environment correspondent
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Jun 16, 2011

Call for votes to spur climate talks faces hurdles

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – A proposal by Mexico and Papua New Guinea to kick-start U.N. climate talks by shifting to voting on major decisions from an ill-defined need for consensus may face insurmountable hurdles, experts say.

“We want to break this process where the slowest is allowed to hold everyone else up,” Kevin Conrad, of Papua New Guinea, told Reuters of the proposal on the sidelines of U.N. negotiations in Bonn from June 6-17.

Jun 15, 2011

Weather, economy may spur climate “tipping point”

BONN/LONDON (Reuters) – More weather disasters and economic recovery could bring a “tipping point” that jolts governments into far tougher action to combat climate change, the U.N. climate chief said on Wednesday.

Christiana Figueres also told Reuters that government efforts so far to combat global warming were nowhere near enough to avert heatwaves, droughts, mudslides and rising sea levels projected by the U.N. panel of climate scientists.

Jun 15, 2011

U.N. urges G20 to do more to phase out subsidies

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – Big economies should do more to phase out damaging subsidies on fossil fuels, farming and fisheries that are hindering a shift to a green economy, the head of the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Wednesday.

The Group of 20 leading economies agreed at a summit in 2009 to phase out damaging fossil fuel subsidies in the “medium term” — a step that would help cut greenhouse gas emissions and free up investments for cleaner energies to fight climate change.

Jun 14, 2011

World urged to stop net desertification by 2030

BONN (Reuters) – The world should set a goal of halting net desertification by 2030 to stem annual losses of farmland equivalent to three times the size of Switzerland, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday.

“Drylands are on the front line of the climate change challenges for the world,” Luc Gnacadja, head of the Bonn-based U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), told the Reuters Global Energy and Climate Summit.

Jun 14, 2011

Reuters Summit – World urged to stop net desertification by 2030

BONN (Reuters) – The world should set a goal of halting net desertification by 2030 to stem annual losses of farmland equivalent to three times the size of Switzerland, a senior U.N. official said on Tuesday.

“Drylands are on the front line of the climate change challenges for the world,” Luc Gnacadja, head of the Bonn-based U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), told the Reuters Global Energy and Climate Summit.

Jun 14, 2011

Soot, smog curbs quick way to combat warming: U.N. study

BONN (Reuters) – Tighter limits on soot and smog provide a quick and easy way to fight global warming while protecting human health and raising crop output, a U.N. study said on Tuesday.

It outlined 16 measures, ranging from plugging leaky gas transport pipelines to improving wood burning stoves, to limit “black carbon” — soot — methane and tropospheric ozone, which is a greenhouse gas that is a big component of smog.

Jun 13, 2011

Analysis: Economy, public seen key to climate deal

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – Wider public unease about climate change and stronger economic growth are likely to be needed to revive sluggish U.N. talks after hopes for quick agreement on a treaty have fizzled, experts say.

Many nations at U.N. talks in Bonn from June 6-17 seem resigned to a long haul — more like arms reduction talks or U.N. trade negotiations — after failure to agree a binding U.N. climate deal by an end-2009 deadline at a summit in Copenhagen.

Jun 13, 2011

Reuters Summit-ANALYSIS-Economy, public seen key to climate deal

BONN, Germany, June 13 (Reuters) – Wider public unease about
climate change and stronger economic growth are likely to be
needed to revive sluggish U.N. talks after hopes for quick
agreement on a treaty have fizzled, experts say.

Many nations at U.N. talks in Bonn from June 6-17 seem
resigned to a long haul — more like arms reduction talks or
U.N. trade negotiations — after failure to agree a binding U.N.
climate deal by an end-2009 deadline at a summit in Copenhagen.

Jun 13, 2011

World off course on climate; renewables vital

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – The world is off course in fighting climate change and governments need to boost green energies to build new momentum, the head of the U.N. panel of climate scientists said on Monday.

Rajendra Pachauri said governments would face ever higher costs to slow global warming after new data showed greenhouse gas emissions rose to new highs in 2010.

Jun 8, 2011

World Bank seeks to curb North Africa handouts

OSLO (Reuters) – Developing countries, including post-revolution North African states Tunisia and Egypt, should limit welfare handouts to the most needy and address market bottlenecks to curb inflation, the World Bank chief said.

Robert Zoellick said authorities should resist pressure to boost wages or handouts, even as food prices surge and economic life remains uncertain after the people-power protests that ousted authoritarian leaders from Tunis and Cairo this year.