From Thomson Reuters Foundation <[email protected]>
Subject 2022 climate policy trends, how to meet forest pledges, and Brazil's dirty coal secret - Climate change news from Frontlines
Date January 11, 2022 1:31 PM
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What's going to top the climate change and nature policy agenda in 2022? As rising temperatures worsen extreme weather, and forests and other natural systems continue to suffer from an unsustainable global economy, the need to step up action has never been clearer.

"2022 is all about shifting into what the (U.N.) secretary-general has called 'emergency mode'," Inger Andersen, executive director of the U.N. Environment Programme, told us when we asked top policy people for their predictions - which we boiled down into six key themes [[link removed]].

On the climate side, priorities range from finding new funding to repair and avert growing loss and damage to ramping up emissions reductions targets by year-end - to get on track for a warming limit of 1.5C - and phasing out support for fossil fuels in a socially fair way.

Key reports in the sixth assessment series by the U.N. climate science panel, due out in the coming months, will also sharpen the focus for policy makers.

A woman looks on from a canoe after leaving her flooded house during floods caused by heavy rain in Maraba, Para state, Brazil, January 9, 2022. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

Sealing a new global deal to better protect ecosystems and biodiversity is another major task for 2022, although the negotiations needed to land the pact are at risk from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Setting ambitious targets to halt the loss of carbon-rich tropical forests worldwide is nothing new - but meeting them is, as previous commitments have so far failed to curb the destruction.

Environmentalists say global leaders who pledged to halt deforestation by 2030 at the COP26 climate summit must now move quickly to turn their promises into reality - but how? [[link removed]]

Strengthening forest protection laws, tapping much more funding and including indigenous people in conservation efforts are all key, reports Mick Taylor.

Workers carry coal as they unload a ferry at Gabtoli in Dhaka, Bangladesh, January 2, 2022. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

Meanwhile, support for a 'just transition' away from high-carbon economies and business models - in a way that doesn't leave vulnerable workers and communities behind - is gathering pace, as seen in big donor funding promises at COP26.

But to win international financial support, developing countries will need to show they are serious about weaning themselves off coal, oil and gas within a reasonably short timeframe.

A new "just energy transition" law in Brazil has left green groups and unions scratching their heads - because it allows the country to continue using and subsidising coal as an energy source until at least 2040, which they say could harm both the climate and consumers.

"A real just transition [[link removed]] needs to be built ... by presenting alternatives (to coal). There has to be a heavy investment in that," one labour expert told our correspondent Fabio Teixeira.

Here's hoping we'll see concrete progress on making our planet a better place for all this year,


P.S. We apologise for the technical difficulties we've been experiencing with our website in recent days - we're aiming to have them fixed soon.

Climate change action: 6 trends to watch in 2022 [[link removed]]

From making green shifts fairer for workers to slashing fossil fuel subsidies, action on climate change needs to ramp up in 2022, analysts say

What can world leaders do to make COP26 deforestation pledge a success? [[link removed]]

Cutting down forests has major implications for global goals to curb warming, as trees absorb about a third of the planet-heating carbon emissions produced worldwide

OPINION: Three changes needed to pull off COP26 forest and land use pledges [[link removed]]

Solutions must be created on the ground by local government, farming communities and food businesses

Brazil extends coal use to 2040 under new 'just transition' law [[link removed]]

Move to reverse plans to phase out coal in Santa Catarina state will hurt consumers and the climate, with renewable power cheaper, analysts and industry groups say

Bangladesh takes baby steps towards climate-friendly just transition [[link removed]]

From adopting clean energy in garment factories to helping coastal migrants settle in cities, the South Asian nation has a way to go in planning a greener, fairer future

Last year was fourth warmest for U.S. on record, report says [[link removed]]

The nation experienced 20 weather and climate disasters with losses exceeding $1 billion each - the second-highest annual number of such costly events on record

EU scientists say 2021 was world's fifth-hottest year on record [[link removed]]

Levels of planet-warming carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere hit new highs in 2021, with the last seven years the world's warmest "by a clear margin" since 1850

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