World

Seven member states push for EU to raise climate targets

Germany, France and Sweden are among the countries advocating a faster transition to a clean economy, in a critical year for strengthening ambition

China reshuffle brings ‘challenges’ for national carbon market: senior official

Many more staff need training on the emissions trading system as climate policy moves to a new, enlarged environment ministry, says director Li Gao

Trump and Macron plant a tree in DC, but disagree on climate change

On a state visit to the US, French president Macron brought a green gift but showed no sign of convincing Trump to reconsider his rejection of the Paris Agreement

Three quarters of EU climate finance goes to middle income countries: report

The Act Alliance is calling on the EU to direct more climate finance to the most vulnerable, after finding Turkey and Ukraine were the biggest beneficiaries

Commonwealth leaders express ‘grave concern’ about climate change impacts

Without urgent action, global warming could push 100 million people into poverty by 2030, warns coalition of developed and vulnerable countries

Hurricane-hit Barbudans protest to save communal land from developers

Outside a Commonwealth summit in London, islanders demand their Antiguan prime minister, who called them ‘imbeciles’, reveal how aid money has been spent

UK will legislate net-zero carbon emissions target, says minister

Britain will legislate new emissions targets and order a review on bringing them in line with the Paris Agreement, minister Claire Perry announced

Commonwealth heads meet in London amid claims of climate inequality

The UK emits as much as 18 of its former colonies, a report finds, and, along with Australia and Canada, isn’t doing its fair share to cut carbon

World

US

US agency calls for ban on controversial coal mine ‘self-bonds’

The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office is urging Congress to make coal mining companies pay for environmental clean-up and reduce the risk to taxpayers

Four ways the Trump administration has buried climate science

When Donald Trump became US president, there were fears for public information on climate science. So what happened?

Coal tycoon governor Jim Justice uses loophole to leave mines and workers idle

Companies owned by WV governor exploited a supposedly temporary status to defer environmental clean up and leave miners in limbo, in some cases for decades

White House to tap energy official as new climate lead – reports

Wells Griffith, who worked on the Trump campaign, has spent the last year negotiating exports deals for the US energy industry

What happens to the land after coal mines close?

Across the country, mining land has been reclaimed at low cost, leaving communities with few alternatives to rebuild their economies

Macron: EU ‘mad’ to do trade deal with US after Paris climate withdrawal

‘I’m not in favour of showing any softness to those who decide to break those rules,’ the French president said about the deal struck in his capital in 2015

Crackdown on coal mine ‘self-bonds’ stalls under Trump

Regulators have almost wiped out risky practice since 2015-16 wave of bankruptcies, but some coal companies still insure themselves

Obama official: Trump cuts will leave coal clean-up agency unable to function

The number of mine site inspections is falling and proposed budget cuts at the federal regulator will further erode oversight, a former top official warns

US

China

China’s new environment ministry unveiled, with huge staff boost

New offices required to house mega-department, but will climate change survive as a priority after being shifted out of the powerful development commission?

China has long been captivated by the promise of coal

For centuries, notions of abundant coal have fed China’s sense of its place among the great nations of the world. Now it is being asked to give it up

As China counts its emissions, has growth shaken free of carbon?

As the economy surged in 2017, experts are divided over whether emissions stayed flat. It could mean pollution has peaked more than a decade earlier than expected

The Chinese coal city that electrified its entire taxi fleet

Taiyuan, the capital of Shanxi province, replaced 8,000 petrol-powered taxis with electric vehicles in a single year. What did we learn?

Macron urges Chinese people to “make our planet great again” – in Mandarin

French president did not announce any new climate initiatives with Xi Jinping on China visit, but his efforts to learn the language went viral

China to launch nationwide carbon market next week: officials

The emissions trading scheme will initially cover only the power sector, not heavy industry as planned, but will nonetheless become the biggest in the world

Belt and road countries could emit triple China’s carbon, warns official

Top green finance official Ma Jun tells a conference in Paris that China wants international support to clean up its investments abroad

China reverses coal ban after gas shortage leaves residents freezing

After an anti-air pollution drive left many without heat, China’s government has relaxed a ban on coal across 28 northern cities

China

India

France’s Macron pledges €700m to solar energy push

The French president announced extra finance to help developing countries adopt clean energy at the International Solar Alliance launch in New Delhi

Coal India report finds renewables will ‘substantially decrease’ coal demand

The falling cost of solar power and batteries is having a “significant impact” on the coal sector, says national mining company in Coal Vision 2030 consultation

International Solar Alliance to launch 121 projects at New Delhi summit

India and France are leading a push to roll out solar power, with an event next month to focus on water pumps, affordable finance and mini-grids

Indian mogul Mahindra pledges to align with Paris climate agreement

The chair of a $19bn Indian conglomerate committed to science-based targets, saying all efforts to cut carbon ‘have given us a return’

No legal action taken against Delhi’s polluters since 2014

Despite desperately toxic air and powerful anti-pollution legislation, not a single case has been taken up against polluters in India’s capital

Former UN climate chief lobbies against $1bn loan to Australian coal train

Christiana Figueres warns subsidising Adani’s controversial Carmichael mega-mine would damage Australia’s reputation abroad

UN climate talks: India puts heat on rich countries, China takes softer stance

While India has loudly criticised a decision on the commitments rich countries made up to 2020, their partner in the ‘like-minded’ bloc was not like-minded

India prepares for clashes with developed world at UN climate talks

Several areas of unfinished business mean talks in Bonn could ignite as developing nations seek concessions from the industrialised world

India

EU

Africa holds EU climate agenda ransom

As a tough year of talks begins, the EU is searching for allies in a fight with China over the rules of the Paris Agreement, but Africa’s help will come at a cost

10 years of success, but the UK climate change act needs an upgrade

The pioneering piece of legislation has helped bring emissions down, but the challenges of the Paris Agreement require more ambition from the government

Europe’s coming gigafactory boom, mapped

Across Europe a wave of gigafactories are coming online, ready to meet the battery demands of a continent-wide switch to electric cars

UK MPs call on Gove to trigger climate reporting clause

Financial regulators drew parliamentarians’ ire after failing to meet their demands to voluntarily report their climate adaptation plans

EU leaders order long-term climate strategy by early 2019

Campaigners welcome move to update low-carbon emissions roadmap, saying it sends an important political signal

Norway’s electric car demand is outstripping supply – with lessons for the EU

Thousands of Norwegians are on waiting lists for electric cars, showing the success and limitations of policy incentives

Germany’s new government deal fails the Paris climate accord test

It’s three steps forward and four back as Angela Merkel resumes government in coalition with the social democrats

Dutch PM calls for more ambitious 2030 EU climate target

Mark Rutte said Europe had a responsibility to align its targets with the Paris climate deal, joining the Swedes and French in pushing for sharper cuts

EU

Africa

UN Security Council makes ‘historic’ warning on climate threat to Somalia

Drought, desertification, land degradation and food insecurity are driving conflict in the Horn of African country, says security council

Climate change affecting stability across West Africa and Sahel: UN security council

In a statement, the council president expanded concerns over the links between climate and violence in Africa to two regions that cover 26 countries

Libya burns dirty oil for electricity as Islamic State disrupts gas plans

Amid conflict since Muammar Gaddafi was deposed in 2011, gas pipelines have been shelved, leaving two new power plants reliant on burning crude

African youth go digital to keep climate-smart farming alive

Mobile applications and online forums help young Africans make a living from farming amid changing weather, delegates hear on the sidelines of climate talks in Bonn

America’s pledge is about more than pollution

US mayors and governors want to show the world they stand by US commitments, but to their African counterparts solidarity means cash

Rich countries not talking climate finance seriously, say African officials

‘We feel that as a region we have done everything we could,’ said the head of the Africa group of negotiators, whereas rich countries were failing on fundamental promises

African campaigners call for US to be kicked out of climate talks

The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance will petition negotiators to eject Donald Trump’s delegation, in light of the president’s hostility to the Paris agreement

UN talks lose climate champion El Haite after Moroccan royal censure

Influential diplomat will not take up her role mobilising private sector and regional action at summit beginning in Germany next week

Africa

South America

Norway oil fund omits meatpacker JBS from deforestation watch list

The $1 trillion investor is raising deforestation concerns with a number of beef companies but not the Amazon’s biggest cattle buyer, despite evidence against it

Costa Rica president-elect promises to lead the country towards an oil-free future

Carlos Alvarado Quesada is promising to replace petrol and diesel in the transport system with clean energy, comparing the task to abolishing the army

US, EU biggest importers of illegal Amazon ipe timber: report

Dodgy credits allow exporters to ship the valuable timber overseas, to unsuspecting consumers who are unaware the timber may be illegal

Avocado trade threatened by shipping climate measure, say Chile, Peru

Speed limits at sea could cut shipping’s carbon footprint fast, but fresh fruit exporters are raising concerns about trade impacts ahead of a critical UN meeting

Brazil fights emissions cap for shipping, citing cost concerns

Ahead of a key meeting at the International Maritime Organisation in April, Brazil is leading objections to setting tough climate targets for the sector

Brazil should support ambition in the climate deal of the year

With countries set to agree a climate target for international shipping in April, Brazil has the chance to be a green seas leader, not a laggard

Nicaragua assumes top climate finance post despite past Paris scepticism

Paul Oquist has been approved as co-chair of the Green Climate Fund, against Georgia’s objection Nicaragua was not a cooperative international player

Chile declares start of coal power phase-out

President Michelle Bachelet says the country will not build new coal plants without carbon capture and begin talks to replace existing capacity with cleaner sources

South America

Middle East

Palestinian requests to global green fund ignored since 2016

Letters and emails show the Global Environment Facility stonewalled while US pressure built on international bodies that recognise Palestine

US ‘will not speculate’ on climate treaty after leaving Unesco over Palestine

The body that oversees the Paris treaty also recognises Palestine, raising the prospect that Thursday’s decision to leave Unesco sets a precedent

Climate change threatens survival of the River Jordan

New research finds worsening droughts will sap the biblical waterway, which is already under pressure from agriculture and a growing population

Photos reveal Iraq oil fires burning behind ISIS retreat

Satellite images show evidence of the Islamic State’s scorched earth tactics as militants lose territory to Western-backed Iraqi forces

Conflict-hit Syrian hospital goes solar to save lives

Medical charity UOSSM plans to roll out solar power to five more facilities, reducing reliance on diesel generators to keep incubators and other equipment running

UK is in no position to lecture Saudis on oil dependence

PM Theresa May has offered to help wean Saudi Arabia off oil, but her government’s subsidies to North Sea producers are a poor model for the Middle East petrostate

Maldives president defends Saudi atoll deal, but reveals no detail

Maldives “should be afforded the ability to expand our economy” says president in response to criticism of a US$10bn development deal with Saudi Arabia

Saudis make Maldives land grab to secure oil routes to China

Proposed multi-billion dollar deal sparks protests in the tiny atoll nation, which has found itself at the centre of a great game over oil, power and religion

Middle East

Asia

Tokyo 2020 Olympics confirms use of rainforest timber in stadium build

Admission prompts calls for transparency over Tokyo 2020 supply chain with timber sourced from deforestation hotspot

Standard Chartered ‘breaching climate policy’ with Vietnam coal plant investment

The London-based bank plans to co-finance Nghi Son 2 power plant, which NGOs say uses dirty old technology, against company and OECD guidelines

Oil majors to face London, New York hearings over Philippines climate impact

Philippines human rights commissioner says taking hearings overseas will afford the 47 companies the best chance to confront the impacts of their businesses

Climate change is driving migration from Vietnam’s Mekong delta

Saltwater intrusion and drought are destroying crops in one of the most fertile places on earth, prompting an exodus of farmers

EU bank to decide huge public loan to Europe’s biggest fossil fuel project

Experts refute EU claim that 3,500km gas pipeline from Azerbaijan is necessary for energy security, amid alarm over corruption and human rights issues

Climate-hit Bangladesh struggling to access UN green funds

Developing country institutions lack capacity to meet the Green Climate Fund’s heavy paperwork demands, experts say at Dhaka conference

What will become of Bangladesh’s climate migrants?

Millions of Bangladeshi’s could be forced from their homes by the effect of climate change. Where will they all go?

Sri Lanka plans no new coal plants until at least 2037

Government electricity authority says coal’s impact on health and environment tipped balance in favour of a gas and renewable-focused future

Asia

Pacific

Documents shed light on BP’s failures in the Great Australian Bight

A major oil spill in the region would have covered up to 750km of beaches and disrupted whale migration, reveal government documents BP tried to suppress

Fiji climate lead challenged consultants’ influence before losing job

Nazhat Shameem Khan was removed from her role in the UN climate talks presidency after a protracted power struggle with Australian and European advisers

Why is tiny Nauru getting $26.9m in climate finance to build a port?

Nauru’s biggest donor Australia lobbied for a project that raises tough questions over how climate finance differs from traditional development aid

Tasmania to reach 120% renewable electricity in five years, Labor pledge

An election policy from the state opposition would provide a boost to rooftop solar and see more clean energy shipped to the mainland

Another blow for giant Australian coal mine as rail company steps back

Freight company Aurizon has withdrawn its application for a federal loan to build a rail line to link proposed coal mines with ports on the coast

Kevin Rudd: ‘I don’t know how Malcolm Turnbull faces his grandkids’

Australia’s former prime minister talks about the failure of his country’s climate policy, the rise of China and the Carmichael coal mine

How New Zealand can make world-leading climate refugee visas work

Wellington wants to give a home to Pacific island neighbours threatened by sea level rise. Here are six things to consider

Australia: Labor victory a ‘death knell for Adani’ coal mine

Queensland Labor looks certain to form government promising to veto a public loan, observers say that puts the southern hemisphere’s biggest coal project in serious doubt

Pacific