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Brazil to set tougher climate change target, sources say

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva plans to commit Brazil to a more ambitious climate change goal this year, addressing criticisms of the previous target set by his far-right predecessor Jair Bolsonaro.

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'More likely than not' world will soon see 1.5C of warming

For the first time ever, global temperatures are now more likely than not to breach 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) of warming within the next five years, the World Meteorological Organization has said.

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Rainforest nations seek easier access to UN carbon credit scheme

Countries that are home to rainforest and peatland vital to limiting climate change want easier access to sovereign carbon credits, a financial scheme to reward them for preserving their ecosystems, Congo Republic's environment minister says.

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Photo by Susan Flynn on Unsplash

Spain braces for a week of scorching summer temperatures in spring

Spain is bracing for a week of temperatures as high as 40C that are forecast to shatter records for April, as officials weighed opening public swimming pools early and adapting school schedules and meteorologists warned of the risk of wildfires.
coal power energy clean air act climate pollution

How the Clean Air Act lets closed coal plants keep polluting for years

A loophole allows power plants to collect emissions allowances after they close, and there is a huge volume of credits on the market that will take years to work their way through the system.

In a nutshell:

A loophole in clean-air regulations allowed a coal plant to collect emissions allowances for five years after it shut down and then sell those credits to other plants, including the largest emitter of smog-causing gas in the U.S. power sector. This practice has raised concerns about the effectiveness of cap-and-trade programs in reducing air pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency has recently reduced the number of years that retired facilities can collect allowances from five to two, but a large volume of credits from closed plants is still in circulation, leading to a glut in the market and potentially encouraging pollution.

What they said:

Elena Krieger, who oversees scientific research at PSE Healthy Energy, a California-based policy institute, was shocked when she learned about the retired-plant credits. “I was unaware of the practice and am somewhat horrified,” Krieger said.

Big picture:

A provision in a proposed climate change policy could provide a credit windfall to companies closing down polluting plants. This provision allows these companies to sell their allowances for emissions, as they are no longer generating pollution themselves. This has raised concerns among environmentalists who argue that it could undermine the effectiveness of the policy in reducing overall emissions and combating climate change.

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World could face record temperatures in 2023 as El Nino returns

The world could breach a new average temperature record in 2023 or 2024, fuelled by climate change and the anticipated return of the El Nino weather phenomenon, climate scientists say.
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Photo by Dodi Achmad on Unsplash

Australia climate change activists 'halt' coal train, 50 charged

Fifty climate change activists were charged with unlawful protest near Australia's biggest coal export port on Sunday after protesters climbed on a coal train.
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