The Ukrainian capital, Kyiv, during peacetime. Gleb Albovsky, Unsplash

The climate price of war, the IPCC’s latest warning, and a major new treaty on plastic

News to know in our special anti-war bi-weekly digest

In these challenging times, we stand for peace and in solidarity with everyone affected by war and armed conflict.

In this Landscape News bi-weekly round-up, we examine what Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means for the world, as well as the latest IPCC report, a new plastic treaty, fish oil myths and much more.

A Red Wings aircraft landing in Sochi, Russia.
Russia and most European countries have banned each other’s airlines from their airspace. Igor Starkov, Unsplash


The climate crisis is already affecting billions of people, and it’s progressing at a rate faster than we can adapt to, warns the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its latest report.

Humanity is also on the brink of causing a sixth mass extinction, and the immense hardship that will bring for the world’s poorest people makes it a moral issue, scientists say.

Most European airlines are no longer allowed to overfly Russia and vice versa, resulting in longer flight times and increased carbon emissions. This, plus the fact that air travel is set to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024, makes the search for plant-based jet fuels even more imperative.

Wheat field in Ukraine
A wheat field in Ukraine, which is one of the world’s leading wheat producers, along with Russia. Polina Rytova, Unsplash


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sent commodity prices soaring to their highest levels since 2008.

Russia and Ukraine together produce almost a third of the world’s wheat, and rising prices of this staple crop are expected to drive up the cost of food globally.

The war in Ukraine also threatens to exacerbate hunger in war-torn Yemen, which is on the brink of famine.

The cost of fuel and heating is also set to rise as oil and natural gas prices spike. Russia is the world’s second-largest oil and gas producer and supplies around 40 percent of Europe’s natural gas.

In Afghanistan, people are selling their kidneys amid widespread hunger and economic collapse, just weeks after the U.S. seized USD 7 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank.

Tipasa, Algeria
The ancient Roman colony of Tipasa, in modern-day Algeria, is at risk of flooding and erosion from rising sea levels. Rab Rabah, Unsplash


From the future of food to questions over adaptation, here are seven main takeaways from the new IPCC report.

The climate crisis will be costly, but so too is the battle against it. Who’s going to pay for it?

Hotter weather isn’t just harmful to our physical health: in the U.S., it’s also leading to more mental health emergencies.

Many of Africa’s coastal heritage sites are at risk from rising sea levels. Could landscape restoration help save them?

The fish oil industry is jeopardizing food security in West Africa, the U.N. has warned. Leohoho, Unsplash


Don’t fall for the fish oil craze: the industry is wiping out the livelihoods of fishers in West Africa.

Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has been ravaged by 30 years of civil war. Meet the architect working to rebuild it through these eco-friendly designs.

Guatemala has one of the world’s highest rates of child malnutrition. Climate disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic are both making matters worse.

Aerial imagery of the Himalayas taken by the Landsat 9 satellite. NASA


Landsat 9 has released its first images to the public. Here’s what to expect from the brand-new satellite.

Always pick up after your dog – especially if you’re in a nature reserve. Dog feces and urine are harming wildlife by over-fertilizing the ground with nitrogen and phosphorus.

The booming metropolis of Mumbai isn’t just home to 20 million people; it also hosts an impressive array of marine life.

JET nuclear fusion laboratory, Oxford, U.K.
The U.K.-based JET laboratory has set a new record for nuclear fusion energy. UKAEA


The war in Ukraine has caused the price of the E.U.’s carbon permits to crash, making it much cheaper for companies to pollute.

Despite their net-zero pledges, Europe’s largest banks have lent some USD 33 billion to oil and gas companies over the past year.

Scientists are celebrating a huge breakthrough for nuclear fusion energy, though the technology will take decades to mature.

Solar panels in Gansu, China
China is set to install a record amount of solar power capacity this year. Darmau Lee, Unsplash


In a potential watershed moment, 175 countries have agreed to start negotiating an international treaty to address plastic pollution, which will be fleshed out by the end of 2024.

Germany has halted work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would have carried natural gas from Russia via the Baltic Sea. It doesn’t have many options to replace Russian gas, though.

Meanwhile, China is leading a boom for solar power, with a record 75 to 90 gigawatts of capacity set to be installed this year.

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