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Vulnerable to Climate Change: South Asia at Risk of Food, Water Insecurity

Dec 12th, 2014 | By
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Environment and food security experts have said that better water management is essential to ensure food security in South Asia. They were speaking at a panel on “Water and Food Security in South Asia in the Era of Climate Change” as part of the three-day “Pathways to Sustainable Development” conference, organised by the Sustainable Development

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Lima Climate Summit: Saarc Stands Up to be Counted as One

Dec 12th, 2014 | By




The Saarc bloc has finally emerged as a united force at the ongoing climate talks with ministers and key representatives of all eight member countries formally sealing the existence of south Asia as a common entity here as far as putting across their stand at the UN forum is concerned. TOI had last week suggested

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U.N. Carbon Scheme Investors Unlikely to Get Lifeline From Lima

Dec 12th, 2014 | By
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Reuters: Hundreds of companies in developing countries that invested in projects to generate UN-backed carbon credits had hoped the Lima climate talks would yield measures boosting the price of the credits, but they are likely to be disappointed. Negotiators and carbon market experts say that discussions at the UN climate conference have not seriously addressed

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John Kerry Warns of ‘Moral Failure’ at Climate Conference

Dec 12th, 2014 | By




If an ambitious agreement is not reached urgently to tackle the grave threat posed by climate change, it would be seen by future generations as a “massive collective moral failure”, according to US secretary of state John Kerry. In a powerful and impassioned speech at the UN’s Lima climate conference, he said every nation had

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When COPs Converge: The Biodiversity And Climate Link

Dec 11th, 2014 | By




A key theme of the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) that took place two months ago was integrating biodiversity targets into other parts of the United Nations development process. That theme has found voice at several side events at the 20th meeting of

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Time Presses as Climate Talks Head for Penultimate Day

Dec 11th, 2014 | By
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 AFP/ec: Environment ministers from around the world face mounting time pressure on Thursday (Dec 11) to shape a blueprint for a global pact on climate change with ground-breaking carbon curbs at its core. There are concerns over an unwieldy draft text, intended to guide negotiations that by Dec 2015 must forge the most ambitious environmental

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India Claims Plan for New Energy Mix is a Game-changer

Dec 10th, 2014 | By
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India’s contribution to global carbon emissions was only 7% last year, yet there are fears being expressed in the western world that rapid population growth and development will mean this vast country will soon be a major polluter − like its neighbour, China. For the world, it is a continued worry that if the country

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Earth at ‘Tipping Point,’ UN General Assembly President Warns, Urging Climate Reform

Dec 10th, 2014 | By
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Planet earth is “moving towards the tipping point” warned the President of the United Nations General Assembly at UN climate talks in Peru, where he called for world leaders to take urgent action towards a climate agreement that promotes socio-economic development in a sustainable manner. Briefing reporters in Lima ahead of his address to the

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Lima Climate Talks: South American Diplomats Hopeful of Progress on Deal

Dec 10th, 2014 | By
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South American diplomats expect to make progress towards a global climate deal at this week’s UN talks in Lima, despite growing criticism from NGOs that governments in the region are backtracking on pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect the environment. Senior officials from the host, Peru, and biggest regional emitter, Brazil, told the

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Goal to End Fossil Fuels by 2050 Surfaces in Lima UN Climate Documents

Dec 9th, 2014 | By
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It’s a rare thing when you can point to paragraphs in a United Nations climate negotiating text and feel they more or less match what most of the science says should become a reality. Yet in Lima on Monday, it happened. Our little revolutionary moment comes in a document with the memorable title “ADP 2-7

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Daunting Tasks at UN Climate Change Conference in Lima

Dec 9th, 2014 | By
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Ministers from dozens of countries, including Minister for Energy and Natural Resources Alex White, arriving in Lima for the final week of UN climate negotiations face the daunting task of bridging wide gaps on the shape and content of a global deal. These divisions between developed and developing countries resurfaced as the Philippines was hit

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Climate Neutrality – the Lifeboat Launched by Lima

Dec 9th, 2014 | By
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(IPS) – Packed into stifling meeting rooms in the Peruvian capital, delegates from 195 countries are trying to find a path that would make it possible for the planet to reach climate neutrality in the second half of this century – the only way to avoid irreversible damage, scientists warn. Climate neutrality is defined as

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Plea for South Asia to Unite in Fight Against Climate Risks

Dec 8th, 2014 | By
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The countries of South Asia need to stand together in their efforts to push for more finance from the developed world to help them adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change,  a prominent regional expert says. Saleemul Huq, from Bangladesh, a lead negotiator for the group of Least Developed Countries told a fringe meeting

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Biodiversity Protection is Key to REDD+ Success: Study

Dec 8th, 2014 | By
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Protecting biodiversity may be crucial for successfully storing carbon in forests, scientists say. A recent publication on Oryx – The International Journal of Conservation suggests that biodiversity loss –especially through hunting – will hinder the success of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) projects. As an initiative to combat climate change by storing

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UN Secretary General Says no Plans to Reduce Sustainable Development Goals

Dec 8th, 2014 | By
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The UN secretary general has ruled out any immediate cut in the number of proposed sustainable development goals with the launch on Thursday of his synthesis report, The Road to Dignity by 2030 (pdf). In the report, Ban Ki-moon reaffirmed the 17 goals and 169 targets proposed by the UN open working group that will

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UN Lima Climate Talks Hit by Rift Over Funding and Adaptation Commitments

Dec 8th, 2014 | By
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Negotiators at the UN climate talks in Lima have encountered yet another stumbling block with nations divided over including finance and adaptation commitments in national action plans. The European Union and Japan want national offers to be focused only on mitigation actions to reduce planet-warming emissions. Brazil, on the other hand, wants countries to be able

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Oil Companies at Climate Talks Dismiss ‘Carbon Bubble’ Fears

Dec 7th, 2014 | By
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As diplomats in Lima work towards a global deal to combat climate change, oil industry representatives are taking comfort from the slow pace of talks. Analysts say an effective deal to limit dangerous global warming would slash demand for fossil fuels and the value of oil companies. Earlier this week, the Bank of England launched

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Week Ends on Optimism in Lima

Dec 7th, 2014 | By
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As the first week of the UN climate talks draws to a close, the initial despair has turned to optimism but there is still a long way to go in terms of finalising key elements for contributions from countries or a draft agreement for Lima. Saleemul Huq, the director of the International Centre for Climate Change &

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Why Unborn Children Must be Part of the UN Climate Deal

Dec 7th, 2014 | By
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In terms of climate change, youth are the future, and therefore will see the worsening of climate impacts. We will see sea level rising, ecosystems changing, populations moving. We will be the ones to feel its impacts on economy and society: we will fear for our children, for our jobs, and for our lives. Without

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China Outlines Vision for 2015 UN Climate Change Deal

Dec 5th, 2014 | By
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As the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, China is critical to the success of international efforts to tackle climate change. When softly spoken lead negotiator Su Wei held a press briefing on day four of UN climate talks in Lima, journalists hung on his every word. China will publish its national contribution “if not in

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India Calls for Strong Adaptation Measures at Lima Climate Talks

Dec 5th, 2014 | By




Members of the Indian delegation at the 20th session to the Conference of the Parties (COP20) made it clear that “adaptation is critical to the country’s development paradigm” in view of climate change. The new government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been a strong advocate of adaptation measures since coming to power in New

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The Best Ways to Track the SDGs

Dec 5th, 2014 | By
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The indicators to measure the success of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were an afterthought devised by UN officials “in a dark room in New York and thrust down countries’ throats” and, as such, were a lost opportunity, says Guido Schmidt-Traub, executive director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). To ensure the

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COP 20 in Lima: Africa at Disproportionate Risk from Climate Change

Dec 5th, 2014 | By
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Today, the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 20) begins in Lima (Peru) and is widely seen – as Elias Ntungwe Ngalame in an article for Deutsche Welle (DW) rightly notes – by environmental experts “as a crucial springboard to COP 21 in Paris” next year. Naturally, the large

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‘They Say That in 30 Years Maybe Kiribati Will Disappear’

Dec 4th, 2014 | By
Batiri Tataio and her grandson Mikaere of Temaiku on South Tarawa, Kiribati




The highest point on South Tarawa, the capital island of Kiribati, survives behind a wall of sandbags and rock. It lies so close to the sea that one of the agile kids who make up almost half the population could leap from the top and land in the water three metres below. Across the Pacific

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EU Calls For Legally Binding Emissions Cuts At Lima COP20

Dec 4th, 2014 | By
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At Tuesday’s Lima COP20 meeting, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action opened its 13th session. The main event of the day, this ADP meeting started off with the preparations for next year’s Paris agreement. Co-chair Kishan Kumarsingh opened the main plenary of the Lima COP20 with negotiations on the

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COP20: Make or Break for Developing Countries on New Climate Deal

Dec 4th, 2014 | By
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On Monday, the first day of the 20th U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, the atmosphere was hopeful but with an undertone of urgency as UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres noted COP20 “must make history” in the battle against global warming. “This is it” was the message coming from delegates and observers in the hallways in

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Finance for Climate Action Flowing Globally

Dec 4th, 2014 | By
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Hundreds of billions of dollars of climate finance may now be flowing across the globe annually according to a landmark assessment presented today to governments meeting in Lima, Peru at the UN Climate Convention meeting. The assessment – which includes a summary and recommendations by the UNFCCC Standing Committee on Finance and a technical report

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Development and Climate Days at UN Climate Talks to Highlight ‘Historic Opportunity’ to Reduce Poverty and Emissions to Zero

Dec 2nd, 2014 | By
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Extreme poverty and the impacts of climate change, which already affect many millions of people worldwide, can be overcome by far-sighted, joined-up action on both at once, the Development and Climate Days event at UN climate talks in Peru will hear. The heads of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, the International Institute for

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UN Climate Talks Set Sights on Historic Paris Pact

Dec 2nd, 2014 | By
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AFP/ir/ec: To fresh warnings and appeals to seize the political momentum, UN talks opened in Lima on Monday (Dec 1) tasked with drawing the outlines of a 2015 deal to roll back climate change. Gathering 195 states, the 12-day meeting also has to agree on the pact’s heart – a format for nations to make

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Drought-hit Sao Paulo May ‘Get Water From Mud’: TRFN

Dec 1st, 2014 | By
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – São Paulo, Brazil’s drought-hit megacity of 20 million, has about two months of guaranteed water supply remaining as it taps into the second of three emergency reserves, officials say. The city began using its second so-called “technical reserve” 10 days ago to prevent a water crisis after reservoirs reached critically low

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UN Climate Talks Begin as Global Temperatures Break Records

Dec 1st, 2014 | By
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One hundred and ninety-five nations have committed to finalising a new climate pact in Paris by 2015’s end. The process has been boosted by recent developments, including a joint announcement on cutting carbon by the US and China. The two weeks of discussions have started amid record-breaking global temperatures for the year to date. According

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TIB Urges Govt to Raise Voice at COP 20

Dec 1st, 2014 | By




Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has urged the government to raise a strong voice in the upcoming international climate conference to ensure more transparency and accountability in climate financing. The 20th Conference of the Parties (COP 20) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will take place from today till the 12th of

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Climate Change Adaptation Comes of Age in U.N. Talks: TRFN

Dec 1st, 2014 | By
People walk near the Hualcan glacier in the Huascaran natural reserve in Ancash




(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In Peru, where two weeks of U.N. climate talks begin Monday, melting glaciers and more extreme weather such as hot spells and flash frosts are already harming crops and incomes, and keeping people in poverty, aid workers say. “From the Andes to the jungles, communities are doing what they can, but

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Geoengineering Could Worsen Climate Change

Dec 1st, 2014 | By
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Geoengineering – which sometimes seems to be the despairing climate scientist’s Plan B – simply won’t work. It won’t offer a quick fix to the planet’s burden of global warming, and it will be difficult to convince anybody that it could work at all. Geoengineering is any deliberate, large-scale intervention in the workings of the

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Progress Towards Ogoniland Clean-up following Geneva Talks

Nov 30th, 2014 | By
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Two-day stakeholder meetings held in Geneva on 24-25 November 2014 have carved a clear path forward for the implementation of environmental remediation measures proposed by UNEP in the Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland. Convened by Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, and facilitated by UNEP, the meetings mark a pivotal moment for the large-scale

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The Chinese Scientific Revolution Aims to Tackle Climate Change

Nov 30th, 2014 | By
Chinese icebreaker Xuelong, or Snow Dragon




This article is about the future landscape of science in general, and climate science in particular. Just a few days ago, the Chinese Academy of Sciences hosted a small workshop which involved scientists from around the world that work on a device called the Expendable Bathythermograph, or XBT for short. The obscurity of the conference

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Dismantling Ski Lifts and Moving Villages: Alps Adapt to Climate Change

Nov 30th, 2014 | By
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With temperatures rising faster in the Alps than the rest of the world, alpine countries are working together to adapt to climate change and hope to set an example. A recent Austrian climate change report found that the country’s temperatures had risen twice as fast as the global average since 1880, with the number of

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Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Committed to Developing Countries for Ozone Layer Protection

Nov 28th, 2014 | By
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Developing countries are to receive over US$507 million under the Montreal Protocol to ensure the continued phase-out of the ozone depleting substance hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The 197 parties to the Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol also decided to further discuss in a special meeting all issues related to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) management. HFCs have high greenhouse gas

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Common View on Climate Change, Disaster Mitigation

Nov 28th, 2014 | By




The leaders of Saarc member nations have called for cross-border information sharing and regional cooperation mechanism to fight climate change and to minimise the risks of natural disasters like floods and landslides in the region. Addressing the inaugural session of the 18th Saarc Summit at the City Hall in Kathmandu on Wednesday, the leaders highlighted

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Full Text of the Kathmandu Declaration

Nov 28th, 2014 | By
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1. (Regional Cooperation): The Heads of State or Government expressed their strong determination to deepen regional integration for peace, stability and prosperity in South Asia by intensifying cooperation, inter alia, in trade, investment, finance, energy, security, infrastructure, connectivity and culture; and implementing projects, programmes and activities in a prioritised, result-oriented and time-bound manner. 2. (South

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Vehicles on Rohtang Should be Fuelled by CNG: Green Panel

Nov 28th, 2014 | By




IANS: The ice mass on high Himalayan mountain pass Rohtang, overlooking this tourist resort in Himachal Pradesh, is reducing rapidly due to air pollution and in the next 20 to 25 years it may vanish altogether, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has said. This would create serious repercussions on ecology and the environment of the

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Prospects Rise for a 2015 U.N. Climate Deal, But Likely to be Weak

Nov 27th, 2014 | By
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(Reuters) – A global deal to combat climate change in 2015 looks more likely after promises for action by China, the United States and the European Union, but any agreement will probably be too weak to halt rising temperatures. Delegates from almost 200 nations will meet in Lima, Peru, from Dec. 1-12 to work on

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Cities Must Adapt to Climate Change, or Risk Disaster

Nov 27th, 2014 | By
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With a rise in natural disasters such as super storms, storm surges, landslides and floods, we are regularly reminded of the need to make our cities safer and stronger. Typhoon Haiyan last year killed more than 6,000 people and thousands more still live in temporary shelters. Climate change will only increase the frequency and intensity

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Geo-engineering: Climate Fixes ‘Could Harm Billions’

Nov 26th, 2014 | By
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Schemes to tackle climate change could prove disastrous for billions of people, but might be required for the good of the planet, scientists say. That is the conclusion of a new set of studies into what’s become known as geo-engineering. This is the so far unproven science of intervening in the climate to bring down

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Kashmiris Urge India-Pakistan Cooperation to Head off Disasters

Nov 26th, 2014 | By
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Since India’s Jammu and Kashmir state was hit in September by its worst-ever floods, which also affected people on Pakistan’s side of the disputed border, the two rival nations are under growing pressure to put aside their differences to protect Kashmiris from rising disaster threats. During the recent floods, a top

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Lima Talks to test Political Will for Global Climate Deal

Nov 25th, 2014 | By
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UN climate talks opening in Lima on 1 December will be pivotal to gauge political will for a new global climate deal.  Governments are expected to agree on the outline of an agreement to be approved in Paris in 2015. With overwhelming scientific evidence of the increased rate and impact of climate change, it is

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Protecting Biodiversity With Rigour

Nov 25th, 2014 | By
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The Prime Minister recently reorganised his National Council on Climate Change and called on an indigenous answer, yoga, to alter consciousness and tackle climate change. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) is currently working on the National Democratic Alliance’s position on climate change, with two major United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meetings

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Disaster Risk in South Asia

Nov 25th, 2014 | By
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South Asia has 1.7 billion people, of which more than 70 per cent live in poverty. Despite having tremendous natural resource base such as water, minerals, forest, productive fertile land and industrious people, this region remains underdeveloped primarily due to political instability, poor leadership, inability to utilize natural resources at optimum level and frequent disasters.

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We Need More Carbon Dioxide, Not Less

Nov 24th, 2014 | By




AUSTRALIAN politics has been more influenced by the climate debate than any other country. Yet Australia is responsible for only 1.5 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Perhaps this speaks of Australia’s extraordinary commitment to the international community. Yet Australia has threatened to hobble its own economy while much larger ­nations take a pass while

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Curtain Raiser for Himalayan Consensus Summit

Nov 24th, 2014 | By




Himalayan Consensus Institute and the Nepal Economic Forum organized a curtain raiser in Kathmandu on Sunday for the Himalayan Consensus Summit which will be held in Bhutan in July 2015. The program focuses on the Himalayan Consensus theme as an alternative development paradigm, focusing particularly on exploring new equations in ecological balance, conservation and entrepreneurship.

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Climate Change is Not Just About Science – It’s About the Future We Want to Create

Nov 23rd, 2014 | By
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Next December, 196 nations will meet in Paris to agree a course of action to respond to climate change. They will do so under the auspices of the UN framework convention on climate change. This is an international treaty negotiated at the Earth summit in Rio in 1992 with the objective to “stabilise greenhouse gas

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PC Recommends Bringing Down SAARC Centres From 11 to 5

Nov 23rd, 2014 | By




The process of the 18th Summit of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation started today with the 49th Programming Committee meeting of the regional bloc in Kathmandu. The PC discussion recommended reduction of the number of SAARC regional centres from the existing 11 to five. Joint-secretaries from the Ministry of Foreign/External Affairs of all eight

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Global Conference 2016 in Nepal

Nov 23rd, 2014 | By




The Nepal Unit of the Nature–Human Centric Peoples Movement is going to organize a global conference 2016 in Nepal. General Secretary at Nepal Unit, Dindaya Rijal, informed that the conference will discuss climate change effects, global warming, widening gulf between the rich and poor, unemployment, corruption, rule of law, and nuclear reactor. Before this, many

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Saving Forests Not Enough to Stop Carbon Imbalance

Nov 21st, 2014 | By
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Foresters may be guardians of the planet, but they may need to think about more than just the forests to reduce the threats from climate change. New research suggests that a policy that protects the planet’s forests from fire and the chainsaw must also deliver new ways of stopping the spread of agriculture into other

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UN: Cut CO2 Emissions to Zero by 2070, or Experience a ‘Global Catastrophe’

Nov 21st, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: The world must cut CO2 emissions to zero by 2070 at the latest to keep global warming below dangerous levels and prevent a global catastrophe, the UN warns. By 2100, all greenhouse gas emissions – including methane, nitrous oxide and ozone, as well as CO2 – must fall to zero, the United Nationals

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Investigative Climate Reporting Stressed

Nov 21st, 2014 | By




Speakers at a workshop on ‘Climate Change Communication’, jointly organised by the government, Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists and the Department for International Development, urged journalists to report on investigative climate change information in a simple language to raise awareness among local communities of various developmental regions. Highlighting the lack of effective reporting to warn

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The Path to Climate Neutrality: UNEP Gap Report

Nov 20th, 2014 | By
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The UN’s top climate official today welcomed a report that underlines how the world can keep a global temperature rise under 2 degrees Celsius. The report, released today by the UN Environment programme (UNEP) in advance of the UN’s next climate conference in Lima, Peru sets out the pathways required to avoid dangerous climate change.

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Can New Global Fund Rescue Those Worst Hit by Climate Change?

Nov 20th, 2014 | By
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(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – When U.S. President Barack Obama announced a $3 billion pledge to a new international climate change fund, he made a point of highlighting how the money would help poor countries hit by worsening extreme weather and rising seas. Climate change adaptation – measures that protect people and assets, such as early

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Fall of Ancient Civilization Offers Climate Warning

Nov 19th, 2014 | By
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Two scholars have a new explanation for the collapse of one of the great Bronze Age civilizations. The Assyrian empire of the 7th century BC – based in Nineveh, in what is now northern Iraq – may have collapsed at least in part because of a population explosion and climate change in the form of

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Looking Beyond IPCC Reports in the Himalayas

Nov 19th, 2014 | By
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Moving beyond the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports can help integrate scientific and traditional knowledge for effective adaptation action in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region, an international gathering of climate experts in Kathmandu heard. Participants from 22 countries stressed at the 9-12 November conference in Kathmandu the need for increased knowledge

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