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A Record-Breaking Year for the Climate

It's summer-time in the Northern Hemisphere, and we're feeling the heat.  2016-A-Record-Breaking-Year

The good news is that the extremes in weather are making the news.   We can't change the weather today, but we stand on the shoulders of giants, and we can see the fork in the road ahead.

Here are some links to stories you may be interested in reading:

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World: UNDP ramps up support in wake of climate change and El Nino (reliefWeb)

23/07/2016 @ 00:00

New York, 21 July – As 2016 continues to shatter records as the hottest year on record, dozens of countries are feeling the impact through increased frequency and severity of weather events. From droughts to floods and storms, UNDP and partners are seeing increased demand for post-disaster needs assessments and recovery planning.

In terms of storms, February’s Cyclone Winston was the first Category 5 storm to directly impact Fiji , causing widespread damage and impacting over 500,000 people, roughly 62 percent of the population. Damages and losses were estimated at F$ 1.98 billion1 (Fijian dollars), while recovery needs were estimated at F$1.98 billion.

Aside from storms, droughts in Angola, Malawi and the Marshall Islands have affected millions, necessitating food and livelihood support. In the Marshall Islands, the country had received only a quarter of its usual November-February rainfall (the country relies on rain for 90 percent of usable water), while in Malawi – a country already recovering from massive floods in 2015 – estimates are that over 6.5 million people are unable to meet food requirements. In Angola, meanwhile, the drought has reportedly affected 1.4 million people as of April 2016.


This June was the Hottest Ever and Other Climate Facts

July 21, 2016

“Another month, another record. And another. And another. Decades-long trends of climate change are reaching new climaxes,” said World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Petteri Taalas in a press release.

The sharp rise in heat this year was influenced early on by the most powerful El Nino in recent memory, but scientists are quick to point out that long-term climate change is the real driver.

"While public opinion has surely swung in favour of belief in climate change, there is still a wide gap in understanding what needs to be done - that we need to keep the majority of fossil fuels in the ground," said Cam Fenton, Candaian tar sands organizer for "The main reason it's so difficult to get there is the same reasons that climate denial was so pervasive for so long, because corporations like Exxon Mobil have been polluting the public discourse on climate change while they have been the driving force behind climate change. "



India to meet climate goals earlier than promised, says outgoing climate chief (The Guardian)

13/07/2016 @ 08:49

India could meet its carbon reduction goals earlier than expected, the country’s outgoing climate minister told a meeting in Delhi on Tuesday.

By 2030, the world’s fourth largest greenhouse gas emitter plans to cut the carbon intensity of GDP up to 35% on 2005 levels and boost the share of clean power in the energy mix to 40%.

Those ambitious goals helped deliver a new global pact to limit warming to below 2C said Prakash Javadekar, who suggested India could overachieve on its pledge.


Morocco says ensures security of climate summit (xinhuanet_en)


Morocco has taken all the necessary security measures to ensure the success of the climate summit COP 22 slated for November in Marrakech, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Cherki Drais, Moroccan Minister delegate for the Interior, underlined that preparations are going smoothly, and Moroccan security services are paying the highest levels of vigilance in the kingdom's ports and airports.

He made the remarks at a meeting in Rabat with a delegation of 27 reporters from 15 African countries, on a visit to Morocco to cover the preparations under way for holding the climate summit.

Morocco Poised to Place Water at the Heart of COP22 (observer-gm)


The Ministry in charge of Water in the Kingdom of Morocco in collaboration with the French Ministry of Environment, Energy and Sea and the World Water Council on Monday hosted an international conference on Water and Climate as part of preparatory process of the COP22 to be held in Marrakech, Morocco.


Ségolène Royal pour inaugurer la MedCOP 22 au Maroc (HuffPost Maroc)

13/07/2016 @ 10:00

Ségolène Royal revient au Maroc. Après avoir participé il y a moins d’un mois au lancement d'un forum mondial sur l'environnement en vue de préparer la 22e conférence de l'ONU sur le climat (COP22), qui doit se tenir en novembre à Marrakech, la ministre de l’Environnement française inaugurera cette fois la MedCOP 22, prévue les 18 et 19 juillet à Tanger.

COP 22 : Les pays africains souhaitent parler d’une même voix en faveur de l’eau à Marrakech (guineenews)


Les rideaux sont tombés sur la conférence internationale de l’eau et du climat, ce mardi 12 juillet 2016 à Rabat, la capitale administrative marocaine, a remarqué sur place votre quotidien en ligne, Guinéenews. Mobilisée pour la circonstance, la communauté africaine a profité pour lancer un appel en faveur du droit d’accès à l’eau sur le continent.

Maroc : en attendant Marrakech, les échos de la COP22 à J-118 (La Nouvelle Usine)

13/07/2016 @ 10:15

Gouvernements, experts du climat et ONG vont se réunir à Marrakech du 7 au 18 novembre prochain pour la Cop22, nouveau round de négociations internationales sur les changements climatiques. Au Maroc et ailleurs, quelques-unes des dernières infos sur la préparation de cet évènement majeur pour la planète et le royaume qui deviendra à l'automne, et pour un an, le porteur de la flamme verte du climat.



Green Climate Fund Backs Key UN-Supported Climate Action (un-az)


The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has welcomed the support of the Green Climate Fund in funding critical country-driven climate change projects in Armenia, Sri Lanka, Tuvalu and Vietnam, announced at the 13th meeting of the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) in Songdo, South Korea, which concluded on 30 June.

The GCF Board meeting announced conditional approval of nine proposals, totaling US$ 256 million in grant funding. This includes four UNDP-supported projects, which have a combined value of US$123.6 million.

Together with US$ 35.9 million approved for two projects in Malawi and Maldives in November 2015, this brings the total cumulative value of UNDP-supported country-led projects approved by the GCF to US$ 159.5 million.


Slovak EU Council presidency committed to strengthening energy security (theparliament)


The European Union imports as much as 53 per cent of its energy, making it the largest energy importer in the world.

The Slovak EU Council presidency has an ambition to help to create a resilient and competitive energy union, closely tied to the climate change policy.

The key objective must be safe and clean energy, affordable to all consumers.

Cyprus Agriculture Minister attends EU Environment Council (

14/07/2016 @ 06:45

Speaking at the EU Environment Council in Bratislava on 11-12 July, Cyprus Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Minister Nicos Kouyialis stated that new funding mechanisms stipulated in the new institutional framework for climate and energy for 2021-2030 should aim at reinforcing the EU’s transition to a low emissions economy. According to a relevant announcement, the Council discussed issues regarding climate action, while Ministers exchanged views on the priorities that need to be discussed at the next Climate Change Conference to be held in November in Morocco, in the context of implementing the Paris Agreement.

Speaking at the Council, Kouyialis stated that the Paris Agreement should remain a priority in the Climate Change negotiations, emphasising the need to reduce emissions, transparency, adjustment, as well as funding. He also said certain issues must be clarified, such as the differentiation of the obligations between developed and developing countries. Referring to the Innovation Fund, the Minister said that its field of implementation, apart from the innovative projects in Renewable Energy Sources and Carbon Collection and Storage, should include pioneer projects for low carbon dioxide emission in industrial areas.

He further added that priority should be given to projects proposed for construction in Member States that are already seriously affected by climate change, while he also underlined the need for a flexible governance system granting Member States the ability to decide on their own the more effective policies and measures for the implementation of the Energy Union targets.

ΥΠΓΕ:Eνίσχυση μετάβασης της ΕΕ σε οικονομία χαμηλών εκπομπών , 13 Jul 2016, 00:00

Carole Dieschbourg au Conseil informel “Environnement” à Bratislava: pour une ratification rapide de l’accord de Paris (gemengen)


Lors de la réunion des ministres de l’Environnement, du Climat et de l’Énergie qui s’est tenue les 11 et 12 juillet 2015 à Bratislava sous présidence slovaque du Conseil de l’Union européenne, la ministre de l’Environnement, Carole Dieschbourg, a plaidé pour une ratification rapide de l’accord de Paris.

UN Human Rights Council declares climate a priority (Climate Home)

13/07/2016 @ 08:25

A core group comprised of Bangladesh and the Philippines – the two countries having historically spearheaded this area of work of the Human Rights Council – as well as Vietnam promoted the resolution.

“Compared to any time in the past, accomplishing a world of dignity, a world of peace, a world of fairness, a world of justice may remain a far cry if we fail to factor in innovative ways to provisioning human rights of the climate-affected people” said Bangladesh’s Nahida Sobhan, calling on all other countries to support the resolution.

TTIP proposal casts doubt on G20 climate pledge, leaked EU draft shows (The Guardian)

13/07/2016 @ 10:23

Trade negotiators in Brussels are proposing new loopholes on a G20 pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies within a decade, in the latest leaked TTIP proposals seen by the Guardian.

The EU’s draft text for a trade and sustainable development chapter also appears to draw an equivalence between the need to prevent trade distortions and the fight against climate change.

The leak will provide fresh ammunition to critics of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) free trade deal, who fear that its provisions could undermine hard-won climate commitments.


Bilan carbone de Paris : des progrès encore insuffisants (Le Monde)

14/07/2016 @ 06:53

La Ville de Paris a publié, mercredi, la quantité de gaz à effet de serre qui a été rejetée en 2014 sur son territoire. Depuis 2014, elle affiche une baisse de 9 %.

Au vu de son bilan carbone présenté mercredi 13 juillet, il lui reste néanmoins bien du chemin à parcourir. En 2014, la capitale a produit 25,6 millions de tonnes équivalent CO2, ce qui représente depuis 2004 une baisse de 9,2 % de ses émissions carbone.

Une modification de la méthodologie du bilan carbone

Pour réaliser cet exercice, auquel la municipalité se prête tous les cinq ans, la ville a révisé sa méthodologie, afin de recenser les émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES) de manière plus exhaustive. Les rejets carbonés de l’année de base 2004, qui se sont avérés sous-estimés, ont été réévalués.


Brexit threatens global oil demand, warns IEA (EurActiv)

14/07/2016 @ 06:53

Europe has been the “saving grace” of global oil demand, which is expected to be higher than forecast in 2016, but that is under threat from uncertainty caused by Brexit, the International Energy Agency has warned today (13 July).

High stocks are continuing to force prices down but worldwide global demand will grow by 1.4 million barrels a day to 96.1 million, the IEA said in its monthly oil market report.

European oil demand growth reached a five quarter high in the second quarter of the year.


EU ETS reforms should be agreed unanimously, say Polish ministry and power associations (Carbon Pulse)

13/07/2016 @ 16:13

Post-2020 EU ETS reforms should be agreed unanimously by all member states, not just a majority, according to Poland’s top climate envoy Pawel Salek and four Polish power and heat associations.

EU seen chopping post-2020 ETS cap further to ease pressure on richer states (Carbon Pulse)

13/07/2016 @ 10:34

The European Commission is next week expected to propose letting a small club of richer member states cancel part of their post-2020 ETS auction volumes to help meet their non-ETS goals more cheaply, hiking costs for companies exposed to the bloc’s carbon market.

EU Market: EUAs climb to 1-week high after strong auction (Carbon Pulse)

13/07/2016 @ 18:02

EU carbon climbed towards €5 to reach its highest in over a week after a strong UK auction spurred confidence, with prices defying a big correction in oil prices.

German energy bourse EEX sees massive jump in CO2 trade, toasts the return of banks (Carbon Pulse)

13/07/2016 @ 17:34

EEX grew its secondary emissions trading volumes sevenfold in the first half of 2016 compared to a year ago, the German bourse said, with its COO Steffen Koehler proclaiming that “the banks are back” in the European energy market.

CN Markets: Hubei CO2 price drops to all-time low on supply rush (Carbon Pulse)

13/07/2016 @ 09:16

Prices in Hubei’s CO2 emissions trading scheme fell 10% on Wednesday to new record low levels as long companies brought fresh batches of supply to market in anticipation that the government has mostly finalised adjustments to 2015 free allocations.


Solar Impulse 2 lands in Egypt in penultimate stop of its world tour (The Guardian)

13/07/2016 @ 09:13

The Solar Impulse 2 landed in Cairo on Wednesday for its penultimate stop as the solar-powered plane nears the end of its marathon tour around the world.

After the two-day flight from Spain, just one final leg lies between it and its final destination, Abu Dhabi, where it started its odyssey in March last year.

The aircraft landed in Spain last month, after completing the first solo transatlantic flight powered only by sunlight.

After setting off from Seville on Monday morning, the plane passed through Algerian, Tunisian, Italian and Greek airspace, and flew over the Giza Pyramids before touching down at Cairo airport at around 7.10am (5.10am GMT).


Loss and damage, here and now (eco-business)


It is now known that human societies are not able to adapt to all the impacts of climate change. There is now so much extra greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, so little effort to mitigate emissions, even less for adaptation, that impacts are occurring and will continue with more severity and higher frequency.

The inevitable consequences are loss and damage. A recent report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) looks at the extent of loss and damage the world can expect, and what can possibly be done about it.

The latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reconfirms that as the world has become 0.85 degree Celsius warmer than in the late 19th century, climate change is making storms, floods and droughts more severe and frequent and raising the sea level. Going by this, countries — especially in the tropical zone — have been facing loss and damage due to climate change since at least the 1990s.

Assessing climate change risks to U.K. (homelandsecuritynewswire)

14/07/2016 @ 00:00

Climate change is happening now. Globally, 14 of the 15 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. The impacts of climate change are already being felt in the United Kingdom, and urgent action is required to address climate-related risks, the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC)’s Adaptation Sub-Committee (ASC) said the other day.


Post-Brexit farming subsidies must protect nature, 84 groups say (The Guardian)

14/07/2016 @ 05:01

New subsidies paid to farmers under a post-Brexit government must be linked closely to environmental responsibilities, a large group of political and civil society organisations has urged.

Protection for birds, wildlife, waterways and other natural goods should come top of the list when any new payments are considered, wrote 84 food, farming and conservation specialists in a letter to Oliver Letwin and Theresa May on Thursday.

Current subsidies of about £3bn a year, depending on the exchange rate, come to farmers from the EU. Ahead of the referendum, leading Brexit campaigners promised that farmers would receive substantial help from the government if the UK were to leave, but also pledged that regulation would be reduced.




South China overwhelmed by heavy rain, flooding (Climate Home)

13/07/2016 @ 12:37

“It’s like someone poked a hole in the sky, the rain just keeps pouring down, you can’t breathe,” said Mrs Wu from Donghu, a district in Wuhan a city in central China with over 10 million residents.

Mrs Wu lives in Chunshuli, an affluent neighbourhood that’s relatively high above sea level. But even so, she doesn’t feel safe.

Since the beginning of July relentless downpours have overwhelmed Wuhan, paralysing its transport system and plunging vast areas of the city into chaos.

China sets aside $30 million for weather modification program (Reuters)

14/07/2016 @ 06:52

SHANGHAI China has allocated 199 million yuan ($29.76 million) to spend on its weather modification program as part of efforts to combat drought and reduce the impact of natural disasters, the finance ministry said on Thursday, as state media reported flooding this year caused at least 237 deaths.

The Ministry of Finance said the additional funding had been made available in order to help China's regions respond to the large number of "extreme weather events" this year, including heavy flooding in south and central regions as well as drought in the northwest.


‘The ocean is more political than it ever has been’ (irishtimes)


Planet Catastrophe is not always a good headspace to occupy for long. So when Massachusetts Institute of Technology atmospheric chemist Susan Solomon was able to confirm last month that the seasonal hole in Antarctica’s ozone layer had begun to shrink, it was the sort of news that put a spring in the step of Craig McLean, assistant administrator at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Even as international scientific comment rushed to caution that the positive results from the Montreal Protocol – phasing out the use of ozone-damaging chemicals known as chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs – would not solve the more complex issue of climate change, McLean agrees that Solomon’s research constituted a “bright spot” in collective international action.


Global warming implicated in dinosaur extinction (The Guardian)

13/07/2016 @ 10:00

In a paper published on Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, scientists from the University of Michigan and the University of Florida show that there were big jumps in climate warming when the dinosaurs went extinct at the end of the Cretaceous. This brings the end-Cretaceous mass extinction in line with the other mass extinction events, which occurred at times of abrupt and sometimes extreme climate change (including the end-Permian, the end-Triassic, the Toarcian, and others).

Leonardo DiCaprio no se queda solo en palabras y dona 15 millones de dólares para el medio ambiente (vanguardia-MX)


Si de cuestiones ambientales se trata, el compromiso de Leonardo Di Caprio al respecto no se queda solo en palabras. A través de su fundación, el ganador del Oscar donará más de 15 millones de dólares para apoyo a programas en pro de la conservación del medio ambiente.