2019 Extreme Events: 15 exceeded 1 billion in losses

Climate breakdown played a key role in at least 15 events in 2019 that cost more than $1bn (£760m) in damage, with more than half of those costing more than $10bn each.  Extreme weather including floods, storms, droughts and wildfires struck every inhabited continent in the past year, causing devastation and loss of life. Christian Aid, which tracked climate-related destruction in 2019, said the costs in human terms and insured losses were likely to have been underestimated.  The study published on Friday was compiled before the full effects of the Australian wildfires could be assessed.

Interconnected planetary tipping points threaten breakdown: scientists

Politicians, economists and even some natural scientists have tended to assume that tipping points in the Earth system — such as the loss of the Amazon rainforest or the West Antarctic ice sheet — are of low probability and little understood. Yet evidence is mounting that these events could be more likely than was thought, have high impacts and are interconnected across different biophysical systems, potentially committing the world to long-term irreversible changes.

11,000 scientists declare a global "climate emergency"

A new report by 11,258 scientists in 153 countries from a broad range of disciplines warns that the planet “clearly and unequivocally faces a climate emergency,” and provides six broad policy goals that must be met to address it.  The analysis is a stark departure from recent scientific assessments of global warming, such as those of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in that it does not couch its conclusions in the language of uncertainties, and it does prescribe policies.

Global fossil fuel subsidies exceed $5 trillion
A new International Monetary Fund (IMF) study shows that USD$5.2 trillion was spent globally on fossil fuel subsidies in 2017. The equivalent of over 6.5% of global GDP of that year, it also represented a half-trillion dollar increase since 2015 when China ($1.4 trillion), the United States ($649 billion) and Russia ($551 billion) were the largest subsidizers. Despite nations worldwide committing to a reduction in carbon emissions and implementing renewable energy through the Paris Agreement, the IMF’s findings expose how fossil fuels continue to receive huge amounts of taxpayer funding.

Moody's puts climate costs over $60 trillion by 2100
Noting previous warnings that the human-caused climate crisis could up to $69 trillion dollars in damage to the global economy by the end of the century, a new report from Moody's Analytics explores the economic implications of the international community's failure to curb planet-warming emissions. Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi told The Washington Postt that  the climate emergency is "not a cliff event. It's not a shock to the economy. It's more like a corrosive," Zandi added. But it is "getting weightier with each passing year."

Study foresees civilizational crash by 2050
A chilling Australian policy paper outlining a Doomsday scenario for humans if we don’t start dealing with climate change suggests that by 2050 we could see irreversible damage to global climate systems resulting in a world of chaos where political panic is the norm and we are on a path facing the end of civilization.

WMO sees climate change intensifying
Physical signs of climate change are accelerating as temperatures drive towards increasingly dangerous levels. Since 1998, about 4.5 billion people around the world have been hurt by extreme weather.

Carbon emissions hit record high in 2018
Greater demand for energy and more extreme temperatures saw global carbon emissions reach a record high in 2018 partly because of higher coal use, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Carbon emissions rose by 1.7 per cent in 2018 to a record 33.1 billion tonnes, with coal making up one third of the total increase, according to the IEA's Global Energy and C02 Status Report. That is despite energy generation from wind and solar farms growing at a double-digit pace.
Most of the electricity generated by coal came from new power plants in Asia.

Parts of the planet are already unrecognizable
The landscapes and climate in many parts of the world could be nearly unrecognizable by the end of the century if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current pace. In the mountains and high latitudes, snow and ice are vanishing. In drier areas, large swaths of forests are dying. Along the coast, the rising ocean and stronger storms are taking bigger bites of land while the warming waters change the ecosystems under the waves. Earth's physical features and its ecosystems are woven into a complex and dynamic system, and scientists are studying its many strands to paint a picture of how the world may look by 2100, and how that will affect people, landscapes and resources.

Pentagon: the warming threatens military installations
Flooding, drought and wildfires driven by climate change pose threats to two-thirds of the U.S. military's installations, the Defense Department said in a new report required by Congress.  The authors of the reportnote that it probably underestimates the full extent of risk to military facilities because it only looks at likely impacts over the next two decades.

Researchers foresee more than 250,000 fatalities a year from warming
A new study estimates that climate change will account for the deaths of more than 250,000 people a year iin another decade or two. The grim analysis comes from one of the authors of a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine that suggests rising global temperatures could lead to many more deaths than the World Health Organization predicted just five years ago. In 2014 the WHO said that climate change will bring with it malaria, diarrhea, heat stress and malnutrition, killing that many more people annually around the world from 2030 to 2050.

2018 was an "ear-splitting wake-up call"
2018 is set to rank as the fourth warmest year on record — and the fourth year in a row reflecting a full degree Celsius (1.8° Fahrenheit) temperature rise from the late 1800s, climate scientists say.  This was the year that introduced us to fire tornadoes, bomb cyclones, and, in Death Valley, a five day streak of 125°F temperatures, part of the hottest month ever documented at a U.S. weather station.  2018 also brought the world’s highest-ever low temperature, as nighttime temperatures fell to a sizzling 109°F in Quiryat, Oman, on June 28, smashing a 2011 record-high low.  A startling 95 percent of the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is now gone — and we’re losing Arctic ice at a rate of 14,000 tons per second, according to recent research, three times as fast as roughly three decades ago.

Climate impacts will cost US more than all but one country

The United States stands to lose a lot more from climate change than it realizes.Scientists estimated for the first time how much each country around the world will suffer in future economic damage from each new ton of carbon dioxide pumped into the atmosphere. What they found may come as a surprise: the future economic costs within the U.S. borders are the second-highest in the world, behind only India.

Overheated oceans force shutdown of Nordic nuclear plants
This year’s unusually warm summer in the Nordic region has increased sea water temperatures and forced some nuclear reactors to curb power output or shut down altogether, with more expected to follow suit. Reactors need cold sea water for cooling but when the temperature gets too high it can make the water too warm for safe operations, although the threshold varies depending on the reactor type and age.

Record Heat Waves Scorch Four Continents

Summer has brought record heat waves this month on four continents.  On Monday, Japan recorded a temperature never before reached on the island nation since reliable records began in the 1800s. The extreme temperatures are also affecting other countries in East Asia: South and North Korea have set heat records with temperatures climbing near 40 C (104 F).  It is these types of heat waves that scientists have been warning would be a consequence of warming the planet through greenhouse gas emissions.   "The impacts of climate change are no longer subtle," said Michael Mann, a climate scientist and director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University.

IPCC: world is at the moment of truth

Global warming will likely exceed the most ambitious target set by the Paris climate agreement by around 2040, according to a draft United Nations (UN) report.  In its strongest warning yet about the dangers of climate change, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that only “rapid and far-reaching” changes to the world economy would prevent temperatures from rising 1.5C above pre-industrial times.

2017 emissions resume upward global trend
After three flat years that had hinted at a possible environmental breakthrough, carbon dioxide emissions from the use of energy rose again by 1.4 percent in 2017, according to the International Energy Agency. The increase in emissions of the all-important greenhouse gas came as global energy demand itself increased thanks to strong economic growth — and that demand was sated by all types of energy, including renewables but also oil, coal and natural gas. Global coal demand increased 1 percent last year, following two years of declines, the IEA found. Demand for oil and gas surged even more, at 1.6 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Climate change triggers a new Age of Migration in US

In 2017, a string of climate disasters – six big hurricanes in the Atlantic, wildfires in the West, horrific mudslides, high-temperature records breaking all over the country – caused $306 billion in damage, killing more than 300 people. After Hurricane Maria, 300,000 Puerto Ricans fled to Florida, and disaster experts estimate that climate and weather events displaced more than 1 million Americans from their homes last year.

Intel chiefs: climate change likely to fuel political upheavals
In their annual summary of global threats, the nation's intelligence agencies warned that climate change and other environmental trends "are likely to fuel economic and social discontent—and possibly upheaval—through 2018." The statement was matter-of-fact and brief, but unambiguous. In an administration where top officials, including some with intelligence responsibilities, have repeatedly questioned the basic science of global warming, such a frank confirmation of the mainstream consensus was striking.

Pentagon: Climate change threatens 1,700 military sites
Nearly half of US military sites are threatened by wild weather linked to climate change, according to a new Pentagon study whose findings run contrary to White House views on global warming.  Drought, wind and flooding that occurs due to reasons other than storms topped the list of natural disasters that endanger 1,700 military sites worldwide, from large bases to outposts, said the US Department of Defense (DoD).

Natural disasters cost insurers a record $135 billion in 2017
Insurers are set to pay out a record $135 billion to cover losses from natural disasters in 2017, the world’s largest reinsurer said, driven by the costliest hurricane season ever in the United States and widespread flooding in South Asia. Overall losses, including uninsured damage, came to $330 billion, according to the reinsurer, Munich Re of Germany. That tally was second only to 2011, when an earthquake and tsunami in Japan contributed to losses of $354 billion at today’s dollars.

Pentagon defies Trump order to halt climate change actions
The Pentagon is moving forward with plans to protect its bases and operations from rising seas and other impacts of climate change, despite an order by President Trump to halt climate planning. On March 28th, 2017,  President trump issued an executive order that rescinded all climate change actions within federal agencies. Nevertheless, the Pentagon is still moving forward with plans to protect its military installations in the United States from the growing threat.

1,200 Corporations tout efforts to put a price on carbon

More than 1,200 global businesses, including U.S. companies such as Disney, Shell and General Motors, are moving to embrace a carbon price — even if President Trump isn’t, according to a new report by a Washington climate think tank. While the president has suggested that tackling climate change will undermine the economy and hamstring  businesses, and announced his intention to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, chief executives have been busy voluntarily putting a price on their own carbon dioxide emissions.

Late summer wildfire sets L.A. record
A wildfire on the northern edge of Los Angeles rapidly grew into what the mayor called the largest blaze in the city's history, prompting the evacuation of hundreds of people and the closure of a major highway.  The 5,000-acre La Tuna Fire, named after the canyon area where it erupted on Friday, has led authorities to evacuate more than 700 homes in a north Los Angeles neighbourhood and in nearby Burbank and Glendale, officials said.

Annual global subsidies for carbon fuels passes $5 trillion

A study published in the journal World Development calculates that global fossil fuel subsidies were $4.9 tn in 2013 and they rose to $5.3 tn just two years later. According to the authors, these subsidies are important because first, they promote fossil fuel use which damages the environment. Second, these are fiscally costly. Third, the subsidies discourage investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy that compete with the subsidized fossil fuels. Finally, subsidies are very inefficient means to support low-income households.

Climate-battered "chokepoints" portend increased hunger, conflict
Increasingly vulnerable “chokepoints” are threatening the security of the global food supply, according to a new report. It identifies 14 critical locations, including the Suez Canal, Black Sea ports and Brazil’s road network, almost all of which are already hit by frequent disruptions.  With climate change bringing more incidents of extreme weather, analysts at the Chatham House thinktank warn that the risk of a major disruption is growing but that little is being done to tackle the problem. Food supply interruptions in the past have caused huge spikes in prices which can spark major conflicts.

City of Chicago website rescues EPA climate change page
The city of Chicago's website includes deleted information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) climate change page.   The "Climate Change is Real" (www.cityofchicago.org/climatechangeisreal) website includes information that the Trump administration removed from the EPA website on April 29. Federal officials said the EPA website was being updated to "reflect the approach of new leadership."  The Trump administration can attempt to erase decades of work from scientists and federal employees on the reality of climate change, but burying your head in the sand doesn't erase the problem," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement Sunday.

As the climate becomes more unstable, the media becomes more silent

In 2016, evening newscasts and Sunday shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC, as well as Fox Broadcast Co.'s Fox News Sunday, collectively decreased their total coverage of climate change by 66 percent compared to 2015, even though there were a host of important climate-related stories, including the announcement of 2015 as the hottest year on record, the signing of the Paris climate agreement, and numerous climate-related extreme weather events. There were also two presidential candidates to cover, and they held diametrically opposed positions on the Clean Power Plan, the Paris climate agreement, and even on whether climate change is a real, human-caused phenomenon. Apart from PBS, the networks also failed to devote significant coverage to climate-related policies, but they still found the time to uncritically air climate denial -- the majority of which came from now-President Donald Trump and his team.

Warming drives chaotic migrations from West Africa

The world dismisses them as economic migrants. The law treats them as criminals who show up at a nation’s borders uninvited. Prayers alone protect them on the journey across the merciless Sahara.  But peel back the layers of their stories and you find a complex bundle of trouble and want that prompts the men and boys of West Africa to leave home.  They do it because the rains have become so fickle, the days measurably hotter, the droughts more frequent and more fierce, making it impossible to grow enough food on their land.

Military leaders: Climate refugees will cause crisis of "unimaginable scale"

Climate change is set to cause a refugee crisis of “unimaginable scale”, according to senior military figures, who warn that global warming is the greatest security threat of the 21st century and that mass migration will become the “new normal”.  The generals said the impacts of climate change were already factors in the conflicts driving a current crisis of migration into Europe, having been linked to the Arab Spring, the was in Syria and the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency.

Carbon lobby campaign contributions drive polarization over climate issue
Political polarization on climate change has become so stark this election cycle that researchers say the gulf between Republicans and Democrats is wider than they have seen in more than 20 years of polling. The polarization has an equally startling financial corollary: an overwhelming 91 percent of fossil fuel industry campaign donations now flow to Republican candidates and 9 percent to Democrats. As recently as 2000, when George W. Bush faced Al Gore for the presidency, the pot of fossil fuel spending was split almost evenly, with 60 percent going to Republicans, 40 percent to Democrats.

Are we feeling collective climate grief?
The deterioration of our planet—the only home we have ever known and an assurance we used to take for granted—is bound to elicit a wide range of emotions in different individuals. Mourning is personal, but as a species, could it be that we are making our way through the stages of grief as outlined by the late Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross? Psychiatrist and climate activist Lise Van Susteren, M.D. doesn't necessarily think so. She points out that the Kübler-Ross framework was a response to people who hear devastating news and feel personally very involved, extremely vulnerable and know that the diagnosis is essentially inescapable.

Study: Extreme weather fuels a quarter of the world's conflicts
Following the warmest two years on record and spikes in violence that fueled a global refugee crisis, climate scientists reported that armed fighting is prone to follow droughts, heatwaves and other weather-related calamities in turbulent countries. Nearly a quarter of deadly armed conflicts in the countries with the most diverse ethnic makeups from 1980 to 2010 were found to have occurred at around the same time as an extreme weather event.

Study warns of rapid climate change event on the horizon

Leading climate scientists warned on Tuesday that permitting a warming of 2 degrees celsius would actually be quite dangerous. The likely consequences would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets and a rise of the sea sufficient to begin drowning the world’s coastal cities before the end of this century, the scientists declared.

Bin Laden to Obama: Stop "catastrophic" climate change
Osama bin Laden wrote a letter calling on the American people to help President Barack Obama fight "catastrophic" climate change and "save humanity", in the latest evidence of his worries about environmental issues, newly released documents show. The letter was among materials that were seized in the May 2, 2011, U.S. raid on bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan that killed the al Qaeda chief and which were released on Tuesday by the Obama administration.

Mass Displacement: a underappreciated consequence of warming

The two-week United Nations climate conference outside Paris that drew to an end on Saturday focused on many of the physical dangers associated with climate change.  But global warming has already had another effect — the large-scale displacement of people — that has been an ominous, politically sensitive undercurrent in the talks and side events here.  Scientists have said that climate change can indirectly lead to migration by setting off violent conflicts. Scholars have made this connection since at least 2007, when they cited climate change as a reason for the war in Darfur, Sudan.  A drought that lasted from 2006 to 2011 in much of Syria has been cited as a factor in the long-running civil war there, fueling a mass migration to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, but also to Europe, Canada and, in small measure, the United States.

Warming intensified the 1-in-1000 year South Carolina Floods
Scientists say climate change has exacerbated the effects of a storm blamed for at least 12 deaths in the southeastern U.S. After weekend downpours, flooding continued to overwhelm large parts of South Carolina and North Carolina in what was described as a “once-in-a-millenium” storm. Individual weather events cannot be attributed to climate change, but climatologists say atmospheric conditions tied to climate change intensified this downpour.  “This is yet another example, like Sandy or Irene, of weather on ‘steroids’, another case where climate change worsened the effects of an already extreme meteorological event,” said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University.

UN Predicts 50 Million Climate Refugees in 10 Years

Fifty million refugees fleeing hunger and poverty could be created in the next 10 years unless the world's land degradation crisis is addressed, according to a new U.N.-backed report.  Louise Baker, of the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD),  says that Africa and the Middle East are particularly liable to experience resource pressures which force people to migrate. She cites the Sahel region of Africa—a semi-arid belt of 10 African countries south of the Sahara Desert from Senegal to Sudan—as an area of extreme concern due to its high rate of population growth -- about 3 percent a year.

Report warns of warming-driven terrorism

Global warming-induced food and water shortages may cause mass migration, competition for resources and state failure, providing fertile ground for conflict and terrorism, analysts warned. The global team of scientists, policy analysts and financial and military risk experts painted a grim picture of mankind's future on a much warmer planet. As rising temperatures and sea levels shrink areas of productive land, humans will have reasons aplenty for warring with one another. "Extreme water stress, and competition for productive land, could both become sources of conflict."

Warming-driven drought fueled Syrian chaos: study
Drawing one of the strongest links yet between  global warming and human conflict, researchers said Monday that an extreme drought in Syria between 2006 and 2009 was most likely due to climate change, and that the drought was a factor in the violent uprising that began there in 2011. The drought was the worst in the country in modern times. In a  study in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists laid the blame for it on a century-long trend toward warmer and drier conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean, rather than on natural climate variability.

Poll: Most voters (and nearly half Republicans) want climate action

An overwhelming majority of the American public, including nearly half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming, according to a poll conducted by The New York Times, Stanford University and the nonpartisan environmental research group Resources for the Future.  In a finding that could have implications for the 2016 presidential campaign, the poll also found that two-thirds of Americans say they are more likely to vote for political candidates who campaign on fighting climate change. They are less likely to vote for candidates who question or deny the science that determined that humans caused global warming.

Climate change spurs terrorism: a case study

Aqeel Ahmed is one of hundreds of other Pakistani Kashmir youth who have joined militant groups as a result of poverty which is often made worse by crop failures linked to extreme weather, experts say.  Floods, droughts and other climatic stresses - expected to intensify as the planet warms - are making people poorer and more vulnerable to being enticed into insurgency and militant activity.

Special Report: The Grief of the Scientists
I have been researching and writing about anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) for Truthout for the past year, because I have long been deeply troubled by how fast the planet has been emitting its obvious distress signals.  I have been vacillating between depression and acceptance of where we are, both as victims - fragile human beings – and as perpetrators. . . Can you relate to this grieving process?  If so, you might find solace in the fact that you are not alone: Climate science researchers, scientists, journalists and activists have all been struggling with grief around what we are witnessing.

Rising sea levels displace Pakistani families
On Pakistan's south coast, 42 households migrated to Phirt village in Keti Bunder Union Council, some 2 km from their old village on a mud flat at the delta's mouth. "Here we are on higher land and located further inland so the waves and the winds are not as strong - we had no choice but to move as our homes were being submerged," Dablo explained. The move was not easy, as households had to spend 15,000 rupees ($149) each to build new huts for themselves, he added. The story of Phirt village is not an isolated case. According to Dablo, many other communities in the delta are also shifting as their land disappears.

World Bank: serious climate impacts are unavoidable

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.

Public divided: are climate disasters natural or divine signals?

Americans largely concur that God created the Earth. But when it comes to how he wants its environment treated, and how much he’s willing to intercede — the agreement ends.  A new poll shows major differences between faith groups on topics including concern over climate change, whether natural disasters are a sign of biblical end times and how deeply connected they feel to nature.

Ex-BP Chief: Warming poses "existential threat" to big oil and big coal
Energy and mining companies are ignoring the “existential threat” from climate change and must change the way they operate, the former head of BP warns. The intervention by Lord Browne, one of the energy world’s most influential voices, comes as coal, oil and gas companies face mounting investor  criticism that they are too complacent about the risk of tougher  action to curb global warming. He said the scientific evidence of global warming should be treated as settled but “this conclusion is not accepted by many in our industry, because they do not want to acknowledge an existential threat to their business”.

US, China break global climate deadlock

China and the United States made common cause on Wednesday against the threat of climate change, staking out an ambitious joint plan to curb carbon emissions as a way to spur nations around the world to make their own cuts in greenhouse gases.The landmark agreement, jointly announced here by President Obama and President Xi Jinping, includes new targets for carbon emissions reductions by the United States and a first-ever commitment by China to stop its emissions from growing by 2030. As part of the agreement, Mr. Obama announced that the United States would emit 26 percent to 28 percent less carbon in 2025 than it did in 2005. That is double the pace of reduction it targeted for the period from 2005 to 2020.

Banks invested $83 billion in coal in 2013
At least $83 billion USD in financing was provided to 65 coal mining and energy companies last year by 92 of the world’s leading commercial banks, according to a Dutch report published Wednesday. Leading banks provided $500 billion in financing for the coal industry through 2,283 lending and underwriting transactions between 2005 and April 2014, said the report Banking on Coal 2014, which was released by BankTrack in Nijmegen.

PTSD -- a human impact of a changing climate

From depression to substance abuse to suicide and post-traumatic stress disorder, growing bodies of research in the relatively new field of psychology of global warming suggest that climate change will take a pretty heavy toll on the human psyche as storms become more destructive and droughts more prolonged. For your everyday environmentalist, the emotional stress suffered by a rapidly changing Earth can result in some pretty substantial anxieties.

Insurers shed coverage as climate impacts increase
After Hurricane Sandy roared across the Northeastern United States, many homeowners  lost their property insurance. The same thing happened in coastal Virginia after Hurricane Katrina, which hit hundreds of miles away along the Gulf Coast. Today, from Florida to Delaware property insurance near the water is becoming harder and harder to find.  This is not exclusively an American phenomenon. As the damages wrought by increasingly disruptive weather patterns have climbed around the world, the insurance industry seems to have quietly engaged in what looks a lot like a retreat.

Mideast warming seen as spur for ISIS
As the Obama administration undertakes a highly public, multilateral campaign to degrade and destroy the militant jihadists known as ISIS, ISIL and the Islamic State, many in the West remain unaware that climate played a significant role in the rise of Syria's extremists. A historic drought afflicted the country from 2006 through 2010, setting off a dire humanitarian crisis for millions of Syrians. Yet the four-year drought evoked little response from Bashar al-Assad's government. Rage at the regime's callousness boiled over in 2011, helping to fuel the popular uprising. In the ensuing chaos, ISIS stole onto the scene, proclaimed a caliphate in late June and accelerated its rampage of atrocities including the recent beheadings of three Western civilians.

Pentagon again sounds security alarm about climate change

The Pentagon released a report asserting decisively that  climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises.  The report lays out a road map to show how the military will adapt to rising sea levels, more violent storms and widespread droughts. The Defense Department will begin by integrating plans for climate change risks across all of its operations, from war games and strategic military planning situations to a rethinking of the movement of supplies.

EIA: oil use to climb 38% by 2040
Despite upcoming climate talks to curb heat-trapping carbon emissions, the U.S. government said Tuesday that global use of oil and other liquid fuels will jump 38% by 2040.  World consumption is projected to grow from 87 million barrels per day in 2010 to 119 million barrels in 2040 – up 4% from last year's forecast, according to the International Energy Outlook 2014 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Climate-driven mass migrations are happening now: study

Hundreds of thousands of people are already migrating because of climate change, and countries urgently need adaption plans to resettle populations and avoid conflict, says a new report. Sea level rise, violent storms and more gradual disasters such as droughts will cause more unplanned mass population movements - either temporary or permanent - and governments need to manage this by planning in advance to protect vulnerable people. The report warns that unplanned movements will lead to conflict and insecurity. Governments need to act regionally to anticipate and facilitate the movement of people.

China announces an emissions cap in 2016
China said Tuesday it will set an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions starting in 2016 — a potentially landmark move that, coupled with an earlier U.S. announcement on power plant emission curbs, could boost sluggish United Nations efforts to produce a new global climate accord. The exact extent of the cuts was not announced, but officials said renewable energy would account for up to 25 percent of the country’s energy production and nuclear power would be ramped up by the end of the next decade.

Obama plan would cut coal plant emissions 30 percent by 2030

The Obama administration on Monday announced one of the strongest actions ever taken by the United States government to fight climate change, a proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulation to cut carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, according to people briefed on the plan.  The regulation takes aim at the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States, the nation’s more than 600 coal-fired power plants. If it withstands an expected onslaught of legal and legislative attacks, experts say that it could close hundreds of the plants and also lead, over the course of decades, to systemic changes in the American electricity industry, including transformations in how power is generated and used.

Billionaire Steyer takes aim at Republican "denialists"

An environmental advocacy group backed by hedge fund tycoon Tom Steyer is set to unleash a seven-state, $100 million offensive against Republican "science deniers" this year, a no-holds-barred campaign-style push from the green billionaire that could help decide which party controls the Senate and key statehouses come November. The Steyer-backed outside group, NextGen Climate, has billed itself as a progressive, pro-environment counterbalance to the wealthy oil and gas industry -- as well as the primary foil to the pro-business Koch brothers and their well-funded conservative donor network.

S&P to cut ratings of most vulnerable countries
Climate change will be a significant factor in sovereign credit ratings and is already putting them under downward pressure, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services warned. It argued that climate change – and particularly global warming - will hit countries' economic growth rates, their external performance and public finances. Recent bouts of extreme weather – from Typhoon Haiyan in the Phillipines to the bitterly cold winter in the United States and heavy flooding across Britain -- have drawn attention to the financial and economic effects of climate change.

US military: warming is now a "global conflict catalyst"

The accelerating rate of climate change poses a severe risk to national security and acts as a catalyst for global political conflict, a a leading government-funded military research organization concluded. The Center for Naval Analyses Military Advisory Board found that climate change-induced drought in the Middle East and Africa is leading to conflicts over food and water and escalating longstanding regional and ethnic tensions into violent clashes. The report also found that rising sea levels are putting people and food supplies in vulnerable coastal regions like eastern India, Bangladesh and the Mekong Delta in Vietnam at risk and could lead to a new wave of refugees.

US emissions down 10 percent since 2005
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions fell nearly 10 percent from 2005 to 2012, more than halfway toward the United States' 2020 target pledged at United Nations climate talks, according to the latest national emissions inventory.  The report showed that emissions dropped 3.4 percent from 2012 to 2011, mostly due to a decrease in energy consumption and fuel switching from coal to natural gas.

IPCC: expect food shortages, economic stagnation from warming
Climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans, scientists reported, and they warned that the problem was likely to grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control. The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changeconcluded that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct. The oceans are rising at a pace that threatens coastal communities and are becoming more acidic as they absorb some of the carbon dioxide given off by cars and power plants, which is killing some creatures or stunting their growth, the report found. Organic matter frozen in Arctic soils since before civilization began is now melting, allowing it to decay into greenhouse gases that will cause further warming, the scientists said. And the worst is yet to come, the scientists said, in the second of three reports that are expected to carry considerable weight next year as nations try to agree on a new global climate treaty.

Poll indicates a Galluping case of indifference
Though two-thirds of Americans believe global warming is happening or will happen during their lifetimes, only about one-third see it as a serious threat to their way of life, a new Gallup Poll reports. The wide perceptual gap has existed since Gallup first asked the question 17 years ago, but it has narrowed slightly. Today, 36% believe that global warming will seriously affect how they live, up from 25% in 1997. At the same time, the percentage of people who do not see global warming hampering their lives has doubled since Gallup's first survey — from 9% to 18% in the poll.

Report warns of climate-fueled 'cascading' system breakdowns

From roads and bridges to power plants and gas pipelines, American infrastructure is vulnerable to the effects of climate change, according to a pair of government reports. The National Climate Assessment, a major review that is expected to be released in April,  warns that climate-fueled storms, flooding and droughts could cause "cascading system failures" unless there are changes made to minimize those effects.

Warming is faster than any time in history: NAS, Royal Society
Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time and the indisputable warming of the world over the past century is largely the result of human activities, according to the two most august science bodies in Britain and the US.  The speed of global warming is now 10 times faster than at the end of the last ice age, which represents the most rapid period of sustained temperature change on a global scale in history - and there is no end in sight if carbon emissions continue to increase, the Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences have warned.

For a billion people, the world is drying up

Huge areas of the world are drying up and a billion people have no access to safe drinking water.  Watering crops, slaking thirst in expanding cities, cooling power plants, fracking oil and gas wells – all take water from the same diminishing supply. Add to that climate change – which is projected to intensify dry spells in the coming years – and the world is going to be forced to think a lot more about water than it ever did before.ced to think a lot more about water than it ever did before.

UN: human inaction puts liveability of the planet in jeopardy
Nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising, according to a draft United Nations report. Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies, experts found. A delay would most likely force future generations to develop the ability to suck greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and store them underground to preserve the livability of the planet, the report found.

Studies: geoengineering can not limit man-made warming
A U.S.-led group of scientists ran sophisticated climate models of a geoengineered world and proposed the same thing. Now Axel Kleidon and Maik Renner of the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena, Germany, have used a different theoretical approach to confirm the conclusion:  geoengineering would not work to limit climate change.

US warming is forcing farmers to change crops, diets
The hotter summers and more intense and frequent droughts in the Midwest are forcing farmers here to forgo the plants of their grandparents' generation and look down South for inspiration. It's the time of year when farmers look back at the summer and plan for planting ahead. And what they see is a lot of hot and a lot of dry. That's why okra, once a plant squarely rooted in Southern cooking, is headed north — way north. Farmers in Wisconsin are planting okra as well.

Extreme weather costs rise to $200 billion a year

Global economic losses caused by extreme weather events have risen to nearly $200 billion a year over the last decade and look set to increase further as climate change worsens, a report by the World Bank showed. A United Nations' panel of scientists has warned that floods, droughts and storms are likely to become more severe over the next century as greenhouse gas emissions warm the world's climate.

90 companies generate 66 percent of ghgs
The climate crisis has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests. The companies range from investor-owned firms  such as Chevron, Exxon and BP – to state-owned and government-run firms. Half of the estimated emissions were produced just in the past 25 years – well past the date when governments and corporations became aware that rising greenhouse gas emissions from the burning of coal and oil were causing dangerous climate change. 

Poor countries biggest casualties of extreme weather events
Haiti, the Philippines and Pakistan were hardest hit by weather disasters in 2012, a report issued at U.N. climate talks showed, as the death toll mounted from the latest typhoon to devastate the Philippines. The report noted that poor nations had suffered most from extreme weather in the past two decades, and worldwide, extreme weather had killed 530,000 people and caused damage of more than $2.5 trillion.  The report for 2012, based on an index of fatalities and economic damage from weather extremes, noted that Haiti was struck by Hurricane Sandy, the Philippines by typhoon Bopha and Pakistan had suffered severe monsoon floods.

US emissions fall despite mild economic growth

In 2012, U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were at their lowest level since 1994 and more than 12 percent below the recent 2007 peak, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced.  U.S. emissions of CO2 declined 3.8 percent in 2012, despite economic growth, according to the  EIA. A large drop in energy intensity helped drive the 2012 decrease. Energy intensity means energy per dollar of gross domestic product, or GDP.

Ban Ki-moon on IPCC report: "The heat is on."

For the first time, the world’s top climate scientists on Friday formally embraced an upper limit on greenhouse gases while warning that it is likely to be exceeded within decades if emissions continue at a brisk pace, underscoring the profound challenge humanity faces in bringing global warming under control.

Interpol: Carbon trading is a magnet for organized crime
Carbon trading schemes are at acute risk from criminal gangs and fraud, a new report from Interpol warns. The police agency says uncertain regulations and a lack of oversight and transparency threaten the environmental and financial integrity of the world’s carbon markets, worth an estimated $176 billion. It adds that there is a risk that if financial instruments related to carbon trading become too complex, the world’s carbon markets could spark a financial crisis on par with 2008. The report says law enforcement agencies must be more aware of ‘carbon crimes’, improve communication between countries and impose tighter regulations on transactions and calculations of emissions reductions.

Study: warmer climate intensifies human violence
Shifts in climate are strongly linked to increases in violence around the world, a study suggests.  US scientists found that even small changes in temperature or rainfall correlated with a rise in assaults, rapes and murders, as well as group conflicts and war. The team says with the current projected levels of climate change, the world is likely to become a more violent place.

President's call for climate action reflects foreign, not US, worries
President Obama last week called for the United States to “lead the world in a coordinated assault on a changing climate.” His speech echoes widespread public concern about global warming outside the United States. But they do not reflect the priorities of the American or Chinese people, whose countries are the world’s most significant source of carbon emissions.

Military strategy analysts: "Stop drilling"

A new report from the U.S. Center for Naval Analyses and the London-based Royal United Services Institute, two of the NATO alliance's front-line strategy centers, recommends putting more effort into fighting global warming than securing reliable supplies of fossil fuels. The authors call the habitual American fixation on winning energy independence through expanded North American production of oil and natural gas "misguided." They say the "only sustainable solution" to the problem of energy insecurity is not through more drilling, but through energy efficiency and renewable fuels, like biofuels to replace oil.

World Bank slams climate skeptics

The world should stop arguing about whether humans are causing climate change and start taking action to stop dangerous temperature rises, the president of the World Bank said. Kim Jim Yong Kim said there was 97 to 98 percent agreement among scientists that global warming was real and caused by human activity. "It is time to stop arguing about whether (climate change) is real or not," he said.

Global emissions at record high in 2012
China led a rise in global carbon dioxide emissions to a record high in 2012, more than offsetting falls in the United States and Europe, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said. Worldwide CO2 emissions rose by 1.4 percent to 31.6 billion tons, according to estimates from the Paris-based IEA.

US weather extremes cost two-thirds of global losses
America has some of the wildest weather on the planet, and it turns out those extremes - which run from heat waves and tornadoes to floods, hurricanes and droughts - carry a heavy price tag. A report from the environmental research organization World Watch Institute found that the United States alone accounted for more than two-thirds of the $170bn in losses caused by natural disasters around the world last year.

Belief in "End Times" thwarts climate action: study
The United States has failed to take action to mitigate climate change thanks in part to the large number of religious Americans who believe the world has a set expiration date.  Research by David C. Barker of the University of Pittsburgh and David H. Bearce of the University of Colorado uncovered that belief in the biblical end-times was a motivating factor behind resistance to curbing climate change.

World's clean energy drive has stalled: IEA
The development of low-carbon energy is progressing too slowly to limit global warming, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said.  With power generation still dominated by coal and governments failing to increase investment in clean energy, top climate scientists have said that the target of keeping the global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius this century is slipping out of reach.

EU deals potential "death blow" to carbon trading

Europe, which led the world in creating a system of emission permits to combat greenhouse-gas emissions, dealt a potential death blow to that system on Tuesday. Focusing on immediate economic concerns over future environmental ones, the European Parliament narrowly rejected a proposal to cut the number of pollution permits. Fewer permits would have raised companies’ costs to emit greenhouse gases, which scientists have linked to global warming. In voting down the changes, lawmakers seemed less worried about the global environmental implications than on holding down energy costs as Europe continues to emerge from a deep economic slump.

Geoengineering scheme could lead to calamitous African drought

Less than three weeks after two U.S. researchers called for global agreement on the governance of geoengineering research, British meteorologists have provided a case study in potential geoengineering disaster. Jim Haywood from the Met Office Hadley Center and colleagues report in Nature Climate Change that fine particles concentrated in the stratosphere could precipitate calamitous drought in the Sahel region of Africa.

US led world in losses to extreme weather events in 2012
According to Swiss Re, extreme weather events in the U.S. dominated the list of the most expensive disasters of 2012, with Hurricane Sandy alone costing an estimated $70 billion in total damage and $35 billion in insured losses. In addition, the prolonged U.S. drought and summer heat waves resulted in insured agricultural losses of $11 billion, which was the highest loss in the history of agriculture insurance.

Scientists: Somali famine a consequence of climate change

Human-induced climate change contributed to low rain levels in East Africa in 2011, making global warming one of the causes of Somalia's famine and the tens of thousands of deaths that followed, a new study has found. It is the first time climate change was proven to be partially to blame for such a large humanitarian disaster, an aid group said. 

Top US Admiral calls climate change biggest security threat

America’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change.  Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’

"Angry Summer" forces Australians to acknowledge climate change
The hottest summer on record. The hottest January on record. The hottest day on record for Australia as a whole. Brushfires in every state and territory. Daily rainfall records and major  flooding. Over a period of 90 days, these were some of the 123
extreme weather records broken during Australia's "angry summer". Despite the dramatic headlines and  "flame-seared images"  that documented extreme weather over the summer, the Australian media largely failed to make the lik to climate change. Of 800 articles published on the heatwave over a period of five days in January, fewer than 10 also discussed global warming.

Humans have lost 10 percent of productivity to warming

That loss of human productivity due to heat and high humidity has already cut the world’s working capacity by 10 percent since humans began burning large amounts of oil, gas, coal and other fossil fuels at the start of the Industrial Revolution, found the analysis, which was published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change. Researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict that dive will continue, reshaping daily life in the most populated areas of the planet as climate change intensifies.

GAO highlights climate change as "high risk" to government

The U.S. government is at high risk of financial exposure from climate change, the Government Accountability Office said, two days after President Barack Obama vowed to tackle the issue with or without Congress' help.For the first time, the non-partisan congressional watchdog added fiscal exposure from climate change to its "High Risk List" of measures the federal government needs to fix. "Climate change is a complex, crosscutting issue that poses risks to many environmental and economic systems — including agriculture, infrastructure, ecosystems, and human health — and presents a significant financial risk to the federal government," the agency said.

Effective climate action would shrink oil companies by 60 percent: bank study

Oil and gas multinationals could lose up to 60 percent of their market value if the world cuts its carbon emissions to limit climate change, according to the world's second-largest bank.  This is the first time the financial sector has been warned by one of its own that shares could plummet if the necessary action is taken to prevent disaster.

US emissions hit lowest level in 19 years
America's carbon dioxide emissions last year fell to their lowest levels since 1994, according to a new report. Carbon dioxide emissions fell by 13% in the past five years, because of new energy-saving technologies and a doubling in the take-up of  renewabke energy. The reduction in climate pollution – even as Congress failed to act on climate change– brings America more than halfway towards Barack Obama's target of cutting emissions by 17% from 2005 levels over the next decade, the Bloomberg analysts said.

Climate inaction blamed on "Insider" environmentalists
A Harvard academic has put the blame squarely for America's failure to act on climate change on environmental groups. She also argues that there is little prospect Barack Obama will put climate change on the top of his agenda in his second term. Environmental groups overlooked growing opposition to environmental protections among conservatives voters and, underestimated the rising force of the Tea Party, believing – wrongly, as it turned out – they could still somehow win over Republican members of Congress through "insider grand bargaining".

New York Times, other papers, reduce coverage of climate change
The news last week that the New York Times is dismantling its environment desk and reassigning the reporters throughout the newsroom provoked an outpouring of reaction, much of it suggesting that now isn't the time to take risks that could diminish the coverage of climate change. Once the Times' environmental desk is dismantled, the nation's top five newspapers by readership—the Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, USA Today and the Wall Street Journal—will have about a dozen reporters and a handful of editors among them whose primary responsibility is to cover the environment. The New York Times has yet to reassign its reporters so a precise tally is not possible.

IEA: Surge in global coal production threatens climate crisis
Without urgent action to deliver a high carbon price or bring on line new unconventional gas reserves, coal is on track to displace oil as the global economy's dominant energy source, resulting in potentially catastrophic consequences for efforts to curb carbon emissions.  That is the stark warning presented this week by a new report from the International Energy Agency. The agency's Medium-Term Coal Market Report predicts that by 2017 global coal consumption will stand at 4.32 billion tonnes of oil equivalent (btoe), versus around 4.40 btoe for oil.

36 percent of Americans see "end times" behind extreme weather

Nearly four in 10 Americans say the severity of recent natural disasters such as Superstorm Sandy is evidence the world is coming to an end, as predicted by the Bible, while more than six in 10 blame it on climate change, according to a poll. The survey by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with the Religion News Service found political and religious disagreement on what is behind severe weather, which this year has included extreme heat and drought.  Most Catholics (60 percent) and white non-evangelical Protestants (65 percent) say they believe disasters like hurricanes and floods are the result of climate change. But nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of white evangelical Protestants say they think the storms are evidence of the "end times" as predicted by the Bible.

Doha climate summit ends with a whimper

Almost 200 nations extended a weakened United Nations plan for combating global warming until 2020 on Saturday with a modest set of measures that would do nothing to halt rising world greenhouse gas emissions. Many countries and environmentalists said the deal at the end of marathon two-week U.N. talks in OPEC-member Qatar would fail to slow rising temperatures or avert more floods, droughts, heatwaves and rising sea levels. Environment ministers extended until 2020 the Kyoto Protocol, which obliges about 35 industrialized nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions until the end of 2012. That keeps the pact alive as the sole legally binding climate plan.

Climate-driven disasters threatens US budget capacity

If the United States has entered an era in which mega-storms, perhaps related to climate change, are becoming the “new normal,” it will create new spending pressures at a time when federal revenues every year are falling roughly $1 trillion short of outlays. If you factor in a growing population and development in coastal areas, then storm damage is likely to become even more expensive over time.

World Bank warns of coming calamity

The World Bank  warned that the Earth will be warmer by four degrees Celsius this century, causing 'calamitous effects', unless immediate action is not taken to mitigate the imminent climate change crisis that may have serious consequences for countries like India.  In a major report prepared for the World Bank by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Climate Analytics, the rise in temperature will trigger a cascade of cataclysmic changes that include extreme heat-waves, declining global food stocks and a sea-level rise affecting hundreds of millions of people.

Report finds US poor hit hardest by climate impacts

U.S. droughts, floods and heat waves likely fueled by climate change in the last two years hit the people who can afford it the least - the poor and middle class, a report  said. In affected areas of U.S. states hit by five or more extreme weather events in the last two years, the median annual household income was a bit over $48,000, or 7 percent below the national median, according to the report by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank with close ties to the White House.

Climate change threatens national security -- report

Climate change is accelerating, and it will place unparalleled strains on American military and intelligence agencies in coming years by causing ever more disruptive events around the globe, the nation’s top scientific research group said in a report issued Friday. The group, the  National Research Council, says in a study commissioned by the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies that clusters of apparently unrelated events exacerbated by a warming climate will create more frequent but unpredictable crises in water supplies, food markets, energy supply chains and public health systems.

Floridians challenge candidates to debate climate change

Experts have appealed to President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to address climate change when they debate in Florida, saying the coastal state is already hit by rising water levels. More than 120 Floridians who either serve on official bodies on sea level or hold advanced degrees on the issue signed a letter to the two candidates ahead of their third and final debate October 22 in the coastal city of Boca Raton.

Climate impacts are costing the world $1.2 trillion a year
Climate change and pollution related to carbon-dioxide emissions are reducing the world’s gross domestic product by 1.6 percent a year, about $1.2 trillion, according to a report.  If unchecked, rising temperatures may cut global GDP by 3.2 percent a year by 2030, according to the Climate Vulnerability Monitor, from by the Madrid-based humanitarian group DARA and the Climate Vulnerable Forum.

Global carbon trading system on verge of collapse
The world's only global system of carbon trading, designed to give poor countries access to new green technologies, has "essentially collapsed",  jeopardizing future flows of finance to the developing world. A panel convened by the UN reported this week at a meeting in Bangkok that the system, known as the clean development mechanism (CDM), was in dire need of rescue. The panel warned that allowing the CDM to collapse would make it harder in future to raise finance to help developing countries cut carbon.

Natural Gas Boom Drops US Emissions to 1992 Levels

In a surprising turnaround, the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere in the U.S. has fallen dramatically to its lowest level in 20 years, and government officials say the biggest reason is that cheap and plentiful natural gas has led many power plant operators to switch from dirtier-burning coal.

High Ocean Temperature Forces Shutdown of Nuclear Reactor
A reactor at the Millstone nuclear plant in Waterford, Conn., has shut down because of something that its 1960s designers never anticipated: the water in Long Island Sound was too warm to cool it.  Under the reactor’s safety rules, the cooling water can be no higher than 75 degrees. On Sunday afternoon, the water’s temperature soared to 76.7 degrees, prompting the operator, Dominion Power, to order the shutdown of the 880-megawatt reactor.

Consumers hit by drought-driven price shocks
The worst American drought in more than half a century is driving up grain prices and deepening worries about global food hortages.  With much of the corn crop already lost, farmers are holding out hope for some weather relief that could help salvage the harvest of soybeans and other. But the latest data from the government Friday showed that the damage to the food supply chain already has been done. Shriveling supplies have sent grain prices soaring. Corn futures set an all-time high Friday to levels roughly 50 percent higher than the end of May, before the drought took hold. Soybean prices also jumped this week to more than 25 percent above pre-drought levels.

US Emissions Drop as Gas Replaces Coal for Electricity Generation

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use in the first quarter of this year fell to their lowest level in the U.S. in 20 years, as demand shifted to natural gas-fired generation from coal-fired electricity due to record low gas prices, the energy department said.

Weather Extremes Damage Parts of US Infrastructure

From highways in Texas to nuclear power plants in Illinois, the concrete, steel and sophisticated engineering that undergird the nation’s infrastructure are being taxed to worrisome degrees by heat, drought and vicious storms. On a single day this month here, a US Airways regional jet became stuck in asphalt that had softened in 100-degree temperatures, and a subway train derailed after the heat stretched the track so far that it kinked — inserting a sharp angle into a stretch that was supposed to be straight. In East Texas, heat and drought have had a startling effect on the clay-rich soils under highways, which “just shrink like crazy,” leading to “horrendous cracking,” said an engineer with the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M University. In Northeastern and Midwestern states, he said, unusually high heat is causing highway sections to expand beyond their design limits, press against each other and “pop up,” creating jarring and even hazardous speed bumps.

US Drought Triggers Jump in Food Prices

Scorching heat and the worst drought in nearly a half-century are threatening to send food prices up, spooking consumers and leading to worries about global food costs. The government said it expected the record-breaking weather to drive up the price  for groceries next year, including milk, beef, chicken and pork. The drought is now affecting 88 percent of the corn crop, a staple of processed foods and animal feed as well as the nation’s leading farm export.

Drought Spurs Epidemic of House Foundation Problems
As if shriveled crops, dead fish, water rationing and brown lawns aren't bad enough, some residents across the Midwest and South are seeing the drought in their own homes as foundations shift in dried-up soil. Sometimes they'll even hear the shift. Adding insult to injury, insurers typically consider such damage an "act of God" and thus homeowners are on the hook for funding repairs.

CO2 Emissions Up 3 percent in 2011
Global carbon dioxide emissions rose 3 percent to 34 billion tonnes in 2011, according to a new EU report, undermining a U.N. goal to limit the rise in global average temperatures to 2C above industrial levels by 2050.

China Emissions May be Underestimated by 20 Percent

China's carbon emissions could be nearly 20 percent higher than previously thought, a new analysis of official Chinese data showed, suggesting the pace of global climate change could be even faster than currently predicted.  China has already overtaken the United States as the world's top greenhouse gas polluter, producing about a quarter of mankind's carbon pollution that scientists say is heating up the planet and triggering more extreme weather.  But pinning down an accurate total for China's carbon emissions has long been a challenge because of doubts about the quality of its official energy use data.

Panetta Stresses Security Threat of Climate Inaction
Climate change and oil dependence are issues of national security, and the Pentagon will take a lead role in shifting the way the country uses energy, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said. Panetta became the highest-level official to draw a clear line between environmental, energy and security issues since their relationship was formally established in Pentagon strategy two years ago. At a time when the scientific grounding of climate change and the military's alternative energy investments are under assault from some members of Congress, Panetta signaled a personal investment in the issues -- a gesture that was not lost on a room packed with many of the country's top environmental and security experts.

Climate Exerts Biggest Influence on Corn Prices
Researchers have found that climate change is likely to have far greater influence on the volatility of corn prices over the next three decades than factors that recently have been blamed for price swings — like oil prices, trade policies and government biofuel mandates. The new study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests that unless farmers develop more heat-tolerant corn varieties or gradually move corn production from the United States into Canada, frequent heat waves will cause sharp price spikes.

Poll: Public Beginning to Link Weather Extremes to Warming
Scientists may hesitate to link some of the weather extremes of recent years to global warming -- — but the public, it seems, is already there.  A poll due for release on Wednesday shows that a large majority of Americans believe that this year’s unusually warm winter, last year’s blistering summer and some other weather disasters were probably made worse by global warming. And by a 2-to-1 margin, the public says the weather has been getting worse, rather than better, in recent years.

Insurers Cut Coverage in the Face of Increasing Weather Extremes
In this era of unpredictable weather patterns, insurance companies are raising rates, cutting coverage, balking at some payouts and generally shifting more expense and liability to homeowners, according to reports from the industry and its critics.

IPCC: Plan Now for Climate Disasters
A future on Earth of more extreme weather and rising seas will require better planning for natural disasters to save lives and limit deepening economic losses, the United Nations said on Wednesday in a major report on the effects of climate change. The U.N. climate panel said all nations will be vulnerable to the expected increase in heat waves, more intense rains and floods and a probable rise in the intensity of droughts. Aimed largely at policymakers, the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes clear nations need to act now, because increasingly extreme weather is already a trend. The need for action has become more acute as a growing human population puts more people and more assets in the path of disaster.

Water: A Source of Future Wars -- US Intelligence Agencies

Drought, floods and a lack of fresh water may cause significant global instability and conflict in the coming decades, as developing countries scramble to meet demand from exploding populations while dealing with the effects of climate change, U.S. intelligence agencies said in a report.

Drought of 2011 is costliest in Texas' history

Texas agriculture producers lost $7.62 billion to the state's 2011 drought, which experts said makes it the costliest drought in the state's history and possibly the most expensive drought ever suffered by any state. "No one alive has seen single-year drought damage to this extent," said Travis Miller, an agricultural economist at Texas A&M University. While the figures confirm it was the costliest drought ever for Texas, Miller said it was likely the worst drought ever in the United States in terms of agriculture losses, but that is difficult to confirm because states use different metrics in determining drought losses.

OECD: Emissions to Rise 50 Percent in Next 40 Years
Global greenhouse gas emissions could rise 50 percent by 2050 without more ambitious climate policies, as fossil fuels continue to dominate the energy mix, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said. "Unless the global energy mix changes, fossil fuels will supply about 85 percent of energy demand in 2050, implying a 50 percent increase in greenhouse gas emissions and worsening urban air pollution," the OECD said in its environment outlook to 2050.

Island Nation of Kiribati Plans Relocation to Fiji
 In what could be the world's first climate-induced migration of modern times, Anote Tong, the Kiribati president, said he was in talks with Fiji's military government to buy up to 5,000 acres of freehold land on which his countrymen could be housed. Some of Kiribati's 32 pancake-flat coral atolls, which straddle the equator over 1,350,000 square miles of ocean, are already disappearing beneath the waves. Mr Tong said the plan would be to send a trickle of skilled workers first, so they could merge more easily with the Fijian population and make a positive contribution to that country's economy.

US Proposes Cuts in Methane, Soot and Hydrofluorocarbons
With global efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions stalled, the United States and five other countries are starting a new program to cut other pollutants — including methane, soot and hydrofluorocarbons — that contribute to global warming. Canada, Sweden, Mexico, Ghana and Bangladesh are also participating. The plan will be administered by the United Nations Environment Program, with a $12 million contribution from the United States for the first two years. Canada will add $3 million; contributions from the other countries are not known. Carbon dioxide — from burning fossil fuels — plays the largest role in pushing up global temperatures, climate scientists say. But methane, soot and hydrofluorocarbons also contribute to global warming. Combined, those three pollutants are believed to account for 30 to 40 percent of the nearly one degree Celsius rise in global temperatures since the beginning of the 20th century.

History Shows Climate Change Destabilizes Civilizations
Long-term climate change has often destabilized civilizations through food shortages, hunger, infectious disease and unrest, a study reveals.  Tony McMichael, professor at the ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and population Health, examined climate change and its impact over the last 6,000 to 7,000 years, as documented in historical, fossil and archaeological records.  "History tells us some very alarming things," said Tony McMichael of the Australian National University. "Firstly, long-term climate changes have often destabilized civilizations through food shortages, consequent hunger, infectious disease and unrest."

British Panel Details Coming Risks of Climate Change

Coastlines, working patterns, and even the country’s most famous meal are under threat from climate change, Britain said in its first-ever national assessment of the likely risks.  In a gloomy forecast for Britain’s environment department, a panel of independent analysts predicted as many as 5,900 more people could die as a result of hotter summers — but also claimed there will be a sharp reduction in deaths currently due to cold weather by the 2050s. Infrastructure and businesses will be badly affected by more frequent floods, with the cost of damage likely to rise from 1.3 billion pounds ($2 billion) to as much as 12 billion pounds ($18.8 billion) by the 2080s, if adequate preparations aren’t taken.

IEA: Global Energy Subsidies Will Exceed A Half Trillion Dollars by 2015

 The IEA estimates that direct subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption by artificially lowering end-user prices for fossil fuels amounted to $312 billion in 2009.  The IEA estimates that, in the absence of reform, spending on fossil fuel subsidies is likely to reach almost $600 billion in 2015, or 0.6 percent of the global gross domestic product. As Lester Brown, of the Earth Policy Institute, put it, "The world's governments are spending $1.4 billion a day to destabilize the climate." 

Thai Flood Creates Global Shortage of Hard Drives
Before Thailand’s great flood of 2011, companies like Panasonic, JVC and Hitachi produced electronics and computer components that were exported around the world. Now of the 227 factories operating in the zone, only 15 percent have restarted production, according to Nipit Arunvongse Na Ayudhya, the managing director of the company that manages the Nava Nakorn industrial zone, one of the largest in Thailand and located just north of Bangkok.

NOAA Lists Record of 14 Billion-Dollar Loss Events in US
A record number of billion dollar weather disasters struck the United States in 2011.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration added two disasters to the list this week, bringing the total up to a record high of 14, according to their website. Each one caused at least $1,000,000,000 in damages, and destroyed priceless human lives and livelihoods.

Coal Plants Generate Nearly 3/4ths of US Emissions

The most detailed data yet on emissions of heat-trapping gases show that U.S. power plants are responsible for the bulk of the pollution blamed for global warming. Power plants released 72 percent of the greenhouse gases reported to the Environmental Protection Agency for 2010, according to information released Wednesday that was the first catalog of global warming pollution by facility. The data include more than 6,700 of the largest industrial sources of greenhouse gases, or about 80 percent of total U.S. emissions.

Melting Tundra Yields Treasure of Prehistoric Bones

Today, Siberia’s thick icy crust, or permafrost, which has held the remains of predators and herbivores alike in an epochal deep freeze, is beginning to melt. And the bones of prehistoric rhinos, bison, reindeer, horses – and yes, mammoths – are rising to Yakutia’s surface at an amazing rate.

News Media Coverage of Climate Plummeted in 2011

Media coverage of climate change continued to tumble in 2011, declining roughly 20 percent from 2010's levels and nearly 42 percent from 2009's peak.  The declining coverage came amid bouts of extreme weather across the globe – historic wildfires in Arizona, drought in Texas, famine in the Horn of Africa – and flashes of political frenzy. Australia's approval of a carbon tax, the U.S. presidential election, a Congressional inquiry into the failed solar startup Solyndra all generated significant coverage within the mainstream press, but it was not enough to stem the larger trend.

IEA: Durban Time Frame Could Mean Climate Disaster
The absence of a global legally binding agreement on climate change, along with a rethink on nuclear energy, risks a failure to arrest catastrophic temperature rises, the International Energy Authority's chief economist says. IEA chief economist Fatih Birol said the pact agreed in Durban on the weekend was good news because it was supported by and signed by all governments that need to be involved. "However . . .  I hope it wouldn't leave some of the countries not to act for the next 10 years or act efficiently which would mean ... closing the door to 2 degrees," Dr Birol told reporters in Canberra.

Canada Pulls Out of Kyoto Protocol
Canada is formally withdrawing from the Kyoto accord, Environment Minister Peter Kent said. The decision to do so will save the government an estimated $14 billion in penalties, Kent said. The Conservative government says it has no choice given the economic situation. Blaming an "incompetent Liberal government" who signed the accord and then took little action to make the necessary greenhouse gas emission cuts, Kent said he was formalizing what the Conservative government has been saying for weeks.

Nations Agree to Binding Emissions Cuts -- by 2020

Climate negotiators agreed a pact on Sunday that would for the first time force all the biggest polluters to take action on greenhouse gas emissions, but critics said the action plan was not aggressive enough to slow the pace of global warming. "It's certainly not the deal the planet needs -- such a deal would have delivered much greater ambition on both emissions reductions and finance," said Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

US Hit by 12 Weather Events Exceeding $1 Billion in Losses
America smashed the record for billion-dollar weather disasters this year with a deadly dozen — and counting.  With an almost biblical onslaught of twisters, floods, snow, drought and wildfire, the U.S. in 2011 has seen more weather catastrophes that caused at least $1 billion in damage than it did in all of the 1980s, even after the dollar figures from back then are adjusted for inflation.

Nations Punt Again on Climate Treaty at Durban Meeting

An all-encompassing climate deal "may be beyond our reach for now," the U.N. chief said Tuesday as China and India delivered a setback to European plans to negotiate a new treaty that would bind all parties to their pledges on greenhouse gas emissions.Political differences, the worldwide financial crisis and a divergence of priorities among rich and poor countries are barriers to an agreement on a future negotiating path, Ban said.

Warming Drives Up Food Prices Around the World
Over the last few decades, global warming has hindered the world's food production causing prices to rise, new research reveals. The study not only tracks the link between rising temperatures and its effect on food production, but highlights the importance of finding new ways to adapt farming methods to the changing climate. The drop in the productivity of crop plants around the world was not caused by changes in rainfall but by higher temperatures which cause dehydration, prevent pollination and lead to slowed photosynthesis.

Growing Losses Make Insurers Allies in the Climate Fight
Environmentalists are not the only ones who worry as projections about climate change keep getting worse and worse. So do insurance companies, which feel the effects financially as the pace of climate-related disasters accelerates. It is telling that, even as some business groups oppose climate-change legislation in Washington, many of the companies with the most to lose from global warming are treating it as a reality - and pricing their products accordingly.  Losses from extreme weather related to climate change are no longer chump change. Allstate CEO Tom Wilson this year told investors that catastrophic weather losses beyond hurricanes and earthquakes had risen four-fold over the last three years, to $2 billion. Premiums for homeowners were rising 7 percent this year, Wilson said, noting that a big driver is roof damage from hail and wind.

Big Emitters Seek Big Stall in Durban
Some of the developing world's biggest greenhouse gas emitters are bidding to delay talks on a new climate agreement. To the anger of small islands and other vulnerable countries, India and Brazil are joining rich nations such as the US and Japan in wanting to start talks on a legal deal no earlier than 2015. The EU and climate-vulnerable blocs want to start as soon as possible, and have the deal finalised by 2015.

US, Saudis Block Climate Fund on Eve of Conference
The US is refusing to sign off on a flagship global climate fund, as already fraught negotiations intensify ahead of next week’s UN climate summit and carbon prices plummet to new lows. It was already feared that souring economic conditions and next year’s US presidential election would make it difficult for the UN summit – which opens on Monday in Durban, South Africa – to make headway on a new global warming deal. But officials confirmed on Thursday that the US, backed by Saudi Arabia, has still not agreed to adopt a blueprint for the  Green Climate Fund, designed to share the burden of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which risk raising global temperatures to dangerous levels.

Climate Changes Are Displacing Populations

Of the 20 fastest growing cities in the world, eight are at “extreme risk” from climate change, including Kolkata, Manila, Kabul and Karachi, the group says. A further 11 are at “high risk” and just one – Cairo – is at “medium risk”.

Annan: climate impacts are devastating world food supplies

Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan criticized world leaders for failing to take bold action on climate change, which he said threatens to worsen the food crisis that has already left a billion people hungry.  Speaking at Stanford University, the Nobel Peace Prize winner said rising temperatures and rainwater shortages are having a devastating effect on food production. Failing to address the problem will have repercussions on health, security and stability, he warned.

Study: Prepare for Large-Scale Refugee Resettlement

The world's governments and relief agencies need to plan now to resettle millions of people expected to be displaced by climate change, an international panel of experts said.   Resettlement is already occurring at the rate of some 10 million people a year, said the report's lead author, Alex de Sherbinin. Climate-related resettlement projects are under way in Vietnam, Mozambique, on the Alaskan coast, the Chinese territory of Inner Mongolia and in the South Pacific.

Diplomats Fight to Keep Climate Talks Alive
With just weeks to go before UN talks on climate change open in Durban, negotiators have shifted their goal from striking a historic deal to ensuring that the global system survives.  Officials from key nations reported progress in preparatory talks that closed on Friday - not in resolving the most knotty issues, but in starting to work out a technical framework for the future.

Climate Negotiators Move the Goalposts Back to 2015
Australia and Norway have proposed negotiations on a new agreement, but say it is unrealistic to expect that to be ready by 2013. They have set a target date two years later, in 2015. Developing nations insist Kyoto be extended to commit rich countries to tougher carbon cuts and fiercely resist any attempts to side-line the world's main climate pact, meaning the Australia-Norway plan faces a tough time . Failure to agree on a new climate deal  could lead to nations committing only to voluntary steps that are unlikely to put the brakes on climate change, risking more extreme droughts, floods, storms and crop failures. It would also weaken efforts to put in place tough policies to promote cleaner fuels and green energy.

Global CO2 Emissions Up 45 Percent a Year since 1990
A record-setting 36.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide were added to the atmosphere in 2010 -- s a 45 percent increase in the global annual release of carbon dioxide by humans since 1990. The European Union-27 and Russia decreased emissions by 7 percent and 28 percent respectively, between 1990 and 2010. Japan's emissions stayed at about the same level. The United State's annual release of carbon dioxide increased 5 percent between 1990 and 2010.

Natural Gas: No Help in Delaying Climate Disruptions
Relying more on natural gas than on coal would not significantly slow down the effects of climate change, even though direct carbon dioxide emissions would be less, a new study has found. Burning coal emits far more climate-warming carbon dioxide than natural gas does, but it also releases lots of sulfates and other particles that block incoming sunlight and help cool the Earth, according to a study to be published in the peer-reviewed journal Climate Change Letters in October. Using more natural gas for fuel could also produce leaks of methane, a heat-trapping greenhouse gas more than 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, study author Tom Wigley said in a statement.

Tea Party least Worried about Warming -- Because they are "Best Informed"


?  A large majority of Democrats (72%) worry about global warming, compared to 53 percent of Independents, 38 percent of Republicans, and 24 percent of Tea Party members. Over half (51%) of Tea Party members say they are not at all worried about global warming.

?  Tea Party members are much more likely to say that they are “very well informed” about global warming than the other groups. Likewise, Likewise, they are also much more likely to say they “do not need any more information” about global warming to make up their mind.

NCDC: Irene Sets Record As the 10th Billion Dollar Loss Event in US in One Year

Hurricane Irene's rampage up the East Coast has become the tenth billion-dollar weather event this year, breaking a record stretching back to 1980, climate experts said Wednesday.  The storm, which damaged infrastructure, left 2.5 million without power and thousands of water-logged homes and businesses from North Carolina through New England, has been blamed for at least 44 deaths in 13 states.  Estimates put the toal cost at up to $10 billion.  The National Climate Data Center said on its website that 2011 had been a particularly bad year for storm damages.

Developing Countries Far More Concerned about Warming than US, UK
According to polling data, the US recorded one of the steepest declines in concern about global warming: less than half of Americans polled fret about climate change and only 58 per cent of Brits. By contrast, 90 per cent of Latin Americans are concerned, up from 85 per cent in 2009, and 93 per cent of Thais. Concern in China and Russia also exceeds that in the UK.

Irene Seen as One of 10 Costliest Catastrophes in US History
The total damage inflicted by Hurricane Irene may reach $7 billion by the time the storm dissipates in the coming days, making one of the insurance industry’s worst years even tougher. At $7 billion in possible losses, Irene would be among the 10 costliest catastrophes in American history, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Climate Change Triggers Conflict: study
The study shows "beyond any doubt that even in this modern world, climate variations have an impact on the propensity of people to fight. It's difficult to see why that won't carry over to a world that's disrupted by global warming." -- Climate scientist  Mark Cane.

Mann cleared by the National Science Foundation

Three days after Texas Gov. Rick Perry accused climate scientists of manipulating global warming data for profit, the Inspector General's office of the National Science Foundation concluded its investigation into the unnamed object of Perry's allegation, Dr. Michael Mann, declaring it found "nio research misconduct" on Mann's part. 

US Weather Losses Tie Record -- With 4 Months Left in 2011


The United States has already tied its yearly record for billion-dollar weather disasters and the cumulative tab from floods, tornadoes and heat waves has hit $35 billion, the National Weather Service said. And it's only August, with the bulk of the hurricane season still ahead.

Oil Sand Development Seen Offsetting Canada's Carbon Cuts
The development of Canada’s oil sands will single-handedly undo greenhouse gas gains made by weaning the country’s electrical supply off coal, a government study predicts. The Environment Canada forecast of Canada’s carbon output over the next decade casts in stark terms the challenge facing the country as it pursues major energy development at a time of continued global efforts to bat down emissions.

UN Declares Climate Change a Major Threat to Global Security

Climate change could exponentially increase the scale of natural disasters while at the same time threatening world security, a senior UN official told the UN Security Council.  Achim Steiner, director of the UN Environment Program noted, "The scale of the the natural disasters will increase exponentially."

Developing Countries Biggest Spenders on Renewables

2010 may have been the year when developing countries pulled away from the developed world's fossil-fuel fouled past, toward a future powered by clean renewables. And despite the fact that much of that investment was state-subsidized, we are still at a turning point when renewables such as solar, geothermal and wind (those old whipping posts for critics arguing they won't compete with subsidized oil and coal) began to stand on their own two feet, especially in the parts of the world where they are often the only source of power available.

Warming-driven Water Shortage Seen as Major Conflict Source

By 2030, 47 per cent of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's Environmental Outlook to 2030 report. Some analysts worry that wars of the future will be fought over blue gold, as thirsty people, opportunistic politicians and powerful corporations battle for dwindling resources. 

Gore Blasts Obama for Caving in to Carbon Lobby
Former Vice President  Al Gore sharply criticized  President Obama as lacking leadership on  climate change in a magazine essay published online, saying his policies had been little more effective than those of President George W. Bush. In the 7,000-word article in Rolling Stone, Mr. Gore said that Mr. Obama clearly understood the threat to the planet posed by global warming and that he had appointed a number of committed environmental advocates to key positions. But Mr. Gore said that in the face of well-financed attacks from fossil fuel industries and denial and delay from Republicans in Congress, Mr. Obama had failed to act decisively to alter the nation’s policies on climate change and energy.

Warming Spurs Dramatic Increase in Refugees
About 42 million people were forced to flee their homes because of natural disasters around the world in 2010, more than double the number during the previous year, experts said. One reason for the increase in the figure could be climate change, and the international community should be doing more to contain it, the experts said.

Romney Affirms Human-Induced Warming

In the first town hall of his freshly announced presidential campaign, Mitt Romney yesterday reaffirmed his view that global warming is occurring and that humans are contributing to it, a position that has been rejected in recent years by many Republicans as the issue has taken on a greater partisan tinge.

2010 Emissions Virtually Assures Dangerous Climate Change

Greenhouse gas emissions increased by a record amount last year, to the highest carbon output in history, putting hopes of holding global warming to safe levels all but out of reach, according to unpublished estimates from the International Energy Agency. The shock rise means the goal of preventing a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius -- which scientists say is the threshold for potentially "dangerous climate change" --  is likely to be just "a nice Utopia", according to Faith Birol, chief economist of the IEA. It also shows the most serious global recession for 80 years has had only a minimal effect on emissions, contrary to some predictions.

Insurers Brace for Record Climate-Driven Losses

Devastating tornadoes, floods, earthquakes overseas and a busier-than-usual hurricane season have U.S. insurance companies bracing for record losses in 2011. Insurers could suffer as much as $10 billion from weather-related losses in the United States in 2011, which is up from the average of $2 billion to $4 billion, according to EQECAT Inc, which provides disaster and risk models to insurance companies.

Researchers See Climate Change Fuelling Future Wars
Experts say climate change is contributing to more and more conflicts around the world, especially in Africa.  They said that, beyond raising the alarm on the link between climate change and conflict, researchers must now help governments, civil society groups and aid agencies prevent natural disasters from turning into war.

Climate Impacts Have Boosted Commodity Prices by 20 Percent
Climate change cut global wheat and corn output by more than 3 percent over the past three decades compared to growth projections without a rise in temperatures, a study found. The impacts translated into up to 20 percent higher average commodity prices, before accounting for other factors, according to the paper published in the journal Science.

Coffee Yields Plummet As Climate Changes
Coffee plants require the right mix of temperature, rainfall and spells of dryness for beans to ripen properly and maintain their taste. Coffee pests thrive in the warmer, wetter weather. But in the last few years, coffee  yields have plummeted here and in many of Latin America’s premier coffee regions as a result of rising temperatures and more intense and unpredictable rains, phenomena that many scientists link partly to global warming. 

Aid To World's Poorest Threatened by Weather Extremes

The world's biggest international aid agency has warned that tens of millions of the world's poorest people are threatened by an unprecedented wave of freak and extreme weather, and that aid workers may be unable to cope with the global humanitarian crisis that might result.

CIA Focuses on Security Implications of Climate Change
In the months since the CIA's climate change center began operations, a team of about 15 analysts has inventoried the intelligence community's collection of environmental data and begun developing tools that bring global climate forecasts down to the regional level.

In 2010, Natural Disasters Killed 295,000 People and Cost $1
The Haiti earthquake and floods in Pakistan and China helped make 2010 an exceptional year for natural disasters, killing 295,000 and costing $130 billion, the world's top reinsurer said.  "The high number of weather-related natural catastrophes and record temperatures both globally and in different regions of the world provide further indications of advancing climate change," said Munich Re in a report.

Cancun Meeting Fulfills Low Expectations
The world's governments agreed  to modest steps to combat climate change and to give more money to poor countries, but they put off until next year tough decisions on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.  The deal includes a Green Climate Fund that would give $100 billion a year in aid to poor nations by 2020, measures to protect tropical forests and ways to share clean energy technologies. But there was no major progress on how to extend the Kyoto Protocol, which obliges almost 40 rich nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Ban Ki-moon Bemoans Inaction on Climate

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, trying to revive long-stalled climate talks, told world environment ministers  he is "deeply concerned" that many years of negotiation have proven largely fruitless."The pace of human-induced climate change is accelerating. We need results now, results that curb global greenhouse emissions," Ban declared at the opening of high-level talks at the annual U.N. climate conference.  "Nature will not wait while we negotiate," he said. "Science warns that the window of opportunity to prevent uncontrolled climate change will soon close."

World Bank Funds Two More Massive Coal Plants

Once the coal-fired Medupi Power Station in Lephalale, South Africa, is fully operational in 2015, it will emit 26 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. And when the Tata Ultra Mega plant in western India is fully serviceable in 2012, its annual carbon dioxide emissions are expected to total 23.4 million tons. Both plants, which will rank among the world’s largest sources of greenhouse gases — together producing about as much carbon dioxide as nations like Ireland and Norway — are being built thanks to more than $4 billion in financing from the World Bank.

NATO Commander: Warming Could Spark Conflict in the Arctic
One of  Nato’s most senior commanders has warned that global warming and a race for resources could lead to conflict in the Arctic.  The comments, by Admiral James G Stavridis, supreme allied commander for Europe, come as Nato countries convene for groundbreaking talks on environmental security in the Arctic Ocean.

UN Climate Talks in China Flame Out
UN climate talks in China have ended without a major breakthrough and with angry words about the US from Beijing. At the talks in Tianjin, China blamed the US for failing to meet its responsibilities to cut emissions and for trying to overturn UN  principles.  The US accused China of refusing to have its voluntary energy savings verified internationally.

US Military Branches Explore Clean Energy Technologies

After a decade of waging wars in remote corners of the globe where fuel is not readily available, senior commanders have come to see overdependence on fossil fuel as a big liability, and renewable technologies — which have become more reliable and less expensive over the past few years — as providing a potential answer.

World Bank Invests Record Sums in New Coal Plants
Record sums were invested last year in coal power - the most carbon intensive form of energy on the planet - by the World Bank, despite international commitments to slash the carbon emissions blamed for climate change. The World Bank said this week that a total of US$3.4bn (£2.2bn) - or a quarter of all funding for energy projects - was spent in the year to June 2010 helping to build new coal-fired power stations, including the controversial Medupi plant in South Africa,. Over the same period the bank also spent $1bn (£640m) on looking and drilling for oil and gas.

New UN Climate Chief Cites "Screaming" Threat of Disasters
"The news has been screaming that a future of intense, global climate disasters is not the future that we want," Figueres, newly-appointed executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said. "Science will show whether and how those events are related to climate change caused by humanity's greenhouse-gas emissions, but the point is clear: We cannot afford to face escalating disasters of that kind."

Climate Groups Seek Direction After A String of Defeats
Some of the country's most respected environmental groups - in the midst of their biggest political fight in two decades - sent a group of activists to Milwaukee with a message: We're losing.

Review Calls for Stricter IPCC Checks, More Transparency
The UN's climate science body needs stricter checks to prevent damage to the organisation's credibility, an independent review has concluded. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has faced mounting pressure over errors in its last major assessment of climate science in 2007. The review said guidelines were needed to ensure IPCC leaders were not seen as advocating specific climate policies.  It also urges transparency and suggests changes to the management of the body.

Senate Climate Bill Collapses

The effort to advance a major climate change bill through the Senate this summer collapsed Thursday even as President Obama signed into law another top Democratic priority — a bill to restore unemployment benefits for millions of Americans who have been out of work for six months or more. Sen. Harry Reid, the Democratic majority leader, said the Senate would not take up legislation intended to reduce carbon emissions, but would instead pursue a more limited measure focused on responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and tightening energy efficiency standards.

Military: Climate Change is a "Catalyst for Conflict"

Conflict brought on by droughts, famine and unwelcome migration are as old as history itself. Yet a growing number of military analysts think that climate change will exacerbate these problems worldwide and are encouraging countries to prepare to maintain order even as shrinking resources make their citizens more desperate.  Said one British admiral: "We see climate change as a threat multiplier, as a catalyst for conflict. We're trying to understand this threat, like any other threat that we look at. It's about trying to reduce risk of the threat of conflict."

Defense Officials Seek Guidance from Climate Scientists
While political leaders on Capitol Hill seek definitive answers about how quickly the world's climate will change, military and national security experts say they're used to making decisions with limited information. But as they turn their attention to the geopolitical implications of climate change, they're pressing scientists to help them understand the risk and uncertainty inherent in forecasts of future environmental shifts.

American Want New Energy at Old Prices: Poll
Overwhelmingly, Americans think the nation needs a fundamental overhaul of its energy policies, and most expect alternative forms to replace oil as a major source within 25 years. Yet a majority are unwilling to pay higher gasoline prices to help develop new fuel sources, according to a  New York Times/CBS News poll.

Carbon Fuel Subsidies Exceed $500 Billion Globally

The world economy spends more than $550bn in energy subsidies a year, about 75 per cent more than previously thought, according to the first exhaustive study of the financial assistance devoted to oil, natural gas and coal consumption.

EU: Carbon Tariffs Would Risk Trade War
The European Union is considering border tariffs on imports from more polluting countries, but an initial assessment shows such levies could spark trade wars, draft reports show. Two European Commission reports do not explicitly reject a push for border tariffs by France and Italy, but say they would be fiendishly complex to calculate, create a huge administrative burden and risk trade conflict.

Iceland Eruption Expected to Lead to Short-term Cooling
Longer term, sulfur from volcanoes has the potential to cool the Earth. Sulfur reacts with water in the air to form sulfuric acid droplets that reflect sunlight hitting Earth, thus blocking some rays. The reduction in sunlight can reduce temperatures for a year or so, until the droplets fall out of the atmosphere.  When Mt. Pinatubo erupted, it cooled the planet by 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit.

EPA to Limit GHGs from Autos

The federal government took its first formal step to regulate global warming pollution on Thursday by issuing final rules for greenhouse gas emissions for automobiles and light trucks. The new tailpipe rules, jointly written by the Transportation Department and the  Environmental Protection Agency, set emissions and mileage standards that would translate to a combined fuel economy average for new vehicles of 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016. Most drivers will see lower mileage figures in actual driving. It is the first time the federal Clean Air Act has been applied to carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants.

UN Suspends Third Carbon-Credit Audit Firm
The UN's carbon offsetting scheme has become mired in yet more controversy after the panel overseeing the initiative suspended its third auditor in 15 months.The board of the Clean Development Mechanism  last week suspended Germany's TUEV SUED and also partially suspended Korea Energy Management Corporation, after spot checks undertaken at their offices revealed procedural breaches.  Both firms are recognised by the UN as so-called designated operational entities (DOEs) and provide official third-party verification of emission reduction claims made by projects operating within the CDM. Emission reduction projects have to gain approval from DOEs before they can sell carbon credits under the scheme, making their auditing and verification role essential to the credibility of the scheme.

IPCC Solicits Independent Review of Report Process
Because of recent criticism of its work, the Nobel Prize-winning international panel studying global warming is seeking independent outside review for how it makes major reports, the panel said. Critics have found a few unsettling errors -- including incorrect projections of retreats in Himalayan glaciers -- in the thousands of pages of the reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Scientists say the problems, ranging from typos in key dates to sloppy sourcing, are minor and have nothing to do with the major conclusions about man-made global warming and how it will harm people and ecosystems.

BP, Conoco and Caterpillar Leave USCAP
ConocoPhillips, BP and Caterpillar have dropped out of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), the coalition of corporations and environmental groups that has been most prominent in pushing Congress to pass cap-and-trade legislation.
The loss of three major companies has dealt a blow to the now 28-member group and further dims prospects for the cap-and-trade bill that passed the House last summer and is awaiting action in the Senate.

De Boer Steps Down as Head of UNFCCC

Top U.N. climate change official Yvo de Boer told The Associated Press he was resigning after nearly four years, a period when governments struggled without success to agree on a new global warming deal. His departure takes effect July 1, five months before 193 nations are due to reconvene in Mexico for another attempt to reach a binding worldwide accord on controlling greenhouse gases.

IPCC Errors Trigger Push for Reform

A steady drip of unsettling errors is exposing what scientists are calling "the weaker link" in the Nobel Peace Prize-winning series of international reports on global warming. The flaws — and the erosion they've caused in public confidence — have some scientists calling for drastic changes in how future United Nations climate reports are done. A push for reform  comes on top of a growing clamor for the resignation of the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

SEC Votes for More Climate-Risk Disclosure

A divided U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission  voted to encourage companies to disclose the effects of climate change on their business, bringing a partisan debate over global warming into a new arena. Democrats and Republicans split over approving the guidance in a 3-2 vote. Democrats portrayed the action as clarifying existing disclosure requirements. Republicans said the SEC appeared to be more interested in supporting an environmental agenda than in addressing more pressing issues stemming from the aftermath of a financial crisis.


Europe Plans Grid for Array of Renewable Sources
A planned grid for renewable energy sources would connect turbines off the wind-lashed north coast of Scotland with Germany's vast arrays of solar panels, and join the power of waves crashing on to the Belgian and Danish coasts with the hydro-electric dams nestled in Norway's fjords. Europe's first electricity grid dedicated to renewable power will become a political reality this month, as nine countries formally draw up plans to link their clean energy projects around the North Sea.

Copenhagen Yields No Timetable, No Binding Cuts

Leaders here concluded a climate change deal  that the Obama administration called “meaningful” but that falls short of even the modest expectations for the summit meeting here. The agreement addresses many of the issues that leaders came here to settle, but the answers are bound to leave many of the participants unhappy. The accord drops the expected goal of concluding a binding international treaty by the end of 2010, which leaves the implementation of its provisions uncertain. It is likely to undergo many months, perhaps years, of additional negotiation before it emerges in any internationally enforceable form. (FACTBOX of Copenhagen agreement.)

CIA, Pentagon Begin Planning for Warming-Driven Security Threats
For the first time, Pentagon planners in 2010 will include climate change among the security threats identified in the Quadrennial Defense Review, the Congress-mandated report that updates Pentagon priorities every four years. The reference to climate change follows the establishment in October of a new Center for the Study of Climate Change at the Central Intelligence Agency.

EPA Declares Greenhouse Gases A Public Health Threat

The Environmental Protection Agency took a major step toward regulating greenhouses gases, concluding that climate changing pollution threatens the public health and the environment. The announcement came as the Obama administration looked to boost its arguments at an international climate conference in Copenhagen that the United States is aggressively taking actions to combat global warming, even though Congress has yet to act on climate legislation.

Climate Stresses Trigger Wars in Kenya

Experts fear the conflicts involving cattle, water and land may be just the beginning of climate-driven violence in Africa. At least 400 people have died in northern Kenya this year, and experts worry that it's just the beginning of a new era of climate-driven conflict in Africa.

Obama To Pledge US Emission Cuts at Copenhagen

President Barack Obama is to pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the US in several stages, beginning with a 17% cut by 2020, the White House has said. The offer will be made at December's UN climate talks in Copenhagen, which Mr. Obama will attend. He does not plan to be there for the crucial last days.

Senate Tables Climate Bill Until Next Year

The US Senate will act in early 2010 on legislation to battle climate change, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday, ending hopes of a breakthrough by next month's global talks. The decision confirms that the US Congress will not adopt legislation to combat climate change before the December 7-18 global climate change talks in Copenhagen. It also pushes what is likely to be a bitter debate to a mid-term election year, potentially making it harder to corral some of the swing-vote Senators needed to ensure passage of the bill.

Study: warming will displace 150 million "climate refugees" by 2050

Global warming will force up to 150 million "climate refugees" to move to other countries in the next 40 years, a new report from the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) warns.

Australia Mulls Relocating Coastal Residents

Australians may have to leave coastal areas as rising sea levels threaten homes, according to a government report. The parliamentary committee report says urgent action is needed, as seas are expected to rise by 80cm (31 inches). About 80 percent of Australians live in coastal areas, and the report recommends banning further development in coastal regions.

UN Drops Hopes for Copehnagen Pact

The United Nations lowered expectations for clinching a legally binding agreement at a U.N. climate change summit in Copenhagen in December, saying it might take longer to secure a final deal.

Emissions Up for Seventh Straight Year

The industrialized world again in 2007 boosted, rather than reduced, its emissions of global-warming gases, the U.N. reported . Emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases rose by 1 percent between 2006 and 2007 among 40 nations. It was the seventh consecutive year of an upward trend, it said.

Dhaka Is Home to Early "Climate Refugees"

When a cyclone destroyed her home two years ago, Shahana Begum joined the swelling ranks of Bangladeshi "climate refugees" who, experts say, could one day overwhelm the capital Dhaka.

Climate Talks End in Increased North-South Mistrust

U.N. climate talks ended in a whimper Friday without progress on the pressing issues of emission cuts for wealthy nations or financing for the developing ones, both of which are crucial to reaching a global warming pact.

Adaptation for Poor Countries to Cost $100 Billion per Year

Adapting to impacts of climate change will cost $75-100bn  per year in the developing world from 2010, a World Bank study concludes.

Recession Forces Big Drop in Greenhouse Emissions

The recession has resulted in an unparalleled fall in greenhouse gas emissions, providing a “unique opportunity” to move the world away from high-carbon growth, an International Energy Agency study has found.

Rich Nations Shrink from Taking Lead in Run-up To Copenhagen

While virtually all of the largest developed and developing nations have made domestic commitments toward creating more efficient, renewable sources of energy to cut emissions, none want to take the lead in fighting for significant international emissions reduction targets, lest they be accused at home of selling out future jobs and economic growth.

Stern: Climate Protection May Require Rich Nations to Stop Growing

Rich nations will need to reconsider making growth the goal of their societies, according to Lord Nicholas Stern, the  economist who wrote the British government's report on climate change. 


UN Chief: The World is Heading Toward a Climate Abyss

The world is speeding towards a climate catastrophe, UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned on Thursday, urging rapid progress in talks to cut emissions and tackle global warming. "Our foot is stuck on the accelerator and we are heading towards an abyss," the UN Secretary General said.

Pachauri: One Quarter of Africa Faces Drinking Water Shortage

Twenty five percent of Africa experiences shortage of drinking water due to global warming, which is increasing at a higher rate now than in earlier decades, says noted environmentalist R.K. Pachauri.

Heat Waves Will Take Bigger Toll on Low-Income City Dwellers

Global warming will bring increased summer heat waves nationwide that are especially harmful to low-income and minority populations in urban areas and the elderly.

Military Study Stresses Security Threats of Climate Change

The changing global climate will pose profound strategic challenges to the United States in coming decades, raising the prospect of military intervention to deal with the effects of violent storms, drought, mass migration and pandemics, military and intelligence analysts say.

Americans Lag Most Countries in Wanting Climate Action: Poll

A majority of peoples around the world want their governments to put action on climate change at the top of the political agenda, a new global public opinion poll suggests. Unfortunately , Americans are not necessarily among them.

IPCC Chief Raps G-8 for Timid Goals
The chief of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change criticized the Group of Eight summit participants for ignoring the IPCC's scientific findings and the declaration that emerged from the 2007 U.N. climate conference in Bali, Indonesia, in which leaders agreed to work toward a new treaty limiting average global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius.

G-8 Makes Scant Progress Toward Climate Treaty
A G8 summit made scant progress toward a new U.N. climate treaty due to be agreed in December with some nations back-pedaling on promises of new action even before the end of a meeting in Italy.

Houses Passes US Cap-And-Trade Bill

The House narrowly passed an ambitious climate bill yesterday that would establish national limits on greenhouse gases, create a complex trading system for emission permits and provide incentives to alter how individuals and corporations use energy.

Climate Impacts Hit Poor Countries Hardest: UN

Climate change will aggravate natural disasters and people in developing nations such as Dominica, Vanuatu, Myanmar and Guatemala are most at risk, a U.N.-backed study showed.

Report: Climate Shocks Could Loose 1 Billion Refugees by 2050

People displaced by global warming -- one estimate puts the number at one billion by 2050 -- could dwarf the nearly 10 million refugees and almost 25 million internally displaced people already fleeing wars and oppression.

Climate Impacts Claim 300,000 Lives a Year

Climate change is claiming 300,000 lives a year and costing the global economy $125 billion annually, with the damage set to escalate rapidly, according to the first study of the immediate effects of global warming.

Carbon Emissions to Increase 40 percent in 20 years: EIA
The amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide seeping into the atmosphere will increase by nearly 40 percent worldwide by 2030 if ways are not found to require mandatory emission reductions, a U.S. government report said.

US Emissions Fell Sharply in 2008

U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide related to energy use fell 2.8 percent last year, driven down by high oil prices and the sagging economy. The drop in carbon dioxide emissions was the steepest since 1982.

UN Chief Urges Swift Action On Climate Change
UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for decisive action to reduce the growing impact of climate change as he launched a global assessment of ways to minimise the risks from natural disasters.

Melting Alps Force Redrawing of Italian-Swiss Border

Global warming is shrinking Europe's alpine glaciers with such dramatic acceleration that Italy and Switzerland must now redraw their mountain borders, says a proposed law approved by the lower house of the Italian parliament at the end of April.


Sebelius' Successor OK's New Coal Plant for Kansas

In a stunning reversal from his predecessor, Gov. Mark Parkinson  signed an agreement ending a two-year fight over plans to build coal-fired power plants in western Kansas. The compromise allows Sunflower Electric Power Corp. to build one 895-megawatt coal-fired power plant near Holcomb, instead of two 700-megawatt plants that were repeatedly blocked by Kathleen Sebelius when she was governor.

Warner Calls Climate Change Major National Security Threat

Former Republican Sen. John Warner of Virginia says dealing with climate change is a national security issue that must be addressed.

Climate Disruptions Will Swamp Aid Efforts in Seven Years -- Oxfam Report

Emergency organisations could be overwhelmed within seven years by the rising number of people in poor countries affected by floods, droughts, heatwaves, wild fires, storms, landslides and other climate hazards.

EPA: Carbon Dioxide is a Public Health Risk

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency shifted course and deemed carbon dioxide a health risk on Friday, in a turnabout important to global warming-related regulation.

Holdren Opens the Door to "Geoengineering" Solutions

The global warming situation has become so dire that Barack Obama's  chief scientific adviser has raised with the president the possibility of massive-scale technological fixes to alter the climate known as  "geo-engineering."

Stern Issues Alarming New Climate Warning

Lord Nicholas Stern, the economist who produced the single most influential political document on climate change, says he underestimated the risks of global warming and the damage that could result from it. The situation, he added, was worse than he had thought when he completed his review two-and-a-half years ago, but politicians still do not grasp the magnitude of the threat.

EU: Last Chance to Avoid Climate Chaos
The world faces a final opportunity to agree an adequate global response to climate change at a U.N.-led meeting in Copenhagen in December, the European Union's environment chief said.

Australian Military Warns of Climate-Driven Conflicts in Pacific, Arctic
Climate change and rising sea levels pose one of the biggest threats to security in the Pacific and may also spark a global conflict over energy reserves under melting Arctic ice, according to Australia's military.

Climate Experts Holdren, Lubchenco Join Obama Administration
President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday named Harvard physicist John Holdren and marine biologist Jane Lubchenco to science posts, signaling a change from Bush administration policies on global warming that were criticized for putting politics over science.

California Adopts Most Ambitious Emissions Plan in US

California regulators adopted the nation's first comprehensive plan to slash greenhouse gases. The ambitious blueprint by the world's eighth-largest economy would cut the state's emissions by 15% from today's level over the next 12 years, bringing them down to 1990 levels.

India Tops List of Climate-Related Fatalities

Between 1998 and 2007, India lost more people to extreme weather events caused by climate change than any other country, with an average of 4,532 people killed every year, a well-known German NGO has calculated. 

HSBC Opinion Poll Shows "Global Mandate" for Climate Action

An opinion poll in 11 countries has produced what organisers term a "global mandate" for action on climate change. About half of the respondents wanted governments to play a major role in curbing emissions, but only a quarter said their leaders were doing enough.

Recession Stalls Clean Energy Development

Just as the world seemed poised to combat global warming more aggressively, the economic slump and plunging prices of coal and oil are upending plans to wean businesses and consumers from fossil fuel. From Italy to China, the threat to jobs, profits and government tax revenues posed by the financial crisis has cast doubt on commitments to cap emissions or phase out polluting factories.

Waxman Wins House Energy Committee Chairmanship

Representative Henry A. Waxman of California ousted Representative John D. Dingell of Michigan from his post as chairman of the influential Committee on Energy and Commerce, giving President-elect Barack Obama an advantage in his plans to promote efforts to combat global warming.

British Lawmakers Mandate 80 percent Cuts by 2050

Lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday to a bill committing Britain to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 -- the first country to have such a legally binding framework on climate change.

Military Planners Focus on Security Aspects of Climate Impacts

As a new administration committed to addressing climate change takes office, intelligence and defense officials are laying plans to address the national security implications of a warmer planet. In recent months, U.S. military planners have discussed the impact on personnel, equipment and installations of extreme weather events, rising ocean temperatures, shifts in rainfall patterns and stresses on natural resources.

Institutional Investors Call for Climate Agreement
Global  institutional investors holding more than $6 trillion in assets pushed policymakers  to quickly hash out a binding agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions and promote clean technology.

Maldives Launches Relocation Fund

The Maldives will begin to divert a portion of the country's billion-dollar annual tourist revenue into buying a new homeland - as an insurance policy against climate change that threatens to turn the 300,000 islanders into environmental refugees.

IEA: 2 degree Rise May Be An Impossible Goal

The world will have to bet on extreme measures to avoid serious global warming, the International Energy Agency said, adding that an EU target to limit the planet's temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius may not be achievable.

ExxonMobil Posts Largest Quarterly Profit Ever

Exxon Mobil Corp. set a quarterly profit record for a U.S. company, surging past analyst estimates. Exxon Mobil, the leading U.S. oil company, said its 2008 third-quarter net profit was $14.83 billion, or $2.86 per share, up from $9.41 billion, or $1.70, a year earlier.

China's Coal Diet Costs $250 Billion in Human Damages

China's dirty and dangerous coal mining industry cost the country a hidden $250 billion last year in lost and damaged lives, wasted energy and environmental devastation, according to a survey.

Climate Impacts Will Displace Millions In Coming Decades
Environmental damage such as desertification or flooding caused by climate change could force millions of peoples from their homes in the next few decades,

UN: Biofuels Causing More Hunger Than Climate Protection

The Western world needs to rethink its rush to biofuels, which has done more harm pushing up food prices than it has good by reducing greenhouse gases, a United Nations report said.

Despite Windfall Profits, Subsidies to US Oil Firms Soar
The Energy Policy Act of 2005 would generate an additional 32.9 billion dollars in new oil subsidies in the form of tax breaks, reduced royalty payments, and accounting gimmicks over a five-year period.

Emissions Up 38% Since 1992

Underscoring the magnitude of the challenge posed by global warming, new U.S. government data estimates that worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide have gone up 38% since 1992, when the United Nations agreed to a framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Emissions Up Sharply in 2007

Worldwide man-made emissions of carbon dioxide -- the main gas that causes global warming -- jumped 3 percent last year.That means the world is spewing more carbon dioxide than the worst case scenario forecast by a Nobel Prize-winning group of international scientists in 2007. Scientists said if the trend does not stop, it puts the world potentially on track for the highest predicted rises in temperature and sea level. Overall, the world's emissions have risen about 38% since 1992.

Chicago Plans 25 Percent Reduction Below 1990 Levels by 2020

Chicago mayor Richard Daley rolled out a plan to sharply reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. The plan aims for a 25 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 1990 levels within 12 years, and includes increased investments in public transit and installing additional green roofs.

Philippines Seen Especially Vulnerable to Climate Change

The Philippines is very vulnerable to climate change and its diverse species will be the first to be wiped out if the temperature warms up, a US-based Filipino physicist said.  

Intelligence Agencies See Climate as Major Security Risk for Next President

For poorer countries, climate change "could be the straw that breaks the camel's back," while the United States will face "Dust Bowl" conditions in the parched Southwest. U.S. intelligence agencies have accepted the consensual scientific view of global warming, including the conclusion that it is too late to avert significant disruption over the next two decades.

World Bank Funded Coal Plant Will Out-Emit Tunisia
The new Tata Ultra Mega power plant in western India  will become one of the world's 50 largest greenhouse-gas emitters. And the World Bank is helping make it possible.A year after World Bank President Robert Zoellick pledged to "significantly step up our assistance" in fighting climate change, the development institution is increasing its financing of fossil-fuel projects around the globe.

McCain Vows to Build 45 New Nuclear Plants
McCain  pledged to build 45 new nuclear plants by 2030, a sharp increase over the nation's 104 operating commercial reactors.

Cost of Yucca Mountain Waste Site Soars

The planned U.S. nuclear waste dump at Yucca Mountain in Nevada will cost billions more than previously estimated due to a hike in the amount of waste it will have to dispose of and inflation, the Energy Department said.  

ExxonMobil Reports Largest Quarterly Profit in History

Exxon Mobil reported second-quarter earnings of $11.68 billion, the biggest quarterly profit ever by any U.S. corporation, but the results fell well short of Wall Street expectations and shares fell in premarket trading.

Arctic Oil Reserves Can Meet Three Years World Demand

The Arctic Circle holds an estimated 90 billion barrels of recoverable oil, enough supply to meet current world demand for almost three years, according to the US Geological Survey.

Ice Melt Forces Russian Researchers to Evacuate Arctic Camp

Russian scientists are evacuating a research station built on an Arctic ice floe because the ice has melted to a fraction of its original size, a spokesman said.

Bush Leaves Warming to Next President
The Bush administration rejected its own experts' conclusion that global warming poses a threat to the public welfare, launching a comment period that will delay action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least until the next president takes office.

Bush Ignores Supreme Court Order on Greenhouse Gases

The Bush administration has decided not to take any new steps to regulate greenhouse gas emissions before the president leaves office, despite pressure from the Supreme Court and broad accord among senior federal officials that new regulation is appropriate now.

Developing Giants Reject G-8 Plan
China, India and other energy-guzzling developing nations on Wednesday rejected key elements of a global warming strategy embraced by President Bush and leaders of wealthy nations. And the U.N's top climate official dismissed the G-8 goals as insignificant. 

World Bank: Biofuels Drive Food Costs Up by 75 Percent

Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% - far more than previously estimated - according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian. The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body.  

The figure contradicts the US government's claims that plant-derived fuels contribute less than 3% to food-price rises.

G-8 Vows to Halve Current Emissions by 2050
Pledging to "move toward a low-carbon society,"  leaders of the world's richest nations endorsed the idea of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, but from current levels rather than 1990's, as had been proposed.

BLM Reverses Solar Ban on Public Lands
Under increasing public pressure over its decision to temporarily halt all new solar development on public land, the Bureau of Land Management said Wednesday that it was lifting the freeze, barely a month after it was put into effect.

New Intelligence Assessment Cites Security Implications of Climate Change

U.S. intelligence experts believe fallout from global climate change over the next 20 years will boost global instability and may place new burdens on U.S. military forces.


Energy Demand to Rise by 50 percent by 2030: IEA

World energy use is expected to surge 50% from 2005 to 2030, largely due to an expanding population and rapid economic growth, according to a government report.

European Experience Raises Deep Doubts about Carbon Trading

In Europe, which created the world's largest carbon-trading market three years ago, early evidence suggests the whole approach could fail.

Cheney: Drill to the last drop!
Vice President Cheney called for a substantial increase in domestic drilling for oil and other natural resources, including in environmentally sensitive areas, saying that only increased production -- and not new technology -- will satisfy the nation's demand for energy.

IEA: World Needs a Rapid Global Energy Revolution

The world must spend about one percent of its total income every year to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the IEA said Friday, calling for an "energy technology revolution" to curb global warming.

Island Nation "Doomed" By Climate Change: President
The president of the low-lying Pacific atoll nation of Kiribati said his country may already be doomed because of climate change. President Anote Tong said communities had already been resettled and crops destroyed by sea water in some parts of the country, made up of 33 coral atolls straddling the equator.

US Climate Chief Affirms America's "Can't Do" Spirit
The United States will tell a July meeting of the Group of Eight rich nations that it cannot meet big cuts in emissions of planet-warming gases by 2020, its chief climate negotiator Harlan Watson said. "It's frankly not do-able for us," he told Reuters, referring to a goal for rich countries to curb greenhouse gases by 25-40 percent by 2020 compared to 1990 levels.

Corporate Abuse of CDM Is Wasting Billions

Billions of pounds are being wasted in paying industries in developing countries to reduce climate change emissions, according to two analyses of the UN's carbon offsetting programme.

US Inaction Could Cost $3.8 Trillion A Year -- Study
If the U.S.doesn't do something soon to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it could cost the country $3.8 trillion annually from higher energy and water costs, real estate losses from hurricanes, rising sea levels and other problems, a studypredicted.

McCain Proposes Cap-and-Trade Regime to Curtail Warming

Republican John McCain pledged to take the lead in combating global climate change if elected president in a speech that set him apart from the policies of President George W. Bush.The senator said he would seek international accords to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and would offer an incentive system to make businesses in the US cleaner.

Australia To Buy River Water from Farmers

Australia's government plans to spend about $2.9 billion to buy river water from farmers in a bid to address the country's worst drought in a century. "Climate change means most Australian cities and towns have less water and we can no longer rely on local rainfall to supply all our drinking water," said an Australian official.

UN Warns of 1 Billion Climate Refugees

As many as one billion people could lose their homes by 2050 because of the devastating impact of global warming, scientists and political leaders were warned today by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Russia Rejects Binding Emissions Cap

Russia will not accept binding caps on its greenhouse gas emissions under a new climate regime, currently being negotiated to succeed the Kyoto Protocol after 2012, top officials said.

Rockefellers Aim To Change Exxon Climate Policies

Members of the Rockefeller family, who founded ExxonMobil's corporate predecessor, announced they would seek a "major change" in the company's environmental policies.

Gallup: Americans' Concerns about Warming Unchanged in 19 Years
While 61% of Americans say the effects of global warming have already begun, just a little more than a third say they worry about it a great deal, a percentage that is roughly the same as the one Gallup measured 19 years ago.

Terrrorism Most Likely Outcome of US Climate Indifference

Climate change could spawn the next Osama bin Laden unless industrialized nations aggressively reduce emissions and help those suffering the brunt of weather catastrophes, a new international security report warns. From Bangladesh to Indonesia, sub-Saharan Africa to the Maldives, Muslim countries are in some of the most water-stressed regions of the world. As sea levels rise, the study from a top U.K. think tank predicts, so will tensions with the West.

Weather Extremes, Biofuel Craze Drive World Food Crisis

The effect of Australia's drought on rice has produced the greatest impact on the rest of the world, so far. It is one factor contributing to skyrocketing prices, and many scientists believe it is among the earliest signs that a warming planet is starting to affect food production.



Stern: "We Underestimated Climate Damage Costs"

The Stern report on climate change underestimated the risks of global warming, its author said on Wednesday, and should have presented a gloomier view of the future. "We underestimated the risks ... we underestimated the damage associated with temperature increases ... and we underestimated the probabilities of temperature increases," said Stern, former chief economist at the World Bank.

Drought Connects Australian Crop Failure to Food Riots in Haiti

The collapse of Australia's rice production is one of several factors contributing to a doubling of rice prices in the last three months -- increases that have led the world's largest exporters to restrict exports severely, spurred panicked hoarding in Hong Kong and the Philippines, and set off violent protests in countries including Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, the Philippines, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Yemen.

Bush Climate Plan Evokes Global Yawn
The world needs tougher action to combat global warming than a plan by President George W. Bush to halt a rise in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions only by 2025, delegates at a  climate conference in Paris said on Thursday.

Indigenous RIghts Threatened by Climate Solutions
Large-scale solutions to help slow global warming often threaten the very indigenous peoples who are among those hardest hit by a changing climate, the UN University said. Biofuel plantations, construction of hydropower dams and measures to protect forests, where trees soak up heat-trapping carbon dioxide gas as they grow, can create conflicts with the ancestral lands of indigenous peoples.

Food Shortages Herald a New 'Politics of Scarcity'
Food prices are soaring, a wealthier Asia is demanding better food and farmers can't keep up. In short, the world faces a food crisis and in some places it is already boiling over. Around the globe, people are protesting and governments are responding with often counterproductive controls on prices and exports -- a new politics of scarcity in which ensuring food supplies is becoming a major challenge for the 21st century.

NRC Cites Infrastructure Risks from Climate Impacts

Flooded roads and subways, deformed railroad tracks and weakened bridges may be the wave of the future with continuing global warming, a new study says.

EU Warns of Conflict Threat over Arctic Resources
European Union leaders will receive a stark warning next week of potential conflict with Russia over energy resources at the North Pole as global warming melts the ice cap and aggravates international security threats.

Europeans: Bush Plan All Spin, No Substance
A senior European official has described America's latest offer on climate change as far too little, far too late.

UN: Food Prices, Driven by Warming, Create New "Face of Hunger"

The United Nations warned yesterday that it no longer has enough money to keep global malnutrition at bay this year in the face of a dramatic upward surge in world commodity prices, which have created a "new face of hunger".

Activists Blast Trading as Environmentally Unjust

Low-income community groups in five California cities launched a statewide campaign Tuesday to "fight at every turn" any global-warming regulation that allows industries to trade carbon emissions, saying it would amount to "gambling on public health." "Cap and trade is a charade to continue business as usual," said Angela Johnson Meszaros, director of the California Environmental Rights Alliance.

Climate Change Threatens Human Rights -- UN

Climate change threatens the human rights of millions of people who are at risk of losing access to housing, food and clean water unless governments intervene early to counter its effects, experts said.

BP Exec: Climate Can't Handle More Oil Exploration
Known oil, gas and coal reserves may already contain a quarter more carbon than mankind can emit and still avoid dangerous climate change, putting the value of new oil exploration in doubt, said a former oil major executive. The oil industry may be wasting $50 billion annually searching for new fields, said the former risk manager for BP.

Biofuels Seen As Net Carbon Source

Almost all biofuels used today cause more greenhouse gas emissions than conventional fuels if the pollution caused by producing these "green" fuels is taken into account, two studies published Thursday have concluded.

Exxon Profits Soar to Record $40.6 Billion in 2007

Exxon Mobil Corp. on Friday posted the largest annual profit by a U.S. company -- $40.6 billion -- as the world's largest publicly traded oil company benefited from historic crude prices at year's end.

Bush Climate Conference Produces Nothing

A meeting of delegates from the nations that emit the most pollutants ended without concrete targets for slashing greenhouse gas emissions, but participants praised what they saw as a new willingness by the United States to discuss possible solutions.

Most Businesses Ignore Coming Climate Impacts

Nearly nine in 10 businesses do not rate climate change as a priority. Nearly twice as many see climate change as imposing costs on their business as those who believe it presents an opportunity to make money. And the report's publishers believe that big business will concentrate even less on climate change as the world economy deteriorates.

Local Governments Accord Low Priority to Climate Change

Two-thirds of responding local governments consider climate change to be a low or very low priority, and 57% do not have a climate change program. Where climate data are incorporated into policy decisions, they are mostly used to set municipal greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, for energy conservation, for water management, and for land use planning.

Local governments that identified potential vulnerabilities to climate change most often cited intensified storms (50%), compromised water quality (39%), infrastructure damage (25%), and loss of wetlands (22%).

Primary reasons for not having climate initiatives include skepticism about the accuracy of climate science and practical barriers, such as lack of funding, marginal support from elected  officials, and lack of  citizen involvement.

Drought Could Force Closing of Nuclear Plants
Nuclear reactors across the Southeast could be forced to throttle back or temporarily shut down later this year because drought is drying up the rivers and lakes that supply power plants with the awesome amounts of cooling water they need to operate.

Banks Criticized For Slow Response to Climate Change
A handful of the world's biggest banks are starting to look at the risk that climate change poses to their businesses, but investors and environmentalists say they need to do more.

Scientists: Earth has Entered the Anthropocene Era

We humans are having such a dramatic impact on our planet that some leading scientists think the current era needs a new name. We're no longer in the Holocene epoch, they say. We're now well into what they are calling the Anthropocene.

Bert Bolin, first IPCC Chair, Dies at 82

Bert Bolin, a pioneering Swedish climate scientist and co-founder of the U.N.'s Nobel award-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has died, his colleague Henning Rodhe said Wednesday. He was 82.

Weather-Related Insurance Losses Doubled in 2007

Losses to insurers from natural disasters nearly doubled this year to just below $30 billion globally after an unusually quiet 2006, a leading reinsurer said, from winter storms in Europe, flooding in Britain and wildfires in the U.S.

Japan Risks Methane Hydrate Extraction

Fifty-five million years ago the world's climate was catastrophically changed when volcanoes melted natural gas frozen in the seabed. Now Japan plans to drill for the same icy crystals to end its reliance on imported energy. Billions of tons of methane hydrate buried in sediment some 3,000 feet under the Pacific Ocean floor, may help Japan win energy independence from the Middle East and Indonesia.

EPA Vetoes California Auto Standards

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Stephen L. Johnson yesterday denied California's petition to limit greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks, overruling the unanimous recommendation of the agency's legal and technical staffs.

German Party Calls for Carbon-based Sanctions on US Exports
Germany's ruling Social Democratic party is calling for sanctions on energy-intensive US export products if the Bush administration continues to obstruct international agreements on climate protection.

Warming, Biofuel Craze Threatens World Food Supplies
In what was described as an "unforeseen and unprecedented" shift, the world food supply is dwindling rapidly and food prices are soaring to historic levels, the top food and agriculture official of the United Nations warned yesterday. The looming shortages are due to the early effects of global warming, which has decreased crop yields in some crucial places, and a shift away from farming for human consumption toward crops for biofuels and cattle feed.

COP-13 Ends as COPout

A U.N. climate conference adopted a plan Saturday to negotiate a new global warming pact. European and U.S. envoys dueled into the final hours of the two-week meeting over the European Union's proposal that the Bali mandate suggest an ambitious goal for cutting industrial nations' emissions -- by 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. That guideline's specific numbers were eliminated from the text, but an indirect reference was inserted instead.

EU Threatens To Boycott US-led Climate Talks
European nations will boycott U.S.-led climate talks next month unless Washington accepts a range of numbers for negotiating deep reductions of global-warming emissions, Germany's environment minister said Thursday.

US to World: No Greenhouse Cuts

The US delegation at a UN climate change summit said Thursday they would not commit to deep greenhouse gas emissions cuts at the key meeting in Indonesia, despite growing pressure. Harlan Watson, head of the US delegation, said that neither a recent US Senate committee move to limit greenhouse gas emissions or the decision by Australia to ratify the Kyoto Protocol would influence their stance.

Germany Ups Goal to 40 Percent Cuts by 2020
Germany unveiled 14 new laws and decrees to allow it to meet its goal of cutting greenhouse gases by 40 percent by 2020.

Bangladesh Refugees Create Conflict Zone in India

A clear climate threat is a mass migration that is sparking renewed conflict in the Indian Northeast among between residents and swarms of refugees from neigbhoring Bangladesh.


US Again Rejects Kyoto
The United States said on Monday it would seek a new global deal to fight climate change after Australia's move to ratify the Kyoto Protocol isolated it as the only developed nation outside the current U.N. pact.

Australian Prime Minister Ratifies Kyoto Protocol
Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd became Australia's 26th prime minister Monday and immediately began dismantling the former government's policies by ratifying the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

UNDP Warns Poor Countries Face "Adaptation Apartheid"

A new UN report warns that progress toward prosperity in the world's poorest regions will be reversed unless rich countries promptly begin curbing emissions linked to global warming while also helping poorer ones leapfrog to energy sources that pollute less than coal and oil. The world's poorest regions will also need much more help to avoid what one commentator called "adaptation apartheid."


150 Multinationals Call for Mandatory Cuts

A sizable fraction of the international business community launched an effort to press for mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas emissions yesterday, on the eve of a major round of climate negotiations set to begin Monday in Bali.

UNDP Calls for Rapid Carbon Cuts

Unless the international community agrees to cut carbon emissions by half over the next generation, climate change is like to cause large-scale ecological catastrophes, a United Nations report says.The UN Human Development report issued one of the strongest warnings yet of the lasting impacts of climate change on living standards and a strong call for urgent collective action.

Natural Disasters Quadrupled in 20 Years: Oxfam

More than four times the number of natural disasters are occurring now than did two decades ago, British charity Oxfam said in a study that largely blamed global warming.

US Stands Alone Against Kyoto As Australia's Howard Falls

Newly elected leader Kevin Rudd moved quickly to bring Australia into international talks on fighting global warming, and to head off potentially thorny relations with the United States and key Asian neighbors.

UK's Brown Calls for 80 percent Cuts by 2050

Britain's prime minister hopes to push the nation to the forefront of global efforts to tackle climate change, calling Monday for an 80 percent cut in emissions by 2050.

Six Midwestern States Form Carbon-Cutting Pact

Six Midwestern governors and the premier of Manitoba will sign an accord in Milwaukee today that will commit those states to working together to slash emissions linked to global warming over the coming decades.

Scientists Wrestle With Geoengineering Prospects
There is now "no doubt" that some of the effects of human-induced climate change could be offset with engineering fixes, according to David Keith, of at the University of Calgary. But what action should be taken, based on this knowledge? That was one of the knotty questions he and other experts wrestled with at a two-day conference.  

Democratic Presidential Candidates Unite Around Large Carbon Cuts

All of the leading Democratic contenders for the presidency are committed to a set of cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that would change the way Americans light their homes, fuel their automobiles and do their jobs, costing billions of dollars in the short term but potentially, the candidates say, saving even more in the decades to follow.

IEA Urges Urgent Energy Cutbacks

In unusually urgent tones, the International Energy Agency, which provides policy advice to industrial nations, urged advanced economies to work with China and India to cut overall growth in energy consumption. Otherwise, carbon dioxide emissions will increase by 57 percent over the next 25 years, the agency said.

Survey: People Will Pay to Fight Warming
Millions of people around the world are willing to make personal  sacrifices, including paying higher bills, to help redress climate change, according to a global survey.

The Price of Crops for Fuel In a Hungry World

Empty shelves in Caracas. Food riots in West Bengal and Mexico. Warnings of hunger in Jamaica, Nepal, the Philippines and sub-Saharan Africa. Soaring prices for basic foods are beginning to lead to political instability. Add to that the push for biofuels and the competition between grain for fuel and grain for food could well emerge as a major source of conflict.


New Study Underscores Security Threats from Climate Change

Climate change could be one of the greatest national security challenges ever faced by U.S. policy makers, according to a new joint study by two U.S. think tanks. The report raises the threat of dramatic population migrations, wars over water and resources, and a realignment of power among nations.

Bloomberg Calls for National Carbon Tax

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg plans today to announce his support for a national carbon tax. The mayor will argue that directly taxing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change will slow global warming, promote economic growth and stimulate technological innovation  even if it results in higher gasoline prices in the short term.

Climate Impacts Brings Scientists, Evangelicals Together in Alaska
A group of scientists from the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, along with a group of the country's leading Evangelical leaders, visited Alaska this summer to  witness first-hand the effects of climate change on local populations and on the land, ocean, plants and wildlife of our northernmost state.

US Air Force Eyes Carbon Neutral Future
The U.S. air force is seeking to wean itself from foreign oil and nearly zero out its carbon dioxide output as part of a sweeping alternative energy drive, a senior Pentagon official said.

Sarkozy Calls for Carbon Tax, Sanctions Against Kyoto Resisters
French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for a national "carbon tax" on global-warming pollutants and a European levy on imports from countries outside the Kyoto Protocol. Any such levy is bound to be targeted at imports from the United States and Australia, the only advanced economies that remain outside the UN's landmark pact on greenhouse-gas emissions.

Oil Peaked in 2006: Study

World oil production has already peaked and will fall by half as soon as 2030, according to a report which also warns that extreme shortages of fossil fuels will lead to wars and social breakdown. A study by the German-based Energy Watch Group says that global oil production peaked in 2006 - much earlier than most experts had expected.

US Insurers Withdraw Extreme Weather Coverage from Northeastern States

Public officials in Southern states from Florida to Texas have been fighting insurance carriers for years over rising rates and withdrawal of services, but officials in the Northeast have only recently joined the fray. Companies including Allstate, State Farm and Liberty Mutual have "nonrenewed" policies not only in hurricane-battered places like Florida and Louisiana, but in New York and other Northern states that have not seen hurricanes in years.

Gore, IPCC Share 2007 Nobel Peace Prize
Former Vice President Al Gore, who emerged from the 2000 presidential election debacle to devote himself to his passion as an environmental crusader, was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations network of scientists.

Bush Non-Plan Infuriates Allies

US President George W. Bush infuriated his critics by professing world leadership on climate change at his meeting of the top 16 world economies - while offering no new substantive policy and implicitly rejecting binding emissions controls.

Wheat Crisis Threatens Australian Beef Industry
Record high grain prices have thrown Australia's $4 billion beef cattle industry into disarray, emptying feedlots, cutting cattle saleyard prices and triggering price rises for domestic and exported beef. Parts of Australia's beef industry have begun to shut down after feed grain prices doubled since June because of the decimation of crops by drought.

Poll: 62 Percent of Americans Want Drastic Climate Action

Sixty-two percent of respondents to a national survey believe that life on earth will continue without major disruptions only if society takes immediate and drastic action to reduce global warming. Further, 68 percent of Americans support a new international treaty requiring the United States to cut its emissions of carbon dioxide 90 percent by the year 2050 according to the survey.

UN Chief Optimistic About Bali Meeting

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said a one-day high-level meeting on climate change on Monday was a turning point in the battle against global warming. "What I heard today is a major political commitment for a breakthrough in climate change in Bali," Ban said, despite the lack of United States' attendance at the meeting.  


Rice Calls For Global Energy Revolution
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday the world needs a revolution on energy that transcends oil, gas and coal to prevent problems from climate change.

UN Chief Sees Global "Commitment" To Curb Warming
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said a one-day high-level meeting on climate change on Monday was a turning point in the battle against global warming. "What I heard today is a major political commitment for a breakthrough in climate change in Bali," Ban said. A meeting scheduled in Bali, Indonesia, for December is aimed at jump-starting talks to find a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

Australian Drought Drives Up Wheat Prices in US, Europe
US and European wheat prices rallied on Tuesday as Australia slashed the size of its drought-hit crop by a staggering 31 percent.

EU Likely to Overshoot Climate Goal

The European Union's goal of keeping the global temperature rise to 2C is unlikely to be met, a leading climate researcher has warned.

Professor Martin Parry told BBC News that millions, if not tens of millions, would be at increased risk to their lives from a rise above 2C (3.6F).

US Leads Way To A Nuclear Future

Sixteen nations signed a U.S.-initiated pact on Sunday to help meet soaring world energy demand over coming decades by developing nuclear technology less prone to diversion into atomic bomb-making.

Bush Aide: The Warming is Man-Made

The US chief scientist has told the BBC that climate change is now a fact. John Marburger, who advises President Bush, said it was more than 90% certain that greenhouse gas emissions from mankind

are to blame.

UN: Weather Extremes Will Lead to Food Unrest

Developing countries face serious social unrest as they struggle to cope with soaring food prices, inflation that shows no signs of abating, the United Nations top agriculture official has warned. He said food prices would continue to increase because of strong demand from developing countries; a rising global population; more frequent floods and droughts caused by climate change; and the biofuel industrys appetite for grains.

APEC Reaches Weak but Inclusive Agreement
Pacific Rim nations on Friday reached agreement on a joint statement on global warming, overcoming bickering between rich and poor nations about whether to include targets on emissions, two Asian officials said. The statement would have China - one of the world's biggest polluters and other developing nations commit to quantifiable goals to tackle climate change.

Bush, Howard Pledge To Push Clean Technology
One of the first agreements to emerge Wednesday from meetings between President Bush and Australian Prime Minister John Howard was a pledge to take joint action to combat climate change. It is an issue that neither leader has been closely associated with in the past. Both Australia and the United States refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Pope to faithful: "Save the Earth"
Pope Benedict, leading the Catholic Church's first "eco-friendly" youth rally, on Sunday told up to half a million people that world leaders must make courageous decisions to save the planet "before it is too late."

158 Countries -- Minus the US -- Agree on Interim Targets
Negotiators from 158 countries reached basic agreement Friday on rough targets aimed at getting some of the world's biggest polluters to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.  A weeklong U.N. climate conference concluded that industrial countries should strive to cut emissions by 25 percent to 40 percent of their 1990 levels by 2020. Experts said that target would serve as a loose guide for a major international climate summit to be held in December in Bali, Indonesia.

APEC: Warming Will Impede Economic Growth
Pacific Rim countries will address climate change at a meeting next week because it is a problem that can hurt economic growth and development, a top APEC official said.

Western States, Canadian Provinces Join in Carbon-Cutting Pact

Western U.S. states and Canadian provinces on Wednesday agreed to cut greenhouse emissions 15 percent by 2020 in the latest regional pact to regulate the gases, an approach opposed by U.S. President George W. Bush. The Western Climate Initiative, led by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, seeks to slash greenhouse emissions by 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. Mandatory cuts are at odds with the voluntary approach favored by his Schwarzenegger's fellow Republican Bush.

Congress Adds Stealth Loan Guarantees for more Nuclear Power
A one-sentence provision buried in the Senate's recently passed energy bill, inserted without debate at the urging of the nuclear power industry, could make builders of new nuclear plants eligible for tens of billions of dollars in government loan guarantees.

Rx from National Petroleum Council: More Coal, More Nukes, More Efficiency
"Accumulating risks to the supply of reliable, affordable energy" require an integrated national strategy, according to a major new report by the National Petroleum Council (NPC).

China Passes U.S. As World's Top Emitter

China has overtaken the United States as the world's biggest producer of carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas. The surprising announcement will increase anxiety about China's growing role in driving man-made global warming and will pile pressure onto world politicians to develop a new global agreement on climate change that includes the booming Chinese economy.

Too Many Nukes Needed to Arrest Climate Change
Nuclear power would only curb climate change by substantially expanding worldwide at the rate it grows. That would require adding on average 14 plants each year for the next 50 years, all the while building an average of 7.4 plants to replace those that will be retired.

Kyoto Goals Supported by 522 US Mayors

What started in 2005 with the frustrations of one mayor -- Seattle's Greg Nickels -- over the Bush administration's resistance to the Kyoto Protocol has since grown to become a major nationwide movement. The "U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement" now includes 522 mayors representing 65 million Americans who have pledged to meet the Kyoto Protocol's standard of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.

US Guts Climate Satellite Capability

The Bush administration is drastically scaling back efforts to measure global warming from space, just as the president tries to convince the world the U.S. is ready to take the lead in reducing greenhouse gases.  Scientists  said they will face major gaps in data that can be collected only from satellites about ice caps and sheets, surface levels of seas and lakes, sizes of glaciers, surface radiation, water vapor, snow cover and atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Classified: White House To Control Disaster Aftermath
The Bush administration is writing a new plan to maintain governmental control in the wake of an apocalyptic terrorist attack or overwhelming natural disaster, moving such doomsday planning for the first time from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to officials inside the White House.

CDM Undermined by Abuse, Fraud

The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which is supposed to offset greenhouse gases emitted in the developed world by selling carbon credits from elsewhere, has been contaminated by gross incompetence, rule-breaking and possible fraud by companies in the developing world, according to UN paperwork, an unpublished expert report and alarming feedback from projects on the ground. 

Bush Switch Infuriates Europe

Germany and the European Commission reacted angrily to President George W. Bush's apparent change of heart on climate change , setting the stage for a stormy G8 summit of rich industrialised countries next week. Angela Merkel, Germany's chancellor said Germany's stance that  climate talks should take place within the United Nations was "non-negotiable". Stavros Dimas, the EU environment commissioner, dismissed the Bush proposal as vague and "the classic US line".

Bush Plan Meets with Widespread Skepticism

President Bush called for a meeting of 15 large emitters to fashion a carbon reduction plan by 2008, but critics dismissed the strategy as a diversion and a delaying tactic.

Legislators Push Coal as "Alternative" Fuel
A powerful roster of Democrats and Republicans is pushing to subsidize coal as the king of alternative fuels. proposing taxpayers guarantee billions of dollars in construction loans for coal-to-liquid production plants, guarantee minimum prices for the new fuel, and guarantee big government purchases for the next 25 years.

Climate Rift Threatens US-German Relations

Political tensions between the US and Germany over climate change have worsened sharply, with Washington threatening to no longer "tread lightly" in negotiations on global warming ahead of the Group of Eight rich nations' summit next month. (May, 2007)

Japan Calls for 50 Percent Global Cuts
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed a global target to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and said Japan would support developing countries committed to halting global warming with a new form of financial aid.

Emissions Outpace IPCC's "Worst Case" Scenario

Global emissions of carbon dioxide are growing at a faster clip than the highest rates used in recent key UN reports. From 2000 to 2004, CO2 emissions rates almost tripled to 3 percent a year  higher than any rate used in emissions scenarios for the reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Fast Food Giants See Crop Threat in Climate Change

Corn's central role in our diet suggests that Earth's temperature fluctuations, and concerns over emissions that are believed to affect the climate, will become a more intensive focus for the companies that put food in our mouths, as they seek to meet demand with steady supplies and at prices that preserve, or even improve, profit.

Government Plans $35 Billion in Loans for New Coal Plants

A Depression-era program to bring electricity to rural areas is using taxpayer money to provide billions of dollars in low-interest loans to build coal plants even as Congress seeks ways to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate Change To Be Subject of National Intelligence Estimate
Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell believes it is "appropriate" for global climate change to be considered in a future National Intelligence Estimate.

UN Raises Red Flag on Biofuels

Changes in the carbon content of soils and carbon stocks in forests and peat lands might offset some or all of the benefits of the greenhouse gas reductions, according to a UN panel. The use of large-scale monocropping could lead to significant biodiversity loss, soil erosion and nutrient leaching, according to the report.

IPCCIII: Climate Protection Is Still Affordable

"The report shows -- and this is encouraging -- that ambitious climate protection is economically manageable," German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said.

Bangladesh Sees First Movement of Climate Refugees
In Antarpara, a village in Bangladesh, more than half of the 3,300 families have lost their land to worsening river erosion. Some have moved their homes a dozen times and are running out of places to flee.

Germany Aims for 40 percent Cuts in 13 Years

The German Environment Ministry this week unveiled proposals that would lead Germany to become the world's most energy-efficient country. The Ministry proposed an eight-point plan that would cut Germany's CO2 emissions by 40 percent in 13 years.

Carbon Trading Plagued by Massive Fraud: Financial TImes

"The police, the fraud squad and trading standards need to be looking into this. Otherwise people will lose faith in it." -- Frances Sullivan, HBSC environment adviser.

EC Concerned Biofuels Could Threaten Rainforests

Europe's dash for biofuels could accelerate the destruction of tropical rainforests, the European Commission admitted on Thursday.

Mutual Funds Seen Ignoring Climate Risks . . .
US mutual funds are ignoring the business risks of global climate change, according to a report that criticized the industry for abstaining from or opposing shareholder pressure for environmental disclosure. None of America's 100 largest mutual funds voted in 2006 in support of resolutions seeking greater corporate disclosure on how global climate change will affect business.

While Hedge Funds Look to May Hay Out of Chaos

The first Global Warming index is to be launched this week by UBS, allowing businesses most affected by the uncertainty of climate change - from ice-cream salesmen to makers of winter coats - to hedge their profits against it in a simple and transparent fashion. Investors will be able to buy exposure to, or short sell, the index in much the same way they would with the FTSE or Dow Jones stock indices.

Norway To Go Carbon-Neutral by 2050

Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg  proposed to make Norway the first "carbon neutral" state by 2050 and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 30 percent by 2020.


GAO: Warming Damages to US Could Total $900 Billion

The U.S. government, insurer of last resort, faces a potential payout of at least $919 billion under a worst-case scenario of flood and crop losses due to global warming.

Bush Policy Keeps Katrina's Victims Homeless

"Developers of affordable housing will lose money on nearly every single project in New Orleans," says the chief executive of one of the nation's largest nonprofit owners of low-income housing.

Ethanol Found More Unhealthy than Gasoline
Ethanol, widely touted as a greenhouse-gas-cutting fuel, would have serious health effects if heavily used in cars, producing more ground-level ozone than gasoline.

G-8 Calls for Cuts While World Bank Pushes More Oil

Germany has pushed the G-8 to set a tough target for reducing carbon emissions, the first time it has been asked to commit to an explicit reduction. But environmentalists said the World Bank, which the G8 has asked to finance the shift away from carbon use in the developing world, was continuing to ramp up lending for oil and gas.

Top Military Brass: climate change threatens US national security
A group of 11 retired senior generals and admirals released a report saying  global warming "presents significant national security challenges to the United States," which it must address or face serious consequences.

Military Panel: Climate Change Threatens National Security

Global climate change presents a serious national security threat that could affect Americans at home, impact U.S. military operations and heighten global tensions, according to a study released by a blue-ribbon panel of retired admirals and generals.

TXU Swaps Coal for Nukes
Utility company TXU, which scrapped plans to build eight coal-fired plants when it agreed to be acquired by two private equity firms, is now hoping to build the biggest nuclear power plants in the United States, said the Wall Street Journal.

Senate Ties Climate To National Security
The CIA and Pentagon would for the first time be required to assess the national security implications of climate change under proposed legislation intended to elevate global warming to a national defense issue. The bipartisan proposal, which its sponsors expect to pass the Congress with wide support, calls for the director of national intelligence to conduct the first-ever "national intelligence estimate" on global warming.

EIA: Global Oil Use Seen Soaring

World demand for all forms of energy is expected to grow by 54 percent over the next two decades, with oil consumption alone jumping by 40 million barrels a day. The U.S. energy information administration sees oil prices exceeding $50 a barrel.

Bush to Court: Thanks But No Thanks

A day after the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government had the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases, President Bush said he thought that the measures he had taken so far were sufficient.

Supreme Court to Bush: Regulate Auto Emissions

The Supreme Court ordered the federal government to take a fresh look at regulating carbon dioxide emissions from cars, a rebuke to Bush administration policy on global warming. In a 5-4 decision, the court said the Clean Air Act gives the Environmental Protection Agency the authority to regulate the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from cars.

Roots of Darfur Conflict Lay in Changes in the Climate

To truly understand the crisis in Darfur -- and it has been profoundly misunderstood --you need to look back to the mid-1980s when sand blew into fertile land,  the rare rain washed away alluvial soil and the land could no longer support both herder and farmer.

Mining CEO: Stored CO2 May Be As Difficult as Nuclear Waste

The former head of one of the largest mining operations in the world has punctured the optimism of the Australian government about clean-coal technology, saying the long-term storage of the carbon waste may be as difficult as dealing with nuclear waste.

Can We Geoengineer the Climate Into Submission?

Crazy-sounding ideas for saving the planet are getting a serious look from top scientists. How crazy? There's the man-made "volcano" that shoots gigatons of sulfur high into the air. The space "sun shade" made of trillions of little reflectors between Earth and sun, slightly lowering the planet's temperature. The forest of ugly artificial "trees" that suck carbon dioxide out of the air. And the "Geritol solution" in which iron dust is dumped into the ocean.

Detroit Balks At Higher Auto Efficiency Standards

Leaders of General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Chrysler, along with the head of the United Auto Workers union, told a House subcommitteethat proposed increases in gas mileage standards for new vehicles would be extremely expensive and could have calamitous results. 

AEP Launches Biggest Sequestration Project Yet
American Electric Power, a major electric utility, is planning the largest demonstration yet of capturing carbon dioxide from a coal-fired power plant and pumping it deep underground.

MIT Urges US To Take Lead in Sequestration Technology

To begin to curb climate change, the US needs to learn in less than a decade how to capture, compress, and then pump carbon dioxide miles underground. The quantities are massive: the liquid CO2 equivalent of 20 million barrels a day -- roughly equal to the amount of oil the US uses every day. 

Carbon Subsidies Exceed $37 Billion A Year

If Congress were to cut $1.4 billion a year in subsidies, as House Democrats urge, the industry would still get more than $37 billion a year from government coffers --  four times the amount spent on the nuclear industry and six times the amount spent on ethanol.

EU Agrees On 20 Percent Cuts Below 1990 by 2020

European Union leaders clinched agreement on  on a bold long-term strategy for energy policy and climate change aimed at cutting emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

No Let-up Seen in US Emissions

The Bush administration estimates that emissions by the United States of gases that contribute to global warming will grow nearly as fast through the next decade as they did the previous decade, according to a long-delayed report being completed for the United Nations.

BP, Shell Put Wind Development On Front Burner

Two of the world's leading oil producers, BP and Shell, have almost overnight joined some of the biggest players in wind power in the United States, accelerating a trend of large corporations investing in the rapidly growing alternative-energy field.

Inuit Charge US Emissions Violate Their Human Rights

A delegation of Inuit has filed a legal petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, demanding that the US limits its emission of greenhouse gases, The group is charging that US climate policies violate their human rights.


Five Western States Form Climate Compact

Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire and four other Western governors vowed to join forces to reduce emissions of planet-warming pollution. The leaders of Washington, Oregon, Arizona, California and New Mexico formed the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative.

Climate Big Winner in TXU Takeover

Texas' largest electric utility tentatively approved a record $45 billion takeover bid by two private equity firms in a deal hailed by environmentalists as a major turning point in the battle against global warming. The prospective owners of the TXU Corp. have told environmental groups they would cancel eight of 11 proposed coal plants snd also back legislation for mandatory reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.

Watchdog: Carbon "Offsets" Use Enron-type Accounting

Aa new report by Carbon Trade Watch shows that the carbon offset industry is using the same sort of future value accounting that caused the collapse of energy giant Enron.

Australia to Ban Incandescent Bulbs

Australia will be the world's first country to ban incandescent lightbulbs in a bid to curb Greenhouse gas emissions, with the government saying on Tuesday they would be phased out within three years.

World Delegates Agree on Climate Plan

World leaders have reached a new agreement on tackling climate change at a meeting in the US. Delegates agreed that developing countries will have to face targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions as well as rich countries. The  meeting of the G8+5 Climate Change Dialogue also agreed that a global market should be formed to cap and trade carbon dioxide emissions. The group is a discussion forum that is part of British-led environmental group Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (Globe).

Exxon Declares Support for "Cap-and-Trade"

Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Rex Tillerson said Tuesday nations should work toward a global policy to fight climate change -- another sign the oil giant is softening its stance on global warming.

New Zealand PM Wants Country to become Carbon-Neutral

New Zealand's leader set her people the ambitious goal of becoming the world's first greenhouse gas-neutral country, and pledged big emission cuts by government and set compulsory targets for biofuel use as initial steps.

Gore, Watt-Cloutier Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Former Vice President Al Gore, along with Inuit leader Sheila Watt-Cloutier, has been nominated for the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his wide-reaching efforts to draw the world's attention to the dangers of global warming.

UN Secretary-General: Warming Hits Poor Countries Hardest

Poor countries will suffer most from global warming even though they pollute less than developed countries, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns.

Chirac Threatens US With Carbon Tax on American Exports

President Jacques Chirac has demanded that the United States sign both the Kyoto climate protocol and a future agreement that will take effect when the Kyoto accord runs out in 2012. He warned that if the US did not sign the agreements, a carbon tax across Europe on imports from nations that have not signed the Kyoto treaty could be imposed to try to force compliance.

US Firms Lag in Carbon Disclosure

Corporate America lags the largest global companies in disclosing climate change risks to investors. Only 47 percent of the largest US companies listed in the S&P 500 fully answered a survey on climate risks sent to the companies last year.  compared with 72 percent of FT 500, which lists the largest global companies, that responded.

Record Drought Will Force Australians To Drink Purified Waste Water

All Australian states will be forced to use purified waste water for drinking if the current 100-year drought continues.

Did Bush Change Climate Tune in State of the Union

It was just a couple of dozen words out of more than 5,000, uttered so fast that many in the audience missed them at first. But President Bush's commitment to fight global warming in his State of the Union address this week has echoed around the world and provoked debate about whether he is shifting his view of climate change.

Climate Zooms to Top of Canadian Concerns

Anxiety about environmental change has climbed so quickly within Canadians' consciousness that it now overwhelms terrorism, crime and health care as society's greatest threat.

Pew Center: Less Than Half of Americans Believe in Human-Induced Warming

According to the Pew Center, less than half of Americans  (47%) say that human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels, is mostly to blame for the earth getting warmer.

Panel Cites Terrorism Potential from Warming

Global warming could exacerbate the world's rich-poor divide and help to radicalise populations and fan terrorism in the countries worst affected, security and climate experts said.

Industries Split Over Role of Emissions Caps

The biggest question going forward no longer is whether fossil-fuel emissions should be curbed. It's who will foot the bill for the cleanup and that battle is heating up.

Bush Call for "Energy Independence" Leaves Execs Unsatisfied

World business leaders welcomed U.S. President George W. Bush's acknowledgment of climate change as "a serious challenge," but called  for long-term emissions standards to help them plan. While supporting the White House nod to alternative energies such as ethanol, wind, solar and nuclear power, corporate executives said they wanted Washington to lock in stricter U.S. emissions standards.

Senate Bill Would Cut GHGs 80 percent by 2050

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is planning to introduce a bill that would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the middle of the century.

US Coal Industry Plans 150 New Power Plants

As the world heats up, the coal industry is racing to build more than 150 new power plants before Congress decides to crack down on global warming

EU Vows To Cut Emissions 20 Percent Below 1990 Levels By 2020

The European Commission presented "the most ambitious policy ever" to fight climate change, challenging the world to follow Europe's lead in cutting greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.

EU Foresees Climate-Driven Devastation

Europe, the richest and most fertile continent and the model for the modern world, will be devastated by climate change, according to the European Union.  The ecosystems that have helped European civilisation gain global pre-eminence, will be disabled by remorselessly rising temperatures, according to a remarkable report which is as ominous as it is detailed.

WP: When Good Weather Feels Bad

Never has good weather felt so bad. Never have flowers inspired so much fear. Never has the warm caress of a sunbeam seemed so ominous. The weather is sublime, it's glorious, it's the end of the world.

House Democrats Would Switch Subsidies to Renewables

House Democrats are crafting an energy package that would roll back billions of dollars worth of oil drilling incentives, raise billions more by boosting federal royalties paid by oil and gas companies for offshore production, and plow the money into new tax breaks for renewable energy sources.

Chinese Trading Scheme Makes the Rich Get Richer

Foreign businesses have embraced an obscure United Nations-backed program as a favored approach to limiting global warming. But the early efforts have revealed some hidden problems. The huge profits from that will be divided by the chemical factorys owners, a Chinese government energy fund, and the consultants and bankers who put the deal together.

Asian Emissions To Triple By 2030

Asia's greenhouse gas emissions will treble over the next 25 years, according to a report commissioned by the Asian Development Bank.

It says that its estimate of future levels of greenhouse gas could even be an optimistic assessment.

Voters Around The World Embrace The Climate Issue

Mainstream parties in Germany, Britain, France, Canada, the United States and Austria believe tackling climate change is a vote winner while established Green parties in Germany and Austria are experiencing a renaissance.

Australia's Howard, a Longtime Skeptic, Embraces Climate Reality

Prime Minister John Howard has embraced a key climate change forecast, warning Australians to prepare for more extreme weather events such as the current bushfires. When Mr. Howard was asked whether he accepted scientists' predictions on extreme weather, he said, "I think the country should prepare for a continuation of what we are now experiencing."

Climate Change Impacts Human Rights: Former UN Rights Chief

Climate change is a human rights issue, according to Mary Robinson, former head of the UN Human Rights Commission. "Climate change has already begun to affect the fulfilment of human rights and our shared human rights framework entitles and empowers developing countries and impoverished communities to claim protection of these rights," she said

Countries Must Cut Emissions In Concert

Climate change is said to pose a bigger threat than wars or terrorism. Yet governments remain reluctant to address this threat because any country acting alone to curb its greenhouse gas emissions, without similar commitments by other governments, risks damaging the competitiveness of its industries.

Climate Issue Helped Democrats In Mid-Term Elections

Half of Americans who voted in the mid-term elections said concern about global warming made a difference in who they voted for on Election Day 2006, according to a recent Zogby International post-election survey.

EPA Scientists Petition Congress to Act on Warming, Censorship

Representatives of more than 10,000 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency scientists are calling on Congress to take immediate action against global warming. Their petition also calls for an end to censorship of agency scientists and other specialists on topics of climate change and the effects of air pollution.

Top Businesses Prepare for Carbon Regulations

While the political debate over global warming continues, top executives at many of the nation's largest energy companies have accepted the scientific consensus about climate change and see federal regulation to cut greenhouse gas emissions as inevitable.

EU Worries Carbon Cuts Could Hurt Its Competitiveness

The EU's "environmental leadership could significantly undermine the international competitiveness of part of Europe's energy-intensive industries and worsen global environmental performance by redirecting production to parts of the world with lower environmental standards." 

Nairobi Delegates Agree to Get Serious in 2008

There is no deal on another round of mandatory cuts in emissions to follow the Kyoto Protocol, and no firm timetable for negotiating cuts. Environment and development groups say the measures presented here do not match the scale of the problem.

Crutzen's Aerosol Proposal Meant "To Startle Policymakers"

If the sun warms the Earth too dangerously, the time may come to draw the shade. The "shade" would be a layer of pollution deliberately spewed into the atmosphere to help cool the planet. But Paul J. Crutzen, the Nobel laureate  who first made the proposal is himself "not enthusiastic about it," saying, "It was meant to startle the policymakers."

UN Sees Trillion Dollar Per Year Climate Losses By 2040

Losses from extreme weather could top $1 trillion in a single year by 2040, a partnership of the United Nations Environment Programme and private finance institutions (UNEP FI) warned on Tuesday.

Europeans Eye Tax On US For Shunning Kyoto Protocol

French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin proposed introducing punitive taxes on imports from countries that refused to sign the UN's Kyoto Protocol, which is aimed at curbing global warming. While 35 developing are on board, the world's top polluter, the United States, has not signed the pact.

Kofi Annan: the "profound implications" of climate change

"The stakes are high. Climate change has profound implications for virtually all aspects of human well-being, from jobs and health to food security and peace within and among nations. Yet too often climate change is seen as an environmental problem when it should be part of the broader development and economic agenda."

WMO: Greenhouse Gases Hit Record High in 2005

Heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a record high in 2005 and are still increasing, the U.N. weather agency said Friday. The measurements coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization show that the global average concentrations of carbon dioxide, or CO2, and nitrous oxide, or N2O, reached record levels last year and are expected to increase even further this year.

Warming Could Trigger Global Economic Depression: Stern

Global warming could cost the world's economies up to 20 per cent of their gross domestic product (GDP) if urgent action is not taken to stop floods, storms and natural catastrophes, according to Sir Nicholas Stern, a former World Bank economist, who added that the world would have to pay 1 per cent of its annual GDP to avert catastrophe. But doing nothing could cost 5 to 20 times that amount.

Reactions to the Stern Report -- From The Independent


Clean Energy Development Lagging

For all the enthusiasm about alternatives to coal and oil, the challenge of limiting emissions of carbon dioxide, which traps heat, will be immense in a world likely to add 2.5 billion people by midcentury. The challenge is all the more daunting because research into energy technologies by both government and industry has not been rising, but rather falling.

China To Invest Nearly $2 Billion in Clean Energy

China will invest 1.5 trillion yuan (US$187.5 billion) to increase the ratio of renewable energy consumption. Currently, 7.5 per cent of China's energy comes from renewable sources. The country's goal is to make it 10 per cent by 2010 and 16 per cent by 2020, revised from its initial goal of 20 per cent.

Climate Change Will Threaten Britain's National Security

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett will warn Europe on Tuesday to tackle climate change or risk terrorists seizing on famine, water shortages and failing energy infrastructures to threaten global security.

Carbon Trading: "Bad for the South, Bad for the North, Bad for the Climate"

A new book, Carbon Trading: A Critical Conversation on Climate Change, Privitisation and Powersays that the  "carbon trading" approach to the climate crisis is both ineffective and unjust. The book, published by Sweden's Dag Hammarskjold Foundation, argues that  trading prolongs the world's dependence on oil, coal and gas -- even as it dispossesses ordinary people in the South of their lands and  futures without resulting in appreciable progress toward alternative energy systems.


Australian Drought Drives Farmer Suicides

One Australian farmer commits suicide every four days, defeated by the country's worst drought in 100 years which has left them with dust-bowl paddocks and a mountain of debt.

Runaway Climate Change is Imminent -- Author Paul Brown

"The key question is how close are we to a 2*C rise, and when will we get there? The first thing to admit is that nobody knows for sure, but many who understand the science say the answer to this twin question is, first, that we are already very close, and second, we might get there terrifyingly soon." -- Author Paul Brown

Climate Inaction Will Cost Trillions: Study

Failing to fight global warming now will cost trillions of dollars by the end of the century even without counting biodiversity loss or unpredictable events like the Gulf Stream shutting down, a study said on Friday.

Drought, Insects Deplete Global Wheat Supplies

US wheat prices struck a 10-year high on Tuesday on fears of a further decline in global production at a time when world stockpiles are near 20-year lows. Wheat harvests from Australia to Argentina, Europe and North America have been affected by drought, heatwaves and, in the case of Ukraine, infestation from the Eurygaster beetle. Global wheat supplies have fallen about 5 per cent  or 30million  tonnes  from last year.

US Continues to Resist Action At Climate Talks

Climate talks between the world's top 20 polluters have ended with an unusual level of agreement on the urgent need to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. But delegates at the Mexico talks also stressed the massive gap between the politics and science of climate change.

Warming Will Transform New England

For those who love New England's mild summer weather, scientists have some advice: enjoy it while you can. If greenhouse gas emissions continue on their current course, Massachusetts may feel more like sultry South Carolina by century's end, researchers said on Wednesday in a report on clear signs of global warming in the US Northeast.

California To Cut GHGs 25 Percent By 2010

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law on Wednesday aimed at reducing the state's greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2010 -- a cut of about 25 percent. 

Monbiot: Time to Walk The Walk

Almost everywhere, climate change denial now looks as stupid and as unacceptable as Holocaust denial. But I'm not celebrating yet. The danger is not that we will stop talking about climate change, or recognising that it presents an existential threat to humankind. The danger is that we will talk ourselves to kingdom come. If the biosphere is wrecked, it will not be done by those who couldn't give a damn about it, as they now belong to a diminishing minority. It will be destroyed by nice, well-meaning, cosmopolitan people who accept the case for cutting emissions, but who won't change by one iota the way they live.

Branson Pledges $3 Billion To Fight Warming

Sir Richard Branson is to invest $3bn (£1.6bn) to fight global warming. The Virgin boss said he would commit all profits from his travel firms, such as airline Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Trains, over the next 10 years.

Dutch Reduce Emissions to 1990 Levels in mid-2006

Greenhouse gas emissions in the Netherlands fell by around 2 percent in 2005 from a year earlier and were at approximately the same level they were in 1990, a government agency said Monday.

Fortune: Climate Change Presents Insurers with A New World

The insurance business is in the midst of a sea change.  

Unpredictable weather, American migratory patterns, and soaring real estate values are increasing risks for insurers and putting pressure on their financial prospects. In response, companies are changing the rules of engagement with their customers. 

Insurers Get Serious About Climate -- Both Its Risks and Opportunities

Dozens of new insurance activities, such as 'green' building credits and incentives for investing in renewable energy, are emerging to tackle the causes of climate change and rising weather-related losses in the U.S. and globally, according to a major new report issued today by the Ceres investor coalition. But the report also states that more insurance companies need to be offering similar services to minimize losses and make the most of business opportunities related to climate change.

Northeastern States Agree on Carbon Trading Rule

Seven northeastern U.S. states haveagreed on a model rule that would create the country's first market for heat-trapping carbon dioxide by curbing emissions at power plants.

Blair, Schwarzenegger Share Climate "Mission"

The UK and California are to work together on reducing greenhouse gases and promoting low carbon technologies. The agreement came after a climate change meeting in Long Beach of Tony Blair, the US state's governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and business leaders. A "mission statement" said the two would, among other things, "share experiences" and "find new solutions".

NASA Drops Climate Monitoring from Its Mission Statement

From 2002 until this year, NASA's  mission statement read: "To understand and protect our home planet; to explore the universe and search for life; to inspire the next generation of explorers..." In early February, the statement was quietly altered, with the phrase "to understand and protect our home planet" deleted.

Chirac Warns G-8 About Climate "Volcano"

French President Jacques Chirac warned on Sunday that mankind faced an inferno unless the world tackles climate change seriously, in a rebuke to fellow Group of Eight leaders.

Sequestered CO2 May Erode Absorbing Sandstone

Scientists testing the deep geologic disposal of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide are finding that it's staying where they put it, but it's chewing up minerals. The reactions have produced a nasty mix of metals and organic substances in a layer of sandstone 1550 meters down, researchers report this week in Geology. At the same time, the CO2 is dissolving a surprising amount of the mineral that helps keep the gas where it's put.

Official Signals British Anger at Bush Administration

A new British government adviser on climate change has hit out at the US for what he says is its unhelpful stance on global warming.

"The policy of the Bush administration on climate change has not been helpful . . ." said John Ashton of the Foreign Office. "We would have been further forward on climate change had there been a more engaged US position."

Hinchey-Waxman Bill Would Cut US Emissions 80 Percent by 2050

Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) today joined Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and other Democratic House members in introducing sweeping legislation that would require a dramatic cut in the emissions of greenhouse gases that cause global warming.  The Safe Climate Act of 2006 is a comprehensive measure that would require an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse gases by 2050.

EIA: Global Emissions to Rise 75 Percent by 2030

Global emissions of the heat-trapping gas carbon dioxide will rise 75 percent from 2003 to 2030, with much of the growth coming from coal burning in developing countries, the U.S. government forecast.

NASA Shelves Critical Climate Satellites

NASA is canceling or delaying satellites which provide critical information on the earth's changing climate. The agency has shelved one mission designed to measure soil moisture -- a key factor in understanding the impact of global warming and predicting droughts and floods. A second program to observe climate factors such as solar radiation, ozone, clouds, and water vapor also has been canceled.

Lloyd's of London Sounds Climate Alarm

Insurers must do more to understand the implications of climate change on their businesses or risk going out of business, Lloyd's of London said.

2006 Hurricane Season Could Sink 20-40 Insurers

The US hurricane season kicked off Thursday with another gloomy prediction: major storms could cause US$100 billion worth of property loss, and wipe out 20 to 40 insurers.

CERES: ExxonMobil Shareholders Relying on Fumes

ExxonMobil now admits global warming is real and poses risks but the company has not yet taken steps -- such as meaningful alternative energy investments -- that would demonstrate  that ExxonMobil is managing the risks to its shareholders.

Wall Street Warms to Low-Emitters

Investment funds are now betting that Washington will clamp down on emitters of carbon dioxide. And they are certain that there is money to be made in holding the shares of low emitters and shorting the shares of big ones.

Saudi State Oil Company To Address Warming

Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, signalled on Monday it would help the fight against global warming through research on cutting carbon dioxide emissions in the oil and gas industry.

Extreme Weather in Europe Threatens World Wheat Supply
Flooded fields in central Europe, a harsh Black Sea winter and low rainfall in France have dimmed the prospects for this summer's wheat crop, adding to tightening world supplies next season.

Spanish Vineyards Fall Prey to Warming

Global warming is killing vineyards in southern Spain, threatening a 2 billion-euro ($2.4 billion) wine industry and forcing grape growers to move to cooler climes of the Pyrenees.

AIG First US Insurer to Adopt Climate Policies

American International Group Inc. this week became the first major US insurer to adopt a policy on climate change, saying it would develop projects to keep greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.

Insurers Shed Clients As Climate Impacts Escalate

Alarmed at the sharply rising cost of hurricanes and other disasters, home insurers are pulling back from some U.S. coastal markets, warning of gathering financial storm clouds over how the United States pays for the damage of catastrophe.

More Republican Legislators Oppose Bush on Warming

U.S. companies that  have come out in support of national limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse-gas emissions  are now being joined by Republican lawmakers who have parted company with President George W. Bush on the issue.



Broad US Awareness Reflected in New Consensus: US News & World Report

For reasons that range from economics to ethics, a confluence of Christian leaders, corporations, environmentalists and investors are turning up the heat for legislative action on global warming.

Brazil Bids Farewell to Gasoline

At the dawn of the automobile age, Henry Ford predicted that "ethyl alcohol is the fuel of the future." With petroleum about $65 a barrel, President Bush has now embraced that view, too. But Brazil is already there.

Time to Start Preparing for Climate Hell

Environmentalists and their opponents have spent far too much time debating whether global warming is caused by humans, and whether the transition to cleaner energy sources will be good or bad for the economy. Whatever the causes, warming is a genuine risk.

Wind Now Cheaper than Gas-Fired Power in some US Markets

During the fall of 2005, climbing natural gas prices pulled conventional electricity costs above those of wind-generated electricity, the source of most green power. This crossing of the cost lines in Austin and several other communities is a milestone in the U.S. shift to a renewable energy economy.

Risk Firms Prepare for 60 percent Rise in Hurricane Losses

After failing to predict how costly Hurricane Katrina would be last year, companies forecasting catastrophes are now saying U.S. damage from large storms will rise as much as 60 percent in some regions in coming years.  This boost in anticipated hurricane losses could also push the cost of insuring coastal areas much higher and have serious implications for the insurance industry.

Carlyle Investment Move Follows on Heels of Bush Speech

Just days after President George W. Bush announced the U.S. would invest more in R&D for renewable energy technologies, one of  the  world's largest investment firms, the Carlyle Group, said it would substantially boost its stake in renewables. Coincidentally, former President George H. W. Bush was a special consultant to the Carlyle Group for 10 years before his retirement two years ago.

Bush Administration Plans $7 Billion Giveaway to Big Oil

The federal government is on the verge of one of the biggest giveaways of oil and gas in American history, worth an estimated $7 billion over five years. The Interior Department anticipates  the government will let companies pump about $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal territory over the next five years without paying any royalties to the government.

Red States Warm to Climate Issue

Global warming isn't just a "blue state" issue anymore.

From the Rocky Mountain West to the Southeast, influential red-state voices are beginning to call for more concerted efforts at local, state, and federal levels to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

Sweden Looks to an Oil-Free Future by 2020

Sweden  has announced one of its most ambitious goals yet: to completely end its dependancy on fossil fuels -- and do it in the next 15 years.

Eighty-Six Evangelical Leaders Issue Cry For Action

Eighty-six evangelical Christian leaders have decided to back a major initiative to fight global warming, saying "millions of people could die in this century because of climate change, most of them our poorest global neighbors."  Signers include  the presidents of 39 evangelical colleges, leaders of aid groups like the Salvation Army, and pastors of megachurches. 

Blair: Seven Years Left to Act

The world has seven years to take vital decisions and implement measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions or it could be too late, British Prime Minister Tony Blair said. Blair said the battle against global warming would only be won if the U.S., India and China were part of a framework that included targets and timetables.

Hansen Censored by Bush Administration

The top climate scientist at NASA says the Bush administration has tried to stop him from speaking out since he gave a lecture last month calling for prompt reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming.  James E. Hansen, longtime director of the agency's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said officials at NASA headquarters had ordered the public affairs staff to review his coming lectures, papers, postings on the Goddard Web site and requests for interviews from journalists.


Canada's Harper To Follow Bush's Lead in Dumping Kyoto

Canadians are poised to axe the Kyoto Accord, but seem unaware that's what they will be doing when they elect a Stephen Harper government today. Less than two weeks before voting day, with a majority government in sight, Harper said he would abandon the CO2 emission limits of Kyoto.

Six EPA Chiefs Blast Bush on Climate Policies

Six former heads of the Environmental Protection Agency, including five who served Republican presidents, said Wednesday that the Bush administration needed to act more aggressively to limit the emission of greenhouse gases linked to climate change.

Lovelock: The Point of No Return is Behind Us

The world has already passed the point of no return for climate change, and civilisation as we know it is now unlikely to survive, according to James Lovelock, the scientist and green guru who conceived the idea of Gaia - the Earth which keeps itself fit for life.

Europe Alarmed by Extended Drought, Water Scarcity

France and Spain are ringing alarm bells over the climate, fearing a repeat of last year's drought that sparked deadly forest fires, costly crop failures and widespread water rationing in southern Europe. The European Environment Agency (EEA) says water shortages and soaring temperatures in southern Europe are becoming the norm, and its climate models suggest much of the continent may start to become drier as deserts advance.

Businesses to Dominate Climate Summit -- Environmentalists Excluded

ExxonMobil, Rio Tinto and other businesses are expected to dominate the Asia-Pacific climate summit, while environmental groups have been excluded from the meeting.

GE Takes A Step Toward Climate Friendliness

GE has commited itself to an 'ecomagination' programme, building sales of green technologies to $20bn by 2010. R&D in areas ranging from cleaner coal and power plants to fuel cells and wind turbines, will double to $1.5billion.

Evangelicals Prepare to Speak Out on Climate Change

A climate change statement, being crafted by several evangelical leaders nationwide, could call for curbs on emissions of greenhouse gases. It also could put evangelicals at odds with the White House and business interests that form another key Republican constituency.

US Emissions Set Record in 2004

American emissions of greenhouse gases linked to global warming reached an all-time high in 2004, rising 2 percent from the year before, the Energy Department said, nearly double the average annual rate measured since 1990.

Seven US States (Minus Massachusetts) Sign CO2 Pact

Seven northeastern U.S. states have signed the country's first plan to create a market for heat-trapping carbon dioxide by curbing emissions at power plants, New York Gov. George Pataki said Tuesday.


US Insists on Non-Binding Treaty Language

The United States dropped its opposition early Saturday morning to nonbinding talks on addressing global warming after a few words were adjusted in the text of statements that, 24 hours earlier, prompted a top American official to walk out on negotiations.

UN Agrees to Discuss Post-2012 Goals

Delegates at a UN climate conference in Canada have reportedly agreed on talks to cut greenhouse gases after 2012 but it is unclear if the US is included.

Climate Impacts Cost World $200 Billion in 2005

Severe weather around the world has made 2005 the most costly year on record with unprecedented levels of insurance claims on damaged property.

BP Ups Investment in Green Electricity

BP unveiled plans yesterday to double its investment in alternative and renewable energy sources, saying it will spend $8 billion over the next decade. The company, which is promoting its green credentials in a high-profile advertising campaign tagged "beyond petroleum", will create a new business that supplies low-carbon electricity.

Goldman Sachs Sees Need for Carbon Regulation

As of today, the Goldman Sachs Group is officially green. The big investment banking firm has announced a policy  that details how its 24,000 employees - be they bankers,  analysts or purchasing agents - should promote activities  that protect forests and guard against climate change.

IEA sees Emissions Rising 52 percent in 25 years

Global greenhouse gas emissions will rise by 52% by 2030, unless the world takes action to reduce energy consumption, according to the latest annual World Energy Outlook report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).  It says that under current consumption trends, energy demand will also rise by more than 50% over the next 25 years.

Prince Charles: "Climate Change Is Humanity's Greatest Challenge

Prince Charles says climate change should be seen as the "greatest challenge to face man" and treated as a much bigger priority in the UK. He said climate change was "what really worries me", and he did not want his future grandchildren to ask why he had not acted over the issue.

Fortune Magazine Sounds Alarm About Costs of Climate Impacts

To New Orleans residents, Hurricane Katrina must seem like an incredibly bad piece of meteorological luck that could only happen once in a lifetime. But to many climate researchers, it looks like a harbinger of things to come-with catastrophic regularity-as the world's atmosphere heats up.

Katrina Damages Estimated at $100 Billion

A risk management firm yesterday offered the first estimate of economic losses from Hurricane Katrina - $100 billion - and said that private insurance would probably cover less than a quarter of that.

German Conservative Candidate Says US Policy Fueled Katrina

Gerda Hasselfeldt, a leading conservative candidate to become Germany's environment, said  climate change had played a role in Hurricane Katrina and urged the US to join other nations in cutting the carbon dioxide emissions blamed for global warming.



U.K. Church-based Group Takes Aim At Climate Crisis

A new U.K. organisation hopes to combat climate change through harnessing the political power of the church, asking the government to cut Britain's greenhouse gas emissions, and to ensure that overseas aid money is invested in clean technologies.



UK Science Adviser Ties Katrina to Warming

Sir David King, the British Government's chief scientific adviser, has warned that global warming may be responsible for the devastation reaped by Hurricane Katrina. "The increased intensity of hurricanes is associated with global warming,"  King said, adding: "We have known since 1987 the intensity of hurricanes is related to surface sea temperature and we know that, over the last 15 to 20 years, surface sea temperatures in these regions have increased by half a degree centigrade."

Experts Foresee More Katrinas

For all its numbing ferocity, Hurricane Katrina will not be a unique event, say scientists, who say that global warming appears to be pumping up the power of big Atlantic storms.

Nine Northeast States To Cut Plant Emissions

Nine northeastern U.S. states are working on a plan to cap and then reduce the level of greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the first U.S. deal of its kind and one that would see the region breaking with President Bush. The move comes as California, Washington and Oregon are considering a similar pact.

Insurers Bearing Greater Losses from Extreme Events

The insured share of the world's total economic losses from weather-related catastrophes is rising, increasing from a negligible fraction in the 1950s to 25 percent in the last decade.

World Bank Edges into Kyoto Role

At the close of the G-8 summit in Gleneagles, leaders called on the World Bank Group to work on financing a new framework for climate change. "This is something really brand new for the World Bank," World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz said.

US-Led Voluntary Effort Seen as Marginal

A U.S.-led plan to develop clean energy technologies met with surprise in Asia and concern among critics that it may be a ploy to undo the Kyoto pact, the binding accord on controlling global warming that Washington refuses to sign. The initiative brings together the U.S., Australia, China, India, South Korea and Japan with the aim of inventing and selling technologies ranging from "clean coal" and wind power to next-generation nuclear fission as a means of reducing pollution and addressing climate concerns.

Survey: 20 percent of Available Wind Could Power the World

A new survey of wind power around the globe has found there's ample energy for all humanity blowing around us. Researchers Christina Archer and Mark Jacobson of Stanford University in California have created a set of world wind-power resource maps that reveal a barely tapped 72 terawatts of power - 40 times the amount of electrical power used by all countries in the year 2000.



US Senate Scraps Emissions Cap

An ambitious bipartisan plan to slow U.S. greenhouse gases with an emissions trading program collapsed in the Senate Tuesday after a key Republican threw his support behind a weaker, voluntary plan.

US Weakens G-8 Climate Plan

Under U.S. pressure, negotiators in the past month have agreed to delete language that would detail how rising temperatures are affecting the globe, set ambitious targets to cut carbon dioxide emissions and set stricter environmental standards for World Bank-funded power projects. Negotiators met this week in London to work out details of the document, which is slated to be adopted next month at the G-8 annual meeting in Scotland.

BP Accused of Wanting It Both Ways

BP's reputation as one of the world's most environmentally progressive energy companies is on the line. The oil giant has been privately lobbying in Washington to block legislation to introduce a mandatory curb on greenhouse gases in the US, it has emerged.

Corporate Chiefs Demand Climate Action from G-8

Leaders of some of the world's biggest businesses increased the pressure on the Group of Eight industrialised nations ahead of a summit on global warming, urging them to set up a system of emissions trading for greenhouse gases that would extend to 2030 and beyond.

Schwarzenegger Commits California to 80 Percent Cuts

Vowing to lead the world's response to global warming, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday announced a series of ambitious targets for cutting California's greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80% over the next half-century, but provided few details on how the state could achieve such dramatic reductions.

UK CEOs Want Blair to Implement 60 Percent Cuts

A group of Britain's leading industrialists has written to the prime minister urgently demanding long-term policies to combat climate change. The heads of the 12 leading firms say climate change is a huge challenge that needs serious investment by business.

Nuclear Energy Finds Friends in the Environmental Movement

Several of the nation's most prominent environmentalists have gone public with the message that nuclear power, long taboo among environmental advocates, should be reconsidered as a remedy for global warming.

132 US Mayors Vow to Meet Kyoto Targets

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels has joined 131 other mayors ina bipartisan coalition to fight global warming on the local level, in an implicit rejection of the administration's policy.

Climate Impacts Cost $145 Billion in 2004

Of the $145 billion loss last year, insured losses were around $44 billion, of which $40 billion was due to destructive hurricanes in the Caribbean and the United States and typhoons in Japan. In comparison, the economic loss due to the South Asian tsunami was lower but the human cost far higher.

EIA: Emissions Cuts Much Cheaper Than Previously Thought

The EIA analysed a set of recommendations made by the National Commission on Energy Policy which found that reducing US greenhouse gas emissions by 4 per cent by 2015 and by 7 per cent by 2025, in accordance with the NCEP's recommendations, would cost 0.15 per cent of gross domestic product.

UN:Wind, Solar Would Trigger Boom For Developing Countries

Developing countries could install hundreds of thousands of megawatts of renewable energy capacity and help relieve poverty and volatile oil bills in those nations, UN officials said.

Killer Drought Returns to Australia

With 46 percent of Australia now declared to be in drought, the government is providing  "exceptional circumstances" assistance to farmers to help with groceries and interest payments on debt.

Canadian Cars to Cut Emissions 25% by 2010

Automakers and the Canadian government have reached an agreement requiring reduced greenhouse gas emissions from all cars sold in the country in an effort to combat global warming. The agreement requires automakers by 2010 to cut tailpipe emissions by 5.3 million tons, about what would be achieved by improving the fuel efficiency of all cars sold in Canada by 25%.

Evangelicals Put Climate Change High on Their Agenda

A core group of influential evangelical leaders has put its considerable political power behind a cause that has barely registered on the evangelical agenda, fighting global warming.

Warming Drives Surge in Insurance Losses
Natural catastrophes killed over 180,000 people in 2004, twice as many as in 2003, with an economic cost of $145 billion, German reinsurance giant Munich Re said in its annual review of disasters. The company said extreme weather events were the main source of destruction and financial loss last year and may be linked to global warming.

Chirac Calls for 75 percent Cuts by 2050

French President Jacques Chirac called on  developed countries to cut gas emissions to a quarter of current levels by 2050 -- exceeding targets set by the Kyoto pact to combat global warming.

EPA Study Projects Massive Flooding in Boston

By the end of this century, global warming threatens to raise the sea level enough that a heavy storm would send flood waters into Boston's downtown waterfront, the Financial District, and much of the Back Bay, based on projections in an EPA-funded report.

Tuvalu Faces Its Future: Stronger Storms, Rising Seas

Islanders on tiny Tuvalu in the South Pacific last week saw the future of global warming and rising sea levels, as extreme high tides caused waves to crash over crumbling sea-walls and flood their homes."Our island is sinking together with our hearts," wrote Silafaga Lalua in Tuvalu News.

2004 Costliest Ever for US Property Insurers

Unprecedented hurricane activity helped make 2004 the costliest year ever for US insurers as they paid out $27.3 billion, a survey by a leading industry adviser said.

Sleepwalking Toward Apocalypse Now

Floods, storms and droughts. Melting Arctic ice, shrinking glaciers, oceans turning to acid. The world's top scientists warned last week that dangerous climate change is taking place today, not the day after tomorrow.

Africa At Highest Risk From Climate Change

Africa's poor millions, already suffering grinding poverty and rampant disease, risk bearing the brunt of the global warming crisis unless urgent action is taken now.

Countdown to Climate Catastrophe: Study

The global warming danger threshold for the world is clearly marked for the first time in an international report to be published tomorrow - and the bad news is, the world has nearly reached it already. The countdown to climate-change catastrophe, according to a task force of senior politicians, business leaders and academics from around the world, is as close as 10 years or even less.

Pachauri: Climate Approaching Point of "No Return"

Global warning has already hit the danger point that international attempts to curb it are designed to avoid.Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC, said the world has "already reached the level of dangerous concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere" and called for immediate and "very deep" cuts in the pollution if humanity is to "survive".

Congress Cuts Funds for Climate Research Stations

Congress has eliminated funding for a fledgling network of 110 observation stations intended to provide a definitive, long-term climate record for the United States. The surprise assault on the Climate Reference Network (CRN) was buried in the 3000-page omnibus spending package for 2005 signed last month by President George W. Bush  The funding cuts drastically reduce an international "system of systems" for earth observation that the Bush Administration has called essential for resolving uncertainties in the connection between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Sydney Must Cut Water Use In Half

Sydney needs to more than halve its water consumption to prevent a dire water shortage in 25 years, research by national water utilities concludes. The shortfall was caused by climate change, population growth and more water being used for environmental flows.

New Coal Plants Seen Swamping Kyoto

The Kyoto Protocol to curb greenhouse-gas emissions hasn't gone into effect yet and already three countries -- the U.S., China and India -- are planning to build nearly 850 new coal-fired plants, which would pump up to five times as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as the Kyoto Protocol aims to reduce.

US Assault Leaves Kyoto Talks Comatose


Governments from around the world  narrowly succeeded in keeping the international bid to combat catastrophic global warming alive, in the face of determined attempts by the re-elected Bush administration to kill it off.


Argentine President Blasts North for Double Standards

Argentine President Néstor Kirchner accused the countries of the industrialised North of double standards, noting that they relentlessly pursue repayment from their financial debtors, yet do everything possible to delay or completely avoid meeting their environmental debt to the developing world. "We should not accept the double standards implied by demanding that the developing countries strictly comply with the financial obligations stemming from foreign debt, while at the same time, the world's most evolved and powerful societies elude their basic commitment to the preservation of life," he stated.

Insurers Reel from Record Weather Losses in 2004

Natural disasters will cost insurers a record $35 billion this year, after hurricanes lashed the Caribbean and southeastern United States and a record 10 typhoons soaked Japan in events seen as linked to global warming, climate experts said on Wednesday. "2004 will be the costliest year for the insurance industry worldwide, so it will be a new world record even if we adjust all previous years for inflation," said an expert at Munich Re.

Witnesses: "Climate changes are affecting our lives"

A Nepalese Sherpa fears his mountain valley will be flooded by melting glacier runoff high in the Himalayas. A Fiji islander frets about rising sea levels, while villagers cope with the destruction of mangrove swamps in India. "Climate witnesses" told a U.N. environmental conference Friday they are already feeling the heat of the changing weather patterns which are drastically affecting the way of life from the Himalayas to the South Pacific.

Cinergy Supports Emission Curbs

Cinergy Corp., a major owner of coal-fired power plants, has voiced support for laws to limit greenhouse gas emissions, saying the move is economically feasible and would end uncertainty over the issue. In a report to shareholders, the company said a national program that capped greenhouse gas emissions but allowed all kinds of industrial facilities to trade emissions reduction credits would be feasible and possibly beneficial for the company

Nations Decline to Address Arctic Meltdown

The United States and the seven other countries with Arctic territory today expressed concern about profound changes in the Arctic climate and said they would consider new scientific findings concluding that heat-trapping emissions were the main cause.But, in a move that disappointed environmental and Arctic indigenous groups, they did not agree on a common strategy for curbing such emissions.

Asian Business Leaders Focus on Climate Impacts

For decades, most Asian business leaders have dismissed concerns about the global environment as a western preoccupation of no importance for profits or prestige. Such attitudes are starting to change. Members of the exclusive Asia Business Council (ABC) will hear  a British climate expert, explain the threats posed to the region by global warming, including potentially drastic changes to Asian temperatures and rainfall patterns in the coming decades.

Kyoto Protocol To Take Effect Feb. 16, 2005

The 90-day countdown to the Kyoto Protocol's entry into force was triggered today by the receipt of the Russian Federation's instrument of ratification by the United Nations Secretary-General. The Protocol will become legally binding on its 128 Parties on 16 February 2005."A period of uncertainty has closed. Climate change is ready to take its place again at the top of the global agenda," said Joke Waller-Hunter, Executive Secretary of the Climate Change Secretariat, which services the UN Climate Change Convention and its Kyoto Protocol.

McCain Resumes Pre-Election Push on Climate Legislation

Two weeks after the end of a campaign in which he stumped for Mr. Bush's re-election, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is convening a Senate hearing today on the human effect on climate and what to do about it. For three years Mr. McCain has pushed for a bill he wrote with Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, that would create the first, modest curbs on greenhouse gases. "This is a very time-sensitive issue," he said in an interview yesterday.

Epic Drought Threatens Australian Drinking Water Supplies

There is a warning that some of Australia's major cities could run out of drinking water. Much of this arid continent is in the grip of one of the driest periods in living memory. "Some of Australia's cities are really in a race at the moment to see who's going to run out of water first," said one Australian scientist.

Putin Signs Kyoto Ratification Bill

President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill confirming Russia's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, the Kremlin said Friday, clearing the way for the global climate pact to come into force early next year. Both houses of parliament last month ratified the protocol, which aims to stem global warming by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

Bush Works to Block Action on Melting Arctic

The Bush administration has been working for months to keep an upcoming eight-nation report from endorsing broad policies aimed at curbing global warming, according to domestic and foreign participants, despite the group's conclusion that Arctic latitudes are facing historic increases in temperature, glacial melting and abrupt weather changes.

British Queen Asks Blair to Pressure US on Climate Change

The Queen of England has made a rare intervention in world politics to warn Tony Blair of her grave concerns over the White House's stance on global warming.  She has  asked Downing Street to lobby the US after observing the alarming impact of Britain's changing weather on her estates at Balmoral in Scotland and Sandringham in Norfolk.

Hansen Blasts Bush Policies as "Too Little Too Late"

A top NASA climate expert who twice briefed Vice President Dick Cheney on global warming, plans to criticize the administration's approach to the issue, saying a senior administration official told him last year not to discuss dangerous consequences of rising temperatures. "In my more than three decades in government, I have never seen anything approaching the degree to which information flow from scientists to the public has been screened and controlled as it is now," James E. Hansen told a University of Iowa audience.


Global Anti-Poverty Push Could Be A Casualty of Climate Change

The greenhouse effect could wreck attempts to lift the world's poorest people out of poverty and reverse human progress. A report by a coalition of environment and aid agencies calls for urgent action to avert the threat.

Vladimir Putin's OK Puts Kyoto Back On Track

The long-delayed Kyoto Protocol on global warming overcame its last critical hurdle to taking effect around the world on Thursday when Russia's cabinet endorsed the treaty and sent it to Parliament. The treaty, the first to require cuts in emissions linked to global warming, would take effect 90 days after Parliament's approval, a formality that was widely expected. The treaty, which has already been ratified by 120 countries will take effect if supporters include nations accounting for at least 55 percent of all industrialized countries' 1990-level emissions.

China Sees Coal as Key to Development

China is already the world's top producer of coal and is expected to pull 1.9 billion tonnes from the ground this year, up 10 percent from last year. In 2010, it aims to raise that to 2.2 billion tonnes. Furthermore, three-quarters of China's 400,000 megawatts of installed power capacity, the world's second-largest after the United States, are fired by the jet black fossil fuel.

UPS Puts Fuel Cell Trucks On The Road

Buoyed by initial road-test results and significant technological advancements, UPS has announced the U.S. deployment of its first three large package delivery vehicles utilizing hydrogen fuel cells for power.  "UPS now is jumping from a small fuel cell car to a medium-duty truck. We will continue the rapid application of this technology in hopes that in the near future, we can deploy zero-emission engines across our fleet of 88,000 vehicles," said a UPS official.

Blair Urges U.S. To Step Up To Climate Protection

Tony Blair will today urge the United States to commit itself to tougher action to combat global warming and promise that a list of green policies will be included in Labor's general election manifesto. 

Today's Technologies Can Stall Global Warming

Existing technologies could stop the escalation of global warming for 50 years, and work on implementing them can begin immediately, according to  Princeton University scientists.

Bush White House Concedes CO2 Causes Warming

In a striking shift in the way the Bush administration has portrayed the science of climate change, a new report to Congress focuses on federal research indicating that emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases are the only likely explanation for global warming over the last three decades. Previously, President Bush and other officials had emphasized uncertainties in understanding the causes and consequences of warming as a reason for rejecting binding restrictions on heat-trapping gases.

Bush Denies White House Report Indicates Change in Position

The brief passage in yesterday's  White House report was surprising because President Bush and other senior administration officials have long insisted there was no clear scientific proof to link human activities to global warming.In an interview with the New York Times, published on its Web site, Bush was asked why his administration had changed its position. "Ah, did we?" Bush replied. "I don't think so."


Blair to Press U.S. on Kyoto

The U.K.signalled a tougher British and European stance yesterday against the Bush administration's hostility to the Kyoto treaty when Tony Blair takes over the chair in both the EU and the G8 group of major industrial states next year. Ahead of Mr. Blair's big September speech on climate change - the world's biggest collective challenge, he will say - a minister admitted the time has come for the government "to move from words to delivery" at home. Abroad it must also press Washington "to be more ambitious", he said.

California Impacts Projected to be Extreme

California will become hotter and drier by the end of the century, menacing the valuable wine and dairy industries, even if dramatic steps are taken to curb global warming, researchers said on Monday.The first study to specifically forecast the impact of global warming on a U.S. state also shows the snowpack melting in the Sierra Nevada mountains, more frequent heat waves hitting Los Angles and disruptions to crop irrigation.

Speed of Warming Prompts Europeans to Plan to Adapt Changes

Europeans must learn how to live with a changing climate as well as seeking to limit its effects by cutting emissions, the European Environment Agency says. An EEA report says fewer than 50 years remain to act against the threat.

EC: Millions in Carbon Trading Permits Stolen

The European Commission suspended trading in greenhouse gas emissions permits on Wednesday for at least a week after the theft of permits worth millions of euros via online attacks. The Emissions Trading System was a target of “recurring security breaches” over the last two months, the commission, the executive agency of the European Union, announced on its Web site. The commission said it needed to shut the system down until at least Jan. 26 because “incidents over the last weeks have underlined the urgent need” for enhanced security measures.

Business Week Details Business Responses to Climate Change

Consensus is growing among scientists, governments, and business that they must act fast to combat climate change. This has already sparked efforts to limit CO2 emissions. Many companies are now preparing for a carbon-constrained world.

New El Nino Seen Gathering Force

El Nino, the dreaded weather anomaly which has killed hundreds and spawned disasters across the Asia-Pacific region over the years, could possibly develop by late 2004, the Climate Prediction Center of the U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration said.

States Sue Utilities Over Emissions

Attorneys general from eight states and New York City are stepping into the debate over global climate change, vowing to force the nation's largest power companies to cut their carbon dioxide emissions. Officials from California, Connecticut, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin, as well as New York City, were to file a public nuisance lawsuit Wednesday in federal district court in Manhattan.

Coal Lobby Fights Suit Against States

A lawsuit filed today by attorneys general in eight states and New York City targets jobs in coal-producing states and will result in dramatically higher electricity and consumer energy costs, according to United for Jobs, a jobs advocacy coalition. United for Jobs co-chairman Harry Alford criticized the lawsuit, calling on New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer to drop the suit which targets jobs in coal-producing states.

Shell Chief Sounds Major Climate Alarm

The head of one of the world's biggest oil companies has admitted that the threat of climate change makes him "really very worried for the planet". Ron Oxburgh, chairman of Shell, says we urgently need to capture emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, which scientists think contribute to global warming, and store them underground - a technique called carbon sequestration.  His comments will enrage many in the oil industry, which is targeted by climate change campaigners because the use of its products spews out huge quantities of carbon dioxide.


Top Researchers Urge Climate Action Now

Ten of the nation's top climate researchers warned that policymakers must act soon to address the dangers associated with global warming, which they described as a looming threat that will hit hardest and soonest at the world's poor and at farmers.

Indigenous Groups Demand Equitable Energy Transition

"We, Indigenous Peoples, are following the initiatives by States in promoting renewable energies, as an alternative to fossil energy technologies, which are responsible for the violation of our human rights and the deterioration of our environment. As such, we welcome the initiatives to embrace renewable energies provided that they are also beneficial to the Indigenous Peoples and that our rights are fully respected."

Bank of America Commits to Kyoto Goals

Bank of America has pledged to take significant new steps in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, protection of intact forest ecosystems, and transparent public reporting to all stakeholders.

Lovelock: Climate Is Changing Faster Than Expected

Two recent climatic events are warning signs that climate change may be proceeding much more quickly than previously thought, James Lovelock claimed. They are the increasingly rapid melting of the Arctic ice-sheet covering Greenland, which will raise global sea levels considerably, and the extreme heatwave in western central Europe in the first two weeks of last August.

Putin: Russia Will Ratify Kyoto Protocol

Russian President Vladimir Putin, bolstered by a breakthrough trade agreement with European leaders, reversed Moscow's position on an ambitious worldwide environmental pact yesterday by promising quick ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

Dirtiest Utilities Deliver $6.6 Million to GOP

The 30 companies that own most of the dirtiest power plants in the country, and their trade association, have raised $6.6 million for President Bush and the Republican National Committee since 1999, and were given relief from pollution regulations that would have cost them billions of dollars, according to a new analysis. Ten utility industry officials were so good at fundraising for the president that his campaign named them Rangers for bringing in at least $200,000 or Pioneers for bringing in at least $100,000.  

Impacts of Climate Change Seen Across U.S.

Most scientists agree that global warming in the United States is a here-and-now reality. From the drought-parched Rocky Mountains to Florida's beaches to the hardwood forests of New England, early signs of climate change are virtually everywhere.

Blair Brings Oil Companies to New "Climate Group"

In late April, Tony Blair  challenged George Bush's refusal to confront global warming by announcing  the creation of a powerful coalition of big businesses, including several oil giants, to tackle climate change.

Nations Endorse Global Monitoring System

Dozens of nations and international organizations have endorsed a 10-year blueprint for a global climate watch system that would let governments share information about the Earth to assess climate change, forecast natural disasters and fight disease.

NASA Charged With Muzzling Scientists Over Catastrophe Film

In "The Day After Tomorrow," a $125 million disaster film set to open on May 28, global warming from accumulating smokestack and tailpipe gases disrupts warm ocean currents and sets off an instant ice age. Few climate experts think such a prospect is likely, especially in the near future. But the prospect that moviegoers will be alarmed enough to blame the Bush administration for inattention to climate change has stirred alarm at NASA, scientists there say.

CERES, Pension Funds Ask SEC to Require Global Warming Risk Assessments

At a CERES meeting in Boston, the leaders of 13 major public pension funds managing assets of nearly $800 billion called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to require companies to disclose explicitly the financial risks to themselves of global warming in their securities filings.

Renewable Jobs Far Outstrip Fossil Fuel Employment

Investing in renewable energy such as solar, wind and the use of municipal and agricultural waste for fuel would produce more American jobs than a comparable investment in the fossil fuel energy sources in place today, according to a report issued  by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

NGOs Call for End to World Bank Carbon Fund

Eighty environmental and social justice organizations today delivered a letter of protest to the World Bank, calling for the closure of its four year old greenhouse gas reduction mechanism, the Prototype Carbon Fund.

Kofi Annan Urges Kyoto Ratification

The United Nations renewed calls  for Russia to salvage a landmark plan to curb global warming, 10 years after governments agreed to fight a rise in temperatures threatening life on the planet.

Blair Science Adviser Warned To Shun Press

Downing Street tried to muzzle the Government's top scientific adviser after he warned that global warming was a more serious threat than international terrorism. Prime Minister Tony  Blair's  private secretary told Sir David King, the Prime Minister's chief scientist, to limit his contact with the media after he made outspoken comments about President George Bush's policy on climate change.

Russian Scientists Stranded By Arctic Collapse

Russia is preparing to launch an operation to rescue a group of scientists, after the sinking of their North Pole research base. The incident destroyed 90 percent of the base's structures, leaving the scientists huddled in surviving buildings.

Europe's Summer of 2003: Hottest in 500 Years

Last year's deadly summer in Europe probably was the hottest on the continent in at least five centuries, according to researchers who analyzed old records, soil cores and other evidence.

Swiss Re Warns of Climate Catastrophe

The world's second-largest reinsurer Swiss Re warns that the costs of global warming threaten to spiral out of control, forcing the human race into a catastrophe of its own making. Swiss Re said the economic costs of global warming threatened to double to $150 billion a year in 10 years,  or the equivalent of one World Trade Center attack annually. "The human race can lead itself into this climatic catastrophe - or it can avert it."

2003 Insurance Losses Up from Extreme Events

 Natural disasters caused by extreme weather claimed seven times as many victims in 2003 as in the previous year and the trend is set to continue, says Munich Reinsurance, the world's biggest reinsurance company.

Pentagon Plans for Rapid Climate Change Event: Fortune Magazine

Global warming may be bad news for future generations, but let's face it, most of us spend as little time worrying about it as we did about al Qaeda before 9/11. Like the terrorists, though, the seemingly remote climate risk may hit home sooner and harder than we ever imagined. In fact, the prospect has become so real that the Pentagon's strategic planners are grappling with it.

Read the Report: An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security

The purpose of this report is to imagine the unthinkable -- to push the boundaries of current research on climate change so we may better understand the potential implications on United States national security.  We have interviewed leading climate change scientists, conducted additional research, and reviewed several iterations of the scenario with these experts. The scientists support this project, but caution that the scenario depicted is extreme in two fundamental ways.  First, they suggest the occurrences we outline would most likely happen in a few regions, rather than on globally.  Second, they say the magnitude of the event may be considerably smaller.We have created a climate change scenario that although not the most likely, is plausible, and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately.

Blair Science Adviser Blasts Bush on Warming

The chief scientist of the United Kingdom launched a withering attack on President George Bush for failing to tackle climate change, which he says is more serious than terrorism.  Sir David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser, said: "In my view, climate change is the most severe problem that we are facing today, more serious even than the threat of terrorism."

The Weather Channel To Make the Climate Connection

The Weather Channel may soon become the only major media outlet to cover global climate change on a consistent basis. TWC's "Forecast Earth" initiative, which will cover climate change and other environmental issues, is particularly significant because of the station's broad reach. It can be seen in 87 million U.S. households and its Web site attracts 20 million unique users per month.

Bush Voluntary Climate Plan Flops

Two years after President Bush declared he could combat global warming without mandatory controls, the administration has  had little success in recruiting companies to voluntarily curb their greenhouse gas emissions.

World Bank Urged To Stop Funding Oil Projects

The World Bank is considering how to respond to an independent report that recommends the institution phase out investment in oil projects by the end of 2008 because of environmental concerns, a bank official said. The report was commissioned by bank president James Wolfensohn after criticism from the non-governmental community about the bank's work in extractive industries. The study, which also recommends the bank stay out of activities in coal mining, was led by former Indonesian environment minister Emil Salim.

UK Plans 1,000-Turbine Windfarm

Energy companies plan to erect more than 1,000 turbines off England's coast in a $12.4 billion project to build the largest source of wind energy. The wind farms would generate as much as seven gigawatts of electricity  enough to supply four million households, or to meet 7 percent of Britain's energy needs. Britain has pledged that 10 percent of its energy will come from renewable resources by 2010.

Climate Talks End; Future In Question

A U.N. conference on curbing global warming ended Friday with scant progress after 12 days of wrangling about the fine print of the Kyoto global warming protocol, which will collapse if Russia says "No." The 180-nation talks agreed on details of the 1997 U.N. protocol Friday, including a fund to help poor nations adapt to climate change. It also set rules for planting forests to soak up gases blamed for climate change. But overall progress in fighting global warming -- said by many ministers at the talks to be the biggest long-term threat to humanity -- was slim.

Climate Costs rise to $60 Billion in 2003

Climate change may have cost the world over $60 billion in 2003, triggering a spate of natural disasters from a deadly heat wave in Europe to massive flooding in China. The U.N. Environment Program (UNEP) said the cost of natural disasters had risen 10 percent from $55 billion in 2002 and was part of a worrying trend of climate change.

Russia to Kyoto: "Show Me The Money"

Russia's mercurial behavior toward the Kyoto process, far from being a sign of indecisiveness, is an indication of hard-nosed bargaining, with Moscow trying to use its Kyoto vote as a bargaining chip.  Initially, Russia had expected to benefit from the treaty. However, the lack of US participation in the treaty brings down the potential funds available for Russia and so this is being cited as one of the main reasons for its reluctance to ratify the pact.

Russia Threatens To Kill Kyoto Protocol

Confusion grew over Russia's position on the Kyoto protocol  as the Kremlin and the economy ministry clashed over the landmark environmental treaty, which Moscow can effectively veto. Kremlin economic adviser Andrei Illarionov said he had spoken for President Vladimir Putin two days ago in calling the pact unacceptable, but the economy ministry reaffirmed a deputy minister's statement that the government intended to ratify it. Analysts said the conflict meant Putin had not made up his mind over the pact, which aims to cut emissions of the gases that cause global warming, and was unlikely to do so until after presidential elections in March.

Cleaner Drilling Stabilizes Methane Levels

After a 200-year rise driven mainly by human activities, atmospheric levels of methane, the second most important greenhouse gas, have stopped growing, scientists are reporting. Climate experts said the stabilization of methane, though probably temporary, is important evidence that steps to curb emissions could slow global warming even as disputes persist over what to do about carbon dioxide, the dominant greenhouse gas.

Pension Managers Move To Integrate Climate Risks

Officials controlling some of the nation's largest pension funds announced plans  to press regulators, public companies and Wall Street to pay more heed to the potential financial upheaval from climate change. They said that their effort would be coordinated through a new group, the Investor Network on Climate Risk.

ExxonMobil Foresees 50 Percent Increase in CO2 Emissions

Worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide, considered a culprit in global warming, are expected to increase by 3.5 billion tonnes, or 50 percent, annually by the year 2020, an executive for ExxonMobil Corp said.

Experts Warn Against Creating Hydrogen from Fossil Fuels

Carbon emissions created when hydrogen is produced from coal or oil -- rather than water -- virtually neutralizes the clean-energy  value of the fuel, experts say.

Lewis & Clark Meets Kyoto Goals

Portland-based Lewis & Clark College announced it is the first campus in the nation to meet the goals of the Kyoto Protocol -- carbon reductions of 7 percent below 1990 levels.  The student-led initiative was attained through the purchase of offsets which are estimated to cost each student about $10.

States Forge Forward In the Absence of Federal Leadership

Motivated by environmental and economic concerns, states have become the driving force in efforts to combat global warming even as mandatory programs on the federal level have largely stalled. At least half of the states are addressing global warming, whether through legislation, lawsuits against the Bush administration or programs initiated by governors.

Eleven States Sue EPA Over GHGs

Noting that "the United States is already dealing with the harmful effects of global warming," eleven states, the District of Columbia and Samoa have petitioned a federal appeals court to force the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

NASA Finds Startling Changes in the Arctic

Tthe Arctic region is warming up and its sea ice cover is diminishing, with implications for further climate change throughout the globe.  Compared with the 1980s, surface temperatures across most of the Arctic warmed significantly in the last decade, with the biggest temperature increases occurring over North America with the rate of warming  between 1981 and 2001 was eight times the rate of warming over the last 100 years.

Australian Drought Halves Farming Incomes

Australia's  worst drought in a century has throttled agriculture and undermined national wealth.The drought, which has lasted 18 months, slashed farm incomes almost in half, to 7.2 billion Australian dollars ($4.9 billion), in the year ended June 30.

Russia Still Noncommittal about Kyoto

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country remains undecided on whether or not to sign the Kyoto agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions.  Russia's approval is vital for the 1997 pact to acquire the force of international law, after the United States pulled out two years ago. Russia's motives could be brinkmanship - waiting for the best possible financial deal; a response to quiet pressure from the Bush Administration keen to see Kyoto collapse; or the result of in-fighting between various parts of the complex government machine

Chicago Exchange Kicks Off Emissions Trading

One metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions is worth an average 98 cents this year, dropping to an average 84 cents in 2005, according to the first auction of emission allowances announced this week by the new Chicago Climate Exchange. Richard Sandor, the exchange's chairman and chief executive officer, said the auction marked the first multinational, public trading of greenhouse gases.The sealed-bid auction attracted 22 bidders for 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide allowances for 2003, resulting in 20 successful bids.

Three Western Governors Announce Climate Partnership (Sept. 2003)

The governors of three West Coast states have announced a new partnership to begin to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  California Gov. Gray Davis, Washington Gov. Gary Locke and Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski Monday announced that over the next year they will develop a common regional climate policy to include joint state purchases of fuel-efficient vehicles, reduction of diesel emissions, promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and development of a regional greenhouse gas inventory.

100,000 Cases of WNV Seen in US

A nasty three-day bout of fever is turning out to be a surprisingly common symptom of West Nile virus infection and may afflict about 100,000 Americans this year. About 20 percent of people who catch the virus get sick this way, while far smaller numbers -- approximately one in 150 -- get severe neurological symptoms. Most of the roughly 500,000 people expected to catch the virus this year will show no symptoms at all.

EU Begins Planning for a Hydrogen Economy

The European Commission said it would set up an advisory body to help coordinate government, scientific and industry efforts to boost the alternative fuel hydrogen. Commission President Romano Prodi, who has adopted the idea of making the EU a "hydrogen economy" as something of a personal ambition, reaffirmed his commitment to the gas as an emission-free way of powering cars and other machines.


Entergy Blasts Bush Climate Policies

Chastising the White House for not doing enough to combat global warming, Entergy Corp.'s chairman Robert Luft said his company supports a clean air proposal offered by Democrats in Congress as an alternative to President Bush's proposed "Clear Skies" initiative. "How are we ever going to break the cycle of inaction and address this looming climate catastrophe if we don't even have a handle on how big the problem is?"

World Grain Yield Decimated by European Heat Wave

This summer's heatwave has drastically cut harvests across Europe, plunging the world into an unprecedented food crisis, startling new official figures show.The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported a 32-million-ton drop from the July estimate of the the world grain harvest. Prices of wheat, rice, and corn jumped on grain futures markets. This 32-million-ton drop, equal to half the U.S. wheat harvest, was concentrated in Europe where record-high temperatures have withered crops. The affected region stretched from the United Kingdom and France in the west through the Ukraine in the east. The searing heat damaged crops in virtually every country in Europe.

GAO Stonewalled by Cheney Energy Panel

The White House collaborated heavily with corporations in developing President Bush's energy policy but repeatedly refused to give congressional investigators details of the meetings, according to a federal report issued yesterday.

Bush Plan Would Exempt 17,000 Plants from Air Standards

After more than two years of internal deliberation and intense pressure from industry, the Bush administration has settled on a regulation that would allow thousands of older power plants, oil refineries and industrial units to make extensive upgrades without having to install new anti-pollution devices, according to those involved in the deliberations. The new rule would constitute a sweeping and cost-saving victory for industries, exempting more than 17,000 industrial plants and refineries from part of the Clean Air Act.

UK Research Arm: "Kyoto Is Not Enough"

The Kyoto Protocol on cutting greenhouse gas emissions will not stop climate change, a leading think tank has warned. The report from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in the UK, which has close links to the government, comes as some experts cite Britain's heat wave as further evidence of global warming. Even if the Kyoto agreement is fully implemented, greenhouse gas emissions worldwide will still increase by 70%, says the IPPR. The think tank wants a new approach instead of the "horse trading" over emissions allowed under the treaty, which the government stresses is the only agreement in place.

Nukes Touted as "Greenhouse Friendly"

Expanding the production of nuclear power in the United States and around the globe would help reduce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global warming, according to a study released yesterday by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The two-year study, led by former CIA director John Deutch and Ernest J. Moniz, a former undersecretary of energy, recommended  promoting nuclear energy through increased safety, economic incentives, waste management, and better antiproliferation measures.

Ten Northeastern States Set Up Trading Market

Governor Mitt Romney and five other Republican governors this week joined forces to tackle an issue that environmentalists say their fellow Republican, President Bush, has ducked: Curbing carbon dioxide emissions to control global warming. A total of 10 eastern states, convened by New York Governor George E. Pataki, plan to spend two years developing a regional market-based system to limit carbon emissions, in an acknowledgment that global warming is a current problem.

Bush Plan: More Study of Natural Variability, No action

The Bush administration today released a 10 year research strategy for developing knowledge of climate change and its potential impacts on the environment and human lives. The strategic plan builds on the expertise of 13 federal departments and agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Critics say the comprehensive study should not replace action to curb U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases. Many complain it focuses on natural causes of climate change.

EU Sets Emissions Trading System for 2005

The European Council of Ministers have adopted an emissions trading law for the European Union. The new legislation will give carbon dioxide a market value across the European Community from January 2005. Next May 10 new countries will join the 15 current EU member states, and the bloc will extend from Poland in the east to the United Kingdom in the west. 


EPA Drops Reference to Dangers of Climate Change

The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to publish a draft report next week on the state of the environment, but after editing by the White House, a long section describing risks from rising global temperatures has been whittled to a few noncommittal paragraphs. The editing eliminated references to many studies concluding that warming is at least partly caused by rising concentrations of smokestack and tail-pipe emissions and could threaten health and ecosystems.

Hydrogen Leakage Seen as Ozone Threat

Widespread use of the hydrogen fuel cells  might not be as environmentally friendly as many believe. Scientists say the new technology could lead to greater destruction of the ozone layer that protects Earth from cancer-causing ultraviolet rays. Researchers said in a report  that if hydrogen replaced fossil fuels to run everything from cars to power plants, large amounts of hydrogen would drift into the stratosphere as a result of leakage and indirectly cause increased depletion of the ozone.

Industrial Country GHGs seen up 10 percent by 2010

Greenhouse gas emissions from industrialised nations are likely to grow over the next few years, despite international agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol, says a United Nations report. The report  says emissions in industrialised nations are estimated to grow by around 10% by the year 2010.

More than 80 Percent of Americans Want Action on Climate Change

 More than 80 percent of Americans think the United States should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new survey conducted at the University of Oregon. The survey, funded by the National Science Foundation, was completed in February, 2003.

Australia Won't Sign Kyoto Protocol

 Australia, the world's largest coal exporter, reaffirmed its opposition to ratifying the Kyoto treaty on combating climate change, saying it was not in the national interest. "If we sign Kyoto under present conditions we would run the risk of losing investment that would otherwise be in Australia to countries like China and Russia," said Prime Minister John Howard.

ExxonMobil Lags in Climate Policies

Exxon Mobil is the poorest performer among leading world energy producers in responding to global climate change and disclosing greenhouse risks to investors, social investment groups said. They cited the fact that  unlike BP  and Shell,  Exxon Mobil does not support carbon trading,and that unlike ChevronTexaco and Shell, Exxon does not participate in carbon pricing, which factors in the cost of carbon emissions when deciding whether to go ahead with projects.

Swiss Re Factors GHG Policies into Liability Coverage (May, 2003)

With all the talk of potential shareholder lawsuits against industrial emitters of so-called greenhouse gases, Zurich-based insurance powerhouse Swiss Re is considering denying coverage, starting with directors-and-officers liability policies, to companies it decides aren't doing enough to reduce their output of the gases.

German Navy Launches Fuel-Cell Submarine (April, 2003)

The first fuel cell-powered submarine began its maiden voyage this week after decades of development, weaving silently between passenger ferries and freight ships in the northern port of Kiel before heading out into the Baltic Sea.

Mayan Civilization Doomed by Prolongued Drought

A century-long dry trend may have been the killing blow in the demise of the Mayan civilization that once built pyramids and elaborate cities in Mexico.

NRC Faults Bush Research Agenda

A panel of experts has strongly criticized the Bush administration's proposed research plan on the risks of global warming, saying that it "lacks most of the elements of a strategic plan" and that its goals cannot be achieved without far more money than the White House has sought for climate research. The 17 experts, in a report issued yesterday, said that without substantial changes, the administration's plan would be unlikely to accomplish the aim laid out by President Bush in several speeches: to help decision makers and the public determine how serious the problem is so that they can make clear choices about how to deal with it.

Blair Announces 60 Percent Cuts by 2050

Tony Blair tomorrow will announce plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions in Britain by 60 per cent by 2050. Blair will pledge the investment of more than £350 million in the research and development of renewable forms of energy, including wind, wave, solar and tidal power. He will also call on the leading industrialised nations to forge a "new covenant" to protect the environment from climate change.

Warming Pushes Tropopause Higher

Weather balloons and weather forecast models show that there has been a pronounced increase in the height of the global tropopause over the last two decades. This increase is due to two factors: warming of troposphere, which is caused by increasing greenhouse gases, and cooling of the stratosphere, which is mainly caused by depletion of stratospheric ozone. Tropopause height changes provides independent evidence of the reality of recent warming of the troposphere.

Bush Hydrogen Plan Based on Fossil Fuels

In his State of the Union address last week, President Bush seemed to embrace the holy grail of the environmental movement: a push to the so-called hydrogen economy. But acccording to the Energy Department, 96 percent of hydrogen produced in the world today comes from natural gas, oil and coal -- rather than solar and wind enegy -- the same fossil fuels that environmentalists would like to abandon. These industries are not only poised to become the main producers of hydrogen, but they are also likely to control the networks that distribute it.

Bush Proposes $1.2 billion for Fuel Cell Car Research

President George W. Bush used his State of the Union Address to propose $1.2 billion in research funding to develop hydrogen fuel technologies. With those funds, "America can lead the world in developing clean, hydrogen powered automobiles," he said. The President's first State of the Union speech to mention the environment focused on his goal of promoting energy independence for the country, while "dramatically improving" the environment. Environmentalists called the investment "too modest" to be effective.

Lomborg Deemed "Scientifically Dishonest"

A branch of the Danish Research Agency has concluded that Prof. Bjorn Lomborg, an author whose upbeat analysis of environmental trends has been embraced by conservatives, displayed "scientific dishonesty" in his popular book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist."

Bush Pushes Voluntary Actions by Industry

In an aggressive effort to show that President Bush's voluntary climate strategy can work, senior administration officials are collecting written promises from industries to curb emissions of gases linked to global warming. The administration and industry leaders plan to unveil a broad array of pledges at the White House on Feb. 6.

McCain-Liberman Bill Would Cut GHG Emissions
A bipartisan bill introduced in the U.S. Senate on Jan. 8 would attempt to curb global warming by establishing a market based trading system in greenhouse gas emissions. The bill was met with rousing endorsements from the conservation community. Senators Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat, and John McCain, an Arizona Republican, said their bill would spur innovation by giving companies maximum flexibility in meeting national greenhouse gas emissions goals.

Canada Ratifies Kyoto Protocol

The Parliament of Canada voted today to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, bringing the treaty to limit greenhouse gases one step closer to entry into force. Environmentalists cheered the vote, but industry remains opposed to the binding emissions limits.

EU Approves Formal Trading Market
BRUSSELS, Belgium - European Union environment ministers agreed Monday to establish the world's largest market for trading greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to reduce global warming. EU officials said the accord was vital for the bloc's commitment to reduce gases blamed for global warming under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Climate Change Could Prompt More Terrorism

Climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions will exacerbate world poverty and could make millions of people more open to extremism, the chief of the United Nations' climate advisory body said. Rajendra Pachauri told Reuters the effects of climate change were likely to affect the developing world disproportionately and make the poor even poorer and more bitter.

Offshore Windfarms Booming off Europe . . .

Across wind-swept Northern Europe, hundreds of high-powered turbines are being planned or are under construction offshore, beyond the easy reach of engineers. ciation. Power companies are staking out suitable tracts of sandbanks, reefs and shallow open waters from the shores of Ireland to the Baltic Sea. They are joining with traditional offshore oil and gas companies, including giants like Shell, that have the capability to drill and rig up the 100-ton towers at sea.

. . . while US Renewable Use Drops to Lowest Level in 12 years

In the U.S., consumption of renewable energy fell 12 percent to what the department said was the lowest level in more than 12 years, accounting for only 6 percent of the energy consumed in the country in 2001.

Scientists Dispute Bush's Inaction in Favor of More Research

President Bush has called for a decade of research before anything beyond voluntary measures is used to stem tailpipe and smokestack emissions of heat-trapping gases that scientists say are contributing to global warming. But many climate experts say talking about more research will simply delay decisions that need to be made now to avert serious harm from global warming.

Industry Applauds Bush's Demand for Years of More Climate Research

The Bush administration, saying there are still many uncertainties about threats posed by human-caused climate change, has outlined a broad, years-long research agenda on global warming. The proposal was lauded by industry officials and some scientists who have long questioned the mainstream view that global warming is mainly caused by people and poses big risks. But many climate experts said the proposal mainly rehashed issues most scientists consider settled.

Honda, Toyota Try Fuel Cell Cars in California

California, home to the nation's toughest smog-limiting laws, this week became a proving ground for the first commercial cars to run on pollution-free fuel cells. Japan's top two automakers - Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. - delivered a handful of market-ready models employing fuel cells, which emit only water vapor, in California as well as Japan.

Toyota Puts Fuel Cell Cars On Streets of Tokyo

TOKYO - It sounds too good to be true: a car that runs on an inexhaustible power source and doesn't harm the environment. But that's exactly what two Japanese automakers put on the road yesterday, with the launch of the world's first fuel cell cars. Toyota Motor and Honda Motor are leasing a handful of the cars to the Japanese government and several public establishments in the United States in an experimental programme that marks the biggest step yet towards the mass marketing of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

Bush Administration Guts Clean Air Rules

The Bush administration relaxed clean air rules that limit emissions from utilities, refineries, and manufacturers, and mandate when they must upgrade pollution control equipment. The administration also proposed additional rule changes that, if adopted, would further ease federal restrictions on the largest polluters.

BP drops ANWRA Drilling Bid

BP,the world's third-largest oil company, has pulled out of a major lobbying group that is spearheading the campaign to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil drilling, a company spokesman said yesterday. BP's decision to drop out of the drilling debate underscores the growing concern among many oil companies that the matter has become a public relations liability, both critics and supporters of oil production in the refuge said.

States Take the Lead in Fighting Climate Change

With the Bush administration and Congress deadlocked over how best to combat the mounting threat of global warming, state officials across the country are taking matters into their own hands.

COP8: Climate Talks Flame Out

The global climate is changing in big ways, probably because of human actions, and it is time to focus on adapting to the impacts instead of just fighting to limit the warming. That, in a nutshell, was the idea that dominated the latest round of international climate talks, which ended on Friday in New Delhi. The previous focus of environmental activists, industry lobbyists and government officials had been the fight over whether to cut smokestack and tailpipe emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Many environmentalists had long avoided discussing adaptation for fear it would smack of defeatism. Experts espousing the views of industry were thrilled with the shift in New Delhi.

Experts Urge Crash Program To Develop Renewables

Meeting the world's rising energy needs without increasing global warming will require a research effort as ambitious as the Apollo project to put a man on the moon, a diverse group of scientists and engineers is reporting today.To supply energy needs 50 years from now without further influencing the climate, up to three times the total amount of energy now generated using coal, oil, and other fossil fuels will have to be produced using methods that generate no heat-trapping greenhouse gases, the scientists said. In addition, they said, the use of fossil fuels will have to decline, and to achieve these goals research will have to begin immediately.

Munich Re Foresees $70 Billion in Climate Losses in 2002

The final bill for this year's natural disasters could be over US$70 billion, according to financial experts at Munich Re, one of the world's largest re-insurance firms. Their analysis found that natural catastrophes, most of which have been weather related, have cost countries and communities an estimated $56 billion during the period January to September 2002.

Health Commissioners Warn of Warming-Driven Illnesses
From cities as disparate as Miami and Seattle, public health commissioners gathered yesterday to better understand - and better combat - environmental changes that have contributed to outbreaks of disease. Their goal is to demonstrate how seemingly remote issues, such as global warming and ground-level ozone levels, can relate to a child's asthma or a next-door neighbor's infection with West Nile virus.

UNFCCC Chief Elyazghi Warns of Climate Crisis

Weather catastrophes around the world show there is little doubt the Earth's climate is changing, the outgoing head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change warned Wednesday. The Earth is facing a "worrisome situation, with catastrophes occurring daily, causing enormous damage and making climate change an undeniable reality," said Mohamed Elyazghi of Morocco, the outgoing president of the U.N. Convention, at a conference aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and curb global warming.

US Pullout Forces Kyoto Talks To Focus on Adaptation

The latest round of international talks on global warming has delegates focused more on ways to adapt to changes than on cutting emissions of greenhouse gases. The shift in focus is to some extent motivated by the Bush administration's rejection of the Kyoto Protocol. Without the United States, the world's largest producer of greenhouse gases, the Kyoto treaty is so weak, experts and government officials say, that it may have little effect. Others say the treaty has in any case been so watered down through years of negotiations that it is likely to be of limited benefit.

Climate Damages of $150 Billion Per Year Foreseen Within Decade

More frequent and more devastating storms caused by climate change could cost $150 billion a year within the next ten years, possibly bankrupting financial services firms, a United Nations-backed report warned yesterday. "The increasing frequency of severe climatic events...has the potential to stress insurers, reinsurers and banks to the point of impaired viability or even insolvency," the report said.

ExxonMobil Changes its Public Rhetoric on Climate Change . . .

In a change in its public rhetoric, ExxonMobil has for the first time conceded that "The risk of climate change and its potential impacts on society and the ecosystem are widely recognized." In an advertisement on the op-ed page of the New York Times (Oct. 4, 2002), the company declared: "Doing nothing is neither prudent nor responsible…" This ad differs markedly from previous ExxonMobil statements on climate change.

. . . But Not Its Position

From an interview with Lee Raymond, CEO of ExxonMobil, Chief Executive Magazine (Oct. 2002)In early November, ExxonMobil announced plans to invest $100 billion on prospecting, drilling and oil production projects.(Nov. 2002)

Louisiana Town Victimized By West Nile Virus

If the West Nile virus works like a tornado, this little area of southeastern Louisiana has been the hardest hit in the country -- with 11 verified cases, none fatal, among a rural population of 22,000. Nationwide, it has been a frightening summer for West Nile. The death toll stood at 89 today, with 1,852 verified cases. The virus has spread to 42 states, with Illinois leading the nation in deaths.

Russia Tells WSSD It Will Ratify Kyoto Protocol

Russia announced it would ratify the Kyoto Protocol, joining China and Canada in assuring enough signatories to make the treaty binding for most of the world and prompting more criticism of the United States for opposing it.

US Blocks Clean Energy Plan at WSSD

The United States, in partnership with Venezuela and Saudi Arabia, pushed through a final deal on sustainable energy last night that preserves the primacy of fossil fuels and blocks time-based international commitments to develop renewable energy sources in poor countries.

Pacific Island Nations Consider Suit Against U.S., Australia

Pacific island nations, most at risk of sinking beneath rising sea levels, chided the United States yesterday for not signing the Kyoto Protocol and urged Australia to do more to cut greenhouse gas emissions.Six island states met at the start of the annual Pacific Islands Forum and expressed their grave concern about climate change. In March, the head of Tuvalu said that island nation might sue the United States and its climate policy sidekick Australia over their failure to ratify the Kyoto protocol.

FOE, Greenpeace, Boulder Sue Development Agencies

Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the City of Boulder, Colorado filed a lawsuit on Aug. 27, 2002 against the Export Import Bank (ExIm) and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). The action alleges that OPIC and Ex-Im illegally provided over $32 billion in financing and insurance for oil fields, pipelines and coal-fired power plants over the past ten years without assessing their contribution to global warming and their impact on the U.S. environment as required under key provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Insurers Complain They Were Locked out of WSSD

Carlos Joly, head of the insurance industry's environmental initiative, said the industry had been frozen out of the Earth Summit and called for tougher measures against climate changes which risk costing insurers billions of dollars. Carlos said politicians had not listened to proposals from the world's biggest insurers, adding political leaders lacked the courage to compel companies to clean up their operations, leaving insurers exposed to the devastating storms which some believe are increasingly common because of rising levels of greenhouse gases.

Asia Haze Impacting Local Climate

The ''Asian Brown Cloud,'' a 2-mile-thick blanket of pollution over South Asia, may be causing the premature deaths of a half-million people in India each year, deadly flooding in some areas, and drought in others, according to one of the biggest scientific studies ever of the phenomenon.

Grasshoppers, Drought Threaten Canadian Grain Supplies

Sweltering under soaring temperatures and pestered by swarms of grasshoppers, many farmers on Canada's Prairies are conceding defeat as acres of anxiety rather than fields of grain thrive on their parched land. Instead of the lush pastures and crops that turn the Canadian plains into a verdant patchwork, vast areas of north and central Saskatchewan as well as eastern and central Alberta are dry and dusty, unable to sustain farmers or their livestock.

Jeffords: Bush To Block Climate Talks at Summit

When global leaders gather next month at an environmental summit in Johannesburg, the Bush administration will try to block discussion about heat-trapping gases blamed for global warming, said Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) the head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

California Takes Giant Step Toward Clean Cars
California has enacted legislation that for the first time will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases coming from all passenger vehicles sold in the state, even the beloved SUV, in a move that could change the kinds of cars Americans drive in coming years. The new law, to be signed July 22, is the first in the United States to directly affect consumers and to enlist American drivers in reducing the potential of global warming.

Eleven Attorneys General Demand Action From Bush

Attorneys general from 11 states sent a letter yesterday to President Bush calling on him to end the administration's ''regulatory void'' and address the growing threat of global warming. The letter from the 11 Democrats criticizes the Republican president for failing to set a national policy to curb carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and power plants that contribute to global warming.

Australia Shuns Kyoto Protocol
Australia, the world's largest coal exporter, will not ratify the Kyoto climate change treaty aimed at cutting greenhouse gase emissions, Prime Minister John Howard said yesterday. Australia's rejection of the Kyoto treaty come a day after Japan ratified the treaty and urged nations like Russia and the United States, the world's biggest polluter, to sign up.

76 Percent of Voters Want Mandatory GHG Cuts

Three-fourths of voters surveyed want the U.S. government to require power plants and industry to cut emissions linked to global warming, and not rely on voluntary cuts endorsed by the White House, according to a poll released by the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Senator: "Climate Change Hits Alaska Hardest"

To live in Alaska when the average temperature has risen about seven degrees over the last 30 years means learning to cope with a landscape that can sink, catch fire or break apart in the turn of a season. It means high water eating away so many houses and buildings that people will vote next month on moving an entire village inland. It means coping with mosquitoes in a place where they once were nonexistent, and rescuing hunters trapped on breakaway ice at a time of year when such things once were unheard of.

EU, Japan Ratify Kyoto Protocol

All 15 European Union nations on Friday ratified the Kyoto Protocol intended to combat global warming and the EU used the occasion to goad Washington -- which has turned its back on the treaty -- to do its part. They were joined the following day by Japan. The protocol requires industrialized countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 5 percent over the period 2008-2012. Both the European Union and the United States -- the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases -- are parties to the framework convention, but President Bush shunned the treaty, saying it would hurt the U.S. economy.

Bush on Climate Impacts:

In a stark shift for the Bush administration, the the administration mostly blames human actions for recent global warming. But while the report says the United States will be substantially changed in the next few decades it does not propose any major shift in the administration's policy on greenhouse gases.It recommends adapting to inevitable changes.

Inuit Bear Witness to Dramatic Climate Changes

There is increasing evidence that the Arctic, this desert of snow, ice and killing cold wind, one of the most hostile and fragile places on Earth, is thawing. Glaciers are receding. Coastlines are eroding. Lakes are disappearing. Fall freezes are coming later. The winters are not as cold. Mosquitoes and beetles never seen before are appearing. Thunderstorms roll where it was once too cold for them.

Pachauri Sets Tone With Strong Warning About Climate Impacts

Two days after his election to head the IPCC, Indian energy economist Rajendra Pachauri made clear his strong concerns about climate change, particularly as it affects small island nations and food crops in the world's tropical areas.

Bush Adviser: No US Kyoto Role for 10 Years

The United States has ruled out any possibility of taking part in the Kyoto treaty to reduce greenhouse gases for at least another 10 years, its senior climate negotiator said yesterday.Even though the Kyoto agreement is due to be renegotiated in 2005, America will take no part in those talks and is unlikely to have anything to do with the treaty before 2012, said Harlan Watson, one of President George Bush's most trusted advisers.

Hadley Center: Rate of Warming is Accelerating

Planet earth is warming up faster than previously expected. Dying forests, expanding deserts and rising sea levels would wreak havoc to human and animal lives sooner than anticipated as global warming was accelerating, said Geoff Jenkins, head of the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research.

Watson Out as IPCC Chair Following ExxonMobil Memo to Bush
Dr. Robert Watson, the outspoken chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), was ousted with American support but against European wishes. In a secret ballot of 125 governments, 61 percent voted against Dr. Watson and for Indian engineer economist Rajendra Pachauri, currently the IPCC's vice chairman.

Weather Extremes Fuel Food Crisis in Southern Africa

Southern Africa's worst food shortage in a decade is spreading and more than five million people across the region may now need help. Erratic weather for the last few years, marked by alternating periods of flooding and drought, has laid the foundations for the current crisis in what are already some of the world's poorest countries.

NRDC: ExxonMobil Behind Watson's Ouster

The Bush administration this week moved to oust the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, who had been targeted by ExxonMobil in a confidential memo to the White House. Papers released by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) reflects a brazen, behind-the-scenes effort by ExxonMobil and other energy giants to oust Dr. Robert Watson, head of the IPCC. The administration is opposing Watson's appointment to a second term as IPCC chair.

G-8 Ministers Slam U.S. Kyoto Withdrawal

European environment ministers slammed U.S. rejection of the Kyoto Protocol and its policies on greenhouse gas emissions Sunday, (April 14) calling them political maneuvers to preserve the energy-burning American lifestyle that have nothing to do with economics.

Antarctic Disintegrations Alarm Scientists

The Antarctic Peninsula ice shelves are cracking up and, on the face of things, it is the most serious thaw since the end of the last ice age 12,000 years ago. The break-up of the ice shelves in itself is a natural process of renewal, but the size and rate of production of icebergs -- some the size of major cities -- is alarming scientists, some of whom blame global warming.

Bush Climate Plan: Business As Usual

President Bush's alternative to the Kyoto agreement offers businesses incentives to voluntarily reduce the rate of growth of greenhouse gas emissions over 10 years and sets mandatory targets for businesses to reduce power plant emissions by 70 percent by 2018. Under the plan, emissions will continue to grow but at a lower rate. The president's plan is dramatically lower than the estimated 33 percent reduction that the Kyoto agreement sought for the United States, the world's largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions.

Scientists: Press Mangled Antarctic Climate Findings

Scientists say press coverage of recent findings about the regional warming in West Antarctica highlights "carelessness" of media treatment of climate science.

Lewis & Clark Students Raise Fees to Meet Kyoto Goals

The undergraduate students of Lewis & Clark College have approved an increase in student fees to fight global warming. The fee hike will raise enough money to allow the college to meet the specifications of the Kyoto Protocol.

RIP: Global Climate Coalition

The Global Climate Coalition, which represented U.S. industry groups opposed to implementing mandatory greenhouse gas emission reductions, has been dissolved. "We have achieved what we wanted to accomplish with the Kyoto Protocol," said a spokesman. The coalition had been the most active U.S. industry voice opposing U.S. involvement in the global treaty to curb greenhouse gases.

In Memoriam: Anil Agarwal

While diplomats and lobbyists continue to ignore the oncoming disintegration of the global community from escalating climate change with endless evasive games, Anil Agarwal represented the humanity's conscience.

2001 Disaster Casualties Double Previous Year

Natural disasters caused at least 25,000 deaths worldwide in 2001, more than double the previous year, the world's largest reinsurer said on Friday. Putting total economic losses at $36 billion, Munich Re said catastrophes related to extreme weather were a result of continued global climate change. It said the 2001 figures compared with 10,000 deaths the previous year and losses of around $30 billion.

Delegates Approve Kyoto Rules

International delegates agreed on Nov. 10, 2001 to the first-ever rules aimed at stopping global warming -- a pact the United States, the world's biggest polluter, has rejected.Negotiators meeting in Marrakech, Morocco emerged from more than 19 hours of haggling behind closed doors early Saturday and said they had smoothed over differences in how to enforce the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which calls for cuts in carbon dioxide and other "greenhouse gases" suspected in global warming.

Study: Clean Energy Move Could Generate 1 Million U.S. Jobs

A new World Wildlife Fund study, done with the Tellus Institute, indicates that energy efficiency policies and development of renewable energy resources could result in 750,000 new jobs nationwide over the next nine years and 1.3 million new jobs by 2020. According to the study "Clean Energy: Jobs for America's FutureClean Energy: Jobs for America's Future" the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) would also increase by $23 billion by 2010 and continue to grow under such conditions. The net increase in U.S. GDP would be $43.9 billion by 2020.

Melting Permafrost Unearths Sacred Graves

HERSCHEL ISLAND, Yukon --Here on Herschel Island, a windy mound of land off the northwestern tip of Canada, graves are pushing up from the ground as the ice within the carpet of permafrost melts...Said one researcher: "We all know one way or another it is connected to global warming. You can see it happening on a day-to-day basis."

Climate Shifts Shaped Anasazi Culture

Using mineral bands in stalagmites from New Mexican caves to track climate change over the past 4,000 years, scientists have found that wet and dry periods helped drive major cultural shifts among ancient people in the American Southwest. Agricultural advances, such as the introduction of corn and cotton in the region, the debut of ceramics and the abandonment of the famed pueblo cliff dwellings, all correlate closely to changes in climate.

Insurers See Soaring Climate-Driven Losses

Global warming will cause a massive increase in weather-related disasters such as hurricanes in coming decades, major insurance companies said yesterday. Big insurers and banks like Swiss Re, Munich Re and UBS told delegates at a United Nations climate change conference yesterday that they had already seen a huge increase in the number of floods and hurricanes.

Tourism, World's Largest Industry, Feels Threat of Climate Change

Climate-related changes could have a huge impact on many sectors of the travel and tourism business. That industry is now the world's largest, accounting for 11 percent of the world's gross economic product in 1999, with $3.5 billion in direct and indirect receipts, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), an industry trade association based in London. "Tourism is an industry harmed by any harm to the environment. Period," says Bill Maloney, executive vice president of the American Society of Travel Agents in Alexandria. "Global warming is definitely on our radar screen of concerns."

Sierra Club Challenges William C. Ford

As chairman of the Ford Motor Company, William Clay Ford Jr. said all the right things about the environment. As its new chief executive officer, he'll have the power to put his words into action. His challenge is to prove that an enlightened executive can turn Ford into a responsible corporate citizen.

U.S. Wind Cheaper Than Coal

The U.S. should make a large investment in wind farming to help meet the nation's electricity needs and address global warming, two energy experts from Stanford's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering have concluded. They note that wind power is an abundant, clean and affordable alternative to coal and other fossil fuels.

US Fresh Water Stocks Depleted By Warming

This year, with shortages appearing in places that have never doubted the future of their supply, many parts of the country have discovered water may indeed be a commodity more precious than oil...Global warming, which has been blamed for increased evaporation rates of surface water and low mountain snowpack that feeds major rivers like the Colorado and the Columbia, is cited by many scientists as the biggest single culprit in some of the emerging water shortages.

Firms Lobby White House To Impose Cuts

With President Bush continuing to oppose international or domestic restriction on gases linked to global warming, among the losers are energy companies that favor government action and have already spent millions on voluntary efforts to cut emissions.

CDC Foresees Increase in WNV

West Nile virus is spreading and could soon jump to other parts of the country. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the virus, which can cause deadly encephalitis or meningitis in birds, humans and other mammals, was turning up at levels double those found in bird populations last year.

Congress Moves Toward Emission-Cutting Laws

Even as EPA Administrator Christie Whitman announced the U.S. would "do its own thing" on global warming, Congressional opponents vowed to pass emissions-reducting legislation.

178 Nations Pass Weakened Kyoto Pact Without U.S.

With the Bush administration on the sidelines, the world's leading countries hammered out a compromise agreement today finishing a treaty that for the first time would formally require industrialized countries to cut emissions of gases linked to global warming.The agreement, approved by 178 countries after three days of marathon bargaining, rescued the Kyoto Protocol, the preliminary accord framed in Japan in 1997, that was the first step toward requiring cuts in such gases.

Businesses Begin To Prepare for Changing Climate

While the Bush administration debates whether man-made pollution causes global warming many industries are trying to cope with the realities of extreme weather.

E.U. to Pursue Kyoto Without U.S.

As tens of thousands of demonstrators marched toward the center of Genoa and occasionally clashed with the police, the United States' leading allies told President Bush today that they intended to move ahead and ratify the Kyoto Protocol on global warming by next year, even without American participation.

POLL: Americans Favor Conservation, Higher Energy Prices

A majority of Americans favor conservation over more oil and coal production and would be willing to pay higher energy prices to protect the environment, according to a New York Times / CBS News poll.

China Cuts Emissions Dramatically Since mid-1990s

China's emissions of carbon dioxide have shrunk by 17 percent since the mid-1990's, while its economy grew by 36 percent.

Shell Doubles Renewable Investment to $1 Billion

Royal Dutch/Shell yesterday said it would renew its renewable energy investment programme with a further $500 million to $1 billion spend earmarked for the next five years. The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas giant's existing five year $500 million spending plan is due to end in autumn 2002.

Bush Energy Plan Focuses On Coal, Oil, Nukes

President Bush laid out his long-awaited energy plan, proposing looser regulations on oil and gas exploration, conservation-minded efforts like a review of gas mileage standards and a $4 billion tax credit for a new generation of highly fuel efficient cars. And he urged a reconsideration of a quarter-century ban on the reprocessing of nuclear fuel.

Catholic Bishops Call on US to Act on Climate Change

America's Roman Catholic bishops voted unanimously to issue a statement calling for immediate action to mitigate the effects of global climate change. "Historically, the industrialized countries have emitted more greenhouse gases that warm the climate than have the developing countries. ffluent nations such as our own have to acknowledge the impact of voracious consumerism instead of simply calling for population and emissions controls from people in poorer nations."

Ford Calls Climate Change Biggest Corporate Challenge

Ford Motor Co. said yesterday the fight against global warming is its single biggest corporate challenge. "There will be many ways to judge Ford in this first decade of the 21st century, many measures of success," Ford said in its second annual so-called "corporate citizenship" report. "None will be greater than our response to the issue of climate change."

Poll: Environment Trumps Economy

Americans are growing increasingly concerned about the environment and believe that protecting it should take precedence over economic development, according to a Los Angeles Times poll. The nationwide survey found strong sentiment that pollution is getting worse and that President Bush is on the wrong track on issues such as global warming, wilderness protection, and allowable levels of arsenic in drinking water.

Bush Scraps AC Efficiency Standards Despite Pleas from Manufacturer

The Bush administration is reversing new efficiency standards for central air conditioners, despite pleas from the nation's second biggest producer. Analysts said the energy loss could require construction of 30 to 50 new generating plants.

EIA: Emissions to Double by 2020, Renewables Lose Ground

Worldwide energy consumption will grow by 59 percent over the next 20 years, according to an annual forecast released today by the U.S. Department of Energy. Carbon dioxide emissions linked to global climate change are expected to nearly double by the year 2020.

Bush Pulls U.S. Out of Kyoto Talks

The White House said yesterday the United States had effectively abandoned the 1997 Kyoto treaty to fight global warming, seen in Europe as central to U.S.-EU relations. "The president has been unequivocal. He does not support the Kyoto treaty," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters. "It is not in the United States' economic best interest," he said.

Bush Reneges on Vow To Cut CO2 from Power Plants

Four days after he vowed to cut CO2 emissions from power plants, President Bush, under pressure from coal interests, reversed that campaign pledge and said his administration would not seek to regulate emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide.

Bush Reversal Outrages Europeans

The European Union has told President George W. Bush a global strategy to tackle climate change is an integral part of relations with the United States. In a letter to the White House, the EU urged Bush to show "political courage" in addressing increasing climatic instability and stressed the importance of pushing ahead with the Kyoto Protocol.

UN Forecasts Food Shortages from Climate Impacts

The effects of climate change - flooding, desertification and drought - are increasingly being felt by the world's agricultural sector, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization. The Agency urged governments to prepare for more weather extremes to avoid potential food shortages in the future.

Early Civilizations Casualties of Rapid Climate Change

The collapses of several early societies occurred quite suddenly. New evidence indicates climatic events, which occurred abruptly, were highly disruptive, leading to societal collapse. (Jan. 2001)

Climate Impacts Could Cost $300 Billion A Year

One of the world's largest insurers warns climate change could cost the world more than $300 billion dollars each year in damages. (Feb. 2001)

Warming is Intensifying El Ninos

El Niño and La Niña have almost never before reached the sustained intensity of the late 20th century, suggesting that more warming will intensify the the ENSO cycles and generate more destructive weather.(Jan. 2001)

Extreme Weather Causes Record US Flight Delays

The FAA announced that 2000 set a new record for flight delays and cancellations, and extreme weather was blamed for a majority of them. (Feb. 2001)

Ford Sees End of Internal Combustion Engine

The "100-year reign" of the internal combustion engine is coming to an end, according to Ford ChairmanBill Ford, who said it will soon be by hydrogen fuel cells which emits no pollution and can reduce the build-up of greenhouse gases causing climate change. (Oct. 2000)

Britain Inundated by Record Flooding

The worst flood on record prompts U.K.'s Tony Blair to call on the world to deal with climate change. (Nov. 2000)

CEOs: Climate Change Biggest Threat Facing Humanity

The greatest challenge facing the world at the beginning of the century, according to hundreds of business and government leaders at the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, is climate change. (Feb. 2000)

IPCC: Climate Changing Faster Than Projected

The IPCC predicts brutal droughts, floods and violent storms across the planet over the next century because surface temperatures, which are rising faster than anticipated, could increase as much as 10.4 degrees in this century. (Jan. 2001)

Climate Changing 50% Faster than Previously Thought

Global warming is likely to take place 50 per cent faster and result in much more damage than previously thought, according to new computer predictions by British scientists. (Nov. 2000)

Warming Could Bankrupt Global Economy in 65 Years

CGNU, the world's sixth largest insurance company, has warned that damage to property, crops and infrastructures from global warming could bankrupt the global economy by 2065.(Nov. 2000)