Google does some good, so do volcanoes, and which climate prophets won a Nobel Prize

News to know in our bi-weekly digest

The Kalapana Lava Flow in Hawaii, where rivers of lava meet the ocean. Buzz Andersen, Unsplash
15 October 2021
15 October 2021

Last year, the fossil fuel industry benefited from USD 5.9 trillion in subsidies.

In the amount of time that it’ll take you to read this article, it’ll rake in anywhere between USD 30 to 50 million, depending on your reading speed.

This week on Landscape News, we unpack what that means for a planet that’s hurtling toward 3 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100. Plus, greenwashing, Google climate ads, nourishing volcanoes and much more.

LANDSCAPE NEWS

Sustainable investing is taking over the world of finance. Could it help us tackle the climate and biodiversity crises? Find out in this new episode of Landscape TV.

Are carbon markets really the answer to our climate woes? We posed the question to expert Paul Burgers in this GLF Live.

The climate crisis is sparking a mental health crisis, and it’s affecting young people in particular. Here’s what renowned psychologist Susan Clayton has to say about this burgeoning issue for human rights.

And, if you think the Amazon is a vast wilderness, think again. Here’s how Indigenous peoples have been living in harmony with the biome while using it to survive for thousands of years.

POLICY

Glasgow’s Buchanan Street in 2018. Artur Kraft, Unsplash
Glasgow’s Buchanan Street in 2018. Artur Kraft, Unsplash

The COP26 climate conference is just a few weeks away – but delegates from the Global South will have to jump through multiple COVID-related hurdles just to make it to Glasgow.

(We’ll now take this opportunity to mention that you can join GLF Climate, alongside the COP, digitally from wherever you are in the world.)

And with costs up to 30 percent higher than at COP25, even those who make it could end up being priced out of hosting a pavilion.

Turkey has finally ratified the Paris Agreement, though it has protested being classified as a developed country.

And now, even Russia’s climate change-denying president Vladimir Putin is finally changing his tone on climate action.

CLIMATE

These images show projected future sea levels at State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia due to human-caused global warming under two different scenarios. Courtesy of Climate Central
These images show projected future sea levels at State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia due to human-caused global warming under two different scenarios. Courtesy of Climate Central

We’re a long way from reaching net-zero emissions. If countries don’t increase their climate pledges, carbon emissions will only decrease by just 40 percent by 2050.

In preparation for a warmer world, new graphics show what coastal cities will look like if global warming reaches 3 degrees Celsius. It’s not so great.

Despite the fact that the climate crisis could already be affecting 85 percent of the world’s population, climate scientists based in the Global South are struggling to get their work published.

PEOPLE

A health professional in Ethiopia with a COVID-19 vaccine issued by COVAX. UNICEP Ethiopia, Flickr
A health professional in Ethiopia with a COVID-19 vaccine issued by COVAX. UNICEP Ethiopia, Flickr

The COVAX program was supposed to vaccinate the Global South against COVID-19 – but 98 percent of people in low-income countries remain unvaccinated. Where did it all go wrong?

Three scientists have received the Nobel Prize in Physics for predicting the climate crisis as it unfolded over the last 60 years.

Four of Australia’s national parks have been returned to their traditional owners, the Eastern Kuku Yalanji people, who will take over managing the world’s oldest tropical rainforest therein.

In the 32 years since it was ratified to restore the ozone layer, the Montreal Protocol may have prevented 443 million cases of cancer.

PLANET

Tropical corals reefs, such as this in Belize, are rapidly being lost to bleaching and disease, linked to increasing water temperatures. US Geological Survey
Tropical corals reefs, such as this in Belize, are rapidly being lost to bleaching and disease, linked to increasing water temperatures. US Geological Survey

Get that scuba suit on while it’s still worth the effort: about 14 percent of the world’s coral reefs have died out since 2008.

Nature has been a valuable source of medications for centuries. But by destroying the natural world, are we wiping out the drugs of the future before they are even invented?

Volcanoes may be a menace to humans and other life on land, but they can be a godsend for marine life by fertilizing the ocean with nutrient-rich lava.

BUSINESS

Google’s new ad rules coincide with COP 26 in Glasgow next month. Nathana Rebouças, Unsplash
Google’s new ad rules coincide with COP 26 in Glasgow next month. Nathana Rebouças, Unsplash

Google has banned ads that spread climate change denial, though disinformation still runs rife on Facebook.

World leaders must take greater steps to protect and restore nature ahead of next year’s U.N. biodiversity summit, say 12 leading business executives in an open letter.

As Europe cracks down on greenwashing, asset managers are stepping away from using the term ‘ESG’ – a popular buzzword with no precise definition.


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