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Climate Change News

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Fate of the WorldAn Oxfordshire company is challenging people to save the planet from climate change through a computer game.

The games developer Red Redemption has created 'Fate of the World' which puts the Earth's future in players' hands. Gobion Rowlands, the company's founder, said: "We're getting an amazing reaction for the game. "There's worldwide attention. Everything we do is for a global audience but we're most at home in Oxford. "Oxford is core to everything we do and the university has been amazingly supportive."

Series of missions

In 'Fate of the World' the player must find a way to protect Earth's dwindling resources and climate over a period of 200 years. As head of the Global Environment Organisation the gamer must find ways to meet the needs of an increasing population and complete a series of missions to save the human race. "It's a follow up to a game we did in 2007 called Climate Challenge. We found that 9 out of 10 players first time through caused maximum destruction!

Read more: Climate change computer game released by Oxford company

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Investments in renewable energy will be able to help lift a large chunk of Asia Pacific’s population out of energy poverty, said energy experts on Wednesday.

One fifth of Apac’s population – some 800 million – still lack reliable access to energy.

“While everyone is talking about large-scale renewable energy projects, we should not forget that some people don’t have basic access to electricity,” said Jiwan Acharya, Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) climate change specialist.

He was speaking at the Clean Energy Expo Asia, held in Singapore this week, which brings policymakers and energy experts together to discuss key issues in the areas of sustainable energy in the Asia-Pacific region.

Read more: Energy poverty in Asia-Pacific must be tackled

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Bandar Seri Begawan - Developing nations, particularly those lying near the equator, will need to adapt to increasing higher temperatures as the impacts of climate change threaten their agricultural output, and in turn, food security.

A visiting professor from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) who spoke on the topic during the inaugural Farmers' and Fishermen's Day yesterday told The Brunei Times that such countries, the Sultanate among them, would need to look towards new technologies, even turning to genetically-modified crops, as well as ensuring free trade to overcome the effects of global warming on food security.

Read more: Climate Change Puts Food Security At Risk

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The idea of imposing a carbon tax here is now in the study stage, Senior Minister of State (Trade and Industry) S Iswaran said yesterday.

While a global agreement may not materialise at the coming United Nations climate change talks, Mr Iswaran said: "Singapore is studying this because we need to be prepared for the eventuality that an agreement may be made internationally on carbon emissions."

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday that applying a carbon price to send the right price signals would be a part of Singapore's energy landscape should there be a global treaty. 

Read more: Carbon tax idea in study stage

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Singapore will ramp up plans to develop manpower for the clean energy industry, and will train over 2,000 specialists in the next five years.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this at the opening of a new S$2.5 billion solar manufacturing facility - the largest clean tech investment ever made in Singapore.

Singapore identified clean energy as a major growth area for the economy in 2007. And it is committing some S$350 million to support this effort. 

Read more: S'pore to train more clean energy specialists, says PM Lee

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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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