UNFCCC executive secretary Simon Stiell speaks at COP27. Ministry of Environment of Rwanda

A summary of COP27, the mental benefits of blue space, and what’s in store for the Amazon

News to know in our bi-weekly digest

At the COP27 climate summit in Egypt, rich countries have finally agreed to compensate poorer countries for the “loss and damage” caused by the climate crisis. But will the deal be enough to prevent catastrophe?

In this week’s round-up, we run through everything that happened at the latest round of global climate negotiations and more.


Cocoa being processed
Increasing the sustainability of cocoa production offers major opportunities for lowering global deforestation rates. Ollivier Girard, CIFOR

It’s too late to prevent the climate crisis, but what can we still do to protect ourselves from its impacts? On 11 and 12 November, we gathered nearly 7,000 participants online and in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, to find answers. Read our wrap-up of GLF Climate 2022, or sign up to watch all 43 sessions on demand.

We can’t decarbonize the global economy without greening our supply chains. Here are some ways to make chocolate more sustainable.

While in Egypt, we caught up with renowned ecologist Tom Crowther at COP27. Here’s what he had to say about this year’s negotiations.

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And following last week’s breakthrough deal on climate reparations, here’s all you need to know about “loss and damage” on the GLF Live podcast.


A new study has found that melting glaciers are releasing hundreds of thousands of tons of bacteria. Bill Green, Flickr

Is the 1.5 degrees Celsius climate goal dead? Here are all the key takeaways from COP27, and how the agreement compares with its predecessors.

Melting glaciers could release vast amounts of bacteria into the atmosphere. Will these microbes help us or harm us?

The climate crisis will cause La Niña and El Niño to become noticeably stronger by 2030. It also made Nigeria’s deadly recent floods 80 times more likely.

Seven years after the Paris Agreement, global carbon dioxide levels are still at record levels. Europe, which includes some of the world’s largest-emitting countries, is heating up faster than any other continent.


A sailboat on Niagara-on-the-Lake in Canada. Tim Gouw, Unsplash

Could a dose of the ocean heal your mind? The science is clear: Blue spaces are good for our mental health, and doctors are even starting to prescribe them.

In the face of widespread drought, floods and famine, people across Africa are using their ingenuity to survive through music and social media and by adopting new technologies to harness groundwater.

This environmental treaty could be a lifeline for land defenders in Colombia, which is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for environmentalists. Meanwhile, Bolivia passed and then annulled an agreement for more mining on Indigenous territories and protected lands, which has left activists wondering what the future will hold.

Amid record-high gas prices, Europeans are burning wood to keep warm this winter – and the E.U. is subsidizing them to do so.


Coral reefs are some of the most biodiverse ecosystems in the world, but also among the most fragile. Kristin Hoel, Unsplash

The Great Barrier Reef is still alive and kicking – but barely. Scientists are trying to keep it going by pairing Indigenous wisdom with underwater drone technology.

Hippos and sharks could receive greater protections at this month’s UN wildlife conference. However, the E.U. is opposed to a total ban on the hippo trade, to the ire of 10 African countries.

As the melting of Arctic sea ice pushes polar bears onto land, one northern Canadian town is repurposing an old technology to keep them away from people: radar.

Eight years after Netflix brought it global fame, the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Virunga National Park is again under threat from rebels and oil drilling. What can its rangers and local people do now?


Oil and gas flares emit an enormous amount of methane into the atmosphere, which is even more deleterious than carbon dioxide. Grant Durr, Unsplash

Your blue jeans are killing the planet. Here’s why they’re so harmful – and what you should do about it.

Bankers are closing on the world’s largest-ever debt-for-nature swap: A USD 800 million deal to cancel Ecuador’s debt for the protection of the Galápagos Islands.

The BBC has gone undercover to expose BP’s secretive gas flaring in Iraq, while Mexico’s state oil company Pemex has opted to pay fines rather than ending the practice.

A growing number of U.S. lawsuits are taking aim at Big Oil for causing the climate crisis. Could they transform the way the industry does business?


An aerial view of the Amazon Rainforest near Manaus, the capital of the Brazilian state of Amazonas. Neil Palmer, CIAT

Brazil’s president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has pledged to end deforestation in the Amazon and protect Indigenous Peoples. But with Congress in opposition hands, can he still deliver?

As an important first step, Brazil is joining forces with the Democratic Republic of Congo and Indonesia to form a tripartite alliance for forest conservation.

COP27 host Egypt has hired a PR firm with a long record of spreading disinformation for the oil industry. Meanwhile, the UAE is already starting to greenwash its reputation ahead of its hosting of COP28 next year.



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