World

Kenyan Met Office predicts rains to fail sparking crisis worse than 2011

Study released on Thursday shows a 2016 drought was made worse by climate change – but with March rains predicted to fail, the Met Office has warned of worse to come

Melting Arctic worsens Beijing’s pollution haze, study finds

Changing weather patterns make winter smog around China’s capital more likely, scientists warn, despite efforts to tackle air pollution at source

Unfinished business: Coal miners across South Africa walk away from clean up

Documents obtained by Climate Home reveal a growing crisis as big miners and government shift liability to small companies who cannot afford coal mine clean up

Maldives regime imperils coral reefs in dash for cash

Under President Yameen, ministers are quashing environmental concerns to strike opaque resort deals with foreign investors, warn divers, scientists and two EPA insiders

China kickstarting new coal boom in Pakistan

In a region of Pakistan besieged by drought, and blessed with solar potential, China is funding the expansion of huge new coal projects

Climate veterans say Trump budget undermines global cooperation

China and India experts say cuts challenge progress on emissions, while an architect of the Paris climate deal criticises the US for not being “truthful” to its commitments

Trump budget: US to stop funding UN climate process

“America First” budget would axe 20% of the UN’s climate body’s funding and $2bn to help developing countries deal with global warming

Republicans file climate resolution as public concern hits 30-year high

In a repudiation of President Trump’s stance, 17 lawmakers from his party are calling for “economically viable” climate policies

World

US

Businesses urge Trump to rethink climate bonfire

More than 1,000 companies are backing an ad campaign warning that an anticipated rollback of green regulations will harm the US economy

Coal lobbyist Trump attorney seeks to bypass US kids’ climate lawsuit

Trump temporary appointee asks for fast-track appeal to avoid ‘overly burdensome’ request for climate data

Trump’s ban: ‘I want to study in US to save my country from climate change’

The only way to defend Sudan against the conflict and starvation of climate change is through education. Trump’s ban cuts us off from that, writes Lina Yassin

It’s 1 March, but spring got started weeks ago

As warmer days wake parts of nature from their winter slumber earlier and earlier, ancient cycles are being broken

Climate fund, EPA likely to pay for huge Trump defence spend

As the US president announces a $54bn increase in defence spending, environmental agencies and UN climate funds face the axe

The making of Sweden’s climate law – and that photo

How Sweden’s centre right and left parties united around a tough climate goal and spawned one of the strongest anti-Trump images of his short presidency

Mogherini to Mattis in Munich: climate investments boost security

As US puts pressure on NATO members to increase defence spending, EU foreign affairs chief argues fighting climate change prevents instability

Bush EPA chief damns Pruitt with faint praise

Mike Leavitt, Republican ex-governor of Utah, offers lukewarm endorsement of Donald Trump’s environment pick, calls for international climate cooperation

US

China

China floats split with EU over carbon trading

EXCLUSIVE: Government official tells Climate Home that carbon trading is “big challenge” for China: “We would like to use a different kind of economic instrument”

Weekly wrap: Will China turn its back on coal?

This week’s top climate politics and policy stories. Sign up to have our newsletter sent to your inbox

Lessons from London’s 1952 fog could save millions today

Air pollution is one of the world’s biggest killers. Peter Thorsheim looks back at the resistance, disinformation and solutions that emerged from the London fog

China coal use fell again in 2016, solar capacity rose 82%

Massive investments in clean energy and economic shifts continue to dampen demand for coal in the world’s largest carbon emitter

EU and China can outflank Trump on climate change

The time is ripe for Brussels and Beijing to step up their relationship as US climate diplomacy dwindles, write Maeve McLynn and Li Shuo

Beijing is clamping down on provincial coal plans

At least 11 regions have been ordered to shelve coal power plants as China deals with surplus capacity

China energy efficiency improved in 2016, reports Xinhua

World’s largest carbon polluter making progress on efficiency, but doubts remain over accuracy of state data

Which countries are standing up to Trump on climate?

China, India, Mexico and Canada are among the global heavyweights to signal renewed support for climate action ahead of the new US administration’s first week in office

China

India

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

India subsidises electricity for the rich while millions lack access

While over 20% of India’s population has no access to electricity, the richest 40% of the population gets highly subsidised power

India may never need another coal plant: TERI

Power stations running or under construction will meet demand up to 2026, say analysts, by which point renewables can start to compete on cost

Trump won’t impact India’s climate drive, says energy minister

Piyush Goyal tells investors in Delhi his government is committed to a clean energy future, regardless of what direction the US takes

Women’s mosque goes solar in India clean energy push

As Uttar Pradesh lags its target for solar installations, female-led Ambar Mosque calls on everyone to do their bit for air quality and energy access

India hails ‘climate leadership’ with new Kyoto commitment

World’s fourth largest emitter says backing for KP2 underlines its climate leadership as coalition to protect UN process against Trump gains pace

India to end coal imports in ‘next few years’

A 25% drop in imports in 2016 leads minister to declare independence from foreign coal

India dismisses Trump impact on climate targets

Piyush Goyal told energy analysts investors are keen to get involved in the country’s ambitious clean power plans

India

EU

Port of Amsterdam set to be coal-free by 2030

Major EU shipping hub is diversifying away from coal in line with a transition to lower carbon sources of energy, strategy paper reveals

Watchdog suspends Azerbaijan, EU gas pipeline loans threatened

Billions in development loans at risk after international human rights watchdog strips Azeri membership for failure to increase transparency

Ancient tombs discovery stalls Polish coal mine development

Burial mounds from the 5,000-year-old Funnelbeaker culture stand in the way of the proposed Ościsłowo opencast lignite mine

Campaigners claim legal win against Bosnian coal power push

Setback for Chinese-backed plant planned near Europe’s second most-polluted city, with a ruling it must comply with tougher pollution limits

Market shrugs as EU lawmakers pass carbon trading reforms

Carbon prices stayed steady at €5 a tonne in response to package filled with concessions to big polluters

How the G20 could save Paris climate deal from Trump

Donald Trump appears bent on unpicking the globalist cooperation that made a climate change accord possible. Can the world’s other powers band together to stop him?

UK to use carbon cuts as Brexit bargaining chip – envoy

Faster than average emissions reductions give Britain leverage in negotiations to leave the EU, says Sir David King

Norway seeks to climate-proof skiing with eco snow machines

Researchers are developing a machine that simultaneously heats homes and produces snow, to save a national pastime from global warming

EU

Africa

Mozambique expands coal port lapped by rising seas

Dignitaries celebrate the expansion of Maputo port, but experts warn fossil fuelled climate change threatens development gains

Kenya clean energy revolution dogged by land disputes

One wind farm was cancelled and another – the flagship Lake Turkana project – was delayed by social conflict, report highlights

Drought sours future of Swaziland’s sugar growers

Sugarcane has brought wealth to the world’s last absolute monarchy, but climate change spells an uncertain future for this thirsty crop

Carbon sink larger than England found in Congo jungle

A carbon sink as large as 20 years’ worth of US fossil fuel emissions has been identified in peatland in central Africa’s forests

British Army accused of thwarting Kenya’s climate plans

Who should account for emissions from overseas military training bases? UK defence planners say Kenya must deal with pollution from army manoeuvres

Chilling in Kigali: how the world sealed a climate deal for fridges

In the first in our 2016 in review series, Chatham House’s Duncan Brack reflects on the UN deal to curb HFC use that was agreed in October

Growing water stress drives desalination push in Kenya

As drought hits crop yields and livelihoods, Kenya approves the first of a planned fleet of plants to get drinking water from the ocean

Brazil’s coffee growers face bleak future as world warms

Small-scale farmers who produce most of the world’s coffee beans face reductions in crop yield and quality as a result of rising temperatures and extreme weather

Africa

South America

“Beef caucus” takes over indigenous policies in Brazil

Indigenous groups say they are at “war” with the Brazilian government after the appointment of a justice minister with close ties to agriculture

Brazil ex-environment minister slams ‘land grabbing’ plan

Izabella Teixeira has hit out at a “shameful” parliamentary proposal to cut conservation zones in Amazonas state

National emergency as Chile fights record forest fires

Drought, heat and commercial foresting have made it easier for fires to spread, killing 11 people and consuming entire towns

Peruvian climate lawsuit against German coal giant dismissed

Claimant living under the threat of flooding from melting glaciers is likely to appeal to a higher German court, says lawyer

Brazil set for ‘environmental civil war’, warns minister

Jose Sarney Filho is at loggerheads with the rural lobby in Congress over a bill to tear up environmental protections

Conservation zones exclude indigenous people, drive deforestation

Without their traditional land managers, reserves in Central America are left vulnerable to corporate interests, report finds

Brazil needs new coalitions to halt forest clearance surge

The latest data confirms an increase in tree-cutting, including in the most valuable carbon-rich areas of Amazon rainforest

As drought bites, Bolivia declares state of emergency

Bolivia has declared a state of emergency as climate impacts shrink glaciers and leave cities without water

South America

Middle East

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

Court forces Turkish coal plant to suspend operations

Three years after it came online, Izdemir power station has been stripped of its environmental licence, in a win for campaigners

Saudi oil chief hails Trump’s ‘realistic’ energy plans

Khalid Al-Falih welcomes new president’s pro-fossil fuel approach, rejects suggestion US will quit Paris climate agreement

Saudi Aramco planning $5 billion clean energy binge

As low oil prices eat into country’s $600 billion sovereign wealth fund, state energy giant starts work on radical transition towards renewables

Into the abyss: oil states face turmoil as climate policies bite

A transition to green energy sources threatens the stability of oil-rich states like Venezuela, Russia and Saudi Arabia

Can Saudi Arabia’s regime survive in a greener world?

The race is on for Saudi Arabia to find new sources of income before the oil age peters out

Saudi Arabia working on plan to boost climate target

World’s top petroleum exporter not deterred by incoming Trump presidency; says it will explore new ways to cut carbon emissions

Israeli presence at climate talks causes anger in Morocco

“Morocco remains and will always remain the prime defender of the Palestinian cause,” said Moroccan foreign minister and COP22 president

Middle East

Asia

Philippines senate unanimously votes to ratify Paris climate deal

Argument the UN pact is in vulnerable country’s best interests prevails over doubts expressed by President Rodrigo Duterte last year

Bangladesh bets on coal to meet rising energy demand

Renewable options are being overlooked as government backs controversial polluting power plants, say experts

Philippines ready to ratify UN climate deal, says senator

Loren Legarda says Manila’s much-delayed ratification saga is edging to a conclusion – with formal approval of Paris deal imminent

Mr Trump, planetary conditions are not negotiable

Japan’s former environment and climate ambassador offers his analysis on how the international community can tackle the US president’s climate war

Exxon has ‘excellent future’ in Russia says ex-energy chief

Former Putin minister and CEO of Rosneft says renewed cooperation with US would open up “massive investment” in Arctic oil and gas

Saudi $50 billion clean power plan close to launch

Minister says private sector will be encouraged to bid for major clean energy investment programmes as country moves to diversify economy

South Asia’s women suffer as climate migration rises

Feminization of environmental migration is already underway in South Asia but governments have been slow to recognise the role of climate change

Turkish gas companies with corrupt past get World Bank loan

Businessmen who have secured contracts to build massive gas pipeline linking EU and Azerbaijan were convicted for tender rigging and bribery

Asia

Pacific

Climate change made NSW’s hottest summer 50 times more likely

Researchers find strong climate signal behind the heatwaves and record average temperatures that beset Australia’s eastern states this summer

Marshall Islands become first nation to ratify global HFC treaty

President hails Kigali deal as “good for our people, the planet, and the profits of those that follow in our footsteps”

100+ species face extinction as warming hits Australia’s southern waters

Scientists tell senate committee that marine animals and plants at Australia’s southern-most point have “nowhere to go” and will disappear this century

Australian Labor will not back 2030 renewable energy target

After political attacks, Labor says it will not legislate a renewable energy target, despite a policy promising to deliver a 50% share by 2030

Australia: Fires, floods, flying foxes and political farce

On a weekend rural communities suffered dangerous weather events, the government doubled down on coal

Australian climate sceptics may form new party

A right wing government backbencher with ties to mining magnate Gina Rinehart has registered a website for a new political brand, Australian Majority

BP looking to sell off Great Australian Bight interests

Correspondence with the federal regulator reveals oil major is in discussions with others to offload drilling rights in environmentally sensitive region

Exxon, Chevron face Philippines climate change probe

Hearings by the country’s Human Rights Commission will target some of Donald Trump’s allies in the oil sector

Pacific