Global warming news

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.

Read more [WWF]

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.
Read more [Reuters]

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

 


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'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.
Read more [Reuters]

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.
Read more [Reuters]

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

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rex Tillerson, the former oil executive under consideration for U.S. secretary of state, is trying to avoid giving testimony in a federal lawsuit over climate change, according to a lawyer for a group of teenagers who filed the suit.
Read more [Reuters]

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

Tillerson’s Hearing Fails to Assure the American Public on Climate ChangeAdd Comment|PrintRex Tillerson. Photo by William Munoz/Flickr At his Senate confirmation hearing this week, Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil who has been nominated as the next secretary of State, provided measured and carefully crafted answers, but did little to reassure the American public that he would lead on climate change. In fact, despite numerous opportunities to affirm that climate impacts are real, and...

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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


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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.
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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.
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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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9 incredible feats of people power that happened in 2016

The Indigenous and environmental rights movement was stronger than ever...

This year proved that when real life David and Goliath battles happen, word spreads, people listen, the truth eventually comes out, and the movement becomes bigger and stronger

- A mega-dam planned for construction in the heart of the Amazon, had its license cancelled - a massive victory for the Munduruku people and more than 1.2 million people around the world who supported the campaign.

- The people of Clyde River – an Inuit community in the Canadian Arctic –  went to the Supreme Court of Canada for the government’s failure to properly consult the community before handing permits to fossil fuel companies for oil exploration in the area.

- And after a rough, threatening, and tense battle, dedication and perseverance paid off for the Standing Rock Sioux and their allies when the Dakota access pipeline was finally halted.

A water protector holds up an eagle feather in front a line of police at a camp near the Standing Rock Reservation.

...and so is the fight to hold the Big Polluters accountable.

This year, a wave of people-powered legal cases - including in the Philippines, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Switzerland and USA - gained momentum to keep fossil fuels in the ground and demand a stable climate and healthy environment.

From disaster survivors, frontline communities, Indigenous Peoples, farmers, youth, grandmothers, and more, these people are pushing back because fossil fuel companies and governments are failing to protect and respect human rights.

Renewables kept winning...

There’s no stopping the power of the sun…or the wind! Renewables has kept growing with the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) report showing declining coal use and significant renewable energy uptake, providing renewed hope for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.

…and it kicked coal’s butt.

China’s long running campaign to reduce coal consumption continues to reverberate globally:

- Vietnam committed to coal free development, ending plans for 70 new coal fired plants

- Obama placed a moratorium on new coal new leases in the U.S.

- Mines were closed or lost permits in Poland, Romania, Belgium, and Israel; with huge influence swayed in the Netherlands, France, Brazil and India to place pressure on governments to close their plants.

Coal plant in Yulin, Shaanxi province

Oil drilling was given the big heave-ho...

BP was about to bring its “Deep Water Horizon version 2.0” to Australia’s southern coast, but constant campaigning pressured BP to pull out from its oil drilling plans.

Statoil also pulled out of plans to drill off the west coast of New Zealand's North Island (though is planning to drill elsewhere).

And best of all, Obama and Trudeau banned offshore drilling in parts of the Atlantic and Arctic Ocean. Hurray for whales!

…and forests were saved.

85% of the forested areas of the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada were protected from logging – a size larger than Belgium! 

The Amazon rainforest was protected from being cleared for soybean farming and a soy moratorium has been put in place - big news for the Amazon, for Indigenous Peoples, farmers, business and for all of us around the world fighting to end deforestation.

Best of all, pandas were saved from illegal logging in the Sichuan Giant Panda Sanctuaries – a UNESCO World Heritage Site - after Greenpeace China uncovered that a shocking 3,200 acres had been clear cut to make way for plantations of profitable timber. Following this exposé, the Sichuan Forestry Bureau took action and launched their own investigation, saving the pandas’ home from reckless destruction

A Grizzly Bear in the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada

All this means lots of animals were protected.

Actions by Greenpeace and other environmental, local and indigenous organisations resulted in the cancellation of Iceland's fin whale hunt.  

Seismic testing was banned in parts of Canada

And lots of marine animals were given the long-awaited sanctuary they deserve in Antarctica’s Ross Sea and Hawaii!

Other bans kept on coming...

National plastic bans and restrictions happened in France, England, Morocco, Netherlands, India, and Indonesia.

German supermarket Aldi Sud banned bee harming pesticides from their domestic fruit and vegetable production.

The fishing industry adopted a self imposed moratorium on fishing in the previously frozen North Barents Sea, an area twice the size of France. 

About 0.5mm or smaller in size, these tiny beads really pack a punch, running scot-free into our oceans and impacting marine life.

...And most of all the world finally reached a global climate agreement.

In the face of a climate change denier coming to power in the US, ratification of the Paris Agreement by 118 countries by the year end was a sign of hope and unity, that we WILL overcome climate change for a green and peaceful planet. 

2016 is just the start of some great environmental wins, against some formidable odds. Bring it on, 2017. Let’s keep the movement building!

Shuk-Wah Chung is a Writer and Content Editor for the Communications Hub at Greenpeace East Asia. Follow her on Twitter here.


Read more [Greenpeace international]

The best environmental movies of 2016

 A wrap up of some of the best environmental movies and documentaries in 2016.

If art imitates life then surely it must mean that it’s the end of the world as we know it, and climate change is taking us all down with it.

These days, the films that we are getting down to “Netflix and chill” with have less to do with green-screen magic, explosions or mystical monsters; and more to do with the unfortunate slow catastrophe that is unfolding in the world.

Want disaster? How about a town ravaged by a super typhoon? In the mood for tension? How about the real-life David and Goliath story of the indigenous tribe defending their land against major conglomerates? Drama and action more your thing? What about illegal fishing and slavery happening out of sight, and deep in the middle of the vast ocean?

Sadly, these aren’t all synopses of fiction. We are the protagonist, corporations are often the enemy, and the world we live in is the real life “Death Star” that could be destroyed any moment now. Inspiration is in our current events, and directors, documentarians, and even celebrities are using their best weapon – the camera – to educate, engage, and entertain.

But there is hope. In every story there is a hero, and a villain. People power can, will, and always has made the world a better and safer place. Besides, all good movies have a happy ending right?

How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can't Change

What we giveth, climate change taketh away. In this personal journey, director Josh Fox asks, is there anything that climate change hasn’t ruined?

Pandora

When a 6.1 magnitude earthquake strikes, it’s not the aftermath that’s worrying. Radiation is spilling from a nuclear power plant and it’s got an entire city of millions on edge like an asteroid  hurling its way to the planet.

Influenced by the Fukushima disaster in 2011, this South Korean film is already leading the box office in the country and will be available on Netflix next year.

With nuclear power being a contentious topic in the country – this year a permit was given to construct two additional reactors at the Kori nuclear power plant, in Busan, the world’s biggest active plant - the film gets straight to the point and shows the world must never suffer another Fukushima or Chernobyl disaster ever again because nuclear never dies.

Riverblue

The impact of fast fashion is not just about being insta-trendy. It’s also causing insta-pollution, insta-impact, insta-destruction on our rivers through toxic chemical waste. As noted in the film:

“There is a joke in China. They say you can predict the “it” colour for the season by looking at the colour of the river”

Years of Living Dangerously

National Geographic’s series continued again this year featuring the Amazon, China, coal, the ocean, and many more.  Find out more about the series here.

Deep Water Horizon

The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is recognized as one of worst environmental disasters in US history.  The tragedy impacted nature, wildlife, and 11 people died from the explosion. This year, the events of how this tragedy unfolded appeared on the big screen.

Before the Flood

Leonardo Dicaprio’s highly anticipated labour-of-love project was released this year, free for audiences around the world to see. From across the globe we see what people on the frontlines of climate change are doing – from indigenous communities to inside the halls of the United Nations. His overall message though couldn’t have been said better than during his well deserved Oscar ‘s speech:

Climate change is real. It is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species. And we need to work collectively together to stop procrastinating.

Shuk-Wah Chung is a Writer and Content Editor for the Communications Hub at Greenpeace East Asia. Follow her on Twitter here.


Read more [Greenpeace international]

7 social media moments that will keep us fighting in 2017

If anyone has ever sneered at the idea of slacktivism, 2016 would like to prove them wrong.

From fake news to echo chambers to trolls, this year, social media became more than just a “status update”. There are 1.79 billion active users on Facebook alone. If it were a nation, it would have surpassed China as the largest country by population. It can reach millions of people in a matter of seconds - faster than traditional media ever could.

One thing is for certain - social media is about people power.  At Greenpeace we've learnt the crucial role slacktivism plays in helping to strive for a green, just, and peaceful future. Your voice matters a great deal more than you could ever think - some social media posts have had a WAY bigger impact than we could’ve ever imagined, reaching millions upon millions of people, thanks to you!

Here are some of them..

Microbeads

1. More than 13 million people watched this video alone, making it one of our most popular pieces of the year. In July, Greenpeace East Asia ranked 30 global companies to see how they measured in terms of their commitment to phasing out microbeads. You can read about how they responded here.

People vs Arctic Oil

2. In a historic court case, Greenpeace, together with Nature & Youth, are suing the Norwegian government for allowing Statoil and other oil companies to expand oil drilling in the Arctic. You could be part of the generation that ends fossil fuels. Just a click away :)

 

3. So...how did they get that grand piano to the Arctic? Here's how. 

Plastic

4. Did you know that up to 12 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year and will take hundreds of years to degrade? Time to say NO to plastic pollution.

Oceans

5. The Great Barrier Reef is currently under threat. We simply cannot have a healthy Reef and an expanding coal industry. Let’s keep coal in the ground - where it belongs.

 

Bees

6. From industrial agriculture to climate change to parasites, the bee decline is happening. The Bee-hives need you

Overconsumption 

7. Our consumer choices have an influence on the industries that drive pollution and overconsumption. Together, we can help break the cycle of overconsumption.

 

A single thought might not be that powerful. But a single thought, amplified by millions, can be earth-shattering.  So 2017, here’s to you. Here’s to your click! :)

 

Stefanus Wong is a Content Editor for Asia Pacific 


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2016: A year of transition from talk to action on climate change

BARCELONA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When it comes to climate change and the battle to keep it in check, 2016 was a year of extremes.
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2016 – The year in photos

2016 was a challenging year for people and the planet. It brought many challenges that will continue in the year ahead – a changing climate, greedy corporations and politicians whose policies spell trouble for the planet.

As we look back on 2016, it's clear there's a lot of work still to be done. It's difficult to pick just a few images among the over 20,000 images our photographers have made while covering the struggle for a green and peaceful future all around the world. Here are some of this year’s highlights, and a reminder of why we need to continue the good fight. We couldn’t have done this work without all of you, thank you, and on to 2017!

Greenpeace UK activists in London climbed Nelson’s Column, putting an emergency face mask on the statue to demand action on air pollution. 

 

As part of the 5-year Fukushima and 30-year Chernobyl anniversaries, Greenpeace commissioned Greg McNevin for a Lightmapping project. Using long exposure photography and a custom made geiger counter-enabled LED light painting tool, these images make the invisible visible: measuring and displaying radiation levels in real-time, in the environments in which it exists.

 

Aerial view of a FAD (fish aggregating device) at night. The Esperanza was in the Indian Ocean in April to document and peacefully oppose destructive fishing practices.

 

A Greenpeace Indonesia investigator documents the devastation of a company-identified 'No Go' area of peatland in the PT Bumi Sawit Sejahtera (IOI) oil palm concession in Ketapang, West Kalimantan. This area of the concession suffered extensive fires in 2015.

 

The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is experiencing its worst bleaching event to date with studies showing 93 percent of the reef being affected. Bleaching is caused by the warmer water temperatures. This gives a window into the impacts of climate change.

 

Acclaimed Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi performs one of his own compositions on a floating platform in the Arctic Ocean, in front of the Wahlenbergbreen glacier (in Svalbard, Norway).

The composition, Elegy for the Arctic, was inspired by eight million voices from around the world calling for Arctic protection. The Greenpeace ship the Arctic Sunrise carried Einaudi, the grand piano and eight million voices to Svalbard.

 

In August 2016, Greenpeace Brazil flew over the Amazon to search for and record forest fires.This shows the level of deforestation, in Rondônia state, next to the capital Porto Velho. This year's forest fire season is already being considered one of the worst ever.

 

Water Protectors engineered a makeshift wooden pedestrian bridge over the Cantapeta Creek. They were trying to access ancestral burial grounds they believe are being damaged by the Dakota Access Pipeline construction. Heavily armed law enforcement officials were deployed. As they pulled the bridge apart with boats, the Water Protectors swam and used their own boats to cross the water. Standing unarmed in the cold water, the protectors were forcibly repelled by the enforcers with tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets. Standoffs between the Water Protectors and law enforcement over the Dakota Access Pipeline continue in the area that has become ground zero for opposition to a $3.7 billion project that would move domestic crude oil across four states and destroy tribal lands.

 

The landscape north of Clyde River, near Sam Ford Fjord. This region is at risk from seismic blasting and potential future Arctic oil drilling. Greenpeace Canada was invited to the Clyde River community to support their fight against seismic blasting, assist with solar panel installation, and to participate in a series of knowledge-sharing events.

 

Greenpeace Russia volunteers help suppress a wildfire near the Cossack village Berezanovskaya, Russia. The team was on its way back home when they witnessed the wildfire.

 

Aerial view over two walruses on an ice floe in front of Kvitøya (White Island) in the Svalbard Archipelago. The decline of sea ice in the northern latitudes signals not only climate change, but a direct threat to the habitat of many wildlife species, who depend on it for resting, breeding and hunting.

 

Two ships leave the harbour at the same time in Dakar, Senegal. The Senegalese sailors look at the Chinese crew on the other ship. The depletion of China’s domestic fishery resources, which resulted from irresponsible fishing activities in China’s coastal water and poor fishery management, has forced Chinese fishing vessels to travel over tens of thousands miles to find fish in other fishing grounds like the one near West Africa.

 

Two Munduruku boys walk along a river while holding spears. The Munduruku people have inhabited the Sawré Muybu in the heart of the Amazon, for generations. The Brazilian government plans to build a series of dams in the Tapajos River basin, which would severely threaten their way of life.

 

Greenpeace Netherlands activists closed off access to all importing and exporting by palm oil trader IOI in the  Netherlands’ Rotterdam harbour, palm oil’s gateway into Europe. The Greenpeace ship Esperanza was moored to the dock at the back of the refinery, preventing palm oil from being unloaded from incoming oil tankers.

 

Maïa Booker is a Multimedia Editor for the Americas.

 


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Activist investor ramps up pressure on Shell to act on climate change

London (Reuters) - Oil major Royal Dutch Shell is facing rising pressure from shareholders to shield its business from climate change threats and to play a bigger role in lowering global carbon emissions.
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Shifting to a Clean Energy Economy Would Bring Billions in Economic Benefits, Shows New Report

Shifting to a Clean Energy Economy Would Bring Billions in Economic Benefits, Shows New ReportAdd Comment|PrintWind farm in Idaho. Photo by Energy.gov/Wikimedia Commons We all know the science. The United States and the world as a whole must reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent or more by 2050 in order to significantly reduce the risks posed by unabated climate change. Intensifying droughts and heat waves, inundation of coastal economies brought on by sea level rise, and increasing...

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What Do the G20 Countries’ Climate Targets Mean for Their Future Emissions?

What Do the G20 Countries’ Climate Targets Mean for Their Future Emissions?Add Comment|PrintInstalling solar panels in Shanghai. Photo by Jiri Rezac/The Climate Group. Governments worldwide have adopted greenhouse gas targets to address climate change—most recently, as part of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change. The G20 countries’ targets are particularly important, as they’re responsible for producing 80 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. In their recent targets,...

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El Nino-linked cyclones to increase in Pacific with global warming: research

LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Small Pacific island states could be hit by more tropical cyclones during future El Nino weather patterns due to climate change, scientists said on Tuesday.
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Building a future for fish AND people

You’d think it would be hard to get emotional about fish and how they’re managed. But at the 13th Annual Meeting of the Western & Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC) emotions ran high - after five long days of tough negotiations, I was exhausted and it was starting to feel like Groundhog Day.

As I’ve said before here, WCPFC is failing in its mandate to manage tuna, sharks and billfish fisheries in the region. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry and especially important to Pacific Island Countries so the stakes are high. I knew the meeting would be a tough battle.

In her opening speech, the Chair of WCPFC asked us to recognize how difficult it is to get consensus between so many countries with so many opposing views. She asked that we at least commit to moving forward, one step at a time. And I guess we did at least do this. 

The Commission took a step forward in the complex process of developing Harvest Control Rules for the future management of skipjack tuna, the most commercially important tuna in the region. There were improvements made to the rules for data collection and some good research projects will be funded, which will allow better scientific analysis and development of stronger management measures. The Commission also made a commitment to improve transparency and compliance by agreeing to (some) rules that will allow environmental and industry groups access to compliance reports and meetings.

There was a significant win for protecting the health and safety of the observers who collect the fisheries data vital for good management. You would think protecting human lives would be an easy win, but it wasn’t. It took many long hours to negotiate the new rules, as a few countries threw up blocks at every turn. There were angry, heart-wrenching and impassioned speeches in support of the new measures, especially from those who had lost friends and colleagues at sea. But it was Pacific nations calling for a vote – a huge step for a Commission that almost religiously operates by consensus – that finally got this measure over the line. When you face such a fight just to protect human lives, you can imagine how well it went for marine life… 

Like Groundhog Day, this is where the frustration kicked in. We began to meet the same blocks to progress that we meet every year. Measures that would have provided greater protection for sharks, mobula and manta rays, and seabirds were rejected. There was no movement on agreeing key management measures for South Pacific albacore (due to be finalised this year) despite concerns raised by Pacific Island Countries, year after year, about the declining viability of their fleets. And overfished billfish didn’t even get a mention.

Of most concern, Pacific bluefin remains teetering on the edge of collapse. 97% of this population are wiped out, and the current management measures will not recover the stock to a safer level in any reasonable timeframe. Many members expressed their concerns about the failure of WCPFC to act on these wonderful animals, and sent back a recommendation to the Northern Committee (a sub-body of WCPFC) to develop a plan to recover the stock to 20% by 2034. But when this Committee is largely controlled by Japan, Korea and the USA, who all tried to prevent the Commission from even making the recommendation, what hope is there?

Meanwhile Greenpeace, Pew, and WWF continue to call for a moratorium on fishing for Pacific bluefin until a recovery plan is in place.

 

So yes, WCPFC took some baby steps. But as the EU delegate so rightly said, babies are supposed to grow into adults. WCPFC is now 12 years old! My concern is for the fish, and the impacts of uncontrolled fishing on marine life. When you add the impacts of climate change and the huge uncertainty it brings to all life on this planet, I cannot accept baby steps. Marine life cannot wait for us to sort out our differences. The oceans need action now. 

I will end with hope. It is clear that the majority of member countries in the WCPFC want change. It is also clear that only a handful of nations have little interest in co-operation or compromise. It’s time for the progressive members to take a stand, to call out obstructive behaviour and start bringing more issues to a vote.

We will continue to work with all those who want to see sustainable and fair fisheries, from human rights advocates to fishermen, from big seafood brands to retailers. We will support the innovators and the leaders who fish responsibly and treat our marine life respectfully. And we will take action on those who do not.

Fish are important to humans for so many reasons – they provide food and livelihoods, joy and delight to nature lovers, and are a vital part of the web of life on this planet. We cannot wait, we cannot be patient. Marine life cannot wait for us to sort out our differences. The oceans need action now. 

Dr Cat Dorey is the Science Advisor for Greenpeace’s Not Just Tuna Project.


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Actor DiCaprio says climate action is U.S.'s 'biggest economic opportunity'

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Tackling climate change is the "biggest economic opportunity" in the history of the United States, no matter who holds political office, said Hollywood star and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio.
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CBD COP13 closes in Cancun

Statement on COP 13 of the Convention on Biological Diversity

On the occassion of the closing of COP 13 of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Cancun, Mexico, Adrian Dellecker, WWF International, Director of Global Policy and Advocacy (a.i.), said:
 
"Delegates came to Cancun in the spotlight of recent international deals on climate change and sustainable development with the dual challenges of reversing dramatic decreases in biodiversity and delivering on their Aichi promises.
 
"The success of Cancun lies in the bold decision taken to deepen the integration of biodiversity values into other sectors. Delegates also decided on a clear process through 2020, including the consideration of energy and mining, infrastructure, manufacturing and health in decision making in the 2018 Conference of Parties in Egypt.
 
"It is impossible to forget that we are more than halfway through the Aichi biodiversity targets deadline. Our attention must be intensely focused on the path to 2020 and the work that needs to be delivered by then.
 
"While this meeting was not designed to capture headlines, governments have begun waking up to the fact that biodiversity and climate change are two sides of the same coin, and that to achieve sustainable development, both our climate and natural systems must be adequately addressed. By putting energy and infrastructure, among other issues, at the heart of the next round of discussions, countries have increased the profile of upcoming meetings. This decision will also better link the original Rio Conventions on climate and biodiversity.
 
"Biodiversity conservation is an essential element of sustainable development and needs to be part of our everyday thinking. The Mexican presidency set an important tone for this meeting by focusing on the theme of integrating biodiversity into decision making across sectors. We are heartened that this fundamental approach is building in pace. It is critically important that the momentum continues to increase as we look to the Conference of Parties in China in 2020."

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Coalition of 24 states urges Trump to kill Obama's carbon emission plan

(Reuters) - Officials in 24 states have urged U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to kill the centerpiece of President Barack Obama's strategy to combat climate change and shut down coal-fired power plants.
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How Do You Pick the Right Adaptation Strategy? 4 Tools Can Help

How Do You Pick the Right Adaptation Strategy? 4 Tools Can HelpAdd Comment|PrintDrought is one of many climate impacts Kenyans face. Photo by S.Kilungu/CCAFS There are a lot of ways to adapt to climate change. Choosing the right one can be tricky. In Kenya, adaptation planners are faced with the question of how to minimize the impact of droughts, which are becoming more frequent. They could choose to set up weather-based insurance schemes or enable farmers to plant more drought-tolerant...

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Climate scientists adjust as Trump builds team of oil allies

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Climate scientists worried that President-elect Donald Trump will slash their budgets and sideline their research are entering survival mode, trimming the words "climate change" from study proposals, emphasizing business applications of their work, and safeguarding data that shows global warming is real.
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RELEASE: Bipartisan City Officials Call on Federal Government to Support Local Resilience to Climate Change

RELEASE: Bipartisan City Officials Call on Federal Government to Support Local Resilience to Climate Change WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 15, 2016) - A major new paper released by the World Resources Institute today presents a policy roadmap for the Trump administration and Congress to support local and state efforts to enhance resilience to climate change. It offers timely recommendations to protect U.S. communities and the economy from costly sea level rise, disruptive coastal flooding and...

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Weather Patterns that Fueled Great Smoky Mountains Forest Fire Could Increase with Climate Change

Weather Patterns that Fueled Great Smoky Mountains Forest Fire Could Increase with Climate ChangeAdd Comment|PrintThe Chimney Tops 2 wildfire in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Photo by Chris Higgins Photography The catastrophic fire that originated in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park has caused 14 deaths, 150 injuries, and damaged or destroyed more than 2,400 homes and buildings around Gatlinburg, Tennessee. While the fire is nearly extinguished now, the blaze scorched an enormous...

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G20 task force wants companies to come clean on climate risk

LONDON (Reuters) - A global task force set up to try to prevent market shocks from the warming of the planet will ask companies to disclose how they manage risks to their business from climate change and greenhouse gas emission cuts.
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U.N. environment chief concerned at climate science skeptics among Trump picks

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Some elite U.S. politicians' denial of the science backing up climate change is worrying, the United Nations environment chief said on Wednesday, adding that the fight against global warming would continue, even without the United States.
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West Coast states to fight climate change even if Trump does not

CORONADO, Calif. (Reuters) - The governors of the three U.S. West Coast states on Tuesday vowed to step up their efforts to fight climate change in the face of the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, who has dismissed global warming as a hoax.
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U.S. Energy Department balks at Trump request for names on climate change

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Energy Department said on Tuesday it will not comply with a request from President-elect Donald Trump's Energy Department transition team for the names of people who have worked on climate change and the professional society memberships of lab workers.
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Cities Are Acting on Climate Change. Will the New Administration Join?

Cities Are Acting on Climate Change. Will the New Administration Join?Add Comment|PrintRooftop wind turbines in Portland, Oregon. Photo by M.O. Stevens/Wikimedia Commons Mayors don’t have the luxury of ignoring on-the-ground hazards of our changing planet: The lives and livelihoods of their constituents are front and center. Local officials cannot afford to wait – and fortunately, they’re not. Despite some troubling signs around appointments in the new administration, President-elect Trump...

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STATEMENT: WRI Responds to the Appointment of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State

STATEMENT: WRI Responds to the Appointment of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State WASHINGTON DC (December 13, 2016)— President-elect Trump has named Rex Tillerson as the next U.S. Secretary of State. Tillerson is currently the chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, the world’s largest publicly owned oil and gas company. After years of denial and delay, ExxonMobil has recently publicly acknowledged the connection between greenhouse gases and climate change and in a statement said that the Paris...

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