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Glasgow outcome: a COP-out for the Arctic – and the rest of the planet

My expectations for COP26 were not high. What we needed to come out of it was huge. But at the latest when the G20 leaders meeting in Rome ahead of the Glasgow conference failed to agree on a commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, it was looking highly unlikely that we would …

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Walk the talk? Can COP26 drive global transformation in time to save the planet?

Will Glasgow’s COP26 be remembered like Copenhagen (disaster) or Paris (breakthrough)? Is the climate glass half empty or half full?  With more than half the negotiating time over, you could be forgiven for wondering if there are two parallel events going on. Depending on who you listen to, you could expect either. The mass demonstrations …

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German High Court win for climate activists is good news for the Arctic

In Germany, where I live, the country's highest court, the Federal Constitutional Court, - unnoticed by much of the international media – recently issued a game-changing verdict in a case initiated by campaigners supported by groups including Fridays for Future and Greenpeace. The plaintiffs argued the government was failing to act on climate change. The …

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Can we make peace with nature in a rapidly changing Arctic?

The United Nations Environment Programme is calling for bold action to “make peace with nature” by cutting greenhouse gases and restoring biodiversity as the world emerges from the COVID pandemic. “Innovation and investment only in activities that protect both people and nature”, is the motto. What does this mean for the rapidly changing Arctic and the Indigenous peoples living there?

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When the Arctic ice won’t freeze

Imagine you head for the North Pole to test your brand-new  giant, state-of-the-art icebreaker – and you can’t find any ice thick enough to smash.  That must have been a frustrating anti-climax for the crew and operators of the Russian Arktika. When I read the story by Thomas Nilsen on the Independent Barents Observer, I …

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Zackenberg revisited –Greenland climate research station under threat from permafrost thaw

Zackenberg station from the air (I.Quaile) In the remote, high Arctic region of north-eastern Greenland, at 74° North, a scattered group of blue and white buildings and tent-like structures perches above a river which starts to swell with melting ice, in a broad valley amongst green and brown hills, dotted with snow. For almost 25 …

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