Climate and Environment

First Person: The ‘Human Swan’ inspiring climate action

Australian biologist Sacha Dench has been nicknamed “the Human Swan”, in recognition of her record-breaking, 7,000 kilometre, paramotor (motorized paraglider) flight, tracking Bewick swans across 11 countries, from Arctic Russian to the UK. Ahead of International Day for Biological Diversity, Ms. Dench explains why a drastic shift is needed in the global economy, to save endangered wildlife.

Boost investments in nature to combat climate, biodiversity and land degradation crises

Annual investments in nature-based solutions will have to triple by 2030, and increase four-fold by 2050, if the world is to successfully tackle the triple threat of climate, biodiversity and land degradation crises, according to a new UN-backed study published on Thursday. 

World now likely to hit watershed 1.5 °C rise in next five years, warns UN weather agency

Odds are increasing that the annual average global temperature will rise beyond 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, in at least one of the next five years, the UN weather agency warns in a new report issued on Thursday.

SDGs: Greater urgency needed to meet environmental goals, improved data likely key

Countries are on track to miss the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relating to environmental protection, two UN entities warn in new report issued on Saturday to coincide with the International Day for Biological Diversity

Renewable tech brings power swarming through the world’s poorest villages

Swarm grids, an innovative technology designed to work with renewable energy sources, are bringing reliable electricity to some of the world’s poorest and remote regions for the first time, providing a major boost to the livelihoods of those who live there.

Report reveals progress on environmentally protected areas, but quality must improve

Although the world has made major progress toward a decade-long target for environmental protection areas, it has fallen far short on commitments regarding their quality, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners said in a report published on Wednesday. 

First Person: Gardening is ‘political’ says Irish celebrity horticulturist

For Diarmuid Gavin, a renowned Irish gardener and TV personality, horticulture has a role to play in all contemporary affairs, from the Black Lives Matter Movement to the ongoing pandemic, because “everything is connected, and everything is political”.

Climate change threatens winged harbinger of spring

A sure sign of spring in northern Europe is the arrival of the Arctic tern bird, but ahead of the UN’s World Migratory Bird Day  experts fear the warming of the oceans in its nesting grounds in the northern Atlantic is threatening its very existence. 

Cut methane emissions to avert global temperature rise, UN-backed study urges

Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed report published on Thursday. 

Increased cancer risk for petroleum industry workers and people living near plants: New UN study

People working in the petroleum industry or living near petroleum facilities are at increased risk of developing several different cancer types, according to a new report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARCWHO), part of the UN World Health Organization (WHO).