Climate reparations, domestic flight bans and the true cost of El Niño

News to know in our bi-weekly digest

Bushfires below Stacks Bluff, Tasmania, Australia. Matt Palme, Unsplash
24 May 2023
Ming Chun Tang
24 May 2023
Ming Chun Tang

Eight years ago, world leaders pledged to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius under the Paris Agreement. Unfortunately, we could break that threshold – at least temporarily – by 2027.

This week on Landscape News, find out why our climate fate rests upon a single resource: water. Plus, plastic pollution prospects, the perils of air conditioning, and why it pays to sue polluters.

A simulated view of Mars from the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. NASA, Unsplash


Did you know that we have better maps of Mars than of the oceans on our own planet? Here are our top 10 fun facts about the ocean.

Almost three-quarters of all natural disasters involve water. How can we build a healthier relationship with our most precious resource?

Pinched by drought, floods and rising sea levels, Benin is facing the climate crisis head on. Here’s how its people are responding.

Carbon credits can be a huge boon for local communities – but only if they get to keep a share of the benefits.

Climate reparations, domestic flight bans and the true cost of El Niño
Humans are encroaching on bat habitats across the world. Nils Bouillard, Unsplash


Will the next pandemic come from bats? Humans are encroaching on bat habitats in 113 countries. Here are four regions where the next outbreak is likely to happen.

On 26 February, Indigenous Ecuadorian activist Eduardo Mendúa posted on social media demanding an end to oil drilling on his people’s lands. Later that day, he was assassinated.

What does the climate crisis have to do with women’s reproductive health? In Bangladesh, the rising seas are turning rivers salty to the peril of local fisherwomen.

As summers get hotter, up to 1 billion new air conditioners could be installed by 2030 – which threatens to make the planet hotter still.

Climate reparations, domestic flight bans and the true cost of El Niño
The Aral Sea, Kazakhstan. Hélène veilleux, Flickr


More than half of the world’s large lakes are drying up, and it’s entirely our fault for using too much water and causing the climate crisis.

Plastic pollution is everywhere. We could reduce it by 80 percent in as little as 20 years, or – if we do nothing – it could triple by 2060.

Leopards rarely attack humans, but in one small district of India, they’ve killed seven people in the past three months – and no one seems to know why.

Deep in the Brazilian Amazon, scientists think they’ve found an answer to deforestation: recruiting local communities to steward the land.

Climate reparations, domestic flight bans and the true cost of El Niño
Extreme weather, such as flooding, is impacting people across the globe. Moniruzzaman Sazal, GLF


El Niño is far costlier than previously thought, causing trillions of dollars a year in damage – and it’s set to return later this year.

Extreme weather has claimed 2 million lives in the past 50 years. Luckily, even as disasters get ever more frequent and severe, the human death toll has fallen rapidly.

It’s been 70 years since climate change first made global headlines. Here’s what it looks like this week:

Climate reparations, domestic flight bans and the true cost of El Niño
The Netherlands will power down offshore wind turbines during migration in a scheme to protect seabirds. Nicholas Doherty, Unsplash


The world’s biggest fossil fuel companies owe USD 209 billion in annual reparations to communities affected by the climate crisis, one study suggests.

And major polluters usually take a hit to their share prices when faced with climate lawsuits, according to another study.

In the Netherlands, a new pilot scheme aims to protect seabirds by powering down offshore wind turbines during migration season.

But here are three reasons to be skeptical of techno-fixes:

Climate reparations, domestic flight bans and the true cost of El Niño
Australia has approved a new coal mine. Albert Hyseni, Unsplash


Last year, Australia elected a new government on a climate action platform. Now, that government has approved its first new coal mine.

Brazil’s environmental regulator has rejected a new oil drilling project near the mouth of the Amazon River. The country also saw a 68-percent drop in Amazon deforestation last month.

China’s carbon emissions are set to break new records this year, but they could soon peak thanks to a massive clean energy push.

France has banned some short-haul domestic flights, though activists say the measure doesn’t go far enough.

And Ukraine is already making plans to build back greener – even before its war is over. Here’s how it can succeed.

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