Former UN climate Chief Christiana Figueres, one of the architects of the Paris Agreement, has called on the European Union to step up regulatory action against deforestation in the global south by tackling emissions of imported agricultural goods like beef, soy and palm oil.
The EU is currently negotiating a trade agreement with the four founding members of Mercosur. Negotiations cover a broad range of issues—but 1) do they consider climate change and 2) can compromises on environmental issues be found? In our interview, Christian Hübner, Head of the Regional Programme Energy Security and Climate Change Latin America, notes points of contention and shares how the EU and Mercosur can both benefit from deeper cooperation on energy and climate policy.
French president Emmanuel Macron is set to call for a global pact affirming universal principles for environmental protection at the UN general assembly next week.
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) adopted the ‘BRICS Leaders’ Xiamen Declaration,’ reaffirming their commitment to fully implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, committing to enhance BRICS cooperation on climate change and expand green financing, and agreeing “to take concrete actions to advance result-oriented cooperation in such areas as prevention of air and water pollution, waste management and biodiversity conservation,” among others.
As global temperatures rise, warmer air and oceans are expected to fuel stronger hurricanes, with dangerous consequences.
Women are disproportionately vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Although India’s national climate change action plans recognize this and include a gender dimension, female participation in policy making and climate diplomacy is negligible. Dhanasree Jayaram argues that the South Asian region as a whole urgently needs to deal with gender issues in climate diplomacy.
The impacts of Hurricane Harvey continue to be felt in the southern US. The events have sparked early debate over the links between the hurricane and climate change. Commentary from scientists suggests that warming is likely to have intensified its impact. Nevertheless, many other factors are likely to have played a role. These include Houston’s population explosion, continued building in flood-prone areas and subsidence due to groundwater over-extraction, media reports suggest.
Top officials from Canada, Mexico and the US are now renegotiating the 23-year old North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). On the campaign trail, candidate Trump consistently called NAFTA “the worst trade deal ever,” and, in one of his first official acts as president, he signed an executive order to renegotiate the agreement. The first round has just ended, so we are about to get an important clue about the direction of travel of climate diplomacy and policy in Canada, Mexico and the US.
There is an emerging consensus CO2 needs to be sucked out of the air to meet climate goals, but no discussion of which countries are responsible for acting. Countries need to start negotiating who will take responsibility for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, two scientists argued in Nature Climate Change on Monday.
Donald Trump’s announcement that he intends to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement has sparked renewed interest in the question of what the agreement actually requires countries to do.