environment correspondent
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May 20, 2015

France’s Hollande concerned about slow progress in climate talks

PARIS, May 20 (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande
said he was worried about a lack of progress towards a United
Nations climate deal in Paris in December and called on the
financial sector to decarbonise its investment portfolios.

Hollande said that only 37 of 196 U.N. member states had so
far submitted plans to the United Nations outlining their
actions to slow global warming beyond 2020. The plans are meant
to be the building blocks for a deal in Paris.

May 18, 2015

Americans likely to have six times more very hot days by 2100: study

OSLO (Reuters) – Americans are likely to have six times more days above 35 degrees Celsius (95 Fahrenheit) by 2100, partly because of climate change, scientists said on Monday, with heat already linked to hundreds of deaths a year in the United States.

By the late 21st century, exposure to sweltering heat would leap to between 10 and 14 billion “person days” a year, a team led by Bryan Jones of the Baruch College School of Public Affairs in New York wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change.

May 13, 2015

New climate deal seen aiding GDP, lacking sanctions-UN chief

OSLO, May 13 (Reuters) – A U.N. deal to combat global
warming due in December will seek to lift world economic growth
and be based more on encouragement than threats of punishment
for non-compliance, the U.N.’s climate chief said on Wednesday.

Christiana Figueres, laying out her recipe for a deal meant
to be agreed by almost 200 nations at a summit in Paris, said it
would be part of a long haul to limit climate change and not an
“overnight miraculous silver bullet”.

May 4, 2015

Despite chill, Norway keeps some military channels open to Russia

OSLO, May 4 (Reuters) – NATO-member Norway is keeping some
military channels open to its neighbour Russia even as it braces
for more bad surprises after Moscow annexed part of Ukraine last
year, Norway’s defence minister said on Monday.

Ine Eriksen Soereide also said Norway was stepping up
monitoring of what she called aggressive Russian military
activity, especially in the Baltic Sea region, and keeping a
wary eye on increased Russian flights off Norway.

Apr 30, 2015

Climate change could push a sixth of species to extinction: study

OSLO (Reuters) – Climate change could drive up to a sixth of animals and plants on Earth to extinction unless governments cut rising greenhouse gas emissions, according to a U.S. study published on Thursday.

Species in South America, Australia and New Zealand are most at risk, since many live in small areas or cannot easily move away to adapt to heatwaves, droughts, floods or rising seas, said the report in the journal Science.

Apr 30, 2015

US and Japan miss deadline on cash for UN green climate fund

OSLO/BARCELONA, April 30 (Reuters) – The United States and
Japan will miss a U.N. deadline on Thursday to firm up promises
to provide billions of dollars for a new U.N. fund intended to
help developing nations tackle global warming, the fund said.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF), which wants to decide on a
first set of projects to aid developing nations before a Paris
U.N. climate summit in December, said donors had signed deals of
almost $4 billion, 42 percent of a total promised in late 2014.

Apr 27, 2015

Global warming to blame for most heat extremes – study

OSLO (Reuters) – Global warming is to blame for most extreme hot days and almost a fifth of heavy downpours, according to a scientific study on Monday that gives new evidence of how rising man-made greenhouse gases are skewing the weather.

“Already today 75 percent of the moderate hot extremes and about 18 percent of the moderate precipitation extremes occurring worldwide are attributable to warming,” the climate scientists, at the Swiss university ETH Zurich, wrote.

Apr 24, 2015

After diplomatic blitz, EU sees progress by June towards U.N. climate deal

OSLO (Reuters) – The European Union expects that countries emitting more than half of world greenhouse gases will publish plans for fighting global warming by mid-year to help build a U.N. deal due in December, according to an EU document obtained by Reuters.

The internal document, reviewing an EU diplomatic push involving 60 nations, also indicates the bloc will fall short of a goal of persuading all top emitters to detail their climate strategies beyond 2020 by June 30.

Apr 22, 2015

Ocean output rivals big nations’ GDP, but resources eroding

OSLO (Reuters) – Economic output by the world’s oceans is worth $2.5 trillion a year, rivaling nations such as Britain or Brazil, but marine wealth is sinking fast because of over-fishing, pollution and climate change, a study said on Thursday.

“The deterioration of the oceans has never been so fast as in the last decades,” Marco Lambertini, director general of the WWF International conservation group, told Reuters of the study entitled “Reviving the Ocean Economy”.

Apr 22, 2015

Special Report: How Denmark’s unexpected killer slipped through the net

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – On Valentine’s Day, two weeks after his release from prison, Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein walked up to a Copenhagen cafe hosting a debate on freedom of speech and sprayed it with bullets.

As a manhunt began, the 22-year-old went to ground. Nine hours later he launched a second assault, this time on a synagogue. Police eventually shot him dead, ending a rampage that left Danish filmmaker Finn Noergaard and security guard Dan Uzan dead, and six people wounded.