environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
Aug 31, 2015

U.N. climate talks begin divided, but with hope for Paris accord

BONN, Germany (Reuters) – Chances that governments will work out a U.N. accord to combat climate change in December seem brighter than in the run-up to a failed attempt in 2009, experts said as delegates from almost 200 nations met on Monday, hoping to bridge deep divisions.

Memories of a U.N. summit in Copenhagen in December 2009, when world leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama failed to work out a deal intended to avert more heatwaves, floods and rising seas, hang over the talks in Bonn.

Aug 30, 2015

Europe fails on electronics recycling goals

OSLO, Aug 30 (Reuters) – Only a third of Europe’s electronic
waste is properly recycled, with vast numbers of cellphones,
computers and televisions illegally traded or dumped, a study
led by the United Nations and INTERPOL said on Sunday.

Sweden and Norway were close to European targets of
collecting and recycling 85 percent of all electrical and
electronic waste, at the top of a ranking in which Romania,
Spain and Cyprus were bottom with less than 20 percent, it said.

Aug 19, 2015

Invasive plants spread fast in billion-dollar threat: study

OSLO (Reuters) – Many of the world’s plants are turning “alien”, spread by people into new areas where they choke out native vegetation in a worsening trend that causes billions of dollars in damage, scientists said on Wednesday.

The invaders include water hyacinth from the Amazon, which has spread to about 50 nations where it crowds out local plants, while Japanese knotweed has fast-growing roots that have destabilized buildings in North America and Europe.

Aug 17, 2015

Central Asian glaciers thaw fast in threat to hydro power, farms

OSLO, Aug 17 (Reuters) – Mountain glaciers in Central Asia
have shrunk four times faster than the world average,
threatening river flows vital for agriculture and hydro power
from Uzbekistan to western China, scientists said on Monday.

Global warming is likely to quicken the thaw in the vast
Tien Shan range in coming years, melting half the remaining ice
by the 2050s, according to the study led by the GFZ German
Research Centre for Geosciences.

Aug 13, 2015

Pacific island nation calls for moratorium on new coal mines

OSLO, Aug 13 (Reuters) – The president of the low-lying
Pacific island nation of Kiribati called on Thursday for a
global moratorium on new coal mines to slow global warming and a
creeping rise in world sea levels.

Kiribati’s 100,000 people live on 32 atolls in the central
Pacific, most of which are less than six metres above sea level
and are suffering coastal erosion as the world’s ice caps melt.

Aug 12, 2015

Rich nations’ climate plans fall short of hopes for Paris summit

OSLO (Reuters) – Developed nations are on track to cut their greenhouse emissions by almost 30 percent by 2030, Reuters calculations show, falling far short of a halving suggested by a U.N. panel of scientists as a fair share to limit climate change.

Australia became on Tuesday the last big developed nation to submit its strategy for cuts in the run-up to a U.N. summit in Paris in December, rounding off pledges by nations led by the United States, the European Union and Japan.

Jul 17, 2015

Short, flexible U.N. climate accord sought for Paris summit-France

OSLO (Reuters) – A United Nations accord to slow global warming should be short, flexible and long-lasting to avoid complex re-negotiations every few years, according to a document prepared by France before a Paris summit in December.

The deal will also have to ensure that governments do not backtrack on promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions despite a likely lack of sanctions, according to a briefing for climate ministers attending preparatory talks in Paris on July 20-21.

Jul 16, 2015

Russia, US agree fishing ban in Arctic as sea ice melts

OSLO (Reuters) – The United States, Russia and other Arctic nations signed an agreement deal on Thursday to bar their fishing fleets from fast-thawing seas around the North Pole, an agreement delayed more than a year by tensions over Ukraine.The accord, also signed in Oslo by the ambassadors of Canada, Norway and Denmark, is a response to global warming, which is melting sea ice in the central Arctic Ocean, an area the size of the Mediterranean.

The central Arctic probably has no commercial fish stocks now, experts say, but melting sea ice may draw fish such as cod farther north. Forty percent of the area was briefly open water when summer sea ice shrank to a record low in 2012.

Jul 15, 2015

Norwegian killings exhibit stirs fears of Breivik “hall of fame”

OSLO (Reuters) – A planned exhibition about the killings of 77 people in 2011 is angering some Norwegians, who fear it will turn into a “hall of fame” for mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik.

The exhibition, opening next week in the government building in central Oslo where Breivik killed his first eight victims on July 22, 2011, will include his fake police identity card and bits of the mangled van in which he planted a bomb.

Jul 14, 2015

Nobel Prize for Iran? Many doubts but fits Hiroshima anniversary

OSLO (Reuters) – A nuclear deal clinched between Iran and six major world powers that caps more than a decade of negotiations has stoked talk of a joint Nobel Peace Prize for Tehran and Washington this year, despite the likelihood of strong objections from some quarters.

U.S. President Barack Obama, who won the prize in 2009 for promoting nuclear non-proliferation, hailed the Iran deal on Tuesday as a step towards a “more hopeful world”. But Israel pledged to try to halt an “historic surrender”.