Climate News

Emerging economies share ‘grave concern’ over EU plans for a carbon border tax

Brazil, South Africa, India and China say EU plans for a carbon levy on imported products like steel and cement will unfairly penalise their economies

Green debt relief in sight – Climate Weekly

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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

Japan set to raise ambition of 2030 climate goal

The Japanese government is proposing to cut emissions 45% from 2013 levels by 2030, while campaigners push for deeper reductions

Climate vulnerability should be factored into debt relief, says IMF head

Kristalina Georgieva said the IMF was considering proposals to ensure climate vulnerable middle-income nations receive support to build back better from Covid-19

South Africa sets out to tighten 2030 emissions target

South Africa’s economy is shifting from heavy industry to service sectors, allowing for deeper carbon cuts, but coal lingers in the energy mix

A test of trust – Climate Weekly

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UK pledges to make scaling up adaptation finance a priority at G7 summit

At a ministerial meeting of donor and developing countries, the UK said it would aim to secure additional financial support for vulnerable nations by June

India calls out rich nations for setting net zero goals over robust short-term targets

Minister Raj Kumar Singh insisted developing nations should not be asked to set net zero goals as they seek to grow their economies

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

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Politics

Health must be put at the heart of national climate plans

After the World Health Organization called for a green and healthy Covid recovery, health must be a priority in countries’ climate plans

EU member states and lawmakers at loggerheads over 2030 climate target

The fifth round of negotiations between the EU Council and members of parliament achieved little progress on agreeing a climate law

Under fire over aid cuts, UK hosts summit to help vulnerable nations fund climate action

Research to enhance climate action in developing countries is being threatened with aid cuts at a time when the UK is seeking ‘practical steps’ to boost climate investment

Rare IMF relief offers a hope of green recovery to debt-laden nations

As the IMF prepares a $650 billion injection of funds into the global economy, there are calls to target support to climate vulnerable nations

UK pivots on oil pipeline – Climate Weekly

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Trawling up trouble – Climate Weekly

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Indian lawmaker submits private bill to achieve net zero emissions by 2050

A lawmaker from India’s ruling party has proposed a bill to “start a discussion” on net zero emissions – while defending coal mining in his district

Lebanon increases climate goal despite political and economic turmoil

While battling political upheaval, coronavirus and its worst economic crisis in 30 years, Lebanon has strengthened its 2030 emissions target

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Finance

UK rules out public subsidy for East African oil pipeline

UK Export Finance will no longer back oil and gas projects overseas, shutting off a potential source of support for a major pipeline across Uganda and Tanzania

Carbon markets are proving resilient to the coronavirus pandemic

In contrast with the aftermath of the 2008 financial crash, carbon prices have not taken a big hit from Covid-19, reflecting improvements in market design

Slash and burn: how the UK government is cutting aid while propping up fossil fuels

There’s a huge shameful loophole in the Cop26 host’s pledge to stop funding fossil fuels abroad. It must be fixed before other nations copy it

Scientists push to add “huge” fish trawling emissions to national inventories

Bottom-trawling for fish releases more carbon dioxide each year than Germany, a study has revealed, yet this is not included in national carbon accounts

Green Climate Fund whistleblowers urge US to take its money elsewhere – until ‘toxic’ workplace is fixed

As John Kerry promises to “make good” on a $2 billion pledge to the GCF, the UN’s flagship fund faces critically low confidence in its senior management

EU lawmakers threaten to veto green finance rules – for opposing reasons

A draft EU sustainable finance taxonomy is under fire for being too strict and not strict enough, with gas and nuclear at the heart of the controversy

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

Concerns raised about Green Climate Fund flood defence project in Samoa

Flood walls in Samoa financed by the UN’s flagship climate fund are inadequate and could put people in danger, experts warn

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Justice

Total’s play for Ugandan oil tests the climate commitment of international banks

A final investment decision on the East African Crude Oil Pipeline is expected at the end of March, as campaigners urge financial institutions to avoid fossil fuels

Climate Home News seeks pitches for climate justice reporting programme

Send us your story ideas about how communities on the frontlines of climate change are building resilience and confronting injustice

Unequal vaccine rollout threatens inclusivity of Cop26, climate diplomats warn

Negotiators are worried that requiring a vaccine passport to attend November’s critical UN climate summit will exclude developing countries with limited supplies

Why Grenada had to nationalise its electricity for $60m to pursue renewables

A one-sided privatisation deal and flawed World Bank advice landed Grenada with a hefty legal bill to reform its electricity sector and cut reliance on polluting diesel

Court condemns French government over climate inaction with symbolic €1 fine

Campaigners have hailed a ‘historic victory’ after an administrative court concluded the French government could be held responsible for breaching its 2015-18 carbon budget

Blocked migrant caravan leaves thousands trapped in hurricane-hit Honduras

Around 8,000 Hondurans were dispersed before they could reach the US, highlighting a lack of support for people fleeing climate disaster zones

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

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Energy

How the shipping industry can halve climate-warming black carbon in the Arctic

Switching to cleaner shipping fuel would prevent Arctic warming and deliver an easy win for the climate

China makes no shift away from coal in five-year plan as it ‘crawls’ to carbon neutrality

Beijing set out incremental increases in climate targets to 2025, allowing for continued expansion of “clean” coal, to the disappointment of climate watchers

Methane emissions from Russian pipelines surged during the coronavirus pandemic

Falling gas prices and a lack of maintenance may have contributed to a 40% increase in the number of methane releases from Russian pipelines in 2020, analysts say

French climate bill set for rocky ride after citizens’ assembly slams weak ambition

After the citizens’ assembly complained they had not been fully listened to, lawmakers submitted over 4,000 amendments to Macron’s landmark climate bill

Japan, US exposed as UN chief urges G7 to commit to 2030 coal exit

At a summit on “powering past coal”, António Guterres called on rich countries to lead, putting pressure on Japan and the US to produce exit plans

China’s dirty Covid-19 recovery leaves heavy lifting on climate to its five-year plan

Official government figures show energy, steel and cement consumption rose in 2020, pushing emissions up as Beijing is expected to reveal 2025 targets

Bangladesh scraps nine coal power plants as overseas finance dries up

The rising costs of coal imports and Bangladesh’s role as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum contributed to the decision to axe power projects, analysts say

Fragile countries call for investment in rooftop solar to expand energy access

War-torn states struggle to attract funding for small-scale renewable projects, which leaders say are cheaper, cleaner and less vulnerable to conflict than fossil fuels

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Land

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

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

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

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

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Transport

It took the Suez Canal crisis to highlight the scale of the polluting shipping sector

The growing global shipping fleet is increasing the sector’s climate and environmental impacts. To rein it in, we need a global carbon price for shipping

Mauritius oil spill: questions mount over ship fuel safety

More than six months after the Wakashio spilled fuel oil into a pristine lagoon, Mauritians are still waiting for answers and compensation

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

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

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Science

China, US urged to step up as UN warns world ‘very far’ from meeting climate goals

Collectively, updated national targets will only reduce emissions 0.5% by 2030 from 2010, UN analysis finds — far from the 45% scientists say is needed to hold warming to 1.5C

“Science-based” corporate climate targets are no such thing, says former advisor

As the number of businesses setting ‘science-based’ targets surges, experts are calling for more transparency over how those numbers are calculated

Study suggests China’s crackdown on illegal CFC gases is working

Levels of the banned CFC-11 in the atmosphere have fallen over east Asia after the Chinese government cracked down on illegal producers in the foam industry

Fatal Himalayan glacial lake outburst highlights destabilising effect of warming

More than 200 people are dead or missing after floods gushed through mountain gorges in Uttarakhand, India, in a disaster linked to climate change

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

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

‘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

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

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