Newsdesk – December 15

Activists dump manure outside the COP25 climate talks congress in Madrid on Saturday. Photograph: Óscar del Pozo/AFP via Getty Images

UN climate talks end with limited progress on emissions targets. The talks have ended with a partial agreement to ask countries to come up with more ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the terms of the 2015 Paris accord.  This year’s series of climate talks reached an agreement on issues like the global carbon market and it was decided that it was still far off and the issue will have to be resolved next year. In the final hours, weary negotiators wrangled over the wording of provisions for “loss and damage”, by which developing countries are hoping to receive financial assistance for the ravages they face from climate breakdown. The US was blamed for refusing to agree to developing countries’ demands under what is known in the UN jargon as the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM). Brazil held up agreement over a provision allowing governments to trade in carbon credits. While governments discussed these and other points for two weeks, protestors outside and inside the halls pointed to increasingly stark scientific warnings and the world’s failure so far to cut greenhouse gases. As a result, the world’s poorest countries, and those most vulnerable to climate chaos, came away largely disappointed and calling for more action in the next year. Sonam Wangdi, chair of the Least Developed Countries Group, said: “Our people are already suffering from the impacts of climate change. Our communities across the world are being devastated. Global emissions must be drastically and urgently reduced to limit further impacts, and financial support scaled up so our countries can better address climate change and its impacts.” Climate change could indeed put the world on track for at least 3C of warning, which scientists say would spell disaster – The Guardian

  • Polar Bears, Ice Cracks, And Isolation: Scientists Drift Across The Arctic Ocean – NPR
  • Europe threatens U.S. with carbon tariffs to combat climate change – Politico
  • You Don’t Live In The Arctic But Climate Change There Affects You Too – Here Are 3 Reason – Forbes
  • Push for carbon loopholes sends climate talks into overtime – Climate Home News
  • Australia heatwave: Next week could see hottest day on record – BBC News
  • Five Eco-Friendly, Ethical Underwear Brands For Travelers – Forbes
  • These 3 supertrees can protect us from climate collapse – Vox
A traffic policeman wearing a face mask directs in heavy smog on in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province of China.
VCG | Getty Images

‘Any growth is more than we can afford’: Carbon dioxide pollution hits record high as planet warms. At the close of this decade, global carbon dioxide emissions are now projected to hit 37 billion tons in 2019. That sets another record for a third consecutive year and veers countries further off course from combating global warming. But despite that slower growth, natural gas use is surging across the world and fossil fuel emissions are still hitting records that are unsustainable for the planet.“Any growth is more than we can afford right now,” said Rob Jackson, an Earth systems scientist at Stanford University and director of the Global Carbon Project. “What we need is for emissions to stabilize and drop.” And to avoid the major consequences of climate change — like more severe flooding, heat waves and wildfires — global carbon dioxide emissions will need to decline every year and reach zero before the end of the century. But as a matter of fact, the world is not on track to reach net zero emissions. Seven of the 10 hottest years on record have taken place since 2010, and July 2019 was the hottest month in record history and on the current trajectory, the atmosphere will warm up by 1.5 degrees C in about 20 years, which could trigger massive food shortages and destruction, according to a recent report from the U.N.’s scientific panel on climate change. This drastic rise in global temperatures is a result of CO2 emissions for which Several countries account for. China emitted 28% of CO2 last year, followed by the U.S. at 15%, the E.U. at 9% and India at 7%, according to data from the Global Carbon Project. But although these carbon dioxide emissions are being curbed by the US and the European Union, the use of oil and natural gas across the world continues to grow significantly – CNBC

Greta Thunberg joins other young climate activists for a demonstration outside the White House in September. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

How Greta Thunberg is using her fame to pressure world leaders to act on climate. On Wednesday, Greta Thunberg — now 16, now a global celebrity and the most recognizable face of the climate movement — returned to the annual United Nations climate summit, this time on the outskirts of Spain’s capital.  Only this time, she was the main attraction. Thunberg’s globe-trotting, headline-making, movement-forming journey to push for urgent climate action has transformed her from a solitary protester into an international icon. On Wednesday, not long after she spoke, she was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, its youngest ever, for becoming “the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet.” Over the past year, Thunberg, who has forgone air travel due to carbon emissions, has sailed across the Atlantic Ocean twice, delivering fiery speeches from New York to North Dakota, from Berlin to Brussels. She inspired millions of people across hundreds of countries to march in the streets — again and again and again — demanding that leaders move more quickly and more forcefully to wean the world off fossil fuels. Katrin Uba, a political science professor at Sweden’s Uppsala University, who with a colleague has been gathering data on Thunberg’s impact for months, said several factors have played into her rapid rise to fame. She had good timing, undertaking her strikes at a time when the United States had made clear it would withdraw from the Paris accord and climate impacts were becoming more clear. She also had a simple message — “listen to the science” — that people can grasp. The “Greta effect,” Uba said, helped encourage young people worried about climate change, and in particular young women, to speak out for the first time. “A large proportion of these activists had never been active in protests or in the environmental movement before,” she said – The Washington Post