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    November 16, 2005
    by phil
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    What needs to come next after the first Kyoto Protocol period expires in 2012? If we agree that 2 degrees centigrade is the maximum limit beyond which dangerous climate change takes hold – and that to avoid this we need to stabilise emissions of all greenhouse gases at around 400ppmv (CO2 equivalent) – then it is clear that we urgently need a much stronger agreement if we are to reverse the current global trend of rising emissions.

    How do we avoid the arguments about the amounts of greenhouse gases that individual nations are able to emit and make sure that we do not end up with another inadequate agreement?

    Under the Contraction & Convergence solution, a scientifically-informed emissions reduction curve is drawn up which results in every person on the planet ending up with an equal right to emit. We speak to the architect of the scheme, Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute.

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    November 9, 2005
    by phil
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    The first in a series of shows looking forward to the UN climate change discussions in Montreal takes a look at the need to set internationally agreed thresholds which will give us the targets we need to avoid dangerous climate change. We speak to Simon Retallack of the International Climate Change Task Force who tells us that we need to keep warming within 2 degrees centigrade if we are to avoid:

    • irreversible loss of the Amazon rainforest and 95% of coral reefs
    • global food insecurity
    • a third of the world’s population facing the threat of water scarcity
    • and ‘positive’ feedbacks that would result in much greater levels of warming

    Will the talks in Montreal result in an agreement on such limits and thereby set the framework for binding targets that might help us avoid disaster? What are we to make of Tony Blair’s recent pronouncements against binding targets? What will the EU be taking to the negotiating table?

    For more information, see Setting a Long-Term Climate Objective by Simon Retallack for the International Climate Change Taskforce

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    August 31, 2005
    by phil
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    Climate Confidential looks at two topics that have a bearing on the price of oil:

    We talk to award-winning journalist Greg Palast about his investigation for BBC Newsnight and Harpers magazine on the battle within the Bush Administration about what to do with Iraq’s oil. Palast uncovered a destructive tug of war between the neo-cons and Big Oil about whether or not to privatise Iraq’s oil and whether or not to break the OPEC cartel. As always he has the documents to prove it.

    Secondly we have an interview with one of the leading lights of the Peak Oil debate. Colin Campbell helped found London-based Oil Depletion Analysis Centre after having worked as Chief Geologist for Amoco and Vice President for Fina. He tells us why he thinks we are in for a bumpy ride as we adjust to an oil era that is coming to an end.

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    August 17, 2005
    by phil
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    Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, has set a tough but necessary target for London to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 20% (from 1990 levels) by 2010.The Mayor has set a tough but necessary target for London to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by 20% (from 1990 levels) by 2010.

    We speak to Mark Watts, one of Ken Livingstone’s energy advisors, about what else the Greater London Authority has up its sleeve to meet this demanding challenge.

    We also speak to Nusrat Yousuf from Camden council to find out about their plans to put five wind turbines on top of the town hall extension in King’s Cross as well as their wider plans for reducing emissions across the borough.

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    August 10, 2005
    by phil
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    In Woking, a small commuter town just 29 miles south of London, Allan Jones has made great strides in energy efficiency and cuts in greenhouse gases that has set a model for cities all over the world.

    Over a thirteen year period from 1990 he halved Woking Council’s energy consumption and reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 77%, saving the council over £1M per year. In the town as a whole he achieved a 17% reduction in CO2 emissions.

    How did he do it? Allan Jones MBE is now the Chief Development Officer of London’s new Climate Change Agency. How does he intend to translate his vision for a low-carbon town of 100,000 people to a low-carbon capital with a population of 7.4 million?

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    August 3, 2005
    by phil
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    The government is committed to a 60% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. The Chief Scientist Sir David King has said that to avoid the worst effects of climate change that might have to be increased to 80%.

    Power supply in the UK is being reduced as old nuclear power station reach the end of their lives; and from 2008 most coal power stations will be forced to shut down when the EU’s Large Combustion Plant directive takes effect.

    The nuclear industry has promoted itself as the solution to these challenges. It says that a new generation of nuclear power stations is the best solution for the UK’s future energy needs.

    We examine these claims and look at the alternatives. Does the case for nuclear stack up?

    We talk to David Woodward, co-author of Oasis and Mirage, a critical report on nuclear which was published in June by the New Economics Foundation; and Jonathon Leake, Environment Editor of the Sunday Times about the PR offensive that the nuclear industry has launched to reposition itself as the answer to all our problems.

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    July 27, 2005
    by phil
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    The Tyndall Centre has said that unconstrained growth in aviation might make it impossible for us to meet our long term targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

    We hear from Peter Riding of Stop Stansted Expansion about the struggle of the local community to prevent a new runway being built at Stansted Airport – and why he thinks they will win.

    We ask Karen Buck MP at the Department for Transport why the UK’s aviation policy is running in the opposite direction to our commitment to tackle climate change. Is the Department for Transport putting economic growth before environmental limits?

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    July 20, 2005
    by phil
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    Aviation is by far and away the most environmentally damaging form of transport. At a time when we need to be urgently and dramatically reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, the British government is planning a massive expansion in civil aviation.

    What on Earth is going on?

    • We ask Brian Hoskins of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution just why aviation is so damaging.
    • We ask the Chair of the Environment Audit Committee, Peter Ainsworth MP, what the government should be doing.
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    July 13, 2005
    by phil
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    After the G8, we ask Michael Meacher MP, former environment minister; Bob Ward, spokesperson, Royal Society; and Simon Retallack, International Climate Change Taskforce/IPPR: what is the pathway now for achieving the international agreement we urgently need to avoid the worst effects of climate change?

    We assess the final G8 communique and action plan on climate change and look beyond to the UN talks in Montreal starting 28 November where serious post-Kyoto talks will begin.

    We also look at a major new report looking at the link between oil extraction and debt in developing countries and the Climate Change Bill – launched at the House of Commons today (13th July 2005) by Michael Meacher MP – which would make annual CO2 reductions binding. The bill is supported by a coalition of organisations including WWF, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth, Transport 2000, Help the Aged and World Development Movement.

    For more on the Climate Change Bill campaign see: www.thebigask.com

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    July 6, 2005
    by phil
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    We look at the likely G8 deal on climate change. Will it be worth the paper it’s written on? We discuss this with:

    • Simon Retallack of the International Climate Change Taskforce
    • George Monbiot, author and Guardian columnist
    • Catherine Pearce, Climate Campaigner, Friends of the Earth International
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