Global warming news

Hundreds in Los Angeles protest climate change, North Dakota pipeline

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hundreds of people gathered in Los Angeles on Sunday to protest against climate change and show support for activists demonstrating against the construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota.
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More coal plants will deepen - not cut - poverty, researchers warn

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Building just a third of planned new coal-fired power plants around the world would push hundreds of millions of people into poverty as it accelerates climate change past an agreed limit of 2 degrees Celsius of warming, development experts warn.
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Greenhouse gases milestone shows need for action: WMO

OSLO/GENEVA (Reuters) - Greenhouse gases rose to a symbolic milestone in 2015, taking climate change into a new phase which could last generations even if governments act to curb man-made global warming, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Monday.
Read more [Reuters]

World shipping meeting must tackle climate and toxic fuel

GLAND, Switzerland  The world's leading shipping organisation should agree a ban on the use of heavy fuel oil in the Arctic and also shoulder some of the responsibility for reducing climate change during its meeting in London this week.
The meeting of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) presents the opportunity to take action against the highly polluting fuel, at a time when shipping in Arctic waters is increasing risk of an accident.
"There is some momentum behind taking action on heavy fuel oil," said WWF Arctic spokesperson Andrew Dumbrille. "The US and Canada agreed this year to look at how best to address the risks from heavy fuel oil. We are telling them, and the other countries of the world, that the best way to address the risks is to bring in a ban on using it as a shipping fuel."
The use of heavy fuel oil for ship operations has already been phased out in the Southern Ocean and around Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic. The thick, toxic sludge is hard to clean up in the best of conditions. In the Arctic, with its ice, severe weather and limited capacity, effective clean-up is near impossible.
Increased shipping in the Arctic means increased risk of a major spill. Such a spill could spread over thousands of square kilometres, kill hundreds of thousands of seabirds, and have long term impacts on the marine ecosystem that will harm local livelihoods such as fisheries.
The IMO should also follow the lead of the international aviation organization in limiting the sector's impact on climate change. Shipping climate impacts are not covered by the Paris climate deal.
"We know that it will take everyone doing everything to reduce emissions sufficiently to keep global temperatures to 1.5°C, and the international shipping sector has an important part to play in this. We expect shippers to establish a process to determine shipping's fair share contribution toward reducing the world's total CO2 emissions, as well as the development of long-term targets and market-based mechanisms to deliver these targets," said Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, leader of WWF's Climate and Energy Practise.
International shipping currently accounts for around 2.5 per cent of global emissions and is one of the fastest growing global sectors. Failure to control emissions will mean increasing risks to vulnerable countries and communities from climatic disruptions and extreme weather events.

Read more [WWF]

Breaching environmental boundaries: UN report on resource limits

This summer, the United Nations International Resource Panel (IRP), published 'Global Material Flows and Resource Productivity', a report that admits what ecologists have been saying for decades: resources are limited, human consumption trends are unsustainable and resource depletion diminishes human health, quality of life and future development.

The report shows that consumption of Earth's primary resources (metals, fuels, timber, cereals and so forth) has tripled in the last 40 years, driven by population growth (increasing at about 1.1% per year), economic growth (averaging about 3% per year over the same period) and consumption per person, worldwide.

Coal Mines at the source of the Yellow River, China

Economic growth has helped lift some regions from poverty and created more middle-class consumers, while enriching the wealthiest nations the most. The UN report acknowledges, however, that advances in human well-being have been achieved through consumption patterns that are "not sustainable" and that will "ultimately deplete the resources − causing shortages [and] conflict".

In 1970 — when ecologists in Canada founded Greenpeace and Club of Rome scholars prepared the original 'Limits to Growth' study — a human population of 3.7 billion used 22 billion tons of primary materials per year. Forty years later, in 2010, with a population of 6.7 billion, humans used 70 billion tons. Now, in 2016, we require about 86 billion tons and the UN Resource Panel estimates that by 2050 we will require annually some 180 billion tons of raw materials, which Earth's ecosystems may not be able to provide.

Furthermore, modern technology has not made our economies more efficient, as promised. As technology has advanced, material consumption accelerated. Fossil fuel consumption has grown annually by 2.9%, metal ores by 3.5%, and non-metalic minerals by 5.3%. Since 2000, even as economic growth and population growth slowed, material demand accelerated. Frivolous consumption has increased among the rich and we now spend increasing amounts of energy to extract lower grade resources, reducing productivity.

Wires and cables brought to the Lyari River, Karachi, to be burned.

According to Alicia Bárcena Ibarra, co-chair of the panel, "the alarming rate at which materials are now being extracted … shows that the prevailing patterns of production and consumption are unsustainable... We urgently need to address this problem before we have irreversibly depleted the resources that power our economies and lift people out of poverty. This deeply complex problem … calls for a rethink of the governance of natural resource extraction."

Economic justice

Meanwhile, large economic gaps remain between rich and poor nations, between North America and Europe on one hand, and all other world regions. To achieve economic justice and UN development goals, low income nations will require increasing quantities of materials.

Today, the average citizen in Africa consumes about three tonnes of material resources each year, including infrastructure. In Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe, the average citizen consumes about 3-times as much, 8-10 tonnes of materials each year. In Europe and North America, average citizens consume about 20-30 tonnes of materials each year, 7-10-times the average African. The super-rich, elite, with multiple homes, airplanes, and exotic holidays, consume much more, in the range of 100-times the average African citizen, ten-times the middle-class citizen in Asia. The US, with less than 5% of world population, consumes about 30% of global materials.

Social justice goals and ecological goals sometimes appear in conflict, but the real conflict arises between the extravagant consumption of the wealthy and the subsistence consumption of the rest of the world.

Olusosum Dump site, Lagos, Nigeria

In 2008, the Global Footprint Network prepared the following chart that shows how nations measure up to the UN Human Development Index (vertical scale) and the Global Footprint Index (horizontal scale). Those nations above the horizontal 0.800 line meet the UN Human Development goals; those below fall short. Nations to the left of the vertical red line live within the budget for a per-capita fair share of Earth's resources. Those to the right use more than their fair share per person. The average person in the US uses about five times their fair share of Earth's resources. The average person in Sierra Leone uses about half of a fair share. Several Asian and South American nations come close to achieving both — meeting UN Human Development goals with a fair per-capita share of resources — but the only nation that does achieve both goals is Cuba.

Nations ranked by social development and material consumption: Nations that meet the UN Human Development goals, do so with unsustainable consumption. Those with sustainable levels of resource use are not meeting the UN development goals. Only Cuba achieves both. The challenge of our age is to learn to live sustainably while meeting basic human needs. To achieve this, extravagant consumption doesn't work, and modest living is the measure of social responsibility. © Global Footprint Network. Original image here.

A vast proportion of consumption in rich nations is wasteful; products are designed to be wasteful and grow obsolete. According to industrial ecologist Robert Ayres, 99% of human-produced goods are consumed or become waste within six months.

The UN panel warns that "rapid economic growth occurring simultaneously in many parts of the world will place much higher demands on supply infrastructure and the environment's ability to continue supplying materials." If Earth cannot provide the material increases expected, then total human resource consumption will have to stabilise. How is this to be achieved?

Coal Train in Powder River Basin, USA

Economy and materials

The imperative of industrial economy is growth, but the ecological data tells us to slow down. The conflict may be the supreme challenge of our age, almost entirely ignored by status quo politicians. The UN Resource Panel avoids the challenge by proposing twin strategies of "efficiency" and "decoupling" to allow global economic growth to continue.

Efficiency is the long-sought holy grail of technology, the belief that machines will produce the goods we want with less demand on resources. Decoupling describes the theory that more efficient machines, and wise strategies can create economic growth without consuming resources. Let's examine these beliefs.

Efficiency: In 1865, William Jevons published 'The Coal Question', showing that technological efficiencies did not reduce coal consumption but increased consumption. Historically, when we become more efficient with a resource, we use more of it. The "Jevons paradox" applied to resource use in general. Efficiency often increases consumption.

Gridlocked Motorways in New Delhi, India

Energy efficient automobiles increased leisure driving, vehicle size, and suburban sprawl. Refrigeration efficiency led to larger refrigerators and more electricity consumption. In North America, according to research by William Rees, as modern heating systems improved efficiency by 10-30%, living and working space per person increased on the scale of 100-300%, ten times faster, increasing total energy consumption for heating. According to a 1994 study by Mario Giampietro, the so-called "Green Revolution", increasing food production with hydrocarbons and fertilizers, led to increased population growth, degraded land, a trail of toxins and more starving people.

Computer technology was going to solve this, making modern life more efficient, but in 1990, at the dawn of the personal computer revolution, global productivity stopped improving and, since 2000, productivity — economic production per unit of resource use or labour — declined. Computers sped up global economy and we now use more fossil fuels, paper and other materials than we did when personal computers became available.

Decoupling: The UN panel's other theory proposes: "to decouple economic growth and human well-being from ever-increasing consumption of natural resources", the panel claims, "many countries have initiated policies to facilitate decoupling," but cannot offer any evidence of success.

The global economy now needs more materials per unit of GDP than required 20 years ago. Meanwhile, lower net energy, higher energy costs for resources and growing environmental destruction per unit of economic activity undermine the hypothesis of decoupling. The UN appears to realise this since they project that annual resource extraction will increase to 180 billion tons by 2050.

Similarly, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change proposes "mitigation technologies" such as carbon capture, even though these technologies have not even slowed the growth of carbon emissions. Germany, the world leader in solar installations, has seen no drop in emissions since 2009, while coal and LNG plants remain open. The UN agencies mean well but cling to delusions. "They bombard us with adverts, cajoling us to insulate our homes, turn down our thermostats, drive a little less," says Tim Jackson, of the UK Sustainable Development Commission. "The one piece of advice you will not see on a government list is 'buy less stuff!'"

Energy-efficient public library, Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain


For the poorer nations, economic growth remains important, but the blind spot of international politics remains the taboo against recognising the limits to aggregate global economic growth. We have now reached those limits and wealthy countries must embrace this ecological reality.

"Civilization has a metabolism, about 7.1 milliwatts per dollar of GDP (2005 US$)," explains ecologist Nate Hagens at the University of Minnesota. "Currently, 80% of nitrogen in our bodies and 50% of the protein comes indirectly from natural gas." A study published in Bioscience by J.H. Brown and colleagues points out that "energy imposes fundamental constraints on economic growth and development [similar to] scaling of metabolic rate with body mass in animals.

"Additional economic growth and development will require some combination of (a) increased energy supply, (b) decreased per capita energy use, and (c) decreased human population... The ruins of Mohenjo Daro, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Rome, the Maya, Angkor, Easter Island, and many other complex civilizations provide incontrovertible evidence that innovation does not always prevent socioeconomic collapse."

Canary Wharf in London, UK

During the global financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, global material use actually slowed. Historically, economic recessions provide the only examples of reduced consumption — and here we may recognise the genuine solutions to resource consumption: allow and encourage wealthy economies to stabilise and contract. The UN report recognises that "the level of well-being achieved in wealthy industrial countries cannot be generalised globally based on the same system of production and consumption."

This part, they get right. Humanity needs a new economic model that does not require the delusion of endless growth in a finite global habitat.

Rex Weyler is an author, journalist and co-founder of Greenpeace International.


UNEP Report: Global Material Flows, Resource Productivity, 2016.

Energy Skeptic: Limits to Growth? 2016 United Nations report provides evidence

Huffington Post: Consumption Of Earth's Resources Tripled In 40 Years, UNEP

Climate News: Plunder of Resources

Grassroots Recycling Network: Waste, Recycling and Climate Change

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Arithmetic, Population, and Energy: Albert Bartlett video lecture on exponential growth

The Way Forward: Survival 2100, William Rees, Solutions Journal

Energy efficient automobiles and suburban sprawl (Jeremy Cherfas, 1991)

Refrigeration efficiency and more electricity consumption (Daniel Khazzoom, 1987).

Mario Giampietro:

J.H. Brown, et. al., Bioscience:

Read more [Greenpeace international]

Why we are taking Arctic oil to court

With this historic court case a new generation is now taking action to stop oil companies from kidnapping our future. Nature & Youth and Greenpeace Nordic, alongside a broad coalition, have filed an unprecedented people-powered legal case against the Norwegian government. 

Historic Lawsuit against Arctic Oil in Oslo, 18 Oct, 2016.

It has the potential to become a rallying point for people resisting fossil fuel exploration around the world. This case is about holding back the oil industry at the final frontier. It is about protecting the fragile Arctic. It is about a new generation stepping up to hold governments accountable to their climate promises.

Climate March in Oslo, 28 Nov, 2015

We will argue in court that we must take action to keep the Paris climate agreement on track, and we will invoke the Norwegian people's right to a healthy and safe environment, as it is written in article 112 of Norway's Constitution. This lawsuit demands that Norway upholds its constitutional guarantee for future generations:

Every person has the right to an environment that is conducive to health and to a natural environment whose productivity and diversity are maintained. Natural resources shall be managed on the basis of comprehensive long-term considerations which will safeguard this right for future generations as well. The authorities of the state shall take measures for the implementation of these principles”.

Borebreen Glacier in Svalbard, 25 June, 2016.

Norway was among the first countries in the world to ratify the Paris Climate agreement and has promised to reduce its emissions by ambitious targets. At the same time, the Norwegian state-owned oil company, Statoil, has announced a major new exploration campaign in the Barents Sea. They want to drill up to seven new exploratory wells in the Arctic next year.

How can it be right to agree to a 1.5 degree limit on global warming in Paris and just weeks later announce you are starting a new chapter for Arctic oil? The science is already clear, we have to keep 80% of the proven fossil-fuel reserves in the ground to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Production platform Goliat in the Barents Sea, Norway. 6 Dec, 2015

This will be a case of the people vs. Arctic oil. This is not just a Norwegian issue, but a global one.

As the polar ice cap melts, desperate oil companies are attempting to move even further north to drill for more of the same oil that is behind the global warming and which threatens the Arctic nature and wildlife with devastating oil spills. If we, together, don´t stop them, they could destroy one of the world’s last great wilderness areas forever and push our climate beyond saving.

This is a critical moment. Oil is warming our world and polluting our oceans. No one wants this to be the legacy we leave for future generations. But if enough people join us in this case, it can be a catalyst for similar legal actions in other parts of the world to keep the fossil fuels in the ground. As millions of us come together and take the climate crooks to court, we continue to build a movement to take back our future. Starting in the Arctic, it is time to end the oil age.

Please help us have the best chance possible - we need thousands of people to show their support - add your name here and it will be submitted to the court to demonstrate this is a global concern.

Ingrid Skjoldvær is Head of Nature & Youth Norway

Truls Gulowsen is the Head of Greenpeace Norway

Watch and share the campaign launch video here:


Read more [Greenpeace international]

World Bank to loan $2 billion to Bangladesh to fight climate change

DHAKA (Reuters) - The World Bank is to provide $2 billion in loans for Bangladesh to help the impoverished South Asian country become less vulnerable to climate change, the bank president said on Tuesday.
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Environmental groups file lawsuit against Norway over Arctic oil

OSLO (Reuters) - Two environmental groups filed a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing Norway of violating its pledges under a global agreement to combat climate change by letting energy firms explore for oil and gas in the Arctic Barents Sea.
Read more [Reuters]

This is The People vs. Arctic Oil

A new wave of oil drilling threatens the Arctic - but today saw the start of the fight back. This morning a lawsuit was filed that could stop the expansion of this reckless industry northwards - but we need your help.

This is The People vs. Arctic Oil.  

As the Arctic melts, oil companies are moving in to drill for more oil. Next year, the Norwegian owned oil company Statoil will drill further north than ever - unless we stop them. An unprecedented case was filed this morning that could do just that.

This case is about holding back the oil industry at this final frontier, it is about protecting the beautiful Arctic, and it is about people stepping up to hold governments to account. If we win, millions of barrels of oil could be kept in the ground. We will argue in court that we must take action to keep the Paris climate agreement on track, and we will invoke Norway’s constitutional right to a healthy and safe environment for future generations.

The largest network of young environmentalists in Norway, appropriately called Nature and Youth, have partnered with Greenpeace, and together we are the co-plaintiffs. The defendants are the Norwegian government who granted 13 oil companies licenses to drill in the Arctic. The case will be heard in Oslo - but the eyes of the world will be watching.

Already, statements of solidarity and offers of help have come from around the world, including from scientists, lawyers and activists who themselves have incredible stories about battling the oil industry at the front lines. Some of the most respected leaders in the struggle against the oil industry have travelled to Oslo to witness the moment the case was filed. We are calling these supporters ‘Friends of the Case’.

  • Audrey Siegl, First Nations artist and activist from Canada who stood in the way of Shell’s oil rig in 2015 as it headed to the Arctic. She travelled to Shell’s HQ in London in September 2015, with a message of resistance, following in the footsteps of her First Nations ancestors who travelled to London 100 years ago to demand Indigenous rights.

  • Niillas Beaska, S​á​mi politician and ​traditional fisherman, from ​Deatnu/​Tana​, Sápmi​. Member of the S​á​mi Parliament, and in 2014 elected the Head of the Norwegian Sa​a​mi Association. Long term campaigner against exploitation and extraction activities in the S​á​mi lands, and advocate for the defence of nature in ​the whole Sámi area.

  • Bunna Lawrie, is an elder, medicine man and whale songman from the Mirning Tribe on the Nullarbor Plains in South Australia, which surrounds the Great Australian Bight, the place of the White Whale Jeedara. Bunna has been a leading activist against BP’s and Statoil's plans to drill for oil in the pristine whale sanctuary of the Great Australian Bight. Plans that have now been dropped. Bunna is in Oslo to do what he can to make sure that Statoil does the same in the Arctic.

  • Ivan Ivanov, From the Komi Republic, in Russia, which is blighted by terrible oil spills caused by companies like Lukoil, who have been granted licences in Norway’s waters. He is an active blogger on oil spill issues, and an observer on official commissions responsible for monitoring oil spills. Ivan is not Indigenous, but he is a member of the Save the Pechora Committee, which has many members who are Indigenous Komi peoples and campaigned since 1989 in traditional land use territory of Komi people in the Pechora river basin.

  • James Hansen, An American activist, climate scientist and professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He is best known for his research in climatology, his 1988 Congressional testimony on climate change that helped raise broad awareness of global warming, and his advocacy of action to avoid dangerous climate change.

  • Jostein Gaarder,  Philosopher, intellectual, novelist and author of Sophie’s World, which has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide. He has been involved in the promotion of sustainable development for nearly two decades. He established the Sophie Prize in 1997, an international award bestowed on foundations and individuals concerned with the environment.

  • Bill McKibben, is an author, environmentalist, and activist. In 1988 he wrote The End of Nature, the first book for a common audience about global warming. He is a co-founder and Senior Advisor at, an international climate campaign that works in 188 countries around the world.

If you believe this case matters to everyone everywhere please add your name here, and we will submit your name with thousands of others to the court, to demonstrate this is a global concern. Together we can be the generation that ends oil.

In this case the decision we are challenging is known as the Norwegian ‘23rd licensing round’, and came just months after the international climate deal was made in Paris, where the Norwegian government had been a champion of strong climate goals. In fact the country has one of the most environmentally progressive constitutions in the world, and it was updated and strengthened as recently as 2014.

This case isn’t just about Norway - it raises some of the most pertinent questions of our time.  If you want to find out more about the legal arguments we will be making in court, you can read an English translation of the full document that was filed today.

This is urgent. Statoil want to drill five to seven new exploratory Arctic oil wells next year - including in their most northerly block ever. This is a bold case to stop them, We are using untested law, but it just might work -  and we owe it to future generations and to the Arctic to try.  

Please help us have the best chance possible - we need thousands of people to show their support - add your name here and it will be submitted to the court to demonstrate this is a global concern.

Sune Scheller is an Arctic campaigner with Greenpeace Nordic.

Read more [Greenpeace international]

Wind could supply fifth of world electricity by 2030: group

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Wind power could supply as much as 20 percent of the world's total electricity by 2030 due to dramatic cost reductions and pledges to curb climate change, the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) said in a report released in Beijing on Tuesday.
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‘These are our prayers in action’  –  a look at life in the #NoDAPL Resistance camps

For months, the Standing Rock Sioux and allies have been protecting their water by resisting construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would carry 500,000 barrels of oil a day from North Dakota to Illinois in the United States. Peter Dakota Molof spent a week supporting water protectors at resistance camps set up along Lake Oahe  – this is what he saw.

Photo by Gokhan Cukurova

As I turn off the two-lane highway that courses through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation into Oceti Sakowin Camp (technically an overflow camp from the original Camp of the Sacred Stones that formed in April of this year), I am bursting with feelings. I’ve been on the road for three days in Greenpeace’s Rolling Sunlight to provide solar power to #NoDAPL resistance efforts.

Without strong cell reception, it’s been hard to know what to expect when I arrive, so I’ve spent long days anxiously trying to imagine what it will be like at camp. But I don’t think there’s any way to prepare for a place like this. There isn’t any way to prepare to witness history in the making.

Photo by Gokhan Cukurova

From the road, the valley flat provides an incredible view of the expanse of Oceti Sakowin, the surrounding camps and the mass of protectors who have come from Nations far and wide to defend water from the Dakota Access Pipeline. After a brief chat with some helpful camp security, we begin pulling our 13-ton truck down the avenue of flags representing the Indigenous nations who have lent their support.

 I will spend the next week working with the hundreds of people who have pledged to peacefully and prayerfully stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Each day, there are non-violent direct action or peace-keeper trainings designed to ground us all in the principles of camp and our purpose here.

The conversations are rich, delving into what the role of a protector is versus a “protester,” and how to hold each other accountable to the principles we’ve agreed to.

#NoDAPL camps at Standing Rock are peaceful & nonviolent. Ask anyone who has been there.

— Ruth Hopkins (@RuthHHopkins) September 24, 2016

I am struck by how unique this moment is  – to be training with members of so many nations, with so many relatives from so many different places, and with so many people who have never before taken action on their principles in this way. These are our prayers in action.

Among us are also leaders from other historic moments of Indigenous resistance, like Wounded Knee II and Alcatraz. We listen humbly to our Elders as they remind us that we are responsible for one another’s actions as much as we are responsible for our own.

The days are long and the weather is turning cold. There is talk of what will happen when winter really hits, and protectors who have been here since last April recount how relentless the snow was last year. But no one is talking about leaving.

We share food together at one of the eight internal camps and affirm to each other that until the pipeline is stopped, no one is going anywhere.

Every day, more people arrive. Some are coming back after a brief period away (many people stay for a week, tend to matters at home, and then return), still more are laying their eyes on Oceti Sakowin for the first time. Sometimes, late into the night, you can hear the cries welcoming the arriving nations. I lay in my sleeping bag smiling, short on sleep but happy to be there.

Every night we powwow  – nations offering songs of thanks, resilience and grief that we have to fight this pipeline at all. I wander back to my camp relatively early but the voices  – the prayers  – fill the night and begin early in the morning, greeting the sun as it rises.

As an Indigenous person, I am in awe of the solidarity our nations have shown with one another, but I’m not surprised.

The Dakota Access Pipeline is not the first time  – nor, I fear, the last  – a wealthy corporation has attempted to sacrifice the water and well-being of Indigenous people for profit. We know the stakes of this moment are high. With runaway climate change flooding our relatives’ ancestral lands and threatening our land-based connections, countless oil spills and mining waste threatening the water we depend upon for everything, and the unprecedented earthquakes causing the very earth beneath our feet to break open, there is no time to waste.

Environmental issues often impact Indigenous people first and hardest; in the end they will affect us all. There have been so many times where I haven’t seen this acknowledged by anyone but us. At camp, it becomes abundantly clear that while we clearly have work to do, we have come so far in understanding one another.

On my last day at the camp, we get the news that the Obama administration has requested a “voluntary pause” on active construction and that 20 miles surrounding Lake Oahe are off-limits for now. It hasn’t stopped the Dakota Access Pipeline but it’s a sign that our voices are being heard.

At a huge rally in Bismarck, North Dakota, at least 1,000 people round dance and celebrate. Fifty riot police watch on as we dance. We pray for them to lay down their weapons and join us in our fight and in creating a world without such tools of systemic violence. Mostly, however, we focus on our purpose.

We are here for the water and we can only hope that like the thousands of protectors camping, the world will soon understand the Dakota Access Pipeline must be stopped.

Leah, a water protector. Photo by Gokhan Cukurova

Peter Dakota Molof (Oglala Lakota) is a grassroots trainer and organizer at Greenpeace USA. 

This blog was originally published on by Greenpeace USA.

Read more [Greenpeace international]

ADVISORY: How the U.S. Military is Responding to Sea Level Rise

ADVISORY: How the U.S. Military is Responding to Sea Level Rise WASHINGTON, DC–The White House and U.S. Military have continued to raise alarms about the serious and direct risks of climate change-related impacts to local communities and military installations. On Wednesday, October 19, at 9:30 a.m. EDT, World Resources Institute and Old Dominion University will host a media event, Sea Level Rise: An Intergovernmental Blueprint for Community Resiliency, featuring White House and military...

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Rich nations say on track for promised $100 billion climate finance

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Rich countries said on Monday they were on track to keep a promise to provide developing nations with $100 billion a year to tackle climate change by 2020, up from an estimated $62 billion in 2014.
Read more [Reuters]

Exxon asks court to toss out New York State's climate change case

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Exxon Mobil Corp asked a federal court on Monday to throw out a subpoena from New York State that would force the oil company to hand over decades of documents as part of a wide-ranging inquiry into whether it misled investors about climate change risks.
Read more [Reuters]

Without urgent action, climate change will push millions into hunger: U.N

ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Farmers urgently need help to adapt their methods of growing food if the world is to curb greenhouse gas emissions and prevent climate change pushing millions into hunger and poverty, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Monday.
Read more [Reuters]

Path to sustainable urban development passes through Habitat III

Gland, Switzerland – Countries should prioritize the environmental aspects of urbanization when they meet to establish new global standards for sustainable urban development at the Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador.

Although cities cover less than 2 per cent of the Earth's surface, the challenges associated with urban areas are enormous. Cities produce more than 60 per cent of the globe's CO2 emissions and shelter more than half of the planet's population, including about three-quarters of the world's impoverished people.

It's against this backdrop that UN member states should address the environmental aspects of sustainable urban development, especially the role that cities play in climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as integrated land management that includes biodiversity and ecosystems.

"The road travelled to Habitat III, starting in a participative process in 2014, represents an enormous opportunity in the transition toward a low-carbon future where cities play a key role in achieving a sustainable global footprint and biodiversity conservation," said Hugo Arnal, Director of WWF-Ecuador.

The centrepiece of the conference that is meeting from 17-20 October will be the adoption of the New Urban Agenda. The agenda will establish global standards of sustainable urban development for the next two decades and should energize global political commitment to the sustainable development of towns, cities and other human settlements.

The success of the conference hinges not only upon the adoption of the New Urban Agenda, but also on the speed with which local and national governments implement related actions, beginning with the development of necessary national and international frameworks. Also essential will be the capacity of Habitat III, national and local governments, the private sector, civil society organizations, and others to support implementation on a local level, especially in cities with limited capacities.

"It is critical to win greater recognition of ecosystem and climate-based approaches in relation to the resilience of cities and human settlements," said Arnal. "Given the strong interlinkage between the environment and climate change, we need to develop reliable systems to monitor and report greenhouse gas emissions data at city-level."

If properly implemented, the New Urban Agenda can contribute to the achievement of sustainability goals included in other important international agreements, like the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the new global climate deal adopted in Paris last year.

To highlight the role cities can play in reducing the global ecological footprint while improving quality of life, Paris was recognized as the global winner of the 2016 Earth Hour City Challenge at an award ceremony that took place Sunday, 16 October, as part of the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments.

Read more [WWF]

Melanesia's Ocean Worth Half a Trillion USD but Under Pressure

Suva, Fiji  – A major new report, Reviving Melanesia's Ocean Economy: The Case for Action, launched today, has revealed that the ocean is a much larger part of Melanesia's economy and future prosperity than previously understood.

Melanesia is a large sub-region in the Pacific that extends from the western end of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Fiji. The region includes Fiji, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.

The report maps the contribution of the ocean to the region in new ways and finds that the overall value of the ocean and coastlines in Melanesia is at least US$548 billion. The report describes the ocean's major role in food production, livelihoods and economic activity, and shows that the annual economic output of the ocean in Melanesia is at least US$5.4 billion, making the 'ocean economy' larger than most of the region's national economies.
If the ocean in Melanesia were its own economy, the new analysis finds that it would be the third largest in the region, generating about as much annual economic output as Fiji and Solomon Islands combined.  The report also describes the mounting pressures on the region's ocean assets from resource exploitation and climate change, and the serious consequences of degradation, including challenges in providing sufficient food and livelihoods for rapidly-growing populations. 
WWF's Pacific Representative, Kesaia Tabunakawai, said, "This new analysis adds considerable weight to the case for ocean conservation to be an even higher priority for Melanesian leaders. We have seen good commitments in the past but the objective analysis shows that we are running out of time and need action at a much greater scale and urgency if Melanesia is to have a healthy and prosperous future."
The report shows that marine fisheries represent more than half of the annual ocean-based economic output of Melanesia, and 70 per cent of all coastal fisheries production in the Pacific islands is for subsistence use. With current population growth projections, 60 per cent more fish will be needed to feed local populations by 2030.
Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, from the Global Change Institute, University of Queensland, and lead author of the report, said, "We can now see in no uncertain terms just how much the people of Melanesia rely on the ocean. There is no doubt the ocean has delivered the majority of food, livelihoods and economic activity for Melanesia for a very long time. Given some of the troubling trends in the status of the ecosystems that generate these benefits, however, the question is now: how long will these benefits last?"
The report sets out a clear set of measures that Pacific leaders and international partners can adopt to translate commitments into scaled-up action to protect the region's natural coastal and ocean assets, and secure food, livelihoods and the regional economy.
BCG Partner and Managing Director, Marty Smits, said, "With this analysis, no one can be in any doubt about the importance of carefully managing the ocean assets that underpin so much of the Melanesian economy. A prudent economic approach would see strong conservation actions rolled out across Melanesia to secure its natural assets, otherwise the region's economic foundations could seriously be threatened."
Global Oceans leader for WWF, John Tanzer, said, "While we see ocean ecosystems like coral reefs, mangroves and fisheries coming under immense pressure around the world and in important regions like Melanesia, we also see unprecedented focus on the ocean. Leaders in Melanesia and beyond can seize this moment to make good on commitments including around the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the global climate agreement of 2015. There is no time to lose."

Read more [WWF]

Nearly 200 nations agree binding deal to cut greenhouse gases

KIGALI (Reuters) - Nearly 200 nations have agreed a legally binding deal to cut back on greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners, a major move against climate change that prompted loud cheers when it was announced on Saturday.
Read more [Reuters]

Climate wins as another global deal to limit emissions is reached

Gland, Switzerland – More than 170 countries today agreed to amend the Montreal Protocol to allow the phase out of hydroflurocarbons (HFCs).
HFCs, used mainly in air conditioners, insulants and refrigeration equipment, are the fastest growing greenhouse gases in many countries. The agreement to limit their growth -- and rapidly transition to climate-friendly alternatives -- will help avoid warming by up to 0.5°C by the end of this century. It will also increase chances of meeting the objective of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5°C as outlined in the Paris Agreement.
Responding to the news, Regine Guenther, interim leader of WWF's Global Climate and Energy Practice said:

"This is great news for the climate. It sends a powerful signal that our governments are serious about tackling climate change, coming as it does on the heels of the ratification of the Paris Agreement, a new deal to cap aviation emissions, and just weeks before UN climate talks resume. Our path to action is clear and we now need to see the promises of these agreements realised in urgent actions on the ground."

Read more [WWF]

Kerry: nations may agree different deadlines to cut HFC greenhouse gases

KIGALI (Reuters) - Nations working to reduce greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners may agree to set different deadlines, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday, raising hopes for a breakthrough against climate change.
Read more [Reuters]

Why the Paris Agreement on climate change means the end of coal

The world has finally taken a big step forward in the fight against dangerous global warming.

The Paris Agreement on climate change – the first universal, legally binding, agreement to cut carbon emissions – was voted into law by enough nations to come into force.

The nations that have taken action are some of the biggest polluters, including the USA, China, India and the European Union. And it happened in record time: just 11 months after the deal was signed last December in Paris (the Kyoto climate change agreement, by comparison, took just over seven years). Momentum for action is building, and the Paris Agreement is a major step on the road to a future free from carbon pollution.

Greenpeace activists create a solar symbol around the Arc de Triomphe, by painting the roads yellow with a non-polluting water-based paint to reveal the image of a huge shining sun. This action reminds politicians and governments that whatever they agree in Paris, the only credible way to beat climate change is to support and increase renewables energy systems.

That’s great! So the climate crisis is over then, right?

Not quite. The Paris Agreement legislates substantial cuts to emissions in coming decades, and the fact that the biggest, most polluting nations have agreed to cut emissions and protect people from the effects of a dangerously hotter planet is important. But even those countries agree that these targets need to be strengthened if we are going to make the kind of carbon pollution reductions we need to keep the planet safe.

People in Dharnai in Bihar, India, call for climate action and energy from 100% renewable sources ahead of crunch climate talks in Paris. Dharnai had no electricity until a Greenpeace initiative to supply power through solar panels brought energy to the village.

What does the Agreement mean for fossil fuels?

The targets in the Paris agreement effectively rule out any new fossil fuels projects, whether coal, oil or gas. It also means that we need to start phasing out the mining and burning of existing fossil fuel reserves so that we have a world with clean air and water, a liveable climate and a natural world that flourishes in all its beauty, rather than a warming planet marked by droughts, fiercer bushfires and hurricanes, and conflict over dwindling resources.

As Bill McKibben recently pointed out, this means that if you still support new fossil fuel projects, you are a climate denier. This is true for governments and corporations alike.

Over 800 participants join a 'Mini Marathon - Run for Clean Air' event organised by Greenpeace Southeast Asia, to raise awareness of the growing air pollution in Thailand, which mainly comes from the transportation sector and fossil fuel industries.

The time is now

There’s no time to waste. Global warming is happening here and now and its effects are being felt all around the world. Whether it’s the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef that's killed a quarter of its coral, or the killer heatwaves that saw major cities in India hit 51C (124F), we are already suffering under human-made global warming that has pushed 2016 to be the hottest year on record.

The windfarm Amalia at the Dutch North Sea taken from the cabin window of the Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise.

But at the same time, we are seeing the solutions to the problem everywhere too. Solar and wind are breaking records in size and speed of installation – and they’re cheaper than ever. Local communities are liberating themselves from polluting fuels through cheap, decentralised renewables. And a powerful movement for change all over the world is demanding we do more to stop global warming and is pushing our leaders to match their words with real action.

Together we can win this fight, and protect the places and things we love for generations to come.

Nikola Casule is the Climate and Energy Campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific

Read more [Greenpeace international]

New York City at risk of flooding every two decades: climate study

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Hurricanes could start flooding New York City's coastline as often as every 20 years due to the effects of climate change on sea-level rise and hurricane activity, scientists said on Monday.
Read more [Reuters]

India under pressure on HFCs as world seeks third climate accord

OSLO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - India will face pressure to speed up its plans for cutting greenhouse gases used in refrigerators, air conditioning and aerosols when governments meet this week to hammer out what would be a third key deal to limit climate change in a month.
Read more [Reuters]

Japan to sign global climate pact 'as soon as possible': minister

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan will seek to ratify the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement to cut emissions and prevent climate change as soon as possible, after support from European nations sent the accord over an important threshold earlier this week.
Read more [Reuters]

RELEASE: Secure Land Rights in Amazon Brings Billions in Economic and Climate Benefits, Says New WRI Report

RELEASE: Secure Land Rights in Amazon Brings Billions in Economic and Climate Benefits, Says New WRI Report Analysis of Colombia, Brazil and Bolivia finds land rights for indigenous communities key to sustainable economic development, slowing deforestation and curbing climate change Key Points: • Countries around the world can slow deforestation and reduce emissions by making a low-cost, high-benefit investment in secure land rights for Indigenous Peoples and local communities. • ...

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Greener infrastructure said key to Paris climate deal: study

OSLO (Reuters) - Global spending on infrastructure will total $90 trillion in the next 15 years and is the key to greener economic growth after the Paris agreement on climate change won a formal go-ahead, a study said on Thursday.
Read more [Reuters]

Paris Agreement Clears Final Hurdle to Begin New Era of Global Climate Action

Paris Agreement Clears Final Hurdle to Begin New Era of Global Climate ActionAdd Comment|PrintEntry into force of the Paris Agreement will open a new era in climate action. Photo by Veggiemee/Flickr Today the global community has jumped over the final hurdle to bring the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change into full effect. This marks an historic moment in the global transformation to a safer and more prosperous planet. The Paris Agreement offers a global framework to address...

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Paris climate accord to take effect; Obama hails 'historic day'

OSLO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A global agreement to combat climate change will take force after support from European nations sent the accord across an important threshold on Wednesday, prompting U.S. President Barack Obama to hail it as a "historic day" for protecting the planet.
Read more [Reuters]

Canada ratifies Paris climate change deal in boost for Trudeau

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada's Parliament on Wednesday ratified the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions, bolstering Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's bid to tackle climate change after a decade of inaction by the previous government.
Read more [Reuters]

Chengdu Shows How Cities Can Turn Climate Commitments into Action

Chengdu Shows How Cities Can Turn Climate Commitments into ActionAdd Comment|PrintChengdu, China. Photo by ababh/Flickr This article was originally posted on the Cities are starting to get serious about curbing climate change. In the past two years, more than 500 cities worldwide have joined the Compact of Mayors, a coalition committed to ambitious climate action. This year, the Compact of Mayors merged with Covenant of Mayors to form the new Global Covenant of Mayors, with...

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Helping Chinese Cities Lead the Fight Against Climate Change

Helping Chinese Cities Lead the Fight Against Climate Change Add Comment|PrintChengdu street scene. Photo by Lawrence MacDonald/WRI In the fight to avert runaway climate change, no country is more important than China, and nowhere in China is more important than its booming cities. So it’s good news that some of China’s biggest cities have committed to peak their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions before China’s national goal of 2030.   A recent visit to China gave me a first-hand look at how my...

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With EU backing, Paris climate deal clears last hurdle to taking effect

STRASBOURG (Reuters) - The European Parliament approved the Paris accord to fight climate change on Tuesday, tipping it over the threshold needed for the global deal to enter into force, in what U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon hailed as an historic vote.
Read more [Reuters]

Climate deal set to enter into force

GLAND, Switzerland (4 October, 2016) – The global climate deal agreed in Paris last year has met the minimum requirements for entry-into-force. The Paris Agreement will now enter-into-force just days before the next global climate meeting in Marrakech, Morocco which starts on 7 November.
In response, WWF issued the following statement from Regine Guenther, interim leader of WWF International's Climate and Energy Practice:

"The fact that the Paris Agreement will enter into force less than a year after it was agreed is amazing, and a real sign that climage change is being taken seriously globally. While countries have met the requirements for this, there are still many countries who have to ratify it and we urge them to do this as quickly as possible.
"Focus on climate action must now shift to implementation at national levels. The same political winds that drove the ratification process, should now drive the momentum for  urgent and accelerated implementation of the country climate pledges.
"Despite today's great news, we already know that these climate pledges that underpin the Paris Agreement will not be enough to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. We also need to see scaled up efforts both from countries and all other sectors.
"We urge the politicians who made the Paris Agreement possible to make the most of opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are presently being considered by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the International Maritime Organisation, and under the Montreal Protocol."

Read more [WWF]

Paris climate accord to go into force: but faces test of enforcement

OSLO (Reuters) - A global agreement on climate change is set to win enough ratifications by signatory nations this week to go into force in November, heralding a harder phase of turning promises into cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
Read more [Reuters]

India ratifies Paris climate change deal

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India, the world's third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, formally joined the Paris agreement on tackling climate change on Sunday, the United Nations said, taking the global pact a step closer to its enactment.
Read more [Reuters]

STATEMENT: India Joins Paris Agreement on Climate Change

STATEMENT: India Joins Paris Agreement on Climate Change India ratified the Paris Agreement on October 2, the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. To date, 62 countries representing 51.89% of global emissions have joined the Paris Agreement. Fifty-five countries representing 55% of global emissions must join before the pact enters into force. Track progress on WRI's Paris Agreement Tracker. Following is a statement from Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of World Resources...

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Storm-struck St. Lucia's PM says islands need more to tackle warming

CASTRIES, St. Lucia (Reuters) - Small island states need financial help to help cope with extreme weather linked to climate change, St. Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said, as his Caribbean country recovers from flooding and landslides triggered by Hurricane Matthew.
Read more [Reuters]

EU fast-tracks Paris climate deal to brink of entering into force

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union states agreed on Friday on a fast-track, joint ratification of the Paris accord to combat climate change, pushing the landmark global pact to the brink of entering into force.
Read more [Reuters]

Global warming to breach 2C limit by 2050 unless tougher action: study

OSLO (Reuters) - Global warming is on track to breach a 2 degrees Celsius threshold by 2050 unless governments at least double their efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions, scientists said on Thursday.
Read more [Reuters]

Ethiopia soil map arms farmers with new fertilisers in climate fight

ADDIS ABABA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A comprehensive digital map charting soil fertility in Ethiopia is proving an important tool in tackling the country’s low farm productivity, a challenge made more acute by climate change.
Read more [Reuters]

Obama power plant rules face key test in court

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The centerpiece of President Barack Obama's climate change strategy faced a key test on Tuesday as conservative appeals court judges questioned whether his administration overstepped its legal authority under an air pollution law to make sweeping changes to the U.S. electric sector.
Read more [Reuters]

Climate impact on crops will hit poorest

Climate News Network: More than half of all the world’s maize crops and around a third of all wheat and rice will be grown in regions vulnerable to climate change in the next 50 to 100 years, according to new research. At the same time, the world’s population will grow to 9 billion, and global food production will need to rise by from 60% to 110% by 2050 to keep up with demand. Such changes will inevitably hit the poorest nations hardest, and will put at hazard the planet’s remaining wilderness areas and the surviving...

Limiting the planet to 1.5° of warming is crucial, but it won't be easy

Scientific American: Astonishment was universal last December when the Paris Agreement on climate change included the aspiration to limit warming to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels, a much tougher target than the standard of 2°, now seen as too risky. It was a remarkable triumph for a long campaign by the small island states, proving that even tiny nations with a powerful moral case can change the world. But what does a global aim of 1.5° mean? Is it achievable? How much difference would it make? A conference at...

The Madhouse Effect of climate denial

Guardian: A new book by Michael Mann and Tom Toles takes a fresh look on the effects humans are having on our climate and the additional impacts on our politics. While there have been countless books about climate change over the past two decades, this one – entitled The Madhouse Effect - distinguishes itself by its clear and straightforward science mixed with clever and sometimes comedic presentation. In approximately 150 pages, this books deals with the basic science and the denial industry, which has...

Food supply fears spark China land grab

Climate News Network: China is protecting itself against future food supply problems caused by climate change by buying or leasing large tracts of land in Africa and South America, a leading UK climate scientist says. Professor Peter Wadhams, an expert on the disappearing Arctic ice, says that while countries in North America and Europe are ignoring the threat that changing weather patterns are causing to the world food supply, China is taking “self-protective action”. He says that changes in the jet stream caused by...

Libertarian candidate Johnson promotes space travel as solution for climate change

CNBC: The challenges posed by climate change could be solved by humans living on other planets, Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate and former governor of New Mexico, has told ABC News. "We do have to inhabit other planets. The future of the human race is space exploration," he told the broadcaster in an interview late Sunday. Johnson was asked about a comment made back in 2011 where he said that "in billions of years the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the earth." Johnson...

Melting Greenland ice threatens to expose Cold War waste

Agence France-Presse: A snow-covered former US army base in Greenland -- dubbed "a city under ice" -- could leak pollutants into the environment as the climate changes, raising difficult questions over who is responsible for a clean-up. In 1959, US army engineers began constructing a futuristic project in northwestern Greenland that might as well have been lifted from a Cold War spy movie. A network of tunnels under the snow contained everything from research facilities to a hospital, a cinema and a church -- all powered...

India to ratify Paris Agreement climate pact on Oct. 2

Yahoo!: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India will ratify the Paris Agreement climate change pact on Oct 2. Modi’s announcement on Sunday is seen as a major boost to the implementation of measures at international level in an attempt to control global warming. Modi added that the country has chosen Oct. 2 to coincide with the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, who lived his entire live with minimum carbon footprint. "There is one work left in the CoP21 (Conference of Parties). Ratification is yet...

Why Paris Climate Agreement Is Finally the Beginning of a Long Journey

Newsweek: Thirty-one countries formally ratified the Paris climate change agreement at the U.N. on Wednesday. The major diplomatic move significantly increases the prospects that the landmark global warming treaty will now come into effect soon, possibly before the end of the year. For this to happen, at least 55 countries accounting for a minimum of 55 percent of global emissions must deposit their instruments of ratification with the U.N. With Wednesday’s breakthrough, 60 countries accounting for 47.7...

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson proposes space colonies in response to climate change

Blasting News: Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, was being interviewed on “This Week” on ABC when the question was put to him about #Climate Change, the theory that human use of fossil fuels in pumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere is raising the temperature of the Earth. Johnson offered an unusual policy prescription for the problem, according to the Washington Examiner. He said "we do have to inhabit other planets. The future of the human race is #Space exploration.” Space exploration and...

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