World

Los Angeles lawmakers propose “climate emergency” department

In the wake of the devastating Thomas wildfire in southern California, city council members are calling for emergency funds to ramp up climate action

UK climate strategy has ‘significant gaps’, advisers warn

The government must increase ambition for electric vehicles and invest more in carbon capture and storage, an independent panel has advised

Logging surge threatens a quarter of Estonia’s forest, warn conservationists

Baltic state lobbied for flexibilities in EU rules to enable a dramatic increase in forestry, turning its thriving woodland into a net emitter of carbon by 2030

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?

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

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

Climate portfolio back in UK cabinet after May’s reshuffle

If she keeps climate portfolio, Claire Perry will return the issue to cabinet for the first time since the department of energy and climate change was scrapped

Germany set to abandon 2020 climate target: reports

Angela Merkel’s party and the Social Democrats agree the 40% emissions cut will not be achieved until the early 2020s, coalition negotiators told newswires

World

US

US ‘no position’ on how much humans are changing climate, says Trump envoy

George David Banks speaks with Arthur Neslen about keeping the US in the Paris deal, morale in the state department and why he said he didn’t know what 2C means

Trump seeks pro-coal alliance as global push against fuel grows

While leaders gather in Paris to celebrate the second anniversary of global climate pact, Trump official says US wants to form group of countries to promote “clean” coal

Pompeo, Koch ally and Paris climate critic, tipped as US secretary of state

Rex Tillerson is headed for the exit, according to reports, to be replaced by a vocal opponent of climate action

Cleaner coolants fund gets $540m – and US backing

The Trump administration is set to ratify the Kigali Amendment to phase down potent warming HFC gases, while helping fund poor countries to make the switch

We are [not] still in: can the world ever trust US again on climate?

The US has always been an unreliable actor on climate change. This month’s sideshow to UN talks in Bonn only emphasised its internal conflicts

Macron: France will replace US funding for UN climate science

French president said Europe must step into the leadership role the US had abandoned, while Angela Merkel struggled with Germany’s political uncertainty

Trump’s climate official: ‘I actually don’t know what 2C means’

The US came to sell fossil fuels as a solution to climate change, but were interrupted by protests as the divided US arrived 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

US

China

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

Canada and China to strengthen cooperation on climate, carbon markets

On a state visit to Beijing, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau struck a deal that will weave climate action into a potential trade agreement

No heating at -6C: Poor bear brunt of Beijing’s air cleanup

Urban demands for cleaner air have left residents of surrounding towns without heating and cooking as coal systems are ripped out and gas supply falters

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

Xi expected to skirt climate issue with Trump

US-Sino relations viewed as too important to be upset over climate change, say observers close to the Chinese government

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

China

India

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

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

US exports of tar sands waste are fuelling Delhi’s air pollution crisis

India has emerged as the world’s largest importer of petroleum coke, an oil byproduct that is now a major cause of pollution in the capital

India’s Modi pushes international solar agreement

Indian prime minister says renewables are “particularly important” to the development of five nations meeting in Xiamen

India’s floods expose poor countries’ total vulnerability to climate change

In West Bengal, residents say Hurricane Harvey in the US is “no comparison” to devastation for which their country left them woefully unprepared

Coal to power India for ‘decades to come’, says government planning body

Coal will continue to produce roughly three-quarters of India’s electricity, says body charged with central planning, as it lays out plan to boost mining production

Indian coal growth has slowed since 2015

After rising at an average of 6% over the preceding decade, India’s coal consumption has risen at 2.2% a year since 2015, analysis from Greenpeace Energydesk shows

India

EU

UK government details coal power phase-out strategy

With a few caveats, Britain is set to end coal power generation by 2025, the government confirmed in a consultation response on Friday

Norwegian campaigners lose court case against Arctic oil drilling

Oslo district court told Greenpeace and co-plaintiffs exploration for new reserves did not violate citizens’ constitutional right to a healthy environment

Communities face down plans to expand Britain’s last coal mines

‘It was cruel what we went through’. As the UK weighs whether to allow its ailing mines to stumble on, community activists ask when enough is enough?

EU commission urged bank to support Azerbaijan gas pipeline

Letter from top officials to the president of the EIB said Europe’s commitment to the pipeline ‘must not wane’ and called for publicly-backed loans

German Greens reveal coal phase-out red line for joining government

The Green Party will only join a coalition promising to close at least 7GW of coal power capacity by 2020, its lawmakers say, as Germany likely faces another election

German coal mining could end by 2030s, says Merkel’s coalition negotiator

Leader of North Rhine-Westphalia, who is leading the CDU’s coalition talks on energy, said mines across Germany could be closed by the decade after next

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

Polish coal cash grab attacked by UK, France, Germany

No support for coal, say several EU nations, as Poland asks for billions generated through emissions trading scheme for its ageing plants

EU

Africa

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

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

Poor countries spending climate cash on rich world consultants

Lack of expertise means money for climate protection is spent on consultancy fees, which African officials say end up back in wealthy countries

Kenya’s most polluting coal plant could poison coastline

A project that will double Kenya’s carbon emissions also threatens life on a fragile coastline, but the government’s planning process has been flawed

Green Climate Fund to fund $1bn Egypt renewables drive

In its biggest project to date, the UN’s flagship climate finance scheme is putting $150m towards developing wind, hydro and solar power in Egypt

Giant Tunisian desert solar project aims to power EU

Developer TuNur this week applied for authorisation to build a massive solar plant on the edge of the Tunisian Sahara, with undersea grid connections to Europe

Africa

South America

Will these hand-painted signs be enough to stop a dam in the Amazon?

With indigenous land demarcations frozen across Brazil, illegal mining and hydro dams threaten the Amazon. Communities are taking matters into their own hands

It’s war in the Amazon, says Brazil’s top environmental law enforcer

Local politicians are colluding with gangs to undermine rainforest protection, Luciano Evaristo tells delegates at UN climate talks in Bonn

Climate finance helps ayahuasca culture protect remote Amazon forest

Six hours from the nearest road, German climate money funds a hallucinogenic festival that tips the scales in a culture war between indigenous villagers and cattle ranchers

Brazil’s carbon emissions rose 8.9% in 2016, despite recession

After a surge in illegal deforestation, Brazil’s carbon emissions have risen for the third year running, according to a new study

Brazilian Amazon lost 660,000 hectares of forest in last year

Temer government claimed a victory as deforestation rate declines slightly, but green groups said announcement was no cause for celebration

Greenpeace plane crashes in Brazilian Amazon, Swedish woman killed

Carolina Nyberg-Steiser, 29, from Greenpeace Nordic was killed after the plane crashed into a river. It is the second time in recent years the NGO has lost a plane in Brazil

Amazon forest fires pushing climate change ‘beyond human control’

Leading Amazon scientist highlights ‘grave problems’ in Brazil’s management of the world’s most important forest as climate-driven fires eat it away

UK vetoes two South American climate finance bids

The British board member mounted a solo opposition to rural development projects in Paraguay and Argentina at a Green Climate Fund meeting in Cairo

South America

Middle East

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

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

Middle East

Asia

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

Climate threatens ‘Himalayan Viagra’ fungus, and a way of life

A valuable fungus reputed to be an aphrodisiac has been disappearing from the mountains of Nepal, taking with it a valuable source of income

Hope and anger in Bangladesh as Unesco reverses coal plant opposition

“I want grid power,” say locals, despite concerns that Rampal’s mega-plant may threaten the world heritage listed Sundarbans mangrove forests

Cash begins trickling out of Green Climate Fund

After a barrage of criticism, the UN’s primary climate fund has released $5.2m to a handful of projects

‘Bad-ass business women’ bring solar empowerment to Nepal

NGO that helps women overcome cultural taboos and start their own clean energy businesses to be awarded prize in London ceremony

Asia

Pacific

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

Video: Palau to raise Adani coal mine with Australia

“The future of our planet cannot tolerate us continually burning coal,” said the minister for environment of the tiny Pacific state

Australian state premier promises to veto funding for giant Adani coal mine

Prospects of massive Indian-owned coal development take a dip after Queensland Labor leader makes surprise announcement

Jacinda Ardern commits New Zealand to zero carbon by 2050

New leader says government will be “absolutely focused on the challenge of climate change” and sets out goal that puts country at forefront of emissions cuts

Bonn climate talks raise tough questions about German coal

Chancellor Angela Merkel, with no concrete plans to curtail its huge coal industry, will be exposed as her country plays host to Fiji’s climate presidency

Climate change ‘probably doing good’, says former Australian PM Abbott

Former Australian prime minister likens treatment of climate sceptics to the Spanish Inquisition and says the government lost seats by not campaigning on energy prices

Australia only wealthy nation still breaking energy emissions records

How did a country that launched one of the world’s first major carbon pricing schemes become a rogue polluter in just five years?

Pacific