POLICY ADVOCACY

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Oct 29th, 2014 | By




The commercial shipping sector is responsible for a billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year, a little more than Germany, and its contribution is set to skyrocket, according to a new pressure group report. Bill Hemmings, of pressure group Transport Environment, says that emissions by commercial shipping globally will increase 250 per cent between

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World Has Decided Not to do More to Fight Climate Change Till 2020

Oct 29th, 2014 | By
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Do not expect any country to up its fight against climate change between now and 2020. That is the plain reading of the diplomatic gobbledygook produced at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s recently concluded negotiations. The EU was once a leader on climate change. It is now trying hard to come down to the

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Research: Asia Most Vulnerable to Climate Change

Oct 28th, 2014 | By
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Populations living in low-lying, coastal Asian cities are at most risk from the effects of climate change, according to a report titled “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability,” presented last March at the climate talks in Yokohama Japan. The report warns that Asia’s coastline is the region of the globe most vulnerable to future flooding,

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Gangotri Glacier is ‘Rapidly Disintegrating’

Oct 28th, 2014 | By
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The Hindu: The Gangotri glacier is rapidly disintegrating, states the latest observation of a team from the Almora-based G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development. The team of the institute, which has been monitoring the Himalayan glaciers, particularly the Gangotri, since 1999, visited the glacier between June and October, this year. Kireet Kumar, Scientist

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Climate Change Fact or Fiction

Oct 27th, 2014 | By
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Climate change facts abound, and those who doubt the authenticity of claims from climate change scientists see these statistics as fiction rather than fact. The Climate Change / Global Warming debate has been going on for decades now, with mixed results. Believers on the left, naysayers on the right. Climate change is back in the

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India Wants Focus on Adaptation, CBDR to Tackle Climate Change

Oct 27th, 2014 | By




PTI: Ahead of UN Climate Conference, India on Monday made a strong pitch for focusing on adaptation and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) as part of the new global order on climate change, saying it cannot “only be about mitigation and emission cuts”. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said adaptation to the adverse effects of climate

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Rising Temperatures Threaten Farm Output

Oct 27th, 2014 | By
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Temperatures will go up and the productivity of farmlands will come down in future. This could lead to a food crisis, warned the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment report. With increasing temperatures IPCC has also cautioned that in the rice bowls of South India heat stress on the rice crop is

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Climate Linked to Shrink in Size of Alpine Chamois

Oct 26th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: The Alpine chamois is getting smaller. Researchers have found that climate change and a gradual rise in average temperatures over the last 35 years mean that young chamois now weigh about 25% less than animals of the same age did in the 1980s. The latest find, reported in Frontiers in Zoology, is

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EU Set to Allow Car Emissions Into Carbon Trading Market

Oct 26th, 2014 | By
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(Reuters) – The European Union is set to make it easier to bring road transport emissions into the carbon trading market, a move that critics say could empower carmakers to push back against more effective curbs on greenhouse gases. EU leaders will attempt to agree on energy policy for 2030 when they meet in Brussels

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No Concrete Result Reached in UN Climate Talks in Bonn

Oct 26th, 2014 | By




(Xinhua) — The third round of United Nations’ 2014 climate talks wrapped up in Bonn, Germany, on Saturday, reaching no concrete result and leaving heavy workload to climate conference in Lima, Peru, in December. In the past six days, nearly 1,200 negotiators from 176 countries and organizations gathered in the city which hosts the secretariat

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Researchers Resolve the Karakoram Glacier Anomaly, a Cold Case of Climate Science

Oct 24th, 2014 | By
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Researchers from Princeton University and other institutions may have hit upon an answer to a climate-change puzzle that has eluded scientists for years, and that could help understand the future availability of water for hundreds of millions of people. In a phenomenon known as the “Karakoram anomaly,” glaciers in the Karakoram mountains, a range within

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Geologist Seeks Clues About the Most Rapid and Dramatic Climate Change in Earth’s History

Oct 24th, 2014 | By
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This past summer, not long after collecting her degree from Caltech and thanks to the support of a Watson Fellowship, Hima Hassenruck-Gudipati (BS ’14) found herself walking alone along a creek near the northern Italian town of Feltre, about 50 miles north of Venice. She was not vacationing, but instead was on the hunt for

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EU Reaches Consensus on Climate Change Targets

Oct 24th, 2014 | By




PTI: European Union leaders have reached a deal on a comprehensive package of climate targets, including a binding 40 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the level of 1990 by 2030. They also agreed at a summit in Brussels yesterday to increase the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU to at least

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Rising to “the Greatest Challenge in Human History”

Oct 21st, 2014 | By




Different obstacles to food security need different solutions. Experience shows that a combination of actions is needed to reduce hunger and guarantee food security in the longer run. They include shifting towards more sustainable food systems, facilitating access and strengthening social protection. Within this framework, to sustainably rise to “The Greatest Challenge in Human History,”

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Governments Commit to Significant Funding Increase and Accelerated Action to Achieve Biodiversity Targets and Sustainable Development

Oct 21st, 2014 | By
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UNEP News Center: The Convention on Biological Diversity closed the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties today with Governments committing to step up actions to achieve, by the end of the decade, the Aichi Biodiversity Targets agreed four years ago, and contribute to the sustainable development agenda. A key outcome was the agreement by

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Loss and Damage: a Guide for the Confused

Oct 21st, 2014 | By
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At the nineteenth Conference of Parties (COP19) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Warsaw, Poland in December 2013, all parties agreed to set up a new Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) on Loss and Damage with an Executive Committee and three year mandate to report back at COP22 in December

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Prakash Mathema: Poorest Countries Have the Most to Lose at UN Climate Talks

Oct 21st, 2014 | By
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Nepal’s Prakash Mathema is leading the UN climate change negotiations for the group of Least Developed Countries Group (LDC). According to him, an ambitious outcome at the 2015 Paris UN summit can only be reached if vulnerability to climate change impacts of poorest countries are taken into consideration. Prakash Mathema is joint secretary at Nepal’s

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Climate Renews Famine Risk to Africa’s Sahel

Oct 21st, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: The Sahel, the arid belt of land that stretches from the Atlantic to the Red Sea and separates the Sahara desert from the African savanna, is no stranger to drought and famine. Now scientists in Sweden say the Sahel faces another humanitarian crisis even than in the recent past − with the changing

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Europe Emission Targets ‘Will Fail to Protect Climate’

Oct 20th, 2014 | By
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BBC: Prof Jim Skea, a vice-chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says the EU’s plan to cut CO2 emissions 40% by 2030 is too weak. He says it will commit future governments to “extraordinary and unprecedented” emissions cuts. The Commission rejected the claim, saying the 40% target puts Europe on track for long-term

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Eradicating Poverty Goes ‘Hand in Hand’ With Biodiversity Protection – UN Officials

Oct 19th, 2014 | By
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UN News Center: The protection of biodiversity is directly related to the eradication of poverty and stimulation of economic growth, senior United Nations officials stressed today at a meeting in Republic of Korea, calling on countries to take an integrated approach when it comes to development. “Maintaining biodiversity is related not only to direct conservation

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U.N. Meeting Emphasizes Border Area Biodiversity

Oct 19th, 2014 | By




Environment-related officials from 124 countries agreed to widen the scope of global coordination on preserving biodiversity worldwide during the 12th meeting of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, which closed on Friday in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province. Reaching a consensus through senior-level gatherings, participants said they adopted the “Gangwon Declaration” and “Pyeongchang Road Map,” both

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Environment Ministers Discuss Ways to Conserve Biodiversity

Oct 15th, 2014 | By
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A global meeting of environment ministers and heads of related international organizations began in the eastern city of Pyeongchang on Wednesday to discuss ways to conserve biodiversity for sustainable development. The high-level meeting was organized as part of the 12th meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity, which is underway in the city, 182 kilometers

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WB Suspends Grant Assistance to Nepal

Oct 15th, 2014 | By




The Himalayan Times: The World Bank Group has suspended its grant assistance to Nepal citing the country falls in the group of nations with low risk of debt distress, but has pledged to provide soft loan of Rs 700 billion. Of the total soft loan of Rs 700 billion, the country has already received commitment

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Sea Level Rises Unprecedented In Last 6000 Years

Oct 15th, 2014 | By
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A new study of past sea level changes spanning 35,000 years shows that during the period from 6,000 years ago until the mid-19th century there is no evidence of sea level changes over periods of longer than 200 years and no evidence of changes that exceeded 20cm. For comparison, sea levels have risen by around

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The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report: What Does it Mean For the Caribbean?

Oct 14th, 2014 | By
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Dr Kenrick Leslie, CBE, Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, reflects on the implications of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report for the region, as he prepares to welcome representatives of the IPCC and Caribbean governments and businesses to a special launch event, co-sponsored by CDKN, in Barbados this evening. The Caribbean’s response to

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Asia’s Mountainous Regions Very in Climate Sensitivity

Oct 14th, 2014 | By
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The high mountains of Asia, including the Karakoram, Himalayas, and Tibetan Plateau, combine to form a region of perplexing hydroclimate changes. Glaciers in the Karakoram region have exhibited mass stability or even expansion, contrasting with glacial mass loss across the nearby Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau. This suggests that different regional snowfall or temperature signals might

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Poor Nations Urged to Leapfrog Harmful HFC Refrigerants

Oct 13th, 2014 | By
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SciDev.Net: Efforts to rid the world of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a group of powerful greenhouse gases mainly used as refrigerants, may depend on developing nations being able to leapfrog these chemicals to less harmful alternatives, an environmental group has warned. HFCs were introduced following the 1989 Montreal Protocol as a replacement for chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which deplete the ozone

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Solar Dimming Reflects Complexity of Climate Change

Oct 13th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: Two separate studies have confirmed the extent of human influence on climate change – and, for once, carbon dioxide is not the usual suspect. One team has just found that air pollution dimmed the skies of northern Europe, reflected sunlight back into space, reduced evaporation, and increased river flow. The second group reports

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Uttarakhand Floods Result of Climate Change: Report

Oct 13th, 2014 | By




The 2013 Uttarakhand floods were most probably a consequence of “human-induced” climate change, a new report by the American Meteorological Society has suggested. The extraordinary rainfall in Uttarakhand in June last year has found a place in a list of 16 extreme weather events that the report says were most likely a direct result of

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Himalayan Glaciers In Karakoram Adding Bulk, Not Losing Ice, Says Study

Oct 13th, 2014 | By
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Reuters: Once again there is damning news against the Inter­governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this time from a study of glaciers in the Karakoram region of the Himalayas. It finds that the glaciers here are stable and snowfall is actually increasing adding to their bulk. Even earlier, these glaciers have been a source of

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Can’t Take the Heat

Oct 12th, 2014 | By
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As ocean temperatures rise over the next century, fish will migrate to cooler latitudes, according to projections by fisheries scientists at the University of British Columbia (UBC). As a result, many regions of the tropics could become “hotspots” for local fish extinctions, which could in turn threaten ecosystems and human livelihoods. The results, based on

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BASIC Meet: Efforts to Adapt to Climate Change High on Agenda

Oct 12th, 2014 | By




With the increasing frequency of extreme climate events, efforts to adapt to climate change was high on the agenda of the BASIC meet in Sun City, South Africa. The quartet comprising the four emerging developing economies of Brazil, South Africa, India and China, emphasized that the need to focus on adapting to climate change was

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Himalayan Blunders at People’s Peril

Oct 12th, 2014 | By




I left Srinagar a week before the floods. Passing by the Zero Kadal, Srinagar’s oldest bridge across the Jhelum I had remarked that the river was reduced to a nallah and if this was its appearance in the monsoon season, the health of the river was grim. Then within days the waters swelled and the

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World of Clean Energy ‘Feasible’ by Mid-century

Oct 10th, 2014 | By
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Climate News Network: A global low-carbon energy economy is not only feasible, it could double electricity supply by 2050 while actually reducing air and water pollution, according to new research. Even though photovoltaic power requires up to 40 times more copper than conventional power plants, and wind power uses up to 14 times more iron,

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Proposed SDGs Won’t Capture the Imagination

Oct 10th, 2014 | By
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Last week, leaders of U.N. member states began talks on the Sustainable Development Goals. Beginning 2016, the SDGs will guide the efforts of governments, international organizations, non government organizations and others on some of our largest collective challenges — reducing poverty and disease, and protecting our natural resources and environment. However, the current draft SDGs

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Cities Need Sustained Urbanization: Experts

Oct 10th, 2014 | By




As the Union government unfolds its long-term plans for planned development of urban centres, experts warn that poorly managed urbanization can be detrimental to sustainable development of cities like Pune. The United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) and The Forum of Environmental Journalists in India (FEJI) held a brainstorming session on climate change in New Delhi

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UNEP COP20 Report to Include Ministers From Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru

Oct 9th, 2014 | By
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The annual Climate Action report, supported by UNEP, will be launched at COP20 in Lima in December with ministers of environment, heads of key UN bodies and leaders of the world’s top NGO’s confirmed to participate. The publication was first launched in Bali for the UN Climate Change Conference in December 2007 (COP13) as a platform

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Tackling the Water-energy-food Nexus Without Reinventing the Wheel

Oct 9th, 2014 | By
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The water, energy and food (WEF) nexus has become a key concept for understanding the complexities of and interdependencies among the water, energy and agricultural sectors. It has become so key that this year’s World Water Week, organised by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) in September, was centred around this theme. Given the known

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UN Sets Six Month Deadline for Delivery of Draft Climate Agreement

Oct 9th, 2014 | By
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Countries have less than six months left to agree on the rough outline of a global climate change agreement, according to the two UN officials coordinating the process. Artur Runge Metzger and  Kishan Kumarsingh say they are “greatly encouraged” by progress on developing a draft text, but warn time for negotiations is running out. “October

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The 2015 Agreement, Civil Society and Climate Clubs

Oct 9th, 2014 | By
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The recent special report by the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), “Climate Protection as a World Citizen Movement”, contains several interesting ideas for the 2015 climate agreement. The report focuses on keeping the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius and reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fuels to zero by 2070 at the

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Nagoya Protocol Revisited

Oct 7th, 2014 | By




Now is the time to turn our gaze toward Pyeongchang. While largely overshadowed by the just completed Asian Games, Korea has been hosting an important international conference in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province. The Twelfth Conference of the Parties (called “COP 12”) to the Convention on Biological Diversity has been underway since Sept. 29. COP 12 runs

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World Falling Behind 2020 Plan for Nature Protection: U.N. Report

Oct 7th, 2014 | By




Guardian Newspapers Limited: International efforts to meet targets to stem the loss of wildlife and habitats are failing miserably, according to a United Nations report. The Global Biodiversity Outlook 4, published as nearly 200 countries meet on Monday in South Korea in a bid to tackle biodiversity loss, paints a damning picture of governments’ efforts

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Talking About Local Challenges Makes Climate Change Real

Oct 7th, 2014 | By
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Apple farmers in Indonesia’s highlands have seen harvests plummet due to warmer temperatures and shifting rainfall patterns. In Mongolia, where many make a living from animal husbandry, this age-old tradition is threatened by shrinking grasslands and desertification. Meanwhile, floods in Assam in northeast India regularly wash away homes and sources of income, but local people

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U.N. Biodiversity Convention Opens in Pyeongchang

Oct 6th, 2014 | By




The Korea Herald: A United Nations convention on biodiversity kicked off in the eastern city of Pyeongchang on Monday, bringing together government officials, environmentalists and business people from around the world. The 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, also called the COP 12, will run until Oct.

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Changing Climate Demands a Change in Thinking

Oct 6th, 2014 | By




Many countries in the Asia and the Pacific region are experiencing frequent and intense flooding, droughts and storms. Regional climate change trends include an average temperature increase of 0.76 degrees C and a 1-3 mm rise in sea levels annually. To address this, international experts held a discussion on how local communities are adapting to

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More Nations Commit to Fight Climate Change by Restoring Forests

Oct 6th, 2014 | By




World leaders announced new pledges to restore over 30 million hectares of degraded forest lands today at the UN Climate Summit in New York. The commitments come from Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, and Uganda, among others, and more than doubled the number of hectares contributing to achieving the Bonn Challenge—a global goal

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Washington Consensus on HFCs

Oct 6th, 2014 | By
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Here are two remarkably similar excerpts from two statements signed between President Barack Obama with two successive Indian Prime Ministers in Washington within a space of just a year. The first is from a statement signed on 27 September 2013 with Manmohan Singh and reads thus: “The two leaders agreed to immediately convene the India-US

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Dwindling Antarctic Ice Messing With Earth’s Gravity: Blame Climate Change

Oct 5th, 2014 | By
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The Earth’s gravity is messing up and global warming appears to be responsible. The warming climate has caused massive ice loss in West Antarctica in recent years and this phenomenon has caused the Earth’s gravity to be weaker there. The findings were based on measurements made by the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gravity Field and

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Adaptation is the Rational Response to Climate Change: Guest Opinion

Oct 5th, 2014 | By
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It is ironic to observe the ranting and pleading of those hoping to curtail climate change through human intervention when it is obvious that there is nothing significant that we humans can or will do to affect it. Unfortunately, the prevailing characteristics of the human species are self-interest, greed, tribalism and short-sightedness, none of which

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Destruction of Carbon-Rich Mangroves Costs up to US$42 billion in Economic Damages Annually – UNEP Report

Oct 3rd, 2014 | By
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UNEP News Center: Mangroves are being destroyed at a rate 3 – 5 times greater than the average rates of forest loss, costing billions in economic damages and denying millions of people the ecosystem services they need to survive, according to a new report launched today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The Importance of

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Global Biodiversity Targets Won’t be Met by 2020, Scientists Say

Oct 3rd, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: World leaders are failing in their pledge to cut the rate at which wildlife lose their homes, according to the the first ever progress report on targets to slow biodiversity loss by the end of the decade. Conservationist called the lack of action a “troubling sign” and a “reality check”. Governments agreed on

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Berlin to Host UN Climate Finance Summit in November

Oct 3rd, 2014 | By
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Developed and developing countries have been invited to the meeting, which will take place in Berlin on November 19-20, two weeks before high level UN climate talks start in Lima. The GCF is on record as wanting US$10 billion of backing from governments by the end of 2014, but so far it has just $2.3

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Cap on Liability for Climate Damage Worth a Look – Expert

Oct 2nd, 2014 | By
A protester carries a sign during the "People's Climate March" in the Manhattan borough of New York




(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Developing countries in Asia are embarking on projects to assess and address future loss and damage from climate change, with the aim of convincing rich nations to compensate them and to reduce emissions, speakers at a regional climate forum said Wednesday. Such work could lead to the negotiation of some kind

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KU Researchers Make New Discoveries in Glaciers

Oct 2nd, 2014 | By




Kansas University researchers say they have discovered new details below two glaciers that will help provide more accurate predictions about rising sea levels caused by climate change. The findings by the KU-based Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) were published in the lead article in the most recent issue of Journal of Glaciology.

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Could the 2C Climate Target be Completely Wrong?

Oct 2nd, 2014 | By
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The Guardian: In a nondescript conference centre five years ago, as temperatures fell to freezing outside in the streets of Copenhagen and protesters gathered, world leaders did something remarkable: they put a limit on how high temperatures should be allowed to rise as man-made global warming takes hold. It was the first time the nearly

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Pyeongchang is Hosting Biodiversity Convention

Oct 1st, 2014 | By




The city of Pyeongchang in Gangwon, host of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, will provide the backdrop for the 12th Conference of Parties (COP 12) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) this October. Twenty thousand participants, including representatives from the CBD’s 193 member states, other international organizations and civil society, are expected to

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Cities Launch Global Alliance to Lower Carbon Emissions

Oct 1st, 2014 | By
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SciDev.Net: More than 2,000 cities have banded together in what the UN calls the largest effort by cities so far to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. The goal of the Compact of Mayors is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 454 million tonnes a year by 2020 — equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions from 130

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World Wildlife Populations Halved in 40 Years – Report

Sep 30th, 2014 | By
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BBC News: The global loss of species is even worse than previously thought, the London Zoological Society (ZSL) says in its new Living Planet Index. The report suggests populations have halved in 40 years, as new methodology gives more alarming results than in a report two years ago. The report says populations of mammals, birds,

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ADB to Fund USD 120 Million for Bhutan’s Hydropower Project

Sep 30th, 2014 | By




IANS: The Asian Development Bank will fund $120 million towards Bhutan’s 118 MW Nikachu hydropower project, whose total estimated project cost is $200 million dollars. The project is modelled on public-private partnership (PPP) lines, with Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC), and the debt to equity ratio of 65:35. Nikachu is the second project to be

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Despite the UN Climate Summit, Fossil Fuel Firms are Still in For the Long-term

Sep 30th, 2014 | By
Climate Summit, UN headquarters, New York, America - 23 Sep 2014




The Guardian: More than 300,000 people marched in New York a week ago, with tens of thousands more in cities across the globe. More than 120 heads of state and government convened in New York, renewing their commitment to a global climate deal to be forged next year. France pledged $1bn in climate aid to

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