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Forestry and climate change bulletin

Plants and trees head for the hills to escape global warming (Guardian 26 June).  Trees, shrubs and other plants that make up mountainside forests are shifting to higher ground to escape the warming climate, researchers have found.  Common species found on mountain ranges across Europe have steadily spread to higher altitudes during the 20th century, thriving on land that is on average 29m higher each decade, records show.  French scientists who examined plant records for six mountainous regions, including the western Alps and northern Pyrenees, said their findings point to the dramatic affect climate change is having on plant life.

Brown unveils £100bn green vision (Financial Times 27 June).  The UK's manufacturing sector could be revived through investment in low-carbon technologies, according to government plans unveiled yesterday (26 June).

Ancient oak trees help reduce global warming (Science Daily 28 June).  The battle to reduce carbon emissions is at the heart of many eco-friendly efforts, and researchers from the University of Missouri have discovered that nature has been lending a hand. Researchers at the Missouri Tree Ring Laboratory in the Department of Forestry discovered that trees submerged in freshwater aquatic systems store carbon for thousands of years, a significantly longer period of time than trees that fall in a forest, thus keeping carbon out of the atmosphere.

IFPRI launches new climate change webpage focusing on adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.  Global climate change poses great risks to poor people whose livelihoods depend directly on agriculture, forestry, and other natural resource uses. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has launched a new Climate Change webpage that features its research on the assessment of, adaptation to, and mitigation of these risks.

Forestry claims role in carbon trading ( Business Day 30 June).  Australian forestry is a net carbon sink and its inclusion in the national emissions trading scheme (ETS) could help drive international greenhouse policy.  That's a key recommendation of Australia's forestry industry in a joint submission to Professor Ross Garnaut's ETS report, which is due out this Friday.

India unveils climate change plan (BBC News 30 June).  The Indian government has unveiled a national action plan to confront the threat posed by climate change.  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the plan envisaged a gradual shift to greater reliance on sustainable sources of energy.

FT REPORT - ENERGY 2008: Consensus on climate change goals (Financial Times 30 June).  Article by Lord Browne, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and Chairman of the Accenture Global Energy Board. (Based on his speech last week at Chatham House.)  For people concerned about climate change, there is quite a lot to be gloomy about today. Short-term economic concerns - the credit crunch and high food and fuel prices - are dominating the agenda.  But there is also cause for optimism. There is momentum coming out of last December's Bali climate change summit. And a clear consensus has emerged on the policy goals that need to be agreed at next year's crucial Copenhagen meeting.

Cost of curbing climate change not as high as assumed, says UN official (UN News Service 30 June).  The price tag of addressing climate change is not as great as believed, the head of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) emphasized today (30 June).

IEA to push G8 leaders to commit to energy efficiency: director (AFP 1 July).  The head of the International Energy Agency said Tuesday he would press G8 leaders at a summit next week to adopt commitments to energy efficiency measures as part of the fight against climate change.

Climate more urgent than economy, say voters (Guardian 2 July).  Voters think that taking action against climate change matters more than tackling the global economic downturn, according to a Guardian/ICM poll published today (2 July). The results, which will delight green campaigners, suggest that support for environmental action is not collapsing as feared in the face of possible recession.

Emission control (Guardian 2 July).  The Carbon Trust, an independent company set up by the government to help Britain reduce its CO2 emissions, is to export its skills for the first time, opening an office in Beijing to help the fast-growing Chinese business sector reduce its carbon footprint.

Poor countries should set climate targets (AFP 2 July).  Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has urged developing countries, including his own, to join rich nations in setting targets to reduce emissions blamed for global warming.

Climate change boosts rainforest fire risk (ABC Rural 2 July).  Bushfires are posing an increasing threat to North Queensland's wet tropical rainforests.  Researchers from James Cook University are trying to predict the impact global warming and bushfires will have on tropical rainforest, and the drier forest nearby.

Desperate race for the rainforest (Sky News 2 July).  Report by Catherine Jacob, environment correspondent.  The Peruvian Amazon is a vast and vital place but a recent rush for its abundant resources means deforestation is happening quicker than anywhere else in South America.

Forthcoming events

20-24 October - European Forest Week