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Reactor at Qinshan: many experts doubt nuclear power can make a significant contribution to China's future electricity needs. Photo: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited via Wikimedia Commons.

COP21 leaves nuclear dream adrift

Paul Brown

1st January 2015

Charlatans, or planetary saviours? Post-Paris views on the nuclear industry suggest few experts believe it will bring closer a world rid of fossil fuels, writes Paul Brown. Despite the best efforts of nuclear lobbyists, no revival is due any time soon. more...
Drawing in the catch. Photo: Lummi Island Wild.

Sustainable fishing: sockeye salmon and Native American nets in the Pacific Northwest

Kevin Bailey

3rd January 2015

A salmon fishing cooperative in the Pacific Northwest draws on indigenous practices and state of the art technology to be among the world's most sustainable and selective fisheries, writes Kevin Bailey. With its clean harvesting techniques, minmimal bycatch, 99% survival rates for released fish, renewable energy supply and efficient supply chain, it sets a standard for all to follow. more...
It's not just the climate: the Belyando River, which drains much of the Galilee Basin, will never be the same again if the water-guzzling coal mining goes ahead. Photo: Lock the Gate Alliance via Flickr (CC BY).

After COP21, Australia's moment in history: will it ban the Carmichael coal mine?

Justine Bell, The University of Queensland

18th December 2015

The Paris Agreement is facing its first big test in Queensland, Australia, writes Justine Bell. After a long process beset by legal challenges, the massive Carmichael coal mine is inching closer to approval - which would open up the entire 250,000 sq.km Galilee basin and its 28 billion tonnes of coal to exploitation. Both state and federal governments have the power to ban it. But will they? more...
Francois Hollande, Barack Obama et Ban Ki-moon at COP21. Photo: Benjamin Géminel / COP PARIS via Flickr (Public Domain).

Obama's Paris climate pledges are legally durable - up to a point

Robert Percival, University of Maryland

17th December 2015

President Obama believes he can keep the promises he made on behalf of the USA at COP21, writes Robert Percival. And he's right - with or without the approval of Congress. But ultimately, it's up to US electors to maintain the political momentum for climate action. A future administration could put all his policies into reverse - no matter how foolish that would be. more...
'Stop nuclear energy! - demonstration on the Champs de Mars, Paris, in front of the Eiffel Tower. Photo: GLOBAL 2000 via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Nuclear lobbyists' epic COP21 fail. Our next job? Keep their hands off climate funds

Jim Green

16th December 2015

The nuclear industry has had a disappointing COP21, writes Jim Green. Lobbyists were there en masse desperately trying to get pro-nuclear wording into the Paris Agreement, and they failed. The word does not occur even once in the entire document. But we must prepare for the next battle: keeping nuclear power out of the $100 billion a year Green Climate Fund. more...
Medway floods 2014 - just the place for a new London overflow commuter town. Photo: A Walk Around Britain via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Government planning thousands of new homes for flood zones

Maeve McClenaghan / Greenpeace Energydesk

8th January 2015

9,000 new homes in the 'fast track' housing development zones created by the UK government are in areas of flood risk, making them potentially uninhabitable and uninsurable, according to a Greenpeace investigation - and that's before accounting for the increased flood risk from by climate change. Meanwhile future levels of funding for flood control are looking highly uncertain. more...
Greenpeace executive director Kumi Naidoo at COP21, 9th December 2015. Photo: UNclimatechange via Flickr (CC BY).

Kumi Naidoo: let the youth be our climate leaders!

Pavlos Georgiadis

18th December 2015

With COP21 out of the way there is absolutely no time to lose, Greenpeace director Kumi Naidoo told Pavlos Georgiadis: 'Because by tomorrow, there might be no tomorrow.' We need substantial, structural, systemic change - and this change can only be led by the youth, who are not infected by the political pollution of the past. And whose future is it anyway? more...
The La Rance tidal power station near Saint-Malo in France has been producing an average 62MW of power since 1966. Photo: Stephanemartin via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA).

Finally, Amber Rudd must drop her nuclear obsession

Paul Flynn MP

16th December 2015

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd's plan to deliver the UK's emissions reductions promised in COP21 rely on nuclear power as the main 'low carbon' energy source, writes Paul Flynn. But the high cost of nuclear, and the ruinous track record of current technologies, show that this path leads only to massive failure at public expense. more...
Forest-based offsets are intended to save carbon-rich forests like these. But sadly, they can equally reward people for destroying them to create palm oil plantations. Photo: Shannan Mortimer via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Carbon trading in Paris Agreement has set us up for failure

Steffen Böhm, University of Essex

15th December 2015

Hidden away in the pages of UN-speak that make up the Paris Agreement are the makings of global carbon market in which a host of exotic emissions derivatives can be freely traded, writes Steffen Böhm. And it's all going to be a huge and expensive distraction from the real and urgent task of cutting emissions. more...
Transmission lines across the Ohio River. Photo: Iris Shreve Garrott via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Fossil fuel credit ratings unmoved by Paris Agreement

The Ecologist

14th December 2015

The impact of the Paris Agreement on leading rating agency Moody's assessment of the world's fossil fuel companies is ... nothing at all. The one change is in Europe, where thermal generators have a worsening outlook, and renewables are 'credit positive'. more...
While negotiators were reaching their agreement at COP21 in Paris, members of the Upton Community Protection Camp were defending the UK from fracking. They still are. And the fight continues. Photo: Upton Community Protection Camp via Facebook.

Paris Agreement: the future is in our hands

Natalie Bennett

14th December 2015

The emergence in the Paris Agreement of 1.5C as the global temperature rise the world should aim for is hugely significant, writes Natalie Bennett. But it's up to us, climate activists and ordinary citizens the world over, to make sure it's delivered. more...
Mine away! Just take back your carbon once it's released to the atmosphere. Vattenfall opencast brown coal mine in Germany. Photo: Yoav Lerman via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

To meet Paris temperature targets, make fossil fuel producers 'take back' their carbon

Myles Allen, University of Oxford

14th December 2015

How to reconcile the Paris Agreement's target to deliver a temperature rise 'well under 2C', with its wholly inadequate mechanisms? Easy, writes Myles Allen: Make fossil fuel producers 'take back' their carbon so as to fit within a global carbon budget. And for fossil fuel producers in the rich world, that means there is no time to lose - specially to meet a 1.5C target. more...

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The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, turned into a giant symbol of the Sun after hundreds of bicycles dribbled yellow paint on the Etoile roundabout and surrounding avenues. Photo: Greenpeace.

COP21: the end of fossil fuels is near. We must speed its coming

Kumi Naidoo

13th December 2015

The Paris climate agreement contains plenty enough to get fossil fuel companies and exporters worried about their future, writes Kumi Naidoo. But it is lacking is in the mechanisms to deliver its aspirations. That's why the global climate movement has to escalate its fight against the carbon bullies, and for climate justice. more...
We need renewable energy deployment now! Simpa Networks technicians in Sonsa Village, Mathura Uttar Pradesh. Photo: Asian Development Bank via Flickr (CC BY).

World needs energy transition now! Not breakthroughs in ten years time

Ambuj D Sagar, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

11th December 2015

What's not to like about the promise of billions of dollars for clean energy R&D? It's that we need to get the global energy transition moving right now, writes Ambuj D Sagar, not ten years hence. The billions should go into the immediate global deployment of the renewable technologies we have already got. more...
It's not over yet. But with the choices on offer, it might as well be. Photo: COP PARIS via Flickr (Public Domain).

With a long night ahead at COP21, the choice is this: a terrible deal, or no deal at all

Pavlos Georgiadis

11th December 2015

As COP21 negotiators settle down for the night in their final attempt to thrash out a climate agreement, the official message is that a deal will be reached by morning, writes Pavlos Georgiadis. But key aims have been abandoned, big issues are far from resolution, and the latest text falls way short on ambition, finance and compensation for climate-related loss and damage. more...
Oil Refinery at Oxymoron. Photo: Wyatt Wellman via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

COP21: 'fossil fuel giants must pay carbon tax'

Henner Weithoener

11th December 2015

Campaigners at COP21 in Paris are calling for a new 'upstream' carbon tax to be levied on fossil fuel producers, writes Henner Weithoener, and so send a clear market signal and finance poor countries' compensation for 'loss and damage' caused by climate change. more...
Delegates rise from a hard negotiating session at COP21 in Paris. Photo: UNclimatechange via Flickr (CC BY).

COP21 to investors: 'the end of fossil fuels is nigh!'

Kyla Mandel

10th December 2015

Coal prices are in terminal decline, writes Kyla Mandel, oil giant Statoil is calling for the strongest possible agreement, and the world's energy bosses are planning for a decarbonised future. COP21 is marking the definitive tipping point in the demise of fossil fuels. more...
What's to compromise over? The aftermath of Typoon Haiyan / Yolanda in Tacloban city in central Philippines, 10th November 2013. Photo: Mans Unides via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

COP21: climate vulnerable countries must demand unconditional surrender

Laurence Delina, Boston University

10th December 2015

No matter what bullying tactics they encounter in the final stages of COP21, writes Laurence Delina, 'climate vulnerable' countries must hold firm - and demand a legally binding treaty that delivers deep emissions cuts and secure, sufficient climate finance, all backed by strong sanctions for non-compliance. Nothing less will do. more...
Qooroq Fjord in South Greenland, August 2015. Photo: joxeankoret via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Greenland glaciers melt rate hits 9,500 year record

Tim Radford

9th December 2015

As Arctic Peoples at COP21 in Paris appeal for unity to halt global warming, writes Tim Radford, scientists report that Greenland's glaciers are now melting at a speed not seen since the last Ice Age almost 10,000 years ago. more...
Nothing wrong with nuclear fusion - but let's just keep it gravitationally contained, and 150 million kilometres away! A solar tower in Nevada, USA, harnessing the power of the sun. Photo: Rick Bolin via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Nuclear fusion is great - gravitationally contained, and 150 million km away

Linda Pentz Gunter

9th December 2015

ITER, the elusive and multi-million dollar fusion fantasy, was yet another nuclear chimera introduced at the Paris COP21 climate talks as a 'solution' to our climate crisis, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. But the idea is pure fantasy: long before it can be made to work, if it ever can, it will have been made obsolete by harnessing the power of our giant fusion reactor in the sky: the Sun. more...
Caroline Lucas. Photo: Patrick Duce / Campaign Against Arms Trade (CC BY-NC-ND).

Caroline Lucas: acting on climate change is a moral imperative

Nick Breeze

10th December 2015

Who's the UK's foremost politician setting the agenda on climate change issues? Green MP Caroline Lucas, of course. Nick Breeze caught up with her at a COP21 event at the French National Assembly in Paris. The fossil fuel industry is in its last throes, she told him - but it's fighting back hard, and politicians are giving out very mixed messages: saying one thing, while doing another. more...
Tiger cub on the Sundarbans, Bangladesh. Photo: Arindam Bhattacharya via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Coal plant threatens world's largest mangrove forest - and Bangladesh's future

Mowdud Rahman & Greig Aitken

10th December 2015

As COP21 reaches its endgame, there are plans to build 2,440 coal-fired power plants around the world, write Mowdud Rahman & Greig Aitken. Their completion would send global temperatures, and sea levels, soaring. Yet Bangladesh, the world's most 'climate vulnerable' large country, has plans for a 1.3GW coal power plant on the fringes of its World Heritage coastal wetlands. more...
School children from Kembu primary school holding solar lights, Longisa, Bomet county, Kenya. Photo: Corrie Wingate Photography / SolarAid via Flickr (CC BY).

To protect human rights means 100% renewable energy for all by 2050

Greenpeace & Amnesty International

9th December 2015

In this joint statement to COP21 Amnesty International and Greenpeace International call on all governments to protect human rights by including making respect for human rights an explicit purpose of any agreement, while agreeing to phase out fossil fuels and deliver 100% renewables for all by 2050. more...
Jellyfish shall inherit the ocean ... if we keep on acidifying it. Photo: Stuart Chalmers via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Attack of the stinging jellyfish: the winners of ocean acidification

Jason Hall-Spencer, Plymouth University

16th December 2015

Rising levels of carbon dioxide don't just cause global warming, writes Jason Hall-Spencer. Another consequence is acidifying oceans - which promises to disrupt marine ecology around the world, killing off oysters and corals, while boosting 'nuisance species' like stinging jellyfish. more...
Portrait of Shuar Indian in Ecuador's Amazon, where gross violations of human and environmental rights have been committed by oil companies. Photo: 00rini hartman via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

COP21: call for international treaty on rights of nature and communities

Hal Rhoades

8th December 2015

A new movement has been launched at COP21 in Paris to give legal effect to the rights of nature and communities, writes Hal Rhoades, providing effective protection against the gross environmental damage and human rights violations that accompany extractive industries from mining to oil development and agri-business projects, and which underlie climate change. more...

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