Climate News

Revealed: Cop26 sponsor National Grid spewing methane across England

A campaigner with an infrared camera and methane monitor found significant leaks at National Grid compressor stations in eastern England

Modi’s ‘gamechanger’ palm oil push raises concerns for Indian forests and women

Prime minister Narendra Modi has big plans for palm oil cultivation. But the experience of farmers in Mizoram does not bode well

A US coal-state senator makes losers of us all – Climate Weekly

Sign up to get our weekly newsletter straight to your inbox, plus breaking news, investigations and extra bulletins from key events

US climate credibility in doubt as legislative wrangles go down to the wire

Ten days before Cop26 climate talks, president Joe Biden’s climate policies are being blocked by coal state senator Joe Manchin, weakening his hand internationally

Emerging economies slam Cop26 net zero push as ‘anti-equity’

In a rebuke to the UK hosts of next month’s climate summit, countries including China, India and Saudi Arabia said a call for net zero goals went “against climate justice”

UK sets out economy-wide strategy to meet 2050 net zero goal

Analysts welcomed the plan days before the UK hosts the Cop26 summit but warned more public investments were needed to give it credibility

UK and EU must not abet the theft of indigenous territory in Brazil

Brazil’s indigenous people are anxiously awaiting a supreme court judgement on our land rights. Proposed new laws in the EU and UK will profoundly affect us too

‘Breakthrough’: IMF develops fund to help debt-laden nations address climate risks

The IMF trust fund could be worth up to $50 billion and meet vulnerable countries’ call for support to address the triple crisis of debt, Covid and climate change

Once a vital feature of climate talks, has the huddle had its day?

Under rules to prevent the spread of Covid, negotiators at Cop26 have been asked to keep a metre distance, meaning they need to find new ways to resolve differences

Pioneer of attribution science Geert Jan van Oldenborgh dies, aged 59

The Dutch scientist led research linking climate change to individual extreme weather events in real time and is warmly remembered by his collaborators

More

Politics

Hang the bunting, order the cake – Climate Weekly

Sign up to get our weekly newsletter straight to your inbox, plus breaking news, investigations and extra bulletins from key events

On the edge of the Amazon, Manoki people grow soy and fight for land rights

In Mato Grosso, an indigenous group that was almost wiped out by white settlers is balancing tradition and modern agriculture to survive

Heat rises on donor countries to meet overdue $100bn climate finance promise

Nearly 150 green groups have told rich governments they must make up for missing their climate aid target by delivering $600bn in total 2020-25

Japan eyes international carbon offsets to deliver 2030 emission cuts

Campaigners accused Japan of failing to take responsibility for cutting its own emissions and relying on developing nations to do so

UN isolation fund launched to support Cop26 delegates who contract Covid-19

Delegates who test positive for Covid-19 must isolate for 10 days, with a solidarity fund to cover extra accommodation costs for developing countries

Xi Jinping announces biodiversity fund to help developing nations protect nature

The Chinese president called on other donor countries to contribute to the $230 million fund for biodiversity at Kunming talks

Countries failing to protect forests, 7 years after New York declaration

Of the 32 biggest forest nations, only India has set an ambitious tree planting target and others are falling far short, according to analysis of their latest climate pledges

Edging to net zero – Climate Weekly

Sign up to get our weekly newsletter straight to your inbox, plus breaking news, investigations and extra bulletins from key events

More

Finance

We don’t have time to dismiss carbon markets as a climate solution

Concerns carbon markets could become a new form of colonialism are not unfounded – but with robust safeguards, they can deliver much-needed climate finance

The IEA is embracing 1.5C ambition, leaving no excuse for new fossil fuel investment

In a fundamental shift in mainstream thinking, the world’s most influential energy body has for the first time put a net zero scenario at the heart of its forecasting

Dispute grips Green Climate Fund over net zero condition for accessing finance

Board members from developing countries insisted that making a 2050 net zero goal a condition for accreditation to the fund breaches equity principles

GCF considers renewed partnership with UNDP, amid corruption investigations

The Green Climate Fund board has been advised to re-accredit the UN development agency, despite unresolved corruption claims against projects in Samoa and Armenia

Defunding dirty energy – Climate Weekly

Sign up to get our weekly newsletter straight to your inbox, plus breaking news, investigations and extra bulletins from key events

Why I refuse to collude with polluters in the carbon offsetting lie

The industry-led Taskforce on Scaling Voluntary Carbon Markets is pitching carbon offsets as a win for the Global South. This is greenwashing at its most patronising

US to double climate finance again, but gap remains to $100bn

Joe Biden announced an increased US contribution to climate action in developing countries at the UN general assembly on Tuesday

Latest data shows rich countries little closer to $100bn climate finance promise

OECD figures show international climate finance increased by just 2% from 2018 to 2019, leaving a $20 billion shortfall to the 2020 target

More

Justice

Street vendors and garbage pickers need protection from climate extremes

Two billion people globally do informal work that exposes them to unsafe conditions like extreme heat, air pollution and flooding

Conservationists back indigenous peoples’ call to protect 80% of the Amazon by 2025

Members of the IUCN Congress overwhelmingly backed the motion but Brazilian experts warn the verdict will likely be ignored by Bolsonaro’s government

On a mission: Evangelicals flock to the Amazon home of isolated tribes

On Brazil’s border with Peru, evangelical churches are multiplying, in a threat to uncontacted indigenous groups

Conservation summit opens amid debate over role of indigenous people

A group of human rights NGOs has organised a counter-summit, claiming mainstream conservation measures aren’t respecting indigenous peoples’ rights

IPCC report a ‘call to arms’ for climate science in courts, legal experts say

Youth, climate disaster victims and vulnerable countries could use the latest UN science report as evidence to sue polluters for damages or remedial action

Chileans look to new constitution to return water to communities

Rural communities hope the drafting of a new constitution will dismantle water privatisation in Chile and recognise the right to access water

Shell court ruling is a wake-up call for governments to end fossil fuel support

Government-based public finance institutions that support new fossil fuel projects face the risk of climate litigation, lawyers warn

Paris deal enters boardrooms – Climate Weekly

Sign up to get our weekly newsletter straight to your inbox, plus breaking news, investigations and extra bulletins from key events

More

Energy

UK’s 2035 zero-carbon electricity goal is a diplomatic trendsetter, analysts say

The ruling Conservative party confirmed the government plans to end generating electricity with unabated gas, putting pressure on other major economies to follow

India’s vulnerability to coal shocks exposed amid surging energy demand and prices

The country’s looming energy crisis raises serious questions over India’s coal expansion plan as private investors move away from the sector, analysts say

UK seeks alliance to end public finance for coal, oil and gas projects overseas

The Cop26 hosts are trying to build a coalition of countries to align public finance with a 1.5C global warming limit, the toughest goal of the Paris Agreement

With Ted Cruz blocking US ambassadors, climate diplomacy suffers

Joe Biden has been unable to appoint ambassadors to capitals including Beijing and Delhi due to the Texas senator’s anti-Nord Stream 2 crusade

China’s power crunch could fuel anti-climate backlash, analysts warn

Many media reports have linked the power cuts to environmental policies aimed at curbing energy intensity, when high coal prices are the real culprit

European gas shortages prompt calls to accelerate clean energy transition

Analysts say renewables, insulation and electrification of heating and cooking are the answer to soaring gas prices across Europe

World leaders at UN urged to end public finance to fossil fuels

As world leaders meet to talk energy in New York, 200 green groups are urging them to embrace renewables and stop financing fossil fuels

President Xi declares end to Chinese support for new coal power abroad

Climate campaigners are celebrating as an end to Chinese public backing leaves few sources of finance for new coal plants around the world

More

Land

Indonesia ends forest protection deal with Norway, raising deforestation fears

The announcement took the Norwegian government and campaigners by surprise and came days before a moratorium on new palm oil concessions lifted

Conservationists set out ‘nature positive’ vision for global biodiversity deal

The IUCN Congress has come up with a blueprint for a “transformative” deal to protect plants and wildlife, which members hope governments will embrace in Kunming

A week of wildfires has left thousands homeless in southern Turkey

Experts say forest management and firefighting equipment is needed to prevent future disasters, as climate change brings hotter and drier conditions

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

More

Transport

UN boss calls for stronger aviation and shipping climate goals in line with 1.5C

Antonio Guterres said targets set at UN bodies for international transport were compatible with more than 3C of global warming and urged more action

Pacific islands call for zero carbon shipping by 2050, citing IPCC report

Three Pacific nations want to reopen talks on the long term climate target at the International Maritime Organization, urging higher ambition

Pacific islands make lonely case for carbon price on shipping

The Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands called for a price on shipping pollution at the UN body, but got only tepid support from European nations

With Indonesia’s answer to Elon Musk in jail, electric vehicles are going nowhere

Electric vehicle pioneer Dasep Ahmadi was imprisoned over a failed experiment, with a chilling effect on innovation

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

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

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

More

Science

Cop26 must urgently get specific on carbon removal in net-zero pathways

The last IPCC report overlooked the technical, financial, and political limitations of carbon removal techniques and risks informing poor policy choices

What is Cop26 and why does it matter? Your guide to the Glasgow climate summit

Following a two-year gap, countries are due to meet in the UK for UN climate talks in November. Here’s what is at stake

New York floods show subway systems must be prepared for climate change

After hurricane Ida swamped the city, experts set out how to increase the resilience of public transport infrastructure as flash-flooding events become more frequent

Leaked IPCC draft: Lifestyle change can cut double the emissions of Brazil by 2030

Meat, air con, flying and SUVs are driving emissions up, the latest science shows – and cleaner lifestyle choices can make a difference

Afghanistan at risk of hunger amid drought and Taliban takeover

As the Taliban seizes control of Afghanistan, experts warn severe drought could worsen the humanitarian crisis triggered by an exodus of western forces

The lesson from German floods: prepare for the unimaginable

A month after fatal floods swept through western Germany, survivors are still in shock and experts warn such disasters are becoming more common

Developing nations push to define ‘unacceptably vague’ adaptation goal

South Africa is proposing a quantitative target for boosting resilience to climate impacts globally, but there are technical and political hurdles

Following the science means slashing emissions 7% per year – starting now

Governments and businesses have set laudable net zero targets, but few have committed to the annual CO2 cuts this decade the planet needs

More