Land

Ethiopia to shift from beef to chicken production under updated climate plan

The government is promoting smaller livestock to limit the rise of methane emissions, in a plan that is 80% dependent on international finance

After 20 years, talks on scrapping fishing subsidies enter final stretch

The World Trade Organization is nearing a deal to end harmful fishing subsidies, but exemptions for developing countries could give China a pass

DR Congo plans to lift logging moratorium amid forest protection talks

The government is ending a decade-old ban on new forestry concessions, to the horror of campaigners who say the move is incompatible with climate targets

UN draft accord sets out new biodiversity goals but delivery plan is lacking

Experts welcomed the proposed targets to protect and restore nature, but said without funding and national accountability they would achieve little

‘Hot air’ carbon offset scheme undermines Colombia’s climate goal, experts warn

Colombia stands to lose $62m in carbon tax revenue and underperform its emissions targets due to flawed forest carbon credit projects, investigators claim

Norway pays Gabon $17m for forest protection despite deforestation spike

While proponents say results-based payments can support forest protection in the long term, critics say the Gabonese government has done little to earn the money

Flooding and drought fuels mental health crisis in Kenya

Many Kenyans are suffering post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety after being hit by extreme weather, but lack access to mental health services

Biodiversity talks are running out of time for robust deal, says top diplomat

Pandemic delays and gruelling online talks threaten the ambition of a Kunming global pact to protect nature due to be finalised in October

Brazil’s environment minister investigated for illegal logging cover-up

The Supreme Court authorised the federal police to investigate Ricardo Salles over suspicions of a ‘serious scheme’ to facilitate the export of illegal timber out of Brazil

Southern Madagascar at risk of famine amid worst drought in 40 years

UN agencies are urgently calling for international support as a million Madagascans go hungry, with some surviving on insects and wild roots

Land

Agriculture

Ireland’s government agrees on climate bill to set 2050 net zero goal in law

The bill would commit Ireland to cut emissions 51% between 2018 and 2030, raising tough questions about the future of cattle farming

EU ministers demand response to Trump Admin critique of green farming reforms

The EU Commission has been ordered to assess the impact of its green “farm to fork” strategy after the Trump Administration claimed it would harm global food security

South Sudan plans to raise climate ambition amid ‘dire’ humanitarian crisis

The world’s newest country is seeking to expand renewable energy, tree planting and climate smart agriculture, but UK aid cuts threaten progress

Indian farmers head for showdown with government over agricultural reform

Already bearing heavy costs from climate change, Indian farmers fear the government’s market reforms will drive them deeper into debt

New Zealand urged to accelerate emissions cuts in line with 2050 net zero goal

Independent advisors said New Zealand should cut emissions “much more than 35%” from 2005 levels by 2030 to align ambition with a 1.5C global warming limit

Colombia banks on forest economy to deliver climate ambition leap

Since the end of a 50-year civil war, Colombia has seen a spike in forest clearance, that the government now hopes to reverse with agroforestry initiatives

In Kenya’s changing climate, women are claiming land rights to feed their families

Owning their own land allows Kenyan women to build resilience to drought and flooding, but many are unaware of laws intended to empower them

Brazil’s military operations are not halting deforestation in the Amazon

Jair Bolsonaro has transferred the command of anti-deforestation operations in the Amazon to the military. But the army presence is making little difference

Agriculture

Biodiversity

US, UK and Norway launch $1bn initiative to protect tropical forests

The Leaf Coalition aims to mobilise $1 billion of public and private finance this year to cut emissions from deforestation and forest degradation

Pakistan explores debt-for-nature scheme to accelerate its 10 billion tree tsunami

Creditors could grant Pakistan debt relief in exchange for meeting nature restoration targets, under a proposed first-of-its-kind bond

Cop26 dream team: The people setting the climate agenda on seven key issues

From Denmark’s Dan Jørgensen to Malawi’s Nancy Tembo, here are the leaders to watch ahead of UN climate talks in Glasgow, UK

France and UK lead push for climate finance to restore nature

Campaigners welcomed commitments to ramp up funding for biodiversity but raised concerns it came at the expense of other climate and aid spending

UN summit highlights $700bn funding gap to restore nature

A pledging conference to halt the decline of biodiversity worldwide yielded only a handful of vague financial commitments from European governments

Bolsonaro shifts blame for unprecedented Brazilian wetland fires

In a message to the UN, Brazil’s president denied responsibility for the worst fires on record in the Pantanal, despite having slashed environmental protections

World misses 2020 biodiversity goals: leaked UN draft report

Global Biodiversity Outlook draft finds funding shortfalls and failure to account for the role of women held back progress on restoring ecosystems

Forest destruction spiked in Indonesia during coronavirus lockdown

Travel restrictions allowed illegal deforestation to flourish in Indonesia – and government plans to cut environmental protections raise fears for the future

Biodiversity

Forests

Cyclone Seroja kills 160 people, exposes Indonesia’s climate vulnerability

Campaigners say a government rollback of environmental regulations increases Indonesia’s vulnerability to flash floods and landslides

Saudi Arabia aims for 50% renewable energy by 2030, backs huge tree planting initiative

The target will require huge investments in solar technologies, experts warn, as less than 1% of the oil producing nation’s energy comes from renewables

Joe Biden’s climate ambitions must include land rights for Congo forest communities

Development aid from rich countries has done more harm than good to central African forests and their inhabitants. This can change with a community-led approach

Descendants of former slaves in the Brazilian Amazon are still waiting for their land rights

The process of providing land deeds to communities founded by former slaves was slow before Jair Bolsonaro, but the president’s budget cuts have completely stalled progress

DR Congo campaigners take minister to court over illegal logging rights claims

Environment minister Claude Nyamugabo is accused of violating a moratorium on logging in the Congo rainforest, by awarding concessions the size of Wales

It’s time to end subsidies for burning wood from forests

Trees are worth much more to humanity alive than dead, say 500 scientists in an open letter to leaders in the EU, US and East Asia

The net tightens around illegal logging operations in Pará, Bolsonaro’s stronghold

Uruará voted for Brazil’s rightwing president hoping for a more relaxed approach to illegal logging, but enforcement agencies are cracking down

Brazil sets ‘indicative’ goal of carbon neutrality by 2060

Brazil is seeking to join the net zero club, but campaigners denounced its pledge as meaningless while deforestation rises under President Bolsonaro

Forests

Cities

Covid exposes Mexico City’s water access gap between rich and poor

The coronavirus pandemic lays bare the impact of Mexico City’s mounting water crisis on vulnerable households, while gated communities enjoy reliable supplies

It will take more than a few cycle lanes to make green, pandemic-proof cities

The coronavirus lockdown gave a glimpse of what cleaner cities can look like, but as people turn to private cars for safety from infection, pollution could soar

Addis Ababa riverside project gives priority to development over residents

Ethiopia wants $900 million riverside project to be a model of green development – yet one resident says shelters were demolished ‘without warning’

Car boom brings gridlock misery to ‘green and happy’ Bhutan

Bhutan’s growing economy brings growing gridlock – and a potential threat to the country’s vaunted carbon-negative status

Two million in Zimbabwe’s capital have no water as city turns off taps

‘The situation is bad, period’, says spokesman for Harare council, as suburbs go weeks without water and cases of typhoid are reported

Trains deliver emergency water to drought-hit Chennai

Millions of people are experiencing water shortages as Chennai’s reservoirs are running dry and other sources of water are dwindling

EU ‘climate leaders’ plans found lacking

Finland, Sweden, Portugal, France and Germany praised for ambitious targets, but NGO analysis raises questions over details

New York City bans inefficient glass skyscrapers, WA state to end coal

New York mayor announces sweeping climate change programme, while Washington’s power will be carbon-neutral by 2030

Cities