Climate Change & Environment
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Heavy snowfall hits Moscow, disrupts roads and flights

Heavy snowfall has hit the Russian capital, disrupting traffic on roads and flights in and out of three Moscow airports, officials and media reported on Monday.

The snowfall that began Sunday and continued overnight has brought an additional 23 centimeters (nine inches) to already high levels of snow in Moscow, according to deputy mayor Pyotr Biryukov. About 135,000 people and 18,000 pieces of equipment were involved in the snow-clearing effort.

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Top world leaders talk of climate crisis at UN summit

International climate talks turned to a power game on Friday as dozens of world leaders took turns bemoaning the pain of an overheating planet, but two of the world's most powerful men — President Joe Biden of the U.S. and China's President Xi Jinping — were glaringly absent.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, a top oil producer, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, whose biggest cities are regularly choked under poor air, as well as Presidents Emmanuel Macron of France, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Abdel Fattah el-Sissi of Egypt and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey were among more than 170 world leaders set to address the United Nations climate conference in Dubai over the next two days. The idea is to try to keep the planet from heating too much because of humankind's actions.

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Why hold UN climate talks 28 times? Do they even matter?

Ask most people what the annual U.N. climate talks are and the likely answer will be: "Huh?" Ask those who do know and the answer may be: "Why should I care?"

The negotiations, called Conference of Parties, are nearly two weeks long and in their 28th iteration in Dubai. Delegates use wonky terms like "NDCs" "1.5 degrees" and "loss and damage," not exactly conversation starters at parties. Any final decision is non-binding, meaning countries can agree to something and then not follow through. And when tens of thousands of people travel to the event, a lot of greenhouse gas emissions are produced, which is contrary to the entire point of the conference.

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Resumption of Gaza war casts long shadow over Dubai's COP28 climate talks

As world leaders gathered for the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, the collapse of a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war Friday plunged the conflict back into open combat and cast a long shadow over the talks.

Israel's top diplomat for the Middle East huddled with leaders at the summit as his colleagues went through a book of posters of those held hostage by the militant group Hamas, placing yellow "released" stickers by some while looking at others still held. Meanwhile, just a street away at the Palestinian territories' first-ever pavilion, an official gave a horrified look when Associated Press journalists gave her the news that Israeli airstrikes and ground fighting in the Gaza Strip had resumed.

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On 1st day, UN climate conference sets up fund for countries hit by disasters

The world just took a big step toward compensating countries hit by deadly floods, heat and droughts.

Nearly all the world's nations on Thursday finalized the creation of a fund to help compensate countries struggling to cope with loss and damage caused by climate change, seen as a major first-day breakthrough at this year's U.N. climate conference. Some countries started putting in money right away — if little compared to the overall anticipated needs.

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2023 is hottest year on record but further climate extremes ahead

The U.N. weather agency said Thursday that 2023 is all but certain to be the hottest year on record, and warning of worrying trends that suggest increasing floods, wildfires, glacier melt, and heat waves in the future.

The World Meteorological Organization also warned that the average temperature for the year is up some 1.4 degrees Celsius (2.5 degrees Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial times – a mere one-tenth of a degree under a target limit for the end of the century as laid out by the Paris climate accord in 2015.

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41 rescued workers emerge dazed and smiling after 17 days trapped in tunnel

Forty-one construction workers emerged dazed and smiling late Tuesday from a collapsed tunnel where they had been stranded the last 17 days — a happy ending to an ordeal that had gripped India and involved a massive rescue operation that overcame several setbacks.

Locals, relatives and government officials erupted in joy, set off firecrackers and shouted "Bharat Mata ki Jai" — Hindi for "Long live mother India" — as happy workers walked out after receiving a brief checkup by doctors. Officials hung garlands around their necks as the crowd cheered.

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Climate contradictions key at UN talks

The world is heading for considerably less warming than projected a decade ago, but that good news is overwhelmed by much more pain from current climate change than scientists anticipated, experts said.

That's just one of a set of seemingly contradictory conditions facing climate negotiators who this week gather in Dubai for marathon United Nations talks that include a first-ever assessment of how well the world is doing in its battle against global warming. It's also a conference where one of the central topics will be whether fossil fuels should be phased out, but it will be run by the CEO of an oil company.

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Emirat denies report UAE wanted to seek oil deals in COP28 summit

The Emirati president-designate for the upcoming United Nations COP28 climate talks forcefully denied Wednesday a report alleging his nation planned to use the summit to strike oil and gas deals, a day before the summit was due to begin.

Sultan al-Jaber, who also leads the massive state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., called the allegations from a BBC report "an attempt to undermine the work of the COP28 presidency" before the talks begin Thursday. The report cited what it described as "leaked briefing documents" the broadcaster said showed the Emirates planned to discuss fossil fuel deals with 15 nations.

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Spain announces $1.5 bn deal to protect prized Doñana wetland from drying up

National and regional authorities in Spain signed an agreement Monday to invest 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) in areas around the treasured national park of Doñana in a bid to stop the park from drying up.

Ecological Transition Minister Teresa Ribera said the plan was aimed at encouraging farmers to stop cultivating crops that rely heavily on water from underground aquifers that have been overexploited in recent years, damaging one of Europe's largest wetlands.

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