Climate Change & Environment
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Ban Ki-Moon Calls Paris Climate Talks 'Most Complicated and Difficult' Ever

The U.N. secretary general Ban Ki-moon has said the international climate talks that are edging towards a conclusion in Paris have been the most complicated and difficult negotiations he has ever been involved in.

Ban said that differences still remain among the nearly 200 governments searching for a climate deal in Paris but he urged negotiators to set aside their national interests to reach a compromise.

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Following Through on U.S. Commitments in Historic Deal Will be the True Test

In today’s fractious world, getting 195 nations to agree on anything, even whether the sun rises in the east, isn’t easy. So, in many ways, the climate change deal that emerged from Paris over the weekend, a month after terrorist attacks traumatized the city, represents a remarkable achievement on behalf of humanity.

But the things that made the Paris agreement so broadly acceptable to so many countries — its voluntary nature, its lack of enforcement tools, and the many “requests” and “urges” throughout the 31-page text — are the same things that threaten its effectiveness.

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Climate Heads for Irreversible Change

PARIS, 9 December, 2015 – Some of the world’s coldest places, on land and sea, may be plunged into an unstoppable transition to a climate system most scientists believe has not existed for 35-50 million years.

The almost immediate consequences would include the loss of reliable water resources for millions of people, and the start of a process leading to ultimate sea level rise of 4-10 metres or more.

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Tehran's Air Pollution Hits Worst Level in Months

Air pollution in Iran's capital hit its worst level -- for a day without a sandstorm -- in at least nine months on Monday, prompting warnings that all citizens should stay indoors.

"Tehran's air is unhealthy for all," said the city's transport and traffic department on a municipality-owned website.

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Pope Hails Climate Deal, but Stresses Need to Help Poor

Pope Francis on Sunday hailed the U.N. climate accord reached in Paris but warned the key now lay in its implementation, especially in help for the poor.

"The climate conference has just ended in Paris with an agreement that many describe as historic," the pontiff said at Angelus prayers in St. Peter's Square.

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Surveillance Secret Weapon in China Pollution Struggle

In the future, China will shut down a factory before it even pollutes -- or so it hopes, as it deploys big data in the fight against bad air.

In Beijing's environmental bureau, a team of engineers tend to giant mainframe computers that keep a watchful eye on the city's pollution.

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Spain Wants to Retake Lead in Renewable Energy

A former global champion of renewable energy, Spain wants to make up the ground it lost during the economic crisis when it reversed its policy slashing subsidies and decimating the sector.

With roughly 300 days of sunshine per year and regions that receive strong winds, Spain was a world leader in 2007-08 in solar and wind power production, helped by generous state subsidies.

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Vast Desert Sun Farm to Help Light up Morocco

On the edge of the Sahara desert, engineers make final checks to a sea of metal mirrors turned towards the sun, preparing for the launch of Morocco's first solar power plant.

The ambitious project is part of the North African country's goal of boosting its clean energy output with what it says will eventually be the world's largest solar power production facility.

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Cheers as French Hosts Release Proposed U.N. Climate-Rescue Pact

French hosts of U.N. talks submitted to cheers and applause Saturday a proposed 195-nation accord to defeat global warming, which threatens mankind but needs an energy revolution to resolve.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, on the brink of tears after presiding over nearly a fortnight of talks in Paris, delivered the proposal to ministers who must now decide whether to approve it, possibly within hours. 

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White House Says Obama, Xi Committed to 'Ambitious' Climate Deal

U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping are committed to reaching an "ambitious" climate deal in Paris, the White House said Friday, after a late night phone call between the two leaders.

"Following his productive calls earlier this week with Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and Presidents (Francois) Hollande and (Dilma) Rousseff, President Obama spoke by phone last night with President Xi Jinping of China to coordinate efforts at the ongoing Paris climate conference," a White House statement said.

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