Rescuers were searching the Dallas area for anyone trapped in the rubble left behind by a string of violent tornadoes that swept through northern Texas on Tuesday, CNN reported. Up to 13 twisters are believed to have touched down in the US state, destroying at least 150 homes.
A parliamentary committee in Nepal gave the go-ahead for China Three Gorges Corporation to build a US$1.6 billion hydroelectric dam on the Seti River, wrote the Wall Street Journal.The Chinese state-owned company had threatened to pull the plug on its investment last month after the Nepalese government raised concerns over the contract bidding process.
Japan said it would delay a decision on restarting two offline nuclear reactors, as public safety fears compete with concerns over constricted power supplies, Reuters said. Energy minister Yukio Edano said more time was needed to choose a date for switching on reactors at Ohi nuclear plant, the first of 53 sites closed after the Fukushima disaster to pass government-imposed stress tests.
Reuters also reported a warning from Japanese experts that the country’s sea defences are not robust enough to meet the threat of 34-metre high tsunamis, which could be triggered by future offshore earthquakes. Two official studies offered a revised worst-case scenario, and said much higher waves could hit Japan’s coast than previously thought.
New figures compiled by the International Energy Agency (IEA), and seen by The Guardian, showed that countries in sub-Saharan Africa received less in overseas aid last year than they paid out for oil imports, following a decade of soaring prices. IEA economist Fatih Birol said the only solution is for developing countries to shift to renewable energy sources.
The British government renewed an attempt to kick start the carbon capture industry with a £1bn offer for schemes that will trap carbon dioxide from power stations and pump it underground, the BBC reported. An earlier programme to promote the technology – which is a key part of the country’s low-carbon strategy – collapsed after all nine entrants withdrew, blaming high costs.
French energy company Total was preparing to fly a team of experts to its stricken North Sea platform to assess options for stemming a leak that is spewing out 200,000 cubic metres of gas each day, Reuters said. Environmental campaigners warned the leak, which has formed a highly explosive cloud around the site, will make it harder for Scotland to meet its climate targets this year.
Climate change may be causing the Matterhorn, one of the most celebrated Alpine peaks, to physically disintegrate, a new report covered by The Independent suggested. Researchers at Zurich University said subtle shifts under the surface, triggered by melting water entering cracks and subsequent cycles of freezing and thawing, were causing lumps of rock to fall off the mountain.
Domestic environmental laws should be extended to overseas operations, says former government environment economist Hu Tao