Medio ambiente

Extinction Rebellion hold a globe covered with plasters during a march highlighting the urgency of tackling climate risks at the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters. Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images.

At the end of a summer afflicted by devastating floods, wildfires, and heatwaves, the 76th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) takes place just a few weeks before COP26, one of the most important climate change conferences ever.

Delivering an ambitious COP26 outcome requires governments to raise the ambition of their 2030 emission reduction targets – known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – and developed countries to honour their 2009 pledge to mobilize $100 billion per year in climate finance to developing countries.

Making substantial progress on both these issues ahead of COP26 is critical, and the UNGA represents one of the last major high-level stages to make important announcements before Glasgow.…  Seguir leyendo »

A pan-African solidarity gathering calling for drastic emissions reductions in developed countries. Credit: Luka Tomac.

On 9 September, Kenya’s government declared a state of national emergency due to the devastating drought conditions pushing once-prosperous cattle herders into poverty,breaking up communities and triggering new disputes over land rights. At the beginning of this month, the UN’s World Food Programme warned that four years of drought had laid the groundwork in southern Madagascar for the world’s first climate change-induced famine. And in the Sahel, security experts and agronomists explain how the quickening tempo of desertification and drought has been pushing cattle herders further south into the Savannah areas, where crop farmers had previously dominated.

These crises, while scarcely new to Africa, are happening more frequently, and are now being complicated by the impact of the COVID pandemic which has severely impacted African economies.…  Seguir leyendo »

From left to right: Izzy Raj-Seppings, Natasha Abhayawickrama, Lydia Colla, Leila Mangos and Eve Moss Ractliffe (background) at a climate strike in July 2020.

Coalition MPs have recently suggested an increase in funding for school chaplains to help young people dealing with mental health issues spurred on by “global warming alarmism”.

As a young woman residing in western Sydney, I’ve seen the impacts of the urban heat island effect. I have seen the floods, and every summer I’m terrified for my safety due to bushfires. My anxieties and those of thousands of young people in Australia are real, and they will not be alleviated by school chaplains.

Climate anxiety is not rooted in activism, it is rooted in science and facts. The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report stated we need to cut emissions to net zero as soon as possible in order to prevent some of the worst impacts of climate change, yet the Australian government has already pledged another $58.6m to gas and continues to subsidise the work of climate-wrecking coal, oil and gas companies.…  Seguir leyendo »

Un incendio en California el 17 de agosto de este año. Credit Max Whittaker para The New York Times

Los salvajes incendios y las lluvias bíblicas de los últimos meses no son cíclicos ni normales. Esa es una de las conclusiones de un panel de especialistas en cambio climático vinculado con la Organización de las Naciones Unidas, que nos recuerda que el calentamiento global es un hecho irrefutable. El documento es concluyente sobre la responsabilidad humana.

El cambio climático es “la crisis que define nuestra época”. No solo constituye una realidad física y metereológica, también es cultural y lingüística. Por eso hay que acompañar la reducción de emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero con una nueva cultura de nuestra relación con el planeta.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Proliferation of Toxic Plastics and Chemicals Must End

As the United States comes to grips with the climate crisis, fossil fuels will slowly recede from being primary sources of energy. That’s the good news. But the bad news is that the petrochemical industry is counting on greatly increasing the production of plastics and toxic chemicals made from fossil fuels to profit from its reserves of oil and gas.

That transition is why the challenges of climate, plastic pollution and chemical toxicity — which at first might each seem like distinct problems — are actually interrelated and require a systems approach to resolve. The danger is that if we focus on only a single metric, like greenhouse gas emissions, we may unintentionally encourage the shift from fuel to plastics and chemicals that are also unsafe and unsustainable.…  Seguir leyendo »

Three Years After Greta Thunberg’s Strike, Adults Are Failing Children on a Global Scale

Recientemente, algunos de los principales científicos del cambio climático del mundo confirmaron que los seres humanos están provocando cambios irreversibles en nuestro planeta y que las condiciones meteorológicas extremas serán cada vez más graves. El secretario general de las Naciones Unidas dijo que esta noticia es una “señal de alarma para la humanidad”.

Lo es, pero los jóvenes como nosotros llevamos años haciendo sonar esta alarma. Solo que no nos habían escuchado.

El 20 de agosto de 2018, una niña organizó una protesta solitaria frente al Parlamento sueco, en la que esperaba quedarse tres semanas. La semana pasada se cumplieron tres años de la huelga de Greta Thunberg.…  Seguir leyendo »

Three Years After Greta Thunberg’s Strike, Adults Are Failing Children on a Global Scale

Last week, some of the world’s leading climate change scientists confirmed that humans are making irreversible changes to our planet and extreme weather will only become more severe. This news is a “code red for humanity,” said the United Nations secretary general.

It is — but young people like us have been sounding this alarm for years. You just haven’t listened.

On Aug. 20, 2018, one child staged a lone protest outside the Swedish Parliament, expecting to stay for three weeks. Tomorrow we will mark three years since Greta Thunberg’s strike. Even earlier, brave young people from around the world spoke out about the climate crisis in their communities.…  Seguir leyendo »

Foto de archivo del 4 de septiembre de 2017. Pingüinos de Humbolt (Spheniscus humboldti), una especie amenazada que solo anida en Chile y Perú, en las rocas de la isla Damas, frente a la playa Punta Choros, al norte de Santiago. (Martin Bernetti/AFP vía Getty Images)

El lunes 9 de agosto salió a la luz la primera entrega del Sexto informe de Evaluación del Grupo Intergubernamental de Expertos sobre el Cambio Climático (IPCC, por sus siglas en inglés), inaugurando una semana en que Chile vería pasar frente a sus ojos varios hechos que marcan el pasado, presente y posible futuro del país.

Justo cuando científicos y científicas nos decían que la evidencia era tan clara como irrefutable, y que las malas decisiones de los seres humanos están afectando a la Tierra, en algunos casos, de manera irreversible, la agencia internacional de noticias Reuters publicó un artículo titulado La sequía récord de Chile hace que el cambio climático sea muy fácil de ver.…  Seguir leyendo »

Informe IPCC: Certezas e incertidumbres sobre el cambio climático

A mediados del siglo pasado, las primeras voces de la comunidad científica advirtieron sobre la posibilidad de que el clima de la Tierra se modificase por la continua emisión de dióxido de carbono a la atmósfera como resultado de la quema de combustibles fósiles. Esta preocupación llevó, durante la década de los 80, a la creación primero del Programa de Investigación del Clima Global (1980) y posteriormente del Panel Intergubernamental de Cambio Climático (IPCC, 1988).

El IPCC es una entidad de las Naciones Unidas encargada de valorar la ciencia relacionada con el cambio climático. Desde 1990 ha preparado numerosos trabajos relacionados con el cambio climático, entre los que destacan los Informes de Evaluación producidos cada 5-7 años, el último de ellos publicado entre 2013 y 2014 (Quinto Informe de Evaluación).…  Seguir leyendo »

People board a ferry during evacuation as a wildfire burns in the village of Limni, on the island of Evia, Greece, on Friday. Photograph: Nikolas Economou/Reuters

To have lived through the last few decades is to have, in our minds, an all too accessible video library of historic nightmares. The assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK. The collapse of the twin towers. Derek Chauvin’s knee on George Floyd’s neck. The 6 January insurrectionists swarming the Capitol building. We can call up these scenes whenever we choose. They haunt us, uninvited.

The latest grim addition to that ineradicable collection is a video that surfaced, days ago, of a tourist ferry sailing across the water from the raging fire incinerating the Greek island of Evia.

Welcome to the future 😕…  Seguir leyendo »

Smoke rising from the Dixie fire in California this week. Photograph: David Swanson/Reuters

“Babe, look!” my wife said excitedly, as we sprawled on the grass reading on one baking hot afternoon. She passed me her book: “Read this – this person is just like you!” I read the paragraph she was pointing to. A clearly distraught character was fulminating about poorly designed roundabouts; she kept going on and on and on about them. To be clear, I don’t have any opinions about roundabouts. Not a single one. I curtly informed my wife of this. “Yeah,” she said. “But you do have, you know, certain rants you keep coming back to. Like, incessantly.”

I couldn’t argue.…  Seguir leyendo »

Climate change poses one of the greatest threats humanity has ever faced. In the past few weeks alone, wildfires have emerged across the globe, brutal heatwaves have devastated American cities, and flooding has claimed the lives of hundreds in Europe and Asia combined. As the effects of climate change wear on, these extreme events will likely only get worse.

Making meaningful, measurable progress is a monumental task. For the sake of the planet and future generations, it is vital that global businesses, and the professionals who run them, step up in the fight against climate change and take urgent action.

Here's how:

Reduce their own emissions

At the recent G7 Summit, world leaders doubled down on their climate pledges, focusing on the opportunity for a just energy transition that will likely create clean energy jobs around the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

Tuvalu. ‘In the western Pacific, sea levels rose faster than anywhere else in the world between 1993 and 2015, and by 2050 they will continue to rise by an additional 0.10–0.25 metres.’ Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images

A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finds that the world may warm by 1.5°C by the early 2030s, much earlier than previously estimated. It’s terrible news for the Pacific. With temperatures rising above 1.5°C, Pacific communities are likely to experience increasingly devastating climate change impacts.

The key takeaway from the IPCC report is that the more we know, the worse it looks. The planet is now already between 0.8°C and 1.3°C warmer than in pre-industrial times – moving frighteningly close to the 1.5°C threshold. This warming has already worsened temperature extremes, such as marine heatwaves that cause coral bleaching and heatwaves on land, with dangerous consequences for human health.…  Seguir leyendo »

El crecimiento verde se activa

Los estudios sobre desarrollo económico tienen una historia larga y distinguida, pero la reciente introducción de la sostenibilidad al debate ha dado pie a un remezón necesario y muy pendiente. En particular, un informe sobre la economía de la biodiversidad, encargado por el gobierno británico y encabezado por Partha Dasgupta de la Universidad de Cambridge, representa un cambio tectónico en el pensamiento, más que una extensión lógica de modelos de crecimiento ya existentes. Si bien esto puede causar inquietud en algunos, representa una gran oportunidad de usar el poder del análisis de datos para poner el crecimiento y las finanzas en un camino más sostenible.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yao Feng/VCG via Getty Images

No es frecuente que una negociación en temas de comercio presente una oportunidad simultánea de proteger a personas vulnerables y sus medios de vida, promover la salud de los océanos y cumplir uno de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible de las Naciones Unidas. Pero es exactamente una oportunidad de ese tipo la que espera a los ministros que se reúnen esta semana en la Organización Mundial del Comercio para discutir nuevas normas internacionales que limiten los subsidios estatales a la industria pesquera.

Esos subsidios incentivan la sobrepesca, y los miembros de la OMC llevan ya veinte años debatiendo el modo de ponerles límite.…  Seguir leyendo »

Yemeni fishermen bring their catch off boats at a beach in the Red Sea coast in the Khokha district of Yemen's western province of Hodeida, on July 12, 2021. (Khaled Ziad / AFP) (Khaled Ziad/AFP via Getty Images)

Trade ministers are meeting virtually at the World Trade Organization this week seeking agreement to eliminate fisheries subsidies that contribute to overfishing. The 2015 U.N. Sustainable Development Goals identified such an agreement as an urgent international priority. Amid a global fisheries crisis, many experts feel a successful agreement would be a “triple win” for trade, development and the environment.

The WTO originally planned to reach a fisheries pact by the end of 2020, but that deadline passed without agreement. Sharp divisions among countries and a lack of leadership have hampered negotiations.

Fisheries subsidies is one of the few active areas of multilateral negotiations within the WTO, and many experts see securing an agreement as a key test of the organization’s ability to deliver new global trade rules.…  Seguir leyendo »

In April, California Gov. Gavin Newsom held a news conference in the parched basin of Lake Mendocino, where he announced a drought emergency for Mendocino and Sonoma counties. On July 8, Newsom added nine more counties to the state’s emergency proclamation. Photograph: Kent Porter/AP

Human beings crave clarity, immediacy, landmark events. We seek turning points, because our minds are good at recognizing the specific – this time, this place, this sudden event, this tangible change. This is why we were never very good, most of us, at comprehending climate change in the first place. The climate was an overarching, underlying condition of our lives and planet, and the change was incremental and intricate and hard to recognize if you weren’t keeping track of this species or that temperature record. Climate catastrophe is a slow shattering of the stable patterns that governed the weather, the seasons, the species and migrations, all the beautifully orchestrated systems of the holocene era we exited when we manufactured the anthropocene through a couple of centuries of increasingly wanton greenhouse gas emissions and forest destruction.…  Seguir leyendo »

Regresaron los viajes y la Tierra no los soportará

¿Tomar un crucero o no? ¿Ir de safari o quedarse en casa? Volar… quizá para hacer ala delta o “kitesurf” en un país que no se haya publicitado en Instagram. Estos son los grandes dilemas morales que ahora acechan la industria de los viajes y el turismo, que es tal vez el corazón palpitante de la extravagancia consumista a nivel mundial. Ahora que nuestro ayuno de más de un año casi ha llegado a su fin, ¿ya podemos empezar a atiborrarnos otra vez?

En 2019, según un grupo comercial de la industria, el mundo gastó unos 9 billones de dólares —casi una décima parte del producto interno bruto global— en turismo.…  Seguir leyendo »

Olas de calor en el norte de América y de frío en España: las consecuencias del calentamiento del Polo Norte

Hace una semana se alcanzaban temperaturas cercanas a los 48℃ en Vancouver (Canadá), 42℃ en Seattle, 44℃ en Portland (EE. UU.) y temperaturas similares en toda esa región de paisajes verdes y húmedos. Estas temperaturas son típicas de los desiertos cercanos a las líneas de los trópicos, Arabia, Irán y el valle de la Muerte, en California, donde en 2020 se alcanzaron los 54 grados.

Se había formado sobre la zona una estructura de bloqueo en omega (por la letra mayúscula griega Ω) del chorro polar. Y esa estructura había atrapado y bloqueado durante días un centro de alta presión, que, como el anticiclón de las Azores cerca de España, introdujo aire muy cálido allí.…  Seguir leyendo »

Climate change and biodiversity loss are now often referred to as the ‘twin crises’ facing the global financial system. Photograph: Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Corporate Australia is familiar with the concept that climate change presents a financial risk to the global economy, but more recently biodiversity loss has emerged as an equally important risk.

In fact, climate change and biodiversity loss are now often referred to as the “twin crises” facing the global financial system and awareness of the role the financial sector plays in this is rising swiftly.

Crucially, a recent global review on the economics of biodiversity commissioned by the UK government, often referred to as “The Dasgupta review”, concluded that our economic system is dependent on biodiversity. This fact is rightly of concern to the financial sector, given the world’s biodiversity is declining faster than at any other time in human history, and an estimated 1 million species are at risk of extinction.…  Seguir leyendo »