Climate and Environment

First Person: Looking to the skies to understand the climate crisis

Could studying the cosmos help us to fight the climate crisis? Two astronomers at the University of Hawaii think that knowledge of the solar system may help to slow down the warming of the Earth’s atmosphere.

UN highlights urgent need to tackle impact of likely electric car battery production boom

Demand for raw materials used in the production of electric car batteries is set to soar, prompting the UN trade body, UNCTAD, to call for the social and environmental impacts of the extraction of raw materials, which include human rights abuses, to be urgently addressed.

What will power the post-pandemic global economic recovery?

As governments try to kick-start their economies, the UN is calling for recovery plans to be built around low-carbon technologies, to avoid a return to fossil fuel-based "business as usual".

Extraordinary ‘megaflash’ lightning strikes cover several hundred kilometres, smashing records

New records for extreme lightning bursts, or ‘megaflashes’, during 2019, have been made official, more than doubling the size and duration of the previous record flashes, the UN’s weather agency, WMO, announced on Thursday.

First Person: Innovation brewing at Hawaii coffee farm

Innovation and experimentation are helping a coffee farm in the US state of Hawaii to prosper in a competitive market, an approach which has helped the company to get through the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Extreme weather ‘record’ likely in Arctic Circle, says UN weather agency WMO

Reports that temperatures in a Russian town in the Arctic Circle likely reached a record 38C (100.4F), last weekend, have been approved by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) pending final verification, it said on Tuesday.

FROM THE FIELD: Adapting to Lesotho’s changing climate

Living in the African mountain kingdom of Lesotho comes with its fair share of challenges, including land degradation and climate change, which are upending traditional farming practices. 

‘New contract’ needed with nature to keep drought and deserts at bay

The UN Secretary-General has called for “a new contract for nature” to address ongoing global challenges connected to land degradation, such as forced migration, hunger and climate change.

Throughout COVID-19 recovery, 'plummeting’ clean energy costs can help climate action

As COVID-19 hits the fossil fuel industry, a new UN report published on Wednesday shows that renewable energy is more cost-effective than ever – providing an opportunity to prioritize clean energy in national economic recovery packages and bring the world closer to meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement.
 

COVID-19: ‘Unparalleled economic shock’ threatens development hopes and gains

As the diverse and severe impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be felt across the world, an “unparalleled economic shock” is putting development gains at risk, the UN chief told a meeting of high-powered business leaders on Wednesday.