Climate-heating greenhouse gases hit new high, UN reports

Head of World Meteorological Organization says no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline The concentration of climate-heating greenhouse gases has hit a record high, according to a report from the UNs World Meteorological Organization. The jumps in the key gases measured in 2018 were all above the average for the last decade, showing action on the climate emergency to date is having no effect in the atmosphere. The WMO said the gap between targets and reality were both glaring and growing. The rise in concentration of greenhouses gases follows inevitably from the continued surge in global emissions, which was described as emissions must fall by half by 2030 to give a good chance of limiting global heating to …

How vested interests tried to turn the world against climate science

For decades fossil fuel majors tried to fight the consensus just as big tobacco once disputed that smoking kills In 1998 a public relations consultant called Joe Walker wrote to the American Petroleum Institute (API), a trade association representing major fossil fuel companies, with a proposed solution to a big problem. In December the previous year, the UN had adopted the Kyoto protocol, an international treaty that committed signatory countries to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions in order to avert catastrophic climate breakdown. Reducing emissions represented a direct threat to the profits of fossil fuel companies and the API was working on an industry response. As promised, attached is the Global Climate Science Communications Plan that we developed during our …

Ancient city of Babylon heads list of new Unesco world heritage sites

UN also names national park in Iceland among sites protected for their value to humanity The ancient city of Babylon and an Icelandic national park replete with glaciers, ice caves and volcanoes are among the sites that have been added to Unescos world heritage list. More than 1,000 sites around the world some cultural, some natural, some both are protected by listing. Landmarks or areas are chosen for their value to humanity. On Friday, the World Heritage Committee announced the addition of the first of this years batch. More sites will be named over the weekend. Perhaps the most famous site to be added to the list is the city of Babylon in Iraq. The city was first mentioned in …

Science institute that advised EU and UN ‘actually industry lobby group’

International Life Sciences Institute used by corporate backers to counter public health policies, says study An institute whose experts have occupied key positions on EU and UN regulatory panels is, in reality, an industry lobby group that masquerades as a scientific health charity, according to a peer-reviewed study. The Washington-based a 2015 email copied to ILSIs then director, Suzanne Harris, and executives from firms such as Coca-Cola and Monsanto, ILSIs founder Alex Malaspina, a former Coca-Cola vice-president, complained bitterly about new describes as a longtime scientific and regulatory affairs leader said he expected many nations to follow the new guidelines, adding: We have to consider how to become ready to mount a strong defence. According to ILSIs declared mandatory principles, …