Global

31/07/15
Author: 
Juan Cole
A member loyal to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) waves an ISIL flag in Raqqa in June 2014. (Reuters/Stringer)

Democratic presidential contender Martin O’Malley sparked controversy this week by saying that the conditions for the rise of ISIL (ISIS, Daesh) were set by the impact on Syria of climate change, which drove farmers from their land into slums around cities and created extreme poverty. O’Malley’s assertion was immediately ridiculed on Fox News Channel and by Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, who called the allegation a “disconnect from reality.” Who is right in this debate?

28/06/15
Author: 
Arthur Neslen
 Urgenda supporters celebrate at The Hague after court ruling requiring Dutch government to slash emissions. Photograph: Chantal Bekker/Urgenda

A court in The Hague has ordered the Dutch government to cut its emissions by at least 25% within five years, in a landmark ruling expected to cause ripples around the world.

To cheers and hoots from climate campaigners in court, three judges ruled that government plans to cut emissions by just 14-17% compared to 1990 levels by 2020 were unlawful, given the scale of the threat posed by climate change.

24/06/15
Author: 
CBC staff
Urgenda Foundation director Marjan Minnesma hugs lawyer Roger Cox, left, after a Dutch court ordered the government to cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020. (Associated Press)

A court in The Netherlands has ruled that climate change poses so much of a danger that the government must reduce emissions by 25 percent in five years. 

It was the surprise outcome of a lawsuit brought by environmentalists who were upset that the Dutch government had only committed to a 14 to 16 percent reduction by 2020. 

Marjan Minnesma is the founder and director of the environmental group Urgenda, which launched the lawsuit. She tells As It Happens co-host Carol Off about the scene in the court when the ruling was announced.

14/06/15
Author: 
Siberian Times Staff
The ice on vast Lake Baikal was too thin or non-existent even in February and March, forcing the cancellation of a number of events. Picture: eastland.ru

Some parts of Siberia were warmer than usual by 6C, with a host of anecdotal examples of normal meteorological rules being turned on their head. For a few days in late April, for example, the city of Irkutsk boasted higher temperatures than Madrid. 

The ice on vast Lake Baikal was too thin or non-existent even in February and March, forcing the cancellation of a number of events. 

In the past, it was safe to drive cars across the frozen lake, the deepest in the world.

21/05/15
Author: 
Roberta Rampton
U.S. President Barack Obama walks through an honor cordon as the arrives for the 134th Commencement Exercises of the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut May 20, 2015. REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE

Rising seas and thawing permafrost caused by warmer global temperatures threaten U.S. military bases and will change the way the U.S. armed services defend the country, President Barack Obama said on Wednesday.

In a commencement address at the United States Coast Guard Academy, Obama underscored the risks to national security posed by climate change, one of his top priorities for action in his remaining 19 months in office.

03/05/15
Author: 
Pilita Clark

The Church of England, one of the world’s wealthiest religious institutions, has decided to blacklist coal and tar sands investments, in a striking victory for campaigners seeking to make fossil fuels as unpopular as tobacco.

The Church announced on Thursday that it would sell £12m of its holdings in thermal coal and tar sands companies, two of the most polluting fossil fuels. “Climate change is the most pressing moral issue in our world,” said the Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Rev Nick Holtam, lead bishop on the environment.

12/04/15
Author: 
The Local staff
Anti-austerity protests in France April 2015

Tens of thousands of French workers took to the streets of cities across the country on Thursday to denounce the "austerity" policies of the French government. The Eiffel Tower was forced to close due to the strike.

Various trade unions had called on workers to join the protest against austerity and in the name of "protecting social services, public transport, and employment".

Thousands of protesters marched in Paris between the Place d'Italie and the Invalides on Thursday afternoon and thousands more rallied in cities across France.

16/03/15
Author: 
CBC staff
Vanuatu Cyclone Pam

The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu has lost years of development progress and must "start over" after Cyclone Pam destroyed or damaged 90 per cent of the buildings on the main island of Port Vila, the country's president said Monday.

Baldwin Lonsdale, visibly weary and red-eyed from lack of sleep, said in an interview that he and other top government officials were preparing to return home later Monday from Sendai, in northeastern Japan, where they were attending a disaster conference.

07/03/15
Author: 
Alan Rusbridger
 A polar bear in the arctic wilderness of the Svalbard Islands in the Arctic Ocean.

. . . These events that have yet to materialise may dwarf anything journalists have had to cover over the past troubled century. There may be untold catastrophes, famines, floods, droughts, wars, migrations and sufferings just around the corner. But that is futurology, not news, so it is not going to force itself on any front page any time soon.

03/03/15
Author: 
Gabriel Levy
defend mother earth

The officials in charge of the United Nations climate talks say that no deal will be done in Paris in December (COP21) to avoid dangerous global warming. After preparatory negotiations in Geneva, Switzerland, this month, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), confirmed that the target set previously, of limiting warming to 2 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels, would be missed.

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