• This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Earth.Org Newsletters

    Get focused newsletters especially designed to be concise and easy to digest

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Week in Review: Top Climate News for May 22-26

CRISIS - Atmospheric CO2 Levels CRISIS - Biosystem Viability by Earth.Org Americas Europe May 26th 20234 mins
Week in Review: Top Climate News for May 22-26

This weekly round-up brings you key climate news from the past seven days, including an appeal from US and EU lawmakers to remove oil chief Al-Jaber as COP28 head, a historic deal to save the Colorado River, and the aftermath of Italy’s deadly floods.

1. US and EU Lawmakers Appeal to UN to Remove Oil Chief Al-Jaber As COP28 Head

133 MEPs, senators, and representatives from the United States and the European Union appealed to the heads of their countries and the United Nations to oust oil chief Sultan Al-Jaber as president of November’s COP28 climate summit.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), COP28’s hosting nation, announced the appointment of Al-Jaber, the head of oil giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), in January. The decision has been controversial from the start. Aside from leading the state-owned company – which pumps almost all the crude oil in the UAE and produces about 3.2 million barrels a day – Al-Jaber, is also the country’s special envoy on climate change and minister of industry and technology. As COP28 chief, he will play a pivotal role in shaping climate negotiations during the two-week conference set to begin in late November.

Read more here.

2. Germany Cracks Down on ‘Last Generation’ Climate Activists in Nationwide Raids

German authorities officers raided 15 properties linked to the Last Generation (German: Letzte Generation) climate activist group, notorious for major roadblocks and other forms of public disruptions to raise awareness about global warming, as part of an investigation into some climate campaigners, though no arrests have been made.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Bavarian prosecutors revealed that they are investigating seven group members for allegedly forming or supporting a criminal organisation and raising about €1.4 million (US$1.5 million) to finance further criminal acts. Two members are also accused of attempting to sabotage the Transalpine oil pipeline in April 2022, a “critical infrastructure” that runs across the Alps, from Italy’s Trieste to the city of Ingolstadt in Bavaria.

Founded by participants of a major hunger strike and public disruption that took place in the summer of 2021 in Berlin, Last Generation is a group of climate activists active in Germany, Italy, and Austria and known for its civil disobedience methods, such as road blockades – with protesters gluing themselves to roads or runways – and art desecration.

Read more here.

3. Italy’s Agricultural Sector Faces €1.5 Billion in Damages Amid Deadly Floods

Italy’s region of Emilia Romagna remains on red alert as thousands of volunteers work relentlessly to clean mud and debris from the streets and assist people in shelters and isolated areas following last week’s deadly floods.

14 people lost their lives and around 36,000 were left homeless as six months’ worth of rain fell within 36 hours across Emilia Romagna and Marche, leading to more than 20 rivers across the region to burst their banks, wreaking havoc across 100 cities and towns. Authorities recorded more than 305 landslides which damaged or forced the closure of about 500 roads.

According to estimates by Coldiretti, Italy’s main farmers’ association, more than 5,000 farms and tens of thousands of hectares of farmland were submerged. The extensive crop damage is expected to cost the government some €1.5 billion (US$1.62 billion), as Coldiretti warns that stagnant water in fields risks rotting the roots of approximately 15 million fruit trees and destroying at least 400 million kilograms of wheat.

Read more here.

4. El Niño Weather Pattern Costs the Global Economy $3.4 Trillion: Study

Estimated losses in GPD caused by the El Niño weather pattern are a hundred times higher than previously thought, amounting to about US$3.4 trillion, and could reach $84 trillion by the end of the century as the climate crisis worsens, a new study has found.

Christopher Callahan and Justin Mankin, the Dartmouth Earth system scientists behind the paper that was published in the scientific journal Science last week, suggest that previous estimates fail to consider the impacts of climate variability on economic growth. To calculate the total costs, they compared GDP growth around the world before and after El Niño events from 1960 to 2019.

Climate experts agree that global warming has intensified the weather pattern in the Pacific since the 1960s. El Niño, which is related to the warming of sea surface temperatures in the central-east equatorial Pacific and typically occurs every three to five years, is responsible for extreme droughts, floods, and heatwaves around the world. The last strong event was in 2016 and caused an estimated US$327 million in agricultural production losses.

Read more here.

5. Arizona, Nevada and California Sign Landmark Deal on the Colorado River Water Crisis

From now until 2026, the states bordering the Colorado River – Arizona, Nevada, and California – will collectively have to cut their water use by more than 3 million acre-feet (approx. 370046 hectare-meter) as a part of a landmark deal reached on Monday.

In the context of the deal, the Biden administration’s Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will help cities and irrigation districts in the three “Lower Basin” states roughly US$1.2 billion in exchange for using less water. 

But this is merely a short-term fix. Many farmers consider the restrictions an insult to their industry because the agreement does not address long-term water sustainability concerns in the area. Government officials of the three aforesaid states must pay farmers more per acre-foot of water than they would have earned from selling crops on a specific field in order to persuade them to plant fewer crops. This stems from the fact that the deal is actively urging farmers to produce drought-resistant crops, effectively reducing the total number of crops they can grow and thereby also reducing potential profits. 

Read more here.

Tagged: week in review
Subscribe to our newsletter

Hand-picked stories once a fortnight. We promise, no spam!

Instagram @earthorg Follow Us