.

Oct 27, 2014

High Arctic costs deter business despite thaw

BODOE, Norway, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Despite high hopes for
Arctic business from mining to shipping as the ice melts rapidly
and temperatures rise twice as fast as the global average, few
firms say the sums still make sense.

An oil price slump and cheaper commodities, including iron
ore, together with tensions between the West and Russia over
Ukraine, are adding new disincentives.

Oct 26, 2014

U.N. climate change draft sees risks of irreversible damage

OSLO, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Climate change may have “serious, pervasive and irreversible” impacts on human society and nature, according to a draft U.N. report due for approval this week that says governments still have time to avert the worst.

Delegates from more than 100 governments and top scientists meet in Copenhagen on Oct 27-31 to edit the report, meant as the main guide for nations working on a U.N. deal to fight climate change at a summit in Paris in late 2015.

Oct 21, 2014

EBRD considers investments in Ukraine that are riskier than normal

OSLO (Reuters) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development may make new investments in Ukraine that are riskier than usual, to help shore up an economy pounded by conflict with pro-Russian rebels, EBRD president Suma Chakrabarti said on Tuesday.

The development bank might, for instance, help municipalities in eastern Ukraine near a ceasefire line with the rebels to maintain public services such as transport, waste collection or street lighting, he said.

Oct 21, 2014

US, EU want UN to stress low cost of climate change fight – draft

OSLO, Oct 20 (Reuters) – The United States and European
Union want the U.N. to stress the low cost of fighting climate
change in a draft handbook on the issue that it is compiling, a
leaked document showed on Tuesday.

The United States wants the handbook to do more to show that
the costs of action “will be almost insignificant relative to
projected growth”, the document showed.

Oct 16, 2014

Businesses go green, little faith in U.N. climate plan

OSLO, Oct 16 (Reuters) – Uncertainties about long-term curbs on greenhouse gas emissions meant to be agreed at a U.N. summit in 2015 will not deter many big businesses from green investment because they say it already makes economic sense.

Customer demand for less-polluting products, shifts to cleaner and more efficient energy and curbs on carbon from China to California are all creating business opportunities, they told the Reuters Global Climate Change Summit.

Oct 15, 2014

Norsk Hydro clients want ‘green’ aluminium: CEO

OSLO (Reuters) – Some major customers of Norwegian aluminium maker Norsk Hydro (NHY.OL: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) want it to certify metal made with clean hydro power to help a shift from high-polluting fossil fuels and combat climate change, chief executive Svein Richard Brandtzaeg said.

He also said the company, the world’s number nine producer of primary aluminium in 2013, was investing in measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions because it expects governments to impose a global price on carbon pollution sometime in future.

Oct 14, 2014

Offshore wind farms the future – Statkraft CEO

OSLO, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Wind farms will be built more and
more in shallow seas, from China to the United States, as the
industry imitates oil firms and moves offshore, the head of
Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy said on Tuesday.

Statkraft Chief Executive Christian Rynning-Toennesen also
said climate change was forcing a rethink of hydro-electric dam
and wind turbine design to ensure they could withstand ever more
extreme rainfall and wind linked to global warming.

Oct 13, 2014

IKEA may tighten carbon rules to protect environment

OSLO, Oct 13 (Reuters) – IKEA Group, the world’s biggest
furniture retailer, may introduce an internal carbon emissions
price to help its drive to protect the environment and create a
“new and better” company, chief executive Peter Agnefjall said.

IKEA, seen as global trend-setter among retailers on green
issues, is also on target to invest $1.5 billion in solar and
wind power by 2015, and bought a higher proportion of its wood
and cotton from sustainable sources in 2014 to aid consumers
shift to greener lifestyles.