environment correspondent
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Jun 11, 2014

Chinese hints, U.S. emission cuts fall far short of climate cure

OSLO/BONN (Reuters) – China’s hints that it will cap its soaring greenhouse gas emissions and a U.S. plan to cut emissions in the power sector, while representing a shift, do not add up to a strong cure for global warming by the world’s top two emitters.

Other nations have hailed Washington and Beijing for a newfound commitment to tackle climate change. Governments are working on a deal, due in Paris in late 2015, to slow rising temperatures to avert more heatwaves, floods and rising seas.

Jun 6, 2014

Rising seas wash Japanese war dead from Pacific island graves

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – Rising sea levels have washed the remains of at least 26 Japanese World War Two soldiers from their graves on a low-lying Pacific archipelago, the foreign minister of the Marshall Islands said on Friday.

“There are coffins and dead people being washed away from graves. It’s that serious,” Tony de Brum told reporters on the sidelines of U.N. climate change talks in Germany.

Jun 6, 2014

China says aid a key to climate deal, not just CO2 cuts

BONN, Germany, June 6 (Reuters) – China led calls by emerging economies on Friday for the rich to raise financial aid to the poor as a precondition for a United Nations deal to combat global warming.

Many countries at U.N. climate negotiations from June 4-15 have welcomed news this week that the United States plans to slash emissions from power plants, but emerging nations said cash was just as important to unlock progress.

Jun 5, 2014

China aims to cap greenhouse gas output soon, but no date set

BONN, Germany, June 5 (Reuters) – China plans to cap its soaring emissions of greenhouse gases as soon as possible but has not yet decided when, Beijing’s top negotiator at U.N. climate talks said on Thursday.

Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, also welcomed U.S. measures to combat global warming, saying both nations were “working very hard to address climate change”.

Jun 5, 2014

Global warming damages corals vital to small islands: UN

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – Global warming is causing trillions of dollars of damage to coral reefs, aggravating risks to tropical small island states threatened by rising sea levels, a U.N. report said on Thursday.

The rise in sea levels off some islands in the Western Pacific was four times the global average, with gains of 1.2 cms (0.5 inch) a year from 1993 to 2012, due to shifts in winds and currents, said the United Nations’ Environment Programme (UNEP).

Jun 4, 2014

US wins praise for carbon cuts at UN talks, told to do more

BONN, Germany, June 4 (Reuters) – The United States won
praise at U.N. talks on climate change on Wednesday for its plan
to cut carbon emissions, but a group of scientists said it too
little to put the world on track to limit global warming.

The European Union, which often says it is doing more than
the United States to lead a fight against global warming, told
the June 4-15 meeting of 170 nations that it would over-achieve
its targets for cutting greenhouse gases by 2020.

Jun 4, 2014

EU says successful in climate change goals as U.N. talks start

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – The European Union touted its success in cutting greenhouse gases at U.N. talks on climate change on Wednesday, where a U.S. plan to cut power plant emissions has lifted hopes for a global deal in 2015.

An adviser to the Chinese government also suggested on Tuesday that Beijing could cap its soaring emissions in coming years. That would be a big step for the world’s top emitter, which says it needs to burn coal to spur growth.

Jun 1, 2014

Obama’s U.S. carbon cuts likely to win muted applause abroad

OSLO, June 1 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama’s plan to
cut greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power plants, due to be
announced on Monday, will win muted applause abroad with some
hopes it could help a U.N. deal to fight climate change in 2015.

Emerging economies including China and India are likely to
be lukewarm because they have often said that Obama’s plans for
emissions cuts until 2020 – even if fully implemented – are far
short of the curbs they say are needed by the rich.

May 22, 2014

Warm Pacific may paradoxically cause U.S. winter freeze-study

THE HAGUE, May 22 (Reuters) – Unusually warm western Pacific
waters linked to global warming may be the paradoxical cause of
a bone-chilling winter in parts of the United States this year,
a scientific study said on Thursday.

The theory contrasts with other experts’ views, including
that the freeze was simply a freak natural event or that it was
linked to a thawing of the Arctic in recent years that sent a
blast of cold air south.

May 13, 2014

Norway bets on global warming in Arctic oil and gas drive

OSLO, May 13 (Reuters) – Norway wants to let oil and gas
companies drill in Arctic seas that were frozen as recently as
the 1980s even though some climate experts say it is too early
to trust global warming to keep the ice away.

Russia is also showing new interest in the Arctic despite
high costs in a region where governments are struggling to set
safety rules after BP’s 2010 blowout in the Gulf of
Mexico, the worst offshore spill in U.S. history.