Climate and Environment

Time running out for countries on climate crisis front line

The world’s running out of time to limit global temperature rise to below two degrees Celsius, a matter of life or death for climate vulnerable countries on the front line of the crisis, the UN Secretary General reiterated on Thursday.

Japan: UN chief praises work of emergency responders in wake of deadly landslide

The UN chief on Monday extended his condolences to the families of those who died in a landslide, which struck the Japanese coastal city of Atami in Shizuoka Prefecture, over the weekend.

Record-breaking ‘pressure-cooker’ heatwave hits Canada, US northwest

A "pressure-cooker" heatwave that's broken temperature records twice in 48 hours in the US northwest and western Canada is being mirrored across large parts of the northern hemisphere, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Tuesday.

The trillion dollar climate finance challenge (and opportunity)

It’s overwhelmingly accepted that climate change is a very significant threat to humanity and while there are countless solutions to tackling what has been described by the UN as the “existential threat” of our times, it is still not fully clear how these solutions will be paid for. 

$1 billion fund for renewables among key energy commitments made during UN ministerial forums

The IKEA Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation have announced plans to launch a $1 billion fund to boost access to renewable energy in developing countries – one of the key commitments made during a series of virtual UN ministerial forums this week.

UN chief urges European Parliament to support COVID vaccines for all

The European Union (EU) must use its leverage to ensure people everywhere have access to COVID-19 vaccines, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday. 

 

Small businesses unprepared for pandemic-sized climate shock ‘every decade’

 

Small businesses which make up more than half of the global workforce were 2.5 times more likely to go under than larger firms in the first months of COVID-19, the International Trade Centre (ITC) said on Wednesday, warning that the impact of climate change could cause pandemic-scale disruption “every decade”.

Great Barrier Reef in danger, UN World Heritage Committee draft report finds

A United Nations body is recommending that Australia’s Great Barrier Reef be included on a list of world heritage in danger, according to a draft report issued on Monday, a move which has been heavily criticized by the Australian Government.  

FROM THE FIELD: Restoring Dutch ‘green deserts’

The Western Peat Meadows of the Netherlands look like classic Dutch countryside (cows, windmills and green fields), but the views mask a significant loss of biodiversity, caused by intensive farming methods. As the UN Decade of Ecosystem Restoration begins, a local organisation is planning to restore 100 million of hectares of land, across the world.

Sustainability solution or climate calamity? The dangers and promise of cryptocurrency technology

The negative environmental impact of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin has been widely covered in the press in recent weeks and months, and their volatility has also been flagged as a cause for concern. Nevertheless, the UN believes that blockchain, the technology lying behind these online currencies, could be of great benefit to those fighting the climate crisis, and help bring about a more sustainable global economy.