environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
May 18, 2011

EU 2020 energy cuts may raise import share: Lomborg

OSLO (Reuters) – EU plans to cut energy use by 2020 risk raising the proportion imported from outside the bloc, partly due to domestic nuclear power curbs, Danish academic and environmental writer Bjorn Lomborg said on Wednesday.

The European Union, which imports half its energy, set a goal in 2009 of reducing consumption by 20 percent below projected levels by 2020 as part of a package to fight climate change that is also intended to boost security of supplies.

May 18, 2011

Third of amphibians said unknown; lurk in forests

OSLO (Reuters) – One in three of all types of amphibians may yet to be found by scientists and remote tropical forests should get extra protection as the likely homes of such “unknown” creatures, a study said on Wednesday.

Despite centuries of research by biologists, the report estimated that 3,050 types of amphibians — a group that includes frogs, toads, salamanders and newts — were still to be described, compared to 6,296 species known to science.

May 13, 2011

Trees may grow 500 km north by 2100 as Arctic greens

OSLO (Reuters) – Trees in the Arctic region may grow 500 km (300 miles) further north by 2100 as climate change greens the barren tundra and causes sweeping change to wildlife, a leading expert said.

A quickening melt of snow, ice and permafrost will enable more southerly species such as pine trees or animals such as foxes to move north.

May 12, 2011

Trees may grow 500 km further north by 2100

OSLO (Reuters) – Trees in the Arctic region may grow 500 km (300 miles) further north by 2100 as climate change greens the barren tundra and causes sweeping change to wildlife, a leading expert said.

A quickening melt of snow, ice and permafrost will enable more southerly species such as pine trees or animals such as foxes to move north.

May 12, 2011

World must curb resource use; China a test case-UN

OSLO, May 12 (Reuters) – The world must curb soaring use of
resources ranging from coal to copper to prevent consumption
from reaching ruinous levels by 2050, according to a U.N. report
on Thursday that says China’s economy will be a test case.

All countries should seek economic growth that does not rely
on increasing exploitation of minerals, ores, fossil fuels and
biomass — such as timber — as poverty declines and the world
population rises, it said.

May 11, 2011

New Arctic naval challenges seen as ice thaws

OSLO (Reuters) – The navies of Arctic nations will face big challenges under a treaty due to be agreed Thursday to carve up responsibility for search and rescue in the fast-thawing region, Norway’s foreign minister said.

Jonas Gahr Stoere also told Reuters foreign ministers of the eight-nation Arctic Council, set to meet in Greenland, looked unlikely to resolve a dispute about whether to give outsiders such as China or Italy seats as permanent observers.

May 6, 2011

Except in China, coal loses in new power plants

OSLO (Reuters) – China is the big exception to a clear global shift away from the use of high-polluting coal in new power plants toward natural gas and renewable energies, a leading environmentalist said on Friday.

China has overtaken the United States as the top emitter of greenhouse gases in recent years, partly as it opens ever more coal-fired power plants to underpin fast economic growth. Coal emits large amounts of carbon dioxide when burned.

May 6, 2011

Rich nations miss U.N. climate finance deadline

OSLO (Reuters) – Rich countries have missed a U.N. deadline for outlining aid to help developing nations combat climate change.

Among industrialized nations, only Russia and Ukraine sent letters to the United Nations by the May 1 deadline — only to say they did not feel obliged to contribute under a deal to provide almost $30 billion in initial “fast-start” climate funds from 2010-12.

May 4, 2011

Exclusive: Renewable energies to leap, costs fall: UN

OSLO (Reuters) – Renewable energies such as wind or solar power are set to surge by 2050, and expected advances in technology will bring significant cost cuts, a draft United Nations report showed on Wednesday.

The most comprehensive U.N. overview of the sector to date said renewables excluding bioenergy, which is mainly firewood burned in developing nations for cooking and heating, could expand by three to 20 times by mid-century.

May 3, 2011

Seas could rise up to 1.6 metres by 2100: study

OSLO (Reuters) – Quickening climate change in the Arctic including a thaw of Greenland’s ice could raise world sea levels by up to 1.6 meters by 2100, an international report showed on Tuesday.

Such a rise — above most past scientific estimates — would add to threats to coasts from Bangladesh to Florida, low-lying Pacific islands and cities from London to Shanghai. It would also, for instance, raise costs of building tsunami barriers in Japan.