Environment

Mercosur summit opens as EU trade deal hangs in the balance

The South American trade bloc Mercosur opens a two-day summit Monday with a deal with the European Union on the agenda, but few expect leaders to reach consensus on how to fulfill EU demands on environmental protections.. The EU and the Mercosur countries -- Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay -- are trying to finalize a trade deal after reaching an agreement in principle in 2019, following two decades of negotiations.

Climate activists block holes on Spanish golf courses over water use

Climate activists said Sunday they had plugged the holes on 10 golf courses across Spain to protest at the sport's excessive water usage as Europe lives through a severe drought. . Activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) filled in the holes under cover of darkness in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, the Basque Country, Navarra and the Balearic Island of Ibiza to denounce "the waste of water during one of the worst droughts Europe has ever suffered". 

Kenya's Ruto lifts six-year logging ban

Kenyan President William Ruto announced Sunday the lifting of a near six-year ban on logging, despite the concerns of environmental campaigners.. "Since the Kenyan government imposed the ban on logging six years ago, significant progress has been made in forest protection and with combatting the climate crisis," it said. 

Nestle steps up reforestation project in Ivory Coast

Nestle is stepping up its project to combat deforestation in Ivory Coast caused by the growth of cocoa farming, bringing cocoa trading companies directly on board.. - Plenty at stake - For its second three-year phase, the Swiss trading company Cocoasource and the French firm Touton, which work directly with cocoa and rubber cooperatives in the area affected, have been brought on board.

Europe's space telescope to target universe's dark mysteries

Europe's Euclid space telescope is scheduled to blast off Saturday on the first-ever mission aiming to shed light on two of the universe's greatest mysteries: dark energy and dark matter.. - 'Dark detective' - Euclid consortium member Guadalupe Canas told a press conference that the two-tonne space telescope was a "dark detective" which can reveal more about both elements.

Polluting shipping to face climate reckoning

The hefty carbon footprint of global shipping networks that crisscross our oceans and keep the world's economy afloat will come under scrutiny next week, as countries wrestle over measures to slash planet-heating pollution.. - Global levy - But a potential deal on another flagship proposal -- to introduce a global levy on shipping emissions -- is going to be a harder sell.

At least 13 die in extreme heat wave in US

At least 13 people have died from the extreme heat wave that has been tormenting the southern United States for two weeks, officials said Friday, with air in other parts of the country polluted by forest fires in Canada.. As smoke drifted south, large parts of the United States that are home to more than 120 million people, from the Midwest to the East Coast, remained under air quality alerts.

Norway's quest for 'black gold' from used car batteries

Wearing a white lab coat and with a gas mask within reach, Ole Jorgen Gronvold measures the humidity of an intriguing dark powder touted as the planet's next "black gold".. The "black gold" is touted as eco-friendly as it comes from the recycling process rather than being mined in faraway countries.

Canada wildfire smoke chokes millions in North America

A deep orange-brown sun shined through hazy skies as smoke from Canadian wildfires spread across North America and beyond, choking millions of people and triggering severe air quality alerts.. - Wildfire smoke is more toxic than other types of smoke and can be more dangerous to human health than other sources of air pollution, for example.