True scale of C02 emissions from shipping revealed: The true scale of climate change emissions from shipping is almost three times higher than previously believed, according to a leaked UN study seen by the Guardian. It calculates that annual emissions from the world’s merchant fleet have already reached 1.12bn tonnes of CO₂, or nearly 4.5% of all global emissions of the main greenhouse gas. The report suggests that shipping emissions – which are not taken into account by European targets for cutting global warming – will become one of the largest single sources of manmade CO₂after cars, housing, agriculture and industry. By comparison, the aviation industry, which has been under heavy pressure to clean up, is responsible for about 650m tonnes of CO₂emissions a year, just over half that from shipping. Guardian

Exposed: The long, cruel road to the slaughterhouse: Millions of animals are suffering unnecessarily at the hands of meat traders by enduring cruel, drawn-out journeys across the world to be slaughtered on arrival. The alarming evidence of their suffering has been revealed after a secret investigation by 10 major animal charities, including the RSCPA, Compassion in World Farming and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA). In shocking footage, animals including horses, pigs, sheep and chickens are seen being transported thousands of miles across the world, when they could as easily be carried as meat. Thousands of animals die en route from disease, heat exhaustion, hunger and stress. The others escape the intolerable conditions only to confront, immediately, the butcher’s knife. Independent

Presidential campaigns have climate change on agenda: Now that Sen. John McCain is the presumptive GOP nominee, all three of the leading presidential candidates seem likely to tackle climate change in a way that clearly will distinguish the next president from the George W. Bush administration. Senator McCain was one of the first on Capitol Hill, and one of the few of his party, to acknowledge the reality of global warming and the need to act quickly. His position on the issue is one reason why hard-core conservatives have been suspicious of McCain. As a result, Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are rushing to present themselves as greener than the Arizona Republican. Christian Science Monitor

Defeating climate change by air: Wanted: one Churchill. Job description: to vanquish climate change. Apply to: Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group. The Virgin Atlantic chief told the United Nations this week that he was planning to set up a “war room” on climate change. Funded with a few million dollars of his own money, the organisation will consider “new and radical” ideas on climate change. He warned global warming would only be tackled if people took it as seriously as they did the British effort to win the second world war. Sir Richard is tight-lipped on his favourites for the post of “the new Churchill” needed to head the war room, but Al Gore might have some free time while, if former British prime minister Tony Blair doesn’t get to be president of Europe, he too will be looking for a new challenge. Financial Times

Obama: climate change and coal country: Is Sen. Barack Obama’s climate policy about to collide with his electoral strategy? Watch Ohio. The bellwether state holds its primary March 4, and has become a crucial battleground after Sen. Obama’s Potomac sweep. It’s also quintessential coal country, and not likely to cotton to the Illinois senator’s increasingly strident calls for quick and drastic action on climate change. Sen. Obama says he wants to put the White House back at the epicenter of the global warming debate, and create a G-8-style club led by Washington to tackle climate change. He backs the strictest greenhouse-gas emissions bill pending on Capitol Hill, one of two he co-sponsors. Although neither of the bills he supports call for it, he says he wants 100% auctioning of emissions permits from day one. That means emissions permits wouldn’t be given away to big industry and power companies, but sold—with the cost almost certainly being passed back to the consumer. WSJ   

Peter Fray

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