environment correspondent
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Dec 12, 2014

Lima climate talks at crossroads on ways to fighting warming

LIMA (Reuters) – About 190 nations were at a crossroads about how boldly to combat global warming on the final day of United Nations talks in Lima on Friday amid fears that low ambition could undermine a U.N. climate summit in Paris next year.

The Dec. 1-12 talks, which opened with hopes for new momentum after a climate deal between China and the United States last month, focused on the scope of pledges that countries are due to make early next year to tackle warming.

Dec 12, 2014

In desert suburb of Lima, poorest pay most for scarce water

NUEVO PACHACUTEC, Peru, Dec 12 (Reuters) – On a desert
hillside north of Lima, a worker with a hose splashes water from
a truck into plastic containers in a dusty neighborhood where
the very poorest people pay most for water.

Water will become scarcer in sprawling settlements such as
Nuevo Pachacutec on the Pacific coast as the population of
Peru’s capital surges and global warming thaws Andean glaciers,
reducing flows in coming decades as the ice disappears.

Dec 12, 2014

Special Report: Flirting with retreat along Britain’s battered shores

HAPPISBURGH, England (Reuters) – Bryony Nierop-Reading has what she calls a million-dollar view from her clifftop property in east England, looking out over North Sea swells beyond a sandy beach where gulls wheel overhead.

The drawback: The place is all but worthless.

Her bungalow was demolished by the local council after a December 2013 storm bit a 33-foot (10 meter) chunk out of the cliff, leaving her home perched over a void. She now lives in a camper parked at the back of her property.

Dec 12, 2014

On the Dutch coast, an experiment in sand

TER HEIJDE, Netherlands (Reuters) – A pile of sand about eight times the volume of the Great Pyramid of Giza is shaping up as a cut-rate model for protecting coasts from rising seas.

The “Sand Engine” is 28 million cubic yards (21.5 million cubic meters) covering an area 1.2 miles (2 km) long and half a mile wide. Dumped along the shore here in 2011, the sand pile marks a shift from the Dutch tradition of armoring the coast with dikes and other hardware.

Dec 11, 2014

‘Berlin Wall’ climate divide looms over Lima

LIMA (Reuters) – As UN climate talks enter their final days, the “Berlin Wall” that has for years divided rich and poor countries once again looms large as negotiators race to write a draft of a global deal that is meant to tear it down.

At the root of the problem is a 1992 U.N. climate Convention splits the world into rich and poor nations and obliges only the rich to cut emissions. Since then, however, nations such as Singapore or Mexico have grown rich but are still deemed “poor”.

Dec 10, 2014

Green Climate Fund hits $10 billion goal, after Australia surprise

LIMA (Reuters) – A new Green Climate Fund that aims to help poor nations cope with global warming reached a U.N. goal of $10 billion on Tuesday at global climate talks in Lima, helped by a surprise donation from Australia.

Several of the 190 nations at the meeting welcomed the cash from both Australia and Belgium, but China said rich countries were not working fast enough to meet a broader goal of providing $100 billion a year by 2020 from public and private sources to help the poor cope.

Dec 9, 2014

UN’s Ban says no ‘time for tinkering’ on global warming action

LIMA (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, expressing deep concern about slow action to combat climate change, told governments at U.N. talks in Lima on Tuesday there was no “time for tinkering” and urged a radical shift to greener economies.

Ban said there was still a chance of limiting global warming to an internationally agreed ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times to limit more floods, droughts, desertification and rising sea levels.

Dec 8, 2014

Global Environment Fund wants to coordinate green supply chains

LIMA (Reuters) – The Global Environment Facility, which has provided $13.5 billion in grants to developing nations since 1991, wants a wider role in protecting nature by tightening commodity supply chains from farmers to consumers.

Naoko Ishii, chief executive officer of the 183-nation GEF, told Reuters that efforts to safeguard tropical forests from land clearance to make way, for instance, for palm oil plantations were hampered by a lack of oversight.

Dec 5, 2014

Rift widens among greens over burying carbon as climate fix

LIMA (Reuters) – A rift is widening among the world’s biggest environmental groups over a little-tested technology for burying carbon that might help cut the cost of fighting climate change.

A report by the U.N.’s panel of climate scientists last month dismayed some greens by showing that action to slow climate change could cost 138 percent more this century if governments do not use carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Dec 4, 2014

China says climate aid inadequate, especially Australia

LIMA (Reuters) – Rich nations’ pledges of almost $10 billion to a green fund to help poor nations cope with global warming are “far from adequate”, particularly Australia’s lack of a donation, the head of China’s delegation at U.N. climate talks said on Thursday.

Su Wei also urged all rich nations to deepen their planned cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, signaling that a joint Chinese-U.S. announcement of greenhouse gas curbs last month does not mean an end to deep differences on climate policy.