One of the Government’s most senior scientific advisors [and former IPCC chair] has said that efforts to stop a sharp rise in global temperatures were now unrealistic. [BBC News]
Professor Sir Robert Watson said that the hope of restricting the average temperature rise to 2C was “out the window.”
He said that the rise could be as high as 5C — with dire consequences.
Professor Watson added the Chancellor, George Osborne, should back efforts to cut the UK’s CO2 emissions.
He said: “I have to look back (on the outcome of successive climate change summits) Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban and say that I can’t be overly optimistic.
“To be quite candid the idea of a 2C target is largely out of the window.”
A judge in Lamar County, Texas, ruled Wednesday night that TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline has the right of eminent domain, rejecting a plea by farm manager Julia Trigg Crawford and dealing a blow to landowners and environmentalists who have been trying to block construction of the pipeline. [Washington Post]
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will lay out policies on Thursday aimed at achieving North American energy independence by 2020 by pursuing a sharp increase in production of oil and natural gas on federal lands and off the U.S. coast. [Reuters]
A new report in Nature released Wednesday says that on the Antarctic Peninsula, at least, human-generated greenhouse gases have almost certainly been by far the most important driver of warming over the past half-century. [Climate Central]
Colorado’s senators on Wednesday blamed congressional inaction on a tax credit benefiting wind power producers for a recent round of layoffs in their state. [The Hill]
The nation is heading toward the worst outbreak of West Nile disease in the 13 years that the virus has been on this continent, federal health authorities said Wednesday. [New York Times]
Industrial companies in China are being warned they can expect tougher environmental penalties, part of the government’s plans to cut pollutant emissions. [China Daily]
The fate of billions of dollars of promised funding from rich countries to help the developing world adapt to climate change will be discussed on Thursday in Geneva, at the first meeting of the UN’s Green Climate Fund. [Guardian]