environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
Oct 2, 2014

Change looms for Nobel Peace Prize as chairman risks coup

OSLO/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – The head of the Nobel Peace Prize committee risks a unprecedented demotion after announcing the 2014 winner next week, part of wider changes that could both tilt the award to the right and dim chances for future U.S. presidents to win.

The Nobel season of the world’s most coveted awards, each worth $1.1 million, opens on Monday with the medicine or physiology prize followed by physics, chemistry, peace and economics. The date for the literature prize has not been set.

Oct 1, 2014

Ditch U.N. temperature target for global warming, study says

OSLO (Reuters) – A temperature goal set by almost 200 governments as the limit for global warming is a poor guide to the planet’s health and should be ditched, a study published in the journal Nature said on Wednesday.

The world’s environment ministers agreed in 2010 to cap a rise in average surface temperatures at 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times as the yardstick to avoid more floods, heat waves, droughts and rising sea levels.

Sep 24, 2014

World risks spending $250 billion just to monitor U.N. development goals

OSLO (Reuters) – The world risks having to spend about $250 billion just to monitor U.N. development targets for 2030, diverting cash from goals such as ending poverty or protecting the environment, according to a study published on Wednesday.

The report said governments should sharply cut a current draft list of targets for 2030 from a current 169 to avoid over-spending on compiling statistics. A World Bank official contested the study, calling the cost estimates too high.

Sep 23, 2014

U.N. climate summit sets goals to save forests, use clean energy

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 23 (Reuters) – A United Nations summit
on climate change agreed on Tuesday to widen the use of
renewable energy and raise billions of dollars in aid for
developing countries in an effort to increase the prospects for
a wide-ranging deal to slow global warming.

The one-day summit, hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban
Ki-moon, set goals to halt losses of tropical forests by 2030,
improve food production and hike the share of electric vehicles
in cities to 30 percent of new vehicle sales by 2030.

Sep 22, 2014

As seas rise, Pacific island president favors buying land abroad

OSLO, Sept 22 (Reuters) – The president of the Pacific island state of Kiribati favors buying more land abroad after a purchase in Fiji, to secure both food supplies and perhaps a future home if rising sea levels swamp low-lying atolls.

Anote Tong, in Norway on a stopover to view melting Arctic ice pushing up sea levels before he attends a U.N. climate summit in New York on Tuesday, said he wanted to lay conditions for “migration with dignity” from the islands.

Sep 21, 2014

China drives world carbon emissions to record high

OSLO, Sept 21 (Reuters) – World carbon dioxide emissions
will hit a record high this year, driven by China’s growth and
keeping the world far off track from the deep cuts needed to
limit climate change, a study said on Sunday.

More than half of proven fossil fuel reserves may have to
stay in the ground if governments are serious about a promise
made in 2010 to limit a rise in average temperatures to 2
degrees Celsius (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, the Global
Carbon Project report by leading research institutes said.

Sep 18, 2014

Norwegian mass killer Breivik getting ever more extreme, father fears

OSLO (Reuters) – The father of Anders Behring Breivik, who massacred 77 people in central Oslo and at an island summer camp in 2011, said on Thursday his son’s fascist, anti-immigrant views seemed to be getting ever more extreme in jail.

“It’s not nice being the father of a mass murderer,” former diplomat Jens Breivik, 78, told a news conference to launch an autobiography entitled “My Fault?”. He said the discovery that his son was the killer exceeded a parent’s worst nightmares.

Sep 18, 2014

Green aid test for U.N. climate summit as poor seek $15 billion

OSLO, Sept 18 (Reuters) – A U.N. summit on climate change next week will test rich nations’ willingness to fill a near-empty fund to help the poor, but pledges are likely to be far short of developing nations’ hopes for $15 billion in 2014.

Emerging nations say that cash for the Green Climate Fund (GCF), meant to help the poor with projects to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to heatwaves, floods and rising seas, is vital to combat global warming.

Sep 16, 2014

Slowing climate change makes economic sense; cities to lead-study

OSLO/LONDON (Reuters) – Investments to help fight climate change can also spur economic growth, rather than slow it as widely feared, but time is running short for a trillion-dollar shift to transform cities and energy use, an international report said on Tuesday.

    The study, by former heads of government, business leaders, economists and other experts, said the next 15 years were critical for a bigger shift to clean energies from fossil fuels to combat global warming and cut health bills from pollution.

Sep 14, 2014

Ocean algae can evolve fast to tackle climate change-study

OSLO, Sept 14 (Reuters) – Tiny marine algae can evolve fast
enough to cope with climate change in a sign that some ocean
life may be more resilient than thought to rising temperatures
and acidification, a study showed.

Evolution is usually omitted in scientific projections of
how global warming will affect the planet in coming decades
because genetic changes happen too slowly to help larger
creatures such as cod, tuna or whales.