Not for the first time, global energy markets are in turmoil. Internationally traded gas prices more than quadrupled in 2021
. In their wake, many energy suppliers have gone bust and household bills across Europe are set to soar. Energy prices are driving up the cost of living and inflation, but this is also a moment to realise the old saying: “never waste a good crisis”.
If the ocean is the lifeblood of the Commonwealth, then forests are the lungs that breathe life into its whole system. From the vast boreal woodlands of Canada to the rich primary forests of Papua New Guinea, the Commonwealth covers nearly a quarter of all forest land in the world - an estimated 900 million hectares. These biodiversity havens not only house about half of all animal species on earth, they also give us clean air, water and food, supporting the livelihoods of millions of people while tackling climate change.
Judy Wangari is one of an estimated 800,000 smallholder potato farmers who, according to the National Potato Council of Kenya, contribute at least 83 percent of the total potato production.
The toilets in the maternity wing of Namatapa Health Centre in the populous Bangwe Township in Blantyre, Malawi’s commercial city, fell into disrepair a few years ago. So, pregnant women who come to deliver their babies and their guardians use two pit latrines.
There is no other place in the world like Costa Rica’s Cocos Island National Park. The waters surrounding the island--covered with tropical forests--are a playground to countless shivers, or schools, of sharks, including hammerhead sharks, whitetip reef sharks and whale sharks.
There are more under-reported consequences of human activities unmatching the rhythm of Mother Nature. Such is the case, among many others, of the growing salinisation and ‘plastification’ of the world's soils.
In the final months of 2021 you likely saw countless media reports of migrant men, women and children getting blocked at borders trying to enter various countries. Two flashpoints were the Mexico-US border and the border between Poland and Belarus, but there were many others.
In her wildest dreams, smallholder farmer Sarudzai Sithole never imagined that her pineapples could someday stock the produce section of Europe’s finest supermarkets.
The new Yangtze River Protection Law (YRPL), which came into effect on March 1, 2021, is China’s first legislation on a specific river basin
. The Yangtze River is China’s longest and largest river system, stretching over 6,300 kilometres
and has over 700 tributaries
. With a drainage basin covering more than 1.8 million square kilometres, approximately one-fifth of China’s total land area, the river basin is home to over 40% of the country’s population
Now it comes to the scary water crises, as it is estimated that, globally, over two billion people live in countries that experience high water stress.
Air pollution is a global public health crisis, and air pollution levels in India are among the highest in the world, posing a heavy threat to the country’s health and economy.
According to the 2019 World Air Quality Report
, India is home to 21 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world. In these cities, air quality can be as much as 10 times over the safe limits of air pollution recommended by the WHO
Sustainable finance continues to expand in Latin America, as governments and companies take advantage of growing interest among investors in instruments that protect biodiversity and respond to the climate crisis. In 2020, more than US$16 billion
of green, social and sustainable bonds were issued in the region.
In 2020, 1.8 million people across the world died from COVID-19.
At the end of 2021 the death toll has risen to over 5.3 million.
The interview was originally conducted by Beijing Daily.
: The world is paying attention to whether the Beijing Winter Olympic Games can be successfully held 6 months after the Tokyo Olympics in the face of COVID-19. How do you evaluate the preparations for the Beijing Winter Olympics? What is the key to the success of the Beijing Winter Olym-pics? What kind of signal will the successful hosting of the Beijing Winter Olympics send to the world?
Between the COVID-19 pandemic and the deadly manifestations of the climate crisis, there were few places to hide for most of us in 2021.
Ageing billionaires riding booming stock markets could take their first flights into space in their own rockets, but for the rest of Planet Earth’s 8 billion people with their feet on the ground it was a year of placing hope in the hands of scientists and our political leaders to turn the tide.
When my assistant handed me copy expressing my greetings and good wishes for 2022 for approval, I paused, thinking, “is that all I can say, just hope for a better, brighter new year?”
Seychelles’ 115 islands are an exotic ocean ecosystem of beaches, coral reefs, and unique plant and animal species. Concerned with the impacts of climate change, the country has committed to decarbonize by 2050.
"When I was a little girl we didn't suffer from water shortages like we do now. Today we are experiencing more droughts, our water sources are drying up and we cannot sit idly by," Kely Quispe, a small farmer from the community of Huasao, located half an hour from Cuzco, the capital of Peru's ancient Inca empire, told IPS.
A bit of fiction. Or maybe not. If things keep going the way they are, the result will be that such a massive flux would create instability and tensions, impact the global markets, cause record prices of fossil fuels, food and everything else, and the bankruptcy of big private financial corporations…
One surprise from COP26 – the latest UN climate change conference in Glasgow – was an agreement between world leaders on a new set of rules for regulating carbon markets. This would allow countries to trade the right to emit greenhouse gases.
First came sugar. For four centuries, it was the main sugarcane product in Brazil. But since the 1970s sugarcane has grown and diversified as a source of energy: ethanol, electricity and biogas.