environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
Jan 22, 2015

Sanctions sap allure of Russia’s Arctic shipping route

OSLO/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Western sanctions on Russia are restricting the Arctic shipping route along its north coast to domestic cargoes and energy exports with many foreign firms staying away after test voyages on a fabled short-cut between Europe and Asia.

A decline in foreign shipments on the Northern Sea Route (NSR) in 2014, interrupting gains in recent years as ice retreats, dims prospects for a shipping lane that is often seen as a rare positive side-effect of global warming.

Jan 20, 2015

Norway moves Arctic ice edge north, oil firms on alert

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s government invited firms to drill for oil and gas further inside the Arctic Circle on Tuesday, putting it at loggerheads with opposition parties as it seeks to open up new fields at a time of declining output.

Under a redefinition of risks of sea ice between 1984-2013 against a more southerly 1967-89 benchmark, the industry would gain access to acreage 60 to 70 kilometers (40-45 miles) north of already accessible areas.

Jan 15, 2015

Climate change, extinctions signal Earth in danger zone: study

OSLO, Jan 15 (Reuters) – – Climate change and high rates of extinctions of animals and plants are pushing the Earth into a danger zone for humanity, a scientific report card about mankind’s impact on nature said on Thursday.

An international team of 18 experts, expanding on a 2009 report about “planetary boundaries” for safe human use, also sounded the alarm about clearance of forests and pollution from nitrogen and phosphorus in fertilisers.

Jan 14, 2015

Sea level rise quickens more than thought in threat to coasts

OSLO, Jan 14 (Reuters) – Sea level rise in the past two decades has accelerated faster than previously thought in a sign of climate change threatening coasts from Florida to Bangladesh, a study said on Wednesday.

The report, reassessing records from more than 600 tidal gauges, found that readings from 1901-90 had over-estimated the rise in sea levels. Based on revised figures for those years, the acceleration since then was greater than so far assumed.

Jan 9, 2015

Nordic countries point the way to cashless societies

STOCKHOLM/OSLO, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Nordic countries are
leading a shift by rich nations towards cashless societies,
providing a test case for whether the lower cost and convenience
of using cards and smartphones for payments outweigh the risks
of fraud and some people being left behind.

Helped by wide use of computers even among the elderly,
broad trust in the state and big business and only small black
economies, people in Sweden and neighbouring countries are fast
embracing cards, the Internet and apps for financial
transactions, and forsaking notes and coins.

Jan 8, 2015

Experts warn governments to plan for climate change migrants

OSLO, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Governments need to plan better for rising migration driven by climate change, experts said on Thursday, citing evidence that extreme weather and natural disasters force far more people from their homes than wars.

Projections by leading climate scientists of rising sea levels, heatwaves, floods and droughts linked to global warming are likely to oblige millions of people to move out of harm’s way, with some never able to return.

Dec 22, 2014

Top firms’ greenhouse gas emissions rise, despite call for cuts

OSLO, Dec 22 (Reuters) – Greenhouse gas emissions by the
world’s top 500 companies rose 3.1 percent from 2010 to 2013,
far off the cuts urged by the United Nations to limit global
warming, a study showed on Monday.

The top 500 firms by capitalisation accounted for 13.8
percent of world greenhouse gas emissions and 28 percent of
gross domestic product in 2013, according to the report, drawn
up by the information provider Thomson Reuters and BSD
Consulting, a global sustainability consultancy.

Dec 22, 2014

Wheat yields to fall more than expected in warmer world

OSLO, Dec 22 (Reuters) – Global warming will cut average
wheat yields by six percent for every degree Celsius (1.8
Fahrenheit) of temperature rise in a bigger-than-expected brake
on food production in a hotter world, a study said on Monday.

The report, by a U.S.-led team of scientists, said a six
percent drop would be 42 million tonnes of 701 million tonnes of
wheat production worldwide in 2012, highlighting a need to breed
more heat-tolerant crops.

Dec 15, 2014

Paris climate summit faces tougher job after modest Lima deal

LIMA (Reuters) – A Paris summit in 2015 will face a tougher task to agree a U.N. deal to slow climate change after the hopes of many that cooperation between Washington and Beijing would be a magic key to end global gridlock dissolved in chaotic preparatory talks in Lima.

At best, Paris may be a chance to reform a sprawling system of annual U.N. talks – more than 11,000 delegates attended the two-week talks in a tent city in Lima – and find ways to boost long-term action to stem rising greenhouse gas emissions.

Dec 14, 2014

U.N. talks agree building blocks for new-style climate deal in 2015

LIMA (Reuters) – About 190 nations agreed on Sunday the building blocks of a new-style global deal due in 2015 to combat climate change amid warnings that far tougher action will be needed to limit rising world temperatures.

Under the Lima deal, governments will submit national plans for reining in greenhouse gas emissions by an informal deadline of March 31, 2015 to form the basis of a global agreement due at a summit in Paris in a year’s time.