Displaying items by tag: Climate change

Friday, 09 September 2022 09:50

Climate change wakeup call

Pakistan’s floods are a ‘wake-up call’ to the threats of climate change. A sense of injustice is keenly felt. Pakistan contributes -1% of global greenhouse gases but its geography makes it exceptionally vulnerable to climate change. Global warming makes air and sea temperatures rise, causing more evaporation. Warmer air holds more moisture, making monsoon rainfall more intense. Pakistan also has more glacial ice than anywhere in the world outside of the polar regions and is referred to as the 'third pole'. As the world warms, glacial ice melts. Glaciers in Pakistan's Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa regions are melting rapidly, creating over 3,000 lakes. 33 risk suddenly bursting, which could unleash millions of cubic metres of water and debris, putting seven million people at risk. Glacial lake outbursts are already damaging infrastructure. Climate impact scientist Saeed said Pakistan’s floods are ‘absolutely a wake-up call to governments globally who promised to tackle climate change at successive UN climate conferences’.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 26 August 2022 10:03

Europe’s drought and cost of living

Rivers drying up and farmland parched: Europe’s water scarcity is affecting lives and businesses. Scientists warn the current European drought could become its worst in over 500 years. Water scarcity has hit 60% of the continent from Italy to the UK. An unusually dry winter and scorching summer heat reduced rivers to rivulets. The historic water reserve lows have forced governments to restrict supplies, seriously affecting many sectors from agriculture to shipping. In July heatwaves shaved 0.5% off Europe’s annual GDP. Wildfires destroyed crops across Italy, Greece, France, and Spain, and energy prices are up because of the war in Ukraine. The Global Commission on Adaptation said an estimated investment of $800m in climate programmes could save poor nations up to $16bn every year.

Published in Europe
Friday, 19 August 2022 00:13

Germany: Rhine drying up

Swathes of the Rhine riverbed are exposed, while a few commercial vessels slowly navigate the channel of water that is left in one of Europe's great working rivers. Industry relies on barges to fetch and carry raw materials and finished products to and from the power plants and factories that line the riverbank. Germany’s main industry lobby group has warned that factories may have to limit production or halt it completely because plunging water levels on the river are making it harder to transport cargo. The water is already too low to allow some of the larger vessels through. Others have reduced their cargo to lighten the load so that they sit higher in the water. Experts warn that the low water could significantly damage Germany's economy.

Published in Europe
Friday, 05 August 2022 09:50

Global: floods

Devastating flash floods have killed 37 people and hundreds are still missing in eastern Kentucky’s worst disaster for decades. The death toll will continue to rise. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been destroyed. People are sitting on their porches, hoping somebody is coming to save them. See  In July, Sydney in Australia was hit with a month’s worth of rain in five days; people are still cleaning up three feet of swirling mud. Pakistan has 7,000+ glaciers, but rising global temperatures are causing them to melt rapidly, creating thousands of glacial lakes that might burst and release millions of cubic metres of water and debris, flooding villages in just a few hours. Worsening Indian monsoons cause Mumbai residents to commute on Venetian gondolas and inflatable dinghies. This year residents are being asked to tweet details about floods in their neighbourhoods. The data is then used to issue immediate geographically-specific flood alerts.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 01 July 2022 15:07

Japan: Worst heatwave since 1875

Japan is sweltering under its worst heatwave for almost 150 years. The city of Isesaki, northwest of the capital, saw a record 40.2C - the highest temperature ever recorded for Japan. There are official warnings of a looming power shortage and calls for people to conserve energy where possible. But the government is still advising people to use air conditioning to avoid heatstroke as cases of hospitalisation rise with the heat. Meteorologists warn the heat will continue in the coming days. Pray for the elderly and those with heart disease. In the heat blood vessels open up, leading to lower blood pressure. The heart works harder to push the blood around the body which could lead to a heart attack. Weather officials warn the heat is likely to continue in the coming days. See also

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 23 June 2022 23:39

Coal mine for Cumbria?

In April a deadline of 7 July was set for a decision on whether to go ahead with a new coal mine in Cumbria. The proposed mine would remove coking coal, which is used for the production of steel in the UK and Europe, from beneath the Irish Sea. Around 40% of this type of coal needed by the UK is imported from Russia. Meanwhile, West Cumbria is crying out for skilled, long-term, well-paid private-sector jobs. ‘Digging down to level up’ is often quoted; it is the idea that geography should not be destiny, and regional inequalities should be lessened. In light of the war in Ukraine, boosting energy security and reducing the UK's dependence on Russia need to be considered. The Government may also be reconsidering the commitment to net-zero-carbon emissions by 2050. Coal is widely seen as one of the dirtiest and most polluting energy sources. See also

Published in British Isles
Thursday, 23 June 2022 21:49

Global: Talking Climate Justice

Christian Aid (CA) recently posted online: ‘As Christians we are called to challenge the injustice of the climate crisis. We know the next decade will be critical for us to act. Every social movement started with a conversation - these conversations stirred anger, fuelled hope and inspired people to act. As the church, we need to have those honest conversations that spur us into action. We want to walk with you, to join these conversations, and act together in the pursuit of climate justice.’ Churches are invited to join in kickstarting a climate justice conversation on 4 July: CA will provide free resources to help engage churches and communities in transformation action. See also

Published in Worldwide

‘Machine guns and fighter jets are not our primary security concern. The single greatest threat to our very existence is climate change, not military tensions’, Fiji defence minister Inia Seruiratu told delegates at the Asian security summit in Singapore, which up to that point had focused on China-US tensions and the Ukraine war. He told delegates, ‘Cyclones have repeatedly battered Fiji and other low-lying Pacific countries. Climate change threatens our very hopes and dreams of prosperity. Waves are crashing at our doorsteps, winds are battering our homes, we are being assaulted by this enemy from many angles.’ In recent years human-induced devastating climate change has displaced thousands of people who have been inundated by floods. Floods and cyclones have also wrought economic havoc, and Pacific states have urged advanced industrialised nations to do more to combat climate change. The world is now 1.2C warmer than it was in the 19th century - mainly because of burning fossil fuels which release greenhouse gases.

Published in Worldwide
Friday, 13 May 2022 09:08

Australia: election and climate change

Scott Morrison's government is criticised for its inaction on climate change. When Australia - long considered a climate policy laggard – holds an election on 21 May, the outcome could be significant for the planet's future. Still reliant on coal for most electricity, it is one of the dirtiest countries per capita, making up over 1% of global emissions with only 0.3% of the world's population. It is also a massive supplier of fossil fuels globally; when that is factored in, it accounts for 3.6% of the world's emissions. Australia is most at risk from climate change, having recently suffered severe drought, historic bushfires, successive years of record-breaking floods, and six mass bleaching events on the Great Barrier Reef. It is racing towards a future full of similar disasters. Climate policy played a role in toppling three prime ministers in a decade. Most voters want tougher climate action, but some coal towns in swing constituencies are key to winning elections.

Published in Worldwide
Thursday, 03 February 2022 20:51

EU considering nuclear and gas as sustainable

Nuclear and natural gas energy plants could be counted as ‘green energy’ under new controversial EU plans. The European Commission has decided that both types of energy can classify as ‘sustainable investment’ if they meet certain targets. But the move has divided the EU and been fiercely opposed by some members. For instance Austria's chancellor said, ‘Nuclear power is neither green nor sustainable’. Spain also strongly objects, but objections are balanced by support from nuclear-using nations such as France. Classifying natural gas as ‘sustainable’ also has supporters in countries still relying on coal for energy (such as Poland) who would benefit from incentives to move to a relatively cleaner supply. Green parties are fiercely campaigning against the plan. But the European Commissioner said, ‘We need to use all the tools at our disposal’ to reach the climate-neutral target’.

Published in Europe
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