From time to time the BBC gets itself into an awful mess over climate change. Unnecessarily so, given that it has visited and revisited principles of good coverage, repeatedly arriving at more or less the same conclusions. Back in 2007, a report for the BBC Trust, then the corporation’s regulator, concluded that the old bipolar world of “the climate change debate” had gone. The working model had to change, as the title put it, From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel : “the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus. But these dissenters (or even sceptics) will still be heard, as they should.” Four years later, the Trust’s review of accuracy and impartiality in science coverage , commissioned from geneticist Professor Steve Jones, reached very similar conclusions. Both reports were accepted by BBC managers. Both contain much that is common sense. And then there are the editorial guidelines, which are very clear that the guiding principle is “due impartiality”, rather than equal weight. Climate science, though, is just part of the picture. The corporation’s coverage of energy could do with an infusion of new thinking on issues linked to climate change. Mercifully the stream of claims that “the lights will go out” as Britain adopts more and more renewable energy appears to have stopped. But which of the BBC’s correspondents knows that energy bills have gone down over the past decade? Not those who last year covered the government-commissioned Helm Review of energy prices, which led to Radio 4 claiming that “bills have doubled over the past decade”. Where is coverage, also, of the existential risk posed to oil companies – and therefore our pension funds – by the tumbling prices of renewable energy and electric cars? This is now standard fare for the FT, Economist, Telegraph, Reuters, Bloomberg … But the BBC has yet to catch on that a transformation of the entire global energy system is a big story.
Guardian 10th Sept 2018 read more »
Bangkok climate talks: key outcomes on the Paris Agreement ‘rulebook. Time is running short for countries to decide the practical details of how the Paris Agreement will be brought to life, known as the Paris “rulebook”. Negotiators meeting in Bangkok have just concluded another round of climate talks. The key aim was to whittle down a series of lengthy documents into a set of clear options for politicians to choose from when they meet later this year.
Carbon Brief 10th Sept 2018 read more »
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has said that if the world doesn’t change course by 2020, we run the risk of runaway climate change. Mr Guterres said he was alarmed by the paralysis of world leaders on what he called the “defining issue” of our time. He wants heads of government to come to New York for a special climate conference next September. The call comes amid growing concerns over the slow pace of UN negotiations. Mr Guterres painted a grim picture of the impacts of climate change that he says have been felt all over the world this year, with heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods leaving a trail of destruction.
BBC 10th Sept 2018 read more »
The UN secretary-general has sounded the alarm on climate change, warning that there could be a $2tn loss in productivity in the global economy by 2030 due to the effects of a hotter world. “We are careering towards the edge of the abyss,” said António Guterres in a speech on Monday. “Extreme heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods are leaving a trail of death and devastation.”His remarks come at a time when the global climate talks are struggling to reach an agreement over how to implement the Paris climate agreement that was signed by more than 180 countries, which aims to limit the increase in global temperature to well below two degrees.
FT 10th Sept 2018 read more »
An international meeting in Bangkok fell short of its aim of completing fruitful preparations to help an agreement be reached in December on guidelines for implementing the 2015 Paris climate change agreement. The six-day meeting, which ended on Sunday, was scheduled to step up progress in the battle against rising global carbon emissions by adopting a completed text that could be presented at the COP24 conference in Katowice, Poland, three months from now. A primary objective of the 2015 Paris agreement, to which 190 nations subscribe, is to limit the global temperature increase by 2100 to less than 2C and as close as possible to 1.5C, which is vital to the survival of island nations threatened by rising seas. But the absence of guidelines for meeting that goal has led to fears that not enough action is being taken. There have been notable disagreements over fair financing for implementation of the rules by developing countries, and the technical details of their reporting on progress. Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said on Sunday at the closing press briefing for the Bangkok meeting that progress was made on most issues but nothing was finalised. The meeting was attended by representatives of most of the countries party to the Paris agreement, as well as the United States, which has announced that it is pulling out of the pact.
Guardian 10th Sept 2018 read more »
Cross-party call on emissions can put UK ‘at forefront for investment’ A cross-party group of politicians are calling on the Government to set a target to cut overall greenhouse gas emissions to zero before 2050. Some 132 MPs and 51 peers have signed a letter organised by Conservative MP Simon Clarke.
Energy Voice 11th Sept 2018 read more »