François Hollande

Momentum Builds for Paris Agreement as US, India and France Set to Ratify Climate Deal 'As Soon As Possible'

PM Narendra Modi meets US president Barack Obama on the sidelines of COP21 in Paris

India has joined the US in pledging to ratify the Paris Agreement “as soon as possible this year” following talks on Tuesday in the White House between the countries’ leaders.

This comes as France is set become the first G7 and G20 nation to ratify the climate deal as the country’s senate votes today on a ratification bill.

Many hope these moves will encourage other rich nations to follow suit in order to bring the Paris Agreement into effect sooner than originally intended.

Historic Paris Climate Deal ‘Major Leap for Mankind’

BY KYLA MANDEL AND BRENDAN MONTAGUE IN PARIS

An historic deal to limit global warming to “well below 2C” and to make every effort to keep temperate increase to 1.5C will be agreed by 195 nations today in Paris.

The Paris Agreement will be ambitious, differentiated and legally binding, with five year review mechanisms to scale up efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

French President Francois Hollande said: “It is rare in a lifetime to have the opportunity to change the world. You have this opportunity so that our planet can live a long time, so that we can live a long time.”

Fracking Making Its Way Toward the UK

To date, opposition to hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for unconventional oil and gas in the United Kingdom (UK) has been fierce. The opposition, though, seems to be meeting deaf ears in England, according to recent news reports. 

Bloomberg reported on Dec. 4 that England's Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, wants to lift the country's currently exisiting moratorium on fracking. The halt was put in place after drilling sites owned by Cuadrilla Resources caused two minor earthquakes in northwestern England in November 2011.

England's Chancellor of the Exchequer (a position equivalent to the Secretary of the Treasury in the United States), George Osborne, is set to release Britain's new energy plan on Dec. 5 and told Bloomberg he wants to ensure “Britain is not left behind” in the unconventional oil and gas boom.  

“Cuadrilla estimates that the area it is exploring in Lancashire, in northwestern England, could contain 200 trillion cubic feet of gas—more gas than all of Iraq,” explained Bloomberg. John Browne, the scandal-ridden former CEO of BP, sits as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cuadrilla. 

Osborne, The Independent recently reported, will also offer tax breaks to oil and gas corporations hungry to profit from England's shale gas prize. 

“Mr. Osborne hopes that tax breaks for shale gas extraction will encourage investors and help economic growth,” The Indepedent wrote. “Oil and gas are currently taxed at between 62 per cent and 81 per cent. Shale gas would be taxed at lower rates.”

An astounding 64-percent of the English countryside could soon be subject to fracking, which is over 34,000 square miles, according to The Independent

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