environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
Oct 8, 2015

Pope Francis, anti-nuclear activists among Nobel Peace Prize contenders

OSLO (Reuters) – Pope Francis and a line-up of anti-nuclear campaigners headed lists of favorites to win┬áthe 2015 Nobel Peace Prize on the eve of Friday’s announcement.

The Geneva-based International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) was named as a leading contender for the $972,000 prize by Norway’s state broadcaster NRK and by Nobeliana, a website run by historians who specialize in tracking the award.

Oct 8, 2015

Ocean heat wave harming world’s coral reefs this year – experts

OSLO, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Corals reefs are suffering a severe
underwater heat wave this year for the third time on record,
including a mysterious warm patch in the Pacific known as “The
Blob”, scientists said on Thursday.

The bout of record high temperatures in parts of the oceans,
stoked by climate change, is expected to kill more than 12,000
sq kms (4,600 sq miles) of reefs, or about five percent of the
global total, they said.

Oct 6, 2015

South Korea’s Lee to head U.N. panel of climate scientists

OSLO (Reuters) – South Korea’s Hoesung Lee, chosen on Tuesday to head the U.N.’s panel of climate scientists, favors wider pricing of carbon dioxide output to curb emissions of the greenhouse gases the group blames for global warming.

He told Reuters in a telephone interview he would seek to open the Nobel Peace Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), traditionally led by scientists from Europe and North America, to experts from around the world.

Oct 5, 2015

Toughen climate action every five years, U.N. draft suggests

OSLO (Reuters) – All nations should agree to toughen curbs on greenhouse gas emissions every five years under a U.N. accord to combat global warming due in December, according to a first suggested text of a U.N. agreement on Monday.

The 20-page accord, slashing a previous text of more than 80, is a step towards a deal due at a summit in Paris from Nov. 30-Dec 11 by narrowing down core elements of an agreement. It leaves many details unclear, such as the role of carbon markets.

Oct 4, 2015

Six experts vie for top U.N. climate science job

OSLO (Reuters) – Six candidates are vying to become head of the U.N.’s top authority on climate change science this week, seeking to narrow down uncertainties about future warming to guide a trillion-dollar shift to greener energies.

Top scientists – all men – from Austria, Belgium, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States will seek to become chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a vote due on Tuesday at an IPCC meeting in Croatia.

Oct 4, 2015

Six experts vie for top U.N. climate science job

OSLO (Reuters) – Six candidates are vying to become head of the U.N.’s top authority on climate change science this week, seeking to narrow down uncertainties about future warming to guide a trillion-dollar shift to greener energies.

Top scientists – all men – from Austria, Belgium, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States will seek to become chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in a vote due on Tuesday at an IPCC meeting in Croatia.

Oct 1, 2015

Climate plans by 140 nations mark progress, but not enough: experts

OSLO (Reuters) – Plans submitted by 140 nations to limit their greenhouse gases would go some way towards tackling climate change, but not enough to prevent the planet from warming by well over 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, experts say.

The plans by countries from Albania to Zimbabwe, led by top emitters China and the United States, were submitted by an informal United Nations deadline on Thursday as building blocks towards a climate accord that negotiators will try to clinch at a summit in Paris in December.

Oct 1, 2015

War of words grips Nobel Peace Prize committee as award looms

OSLO, Oct 1 (Reuters) – An unusual war of words is
tarnishing the staid Nobel Peace Prize committee just before its
main task next week – picking a 2015 winner from candidates such
as Pope Francis, Colombian peace negotiators or those helping
Syrian refugees.

The secretive five-member Norwegian committee is under an
unwelcome spotlight after Geir Lundestad, its secretary for 25
years until 2015, questioned the wisdom of some prizes and poked
criticism at many members in a book this month.

Sep 29, 2015

African nations and donors agree plan to protect Congo forests

OSLO (Reuters) – Six African nations have agreed with donors on a plan to protect the tropical forests of the Congo basin, the second biggest in the world after the Amazon’s, to help ease poverty and combat climate change.

Norway, the first donor to announce a pledge for the project, said it would give up to 400 million crowns ($47 million) annually from 2016-20, from funds it had previously earmarked for tropical forests.

Sep 25, 2015

Russian border guards laugh as Syrian wobbles his bike to asylum

OSLO (Reuters) – Russian border guards broke out laughing when Syrian refugee Wassem Khatib wobbled on a child’s bicycle toward a remote Arctic frontier post – struggling with a guitar, a rucksack and a heavy suitcase – to seek asylum in neighboring Norway.

In a rare light-hearted moment in Europe’s worst migration crisis since World War Two, Khatib said he had bought the old, rickety bicycle to comply with a Russian law barring travel on foot in the border zone.