environment correspondent
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Nov 27, 2014

U.S., British data show 2014 could be hottest year on record

OSLO, Nov 27 (Reuters) – This year may eclipse 2010 as the hottest since records began in the 19th century, a sign long-term global warming is being stoked by rising greenhouse gas emissions, scientists said.

The period of January to October 2014 is already among the warmest ever recorded, and a warm ending to the year could easily make it top, according to U.S. and British data.

Nov 25, 2014

Norway oil fund’s coal exposure bigger than claimed -environment groups

OSLO, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Norway’s $860 billion sovereign
wealth fund, the world’s biggest, has more exposure to coal than
it said earlier and should sell out, three environmental groups
said, potentially re-igniting calls for the fund to revamp its
portfolio.

The fund had investments worth 82 billion crowns at the
start of the year in companies that are either major producers
or consumers of coal, and the investment rose in 2013, contrary
to the fund’s claims that coal exposure was falling, Germany’s
Urgewald, Greenpeace and Norway’s Framtiden said on Tuesday.

Nov 25, 2014

Extreme El Nino weather stunted growth of Peruvian children

OSLO, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Children in Peru on the front line of a severe cyclical warming of the Pacific Ocean in 1997-98 suffered stunted growth, showing how extreme weather can cause lasting damage to health, a study said on Tuesday.

The study of 2,095 children born between 1991 and 2001 in villages around Tumbes in northern Peru found that those born during or just after the El Nino weather system, which caused floods, damaged crops and triggered illnesses such as malaria and diarrhoea, grew less than normal.

Nov 23, 2014

Some climate change impacts unavoidable – World Bank

OSLO, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Some future impacts of climate
change, such as more extremes of heat and sea level rise, are
unavoidable even if governments act fast to cut greenhouse gas
emissions, the World Bank said on Sunday.

Past and predicted emissions from power plants, factories
and cars have locked the globe on a path towards an average
temperature rise of almost 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit)
above pre-industrial times by 2050, it said.

Nov 23, 2014

Prospects rise for a 2015 U.N. climate deal, but likely to be weak

OSLO, (Reuters) – A global deal to combat climate change in 2015 looks more likely after promises for action by China, the United States and the European Union, but any agreement will probably be too weak to halt rising temperatures.

Delegates from almost 200 nations will meet in Lima, Peru, from Dec. 1-12 to work on the accord due in Paris in a year’s time, also spurred by new scientific warnings about risks of floods, heatwaves, ocean acidification and rising seas.

Nov 19, 2014

Phase out net CO2 emissions by 2070 to slow climate change-UN

OSLO, Nov 19 (Reuters) – Governments are far off track in
combating global warming and should phase out net carbon dioxide
emissions by 2070, well within the expected lifetime of people
born today, a U.N. study said on Wednesday.

Greenhouse gas emissions have leapt 45 percent since 1990,
making it ever harder to reach a U.N. goal of limiting average
temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above
levels before the Industrial Revolution, it said.

Nov 16, 2014

G20 pledges lift Green Climate Fund towards $10 billion U.N. goal

OSLO (Reuters) – A promise by Japan on Sunday to give up to $1.5 billion to a U.N. fund to help poor nations cope with global warming puts the fund within sight of a $10 billion goal and brightens prospects for a U.N. climate pact next year.

Japan’s pledge, at the G20 meeting of world leaders in Australia, raises the total promised to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to $7.5 billion, including up to $3 billion by U.S. President Barack Obama on Saturday.

Nov 16, 2014

Statoil in test case for industry as Canada extends seabed territories

OSLO, Nov 16 (Reuters) – Norway’s Statoil risks
millions of dollars in extra costs in Canada – a test case that
could spell problems for other oil firms too as coastal states
extend their seabed territories far into resource-rich ocean
depths.

Coastal nations are using U.N laws to extend and define new
limits to their seabed territories, pushing beyond a previously
established 200-nautical mile (370 kms) zone for drilling and
mining as technology opens new frontiers in finding deepwater
oil and gas.

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.