Climate politics

UK looks certain to host 2020 UN climate talks after deal with Italy

Joint proposal would send the pivotal talks to Britain, overcoming European uncertainty about Brexit

Ireland to ‘nudge’ its way to net zero emissions by 2050

Government plans to enshrine a tougher climate target in law, but tough questions about the future of beef farming remain to be settled

Five things to watch at UN climate talks in Bonn

From contentious rules on carbon trading, through efforts to raise ambition to who will host next year’s summit, negotiators have a full agenda this fortnight

Majority of EU states, including Germany, now support 2050 net zero climate goal

Momentum builds for the bloc to land a deal on its long term climate target ahead of a leaders meeting this week

As voices for the planet grow louder, UN Environment must respond

Incoming UN green chief says that growing pressure from people across the world means the organisation must redouble its efforts

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Which countries have a net zero carbon goal?

A growing number of governments are setting targets to end their contribution to global warming. Bookmark this page to stay up to date

EU aims for long term climate deal by ‘early 2020’

Draft conclusions for a meeting of EU leaders indicate the bloc will not set its 2050 climate target this year, despite pressure from the UN secretary general

Latest climate politics


London bids to host 2020 UN climate talks to show UK remains ‘open’

Mayor Sadiq Khan writes to UK prime minster urging every effort to win the presidency of Cop26 in the face of a competing bid from Italy

UK and Italy bid for 2020 climate talks, amid political uncertainty for both

Both countries face potential general elections and economic problems before the crucial Cop26 meeting and the UK may still be in a Brexit imbroglio

Belfast’s bid to join UK environment law raises post-Brexit border issues

Adding Northern Ireland to the environment law adds pressure on London to keep its regulations in step with the EU’s

New UK green watchdog to be based on EU system, says Gove

‘Whatever else are the defects of the EU – that is a good working model,’ the environment secretary told MPs

UK bill would weaken environmental law after Brexit, legal experts tell MPs

The bill creates ‘get-out-of-jail-free cards’ for ministers and exposes the environment watchdog to government influence, they said

Ireland needs new oil and gas fields to ease reliance on Brexit UK, say drillers

Oil and gas explorers are gearing up to drill offshore Ireland in a bid to boost its energy independence from Britain

Irish energy industry calls for new links to Europe amid Brexit fears

Grid operator boss calls on Brussels to approve funding for a new electricity connection to France to avoid isolation from continent

In Ireland, Brexit proofing must mean climate proofing

Brexit has led to delays in climate action just at the moment when bold plans could soften the impact of the UK divorce, writes MEP Lynn Boylan


UN Climate Talks

EU should not raise 2030 climate target, says Juncker

Ahead of a meeting of European leaders, the European Commission president says raising the bloc’s Paris Agreement target ‘does not make sense’

UN Environment official attacks agency’s own carbon offsetting policy

Confusion reigns as UN Environment publishes, then retracts, an article criticising the use of carbon credits to make up for polluting activities

EU plans first satellite fleet to monitor CO2 in every country

Three orbiters will give first complete view of earth’s surface, transforming the way carbon emissions are monitored and reported

Brazil reverses decision to cancel Latin American climate week

Government backtracks under pressure from mayor of host city, who is a political friend of president Jair Bolsonaro

Merkel pledges to make Germany carbon neutral by 2050

The chancellor said her “climate cabinet” would consider how to get to net-zero emissions, aligning Germany with states calling for higher EU-wide ambition

Brazil cancels Latin American climate summit

After backing out of hosting the 2019 UN climate summit, the Bolsonaro administration has changed its plan to hold a week-long event in Salvador

New guidelines, old loopholes as world’s carbon accounting is overhauled

A mammoth scientific review of greenhouse gas monitoring methods does not address flaws around bioenergy use, according to campaigners

How can the biodiversity and climate crises be tackled together?

The protection of nature is a major weapon against the climate crisis, but it remains on the periphery of diplomacy and finance. That might be changing

UN climate talks

Paris Agreement

Australia’s emissions rise again, putting Paris climate promise in doubt

Data showing increase was released late, in defiance of a senate order, but leaked to a major newspaper, leading to accusations of contempt of parliament

UK government mulls emissions fudge, against official advice

The Financial Times reports the government will ignore guidance and use surplus from outperforming one carbon budget to meet the next goal

House passes bill opposing Trump Paris Agreement withdrawal

The symbolic legislation seeks to compel the administration to adhere to its climate pledges and cut off funding for the US withdrawal from Paris

The Paris Agreement always needed Extinction Rebellion and Greta Thunberg

Even as governments agreed the ambitious goals of the 2015 global pact, it was clear citizens would have to mobilise to hold them to their promises

As climate fight enters new phase, local responses are starved of funding

Global, one-size-fits-all solutions work for cutting emissions, but adapting to warming requires an altogether different approach

After 25 years of failure, we should abandon the UNFCCC

Emissions are at record levels and the international treaty designed to rein them in cannot drive action, it is time for new ideas to be explored

Leaders told to bring plans, not speeches to UN climate summit

A landmark conference hosted by Antonio Guterres in September aims to jolt flagging international action on climate change, in line with the latest science

Russia floats first law to regulate CO2 emissions

Draft bill would give government powers to regulate CO2 and create carbon markets, but faces stiff opposition inside and outside Moscow administration

Paris Agreement