Best of our wild blogs: 22 Sep 14

Oct 2014: Training for volunteer guides at the Sisters Islands Marine Park
from wild shores of singapore

Pink-necked Green-pigeon Feeds Immature With Crop Milk and Fruit
from Bird Ecology Study Group

Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus) @ Tampines
from Monday Morgue

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Forest City to be split into four islands

SIM BAK HENG New Straits Times 21 Sep 14;

GELANG PATAH: The controversial Forest City project will now be split into four islands instead of one single island.

The biggest island measures 1,005hectares while the smallest measures 58ha.

It is split into four islands following a hydrology study which saw the need to have more water channels to allow water flow along the Johor Straits.

Reclamation of the Forest City project stopped on June 16 this year following a diplomatic note from Singapore which asked for more details about the project and its impact on the Johor Straits.

This is in view that the project is near to the Malaysia-Singapore boundary and involves lots of coastal reclamation.

The briefing today detailed about the amount of coastal sand off Telok Ramunia meant for the project.

Reclamation for the biggest island alone needs about 118,155,717 cubic metres.

The sand are carried by barges to the Forest City site through the southern part of Singapore.

500 attend Forest City presentation
SIM BAK HENG New Straits Times 21 Sep 14;

GELANG PATAH: About 500 people packed the Kampung Pok community hall here from 2.30pm to listen to the presentation of the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment by the proponent and consultant of the controversial Forest City project.

Present for the briefing are Forest City project manager Datuk Zamani Kasim and DEIA consultant Nik Mohamed Nik Hassan from Nik & Associates.

The public dialogue attracts many environmental NGOs, such as the Malaysia Nature Society and the Green Earth Society. Others include local villagers and politicians.

The session started off with Zamani giving a detailed description of the project, as well as the mitigation measures to be taken to address certain environmental issues which may arise as a result of the project.

Villagers protests Forest City project
SIM BAK HENG New Straits Times 21 Sep 14;

GELANG PATAH: The voice of protest permeates the air inside the Kampung Pok community hall when the audience started to comment on the Forest City project from 3.30pm.

From housewives to farmers, from fishermen to senior citizens, they took their turns to bombard the project proponent and DEIA consultant one by one.

One of the audience the credibility of the survey result on the social and economic impact conducted by the DEIA consultant.

Of the 100 villagers polled, the result showed that 60 per cent of them said "yes" to the controversial project.

The audience questioned the methodology used kn the survey, and whether the sample is sufficient.

Kampung Pok Village Development and Security Committee deputy chairman Azman Abdul Rahman said he did not even know when the survey was conducted and if it had ever been conducted.

He urged the project proponent to find an alternative road for the project to link to the mainland as no villagers want any road from the project to pass by Kampung Pok.

Another villager then stood up and said the project only benefits the rich but what the people want are affordable housing units.

So far, no one from the audience has openly supported the project.

The dialogue continues with only brickbats and no bouquets.

Several people have appealed that the public dialogue be postponed until a more detailed DEIA is presented.

Residents query Forest City finding
New Straits Times 22 Sep 14;

GELANG PATAH: Residents yesterday grilled the proponent and consultant of the controversial Forest City project once a briefing on the detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) of the project was over at the Kampung Pok community hall here.

Kampung Pok Village Development and Security Committee deputy chairman Azman Abdul Rahman said it puzzled him to hear that 60 per cent of the 100 villagers polled by the DEIA consultant were supportive of the project as he did not even know when the survey was conducted.

He said what he heard from the ground contradicted the result of the social and economic impact study.

“As far as I know, we are against the project, and we want the project proponent to find an alternative road so that their access road will not pass by our village,” Azman said.

Forest City project dialogue with villagers turns into commotion
kathleen ann kili The Star 21 Sep 14;

JOHOR BARU: Tempers flared at a meeting between developers and residents on Sunday over a giant development project in Gelang Patah, about 25km from here, that is touted to be larger than Pangkor Island.

The floor erupted in shouts when a consultant for the 2,000ha Forest City project told them that in a study carried out among the affected people, including residents of nearby villages, 58.3% had accepted the development.

Resident Azman Abdul Rahman, 49, asked the panel to disclose the actual number of residents who were involved in the study, while others alleged that none of them had seen or heard of the survey.

Teacher Hanifi Bilos, 47, demanded that the panel set another date for thorough discussions on the project and solutions to the villagers’ problems.

The panel, comprising the project’s detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) consultants and board members of the project, disregarded the request and proceeded with the session and attempted to answer questions from those remaining in the Gelang Patah multi-purpose hall after about half of the crowd walked out.

The Forest City project, being developed by China’s Country Garden and Johor state company Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor, involves the development of a 2,000ha man-made island, which will be bigger than Pangkor.

It was earlier reported that the reclamation work for the project had been temporarily halted pending the submission of a DEIA by the developer and approval from the Department of Environment.

At a press conference after the meeting, Country Garden project director Datuk Zamani Kasim said he did not expect many “red flags” because the developers had held earlier discussions with some 20 village representatives.

“We are planning to have another dicussion with the residents next Saturday to tackle their concerns and to assure them that their input will be taken into consideration,” he said, adding that the project was still in the preliminary stages.

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Singapore's PSI hits 129 at 9pm Sunday

Channel NewsAsia 21 Sep 14;

SINGAPORE: The Singapore skies were shrouded in haze on Sunday evening (Sep 21), as the Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) reading crossed into the unhealthy range.

The 3-hour PSI readings hovered in the moderate range through most of the day but crept up slowly from noon and broke into the unhealthy band of 116 at 8pm. At 9pm, it stood at 129.

Shots taken at about 6.30pm from Fairmont Hotel, where Channel NewsAsia is reporting live on the Singapore Grand Prix, showed the Marina Bay area shrouded in haze. Callers to Channel NewsAsia's hotline also complained of a strong burning smell in the air.

In a Facebook post at about 7pm, Environment and Water Resources Minister Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said the deteriorating hazy conditions are due to an incoming haze cloud from Sumatra. He said the PSI forecast over the next six hours is in the high end of the moderate range or in the low unhealthy level.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said 64 hotspots have been detected in Sumatra and 73 in Kalimantan. In its latest advisory, the NEA said intermittent haziness is expected to persist overnight and that Singapore might see occasional hazy conditions during the day on Monday (Sep 22).

Meanwhile, companies which operate outdoor activities have reported a dip in business due to the past week's haze. The operator of the cable ski park at East Coast Park said its business was affected, with clientele dropping by about 30 per cent. Still, this is not as bad as last year's haze episode when the outlet had to shut down for safety reasons.

At the recently-opened Sports Hub, fitness enthusiasts were still going about their routines. "If the haze report goes up, I change my routine. There's always an indoor gym that I can work out in," said fitness enthusiast Koh How Teck.

Roy Teo, managing director of Ski360degree, said: "We have prepared some face masks for our staff to use in case the haze reaches unhealthy levels, as a precaution. Last year, we were not really prepared. We did not expect it to be so bad."

- CNA/ir

Haze shrouds Singapore F1 race
Today Online 22 Sep 14;

SINGAPORE — Haze yesterday evening shrouded the island’s skyline, when it was meant to provide a picturesque backdrop to the Singapore Grand Prix watched by millions around the globe.

Visibility started falling in the afternoon, though the three-hour Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) remained within the good and moderate ranges. However, between 7pm and 8pm, the three-hour PSI reading deteriorated sharply into the unhealthy range — spiking from 89 to 116.

At 9pm, the three-hour PSI reading hit a high of 129.

Writing on Facebook in the evening, Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said the situation was due to an incoming haze cloud from Sumatra.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said the Republic had been experiencing deteriorating hazy conditions since the late afternoon yesterday, with elevated levels of fine particulate matter, or PM2.5.

The haze was caused by smoke haze blown in from Sumatra by the prevailing winds, the NEA said, adding that intermittent haziness was expected to persist overnight. The 24-hour PSI overnight was expected to be in the high end of the moderate range.

The total number of hot spots detected yesterday in Sumatra and Kalimantan was 64 and 73, respectively. They were mostly in the southern parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan. Widespread smoke haze was visible in southern Kalimantan. The Star Online reported that the Malaysian government had formally written to its Indonesian counterpart to express concerns about the rise in the number of hot spots in south Sumatra and Kalimantan, which had led to haze over Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak.

The NEA has forecast occasional hazy conditions during the day today. The overall air quality is expected to fluctuate between the high end of the moderate range and the low end of the unhealthy range. It advised healthy people to reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion. The elderly, pregnant women and children should minimise prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion, while those with chronic lung or heart disease should avoid prolonged or strenuous outdoor physical exertion.

The agency added that those who are not feeling well, especially the elderly and children, and people with chronic heart or lung conditions should seek medical attention.

PSI to fluctuate between ‘moderate’ and ‘unhealthy’ range: NEA
Today Online 21 Sep 14;

SINGAPORE – The National Environment Agency (NEA) forecasts the island to experience slight haze as winds continue to blow from the southeast or south today (Sept 22), in their haze advisory released to members of the public yesterday.

“We may experience occasional hazy conditions during the day. The overall air quality tomorrow is expected to fluctuate between the high-end of the Moderate range and the low-end of the Unhealthy range.”

Singapore experienced a sudden deterioration in the surrounding air quality in the late afternoon yesterday, with reports coming in from certain parts of the island of a burning smell lingering in the air.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) said the swift increase in haze levels was due to a sizeable amount of smoke blowing in from Sumatra by prevailing winds.

“Singapore is experiencing deteriorating hazy conditions due to an incoming haze cloud we have detected southwest of Singapore,” said the agency in an advisory to members of the public released at 7pm yesterday.

“The total number of hotspots detected in Sumatra and Kalimantan today was 64 and 73 respectively, mostly in the southern parts of Sumatra and Kalimantan. Widespread smoke haze was visible in southern Kalimantan,” NEA added.

The three-hour Pollutant Standard Index (PSI) levels hovered around the “good” and “moderate” range for most of yesterday morning and afternoon but slowly crept up in the latter range from 1pm to 5pm. At 7pm, the reading inched closer towards the “unhealthy” range at 89 at the time when air quality can be clearly seen to be deteriorating. At 8pm, the PSI was well into the unhealthy range at 116. It registered a high of 129 before dipping slightly to 121 at 10pm. The 24-hour readings continued to hover in the “moderate” range, registering a low of 48-54 at 1pm and a high of 59-67 at 9pm.

Some members of the public complained on social media about a burning smell going around in the air, just as the island was gearing up for the Singapore Formula One race. NEA acknowledged “reports of burning smells in the central and eastern regions of Singapore” in their media advisory.

Last Thursday, Singapore also experienced PSI levels in the “unhealthy” range, registering the worst air quality readings this week when air quality hovered above 100 for most of the day.

Minister for Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan in his Facebook post assured members of the public that the environment agency will keep them informed.

“The forecast for the 24-hour PSI over the next six hours is in the high end of the moderate range or even low unhealthy level,” he added.

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Malaysia: Visibility improves

AINA NASA New Straits Times 22 Sep 14;

KUALA LUMPUR: THE country’s haze situation appears to be improving with only four areas recording moderate Air Pollutant Index (API) readings yesterday evening.

As of 4pm, no areas recorded unhealthy APIs.

The four areas were Kota Tinggi, Johor (57), Seremban (57), Kemaman (53) and Sri Aman, while 45 other areas in the country recorded good API readings.

The readings are categorised as good (0 to 50), moderate (51 to 100), unhealthy (101 to 200), very unhealthy (201 to 300) and very dangerous (300 and above).

Department of Environment director-general Datuk Halimah Hassan said the number of hot spots in Indonesia had decreased according to the Asean Specialised Meteorological Centre.

“Satellite imagery from the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed 26 hot spots in Kalimantan and 134 hot spots in Sumatera, bringing the total to 160 hot spots.”

This number was a decrease from the 226 hot spots detected last Thursday.

She said eight local hot spots were identified in Terengganu (3), Sarawak (2), Kelantan (2) and one in Kedah.

She said the department forecast good weather for Peninsular Malaysia for the rest of the month and next month, while Sabah and Sarawak would experience drier weather.

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Malaysia: Rain everywhere but not a drop in the Sg Selangor dam

patrick lee The Star 22 Sep 14;

PETALING JAYA: The Sungai Selangor dam, the state’s largest, has barely seen an increase in its level despite the current rainy spell.

According to the Selangor Water Management Authority (LUAS) website, the dam was at 33.13% capacity as of 8am Saturday.

It has been hovering around this mark for weeks, still dangerously close to its 30% critical level.

Water experts said consumers must brace for any eventuality and that water must be conserved.

Malaysian Water Association (MWA) president Syed Mohamad Adnan Alhabshi said a full dam would act as a buffer during dry weather periods.

He said in January this year, the Sungai Selangor dam was at 70%, which was not enough to stave off water rationing.

“(If) the dam was at 100% in January, then the rest of the year would be quite stable,” he said.

Syed Mohamad said it was hard to predict what capacity the dams would have by the end of the year.

Association of Water and Energy Research (Awer) president S. Piara­pakaran said longer periods of rainfall was needed to prepare dams for dry seasons, adding that it was important that rain must fall in the catchment areas.

He said states with low dam levels would be hard hit during droughts.

Meteorological Department spok­esman Dr Hisham Mohd Anip said rainfall was expected during the inter-monsoon period in October throughout the country.

However, he said it was hard to say if rain would fall in the catchment areas due to the “unpredictability of weather”.

He said there was no sign of the El Nino phenomenon in Malaysia so far, adding that if it were to arrive by the year end, it would be “very weak” and will not have a large effect on the weather pattern.

A heat wave in the first quarter of the year and falling dam levels saw water rationing imposed in many parts of the peninsula.

Selangor and the Klang Valley were the hardest hit, with more than 6.7 million people affected by rationing.

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Storm leaves 200,000 displaced in Philippines, heads for Taiwan

Manuel Mogato PlanetArk 22 Sep 14;

Most schools on the main island of Luzon remained closed for a second day as a huge mopping-up operation began. Some public offices have reopened.

"Some of our things are buried in mud, it will take awhile to clean up," a resident in Marikina City told Reuters while clearing up layers of mud and debris inside their residence.

Fung-Wong, with winds of 95 kph (59 mph) and gusts of 120 kph, slammed in the northern tip of the Philippines on Friday, cutting power in many areas and soaking rice and corn farms and bringing the capital to a near standstill.

The storm, traveling north at 15 kph, is expected to hit the Taiwan on Monday, according to the state weather bureau.

Fung-Wong, locally known as "Mario" center is currently around 137 km northeast of Laoag City in the Ilocos province in the north. It was expected to be at 647 kms north of Batanes on Monday, outside the Philippine area of responsibility.

Alexander Pama, executive-director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said five people died, including a two-year-old girl who drowned in the capital. Two were electrocuted while wading in flood waters.

Pama said seven people were injured and one more was still missing in floods.

A boat capsized in the central Philippines but all 53 crew and passengers were rescued by the navy, Pama said.

Officials have declared a state of calamity in some areas in the capital and in Cebu City in the central Philippines due to floods, that have left some parts of the city 2 meters underwater.

Trading on the city's stock exchange and local currency market was suspended on Friday and will resume on Monday. At least 40 domestic flights were grounded and six international flights were diverted by civil aviation authorities.

More than 700,000 people were effected by the storm and about 200,000 people were forced out from their homes and staying in shelter areas, disaster officials said.

Pama said some residents were rescued perching on their roofs or trapped inside their homes in Marikina and Quezon City. More than 300 areas in seven regions in the country were flooded.

Tropical storms regularly hit the Philippines, with Fung-Wong the second to hit in two weeks.

Last year, typhoon Haiyan struck in the central Philippines, killing more 6,300 people. An average of 20 typhoons hit the country every year.

(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Heavy rain floods Philippine capital; markets, schools shut
Rosemarie Francisco PlanetArk 19 Sep 14;

A tropical storm dumped heavy rain on the Philippine capital on Friday, flooding many parts of the city, shutting schools, government offices and financial markets.

Thousands of residents in low-lying areas were moved to higher ground, officials said, as flood waters rose quickly after the equivalent of half a month's usual rain fell in six hours.

The Philippine Stock Exchange suspended trade after the government canceled work and classes in the capital.

Trading at the electronic foreign exchange platform Philippine Dealing System was also suspended, with clearing and settlement canceled for the day.

Tropical storm Fung-Wong, with maximum winds of 85 kph (50 mph) and gusts of up to 100 kph (62 mph), was hovering about 210 km (130 miles) east of Casiguran town in northern Aurora province.

It is expected to hit land at around noon on Friday and move northwest at 22 kph (13 mph) toward the South China Sea.

About 7,000 people were evacuated in Marikina City in the eastern part of the capital where a swollen river caused flooding, said Del De Guzman, city mayor.

"We are now on sweeping operations for those trapped by the floods. The rains were so heavy, so fast, some were not able to evacuate," De Guzman said in an interview with GMA TV, adding the government was sending amphibious vehicles and rubber boats to help get people out.

(Reporting by Rosemarie Francisco; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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New York climate march draws hundreds of thousands

Barbara Goldberg and Natasja Sheriff Reuters Yahoo News 21 Sep 14;

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An international day of action on climate change brought hundreds of thousands of people onto the streets of New York City on Sunday, easily exceeding organizers' hopes for the largest protest on the issue in history.

Organizers estimated that some 310,000 people, including United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and elected officials from the United States and abroad joined the People's Climate March, ahead of Tuesday's United Nations hosted summit in the city to discuss reducing carbon emissions that threaten the environment.

The New York rally, the largest single protest ever held on the topic of climate change, followed similar events in 166 countries including Britain, France, Afghanistan and Bulgaria.

"The march numbers are beating our wildest expectations," said Ricken Patel, executive director of activist group Avaaz, which organized the march. "In 2,500 marches from Paris to Bogota, we've blown past expected numbers. Climate change is not a green issue anymore, it's an everybody issue."

The march wound down at 6:30 p.m. ET (2230 GMT) and cleaning crews moved in as police reopened the street to traffic. A few handfuls of people remained on sidewalks, singing and chanting in the evening, but most participants were headed home.

A New York Police Department spokesman said there were no arrests or incidents during the demonstration. The police department does not provide crowd size estimates.

Organizers said another 270,000 people had participated in related events outside New York.

During the demonstration the crowd, including U.S. senators Bernard Sanders, an independent from Vermont and Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, marched along the city's Central Park, through midtown Manhattan to Times Square and stopped for a moment of silence at 12:58 p.m. (1658 GMT).

Ban, wearing a T-shirt that read "I'm for climate action" marched arm-in-arm with British primatologist Jane Goodall and French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal.

"This is the planet where our subsequent generations will live," Ban told reporters. "There is no 'Plan B,' because we do not have 'Planet B.'"

The march resounding with drums, horns and chants that had echoed off skyscrapers easily dwarfed the raucous 2009 demonstration on climate change in Copenhagen, which drew tens of thousands of people that resulted in the detention of 2,000 protesters.

The march comes days after the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that August 2014 was the warmest on record, some 1.35 degrees Fahrenheit (0.75 C) above the 20th century global average of 60.1 F (15.6 C).

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Sunday unveiled a new plan for the city to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050.

All 3,000 major city-owned buildings would be retrofitted with energy saving heating, cooling and light systems by then, he said, though meeting the commitment will also require significant investments by private landlords.

DiCaprio marched towards the front of the group, with members of an Ecuadorean tribe who have fought a years-long legal battle with Chevron Corp over Amazon pollution.

"This is the most important issue of our time," DiCaprio said. "I'm incredibly proud to be here."

(Additional reporting by Louis Charbonneau at the United Nations and Kylie MacLellan in London; Editing by Scott Malone, Bill Trott, William Hardy, Marguerita Choy and Diane Craft)

Climate change summit: Global rallies demand action
Laura Westbrook BBC News 21 Sep 14;

Street protests demanding urgent action on climate change have attracted hundreds of thousands of marchers in more than 2,000 locations worldwide.

The People's Climate March is campaigning for curbs on carbon emissions, ahead of the UN climate summit in New York next week.

In Manhattan, organisers said some 310,000 people joined a march that was also attended by UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

Earlier, huge demonstrations took place in Australia and Europe.

"This is the planet where our subsequent generations will live," Mr Ban told reporters. "There is no 'Plan B' because we do not have 'Planet B'."

The UN Secretary General was accompanied by primatologist Jane Goodall and the French Ecology Minister, Segolene Royal.

New York hosted the largest of Sunday's protests, drawing more than half of the 600,000 marchers estimated by organisers to have taken part in rallies around the world.

Manhattan echoed to the sound of chants, horns and drums as the colourful protest progressed through the streets.

Organisers of the Manhattan event said it surpassed the largest previous protest on climate change.

They said the massive mobilisation was aimed at transforming climate change "from an environmental concern to an everybody issue".

Business leaders, environmentalists and celebrities joined the demonstration.

Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio also took part, having been appointed as a UN representative on climate change last week.
Analysis: Roger Harrabin, BBC Environment analyst

Another protest, another climate conference - will this time be any different?

Well, the marches brought more people on to the streets than ever before, thanks to the organisational power of the social media site Avaaz.

And the climate talks will also be influenced by technology, as it was reported this week that the sun and wind can often generate power as cheaply as gas in the home of fossil fuels, Texas.

Certainly the UN's Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, hopes that he can make a fresh start in the endless blame-your-neighbour round of climate talks.

Next year world leaders are due to show up in Paris to settle a global climate deal based not on a bitterly-contested chiselling negotiation in the middle of the night, but on open co-operative offers of action to tackle a shared problem.

Mr Ban has invited leaders to New York to make their offers public. Some small nations will doubtless make new contributions to the carbon contraction effort as they realise the vulnerability of their own economies to a hotter world.

But some big players may continue the game of climate poker, holding back their offers until they see what else is on the table.

So there is no guarantee that Ban's idea will work - but at least for weary climate politics watchers it will be a change.

The New York rally was part of a global protest that included events in 156 countries - Afghanistan, the UK, Italy and Brazil among them.

=In London, the march attracted an estimated 40,000 people, including actress Emma Thompson who likened the threat from climate change to a Martian invasion
=Some 30,000 people marched in Melbourne, Australia. Demonstrators urged Prime Minister Tony Abbott to take action, citing fears that climate change could lead to more bushfires and droughts
=Organisers said more than 25,000 marched in Paris
=About 15,000 people marched in Berlin. Organisers urged world leaders to recognise climate change as a pressing problem
=In Rio de Janeiro, some 5,000 marchers turned out. Environmental slogans and a green heart were projected onto the famed statue of Christ the Redeemer, overlooking the city
=Smaller protests - attracting numbers in the hundreds or low thousands - were also seen in cities such as Bogota, Barcelona, Jakarta and Delhi

On Tuesday, the UN will host a climate summit at its headquarters in New York with 125 heads of state and government - the first such gathering since the unsuccessful climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009.

Mr Ban hopes leaders can make progress on a universal agreement to be signed by all nations at the end of 2015.

Read more!

China drives world carbon emissions to record high

Alister Doyle PlanetArk 22 Sep 14;

China drives world carbon emissions to record high Photo: China Daily
Smoke rises from chimneys and cooling towers of a refinery in Ningbo, Zhejiang province August 19, 2014.
Photo: China Daily

More than half of proven fossil fuel reserves may have to stay in the ground if governments are serious about a promise made in 2010 to limit a rise in average temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, the Global Carbon Project report by leading research institutes said.

Emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and cement production will climb by 2.5 percent to a new record 37.0 billion tonnes in 2014, according to the report issued before a United Nations climate summit in New York on Tuesday.

Emissions of the main greenhouse gas rose 2.3 percent in 2013 to 36.1 billion tonnes, said the report, which was published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

"A break in current emission trends is urgently needed," according to the report by experts in Britain, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands.

Emissions by China alone, which overtook the United States as the number one carbon emitter in 2006 amid fast industrial growth, have soared to eclipse those of the United States and the European Union combined, it said.

The report puts 2014 world carbon emissions 65 percent above levels in 1990, despite repeated promises of curbs and a shift to renewable energies such as wind and solar power as part of policies to avert more floods, heatwaves and rising sea levels.

The study said the 2C goal was slipping out of reach. Temperatures have already risen by 0.85 C (1.4 F) since the Industrial Revolution.


U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host a summit on Sept. 23 of more than 120 world leaders, hoping for "bold pledges" as part of work on a U.N. deal due to be agreed in Paris at the end of 2015 to limit global warming.

The study estimated that the world could only emit a total 1,200 billion tonnes of carbon in the future - about 30 years at current rates - to keep warming below 2C.

"If this were a bank statement it would say our credit is running out," said Dave Reay, a professor of carbon management at the University of Edinburgh who was not part of the study.

A U.N. panel of climate experts says that it is at least 95 percent probable that manmade emissions, rather than natural variations in the climate, are to blame for rising temperatures.

China's carbon emissions were set to rise 4.5 percent this year to 10.4 billion tonnes, far more than U.S. emissions on 5.2 billion and the EU's 3.4 billion. U.S. emissions would dip 0.9 percent in 2014 and EU emissions would be down 1.1 percent.

It projected that world emissions could reach 43.2 billion tonnes in 2019, with 12.7 billion from China alone.

"China is taking the lead, but this is a global problem," Corinne Le Quere, director of the Tyndall Centre at the University of East Anglia and a lead contributor to the report.

Beijing argues that emerging economies need to burn more energy to help end poverty. That argument is losing credence because even its per capita emissions overtook those of the average EU citizen in 2013, the study said.

Carbon accounting rules exaggerate China's share because 16 percent of its carbon dioxide is produced by industries making products for export, ranging from televisions to furniture, Le Quere said.

The study said world emissions would have to fall by more than five percent a year to achieve the 2C goal. Cuts would be less if the world develops technologies to bury carbon dioxide.

Such global cuts would be unprecedented. Among national successes, France and Sweden managed cuts of four percent a year in a shift to nuclear power in the 1970s, said Glen Peters, an author at the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo.

(Reporting by Alister Doyle, editing by Louise Heavens)

China's per capita carbon emissions overtake EU's

Matt McGrath BBC News 21 Sep 14;

New data on carbon shows that China's emissions per head of population have surpassed the EU for the first time.

The researchers say that India is also forecast to beat Europe's CO2 output in 2019.

Scientists say that global totals are increasing fast and will likely exceed the limit for dangerous climate change within 30 years.

The world has already used up two thirds of the warming gases researchers calculate will breach 2 degrees C.

The Global Carbon Project involves researchers from several different institutes around the world and it provides objective details on the scale of annual emissions.

The latest data shows that a record 36 billion tonnes of carbon from all human sources were emitted in 2013.

The biggest emitters were China, which produced 29% of the total, followed by the US at 15%, the EU at 10% and India at 7.1%

But in an interesting development, China's emissions per head of population exceeding those of the European Union for the first time.

While the per capita average for the world as a whole is 5 tonnes of carbon dioxide, China is now producing 7.2 tonnes per person, to the EU's 6.8 tonnes. The US is still far ahead on 16.5 tonnes per person.

"We now see China's per capita emissions surpassing the EU," said Dr Robbie Andrew, from the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Norway, who was involved in the research.

"They are still nowhere near the US or Australia, but the fact that they have surpassed the EU will be quite surprising to a lot of people."
Future beats the past

This development will shine an interesting light on global climate negotiations where China has often used its relatively low per capita emissions to argue that it is on the same page as other developing countries, and that restrictions on its use of carbon were not justified.

China's rapid industrialisation over the past 20 years has seen the construction of huge numbers of mainly coal fired power stations.

This build-up means that the emissions that China is committed to in the future, now exceed the total of everything it has emitted to date.

Prof Corinne Le Quere from the University of East Anglia, who is also involved with Carbon Project, said that a significant proportion of China's emissions were in fact, driven by demand from consumers in Europe and the US.

"In China about 20% of their emissions are for producing clothes, furniture even solar panels that are shipped to Europe and America."

"If you look at the emissions in Europe with that perspective, they would be 30% higher if we accounted for those goods that are produced elsewhere."

The other major emissions growth is seen in India. In 2013 the country's carbon grew by 5.1%, and it is now on track to overtake the EU in 2019.

"India has enormous problems, if the current government could sort out the issues with toilets that would an enormous achievement," said Dr Andrew.

"They have so many things to focus on in that country, to ask them to pull back on emissions, is a big problem."

For 2014, the carbon record is likely to be broken again as emissions are likely to hit 40bn tonnes, 65% above 1990 levels.

The researchers involved say the recent rise is due to the global economic recovery combined with a lower than expected increases in carbon intensity, especially in the developing world.

The scientists have calculated that to have a good chance of keeping global warming below 2 degrees C, total emissions of carbon will have stay under 3,200 billion tonnes.

The world has about 1,200 billion tonnes left, but the latest data shows that there is a now a declining chance of now staying below the 2 degree target.

"The global emissions are continuing to increase at an incredible rate," said Prof Le Quere.

"In about 30 years we will have used up the remaining quota, that's extremely rapidly, that's to have a 66% chance to remain below 2 degrees."

The researchers say that existing reserves of oil, gas and coal exceed the 2 degrees target. Prof Le Quere says that this message has not been understood by politicians.

"We have not accepted that we will not be able to burn all this fuel, the scale of action that is required has not sunk in."

The new research comes as 125 heads of state and government are set to meet at the UN in New York to discuss climate change.

UN Secretary General has asked global leaders to come to the UN next week and to bring commitments with them to tackle the issue.

The meeting is meant to kick start the process to a new global deal that will be agreed in Paris at the end of 2015. According to the scientists, the politicians have a long way to go, if they are to prevent the world breaching the 2 degree target.

"China and India are doing exactly the same as other countries," said Prof Le Quere.

"I really think we need to show leadership in the way we use energy in rich countries so that others can follow different pathways to development. At the moment we don't see any countries that have that leadership."

Details of the studies dealing with the Global Carbon Project have been published in the journals, Nature Climate change, and Nature Geoscience.

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Green aid test for U.N. climate summit as poor seek $15 billion

Alister Doyle PlanetArk 19 Sep 14;

A U.N. summit on climate change next week will test rich nations' willingness to fill a near-empty fund to help the poor, but pledges are likely to be far short of developing nations' hopes for $15 billion in 2014.

Emerging nations say that cash for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), meant to help the poor with projects to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to heat waves, floods and rising seas, is vital to combat global warming.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wants more than 120 world leaders to make "bold pledges" about climate change at the Sept. 23 summit in New York.

Many rich countries have indicated willingness to fund the GCF but German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the only leader so far to make a large contribution, pledging $1 billion over four years in July.

"A number of countries are working very hard to try to ... make the announcements in New York," said Hela Cheikhrouhou, head of the GCF which opened headquarters in South Korea in 2013.

"We think some of them will do so, and several more are likely to more broadly state their support," she said. A separate GCF donors' conference will be held in November.

Many rich nations are struggling to maintain aid budgets as they focus on spurring growth and jobs at home.

Before Germany's announcement, pledges to the GCF totaled just $55 million from 12 nations, according to the World Bank. And no other rich nations are signaling vast new outlays.

Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg told Reuters that she would pledge 200 million crowns ($31 million) at Ban's summit, for 2015 alone. That is less than many environmental groups have been hoping since Oslo is often among the most generous donors.


GCF funding is part of an increasing squeeze for developed nations, which set a goal in 2009 of channeling an annual $100 billion from 2020 to help the poor cope with climate change, made up of funds from both private and public sources.

They agreed a "significant" share will go via the GCF.

Meena Rahman, of the Third World Network development group, said countries including the United States, France, Britain, Italy, Sweden, Switzerland, Finland, the Netherlands and Denmark indicated at a GCF meeting last week that they will make pledges this year, but not necessarily at Ban's summit.

The main group of developing nations wants promises of $15 billion for the GCF in 2014. Peru, due to host a U.N. climate conference in December, favors a lower goal of $10 billion and says some developing nations may contribute.

"We are talking to members of the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) about putting money into the GCF," Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal told a telephone news conference.

Aid charity Oxfam said that indicative shares, if developed nations were to give $15 billion, include $4.8 billion for the United States, $6 billion for the European Union, $2.3 billion for Japan and $600 million for Canada.

Developing nations want clear signs of increasing funds toward 2020 to encourage them to join a U.N deal, due in late 2015 at a summit in Paris, to slow global warming.

"Climate finance is not only crucial for unlocking a deal, it is an indispensable part of bringing emissions down and helping vulnerable communities adapt," said Marlene Moses, of Nauru, chair of the Alliance of Small Island States.

Moses said the poor wanted clear signs of funds in New York.

The U.N. panel of climate experts says it is at least 95 percent probable that mankind is the dominant cause of global warming since 1950. Many voters are doubtful, reckoning natural variations are to blame and complicating efforts to crack down.

(Additional reporting by Ben Garside in London and Valerie Volcovici in Washington; editing by Ralph Boulton)

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