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Nov 13, 2014

Northern European nations to boost military cooperation against Russia

OSLO (Reuters) – Eight northern European nations agreed on Wednesday to step up cooperation to counter an increase in Moscow’s military activity that has included a tripling of NATO intercepts of Russian jets this year.

Defense ministers from Nordic and Baltic states and Britain agreed to do more to share intelligence and widen cross-border air force training in the Nordic region after the crisis in Ukraine raised East-West tensions.

Nov 12, 2014

China-US climate pact ‘heartening’ but short of what’s needed: IPCC

OSLO (Reuters) – A deal between China and the United States to combat global warming is “heartening” although it falls short of the action needed to avert the worst impacts, the head of the U.N. panel of climate scientists said on Wednesday.

China said 2030 would be peak year for its soaring greenhouse gas emissions, the first time it has set a maximum, and the United States said it would cut emissions by more than a quarter from 2005 levels by 2025.

Nov 10, 2014

Robot ‘dolphins’ give clues to Antarctic melt in data revolution

OSLO, Nov 10 (Reuters) – Dolphin-sized robots are giving clues to a thaw of Antarctica’s ice in a sign of how technology is revolutionizing data collection in remote polar regions, scientists said on Monday.

An international study led by the California Institute of Technology used three yellow “gliders”, about 2 meters (6 feet 6 inches) long and each costing $240,000, to measure temperature and salinity in the depths of the Weddell Sea off Antarctica.

Nov 2, 2014

Climate change fight affordable, cut emissions to zero by 2100-UN

COPENHAGEN, Nov 2 (Reuters) – Governments can keep climate
change in check at manageable costs but will have to cut
greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2100 to limit fast-worsening
risks, a U.N. report showed on Sunday.

The 40-page synthesis, summing up 5,000 pages of work by 800
scientists already published since September 2013, said global
warming was now causing more heat extremes, downpours,
acidifying the oceans and pushing up sea levels.

Nov 1, 2014

Denmark considers phasing out coal by 2025 in big green shift

COPENHAGEN, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Denmark should ban coal use by 2025 to make the Nordic nation a leader in fighting global warming, adding to green measures ranging from wind energy to bicycle power, Denmark’s climate minister said on Saturday.

Denmark has already taken big steps to break reliance on high-polluting coal – wind turbines are set to generate more than half of all electricity by 2020 and 41 percent of people in Copenhagen cycle to work or school, higher than in Amsterdam.

Oct 31, 2014

U.N. talks of tough global climate targets, vague on national action

COPENHAGEN, Oct 31 (Reuters) – - A draft U.N. guide for slowing climate change says world greenhouse gas emissions may have to fall to a net zero this century but is vague about what each nation should do now.

About 500 delegates, including scientists and government experts, are meeting in Copenhagen to edit the report, which is meant to guide policymakers in setting national goals for a global climate deal at a U.N. summit in Paris in late 2015.

Oct 28, 2014

Nordic, Baltic states face ‘new normal’ of Russian military threat

OSLO/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Fears of Russia re-asserting its Cold War dominance in the Baltic Sea are forcing countries there to re-think their defenses, prioritizing military spending at home and reducing participation in far-flung U.N. or U.S.-led missions.

Sweden’s fruitless search for a submarine — dubbed by locals “The Hunt for Reds in October” — and Russian violations of airspace are seen as elements of what one defense minister called a ‘hybrid warfare’, where fear and propaganda are deployed to keep countries on their toes.

Oct 27, 2014

High Arctic costs deter business despite thaw

BODOE, Norway, Oct 27 (Reuters) – Despite high hopes for
Arctic business from mining to shipping as the ice melts rapidly
and temperatures rise twice as fast as the global average, few
firms say the sums still make sense.

An oil price slump and cheaper commodities, including iron
ore, together with tensions between the West and Russia over
Ukraine, are adding new disincentives.

Oct 26, 2014

U.N. climate change draft sees risks of irreversible damage

OSLO, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Climate change may have “serious, pervasive and irreversible” impacts on human society and nature, according to a draft U.N. report due for approval this week that says governments still have time to avert the worst.

Delegates from more than 100 governments and top scientists meet in Copenhagen on Oct 27-31 to edit the report, meant as the main guide for nations working on a U.N. deal to fight climate change at a summit in Paris in late 2015.

Oct 21, 2014

EBRD considers investments in Ukraine that are riskier than normal

OSLO (Reuters) – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development may make new investments in Ukraine that are riskier than usual, to help shore up an economy pounded by conflict with pro-Russian rebels, EBRD president Suma Chakrabarti said on Tuesday.

The development bank might, for instance, help municipalities in eastern Ukraine near a ceasefire line with the rebels to maintain public services such as transport, waste collection or street lighting, he said.