environment correspondent
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Feb 27, 2015

Switzerland first to submit climate plan for Paris U.N. deal

OSLO (Reuters) – Switzerland became the first nation on Friday to submit a plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020 as a basis for a U.N. deal to limit climate change due to be sealed in December.

Some other countries – including China, the United States and the 28-nation European Union – have outlined their domestic plans for slowing global warming beyond 2020 but have not yet formally handed details to the United Nations.

Feb 26, 2015

Stone Age Britons imported wheat in shock sign of sophistication

OSLO (Reuters) – Stone Age Britons imported wheat about 8,000 years ago in a surprising sign of sophistication for primitive hunter-gatherers long viewed as isolated from European agriculture, a study showed on Thursday.

British scientists found traces of wheat DNA in a Stone Age site off the south coast of England near the Isle of Wight, giving an unexpected sign of contact between ancient hunter-gatherers and farmers who eventually replaced them.

Feb 26, 2015

Cooler Pacific has slowed global warming, briefly – study

OSLO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – A natural cooling of the Pacific
Ocean has contributed to slow global warming in the past decade
but the pause is unlikely to last much longer, U.S. scientists
said on Thursday.

The slowdown in the rate of rising temperatures, from faster
gains in the 1980s and 1990s, has puzzled scientists because
heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions from factories, power
plants and cars have hit record highs.

Feb 24, 2015

Pachauri quits IPCC after sexual harassment complaint

OSLO (Reuters) – Rajendra Pachauri stepped down as chair of the U.N. panel of climate scientists on Tuesday, ending 13 turbulent years in charge after allegations of sexual harassment, which he has denied.

Pachauri, aged 74 and chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002, pulled out of an IPCC meeting in Kenya this week after the Delhi police started an investigation into a sexual harassment complaint against him.

Feb 24, 2015

Pachauri quits U.N. climate panel after sexual harassment complaint

OSLO (Reuters) – India’s Rajendra Pachauri stepped down as chair of the U.N. panel of climate scientists on Tuesday, ending 13 turbulent years in charge after allegations of sexual harassment, which he has denied.

Pachauri, aged 74 and chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 2002, pulled out of an IPCC meeting in Kenya this week after Indian police started an investigation into a sexual harassment complaint against him.

Feb 23, 2015

US oyster, clam farms face economic blow from acidification-study

OSLO, Feb 23 (Reuters) – U.S. shellfish producers in the
Northeast and the Gulf of Mexico will be most vulnerable to an
acidification of the oceans linked to climate change that makes
it harder for clams and oysters to build shells, a study said on
Monday.

The report said the two regions would be more at risk in
coming decades than the Pacific Northwest, which had previously
suffered the most from the problem, with losses to the oyster
industry estimated at $110 million, putting 3,200 jobs at risk.

Feb 13, 2015

Nations agree draft text for deal to fight climate change

GENEVA (Reuters) – Almost 200 countries agreed a draft text for a deal to fight climate change on Friday, but put off hard choices about narrowing down a vast range of options for limiting a damaging rise in temperatures.

Government delegates adopted the 86-page draft as the basis for negotiations on the deal due to be agreed later this year.

Feb 13, 2015

Governments face test of green promises amid low oil prices

GENEVA (Reuters) – Governments say they are still pushing towards cleaner energy despite low oil prices, but their resolve will be tested in the coming months when they have to outline their green plans.

Current oil prices are only a small factor in fixing energy plans for 2025 or 2030, according to many delegates at U.N. talks in Geneva from Feb. 8-13 to work on a deal to combat climate change that should be agreed in Paris in December.

Feb 12, 2015

U.N. climate deal set to rely on persuasion, not coercion

GENEVA (Reuters) – A U.N. deal to fight global warming due in 2015 is set to avoid tough penalties for nations that fail to keep their promises, relying instead on persuasion and peer pressure, delegates at climate talks said on Thursday.

The approach is a shift from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which originally obliged about 40 developed nations to cut emissions and foresaw punishments for non-compliance. But those were never enforced — Canada and Japan, for instance, simply dropped out.

Feb 11, 2015

UN deal to combat global warming complicated as length of draft text balloons

GENEVA (Reuters) – Almost 200 nations complicated a drive for a U.N. deal to combat climate change in 2015 on Wednesday by more than doubling the length of a draft negotiating text to about 100 pages of radically varying solutions.

Government delegates said the additions at the Geneva talks, set for Feb. 8-13, were to let all countries air their views, ranging from OPEC nations fearful of phasing out fossil fuels to small island states worried about rising sea levels.