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Pope joins U.N. in energy debate

Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 02:28

A UN energy forum is calling for urgent action on climate change, saying a lot can be achieved without much cost. Their report comes as the Pope weighs into the debate and Britain scraps all new subsidies for onshore wind farms.

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It's a big blow to renewable energy firms - Britain will scrap all new subsidies for onshore wind farms from next April. The government's decision provoked outrage from Scottish politicians, the SNP's Callum McCaig called it short-sighted. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CALLUM MCCAIG, SCOTTISH NATIONAL PARTY'S CLIMATE CHANGE SPOKESMAN, SAYING: "This could cost up top three billion pounds worth of investment in Scotland alone- that's huge in terms of investment, that's huge in terms of electricity generation and it's huge in terms of carbon reduction." The decision came as the Pope weighed into the climate change debate - issuing the first papal document on the environment. A Vatican spokesman said the problem had been looked at in great depth (SOUNDBITE) (English) EASTERN ORTHODOX METROPOLITAN JOHN ZIZIOULAS SAYING: "There is in its pages food for thought for all." His intervention was criticised by some conservatives in the U.S, including several Republican presidential candidates. But the U.N. took a different view - its Industrial Development Organisation has just released a new report suggesting carbon emissions must be reduced by 80% over the next 35 years in order to avoid a global catastrophe. The good news they say is that it can be achieved relatively easily - if the bigger or richer nations devote about 1.5 percent of their economy's GDP every year to green investments. Kandeh Yumkella is CEO of Sustainable Energy for All. SOUNDBITE: Kandeh K. Yumkella, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and CEO, Sustainable Energy of All, saying (English): "We will be encouraging governments to say look, you can extract more value production from every unit of energy you use, meaning you can become more energy efficient in the energy you use. You can be more efficient in the energy you produce which will all translate ultimately into reductions in emissions." The U.N. says demographics will dictate need. 3 billion more people will move into the middle class over the next 20 - 25 years And consumers are increasingly demanding a greener agenda. But investors have a problem, says Justin Urquhart-Stewart from Seven Investment Management. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) SEVEN INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, MARKET ANALYST, JUSTIN URQUHART-STEWART, SAYING: "These are businesses which are often subsidised or at the very least at the whim and whiff of decisions made by politicians." Britain has just demonstrated that. But with preparations underway for a global climate summit in Paris later this year it may not be applauded for its actions everywhere.

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Pope joins U.N. in energy debate

Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 02:28