China smog at crippling levels as climate talks open

on .

Choking smog blanketed Beijing and much of northern China on Monday, while a new Chinese report raised the alarm about rising sea levels.

As climate change talks opened in Paris, the US embassy in Beijing recorded concentrations of PM2.5 – tiny airborne particles which embed deeply in the lung – at 625 micrograms per cubic metre. That is 25 times above the World Health Organisation’s 25 microgram recommended maximum.

Paris conference must reach agreement on climate action

on .

The long-awaited climate change conference, COP 21, in Paris will go ahead from tomorrow, as planned, despite security concerns after the recent terrorist attacks in the French capital. About 50,000 participants, including 127 heads of state, are expected to travel to the conference, which some environmentalists view as the last chance to strike a global agreement on combating climate change.

Following the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen climate change conference to reach a deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol, all parties have been negotiating for a new and acceptable agreement by 2015, to be implemented in 2020. However, the shadow of the Paris attacks is likely to affect the negotiations both negatively and positively.

UK: In 1st, Global Temps Average Could Be 1 Degree C Higher

on .

STOCKHOLM — This year is on track to be a record 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than the 19th-century average, hitting a symbolic milestone in the temperature rise that scientists blame mostly on human activities, Britain's weather service said Monday.

To measure global warming, scientists compare today's temperature level with that of the latter part of the 19th century, when record keeping began and before humans started burning fossil fuels on a large scale, releasing heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the air.

UK to spend £5.8bn on tackling climate change in poor countries

on .

Almost £6bn of the UK’s foreign aid budget will be spent on tackling climate change in poor countries over the next five years, David Cameron has said, as Britain steps up its contributions by 50% to help meet international targets.

The prime minister will unveil the UK’s offer at the United Nations general assembly, before crucial international climate change talks in Paris in December where nations are expected to collectively pledge $100bn (£66bn) a year by 2020.