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REDD in the news: 24-30 June 2019

REDD-Monitor’s round-up of the week’s news on forests, climate change, and REDD. For regular updates, follow @reddmonitor on Twitter.

G20 coal subsidies: tracking government support to a fading industry
ODI, June 2019
G20 countries have a critical role to play in leading efforts to combat climate change, as they account for 79% of global greenhouse gas emissions. In 2009, they committed to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies in the medium term, and since then many have played an important part in driving forward climate action internationally.
However, a decade on from this commitment, G20 governments continue to provide billions of dollars of support for the production and consumption of fossil fuels, spending at least $63.9 billion per year on coal alone, the most polluting fossil fuel. They have also neglected to define or document the full extent of their subsidies.

24 June 2019

Tropical soil disturbance could be hidden source of CO2
By Zachary Boehm, Florida State University, 24 June 2019
Thousand-year-old tropical soil unearthed by accelerating deforestation and agriculture land use could be unleashing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to a new study from researchers at Florida State University.
In an investigation of 19 sites in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, researchers discovered that heavily deforested areas leach organic carbon that is significantly older and more biodegradable than the organic carbon leached from densely forested regions.

Adjust the sail of Rights to brave the climate storm, urge GLF delegates
By Gloria Pallares, CIFOR Forests News, 24 June 2019
Forests are home to 1.6 billion people and provide ecosystem services such as fresh water and clean air on a planetary scale. Yet, if deforestation were a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after the United States and China.
The gap between these realities –long-term benefits for all versus short-term profit for a few— can only be bridged by protecting the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities, argued delegates at the opening of the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) in Bonn, Germany.

In Bonn, ’superheroes of the environment’ take center stage
By Sophie Bertazzo, Conservation International, 24 June 2019
The only solution to protecting nature is “radical collaboration” that elevates the rights and roles of the world’s indigenous communities, said a leading conservationist at a global gathering on Saturday.
Indigenous and local activists around the world are the “superheroes of the environmental movement,” Conservation International president Jennifer Morris told attendees at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF), a side event of the UN climate conference in Bonn, Germany.

Group seeks African delegates’ support at Bonn climate talks
Premium Times, 24 June 2019
The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has expressed concerns that the U.S. and other global north countries may be bullying African countries in order to obstruct discussions on fossil fuel industry interference at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The group is calling on delegates from the African region attending the experts’ meeting at the conference to join the Least Developed Countries (LDC) in saying no to corporate bullying and demand a Conflict of Interest (COI) Policy as a framework of checks and balances for all non-party stakeholders.

Turning carbon dioxide into cash
By Roger Harrabin, BBC News, 24 June 2019
Scientists from round the world are meeting in Germany to improve ways of making money from carbon dioxide.
They want to transform some of the CO2 that’s overheating the planet into products to benefit humanity.
They don’t claim the technology will solve climate change, but they say it will help.
Carbon dioxide is already being used in novel ways to create fuels, polymers, fertilisers, proteins, foams and building blocks.

Pursuit of profit won’t solve climate crisis
By Tim Radford, Climate News Network, 24 June 2019
Resolving the climate crisis demands radical political change, a British author argues: the end of free market capitalism.
You could turn the entire United Kingdom into a giant wind farm and it still wouldn’t generate all of the UK’s current energy demand. That is because only 2% of the solar energy that slams into and powers the whole planet on a daily basis is converted into wind, and most of that is either high in the jet stream or far out to sea.
Hydropower could in theory supply most of or perhaps even all the energy needs of 7 billion humans, but only if every drop that falls as rain was saved to power the most perfectly efficient turbines.

Bridging the gap between public funding and forest-based community enterprises
By Anne-Sophie Gindroz, Rights and Resources Initiative, 24 June 2019
Not so long ago, these coffee producers in Bengkulu, a province on Sumatra island in Indonesia, were harvesting during the night to avoid being caught by forest rangers. Despite having lived on their lands for generations, the government considered their activities illegal.
Now, the local communities proudly cultivate their coffee in the daylight—and preserve the forest at the same time. The government even provides financing to their cooperative. By supporting the community to care for and harvest from the forest, they are both supporting local livelihoods and ensuring the forest is protected.

The UN-REDD Programme Executive Board gathers in Bonn to discuss recent accomplishments and upcoming activities
UN Food and Agriculture Organization, 24 June 2019
Since its 2008 inception, the UN-REDD Programme has evolved and shifted its focus to meet the challenges and opportunities of a modern global climate landscape. A growing number of UN-REDD partner countries are now preparing for and implementing REDD+ actions against the backdrop of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Programme has responded to this demand by turning its assistance to help partners align and achieve their climate and forest goals. As its partner countries are making the transition from REDD+ readiness to implementation, the UN-REDD Programme evaluates the progress done so far and prepares for the opportunities and challenges ahead.

Bonn side event links climate ambition to GCF replenishment
Green Climate Fund, 24 June 2019
A Green Climate Fund (GCF) side event during the current Bonn climate talks has emphasised the link between NDC implementation and replenishment. Developing country representatives highlighted the role of GCF in realising the existing National Determined Contributions (NDCs), as well as in supporting greater ambition as NDCs are revised next year.
Climate finance is critical to the Paris Agreement, with the majority of developing country NDC commitments being conditional upon access to international climate resources. The replenishment of GCF this year provides the opportunity to support the higher levels of NDC ambition that will be needed to respond to the climate crisis.

[Canada] Up to 12 times more smoke due to climate change, warns prof
By Kevin Ma, St Albert Today, 24 June 2019
Alberta can expect to see twice as much forest fire and up to 12 times more forest fire smoke a year by 2100 because of global heating, says a University of Alberta wildfire expert.
About 70 people were at the Strathcona County Community Centre Thursday for the 2019 Alberta Capital Airshed Clean Air Forum. This year’s session focused on wildfires.

[India] Forest fire serious problem in hilly areas: SC
Business Standard, 24 June 2019
The Supreme Court Monday said forest fire is a serious problem in the hilly states, especially in summers and the reason behind it is the large presence of pine trees in most of the areas.
A vacation bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gavai allowed the petitioner to file a copy of the directions of the Uttarakhand High Court on the issue of forest fire.

[Indonesia] Several Indonesian regions warned of forest fires, drought during dry season: Report
Channel News Asia, 24 June 2019
Several Indonesian regional authorities have been reminded to intensify monitoring for possible forest fires and drought, a report on Saturday (Jun 22) by the Antara news agency said.
The caution comes as the Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMK) forecasts that this year’s dry season could be worse than the previous year.

[Pakistan] Forest fires affect billion tree tsunami project
The Nation (Pakistan), 24 June 2019
Billion Tree Tsunami Project Director Muhammad Tehmasip said that the forest fire flared up in the forests of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was due to extreme hot weather.
“Most of the fire mainly 50 percent of the total affected area has occurred in Chir Pine forests which is a natural phenomenon, however, the rest occurred in different parts of the forest area. The trees burnt as per initial reports are over 100,000 which is 0.001 percent of the total 1.2 billion planted trees. It will be retrieved in the coming Monsoon season’s extensive plantation,” he said in an exclusive talk with APP.

US military is a bigger polluter than as many as 140 countries – shrinking this war machine is a must
By Benjamin Neimark, Oliver Belcher, and Patrick Bigger, The Conversation, 24 June 2019
The US military’s carbon bootprint is enormous. Like corporate supply chains, it relies upon an extensive global network of container ships, trucks and cargo planes to supply its operations with everything from bombs to humanitarian aid and hydrocarbon fuels. Our new study calculated the contribution of this vast infrastructure to climate change.

[USA] Fire Breaks Out In Florida Everglades
CBS Miami, 24 June 2019
A fire broke out in the Florida Everglades Monday.The Florida Forest Service reports that 10,000 acres have burned so far.
There is no word on what caused the fire.
Chopper4 was over the fire, which is located about five miles west of US-27 and more than a mile north of I-75.

[USA] Carbon program offers forest owners a way to profit — by letting their trees stand
By Laura Legere, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 24 June 2019
The Hoover family hunting camp sits alone on a ridge called Sherman Mountain or Little Mountain, depending on whom you ask, surrounded by nearly 900 acres of trees.
It is built from the concrete remains of a coal tipple — a building where coal cars were hauled up through a nearby mine shaft to dump their loads of soft anthracite into waiting trucks that would take it away to be burned in power plants.

[USA] NY Judge denies release request by co-conspirator of Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow
By Maria Nikolova, Finance Feeds, 24 June 2019
Judge Richard M. Berman of the New York Southern District Court has earlier today denied an application by James Moore, one of the co-conspirators of Ponzi scammer Renwick Haddow, for immediate release. Earlier in June, Moore was convicted at trial of wire fraud and conspiracy for engaging in a scheme to defraud investors by making misrepresentations about the management and operations of Bar Works Inc.

25 June 2019

‘Climate apartheid’: UN expert says human rights may not survive
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, 25 June 2019
The world is increasingly at risk of “climate apartheid”, where the rich pay to escape heat and hunger caused by the escalating climate crisis while the rest of the world suffers, a report from a UN human rights expert has said.
Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said the impacts of global heating are likely to undermine not only basic rights to life, water, food, and housing for hundreds of millions of people, but also democracy and the rule of law.

‘Historic moment’ for indigenous people at climate talks, new climate leader says
By Sarah Steffen, DW, 25 June 2019
With a profound understanding of their environmental surroundings, indigenous communities around the world are often cited as being pivotal to tackling climate change.
During the 2015 Paris Agreement, the parties agreed to launch a working group to strengthen the knowledge and practices of indigenous groups and to provide a platform for the exchange of experiences and adaptation techniques.
Pasang Dolma Sherpa, an indigenous leader from Nepal, has just been voted one of the two co-chairs to head the indigenous group at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). She spoke to DW during the The Bonn Climate Change conference, where negotiators are meeting ahead of the 25th Conference of the Parties (COP) to be held in Chile in December.

Heat waves and climate change: Is there a connection?
By Jeff Berardelli, Yale Climate Connections, 25 June 2019
Extreme heat may not trigger the same visceral fear as a tornado, but according to NOAA’s natural hazard statistics, it causes nearly twice as many fatalities in the United States each year – more than any other weather hazard. As the climate continues to warm, that number could rise dramatically in the U.S. and around the world.
Since the late 1800s, human-caused climate change has warmed the Earth’s average temperature by around 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit). That doesn’t sound like much, but a relatively small warming of the average temperature results in a large jump in extreme heat.

Report: Net-zero targets now cover one-sixth of global economy
By James Evison, Edie, 25 June 2019
The claim, made in analysis by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), reveals 16% of GDP is now covered by net-zero carbon emission ambitions, with fifteen nations, states and regional areas intending to reach the target by 2050.
Many of the countries have made commitments in policy documents, with two countries – Norway and Sweden – setting the target into law. Other countries aim to also make legally binding declarations with only two – Bhutan and Suriname – already absorbing more greenhouse gases than they emit. The nations are joined by 11 states and regions, including California, Catalunya and Scotland, and at least 23 cities including Barcelona, Los Angeles and New York on the net-zero map.

Satellite data suggests deforestation on the rise in Brazil
Mongabay, 25 June 2019
Newly released data based on analysis of satellite imagery suggests that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has risen relative to last year.
On June 21, the Brazil-based research NGO Imazon published its May 2019 deforestation report, showing that 797 square kilometers of forest were cleared in the Brazilian Amazon during the month. That figure brings the 12-month running total to 4,916 square kilometers, 43 percent higher than the year-ago total.
However, data from Brazil’s National Space Research Institute INPE shows a much-smaller increase of 1 percent for the period, from 4,565 square kilometers for the 12 months ended May 31, 2018 to 4,633 square kilometers for the current period.

Brazil’s Roraima state at mercy of 2019 wildfires as federal funds dry up
By Caio Freitas Paes, Mongabay, 25 June 2019
The dry season in the Brazilian Amazon state of Roraima has been more incendiary than usual this year, due to a combination of interrelated threats. Land theft, illegal deforestation, climate change and a record number of wildfires are combining to seriously damage the region’s forests. These impacts are being worsened by Brazil’s financial crisis which has drained state coffers, and by federal environmental budget reductions made by the Jair Bolsonaro government.

[Cyprus] Red alert for forest fires as temperatures soar
By Lizzy Ioannidou, Cyprus Mail, 25 June 2019
A red alert for forest fires was issued by the forestry department on Tuesday after the met office warned of extreme high temperatures over the next few days.
With inland maximum temperatures expected to reach over 40C over the coming days, the forestry department asked that the public refrain from any activities that may cause forest fires.

Brexit Threatens Europe’s Carbon Price Rebound
By Jason Deign, Green Tech Media, 25 June 2019
Changes to the European Union’s Emissions Trading System (ETS) this year have breathed new life into the formerly lackluster scheme. But buoyant carbon pricing, which is credited with hastening the demise of coal plants, is endangered by Brexit.
If the U.K. leaves the European Union without a deal, as seems increasingly likely given Westminster’s repeated failures to agree on separation terms with Brussels, then British carbon permits would flood back into the EU and dampen ETS prices.

On the map: Charting a path for sustainable development in the Republic of Congo
By Molly Bergen, CARPE, 25 June 2019
The agricultural plantation had been abandoned for decades. Deserted shortly after the Republic of Congo (known as the ROC or Congo Brazzaville) declared independence from France, its empty warehouse, rusted equipment and encroaching vegetation embodied the stagnation of the country’s agriculture sector. Then in 2011, a new company arrived.

[UK] Blockchain and carbon offsetting can help cities reduce emissions – but sometimes simpler is better
By Stephen Finnegan, The Conversation, 25 June 2019
The UK parliament recently declared a climate emergency, with prime minister Theresa May stating that the country will have net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The government has chosen its wording carefully: the term “net zero” opens the door to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through carbon offsetting.

[UK] Witness for the prosecution – The problem of expert witnesses in criminal trials
By Joanna Dimmock, Anneka Randhawa, and Tom Hickey (White & Case LLP), Lexology, 25 June 2019
Many will be aware of Agatha Christie’s popular and much-adapted tale involving a witness for the prosecution whose evidence is undermined. But, in the real world, last month we saw the latest discrediting of an expert witness who had been used by the prosecution in a number of fraud trials.
The prosecution offered no evidence against eight defendants accused of running a £7 million carbon-emission credits scam after the defence were able to identify a number of fundamental problems with prosecution’s expert witness, Andrew Ager.

[USA] Multiple fires burning in Alaska interior due to hot weather and lightning
By John Dougherty, KTUU, 25 June 2019
Hot weather that interior residents may have been enjoying has brought less than welcome side effects as multiple wildfires have been burning near Fairbanks.
The Caribou Creek fire started early last week near Two Rivers. A wet weekend helped firefighting efforts, and that fire is now 40 percent contained.

26 June 2019

Shell is not a green saviour. It’s a planetary death machine
By George Monbiot, The Guardian, 26 June 2019
It is hard to believe it needs stating, but it does. The oil industry is not your friend. Whatever it might say about its ethical credentials, while it continues to invest in fossil fuels, it accelerates climate breakdown and the death of the habitable planet. You would think this point was obvious to everyone. But over the past few weeks, I have spoken to dozens of environmentalists who appear to believe that Shell is on their side. I’ve come to the bizarre conclusion that there is more awareness of the oil industry’s agenda within the arts than there is among conservation groups.

A low-carbon future must protect the world’s forests
By Kirsten Hund and Erik Reed, World Bank, 26 June 2019
The shift to a low-carbon future that includes clean technology such as solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles and batteries will require a lot of minerals. In fact, experts predict that between now and 2050 we will need more minerals than have been produced over the past 100 years. This mineral-intensive future has implications for our forests, vital to mitigate global warming. A climate-smart mining approach that protects the world’s forests is essential to reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change. Currently about 1,500 large-scale mines in the world are in tropical forests and a further 1,800 are under development or currently non-operational. More than half of these large-scale forest mines are in low- or lower-middle-income countries.

Simplicity the best?
By Dominique Lyons, CIFOR Forests News, 26 June 2019
“We want to see everything as cute and little and square,” says Chris Martius, principal climate scientist of Center International Forestry of Research, as he shows a picture of a boxfish in his presentation at Global Landscapes Forum in Bonn.
But reality, he says, is more ‘jellyfish’.
With its many tentacles and slippery body, you might think a jellyfish a fitting analogy for the landscape approach, a theory that aims to make land use more sustainable whilst considering human as well as environmental needs.

Spending on nature would be the investment of a lifetime
By Margaret Kuhlow (WWF) and Andrew Deutz (TNC), Public Finance International, 26 June 2019
When world leaders gather this weekend in Osaka for the G20 Summit, attention will turn once more to the challenge of realizing sustainable and inclusive economic growth that includes progress toward poverty reduction, human health, and women’s empowerment.
Hot topics for discussion include encouraging business-led innovation to combat climate change, promoting ‘quality infrastructure’ investment, and strengthening financial resilience in the face of natural disasters.

Investors with $34 trillion demand urgent climate change action
By Nina Chestney, Reuters, 26 June 2019
Investors managing more than $34 trillion in assets, nearly half the world’s invested capital, are demanding urgent action from governments on climate change, piling pressure on leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies meeting this week.
In an open letter to the “governments of the world” seen by Reuters, groups representing 477 investors stressed “the urgency of decisive action” on climate change to achieve the Paris Agreement target.

EU hit by 1,381 wildfires so far in 2019 — risk higher in areas with heatwave
Euronews, 26 June 2019
Nearly 1,400 fires have hit Europe so far this year compared to an annual average of 174 in the same period over the past ten years, data from the Copernicus programme has shown.
This has resulted in a near five-fold increase in burnt areas.
According to Copernicus’ European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS), blazes have so far this year burnt 207,440 hectares. In the decade from 2008-2018, an average of 44,491 hectares had burnt by June 25 every year.

Customary land map, a first for Indonesia, launches to mixed reception
By Hans Nicholas Jong, Mongabay, 26 June 2019
The Indonesian government has launched an official map of customary forests, the first of its kind in the country, in a bid to protect them from land grabs.
The map identifies more than 4,700 square kilometers (1,800 square miles) of untitled land as constituting customary forests, or hutan adat, defined as those occupied or claimed by indigenous communities. By mapping these areas, the government can earmark them for its social forestry program, which would award formal title over the land — in perpetuity — to the indigenous and local communities that have long occupied them. Failing to map them, said Environment and Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya Bakar, would leave these areas open to competing claims from businesses and developers.

[USA] Money Growing on Trees? Vermont Forest First In State For California Carbon Market
By John Dillon, VPR, 26 June 2019
A chunk of northern Vermont forest will soon help reduce greenhouse gas pollution in California.
The idea is that companies will pay to reduce their carbon footprint by buying the carbon sequestered in a forest on the other side of the country. But determining how much carbon is being stored, and then enrolling in that expanding carbon market, is far from simple. It involves a lot of time, money and long hours walking the woods.

27 June 2019

UN report on 1.5C blocked from climate talks after Saudi Arabia disputes science
By Chloé Farand, Climate Home News, 27 June 2019
A major report on 1.5C has been excluded from formal UN climate negotiations, after Saudi Arabia tried to discredit its scientific underpinnings.
Discussions came to a deadlock at the talks in Bonn after a small group of countries refused to engage in substantive discussions over how the report’s findings could be used to inform policies on increasing the pace and scale of decarbonisation.

Bonn climate talks end with Saudis and Brazil defiant
By Natalie Sauer and Megan Darby, Climate Home News, 27 June 2019
Talks wrapped up on Thursday evening in Bonn, Germany with diplomats defiantly standing up for the scientific community against Saudi Arabia – but the petrostate won the day.
After a week of backroom discussions, a key report on 1.5C warming was scrubbed forever from formal UN climate talks after the Saudis repeatedly tried to load a statement with equivocation on the science. Read our full story here.

Bonn Climate Conference Ends with UN Call to Fully Deliver on Paris Agreement Mandates
UNFCCC, 27 June 2019
The 2019 UN Bonn Climate Change Conference (SB50) wrapped up today after having considered a large number of decisions for adoption at the UN Climate Change Conference in Santiago, Chile at the end of the year (COP25, 2-13 December).
In addition, countries and other stakeholders showcased and shared numerous best practices of effective climate policies and technologies.

Airplane Contrails’ Climate Impact to Triple by 2050, Study Says
By Bob Berwyn, Inside Climate News, 27 June 2019
Those thin white clouds that jet engines draw across the sky are leaving their mark on the climate. A new study warns that the global heat-trapping effect of contrail clouds will triple by 2050 unless airlines and airplane builders dramatically reduce emissions or air traffic patterns change.
Air travel is growing so fast that current efforts to curb the climate-harming effects of airplane pollution won’t be able to keep up with the expected increase in the formation of heat-trapping clouds, scientists wrote in a study published Thursday in the European Geosciences Union (EGU) journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

Trees for water quality credits
By Sonia Fernandez, University of California – Santa Barbara, 27 June 2019
The more naturally verdant an area is, the more likely it will contribute to the general health of the habitats and the organisms in and around it. Sometimes, though, tracing these qualities to specific benefits can be a challenge.
However, in a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, Arturo Keller, a professor of environmental biogeochemistry at UC Santa Barbara, presents a hard link between reforestation of marginal, degraded or abandoned agricultural land and significant benefits in water quality. This relationship, he argues, lends itself toward a program that incentivizes facilities that discharge pollutants, and local farmers to plant trees for water quality credits.

EU countries under scrutiny for their role in opaque aviation agency
By Sabine Frank, Carbon Market Watch, 27 June 2019
The Aarhus Convention covers three principles: access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making and access to justice. Its 47 Parties include all EU member states.
The signatories to the Convention are meeting in Geneva this week to review the progress in implementing the treaty’s principles. On Thursday, 27 June, the meeting will feature a thematic session on promoting the application of the convention in international forums, including the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), a UN body.

Sweltering Heatwave in Germany Sparks Wildfires, Forces Speed Cut on Autobahn
By William Wilkes and Brian Parkin, Insurance Journal, 27 June 2019
A blistering heatwave prompted Germany to impose speed restrictions on usually limit-free stretches of its high-speed motorways Wednesday, the latest sign of extreme weather events ruffling Europe’s largest economy.
State authorities are reducing speeds to as low as 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) on some stretches because of fears that the unusually high temperatures could create potentially deadly cracks on Autobahn surfaces, a highways agency spokesman said. Temperatures in Germany on Wednesday could surpass a June high of 38.2 degrees Celsius (101 Fahrenheit), according to the country’s DWD weather service. The all-time record of 40.3 degrees, set in July 2015, could also fall.

[Indonesia] C Kalimantan deploys 750 personnel to prevent forest fires
Antara News, 27 June 2019
Central Kalimantan province is deploying a task force consisting of 750 personnel to prevent land and forest fires in the region during this dry season.
“The personnel not only wait for land and forest fires but also move from one area to another and conduct patrols to prevent land and forest fires that may happen any time,” Commander of the Land and Forest Fire Task Force Colonel Am Saiful Rizal who is also commander of the Panju Panjang Military Resort 102 said in Palangka Raya on Thursday.

[Liberia] FDA, REDD+ End Conflict Resolution Workshops
Daily Observer, 27 June 2019
The Forestry Development Authority (FDA) and the REDD+Implementation (RIU) have concluded week-long workshops in Ganta, Nimba County and Tubmanburg, Bomi County respectively, thereby training at least 1,415 participants from some of the clusters (forest dependent communities) across the country. They were trained intensively in forest conflict resolution, an FDA release said.

Norway to supply highly detailed satellite images of world’s rainforests
NICFI, 27 June 2019
Norway intends to spend up to USD 50 million USD to purchase high-resolution images of tropical forests. The images will be made freely available for governments, researchers and NGOs all over the world. They will enable the monitoring of deforestation, even on smaller areas. -Insights into changes in the rainforests is crucial for reducing tropical deforestation, says Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen.

Spain battles biggest wildfires in 20 years as heatwave grips Europe
By Jon Henley, The Guardian, 27 June 2019
Firefighters battled wildfires at a scale not seen for 20 years in Spain and southern France was placed on unprecedented red alert as much of western Europe sweltered in an extreme early-summer heatwave on Thursday.
With temperatures in northern Spain and southern France exceeding 40C, governments urged their citizens to take the utmost precaution, warning that in some areas the worst was yet to come. A high of 45.1C was recorded on Friday afternoon in Villevieille, France.

28 June 2019

UN calls for climate action; governments must answer.
WWF, 28 June 2019
“Don’t come with a speech, come with a plan.” That was UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s instruction to world leaders ahead of the Climate Action Summit taking place in New York in September. I agree: we need to move beyond negotiation to implementation, to see at the Summit concrete, ambitious proposals and examples of progress already made which will set the world on a path to 1.5℃. We need to see catalysing acts which have the potential to transform key sectors and lay the foundations for the crucial next stage of the Paris Agreement, at this pivotal point in the effort to tackle the climate crisis.

France records all-time highest temperature of 45.9C
By Jon Henley and Angelique Chrisafis, and Sam Jones, The Guardian, 28 June 2019
France recorded temperatures nearly two degrees higher than its previous record and firefighters continued to battle historic wildfires in Spain as much of western Europe remained in the grip of an extreme early-summer heatwave on Friday.
The French state weather forecaster, Météo-France, said the temperature in Gallargues-le-Montueux in the Gard département hit 45.9C at 4.20pm on Friday.

[USA] Expect more fires this season in California, experts warn
By Colleen Shalby, Los Angeles Times, 28 June 2019
Fire experts issued a dire warning Friday: California residents can expect the frequency of wildfires to increase over last year.
Significant rainfall brought an increase in grasses, and as those dry out during what’s expected to be a hotter-than-normal summer, lower elevations will be vulnerable. Like last year, the greatest fire potential will occur from October through December, experts say, as the Santa Ana winds pick up.

29 June 2019

When Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met Greta Thunberg: ‘Hope is contagious’
By Emma Brockes, The Guardian, 29 June 2019
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez enters a boardroom at her constituency office in Queens, New York, after a short delay which, a political aide hopes, hasn’t been caused by a constituent waylaying her in the corridor. (“They can get really excited to meet her.”) Greta Thunberg is in her home in Sweden, her father testing the technology for the video link while the teenager waits in the background. The activists have never met nor spoken but, as two of the most visible climate campaigners in the world, they are keenly aware of each other.

Central Vietnam tackles forest fires on war footing
By Vo Thanh and Duc Hung, VN Express, 29 June 2019
On Friday, four forest fires broke out in the communes of Huong Tra and Huong Thuy in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, spreading across over 100 hectares (247 acres) of pine and acacia trees.
A series of forest fires were also reported the same day in many central provinces and cities, from Da Nang to Ha Tinh, threatening the 500kV transmission line. This forced Electricity of Vietnam (EVN) to cut power in many places to ensure safety and allow the firefighting forces to carry out their task.

30 June 2019

Carbon-offset schemes don’t meet expectations
By Zakri Abdul Hamid, New Straits Times, 30 June 2019
Two weeks ago, a United Nations climate specialist called out the idea of using carbon offsets (airline passengers paying for trees to be planted, for example) as a “get-out-of-jail-free card”.
“The era of carbon offsets is drawing to a close,” wrote Niklas Hagelberg.
“Buying carbon credits in exchange for a clean conscience while you carry on flying, buying diesel cars and powering your home with fossil fuels is no longer acceptable or widely accepted.”

[Pakistan] MoCC Exposure Visit To KP BTAP Commences For Journalists Sensitization
By Myhammad Irfan, UrduPoint, 30 June 2019
Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) has organized a four day visit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa billion Tree Afforestation Project (KP BTAP) successful activities from June 30-July 3 for the sensitization of mainstream journalists.
The visit aimed at imparting first hand knowledge to mainstream media through explicit interaction with project sites of KP BTAP regarding well planned practices and techniques adopted to materialize the massive plantation programme of the country’s history.


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