Climate change an opportunity for innovation and growth: Over many years, scientists have gathered evidence that makes the case that climate change is real and that people are causing it. For some time, this evidence has been irrefutable. People in Australia and around the world have been calling for action — and in their everyday lives, taking action themselves. Businesses have been looking at the looming threat of climate change — and at the opportunities it presents — and also taking action for themselves. Most of the talk about the economic impact of climate change has been of the potential threat. Yet we should also look to the opportunity for growth — for innovation, for a modern economy. Australia is blessed with resources to exploit developments in clean energy, and we have the scientists, engineers and capacity to deliver. Penny Wong in The Age

India’s climate change roadmap to be ready in June: India will unveil in June a national plan to deal with the threat of global warming, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Thursday, but it will not commit to any emission targets that risk slowing economic growth. Singh’s Council on Climate Change will look at setting up a venture capital fund to promote green technologies, increasing energy efficiency and combating the possible impact of climate change on millions of India’s poor. “India is prepared to commit that our per-capita carbon emissions will never exceed the average per-capita emissions of developed industrial economies,” Singh told a summit on sustainable development in New Delhi. Reuters

UK warms to climate change aid: on developing countries tenfold to £100m over the next five years, the international development secretary, Douglas Alexander, said yesterday. The move follows a warning in a United Nations development programme report that climate change would have catastrophic effects on poor countries and reverse decades of development gains. Alexander said: “Climate change is a defining global social justice issue. If we fail to tackle climate change, we risk condemning the world’s poorest people to poverty for generations to come.” Guardian

How green is your mountain?: The bright sun, the cold crisp air, the thrill of schussing down a snow-packed mountain surrounded by powder and pine. On the surface, there would seem to be few better ways to celebrate Nordic nature than with a ski vacation–until you consider the wildlife displaced by the trails, the ecosystems destroyed by artificial snow and the energy-hungry lifts, snow machines and hotels that are an integral part of a skiing holiday. Not to mention the miles in the SUV to get everyone there. Ski resorts by their very nature have a pretty big carbon footprint. They are also an industry that takes a direct hit from global warming. According to the Swiss Federal Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research, based in Davos, rising temperatures are leading to changes in snowfall patterns: Alpine areas below 1,600 m (5,250 ft.) now receive 20% less snow than in previous decades. On the slopes in the U.S. and Europe, the season is shorter, and in Scotland there has been so little snow that ski resorts are being turned into mountain-biking courses. Time

Clearing land for biofuels makes global warming worse: Growing crops to make biofuels may accelerate global warming, not slow down its effects, a new study says. When farmers clear native ecosystems such as forests or grasslands to grow crops, this gives off substantial amounts of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas that fuels climate change. Biofuels such as ethanol from corn and biodiesel from palm oil typically start out with a “carbon debt.”  Before these biofuels could reduce individual carbon dioxide emissions, they would first have to pay off this debt, which would take decades or centuries. National Geographic

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