Climate Change News


Oil palm plantation in Bogor, Indonesia. Photo by a_rabin/flickr

Deforestation in Indonesia is an old tale. People know the rate keeps increasing, but they’re not quite sure why. Some blame the oil palm and pulp and paper plantations, but not everyone is convinced. While various studies suggested that oil palm plantations are obvious culprits of deforestation, others attempt to show otherwise. Recent media reports in Indonesia cited a study suggesting that oil palm does not drive deforestation since the plantations were not converted from forests - which is somewhat misleading. Critics fault pending legislation on palm oil as overly lenient on big companies and a potential threat to forest sustainability. To help clarify this heated debate, we analyzed data from Global Forest Watch to show that 55 percent of forest loss occurs inside legal concession areas, where removing trees is allowed to some extent, but 45 percent of forest loss took place outside legal concession areas.  

Read more: Drivers of Deforestation in Indonesia, Inside and Outside Concessions Areas


Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro. Brazil and other countries call for adaptation to climate impacts in coastal and marine areas. Photo by Matt Kleffer/Flickr

The Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development are practically twins: both were adopted in 2015. Like most twins, these two pacts are closely linked, since climate mitigation and adaptation are essential to eradicate poverty and share prosperity, two central aspects of the 2030 Agenda. The Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be on the agenda this week and next in New York at the UN High-Level Political Forum (HPLF).  Sustainable Development Goal 13 focuses on tackling climate change, and climate action is also mentioned in targets under other goals, whether on ending hunger or building resilient infrastructure. WRI’s analysis finds that a wide range of actions that countries put forward in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – both for mitigation and adaptation – align with at least 154 of the 169 SDG targets, demonstrating an enormous potential for mutually supportive implementation with the SDGs.

When we examined 44 countries’ voluntary national reviews (VNRs) of their progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the 2030 Agenda, we found that two-thirds make some reference to climate change. This shows that most countries are recognizing the linkages between the two agendas. These 44 VNRs will be presented next week during the ministerial segment of the Forum, adding to the 22 VNRs presented last year.

Read more: Tackling Climate Change is Part of Many Countries’ Sustainable Development Plans


SINGAPORE - Imagine a future where all of Singapore’s vegetables are grown in a completely controlled environment, and where every stage of a plant's growth can be calibrated - from its soil composition to the amount of air and light it gets.

Such farm factories are fast becoming a reality indoors, located in warehouses and industrial buildings.

Hothousing them in this way allows for a faster and smarter way of growing greens, thanks to agrotechnology - such as the use of artificial LED light, computer-controlled watering and fertilising, and genome editing of crops. At the same time, such vertical farms have a smaller physical and energy footprint.

There has been rising interest around the world in indoor farms, said Associate Professor Sanjay Swarup from the Department of Biological Science at the National University of Singapore. "Not only (are we seeing) large-scale production which is under controlled conditions, but it is also now comparable to what people can get from outdoor cultivation."

Currently, there are around 200 food farms in Singapore producing fish, eggs and vegetables - 15 of which are indoor farms.

Read more: The future of local farming: Balancing technology and nature


MANILA,Philippines — Some environmental groups will join the big rally to be staged alongside the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.  These include Green Thumb Coalition, Power for People, Forest Resources Bill among others.  They claim the president failed to fulfill his promise to protect the environment and natural resources of the country.  “We want to tell him the pending issues and our calls to enact good environmental laws and the need for stricter and better administration in DENR,” Green Thumb Coalition convenor, Jaybee Garganera said.  The president only got 11 out of 60 points based on the groups’ scorecard on the president’s performance when it comes to environment.  They said Filipinos continue to suffer from several environmental and climate change crises one year after the President’s SONA.  The environmental groups are also dismayed over the Environmental and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez’s removal from post.  “People demand change. Those we have won for the environment have to be continued. We remind Sec. Roy Cimatu to check on his mandates and obligations as DENR secretary,” Garganera said.  The groups hope that the president would respond to their urgent demand to adopt and implement a green agenda for the recovery of the country’s degrading ecosystems.

MANILA,Philippines — Some environmental groups will join the big rally to be staged alongside the State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday.

Read more: Environmental groups: PRRD failed to address environmental issues


A MASSIVE iceberg, said to be as large as the United States state of Delaware split off from Antarctica’s Larsen C Shelf in the South Pole early this month. The iceberg is said to have an area of about 5,800 square kilometers – bigger than our Cebu island – and weighs over a trillion tons.

Read more: We have 7 endangered cities if ocean levels rise


The fight against coal fossil energy in the Philippines has mostly been staged in localized battlefronts including the island province of Palawan.

COURT OF LAST RESORT. The facade of the Supreme Court building in Padre Faura, Manila. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

PALAWAN, Philippines – The case docketed before the Supreme Court will simply be called Ortega vs the DoE and DENR – a petition for mandamus filed by civil society groups that aims to stop the construction of new coal-fired power facilities throughout the country. 

Read more: SC is new battleground for coal fight in the Philippines


Karen Ibasco is crowned Miss Philippines Earth on Saturday, succeeding Loren Mar Artajos. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – A physicist from Manila was crowned Miss Philippines Earth on Saturday, succeeding Loren Mar Artajos.

Karen Ibasco, whose advocacy is conserving energy and embracing renewable and sustainable sources of it, will represent the country in the Miss Earth international pageant later this year.

Read more: Sustainable-energy advocate crowned Miss Philippines Earth 2017


A file photo of a coal mine in Bokapahari, Jharkhand in India. World’s biggest coal users – China, the United States and India – have boosted coal mining in 2017. Photo - AP

Countries in Asia were among the most committed supporters of the Paris goals. Now is not the time to break stride, but to reinforce the resolve.

Read more: Time to switch to natural gas to protect the earth


Photo by Bloomberg

When China halted plans for more than 100 new coal-fired power plants this year, even as President Trump vowed to “bring back coal” in America, the contrast seemed to confirm Beijing’s new role as a leader in the fight against climate change.

Read more: As Beijing Joins Climate Fight, Chinese Companies Build Coal Plants


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