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NATO Takes on Climate Change And 11 Other Stories Everyone’s Talking About

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: NATO
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. Photo: NATO

Things are moving quickly as our planet makes the transition to a new, clean economy. You want to stay in the loop – but you’re busy, that’s why we keep an eye on the headlines for you!

Welcome to the 8 July 2016 edition of the Daily Planet’s weekly State Of The Planet. Don’t hesitate to send your tips and comments to @peter_koekoek or

1. Women, economics and clean electricity – Because it’s 2016!

North America’s leaders discussed a range of topics at their ‘Three Amigos Summit’ last week. Canada’s social media-savvy climate change minister took to Twitter to highlight some of the environmental topics, the Daily Planet reports.

2. NATO is set to discuss the impact of climate change, and the resulting military build-up in the Arctic seas.

As global warming opens up new shipping lanes – and access to natural resources – countries are firming up their military presence in the Arctic, the National Observer reports.

The increasing militarisation of the region means climate change and ‘Arctic affairs’ are both likely to land on the agenda at NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, today and tomorrow (8 and 9 July).

NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, told Politico earlier that climate change is a security threat that can create new migrant and refugee crises, contribute to scarce resources and water, and fuel new conflicts according to the National Observer.

3. Christiana Figueres is running for the post of UN secretary general.

The UN’s former climate change chief – she stepped down this week – who was a key architect of the Paris climate agreement, has joined the long list of candidates to succeed Ban Ki-moon the Guardian reports.

She was nominated yesterday (7 July) by the president of her home country of Costa Rica, Luis Guillermo Solís – just days after her last day in the office.

The response from the international climate action community was very positive, with Michael Bloomberg tweeting she has done an “amazing job bringing the world together on climate change.”

4. The global solar sector could get a $1 trillion power-up from the World Bank, and India is getting a 1$ billion boost for its national solar initiatives.

In collaboration with the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the World Bank says it wants to raise the substantial amount of $1 trillion by 2030, the Daily Planet reports on last week’s announcement.

“We cannot afford to lose momentum, because with each passing day, the climate challenge grows. Record hot days and months have now become the new norm,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim earlier at the 2016 Climate Action summit.

The World Bank also announced that it plans to provide more than $1 billion to support India’s ambitious national solar energy initiatives.

5. Saudi Arabia, Germany will ratify the Paris climate deal this year.

Leaders in Berlin and Riyadh are planning to ratify the UN’s climate pact by the end of the year, Climate Home reports. While Germany must wait for all EU member states to formally ratify the deal, Saudi Arabia’s potential support could be enough to allow it to enter into force this year.

Tony de Brum, climate ambassador for the Marshall Islands, tweeted Germany could ratify the Paris Agreement before the COP22 climate summit in November.

6. Wanted: The EU has offered a €3 million reward for a solution that can reduce air pollution.

The European Commission has offered a €3 million cash reward for an innovative solution that can reduce air pollution, the Daily Planet reports.

About 90 per cent of the population in Europe’s cities is exposed to particulate matter pollution levels that exceed WHO air quality guidelines.

7. Offshore wind costs have hit a new record low.

Danish company Dong Energy has set a record low price for offshore wind power in a winning bid to build two arrays off the coast of the Netherlands, Climate Home reports.

“It was a result that was well beyond anyone’s expectations,” said Oliver Joy, spokesperson for the European Wind Energy Association.

8. Mexico’s former president has argued climate change is an ‘education issue.’

Writing for New Europe, Felipe Calderón – currently Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate – makes the case for education and climate action to go together hand in hand.

“Many people don’t understand the risks climate change poses to global economic and social structures. And, sadly, many who do understand are dismissive of the far-reaching benefits a global shift to sustainability and clean energy would bring about,” he said.

9. Nissan and Renault have now built a total of 340,000 electric cars.

Partners Nissan and Renault have reached yet another electric car milestone. The Japanese and French carmakers have together built 340,000 electric cars since the launch of the Nissan Leaf in December 2010, according to Green Car Reports.

10. South Korea says it will close 10 of its coal power plants by 2025.

Asia’s fourth-largest economy seeks to cut its reliance on dirtier fuels after a pledge at last year’s Paris climate summit, Reuters reports.

Coal still accounts for 40 per cent of South Korea’s electricity supplies, but Seoul recently said it is looking for an investment of $37 billion in renewable energy by 2020.

11. Extreme weather keeps rocking the planet this week.

Officials have declared a state of emergency in Tennessee after heavy rains caused flooding in several areas overnight and more rain is forecast, ABC News reports.

Meanwhile, more than 20 people are confirmed dead from last week’s floodwaters across West Virginia, the Washington Post reports.

The state’s prime industry has been coal, which ironically could have contributed to the floodings, Forbes reports. The mining that has occurred is also lopping off whole mountaintops and removing the vegetation, according to the article on Forbes, leaving the landscape more vulnerable to erosion and flooding.

China was bracing for a super typhoon on Thursday after weeks of heavy rain killed dozens and submerged huge swathes of the country in floods, the Telegraph reports.

12. Why not check out these 5 super easy top-tips for using less plastic.

Plastic waste has a huge negative effects on the environment, so how can you do your bit and help cut back? Plastic is everywhere and it’s hard to imagine giving it up completely. But opting for more plastic-free choices will help you lead a more sustainable and climate friendly life, the Daily Planet reports.

Looking for something to fix?

Some of these stories may just inspire your next business venture:

  • Climate change plagues Madagascar’s poor. Severe droughts and floods have had a devastating impact on the island’s rural poor, who are reliant on small-scale farming or fishing, the Guardian reports.
  • Mussels could be off the menu within 85 years due to climate change. The increasing acidity of the oceans due to climate change means that farming or fishing for mussels will be commercially unviable by 2100 the Telegraph reports.
  • Tasmanian farmers have had a tough year and climate change is partly to blame. About 100 farmers attending the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association (TFGA) meeting have been told to expect more natural disasters to impact on them ABC reports.

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