Climate News

South African campaigners push for faster coal exit in presidential commission

As president Cyril Ramaphosa launches an initiative to deliver net zero emissions, campaigners prepare to confront trade unions over coal

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John Kerry promises ‘significantly’ more climate finance at adaptation summit

Presidential climate envoy John Kerry said the US would work to protect the vulnerable and make amends for a four-year absence from international climate action

EU foreign ministers call for end to financing fossil fuels abroad

EU countries are seeking to align trade and foreign investment policies with the bloc’s climate goals, promoting a global phaseout of fossil fuels

As US renews climate relations with EU and China, carbon pricing raises tensions

An EU plan to tax carbon-intensive imports could spur a race to the top between the world’s three biggest polluters – or become politically toxic

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‘Gas is over’: EU bank chief signals phaseout of fossil fuel finance

The European Investment Bank provides limited support for gas under its current policy and intends to end all funding for fossil fuels before the end of the year

Rich nations accused of inflating climate adaptation finance figures

Japan labelled loans for roads and bridges as “climate adaptation” finance, while the World Bank counted support for Nepal to rebuild from an earthquake

Joe Biden is sworn in as US president, promising climate action

“We will pass along a new and better world for our children,” says Joe Biden as he enters the White House with the biggest climate team of any president

Exclusive: Japan uses ‘environmental’ fund to finance Vietnamese coal plant

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation approved a loan to the controversial Vung Ang 2 coal project from a facility intended for “environmental preservation”

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Politics

Germany’s conservative CDU picks coal industry supporter Armin Laschet as leader

The premier of Germany’s coal mining heartland could be chosen as the country’s conservative alliance candidate for chancellor in a general election in September

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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

South Korea 2050 net zero pledge spurs renewables investment

As the world’s fourth-largest importer of coal, South Korea needs to rapidly change its energy mix to achieve net zero emissions by 2050

Poor and island states highlight toll of climate disasters in submissions to UN

In their updated national contributions to the Paris Agreement, vulnerable countries say they need more financial support to cope with extreme weather and rising seas

French draft climate law criticised for weakening ambition of citizens’ assembly

President Emmanuel Macron has been accused of backsliding on promises to fully implement the recommendations of a citizens’ assembly on climate change

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

UK promotes leading Cop26 climate talks to full-time role for Alok Sharma

Alok Sharma will give up his responsibilities as UK business minister to focus on preparations for critical UN climate talks in Glasgow this November

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Finance

China launches world’s largest carbon market for power sector

China’s national emissions trading scheme could become a significant lever for climate action, but experts warn that it will do little to curb emissions in the short term

Gas pipeline investment shows flaws in EU ‘climate bank’ approach

The European Climate Bank claimed its €1 billion investment in the Southern Gas Corridor was “climate neutral”, based on mistaken assumptions

UN-led carbon market suspends formal project registration after 2020

Countries are under mounting pressure to resolve carbon trading rules at Cop26, as the future of the Clean Development Mechanism hangs in the balance

UK plans climate donor summit to address ‘dismal’ support for poorer nations

The presidency of next year’s Cop26 climate talks will bring vulnerable countries and donors together to address climate and development challenges

Poor nations call for more financial support to cope with climate impacts

At a summit of least developed countries, leaders said they needed aid to overcome climate disasters and put ambitious climate plans into action

Christine Lagarde must change course to a green coronavirus recovery

The European Central Bank has pumped an estimated €100 billion of Covid bailout cash into polluting sectors, despite its chief’s climate-friendly rhetoric

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

Malaysian bank to phase out coal finance, in a victory for campaigners

CIMB has been hailed as the first major bank in an emerging market to publish a coal exit strategy, after investing $2.6 billion in the sector last decade

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Justice

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

Shell faces Dutch court in case testing how Paris climate goals apply to businesses

Climate campaigners say Shell is violating human rights by continuing to invest billions in fossil fuels, calling for a much faster shift to clean energy

UK Supreme Court lifts ban on Heathrow airport third runway 

Heathrow still faces major obstacles to carry out its expansion plans, in light of the UK’s 2050 net zero target and uncertain future demand

In Bangladesh, the marginalised Munda face extra barriers to climate adaptation

Shut off from microfinance and benefits, members of the Hindu minority in coastal Bangladesh have struggled to rebuild their lives after Cyclone Amphan

Bolsonaro’s attack on the Amazon breaches Brazil’s constitution, climate lawyers argue

Brazilian campaigners are fighting in the Supreme Court to reinstate anti-deforestation policies and resources slashed by the Bolsonaro administration

As young people, we urge financial institutions to stop financing fossil fuels

Development banks supporting dirty projects are exacerbating climate chaos. This year needs to be a turning point to a just and sustainable future

Mangrove revival: How tree-planting is financing women’s businesses in Kenya

Kenyan women are planting mangroves in Lamu County and using the revenue from selling “blue carbon” credits for microloans to start small businesses

Mayan communities are suing the Mexican government over a million solar panel megaproject

Indigenous communities say they did not give consent for a Total-backed solar megaproject on their land

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Energy

Keystone XL cancellation: ‘Wake-up call’ for Canada to address oil and gas blind spot

Joe Biden is set to revoke permits for the controversial Canada-US oil pipeline expansion, putting Justin Trudeau in an awkward position

Inner Mongolia pursues coal-led recovery, defying Beijing’s climate goals

China’s biggest coal-producing province, Inner Mongolia, approved power plants and industrial installations in 2020 with an annual coal demand equivalent to Germany’s

UK net zero commitment questioned, as government allows new coal mine

The UK government has been accused of “rank hypocrisy” for letting a new coal mine go ahead while seeking to lead on climate as hosts of Cop26 summit

Green growth champion: Focus on jobs helps poorer nations raise climate ambition

The Global Green Growth Institute is working with governments including Colombia, Peru and Indonesia on “green new deal” plans

Pakistan signals coal power exit, in potential model for China’s belt and road

Imran Khan announced his government would not approve any more coal power plants and pivot to renewables, contrary to the grid operator’s forecast of a coal boom

Why the hydrogen bubble could burst in Europe’s face

The EU’s enthusiastic embrace of hydrogen risks undermining the clean energy transition and its newly-minted 2030 greenhouse gas target

We have set an end date for oil and gas production. The world should follow

We, Costa Rica and Denmark, are moving beyond oil. To meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, we encourage friends and allies to do the same

Czech commission calls for coal phase-out by 2038

Environmental groups, which urged the commission to endorse a 2033 end date, slammed the decision as ‘absurdly late’, while studies show a 2030 exit is feasible

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Land

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 must reverse deforestation trends before EU finalises Mercosur trade deal

Imazon study finds indigenous people’s territories at greatest risk from forest clearance as a result of growing agricultural activity under the agreement

Landless Brazilians are invading more and more protected areas of the Amazon

Emboldened by President Bolsonaro, landless people are settling in environmental reserves and indigenous territories

Mark Carney oversees blueprint for scaling up carbon market as offset demand soars

With more and more businesses setting net zero emissions targets, the voluntary carbon market needs stronger quality control to scale up, says UN special envoy

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

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

Australia green-lights controversial project in ‘gas-fired recovery’

Campaigners say the Narrabri gas project will destroy local biodiversity and water supplies as well as increase greenhouse gas emissions.

China host of major nature talks fails to step up at UN biodiversity summit

Campaigners had hoped President Xi would surprise the world again this week with tough measures to reverse biodiversity loss. They were left disappointed

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Transport

EU urged to address aviation’s full climate impact, including non-CO2 emissions

Air travel is heating the climate at approximately three times the rate of the sector’s carbon dioxide emissions alone, report finds, with major policy implications

As UN action on ship emissions falls short, attention turns to regions

The International Maritime Organization set minimal curbs on shipping’s 1Gt carbon footprint this decade. Here’s how the EU, US and China could decarbonise the sector

UN shipping body approves Arctic heavy fuel oil ‘ban’, delayed for a decade

Campaigners describe ban as “meaningless”, as concessions to Russia allow most ships to continue using heavy fuel oil in the sensitive polar region until 2029

Anger as UN body approves deal that allows ship emissions to rise to 2030

A package of fuel efficiency measures agreed at the International Maritime Organization is expected to shave just 1% off shipping emissions this decade

Ships to get free pass on emissions until 2030, under compromise proposal

Ship efficiency measures backed by a broad coalition of 14 countries will fail to reduce emissions in line with industry and Paris climate goals, campaigners warn

UK Supreme Court hears climate case on Heathrow airport expansion

Heathrow Airport is challenging a ruling that quashed plans to build a third runway earlier this year, based on the UK commitment to the Paris Agreement

UK Climate Assembly calls for frequent flyer levy, private jet ban

A group of 108 citizens tasked with finding fair and socially acceptable ways to decarbonise the British economy by 2050 proposed curbs on jetsetting

Loopholes in Arctic heavy fuel oil ban defer action to the end of the decade

In concessions to Russia, the International Maritime Organisation has watered down draft rules to protect the Arctic from oil spills and black carbon pollution

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Science

‘Star Wars without Darth Vader’ – why the UN climate science story names no villains

As the next blockbuster science report on cutting emissions goes to governments for review, critics say it downplays the obstructive role of fossil fuel lobbying

I am proud to have negotiated the Paris Agreement, at my first UN summit

Five years on from the landmark talks in Paris, multilateralism and dialogue continue to be the way forward for countries to meet their climate promises

10 myths about net zero targets and carbon offsetting, busted

Carbon neutrality targets are often not as ambitious as they sound, relying on problematic carbon offsets and unproven technologies

WMO: Siberian heatwave put 2020 among three hottest years on record

Temperatures reached 38C in Siberia, leading to wildfires and increased melting of the sea ice and putting 2020 on course for 1.2C warming globally

Hurricanes Iota, Eta devastate parts of Central America in record-breaking season

Experts are calling for relief and resilience funding for Nicaragua and Honduras, as warming seas fuel extraordinarily intense storms

Russia resists tougher climate targets in dash for Arctic gas

Russia has no plans to end its contribution to climate change before the end of the century and is aggressively expanding Arctic gas production for the Asian market

UK climate champion: Oil majors can join the ‘race to zero’ – if they align with 1.5C

With less than a year to the Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow, Nigel Topping sets out his plan to mobilise the private sector in a race to net zero emissions

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

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