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16 December 2014 Tropical rainforests not absorbing as much carbon as expected, scientists say

Findings could indicate some forests are not helping mitigate effects of climate change by removing excess carbon dioxide from atmosphere. The increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not making trees in tropical forests grow faster, say scientists who have analysed over 1,100 individual trees from forests in Bolivia, Thailand and…

15 December 2014 Climate talks: summit chief warns ‘we need to work’ as deadline passes – as it happened

Summary As negotiators haggle and night descends on Lima, we’re going to wind the blog down for now. Here’s a summary of the key events as talks ran into overtime.

15 December 2014 Australia could increase emissions 26% and still meet Kyoto pledge, says climate group

Anomaly due to carbon accounting rules, says Climate Action Tracker, as it accused Australia of going to ‘considerable diplomatic effort’ to ‘hide’ its true emissions levels Australia may be able to increase its industrial emissions by 26% by 2020 and still easily meet its Kyoto protocol targets, new analysis released at the Lima climate talks…

11 December 2014 Full scale of plastic in the world’s oceans revealed for first time

Over five trillion pieces of plastic are floating in our oceans says most comprehensive study to date on plastic pollution around the world. More than five trillion pieces of plastic, collectively weighing nearly 269,000 tonnes, are floating in the world’s oceans, causing damage throughout the food chain, new research has found. Data collected by scientists…

11 December 2014 Green Climate Fund will get $200m from Australia after Tony Abbott’s about-turn

Prime minister had previously disparaged the international fund designed to help poor countries adapt to climate change, and said Australia would not contribute. The federal government has pledged $200m over four years from its existing aid budget to the international Green Climate Fund, which Tony Abbott previously disparaged as a “Bob Brown bank on an…

10 December 2014 The Amazon oil spills overlooked by environmental leaders in Lima

As global environmental delegates gather in Peru for the UN climate talks, five oil spills in the country’s Amazon jungle are causing a hidden environmental disaster It is a disaster hidden from the environmental leaders gathered inside the walls of a military compound in Lima on a mission to fight climate change.

9 December 2014 Lima climate talks: pledge to plant 20m hectares of trees

Eight Latin American countries have pledged to combat deforestation and restore an area of land twice the size of Britain by 2020. The move is part of a global plan to plant hundreds of millions of trees and save over 1bn tonnes of CO2 a year. Much of the land to be replanted and improved…

9 December 2014 Major deltas ‘could be drowned’

Sea-level rise and river engineering “spell disaster” for many of the world’s river deltas, say scientists. Half a billion people live in deltas, but the newly published research suggests many of these areas are set to be inundated by rising seas. Some of the lowest lying, including the Mekong and Mississippi, are particularly vulnerable.

8 December 2014 School pupils and hospital patients at risk of killer pollution, say MPs

Schools, hospitals and care homes should not be built near main roads to reduce the tens of thousands of deaths being caused by the “invisible killer” of air pollution, a committee of MPs has warned. The Commons environmental audit committee recommends diesel engines be scrapped over time and existing schools close to busy roads be…

8 December 2014 Abbott government accused of trying to set up climate change talks for failure

The Abbott government has been accused of setting impossible requirements for Australia’s participation in any global climate change agreement clinched in Paris next year by insisting it must include legally binding emissions targets. Experts say the Paris agreement could require countries to enshrine their new post-2020 greenhouse emission reduction targets in domestic law but that…

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