environment correspondent
Alister's Feed
Feb 13, 2015

Governments face test of green promises amid low oil prices

GENEVA (Reuters) – Governments say they are still pushing towards cleaner energy despite low oil prices, but their resolve will be tested in the coming months when they have to outline their green plans.

Current oil prices are only a small factor in fixing energy plans for 2025 or 2030, according to many delegates at U.N. talks in Geneva from Feb. 8-13 to work on a deal to combat climate change that should be agreed in Paris in December.

Feb 12, 2015

U.N. climate deal set to rely on persuasion, not coercion

GENEVA (Reuters) – A U.N. deal to fight global warming due in 2015 is set to avoid tough penalties for nations that fail to keep their promises, relying instead on persuasion and peer pressure, delegates at climate talks said on Thursday.

The approach is a shift from the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which originally obliged about 40 developed nations to cut emissions and foresaw punishments for non-compliance. But those were never enforced — Canada and Japan, for instance, simply dropped out.

Feb 11, 2015

UN deal to combat global warming complicated as length of draft text balloons

GENEVA (Reuters) – Almost 200 nations complicated a drive for a U.N. deal to combat climate change in 2015 on Wednesday by more than doubling the length of a draft negotiating text to about 100 pages of radically varying solutions.

Government delegates said the additions at the Geneva talks, set for Feb. 8-13, were to let all countries air their views, ranging from OPEC nations fearful of phasing out fossil fuels to small island states worried about rising sea levels.

Feb 9, 2015

Man-made air pollution reduces Central America rainfall: study

OSLO (Reuters) – Air pollution tied to industrialization in the northern hemisphere almost certainly reduced rainfall over Central America in new evidence that human activity can disrupt the climate, a study suggested on Monday.

“We identify an unprecedented drying trend since 1850,” the scientists wrote in the journal Nature Geoscience after studying the rate of growth since 1550 of a stalagmite found in a cave in the tiny nation of Belize.

Feb 6, 2015

Investments in water in poor nations give big benefits: World Bank

OSLO (Reuters) – Investing to provide drinking water for 750 million people in poor nations who lack clean supplies makes clear economic sense with bigger than expected health benefits, World Bank estimates showed on Friday.

A parallel drive to improve sanitation, especially in India where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made basic toilets a national priority, would also yield strong returns without even considering improved human dignity.

Feb 5, 2015

Hopeful signs but no miracle fix at Paris climate summit: U.N

OSLO (Reuters) – The world will take years to limit climate change to manageable levels, with no miracle fix at a Paris summit this year despite growing signs of action by governments and companies, the United Nations climate chief said on Thursday.

Senior officials from almost 190 nations will meet from Feb. 8-13 in Geneva to work on a draft U.N. deal to limit global warming. The agreement, built on national plans for curbs on rising world greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2020, is meant to be finalised at the Paris meeting in December.

Feb 4, 2015

Norway to match EU on climate goals, easing oil industry fears

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway will match a European Union goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 under a government plan announced on Wednesday, easing oil industry fears of tougher unilateral curbs.

Norway’s target will be part of a U.N. deal, due to be agreed in December in Paris, to limit rising temperatures blamed by a U.N. panel of climate experts for stoking heat waves, desertification, floods and rising seas.

Feb 2, 2015
via FaithWorld

Pope Francis and Eritrean Catholic priest among Nobel Peace nominees


(he front of the Nobel medal awarded to the 2010  Nobel Peace Prize Laureate jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, in Oslo on December 8, 2010. REUTERS/Berit Roald)

A Russian newspaper critical of President Vladimir Putin is among the nominations for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Edward Snowden, Pope Francis and a Catholic priest helping African migrants.

Feb 2, 2015

Russian paper, Pope Francis and Eritrean priest among Nobel Peace nominees

OSLO (Reuters) – A Russian newspaper critical of President Vladimir Putin is among the nominations for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize, along with Edward Snowden, Pope Francis and a priest helping African migrants.

Although the committee has marked the last four 10-year anniversaries of the 1945 bombing of Hiroshima by honoring the fight against nuclear proliferation, there was little speculation among Nobel watchers that the trend would continue.

Jan 29, 2015

Storms like U.S. blizzard may get stronger but less frequent: study

OSLO (Reuters) – Large storms like the blizzard that battered New England this week may become more severe but less frequent as the Earth’s climate changes, scientists said on Thursday.

The Canadian-led study noted that warmer air can hold more moisture, meaning more fuel for rain, hail or snow, and found knock-on effects on how the atmosphere generates storms.