Australia bushfires raze ancient World Heritage-listed forests

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Sydney: World Heritage-listed forests whose origins predate the age of the dinosaurs are being destroyed by raging Australian bushfires, with conservationists increasingly fearful they could be lost forever.

Firefighters in Tasmania — a state south of the mainland known for its cooler temperatures — have been battling bushfires for 18 days, with 95,000 hectares (234,750 acres) of land burnt so far, authorities said Friday.

Modi and Hollande announce new solar alliance at climate change summit

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Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, together with French president Francois Hollande, has announced an international solar energy alliance of 120 countries, hailing it “the sunrise of new hope”.

The grouping aims to raise US$400 million (Dh1.5 billion) from member countries and multilateral agencies, such as the World Bank, to invest in solar power research and usage, address regulatory issues, and draft universal standards.

World leaders pledge change at climate talks

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World leaders vowed on Monday to save mankind from catastrophic climate change as a historic summit opened with the “hope of all humanity” laid on their shoulders.

The heads of more than 150 nations — a record — kicked off 12 days of talks in search of an elusive pact that would shift the world economy away from its heavy use of fossil fuels blamed for global warming.

China smog at crippling levels as climate talks open

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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.