Policy

Justin Gillis and Somini Sengupta, New York Times, September 28, 2015

The pledges that countries are making to battle climate change would still allow the world to heat up by more than 6 degrees Fahrenheit, a new analysis shows, a level that scientists say is likely to produce catastrophes ranging from food shortages to widespread extinctions of plant and animal life.

Yet, in the world of global climate politics, that counts as progress.

Kristen Lyons and Peter Westoby, The Conversation, September 24, 2015

In recent years there has been significant movement toward land acquisition in developing countries to establish forestry plantations for offsetting carbon pollution elsewhere in the world. This is often referred to as land grabbing.

These carbon trading initiatives work on the basis that forestry plantations absorb carbon dioxide and other polluting greenhouse gases. This helps to undo the environmental damage associated with modern western lifestyles.

Viviana Barreto, Common Dreams, September 19, 2015
Uruguay TISA

Last week the Uruguayan government decided to end its involvement in the secret negotiations of the Trade in Services Agreement TISA, signifying an important victory in the global fight against bad trade deals.

CAT Staff, Climate Action Tracker, September 8, 2015

Bonn -- 2 September 2015 -- The climate targets so far submitted to the UN by governments collectively lead to global emissions far above the levels needed to hold warming to below 2°C, the Climate Action Tracker said today.

The analysis by the consortium of four research organisations was released today in Bonn where Governments are meeting for the second to last week of negotiations ahead of Paris.

Nadia Prupis, Common Dreams, August 11, 2015
Tar sands

TransCanada Corporation, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, is furtively planning its next steps—including suing the U.S. government—if U.S. President Barack Obama rejects the permits which would allow construction of the project to move forward, the Canadian Press reported on Monday.

Jed Alegado, Common Dreams, August 9, 2015

Renewable energy is now being seen by many people around the world as a cost-effective development solution both for developed and developing nations. Countries have slowly been realising that the use of coal and the huge amount of carbon emissions it generates harms the environment and impacts our daily activities.

In fact, according to Christine Lins, Executive Secretary of the Renewable Energy Network for the 21st Century, “last year, for the first time in 40 years, economic and emissions growth have decoupled”.

Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams, July 10, 2015
Fracking Ohio

"Across Ohio, fracking is expanding at a frenzied pace, into our backyards and farmlands, next door to our hospitals and schools, and into the pristine and wild acres that provide drinking water and recreational opportunities for Ohioans."

So says a letter sent by more than 100 elected officials from communities across the state to Ohio Gov. John Kasich this week, urging him "to stand up for the right of all communities to determine whether, where, and how this dirty drilling is conducted within their own borders."

Trish Kahle (interviewing Jeremy Brecher), In These Times, July 7, 2015
Labor at PCM

2015, only halfway over, has already been an extreme year for both labor and the climate: the Midwest and Texas are experiencing record rainfall while California is in a record-breaking drought, and 2015 is the hottest year on record so far (the standing record is from 2014), including a heatwave in India that left more than 2,300 people dead.

Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian: Environment, June 29, 2015
Senegal drought

Rich countries are very, very far from raising the billions they promised to help poor countries fight climate change, jeopardising the prospects of reaching a global warming deal at Paris, the world’s rising economies warned.

As a key United Nations meeting got underway, Brazil, China, India and South Africa said they were disappointed in rich countries’ failure to make good on a promise six years ago to mobilise $100bn a year by 2020 for climate finance.

Richard Smith, Truthout, June 24, 2015
Beijing

This article seeks to explain why China's environmental crisis is so horrific, so much worse than "normal" capitalism most everywhere else, and why the government is incapable of suppressing pollution even from its own industries. I begin with an overview of the current state of China's environment: its polluted air, waters, farmland and the proximate causes, including overproduction, overdevelopment, profligate resource consumption, uncontrolled dumping and venting of pollutants.

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