Renewable Standard Put On The Table At Climate Talks

A measure to set a global renewable energy standard of 25% was introduced at the Cancun climate talks at the same time progress appears to be inching forward on other objectives: establishing a $100 billion a year fund to help poorer countries adapt to climate change and emissions monitoring.

Forbes has the energy standard story , Associated Press issued the update on the climate fund and Huffington Post has some stuff. The 12-day 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference wraps up Friday, and it is too early to determine probable outcomes. However, negotiations may pick up this week as countries send in more high-powered officials.

But the New York Times said this year's event is notably calm, possibly because expectations are low, although some Greenpeace members stuck their heads in the sand to mock climate skeptics.

"No mob of activists dressed as polar bears has blocked the entrance to the negotiating hall. No country has brought a plenary session to a standstill over a pitched procedural battle. And at least one hyperventilated rumor of a 'secret text' (an apparent reference to an accord reached in secret last year) was batted down almost as quickly as it began," The Times story states.

The United States has pledged $300 million to invest in renewable-energy projects in developing countries (but will it live up to that pledge?), and Canada has said it will dedicate $400 million to help emerging nations. India has emerged as a broker to bridge a narrowing gap between China and the U.S. when it comes to measuring emissions, while cities and some regions are taking it upon themselves to set serious emission standards.

Many people deny or question the evidence around climate change, but that hasn't slowed down the release of some rather dire reports.

Those include this one that predicts more violent wildfires; fears that small island countries will disappear under rising seas ("Even when we're underwater, when the bubbles pop, you'll hear us yelling," said one representative of an island nation who was peeved at slow progress toward consensus); and this from scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The Scripps scientists say more CO2 in the atmosphere is making oceans more acidic - and threatens sea urchins and sea animals with shells.
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