The Stream, November 30: Climate Change, Energy, and the Hottest Years on Record

The United Kingdom has been secretly lending its support to Canada’s tar sands agenda, the Guardian reported after obtaining documents through freedom of information laws. Canada has been looking for support in Europe ahead of a vote on fuel quality regulations that would label oil from tar sands as dirtier than other types of fuels.

Energy company Total plans to challenge the French ban on hydraulic fracturing, a method used to extract underground deposits of natural gas that critics say could harm water quality, UPI reported.

Climate Change
2011 is set to be the 10th hottest year on record, meaning that the warmest 13 years on the books have occurred in the past 15 years, Bloomberg News reported.

Pakistan, Guatemala and Colombia top the list of countries most at risk from climate change, AlertNet reported, citing the 2010 Germanwatch risk index released at this week’s climate talks in Durban, South Africa. Climate change effects will also be strong in Poland, Oman, Portugal, China, Russia, Honduras and Tajikistan.

Asian countries must address climate risks quickly, an Asian Development Bank official told Reuters. Floods, droughts and rising sea levels are plaguing the region, where 30 million people were displaced by environmental disasters in 2010.

Despite the near-term threats, the global climate talks in Durban, South Africa are at a stalemate as rich, developed countries square off against poorer, developing nations, Xinhua reported.

The Stream is a daily digest spotting global water trends. To get more water news, follow Circle of Blue on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

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