Seaweed, which has high carbon sequestration potential, on a shore in Iceland. James Petts, Flickr

Seaweed to the rescue, aviation aims net zero, and a warm welcome to the V20

News to know in our bi-weekly digest

Since 1990, the world’s wealthiest 10 percent of people have caused half of all global greenhouse gas emissions. The richest 1 percent alone were responsible for a whopping 23 percent.

In this week’s Landscape News round-up, we lend an ear to the growing calls for climate justice and dive into the many ways to achieve it, from “loss and damage” reparations to Indigenous land handovers.

LANDSCAPE NEWS

An illustration of now extinct passenger pigeons.
The once abundant, but now extinct, passenger pigeon. Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Wikimedia Commons

What if extinction isn’t the end? Scientists are working on ways to bring species back from the dead, in part to help restore natural balances in landscapes.

As the Earth’s aquifers run dry, we all have a moral duty to cut back on our water use. Here are a few ways to do that.

Our latest series, Routes to Roots, explores all of the ways we can kick our tree-chopping habit and reforest our planet. First we dig into natural regeneration, with tree-planting, mosaic landscapes and forest finance to come.

On GLF Live, we’re running a mini-series on everything you need to know about climate change. Mark your calendars for the next episode on Tuesday, 25 October, featuring the vice-chair of the IPCC.

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And on the podcast, in collaboration with the Youth in Landscapes Initiative, we’re joined by two incredible young activists to learn how they and their peers are revolutionizing climate politics.

CLIMATE

Flooding in Honduras from 2020.
Honduras has once again suffered from extreme weather. Above is flooding from 2020. D. Membreño, Flickr

Here’s a first-hand report from Nigeria’s worst floods in a decade, which has claimed more than 600 lives and displaced 1.4 million people.

In Central America, another wave of climate migration beckons, following the devastation of Hurricane Julia.

Floods are also ravaging large parts of Australia and even drought-hit Kenya. Could our warming oceans be the culprit?

PEOPLE

A model of Qatar's Al Wakrah Stadium, which will host the FIFA World Cup. Marco Verch, Flickr
A model of Qatar’s Al Wakrah Stadium, which will host the FIFA World Cup. Marco Verch, Flickr

If you live in a city, there’s a four-in-five chance that you’re already being affected by the climate crisis, whether it’s through extreme heat, drought or other hazards.

As Qatar gears up for the World Cup, the desert nation is using 10,000 liters of water a day to irrigate each of the eight stadium pitches that will host the tournament.

In contrast, this traditional system has sustainably supplied water to the mountains of southern Spain for more than 1,200 years.

PLANET

A group of African elephants.
African Bush Elephants, Maasai Mara. Ray in Manila, Flickr

Populations of different animal species have fallen by an average of 69 percent in just 50 years due to our destruction of their habitats.

China and Canada are set to co-organize the much-delayed COP15 biodiversity summit in December, but world leaders haven’t been invited to the talks.

Confiscated ivory from elephants killed over 30 years ago has mysteriously resurfaced in Burundi. Here’s what we know so far.

The Atlantic Ocean could host a seaweed farm the size of Croatia to capture a gigaton of carbon dioxide each year. Will it work?

BUSINESS

A solar farm in West Texas. Jonathan Cutrer, Flickr
A solar farm in West Texas. Jonathan Cutrer, Flickr

Good news first: Clean energy is on the verge of a positive tipping point, as defined by Bloomberg Green – and 87 countries have already reached it, sourcing at least 5 percent of their electricity from wind and solar.

In an “aspiration” that’s literally sky-high, the global aviation industry, one of the largest emitters, is now targeting net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

However, the world’s largest financial institutions are still bankrolling deforestation, and the biggest greenhouse gas emitters aren’t disclosing their climate risks. Oil companies aren’t declaring emissions from gas flaring, either.

POLICY

Cows in New Zealand.
Cows in New Zealand could be the first in the world to fall foul of an emissions tax. Dave Young, Flickr

Meet the V20 – a group of climate-vulnerable countries that are threatening to stop paying their debts unless rich countries help them adapt to the climate crisis.

These countries are putting “loss and damage” compensation high up on the agenda at COP27, while Ghana’s president has criticized rich Western countries for their “derisory” commitments thus far.

The COP’s host country Egypt, for its part, is facing criticism for using the climate summit to greenwash its poor human rights record.

Australia is handing control of its newest national parks back to their Indigenous owners, and New Zealand will be the world’s first country to tax emissions from cow burps and dung.

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