Category: Greenhouse gas emissions

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UK planning last-ditch China climate talks to break impasse before Cop26

By Bambam

Exclusive: Crunch meeting of world leaders tabled for this month, with Xi key to success of climate summit

Boris Johnson is planning to convene last-ditch climate talks with the president of China, Xi Jinping, at a crunch meeting of world leaders later this month, in hopes of breaking the global impasse on climate action before the Cop26 climate summit being hosted in Glasgow this November.

Xi will be invited, along with the leaders of about 30 other countries, to a high-level meeting on the sidelines of the UN general assembly in New York on 20 September, the Guardian has learned.

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Netherlands proposes radical plans to cut livestock numbers by almost a third

By Bambam

Dutch farmers could be forced to sell land and reduce the amount of animals they keep to help lower ammonia pollution

Dutch politicians are considering plans to force hundreds of farmers to sell up and cut livestock numbers, to reduce damaging ammonia pollution.

After the highest Dutch administrative court found in 2019 that the government was breaking EU law by not doing enough to reduce excess nitrogen in vulnerable natural areas, the country has been battling what it is calling a “nitrogen crisis”.

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Criticism of animal farming in the west risks health of world’s poorest | Emma Naluyima Mugerwa and Lora Iannotti

By Bambam

In the developing world most people are not factory farming and livestock is essential to preventing poverty and malnutrition

The pandemic has pushed poverty and malnutrition to rates not seen in more than a decade, wiping out years of progress. In 2020, the number of people in extreme poverty rose by 97 million and the number of malnourished people by between 118 million and 161 million.

Recent data from the World Bank and the UN shows how poverty is heavily concentrated in rural communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America where people are surviving by smallholder farming. This autumn there will be two key events that could rally support for them.

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Earth’s tipping points could be closer than we think. Our current plans won’t work | George Monbiot

By Bambam

Climate policies commit us to a calamitous 2.9C of global heating, but catastrophic changes can occur at even 1.5C or 2C

If there’s one thing we know about climate breakdown, it’s that it will not be linear, smooth or gradual. Just as one continental plate might push beneath another in sudden fits and starts, causing periodic earthquakes and tsunamis, our atmospheric systems will absorb the stress for a while, then suddenly shift. Yet, everywhere, the programmes designed to avert it are linear, smooth and gradual.

Current plans to avoid catastrophe would work in a simple system like a washbasin, in which you can close the tap until the inflow is less than the outflow. But they are less likely to work in complex systems, such as the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere. Complex systems seek equilibrium. When they are pushed too far out of one equilibrium state, they can flip suddenly into another. A common property of complex systems is that it’s much easier to push them past a tipping point than to push them back. Once a transition has happened, it cannot realistically be reversed.

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The Guardian view on fossil fuels: a very long way to go | Editorial

By Bambam

New carbon capture technology should be welcomed. But weaning the world off coal, oil and gas is what matters most

The switching on of the world’s largest carbon capture and storage plant, in Iceland, is a glimmer of hope in a bleak climate landscape. The amount of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere by this new machine will be tiny: 4,000 tonnes a year, which is equivalent to that produced by 870 cars. Still, the project brings a step closer the possibility that significant amounts of carbon dioxide could, one day, be removed from the atmosphere.

The significant risks that such technological developments carry must be addressed head-on. The danger is that they are a displacement activity from the massive and necessary task of reducing and then eliminating emissions (with any residual emissions offset or, if carbon capture technologies are scaled up, removed). This distraction need not be deliberate, although fossil fuel producers have consistently undermined climate action by promoting the idea that technological solutions will eventually make calls to decarbonise obsolete.

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Atlas of the Invisible: using data to map the climate crisis

By Bambam

Graphics from a new book show causes and consequences that are hard to detect with the naked eye

In a new book, Atlas of the Invisible, the geographer James Cheshire and designer Oliver Uberti redefine what an atlas can be. The following eight graphics reveal some of the causes and consequences of the climate crisis that are hard to detect with the naked eye but become clear when the data is collected and visualised.

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