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The World Bank cuts off funding for coal. How big an impact will that have?

Brad Plumer, Washington Post
Last month, the Obama administration announced that it would cut off most funding for coal plants overseas. Now, in a major shift, the World Bank is doing the same.

On Tuesday, the World Bank Group announced that it would restrict funding for new coal plants in developing countries except “in rare circumstances” — say, in poorer nations that have no good alternatives…
(17 July 2013)

Unprecedented extremes and warmest decade since modern measurements: grim report from World Meteorological Organisation

Steve Connor, The Independent
The past 10 years were the warmest since the start of modern measurements 160 years ago and it was also a decade of unprecedented extremes in the climate according to a report by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

Heatwaves in Europe and Russia, hurricane Katrina in the United States, tropical cyclones in South East Asia, droughts in the Amazon, Australia and East Africa and floods in Pakistan were all features of the last decade indicating a shift in the climate, the WMO said…
(3 July 2013)

Recessions make climate change costlier, Hope family research finds

Dana Nuccitelli, The Guardian
The father-son duo of Chris and Mat Hope have published a study in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Climate Change with the counter-intuitive finding that the relative costs of climate change are higher in a world with slower economic growth…

Growing up, Mat Hope learned from his father about the growing consensus amongst climate science and economics experts that humans are causing global warming (now over 97 percent agreement) and that the costs of climate damage will be high. Mat didn’t understand why policymakers were failing to act on this supposed expert consensus and began to research the subject for himself…
(12 July 2013)

Can Republicans Take the Lead on Climate Change?

Leon Kaye, Triple Pundit
Many, in what is generally a politically center-right leaning business community, are starting to take on climate change, but the GOP still views such talk as heresy. Nevermind the historic fact the Republicans were often the party to lead on environmental issues: Theodore Roosevelt championed the American national park system and Richard Nixon presided over the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Even the Reagan (ozone) and Bush 41 (acid rain) administrations achieved some environmental legislation. Not all that long ago, progressives were Republicans, not Democrats.

Republicans on Capitol Hill, however, will not tackle climate change despite the overriding scientific evidence. Between the Tea Party and the Koch brothers, any Republican who dares to discuss climate change may as well bow out of the next election and join Edward Snowden—look what happened to South Carolina Republican Bob Inglis during the 2010 midterm election.

But there are Republicans who believe in climate change. Could a game changer similar to a Nixon moment (China) or a Clinton moment (welfare reform) occur? An op-ed written by a Capitol Hill staffer writing under a pseudonym suggests the GOP could tackle climate change via free market principles…
(16 July 2013)

Reuters Exposed: Publication Openly Hostile To Climate Coverage, Top Editor Doubts Climate Science

Kiley Kroh, Climate Progress
David Fogarty, former Reuters climate change correspondent in Asia, came forward on Monday to describe the hostility he faced inside the organization toward any climate-related story. According to Fogarty, “from very early in 2012, I was repeatedly told that climate and environment stories were no longer a top priority for Reuters and I was asked to look at other areas. Being stubborn, and passionate about my climate change beat, I largely ignored the directive.”

Fogarty offers an inside look at the growing “climate of fear” within Reuters and its reticence to cover one of the most pressing issues of our time — a shift that ultimately led to his departure.
(16 July 2013)
Read Fogerty’s article

Australian Leader Scraps Tax on Carbon Emissions

Matt Siegel, New York Times
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia announced a plan Tuesday to replace a deeply unpopular tax on carbon emissions with a market-based trading system a full year ahead of schedule.

The decision to scrap the politically toxic tax, which narrowly passed into law with the support of the minority Greens Party, is the most significant policy change unveiled by Mr. Rudd since he regained the leadership of the nation from Julia Gillard in a party coup last month. The announcement comes as a raft of new polls show his Labor Party running neck and neck with the opposition for elections scheduled for Sept. 14…

(16 July 2013)

Seas may rise 2.3 meters per degree of global warming: report

Erik Kirschbaum, Reuters
Sea levels could rise by 2.3 meters for each degree Celsius that global temperatures increase and they will remain high for centuries to come, according to a new study by the leading climate research institute, released on Monday.

Anders Levermann said his study for the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research was the first to examine evidence from climate history and combine it with computer simulations of contributing factors to long-term sea-level increases: thermal expansion of oceans, the melting of mountain glaciers and the melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets…
(15 July 2013)

Old Tactic in New Climate Campaign

Justin Gills, New York Times
It was a single word tucked into a presidential speech. It went by so fast that most Americans probably never heard it, much less took the time to wonder what it meant.

But to certain young ears, the word had the shock value of a rifle shot. The reference occurred late in President Obama’s climate speech at Georgetown University two weeks ago, in the middle of this peroration:

“Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution. Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices. Invest. Divest. Remind folks there’s no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth.”…
(9 July 2013)