emissions

Gas tanks at a fracking well on the Marcellus Shale in North Central Pennsylvania, USA. Photo: Gerry Dincher via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Fracking is twice as bad for climate as coal - will the Climate Change Committee ban it?

Dr Robin Russell-Jones
| 9th June 2016
The UK government is all for fracking, writes Dr Robin Russell-Jones, but on climate grounds alone it should be banned. Evidence from the US shows that shale gas is twice as dirty as coal from a climate viewpoint due to 'fugitive emissions' of methane. That makes fracking incompatible with the UK's climate change commitments and the Paris Agreement - as the CCC may soon rule.

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Once a mangrove forest full of life, now a sterile shrimp farm. The hard labour of destroying mangrove forests and building and operating shrimp farms is often performed by slaves. Photo: Tracy Hunter via Flickr (CC BY).

World must end slavery - for the environment as well as human rights

Kevin Bales
University of Hull
| 18th May 2016
Slavery is a terrible thing for the world's estimated 36 million slaves, writes Kevin Bales. But it's also an environmental disaster. Many slaves are forced to work in destructive activities like clearing forests for mines, farms and plantations - making slave labour the world's third biggest 'country' in terms of CO2 emissions. It really is time to end slavery!

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Obama spoke out at the COP21 climate conference. But his officials helped to thwart limits on emissions from international shipping at the IMP this week. Photo: ConexiónCOP Agencia de noticias via Flickr (CC BY).

Amid Paris Agreement fanfare world fails shipping emissions test

Stephen Buranyi
DeSmog.uk
Oliver Tickell
| 22nd April 2016
World leaders are meeting in New York today to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, write Stephen Buranyi & Oliver Tickell. But the world just failed a big test of its commitment to the Paris targets by deadlocking on IMO proposals to limit emissions from international shipping.

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Sunday School children of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade at St. John's Episcopal Church learn about 350 and urge politicians to pass clean energy policies, Ellicott City, Maryland, USA, 10th October 2010. Photo: 350.org.

Young Americans' legal victory could force climate change action

Sophie Marjanac
ClientEarth
| 19th April 2016
American NGO advocating for young people's future environmental rights has won a first key legal battle in its fight to force the United States to avoid dangerous climate change by cutting its greenhouse gas emissions, writes Sophie Marjanac. If upheld on appeal in higher courts, the ruling has huge implications for us all.

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World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim on fossil fuels: 'Do as I say, not as I do'. Photo: World Bank Photo Collection via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

World Bank doubles fossil fuel funding in four years

Victoria Seabrook
DeSmog.uk
| 18th April 2016
World Bank President Jim Kim talks a good talk on cutting support to fossil fuels. But what the bank does, writes Victoria Seabrook, is a whole other story. Not only is the WB Group still pouring money into the sector, but its funding doubled between 2011 and 2015.

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Container ship MOL GRANEUR. Photo: ARTS_fox1fire via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

UK must not let shipping sink the Paris Agreement!

Barry Gardiner
Richard Burden
| 18th April 2016
This week, the International Maritime Organisation could act to curb fast-rising emissions from shipping under the Paris Agreement, write Barry Gardiner & Richard Burden. But there are growing fears that the UK government may seek to delay and obstruct vital progress.

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The famous Bunda Cliffs overlooking the Great Australian Bight. Photo: Matt Turner.

BP's deep sea oil exploration in South Australia - no way!

Graham Readfearn
DeSmog.uk
| 14th April 2016
BP's plans to explore for oil in the deep seas of the Great Australian Bight came under fire today at the company's Annual General Meeting in London, writes Graham Readfearn. The drilling would risk the ocean's rich marine wildlife - while blowing a massive hole in Australia's COP21 emissions targets.

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Time, tide and sea level rise wait for no one ... so are we ready? Photo: clappstar via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

No planet for optimists: coastal flooding may come sooner and bigger than we think

Pete Dolack
| 8th April 2016
Of all the impacts of climate change, one stands out for its inexorable menace, writes Pete Dolack: rising oceans. And it's not just for distant future generations to deal with: new scientific studies show that people alive today may face 6-9 metres of sea level rise flooding well over a million sq.km including many of the world's biggest cities. So where's the emergency response?

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Global emissions trajectory 1975-2015, showing standstill in 2014 and 2015. Image: IEA.

Global emissions stand still as temperatures soar

Alex Kirby
| 18th March 2016
For the second year running CO2 emissions flatlined even as the global economy was growing at around 3%, writes Alex Kirby. But sharply rising temperatures show the need for further massive renewable energy deployment to actually bring emissions down.

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ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel producer and funder of the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture in the Olympic Park, London have benefitted from a proportion of the EU's €24 billion handout. Photo: .Martin. via Flickr (CC BY-ND)

Europe's biggest polluters land €24 billion carbon windfall

The Ecologist
| 17th March 2016
The European Union's carbon market, the EU ETS, is meant to cut pollution in a cost effective way. But a new report shows that it handed the EU's biggest emitters a €24bn bumper payout over six years. Not so much the 'polluter pays' principle but the precise opposite: people pay, and polluters profit.

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Frozen meltwater lake along the northeast Greenland coast, as seen from NASA's P-3B aircraft on May 7, 2012. Photo: Jim Yungel / NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr (CC BY).

Federal Court must uphold our children's right to a viable future

James E. Hansen
| 9th March 2016
The US Constitution guarantees the rights of future generations, not just current ones, writes James E. Hansen. But those rights are being betrayed, knowingly and deliberately, by governments and politicians who are standing by and allowing climate change to wreak long term havoc on the planet. Today, this legal principle is being asserted in a Federal Court in Oregon.

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Photo: K.H.Reichert via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

The cheapest way to scale up wind and solar? A US-wide high-tech power network

Christopher Clack
NOAA
| 16th February 2016
Not only can the US save money on its electricity by moving to a 48-state power network based on high voltage DC power lines, writes Christopher Clack. It's also the key to increasing the penetration of renewables as the lowest cost energy source, with wind and solar delivering 55% of the nation's electricity demand - and a 78% reduction in carbon emissions.

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Investment managers need to become shareholder- activists on climate, or their wealth, and that of their clients could go up in smoke. Photo: Drax Power Station by Ian Britton via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Fund managers: campaign on climate, or face lawsuits

The Ecologist
| 12th February 2016
Fund managers who neglect their 'duty of care' to clients by failing to put pressure on the companies they invest in to reduce their carbon emissions and prepare for a fossil-free future could be sued for their negligence, say respected experts in law, environment and finance.

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Earth and Moon. Photo: NASA ESA via Wikimedia (Public Domain).

A sustainable UK needs a 'one planet' Budget

Alan Simpson
| 5th February 2016
When Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Budget next month, we can be sure that climate and environment won't take a high priority, writes Alan Simpson. All the more reason for the Labour leadership to develop a new 'one planet' economics for the 21st century that delivers social justice and respects ecological limits.

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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.

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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.

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Thanks to the growth of renewables, China's coal burn is falling. And it could be part of a long term trend of declining global emissions. Photo: Chengde, Hebei, China, by Gustavo M via Flickr (CC BY).

Good news for COP21: 2015 emissions fall

Tim Radford
| 8th December 2015
Levels of CO2 are at their the highest in 800,000 years, writes Tim Radford, but news of a probable decline in emissions this year is providing welcome cheer at the COP21 climate summit: thanks to renewables, economic growth and falling emissions can go hand in hand.

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Drax power station in Yorskshire, England, was to host the UK's examplar of BECCS in its White Rose project, with a planned CCS add-on. In a rare moment of santity, the UK government has pulled the funding. Photo: Ian Britton via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

COP21's climate technofix: spinning carbon into gold and the myth of 'negative emissions'

Rachel Smolker
| 3rd December 2015
Paris has been awash with hype about 'CO2 recycling' and 'carbon neutral' or even 'carbon negative' technologies based on burning millions of trees, writes Rachel Smolker. But the alchemical notion that waste carbon can be spun into corporate gold is hitting serious reality checks. It's time to ditch the fantasies and progress the real solutions: like caring for land, soils, forests and grasslands.

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Erika Berenguer examines recently burned primary forest. Photo: Jos Barlow, Author provided.

18,000 fires rage in Brazil's Amazon rainforest

Jos Barlow
Erika Berenguer
| 2nd December 2015
It's not just Indonesia's forests and peatlands that are burning - the Amazon is suffering almost as badly, with over 18,000 fires last month in Brazil alone, write Jos Barlow & Erika Berenguer. The future is looking hot and fiery.

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Farmland is inundated with toxic red mud following the 2010 Ajka alumina plant accident, in Hungary, which injured hundreds and killed ten. Photo: public domain.

Recycle industrial wastes to cut 1Gt from world's carbon emissions

Wilf Lytton
Sandbag
| 1st December 2015
There's a quick climate win for COP21 negotiators to ponder, writes Wilf Lytton - one that could convert a billion tonnes a year of CO2 into mineral form while neutralising caustic wastes like coal ash and slag. But first, industries and regulators must adopt a 'recycling' mentality to these hazardous materials, rather than the 'dump and forget' model that prevails today.

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This is the real 'Climate Smart Agriculture' - but surely not at all what the agribusiness corporations have in mind! Photo: Helena Paul.

‘Climate-Smart Agriculture' - preparing for a corporate soil and climate-grab in Paris?

Helena Paul
EcoNexus
| 26th November 2015
‘Climate Smart Agriculture' can be applied to anything from industrial monocultures to agroecology, writes Helena Paul - and fertiliser, biotech and agribusiness corporations are seizing the chance to cash in. Now COP21 host France is proposing to use soils as a giant carbon sink - a fine idea in itself, but not if it's used to 'offset' continued fossil fuel emissions, and to greenwash industrial agriculture.

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Can you imagine Stephen Harper here? Justin Trudeau at the 2015 Pride Toronto parade. Photo: Alex Guibord via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Canada's new Liberal government - an environmental renaissance?

Carol Linnitt
DeSmog.ca
| 21st October 2015
It's all change in Canada with the dramatic ousting of anti-environment Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, writes Carol Linnitt. Under the new Liberal PM Justin Trudeau things are looking a lot better for climate, science, environment, transparency and First Nations. But Canada is still set to go into the Paris climate talks with the same weak level of commitment.

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Plane coming in to land at Heathrow. 70% of flights are taken by just 15% of the population, while over half don't travel at all in any single year. Photo: Roy via Flickr (CC BY-NC).

Instead of airport expansion, a 'frequent flyer tax'

Keith Taylor MEP
| 10th October 2015
The demand for ever more air travel and new runways comes from a small minority of frequent flyers, writes Keith Taylor - the 15% who take 70% of flights. So we can reduce that demand with a frequent flyer tax - while making it cheaper for ordinary families to enjoy an annual holiday abroad.

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