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The politics of green

One of the world’s highest profile ‘climate change sceptics’ seems to have a had a change of heart – miraculously at the same time as he has published a new book! Bjorn Lomborg has now said that global warming is ‘undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today the Guardian reports, saying in his new book Smart Solutions that tens of billions of dollars need to be spent to battle climate change – on clean power, on climate engineering concepts such as cloud whitening to reflect back the sun’s rays, planting trees and on adapting to climate change by eg building up sea defences. He wants the new money to be funded by a carbon tax which he says could raise $250 billion per annum which he would allocate as follows : $1 billion in geo-engineering; $50 billion on adapting to change; $100 billion on research and development of clear energy technology (wind, wave, solar);  and $99 billion on healthcare, clean water and education.

In other news, there is increasing pressure on Rajendra Pachauri, who leads the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to stand down and let someone new takeover the reins of the organisation, which recently faced widespread criticism for flawed research that showed that all Himalayan glaciers would have melted by 2035. Pauchauri, who has faced criticism for being on the board of energy companies and personally financially gaining from his role at the IPCC  has said that he has no intention of resigning unless the 194 governments who control the IPCC ask him to go.

Fewer flyers are offsetting their flights – in fact just 7% offset now – despite well over half being aware of offset schemes. A study of passengers at Stanstead airport in the UK by the Civil Aviation Authority said that 93% of passengers didn’t offset – but 56% were aware of offsetting.

Greenpeace have let us know that their activists have “evaded massive security” including Danish navy commandos and have scaled Cairn Energy’s controversial oil rig off Greenland in Arctic waters. Activists are now hanging from tents suspended from ropes. For live updates go to http://links.mkt1875.com/ctt?kn=1&m=35748175&r=MzYzNzA2Nzk5NAS2&b=2&j=ODA4MDIxOTMS1&mt=1&rt=0.

Friends of the Earth are urging EU countries to stop their African 'land grab' in the race to open up more production for bio-fuels to meet new EU targets. In the report Africa – up for Grabs, Friends of the Earth says the EU needs to drop its goal of producing 10% of all transport fuels by 2020 saying that vast swathes of rainforest will be cleared and local communities will be deprived of farmland and food with the UN estimating that biofuel production could push up food prices by 40% over the coming decade.

 The plan that all UK new homes would be 'zero carbon' by 2016 is to be scaled back in the face of pressure from house builders. The plans was to achieve a massive reduction in carbon emissions, including emissions from household appliances, hearting and lighting and energy saving plans included installing solar panels on new builds.