Where is climate change heading in 2022?

News to know in our first bi-weekly digest of the year

An iceberg in Alaska, U.S. Melissa Bradley, Unsplash
10 January 2022
10 January 2022

New year, new solutions (and challenges) for us and our troubled planet: from wireless power lines to plant-forward foods, here are 15 conservation issues to watch in 2022.

The Landscape News bi-weekly digest of climate news is back, and we’re kicking off the year by looking into edible food packaging, eco-friendly burials, green hydrogen and much more.

LANDSCAPE NEWS

The oil from pongamia tree seeds has a wide range of uses, from lamp oil to medicine to biodiesel. Lauren Gutierrez, Flickr
The oil from pongamia tree seeds has a wide range of uses, from lamp oil to medicine to biodiesel. Lauren Gutierrez, Flickr

Most plants have trouble growing on degraded lands, but not the oil-rich pongamia tree, which is thriving in Indonesia’s barren landscapes.

In China, staple foods are being threatened by sharp rises in crop pests and diseases, which have quadrupled in the past 50 years, a new study finds.

Plus, here’s a quick look back at our top stories from 2021 on food, finance, climate, conservation and restoration, people and biodiversity.

CLIMATE

Hurricane Ida was the world's most expensive natural disaster of 2021. Michael Stokes, Flickr
Hurricane Ida was the world’s most expensive natural disaster of 2021. Michael Stokes, Flickr

Last year’s climate disasters caused a trail of devastation around the world. Here are 10 of the worst extreme weather events in 2021 – each of which caused more than USD 1.5 billion in damage.

The Arctic, which is warming twice as quickly as the rest of the planet, saw its warmest autumn and seventh-warmest year on record.

And yet, in 2022, humanity is set to burn more coal than ever before as the global economy recovers.

Is the climate crisis causing an increase in suicides? Whether it’s through natural disasters, eco-anxiety or plain discomfort, our warming world is starting to take its toll on the human psyche.

PEOPLE AND PLANET

A close-up shot of a piece of microplastic, which are plastic bits less than five millimeters in long. Chesapeake Bay Program, Flickr
A close-up shot of a piece of microplastic, which are plastic bits less than five millimeters in long. Chesapeake Bay Program, Flickr

Microplastics are all around us, from the ocean floor to the top of Everest. They could also be linked to a bowel condition that affects about 11 million people worldwide.

Once an agricultural powerhouse, Puerto Rico now imports 85 percent of its food, while two in five of its people face food insecurity. Meet these young agroecology farmers looking to change that.

In the remote villages of the Peruvian Andes, Indigenous Quechua farmers run one of the world’s most diverse food systems. Here’s how they’re planning to survive the climate crisis.

With mass tourism still yet to return, young entrepreneurs in Bali are turning to farming and biomaterials instead.

In the rapidly-warming Arctic, Sami herders are struggling to feed their reindeer as snow gives way to rain and ice.

The late bishop and activist Desmond Tutu made two final acts for the planet: aquamation and burial in a pine coffin.

BUSINESS

Solar panels in Barcelona, Spain. Biel Morro, Unsplash
Solar panels in Barcelona, Spain. Biel Morro, Unsplash

After another year of rapid-fire climate disasters, here are five ways the climate crisis could shape business in 2022.

What if you could have your cake and eat the box too? This London-based startup is working to develop food packaging made out of seaweed.

Hawaii is decolonizing tourism: its tourism authority, led by Hawaiians for the first time, wants to make the U.S. state a more sustainable and culturally authentic destination by 2025.

POLICY

The U.S. Congress. Geoff Livingston, Flickr
The U.S. Congress. Geoff Livingston, Flickr

U.S. President Joe Biden’s clean energy bill has stalled in Congressending any hope of meaningful climate action from the world’s second-largest emitter.

Faced with unprecedented energy shortages, the E.U. has unveiled a controversial plan to treat natural gas and nuclear energy as ‘sustainable’ investments despite objections from Germany.

Thousands of kilometers away in Namibia, a new project aims to produce green hydrogen from the country’s abundant sun and wind.

And in Chile, a new constitution is being drafted to tackle the climate crisis – and decide the future of the lithium mining industry.


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