Global warming news

Time for Europe to stand up for peace - and renewables

Every year, the Munich Security Conference brings together the most senior decision-makers to debate critical issues in international security.

This year, I will join them. And while I am sure I will disagree with most of the participants on many things - and make it clear that Greenpeace does not support the notion of security defined by military might - I am also sure of one thing: The majority of participants will agree that climate change is a key threat to international security.

For all its faults, the military and intelligence community have been vocal on the threats of climate change and one of the first to prepare for it. For over a decade now, the U.S. military in particular has recognised climate change as a major threat to security. The latest National Security Strategy elevated climate change to a top-level strategic risk, alongside terrorism, economic crises and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. 

Senior representatives of the new US administration are expected to attend the Munich conference, including Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of Defence James Mattis. They will be urging the European Union (EU) to take more responsibility for its own security. I agree Europe should. But not - as US President Donald Trump and his administration demand - through investing more money in the military or by erecting higher walls or stronger fences. Quite the opposite.

Europe needs to respond to the American call for increased responsibility with an ambitious peace and security project that brings meaning and hope to its own citizens and people around the world.

The EU remains a crucial player in the international arena. It´s time to use this position to promote peace and urgently address climate change through a clean energy economy globally. The EU must demonstrate leadership by forcing the US to live in the real world and address climate change as a major security threat. And the EU needs to become a leading example of a new type of prosperity that does not come at a cost to the environment or the world’s poor.

Indeed, the EU must promote peace by addressing the root causes of conflicts. Conflicts are always complex and "resource wars" are not new. But looking at the current conflicts from Iraq, Ukraine, South Sudan, the South China Sea to Nigeria it is obvious that the access, the transport and thus the dependence on fossil fuels play a critical role.

In 2003 Mattis called on Department of Defence planners to ‘unleash us from the tether of fuel.” He was right on that - and his call is now more urgent than ever. Our governments must unleash us from the tether of fossil fuels. And deliver true security. We have a long way to go. If you search for "security policy" in Google Images, the images you get are of men in uniforms, combat aircraft, fences and endless pipelines. What you don't find are wind turbines or photovoltaic systems, insulation materials or double glazed windows. But these are the "weapons" we must deploy if we want to create a safer world order.

The stakes have never been higher. Donald Trump is promising to keep the US in the fossil fuel age by doubling down on oil, gas and coal production. Although he will fail to stop the global energy revolution underway, former ExxonMobil boss Tillerson as the US Secretary of State, still brings a real risk of ‘oil (friendly) diplomacy’, which could accelerate global conflict and catastrophic climate change.

Europe must not allow this to happen. European leaders attending the conference - whether Chancellor Merkel, EU Council President Tusk, EU High Representative Mogherini, or Foreign Ministers Gabriel, Ayrault or Johnson - all must tell Pence and Mattis in Munich that transatlantic security discussions need to always include the fight against climate change. And they must be clear that the EU will build peace and security through a new clean energy economy.

Planet Earth First Banner at G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Bonn, 16 Feb, 2017.

In Munich, European leaders should tell their American visitors that European foreign and development policies will drive a 100% renewable, zero carbon economy globally by 2050 at the latest. Such an efficient, decentralized renewables-based economy would not only bring stability to Europe, but have a stabilising effect worldwide. In Munich, the EU needs to take a stand and show true leadership and global responsibility. I will be there, I will be watching and I will call out leaders if they fail this test of responsibility.

Jennifer Morgan is the Executive Director of Greenpeace International.

First published on the Huffington Post online


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We are going to court!

It's time we hold governments accountable for their climate promises; we must protect the pristine Arctic - it's critical for the preservation of our planet for future generations.

That’s why we’re taking Arctic oil to court.

Statoil-Operated Oil Drilling Platform near Tromsø, Norway. 24 Jan 2017 

Our legal case against the Norwegian government, which granted new oil drilling licenses in the Arctic ocean, finally has a court date. On November 13th we are going to court!

My name is Michelle. As one of the attorneys behind this groundbreaking case I'll be updating you as it moves ahead.

When I think of future generations, I think of my niece Blythe. At five months, she has every right to a full and healthy life - free from the catastrophic effects of climate change we are already seeing around the world. THIS - tackling climate change - should be the main priority of governments. It seems however, that they need a little push in guaranteeing these rights. Civil society and youth around the world are doing just that, through the courts. We can be the generation that ends oil. 

The People vs Arctic Oil: Historic lawsuit filed against Arctic Oil in Oslo, 18 Oct 2016.

Let me take you through some legal stuff.

Norway was among the first countries in the world to sign the Paris Agreement and promise to help limit global warming. But, right after they signed on, they started handing out vast areas of Norwegian seas to oil companies. New oil drilling. In the Arctic! That is madness. The Arctic is vital in regulating the earth's temperature! We will show the Court that the government must take action, not only to keep the Paris climate agreement on track, but also to uphold the Norwegian Constitution:

You see, the licenses violate Norwegian’s constitutional right to a healthy environment. This is what is written in Article 112 of the Constitution:

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”.

It is clear that drilling for more fossil fuels in the Arctic is against the rights enshrined in Article 112. We are demanding that the government upholds these constitutional guarantees.

This is not just about Norway. This is about climate justice for us, our nieces and nephews, all children - every person and future generations.

What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay there. Around the world, communities are already battling the effects of climate change. People have been made homeless by storms, killed by floods and suffered starvation from terrible droughts. Unless we act now, climate change will cause more dangerous and more frequent extreme weather events and sea levels will rise. Lives, livelihoods, homes, and our environment are all at risk.

But this case is now part of a wave of people stepping up for climate all over the world, from Norway to the Philippines. If millions of us come together and take this battle to court, we build a movement to take back our future. So far, more than 150 000 people have joined this global movement. If you haven’t already, add your name and be part of the generation that ends oil.

It is time to end the oil age. If you're a government, and you're accelerating climate change, there is a good chance we'll see you in court. Stay tuned.

Michelle Jonker-Argueta is an attorney with Greenpeace International.


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Live long and protest: the power of mass action is alive in Romania

At the beginning of this month, the biggest mass protest in Romania since the fall of communism in 1989 unfolded across the country. Hundreds of thousands of people in the capital, Bucharest, and every major city in Romania took to the streets against a decree that would have decriminalised abuses of public office. After a week of peaceful protests, the government withdrew the controversial law.

Huge crowds assembled in Bucharest

You don’t see mobilisation like this every day, but it happens when the stakes are high - and it can be extremely powerful. Previous mass demonstrations highlighted cyanide open-pit mining in Rosia Montana (2013), forest protection (2015) and again corruption, after a horrible fire in a nightclub that could have been prevented if the people responsible had applied the law (Colectiv, autumn 2015).

Greenpeace Romania joins protests against changes in the Romanian Forest Code in 2015.

Greenpeace Romania joined protesters because we believe the consequences of the emergency ordinance decree would have affected our work to protect the environment. It would have indirectly allowed companies to choose less costly and environmentally-damaging alternatives for their projects without fear of legal repercussions. The recently-passed executive order also threatened the already limited checks and balances against environmental crimes.

The reasons that hundreds of thousands of people so vocally rejected this decree may vary in tone from one to the next, but we knew the country needed to stand together against corruption: in a country that decriminalises corruption, there is no protection against environmental crimes.

Non-violence, creativity and solidarity – keywords of the unprecedented protests in Romania

Crowds all over Romania braved a bitter winter chill to protest. With creativity and humour on the banners displayed they inspired many more to join in and add their own - or even fly in from other countries where they now live - to show solidarity. Because of the pressure exerted by the large number of people that took to the streets to protect democracy, the Government repealed the ordinance.

'Bear with us'

It is the beginning of a victory for democracy

Each time people demonstrate for something is a reminder that we must act together to protect our fundamental rights and that we have the power to change unjust actions. We are experiencing challenging times and the clock is ticking on the health of the planet. Now, more than ever, we need to unite in the fight to protect our planet from the threats posed by climate change.

Protests are going on, all over the world. If you are reading this and you feel that all might be lost, remember that someone, somewhere is just now realising that it’s time to act and is not giving up hope. There’s simply too much to lose now. We resist and insist on the fact that holding political office does not give anyone the right to exploit it to legitimise environmental, or any other kind of abuse. We are used to hard fights and improbable victories. We are stronger together. Take action now and get involved in a local active group to make your voice heard.

Irina Bandrabur is a press officer in Greenpeace CEE’s Romania office


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Implementing the Agenda 2030: sustainability standards help business seize opportunities

Gland, Switzerland – A new report published by WWF and ISEAL today indicates how businesses can contribute strongly to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and unlock new market opportunities by using credible voluntary sustainability standards to transform entire sectors and supply chains.
 
The report, "SDGs mean business: How credible standards can help companies deliver the 2030 Agenda" illustrates how such standards - ready-made tools for businesses and supply chain actors - can help accelerate progress on many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) while delivering direct benefits for companies and small-scale producers. 
 
"Poverty, inequality, water scarcity, climate change and the loss of biodiversity are significant risks for business and aligning with the SDGs represents an opportunity," says Richard Holland, Director, Global Conservation Division at WWF International. "While leading companies have already made far-reaching commitments to help address climate change, deforestation and decent work, the majority of business sectors are not yet delivering on their responsibility towards the Agenda 2030."
 
Credible, multi-stakeholder standards embody the partnership spirit of the SDGs, bringing together businesses, NGOs, governments and others to work toward common goals that benefit business, people and the planet. They are an important mechanism to help companies reach their targets by scaling-up sustainable practices. Tried and tested on the ground, they can be used at every link in the value chain – enabling producers, harvesters and processors to achieve a recognized level of sustainability, and traders, manufacturers and retailers to address the impacts of their supply chains.
 
Many farmers using sustainability standards have seen net increases in their incomes due to productivity and quality improvements. The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) 2014 Harvest Report found farmers following the BCI standard across seven countries had yields 23 per cent higher and profits per hectare 36 per cent higher than conventional cotton farmers, while using less water and chemical inputs. For certified coffee farmers, this has translated among other benefits to improved school attendance of their children.
 
In Indonesia, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) smallholder certification is taking pressure off elephants and tigers in Tesso Nilo National Park where French retailer Carrefour has been working with WWF to support smallholders to achieve RSPO certification. Smallholders taking part in the project have managed to increase productivity through better management practices, without expanding into the national park.
 
For businesses certification helps to manage risk. The social and environmental impacts of palm oil production for example represent a significant risk for investors. To mitigate these risks, a number of finance institutions, including the International Finance Corporation, Credit Suisse and Rabobank, require their clients to achieve RSPO certification.
 
"Over the next 13 years, all countries are expected to make progress across all of the SDGs.  Considering the overarching focus of the SDG agenda on people and the environment, it is clear that sustainability standards can play a crucial role in its implementation," says Norma Tregurtha, Senior Policy & Outreach Manager at ISEAL.  "By providing an independent, verifiable method to assess whether or not a certain level of performance on sustainability is reached, standards and certification systems can serve as a measure of progress against the SDGs."
 
Direct benefits for businesses from using sustainability standards can range from efficiency gains through improved management practices, increased transparency and traceability throughout the whole supply chain to better quality relationships between suppliers and buyers.
 
WWF and ISEAL call upon the business community, key implementing partners of the 2030 Agenda, to use credible standards as a tool to increase sustainable practices and report on SDG progress.


More information: 

About credible sustainability standard systems
Sustainability standards translate the broad concept of sustainability into specific, concrete measures for companies and their suppliers. With broad uptake, they can move whole industries toward improved social, environmental and economic performance. This can make a major contribution to the SDGs.

Key elements of a credible sustainability standard include:

  • Multistakeholder participation: a standard's requirements should be developed and governed through a multistakeholder process, involving representatives from across the entire supply chain from businesses, civil society, governments, research institutions and NGOs, with balanced decision-making. This should ensure the standard has positive social and environmental impacts, while also being practically and economically viable for large-scale uptake.
  • Transparency: details of the standard, how it is applied and how decisions are made, including certification assessments, should be clear and publicly available. 
  • Independent verification: compliance with the standard should be verified by an accredited, independent third party auditor or certification body. Impartial and periodic field-level verification is essential to understand whether a standard is actually achieving its mission.
  • Continuous improvement: the standard and the system should be regularly reviewed to incorporate the latest information and lessons learned and ensure it delivers it goals..
Visit the ISEAL website for a full list of ISEAL members.
 
Concrete examples of impacts from sustainable standards include:
 
Improving smallholder livelihoods: effectiveness of certification in coffee, cocoa and cotton
Farmers using sustainability standards have seen net increases in their incomes due to productivity and quality improvements, as well as premiums paid. to them. A study by KPMG SUSTAINEO covering various standard systems found that certified smallholders also had better access to training, and their children's school attendance was improved. The study covered Fairtrade, UTZ Certified, Sustainable Agriculture Network/Rainforest
Alliance, Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C, now the Sustainable Coffee Platform), Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), Cotton made in Africa (CmiA) and Organic. A growing amount of data on farmer livelihoods and productivity is showing how standards can contribute to several targets under SDG2. For example, the BCI's 2014 Harvest Report found farmers following the BCI standard across seven countries had yields 23 per cent higher and profits per hectare 36 per cent higher than conventional cotton farmers, while using less water and chemical inputs.
 
RSPO smallholder certification taking pressure off elephants and tigers
Tesso Nilo National Park on the island of Sumatra one of the last strongholds of Sumatran elephants and tigers and boasts some of the most diverse flora on the planet. But it's under siege by illegal palm oil plantations. French retailer Carrefour has been working with WWF to support smallholders in the area to achieve RSPO
certification. Smallholders taking part in the project have managed to increase productivity through better management practices, without expanding into the national park.
 
Weaving opportunities for women in Nepal
The GoodWeave standard certifies carpets and rugs that are free from child labour or forced labour. The organization runs a vocational training initiative for women, called Weaving Opportunities. Launched in Nepal in 2013, the programme aims to provide at-risk and impoverished women with marketable skills and to replenish the workforce with skilled adult weavers. After three months' training, participants have the opportunity to work at a GoodWeave-certified carpet factory. In a survey of 87 women on the programme, more than half had no income before the intervention, while those who had been employed had a median monthly income of around US$30. Within the first month of employment, their median income was $60 – and their incomes have risen further as their weaving skills and speed increase..
 
Private partnership for sustainable palm oil
The social and environmental impacts of palm oil production represent a significant risk for investors. To mitigate these risks, a number of finance institutions, including the International Finance Corporation, Credit Suisse and Rabobank, require their clients to achieve Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification. Members of the investment community have also formed partnerships to promote more sustainable palm oil production. One such initiative is the Sustainable Palm Oil Investor Working Group, whose 25 members represent assets under management of over US$1.4 trillion.

More examples can be found in the report. 

 
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President Trump’s Global Gag Rule Expansion Threatens Environmental Outcomes

President Trump’s Global Gag Rule Expansion Threatens Environmental OutcomesAdd Comment|PrintMaternal and child health training in Bangladesh. Photo by AusAID/Flickr This post is part of WRI’s blog series, [The Trump Administration](/blog-tags/trump-administration). The series analyzes policies and actions by the administration and their implications for climate change, energy, economics and more. The ramifications of President Donald Trump’s decision to reinstate and expand the Global Gag...

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Missing the Target

The urgency to solve our climate crisis feels something like a ship heading off course: The longer you delay, the more you have to turn the wheel.  

Consider these numbers: 2, 350, 1990. These were the original climate goals. In 1975, at the time of the first Greenpeace whale campaign, environmental economist William Nordhaus proposed that the danger threshold for a temperature increase above Earth’s preindustrial average would be 2°C. This goal was not considered entirely safe, but beyond this target we risked severe climate disruption and likely runaway heating.


Dr James Hansen, 2016

The 350 figure came from several climate scientists, including Dr James Hansen, who co-authored the first NASA global temperature analysis in 1981. Hansen proposed that to remain below the 2°C target, we would have to hold the carbon dioxide (CO2) content of the atmosphere below 350 parts-per-million (ppm). In 2007, Bill McKibben adopted Hansen’s target for the name of the climate activist group, 350.org. “if we want to stabilise climate”, Hansen said in 2012, “we must reduce CO2 … back to 350ppm.”

To achieve this, we must reduce human carbon emissions. In 1990, the Stockholm Environment Institute confirmed the 2°C maximum and, in 1991, the first climate COP met in Berlin with the goal of returning carbon emissions to the 1990 level. Achieving the 1990 carbon emissions, about six billion tons per year, only represents a good start. Ultimately, we have to reduce human carbon emissions from our current 10 billion tons to about 2-billion tons per year. That will require an 80% reduction in the use of fossil fuels.

1990

Some European nations have retained the 1990 emissions targets, although none have achieved this. Most other nations have abandoned the 1990 emissions date in their recent 2015 Paris “pledges”. The US and Canada move the target forward 15 years, to 2005 and only pledge to reduce emissions 17% below those levels. Neither nation has done anything significant to achieve even this pathetic goal. Claims in North America and Europe of “reducing” carbon emissions reflect, primarily, exporting those emissions, the dirtiest industries, to nations such as China, India and Mexico. If we look at emissions-per-capita, the US and Canada still lead the pack and the European Union remains well above the world average and above a pace that would lead to 1990 emission levels.

Other nations — such as Mexico, Israel and Brazil — have only pledged to hold emissions below a “business as usual” future projection, which is almost meaningless. Likewise, China will only commit to “reducing carbon intensity”, which is a similar measure of emissions versus economic growth, also meaningless in the effort to actually reduce carbon emissions. As a atmospheric scientist, Tim Garrett, said in a recent email: “The bathtub only stops filling when the tap is turned off, not when we stop cranking it open.”

Since the first COP conference in 1990, carbon emissions have increased by about 67%. In any practical sense, we can consider the original 1990 emissions target abandoned by the politicians. 

350

By 1930, primarily from burning coal, humans had pushed Earth’s CO2 content above 300ppm for the first time in over 500,000 years: through four glaciation-warming cycles, most of the fire-making history of Homo erectus and the entire history of Homo sapiens

Jim Bohlens and Bob Cummings in Canada, 1971

When Greenpeace began in 1971, atmospheric CO2 stood at 325ppm. We learned of the climate threat in the mid-70s, when a colleague of James Lovelock sent us a hand-drawn graph. By 1991, atmospheric CO2 had increased to 355 ppm. A recent January 2017 reading, after 25 years of climate conferences reached 406.47ppm, and in April 2016 a Mauna Loa reading registered over 409ppm.

Serious ecologists still cling to the 350ppm goal and scientists know that this is what it will take to have a chance of stabilising Earth’s climate, but national policies, international conferences and some environmental groups have abandoned it in favour of promises to establish carbon taxes, improve carbon intensity or improve “business as usual” projections. While we fiddle, Earth burns.

2°C

Nevertheless, the ultimate question is whether or not we can keep the human-industrial average Earth temperature increase below 2°C. Paleoclimate data tells us that there is a simple relationship between CO2 content and Earth’s average temperature. There are multiple factors and feedbacks, such as methane releases and forest decline, but the CO2-to-temperature relationship remains consistent: for every doubling of CO2 measured in parts-per-million, Earth will experience approximately a 3°C temperature increase (2.2°C to 4.8°C, depending on the feedbacks that are triggered, and recent feedbacks suggest the higher range). We will reach a doubling of pre-industrial CO2 when we reach 560ppm. 

During the 141 years between 1850 and 1991, human industry increased atmospheric CO2 content by about 0.5 ppm per year. However, during the last twenty years of that stretch, we were increasing CO2 content by about 1.5ppm per year. In the ten years between 2006 and the latest readings from 2017, we were increasing CO2 by about 2.5ppm/year, and in the three years between 2014-17, we have been increasing CO2 by over 3.5ppm/year. 

If we continue at this business-as-usual rate, increasing the atmospheric carbon at 3.5ppm/year, we will reach 560ppm by 2060. If we reduce the rate from 3.5ppm to 2.5ppm/year, we buy a couple of decades and reach that unhappy milestone in about 2078. In either case, this means a +3°C temperature increase at least, and the risk of runaway heating — due to methane releases, forest loss and other feedback factors.

If we begin immediately to phase out fossil fuels and achieve a 50% reduction by 2100, we still reach 560ppm, a +3°C temperature increase and runaway heating by about 2075. That represents an epic fail.

So, if we are serious, we require a much faster and immediate reduction in fossil fuel consumption, which honest climate scientists have been suggesting for decades. We need to reduce fossil fuel use and carbon emissions by at least 80%, and quickly, over the next 30 years, before 2050. This means cutting carbon emissions from 10 billion tons per year, to two billion tons/year by 2050.

Starting now, we need to slash global carbon emission by about about 4.5% per year for the next 30 years. That means a 450 million ton decrease this year. 

We can no longer be satisfied with flying around the world to conferences to talk about it or dither about future technologies. We can no longer pretend that we can continually grow our global economic footprint and solve the climate crisis with electric cars and windmills. The “carbon capture” technologies promised by industry for decades have failed to materialise, with no sign of success for the future. The only way to actually reduce emissions is to reduce fossil fuel use. Windmills and solar panels might help, but they haven’t helped so far because we’ve remained delusional about their carbon-costs (for steel, cement, mining, and so forth) and because these energy technologies have only added to our energy supply, not actually reduced fossil fuel consumption. 

Eemshaven coal plant protest in Groingen, Netherlands, 2016

In isolated regions, some politicians claim we have reduced fossil consumption, but keep in mind: those regions that have significantly reduced fossil fuel use, have exported their dirty fossil fuel sectors to China, India, and elsewhere. Earth’s atmosphere does not care if the carbon molecules rise from Europe, China or India. Total global emissions is the only factor that matters. 

If every nation signing the Paris agreement met its goal, we would still be headed to 3°C or more. The Paris pledges are not remotely enough and do not represent any sort of “victory.”

Why do our societies have such a difficult time making this change? “The efforts are not commensurate with the goal,” says Dr Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, because “the inertia in the system (oceans, economies, technologies, people) is substantial.” In physics, inertia is the resistance to changes in motion or direction. In human society, inertia includes the addition of 80-million new people every year, the unrelenting growth of consumption, a growing industrial economy and particularly the wasteful extravagance of the rich. The wealthiest 10% of the global population create 50% of the carbon emissions. 

In the 16th and 17th centuries, the Roman Catholic Church forbade certain scientists from publishing their discoveries about the natural world. Ironically, after the 2015 Paris conference, Pope Francis was the only world leader clearly articulating the implications of the scientific data. ”Even to limit warming below 3°C”, he warned, “a radical transformation of capitalism will be necessary.” Today, the deniers of truth represent the Church of Money. The solutions to the climate crisis are simple but unthinkable for the devotees of profit. This has to change if we are to succeed in our climate goals.

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

 

Sources and links:

“Carbon Dioxide Emission-Intensity in Climate Projections: Comparing the Observational Record to Socio-Economic Scenarios.”  Felix Pretis, Max Roser, Oxford University Dept. of Economics.

“No way out? The double-bind in seeking global prosperity alongside mitigated climate change,” T. J. Garrett, Univ. of Utah: Earth Systems Dynamics.

“Why we’re losing the battle to keep global warming below 2C” The Guardian  

“Target atmospheric CO2: Where should humanity aim? J. Hansen, M. Sato, P. Kharecha, et. al. (NASA, Columbia Univ., Univ. Sheffield, Yale Univ., LSCE/IPSL, Boston Univ., Wesleyan Univ., UC Santa Cruz): Cornell University Library

Daily CO2 readings: CO2 Earth  

Climate Sensitivity to doubling CO2 = 2.2 - 4.8°C: Nature; summary in The Guardian


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Mail on Sunday’s Misleading Claims on Climate Change

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Trump's EPA pick vote delayed in boycott by Senate Democrats

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Leadership today will shape our common future

Last week, I arrived in Davos for my first World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos meeting unsure of what I was going to find. I was preoccupied with the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. President and the news that for the third year in a row, global temperatures had broken all records. Walking to the conference centre every morning I stopped to look at and absorb the beauty of the snow-covered mountains. Watching this fragile beauty increased my determination to directly and forcefully speak truth to the powerful who came to Davos.

Jennifer Morgan joins the Senior Women for Climate Protection group at WEF 17 in Davos, 19 Jan 2017. © Greenpeace / Miriam Künzli

And I knew I was not alone. I was there representing all of you — the tens of millions of Greenpeace supporters who believe that by working together we can rise to the most pressing environmental and security threats facing the world today, from climate change to nuclear weapons proliferation.

The theme of the entire event was ‘Responsive and Responsible Leadership’. For sure, we need responsible leadership at all levels of society - from Presidents and Prime Ministers, to CEOs, city Mayors, civil society leaders and of course from citizens. But are the people who came together in Davos ready to rise to the challenge?

My impression is mixed. Indeed, it was a roller coaster week, full of moments of inspiration, finding people who understood the challenges the world faces deeply and are ready to act, and moments of darkness, listening to conversations laced with greed and where climate change was not even mentioned as a key threat to our humanity.

One clear bright spot was when I left the center to meet up with the KlimaSeniorinnen, a group of committed Swiss grandmothers, who have taken their government to court for failing to act on climate as needed. They had traveled together to Davos, despite not being allowed into the centre, to give out “earth cookies” baked the night before, and to call for climate justice. They gave me one tin of cookies, with blue and green little earth icing on top, to bring into the conference centre. Giving out those cookies for climate justice gave me the chance to connect with many people in a human way. The combination of such an act of kindness of the grannies with a strong moral call to action, touched the people I spoke with whether they were top journalists, corporate executives or staff at a coffee stand. It linked up people based on our values and our hopes and our dreams for a world of peace and justice, and reminded us of how many people in the world today are ready to stand up and be counted.

Members of KlimaSeniorinnen (Senior Women for Climate Protection), 25 Oct, 2016. © Greenpeace / Ex-Press / Flurin Bertschinger 

Another key moment for me was the speech of President Xi Jingping. I felt the earth shift a bit to the east when listening to his speech. I was relieved he indicated Chinese climate leadership as he made it very clear that China is committed to the Paris Agreement, and the clean energy future it calls for - no matter what other countries do. Indeed, that China is committed to climate action was something I heard echoed again and again by the large Chinese delegation in the conference center. It seemed like China was stepping into the void now left by the United States and trying to establish itself as a global climate leader.

It is no exaggeration to say that the leadership choices we make today will shape our common future at every level. This is the last leadership generation that can avert climate chaos. And no one can deny that the leaders gathered in Davos have a huge role and responsibility in shaping the future. They can choose to be responsible for greater inequity, ecological destruction and insecurity, or they can chose to seize the day and the solutions we have at hand, like renewable energy, to combat climate change and make the world cleaner, safer and fairer. I was in Davos to try to make sure the elite gathered there understood that, and to push them to put people and planet before profit and power.

Greenpeace stands together with the millions that want more responsible leadership to make that world possible, to hold those against that world, accountable and to work with those ready to build bridges, not walls.

Jennifer Morgan is the Executive Director of Greenpeace International.

This blog was originally published on The Huffington Post 


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EPA spokesman says website review underway: media report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Officials from President Donald Trump's administration are currently reviewing the content of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website, but have no immediate plans to remove the website content on climate change, The Hill quoted an EPA spokesman as saying on Wednesday.
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Trump administration tells EPA to cut climate page from website: sources

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to remove the climate change page from its website, two agency employees told Reuters, the latest move by the newly minted leadership to erase ex-President Barack Obama's climate change initiatives.
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America Can’t Afford to Be a Climate Loner

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South, southeast face Europe's most adverse climate change impact: agency

(Reuters) - Southern and southeastern regions of Europe will face the continent's most adverse effects from climate change as heatwaves and droughts become more intense and frequent, the European Environment Agency (EEA) said on Wednesday.
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Agricultural revolution in Germany: we want it and we can do it

We are fed up. You, me and a lot of our farmers. In Berlin, Germany, some 18,000 people just took to the streets to protest against industrial agriculture. It is clear we no longer want a food system that is dependent on pesticides, pollutes our water, uses genetic engineering, grabs land, mistreats animals and takes absolute control of the food we eat.

For the seventh time already, myself and people from all over the country defied the cold and windy German winter to speak out for a better food system. It is one of the biggest food demonstrations in Europe, but many people around the world share the same desire. It is such an inspiration to see that I am not alone, but that this demand is carried by a larger part of our society. It is a demand that our politicians can no longer ignore.

Protesters at the 'We have had enough' demonstration in Berlin

100% 'ecologised' agriculture can feed us all!

The good news is that change is possible. Two weeks ago Greenpeace Germany published a study on how to completely "ecologise" Germany's agriculture by 2050 and it turns out we do not need to rely on an industrial system to feed Germany. Calculations prove that Germany's population of an estimated 76 million people could be entirely fed with high quality food, which is almost completely domestically produced.

Produce from an ecological farm in Bulgaria

We can do it – we are the change

Making the change towards an ecological agricultural system requires a strong will, as our study outlines.

A strong political will is needed to push through the necessary political measures – measures that channel subsidies into the right ecological direction, improve the livestock production and much more.

But also a personal will is needed. An essential part of changing our impact in the world is in our hands by reducing the amount of meat we eat. Industrial livestock and meat consumption are a major driver of environmental damage. Nitrate from liquid animal manure contaminates our groundwater. Livestock contributes to massive amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and is therefore one of the main driving forces of climate change.

Ecological produce at farmers market in Paris

Germany needs a 50% cut of meat production to achieve its climate and environmental protection goals. This means we Germans need to eat half the meat we consume today. Apart from this, our agricultural revolution will only be possible if we reduce food waste by 50% and pay fair prices to our farmers and food producers in Germany and around the world.

Dirk Zimmermann is a senior food campaigner at Greenpeace Germany.


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Intact Forest Landscapes Matter for Climate Change. Here Are 3 Reasons Why.

Intact Forest Landscapes Matter for Climate Change. Here Are 3 Reasons Why.Add Comment|PrintUlu Mesen forest ecosystem in Aceh, Indonesia. Photo by UK Department of International Development (DFID) A new study in Science Advances found that since 2000, the total area of the world’s intact forest landscapes (IFLs)—vast swaths of unbroken wilderness that are largely unaffected by human activity—has decreased by 7.2 percent. This is troubling, since IFLs are a key component in mitigating global...

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In message to Trump, EU says will remain top investor against climate change

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Investment Bank, the EU's lending institution, will maintain a target of investing around 20 billion dollars a year to fight climate change over the next five years, it said on Tuesday, sending a warning to climate skeptics.
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Western Indian Ocean valued at US$333.8 billion but at a crossroads

Antananarivo, Madagascar - A groundbreaking new report finds the ocean assets of the Western Indian Ocean region are valued conservatively at US$333.8 billion but foreshadows significant challenges for the region's ocean-based economies and food supplies in the absence of stronger conservation actions.

Reviving the Western Indian Ocean Economy: Actions for a Sustainable Future is the result of an in-depth, joint assessment by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), CORDIO East Africa and WWF. It combines a new economic analysis of the region's ocean assets with a review of their contribution to human development.

The report shows that the region's most valuable assets are fisheries, mangroves, seagrass beds and coral reefs. Adjacent coastal and carbon-absorbing assets are also central to the wellbeing of communities and the health of the ocean economy. The analysis finds that the region is heavily dependent on high-value ocean natural assets that are already showing signs of decline. The report offers a set of priority actions required to secure a sustainable, inclusive 'blue economy' for the region, and thus to provide food and livelihoods for growing populations.

Country Director of WWF-Madagascar and Western Indian Ocean Islands, Nanie Ratsifandrihamanana, said, "This analysis shows that the leaders of the Western Indian Ocean face a clear and urgent choice: to continue with business-as-usual, overseeing the steady decline of ocean assets, or to seize the moment to secure the natural ocean assets that will be crucial for the future of fast-growing coastal communities and economies. The Western Indian Ocean still has the chance to get it right."

Dr David Obura, lead author of the report and director of CORDIO East Africa, said, "The Western Indian Ocean is still in relatively good condition in global terms, but we now see clear signs of impact from coastal development, local and global demand for the region's resources, and climate change. Stronger and scaled-up conservation actions - and investment in management - need to be triggered now to avoid diminishing these crucial ocean and coastal assets."

The report shows that the annual economic output of the region (the equivalent of gross domestic product) is at least US$21 billion, making the 'ocean economy' the fourth largest economy in the region in its own right. The most economically-valuable activities on an annual basis in the Western Indian Ocean are coastal and marine tourism, followed by carbon sequestration and fisheries.

BCG Partner and Managing Director, Marty Smits, said, "The Western Indian Ocean is a real test case for how natural ocean assets can be managed sustainably to support growing demands from coastal populations and global pressures. The business case for action is clear: protecting and restoring ocean assets like mangroves, coral reefs and fisheries is a rational approach to future economic prosperity and security."

John Tanzer, WWF's Oceans Practice Leader, said, "The Western Indian Ocean must be a central priority for regional and global leaders to successfully implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the promise of the Paris climate agreement. Few other places render so starkly how intertwined are the destinies of coastal people and the health of ocean ecosystems. Protecting ocean habitats and managing fisheries sustainably – both small-scale and industrial – are just two areas that will deliver great dividends for years to come."

"Within the region, the Northern Mozambique Channel initiative provides a good example of the scale of ambition possible for an integrated and sustainable approach to ocean management when decision makers come together around a common vision," said Mr Tanzer. 

Notes to editors:

  • The Western Indian Ocean region described in this report includes Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa and Tanzania – a mix of mainland continental and island states. The total population is around 220 million, over a quarter of whom live within 100km of the coast.
  • The report also points to the likelihood that much of the actual fishing in the region is for local, domestic consumption via small-scale fishing which is not adequately monitored, or measured in economic terms, so the actual extent of fishing and its importance to local communities is likely to be far greater than economic analyses indicate.

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As Trump enters White House, California renews climate change fight

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California released new measures to fight climate change within minutes of Donald Trump being sworn in as U.S. president on Friday, signaling the state's commitment to be the nation's environmental steward under an administration that has questioned the reality of global warming.
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Rick Perry Offers Mixed Messages to Congress on Climate and Clean Energy

Rick Perry Offers Mixed Messages to Congress on Climate and Clean EnergyAdd Comment|PrintFormer Texas Governor Rick Perry. Photo by montegoodyk/Flickr At a Senate confirmation hearing yesterday, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, President Trump’s nominee to be the Secretary of Energy, faced questions on his views on climate change, potential budget cuts and clean energy. Perry’s answers offered little reassurance that the Trump administration would maintain the Department of Energy’s budget. He...

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What Did Confirmation Hearings Tell Us About Trump’s Priorities on Climate Change?

What Did Confirmation Hearings Tell Us About Trump’s Priorities on Climate Change?Add Comment|PrintU.S. Capitol building. Photo by Cesar's iPhoneography/Flickr Confirmation hearings over the past two weeks for Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt and Secretary of Energy nominee Rick Perry provided an early opportunity to publicly question three members of President Donald Trump’s prospective cabinet who will set the course...

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Al Gore rouses Sundance with climate film on eve of Trump induction

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - Former U.S. vice president Al Gore delivered a rousing battle cry on Thursday to push climate change forward as an urgent matter for politicians on the eve of President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration, at the premiere of his new documentary.
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Trump EPA pick expresses doubts on climate, defends oil industry funding

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump's choice to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expressed doubt about the science behind global climate change during a contentious Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, but added he would be obliged for now to uphold the EPA's finding carbon dioxide poses a public danger.
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From Al Gore to water politics, climate change heats up Sundance

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As former U.S. vice president Al Gore filmed the sequel to his environmental documentary last year, he did not expect to be dealing with a new president who has dismissed climate change as a hoax.
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U.S. makes $500 million grant to climate change fund: State Department

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has made a $500 million grant to the Green Climate Fund, meant to help developing nations combat climate change, the State Department said on Tuesday.
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#BridgesNotWalls -- It’s Time for Solidarity, Love and Hope

This Friday, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, after a year when, around the world, the politics of hate, fear and division too often blossomed.

On January 20th, Greenpeace will join with allies and supporters to participate in a global movement sending a loud, clear message of connection over division: #BridgesNotWalls.

It’s a scary time. A handful of political elites and corporate giants — including some of the biggest polluters on the planet — continue to win big as long as people are fearful and divided from one another.

2016 also was a year of profound courage and connectedness.

People all over the world stood together with the Munduruku Indigenous community to defeat a destructive mega-dam in the heart of the Amazon. President Obama ruled out drilling in the Arctic after years of public protest. Water protectors at Standing Rock inspired a wave of global solidarity and won a huge delays for the Dakota Access Pipeline. People from every walk of life found ways to support refugees fleeing violence and devastation.

We at Greenpeace are rejecting the message that there is more that divides us than unites us.

The small things each of us do every day to build green, peaceful and just communities -- those billion acts of courage -- tell a very different story.

It’s all of our job to make sure that that story wins out.

On January 19 and 20, people around the world will take to bridges affirming our commitment to build solidarity between one another and to stand up for each other and the world we believe in.

#BridgesNotWalls will show that our future and that of the planet relies on us holding together as communities and continuing to reinforce our commitment to solidarity, human rights, women’s rights, equality, peace, and care for the people and places most threatened by injustice.

I hope you will join us in showing solidarity with those resisting hate both in the United States and in your home country.

With precious little time to divert climate change we cannot allow the powerful to divide us.

Only if we build bridges of love, cooperation and hope can we build a green, peaceful and just future.

Looking for a #BridgesNotWalls mobilization near you? Grassroots allies at bridgesnotwalls.uk/ have a very useful map.

Support #BridgesNotWalls online. Join the Thunderclap.

Leila Deen is the Deputy Campaigns Director at Greenpeace USA.


Read more [Greenpeace international]

China’s Decline in Coal Consumption Drives Global Slowdown in Emissions

China’s Decline in Coal Consumption Drives Global Slowdown in EmissionsAdd Comment|PrintAccording to the International Energy Agency, coal consumption in China has likely peaked. Photo by ansoncfit/Flickr In his address to the World Economic Forum today, Chinese President Xi showed China’s willingness to step into a growing global leadership role, including on climate change. Xi called for all countries to hold fast to the hard-won Paris Agreement, saying “walking away” from the pact would...

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Low-lying Micronesia hopes Trump reconsiders his stand on climate change

TOKYO (Reuters) - The Pacific island state of Micronesia hopes U.S. President-elect Donald Trump changes his view on climate change, its foreign minister said on Tuesday, adding that global warming poses the biggest threat to low-lying island countries.
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Revealed: HSBC is funding forest destruction

Today we’ve let the cat out of the bag that HSBC - one of the biggest banks in the world - is funding destructive palm oil companies. Now its customers are waking up to the news that the bank card in their pocket is linked to the destruction of already-endangered forests.

This secretly filmed footage shows bulldozers from the Salim palm oil group - a firm that borrowed millions of pounds from HSBC - destroying Indonesia’s rainforests. Take a look and see for yourself. 

 

This isn’t about one palm oil company though - HSBC funds multiple shady palm oil companies. Most of us will never have heard of these faceless palm oil predators - but they’re notorious in their industry for trashing rainforests, so HSBC knows exactly what it’s doing.

In April 2016, an influential environmental group released a briefing stating that if HSBC loaned money to a forest-trashing company called Noble Group it would be breaching its own sustainability promises. Yet HSBC signed a deal with Noble just a few weeks later that flagrantly  ignored the evidence.

For a bank that proclaims that “sustainability underpins our strategic priorities and enables us to fulfil our purpose”, funding companies like Noble is a strange move!

The kind of forest destruction you see in this secretly filmed footage is creating a crisis for both people and planet, thanks to funders like HSBC.

Fires exacerbated by forest destruction are pumping a toxic haze from schools to streets to homes in South East Asia. This haze is linked to hundreds of thousands of premature deaths.

The forest fires are fueling climate change too - the daily CO2 emissions produced by the fires in 2015 sometimes exceeded the daily emissions for the whole USA.

For many years, there have also been social conflicts between Noble's plantation companies and indigenous communities. Groups have accused Noble of exploiting and deceiving them to gain access to their land.

To make matters worse the Bornean orangutan was recently classified as critically endangered and habitat destruction is one of the biggest reasons for this. The video we released today reveals how palm oil companies funded by HSBC help destroy orangutans’ precious homes and push these creatures closer to extinction.

For people, planet and primates, HSBC must stop funding palm oil groups like Salim and Noble. We know we can do it because we've done it before. In 2015, Greenpeace supporters forced Spanish banking giant Santander to stop funding a paper company that was clearing rainforest in Indonesia.

HSBC’s website says “Considering sustainability when we make decisions helps us to protect our reputation” - let’s show HSBC how correct this statement is! The more eyes HSBC feel on them as this scandal is revealed, the more they’ll feel their advertising cash could all be going to waste. If thousands of us make our voices heard, we can make sure they clean up their act.

Please sign the petition telling HSBC to stop funding forest destruction.

Annisa Rahmawati, Senior Forest Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia

 


Read more [Greenpeace international]

'Pragmatic' Trump might be persuaded on climate action: UK scientists

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Donald Trump's administration, heavy with fossil fuel industry backers, could cause major damage to efforts to deal with climate change through measures such as cutting access to satellite data for weather forecasting and climate research, scientists warned Monday.
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UK's Prince Charles co-authors 'Ladybird' guide to climate change

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Charles, a vocal environmental campaigner, has co-authored a basic guide to the problems posed by climate change.
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UK climate scientists raise concerns about Trump presidency

LONDON (Reuters) - British climate scientists asked Britain's prime minister on Monday to press U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to acknowledge climate change risks and support international action to slow global warming.
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U.S. State Department nominee Tillerson fights climate deposition

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Tillerson’s Hearing Fails to Assure the American Public on Climate Change

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RELEASE: New Partnership to Address Resilience Data Gaps in Asian and Latin American Cities

RELEASE: New Partnership to Address Resilience Data Gaps in Asian and Latin American Cities Cities Alliance and WRI will assess climate resilience at the community level to improve preparedness Brussels/Washington (January 12, 2017) – Climate change is a global phenomenon and cities are on the frontlines, but climate impacts and risks will be felt differently across neighbourhoods and populations due to differences in geography, culture and infrastructure. Cities must understand the shocks...

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How green are the apps you use every day?

Did you know some of the apps we use every day can make a difference in driving a green future by choosing to power their data centres (and our digital lives) with renewable energy? 

The Renewable Revolution is here and some of the most innovative tech leaders are embracing green energy, but there are many who still rely on coal and other sources of dirty energy contributing to climate change.

From Facebook to Netflix, here’s a list of renewable energy champions, others that are improving, and laggards still stuck on dirty energy like coal.

Leading the race:

Facebook (Grade: A)

Since we all convinced Facebook to Unlike Coal in 2011 this tech giant has been pushing the renewable energy agenda and ensuring our likes and shares are greener than ever!

Google (Grade: A)

The king of the search engines was the first internet company to sign a major deal for renewable energy back in 2010 and has been making impressive progress toward its 100% renewable commitment!

WhatsApp (Grade: A)

Since falling under social media titan Facebook’s ownership since 2014, this popular messaging service has joined the effort to build a renewably powered internet. The 30 billion WhatsApp messages sent every day are driving toward a renewably powered future.

iTunes (Grade: A)

As long as there's music, there's hope! Apple’s has been one of the most aggressive companies in making its corner of the internet green, which means that when you download a song from iTunes, Apple has lined up renewable energy to make your music renewably powered.

YouTube (Grade: A)

In 2015, video streaming accounted for 63% of global internet traffic, making streaming one of the largest categories in terms of energy consumption. By 2020, streaming is expected to increase to 80%. This will take a lot of energy! 

Improving:

Etsy (Grade: B)

Etsy has taken some big steps to shift its online marketplace toward cleaner sources of energy and has already switched part of its digital operations to a renewably powered data centre. It has started to find its voice in demanding utilities and government leaders do more to accelerate our switch to renewables.

LinkedIn (Grade: B)

Is your job search increasing your carbon footprint? LinkedIn was a C student when we last evaluated the company in 2015. Since then, it has embraced a commitment to be 100% renewably powered and has been pushing both its data centre operators and utilities to provide it with more renewable energy.

Still, it is currently coming in at just 10% renewably powered. LinkedIn needs to keep the advocacy pressure up and put together a plan to make its operations entirely powered by renewable energy. We shouldn't accept any less from a company that has revolutionized the job search.

Skype (Grade: B)

Staying in contact with family and friends all over the world? Check! But are your calls renewably powered? Skype is an app developed by Microsoft which, like LinkedIn, had previously been a C student. However, it has started to take steps toward catching up with competitors Apple and Google in the race to build a renewably powered internet.

On the other hand…

Twitter (Grade: F)

While Twitter has become a platform for certain well-known climate deniers, 140 characters from even the most infamous tweeters could be renewably powered if Twitter would follow Facebook, Google, Apple and other IT leaders.

Amazon Prime (Grade: C)

While Amazon Web Services (AWS), which powers Amazon Prime Music and Video, has committed to a long-term target of being 100% renewably powered and has recently signed several large deals for renewable energy, it is still impossible for its customers to measure any progress made. The company keeps silent about its energy consumption and carbon emissions. Greenpeace’s own analysis shows AWS continues to rapidly expand in areas primarily powered by coal and other dirty energy sources, not renewables.

Alibaba (Grade: D)

The world’s online commerce platform has smashed many records when it comes to global sales, but these are still fueled by coal! To date there is no publicly available evidence on the company’s efforts to promote renewable energy. Alibaba CEO Jack Ma is often regarded as an internet visionary who has expressed his concerns on climate change – so what is Alibaba waiting for to make our shopping greener? 

Netflix (Grade: D)

Netflix has truly changed how we watch TV, but unfortunately it isn’t quite so forward thinking when it comes to how it powers our streaming. While a bunch of truly innovative tech leaders like Google, Apple and Facebook are using clean energy to power our apps and platforms, Netflix is still stuck on dirty old energies like coal. 

Thousands of TV lovers around the world are now asking Netflix to follow in the footsteps of other innovative tech companies by dropping coal and powering our favourite series and films with renewable energy.

Sign the petition to convince Netflix to go green and make a commitment to 100% renewable energy!

All company scores are derived from and explained in Greenpeace’s 2017 Clicking Clean report, available here: clickclean.org

Gary Cook is a Senior IT Campaigner at Greenpeace USA


Read more [Greenpeace international]

Massachusetts judge requires Exxon to hand over climate documents

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Massachusetts judge has refused to excuse Exxon Mobil Corp from a request by the state's attorney general to hand over decades worth of documents on its views on climate change, state officials said on Wednesday.
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Trump, rising populism threaten to slow climate action, analyst says

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Rising global populism and pressure to reduce U.S. environmental regulation are among the issues to watch in 2017 as efforts to address climate change push ahead, a sustainability expert said Wednesday.
Read more [Reuters]

Secretary of state nominee says risk of climate change does exist

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The nominee to be U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, said on Wednesday the risk of climate change does exist, and the consequences could be serious enough that action should be taken.
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China says 2016 temperatures drop on year, rainfall highest on record

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Average temperatures in China fell last year compared with 2015, the country's weather bureau said on Tuesday, adding that the rainfall levels recorded were the highest ever due to climate change and the El Nino effect.
Read more [Reuters]

Climate change should not be 'partisan issue,' Kerry says

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - Work to avert the problems caused by climate change should not be a partisan issue, outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry told students at an elite U.S. engineering school on Monday, in one of his final speeches as the nation's top diplomat.
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2017: Climate focus shifts as Trump moves in, China charges ahead

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - With the world facing the hottest global temperatures since the advent of record-keeping, 2016 was a year of accelerating international action to address climate change – though one ultimately capped by the U.S. election of Donald Trump, who has called climate change “a hoax”.
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World heat shatters records in 2016 in new sign of global warming

OSLO (Reuters) - Last year was the hottest on record by a wide margin, with temperatures creeping close to a ceiling set by almost 200 nations for limiting global warming, the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service said on Thursday.
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