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Climate Change News

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The wrath of Nature has been starkly evident this year, from the catastrophic Haitian and Chilean earthquakes to the most severe floods in five decades that inundated half of Thailand, killed more than 90 people and affected millions more. Indonesia's tsunami has displaced thousands and killed 435 with more than 100 more still missing.

Bill Clinton took the opportunity to note the link between (non-earthquake) natural disasters and climate change in The 2010 Clinton Global Initiative, where the topic of the meeting was largely skewed toward addressing disaster relief, especially natural disasters. The former US president noted how global warming was set to increase the frequency of natural disasters such as floods, heatwaves, and hurricanes. "The incidence of economically devastating natural disasters will accelerate around the world with the changing of the climate," he warned.

Read more: Supply Chain response to Climate change

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Asia must embrace clean energy for the sake of its own security, said an Asian Development Bank official on Tuesday.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Clean Energy Expo Asia 2010, ADB’s WooChong Um told the audience that the growth of Asian economies has led to an equally large increase in energy demand which is being met through the use of fossil fuels.

This, in turn, has increased the dependence of the region on oil – the market for which has historically been shown to be unstable, especially as global reserves of fossil fuels dwindle. More dangerously, high oil prices have been shown to significantly impact economic growth.

“Clearly, over-reliance on fossil fuels places Asia in a very precarious situation with regards to energy security,” said Mr Um, who is deputy director of the ADB’s Regional and Sustainable Development Department.

Read more: Clean energy a matter of security for Asia: ADB

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Major cities around the world have agreed to report their carbon emissions data and share the information with other cities to tackle climate change on a global scale.

Forty member cities of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and 19 affiliate members will report data to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), allowing members to manage risks, further reduce carbon and adopt strategies that safeguard the future of cities.

Read more: Global cities commit to reporting carbon emissions reductions

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Moratorium on schemes to reduce global warming clashes with reports urging more research.

A last-ditch remedy for an ailing planet, or a reckless scheme that could be a greater threat to life on Earth than the problem it aims to solve? Opinions are sharply divided on geoengineering — potential massive interventions in the global climate system, intended to forestall the worst effects of climate change.

Last week, participants in the international Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) made their views clear at a meeting in Nagoya, Japan. They included in their agreement to protect biodiversity a moratorium on geo engineering "until there is an adequate scientific basis on which to justify such activities and appropriate consideration of the associated risks". The moratorium, expected to be in force by 2012, isn't legally binding, and given the preliminary nature of studies in the area it is unlikely to affect researchers in the near future. But some scientists fear that the CBD's stance will sow confusion and delay at a time when governments and research groups are exploring how geo engineering might feasibly be undertaken if global warming accelerates disastrously.

Read more: Geoengineering faces ban

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Following the introduction of the National Policy on Climate Change in August, Malaysia has begun implementing its road map to reduce emissions by up to 40% by 2020.

This follows a pledge by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen last year.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Douglas Ugah Embas said under this plan, the government would also draw up a comprehensive and detailed road map to address the climate change issue in the long term.

Read more: Malaysia begins cutting emissions by 40%: Douglas Ugah

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Hundreds of country planners, technocrats, local government leaders, legislators, academicians, scientists, civil society movers and other development partners across the country gather here Wednesday for the start of a three-day summit towards mainstreaming the country’s climate change adaptation (CCA) program.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, a topnotch economist and financial analysts who was recently named senior global champion of Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) by the United Nations (UN), will lead the province in playing host to the affair, dubbed LGU (Local Government Unit) Summit+3i.

This year’s title of summit carries along the symbol “+3i” to signify that the CAA program started by Albay in 2007 is radiating in all three main islands of the country — Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao –, Salceda, who had also assumed the title “green economist”, explained.

Read more: Salceda gathers stakeholders to mainstream RP’s climate change program

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The National Metrology Centre (NMC) of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) have jointly set up a national Metrology in Chemistry (MiC) infrastructure. Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education, Mr S. Iswaran announced the launch of the MiC infrastructure at the Metrology in Chemistry- Essential for Pollution Control and Climate Change Monitoring symposium on 3 November 2010. This event is in conjunction with a one-week international event comprising workshops, symposia and meetings held in Singapore for the first time from 1 to 5 November 2010.

Read more: Singapore Launches Infrastructure for Metrology in Chemistry (MiC) to Realise Accurate, Traceable...

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Thailand Flood

A flooded street on Ko Kret island, Nonthaburi province, on the outskirts of Bangkok. Photograph: Narong Sangnak/EPA

 

Downpours that caused rivers to burst around Thailand have killed 94 people in nearly two weeks of flooding, which officials say is the worst in decades. It has affected more than 3 million people in 36 of Thailand's 76 provinces, according to government medical and disaster agencies.

In Bangkok, more than 4 million sandbags were erected into walls along stretches of the Chao Phraya River, which swelled with runoffs from upper provinces. The precautions held and the city had only minor flooding.

Read more: Bangkok faces severe flooding

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Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei will increase its environmental drive by initiating a "No Plastic Weekend", expected to start in the first quarter of next year.

As a continuation of the country's first-ever "No Plastic Day" carried out in May this year, the environment-friendly initiative would be launched in stages, said the Minister of Development at the "Green Carnival 2010" yesterday.

Pehin Orang Kaya Indera Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suyoi Haji Osman announced in his speech that the Department of Environment, Parks and Recreation (Jastre) had discussed with major superstores and shops in the country about the continuation of the campaign.

The drive is soliciting the support and cooperation of businesses, said the minister. Pehin Dato Hj Suyoi said the environmental issues had become a universal problem and that the world was under constant threat of climate change. He said that Brunei was no exception. The minister cited a 2005 study by Jastre that Bruneians on average produce 1.4 kgs of waste a day.

Read more: 'No Plastic Weekend' Early Next Year Likely

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Australia will invest A$160 million over five years in a major road transport project in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam’s food bowl, representing the largest single Australian aid activity in Southeast Asia, the Australian Embassy Hanoi said Monday.

The project, called the Central Mekong Delta Connectivity Project, will link people and markets across the Mekong Delta to the rest of Southeast Asia and beyond, according to the Australian Embassy.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced this funding during her meeting with Vietnamese leaders on weekend in Hanoi, the embassy said. The Australian PM attended the ASEAN-Australia Summit on the sidelines of the 17th summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Hanoi on October 30.

Read more: Australia says will fund A$160 mln for Mekong Delta transport

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