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New E.U. climate chief must deal with both global warming and energy, a difficult job

Environmentalists yesterday gave mixed reviews to the former Spanish environment minister selected to succeed Connie Hedegaard as the European Union's top climate change official.

Miguel Arias Cañete will serve as the European Union's next commissioner for climate action and energy, a position that for the first time bundles the two major portfolios. Under it, analysts said they expect to see Cañete juggling the threat to gas supplies from Russia with negotiations toward a 2015 global climate change agreement.


Absence of some world leaders at climate summit may not lessen their commitments

U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres said yesterday that she is not worried that the leaders of China and India are electing to skip a key global warming summit this month.

Speaking as part of a business event leading up to the Sept. 23 summit, Figueres said the private sector must see a "strong signal from governments" that green policies will work hand in hand with clean investment. But, she insisted, some of the world's top greenhouse gas emitters can still send that message even if their leaders sit out the event.


Atmosphere's GHG concentration continues to climb, despite reductions from some nations

Despite some recent regional reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and other industrial nations, the total concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continues its upward march at an unprecedented rate, the World Meteorological Organization announced today.

Compared to the preindustrial era of the 1750s, the Earth's atmosphere is now choked with 142 percent more carbon dioxide, 253 percent more methane and 121 percent more nitrous oxide, the WMO reported in the release of its annual bulletin on greenhouse gas. Last year, the warming effect on the climate saw a 34 percent increase since 1990 levels.


The man who starts the dealmaking for the 2015 climate pact is a 'complete optimist'

Despite the number of key world leaders expected to be absent from the U.N. secretary-general's world leaders' summit on climate change this month, the incoming president of the next round of global warming negotiations predicts success.

Peruvian Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal told ClimateWire that he is not overly concerned by reports that the leaders of India, China, Australia and Germany are reportedly sending ministers to the Sept. 23 summit in New York. He argued that those countries are nevertheless engaged in the climate talks and said he expects the leaders who do attend to help propel the debate around a new global agreement to be signed in 2015.


Europe pushes Obama admin to move beyond voluntary emissions controls

A new international climate change agreement must avert catastrophic global warming, and the only way to do that is with a legally binding treaty, European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said yesterday.

In an interview with ClimateWire, Hedegaard said the European Union will insist upon an ambitious deal in 2015 that is legally binding for all countries, even if that is at odds with the Obama administration's efforts to develop a more voluntary agreement that does not need to be approved by the U.S. Congress.

About this report

E&E tracks work on a post-Kyoto agreement for curbing emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.


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