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California leads subnational efforts to curb climate change

SUPPOSE Britain’s prime minister ordered civil servants to make the world’s fifth-biggest economy fully carbon-neutral by 2045, and thereafter to extract more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than it emits. »
13 September 2018, 19:10 - economist - Search similar - Email

How clean is solar power?

THAT solar panels do not emit greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide when they are generating electricity is without question. This is why they are beloved of many who worry about the climate-altering potential of such gases. Sceptics, though, observe that a lot of energy is needed to make a solar panel in the first place. »
8 December 2016, 21:00 - economist - Search similar - Email

How to deal with worries about stranded assets

IN SEPTEMBER 2015, at a candlelit dinner at Lloyd’s of London, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, addressed the insurance industry on climate change. He gave warning in advance that there would be no jokes. Then he dropped a bombshell on the oil industry. His message was twofold. »
24 November 2016, 19:30 - economist - Search similar - Email

What will happen if America’s president-elect follows through on pledges to tear up environmental laws

“LIKE ice water through the veins.” That is how a UN official, in Marrakesh for the UN climate summit that ended on November 18th, described the effect of Donald Trump’s electoral victory. Her trepidation was widely shared at the two-week event-and justified. In a tweet in 2012 Mr Trump called anthropogenic warming a “hoax”. »
24 November 2016, 15:20 - economist - Search similar - Email

Earth’s plants are countering some of the effects of climate change

A feast in the air IN 1972, on their way to the Moon, the crew of Apollo 17 snapped what would become one of the most famous photographs ever taken. The “Blue Marble” shows Earth as it looks from space: a blue sphere overlaid by large brown swatches of land, with wisps of white cloud floating above. But times change, and modern pictures of Earth look different. »
10 November 2016, 22:10 - economist - Search similar - Email

To coldly go

THE world’s most lauded environmental treaty could be about to notch up a new success. In 1974 scientists discovered that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), chemicals used in refrigeration and as propellants in products such as hairsprays, release chlorine into the stratosphere as they decompose. This depletes the ozone that protects Earth from ultraviolet radiation. »
22 September 2016, 20:00 - economist - Search similar - Email


IT’S not easy being green, especially if you’re a fund manager. A decade or so ago, when mainstream politicians such as Britain’s David Cameron were petting huskies and embracing environmental issues, the stocks of renewable-energy producers were in vogue. But as in the dotcom boom a few years earlier, share prices ran way ahead of the potential for profits. »
8 September 2016, 22:40 - economist - Search similar - Email

In the red

CONDITIONS in India are road-meltingly hot: on May 19th residents of Phalodi, a city in the north of the country, had to cope with temperatures of 51°C-the highest since records there began. Records are tumbling elsewhere, too. »
26 May 2016, 17:40 - economist - Search similar - Email

Green giant

Tolba, pulling the world together “PERHAPS the single most successful international agreement to date has been the Montreal protocol,” declared Kofi Annan, then head of the United Nations, back in 2003. Agreed 16 years earlier, the mechanism sought to limit damage to the stratospheric ozone layer that protects the planet from harmful ultraviolet radiation. »
31 March 2016, 20:10 - economist - Search similar - Email

Lift up your voice

TUVALU and Nauru, lonely miniature outposts in the western Pacific, are just two of the minnows that enjoy making a splash when they swim with the big fish of the Commonwealth. Once the Ellice bit of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Tuvalu is a string of coral atolls, pictured above, at no point higher than 5 metres above the sea, lying more than 5,000km (3,150 miles) north-east of Australia. »
17 March 2016, 17:40 - economist - Search similar - Email

Stopping the big burp

MENTION the phrases “greenhouse gases” and “global warming” in the same breath and most people will think of the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil. But CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas and fossil fuels are not the only source of such gases. A surprising and neglected one is the world’s ruminant livestock-cattle, sheep and so on. »
14 January 2016, 21:10 - economist - Search similar - Email

Green light

“WE’VE shown what’s possible when the world stands as one,” declared Barack Obama after UN climate talks in Paris ended with an agreement on December 12th. “Our collective effort is worth more than the sum of our individual effort,” said Laurent Fabius, France’s foreign minister, who oversaw the talks. »
16 December 2015, 17:10 - economist - Search similar - Email

Hope for the trees

Rays of light in the forest UNTIL the 1960s, forest-clearing accounted for most anthropogenic carbon emissions. Now it causes around 10%-a decline that led many at the UN climate summit in Paris to focus their efforts elsewhere. »
16 December 2015, 17:10 - economist - Search similar - Email


FEW people place great store in the ability of negotiators to reach a meaningful deal during the conference on climate change that began in Paris this week. One problem is that some politicians refuse to admit the problem is real. »
3 December 2015, 20:50 - economist - Search similar - Email

Goal difference

“RESCUING our planet and our fellow man from impending catastrophe.” That was item one on Prince Charles’s to-do list for delegates attending the UN’s latest climate talks, which began in Paris this week. In his speech, he urged those present to think of their grandchildren, and to remember that they will pave “the road to a saner future”. »
3 December 2015, 20:50 - economist - Search similar - Email

On a hot-tin route

Unreformed and pollution free THERE is much talk in environmental circles of carbon capture and storage (CCS). This involves gathering up the CO2 made by burning fossil fuels and stuffing it in underground caverns or bespoke crystalline materials where it cannot abet climate change. Such schemes tend to be complex, costly and risky. »
3 December 2015, 20:50 - economist - Search similar - Email

If all else fails

THE SUM OF human tinkering with the climate since the beginning of the industrial era is sometimes likened to a planetary science experiment. That captures the magnitude of what is happening and the unpredictability of its results, yet it is also misleading. Global warming is not an experiment, because it is not intentional. »
26 November 2015, 18:10 - economist - Search similar - Email

Second-best solutions

ECONOMISTS LIKE TO argue, about climate change as much as anything else. Some of the fiercest rows are over the discount rate-how to weigh the likelihood that future generations will be richer than the current one when deciding how much to spend on averting climate change today-and over how to price catastrophic but unlikely events such as the collapse of the Greenland ice sheet. »
26 November 2015, 18:10 - economist - Search similar - Email

If you can’t stand the heat

IN THE BRACKISH coastal districts of southern Bangladesh, weather can be measured in centimetres. Women in Bujbunia, 140km (about 90 miles) south of Dhaka, hold their hands at knee height to show how deeply the village flooded during the most recent big cyclonic storm. Aila swept northward through the Bay of Bengal and hit Bangladesh in May 2009. »
26 November 2015, 18:10 - economist - Search similar - Email


FOR ALL THE torrent of scientific reports, books and television documentaries on the subject, climate change commands a good deal less public attention than Kim Kardashian, a reality-TV star. Early in 2007 Google searches for Ms Kardashian’s name overtook searches for “climate change”. She has never fallen behind since. »
26 November 2015, 18:10 - economist - Search similar - Email