Global News Roundup: Amazon Deforestation on the Rise Again in Brazil; UN Slams Shell as Nigeria Needs Biggest Oil Clean-Up Ever

Amazon deforestation on the rise again in Brazil

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon accelerated in June, with more than 300 square kilometers destroyed, a 17 percent increase over the previous month, government researchers said Tuesday.

The National Institute for Space Research (INPE) said 312.6 square kilometers (120 square miles) were destroyed in June, based on the preliminary analysis of satellite photos of the vast South American rainforest.

May had seen a decrease in deforestation to 268 square kilometers (100 square miles) from 477 square kilometers (180 square miles) in April.

In April, more than 400 square kilometers (150 square miles) of forests were destroyed in a single state, Mato Grosso, which is seen as a major agricultural frontier and is used for cattle ranches and soybean farming.

At the 2009 UN climate change summit in Copenhagen, Brazil committed itself to reducing Amazon deforestation by 80 percent by 2020.

Brazil, the world’s fifth largest country by area, has 5.3 million square kilometers of jungle and forests — mostly in the Amazon river basin — of which only 1.7 million are under state protection.

The rest is in private hands, or its ownership is undefined.

Massive deforestation has made Brazil one of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters, and the pace of deforestation peaked in 2004 at 27,000 square kilometers (10,000 square miles) a year.

U.N. slams Shell as Nigeria needs biggest ever oil clean-up

A U.N. report has criticized Shell and the Nigerian government for contributing to 50 years of pollution in a region of the Niger Delta which it says needs the world’s largest ever oil clean-up, costing an initial $1 billion and taking up to 30 years.

The United National Environment Programme (UNEP) analyzed the damage oil pollution has done in Ogoniland, a region in the oil-rich labyrinthine creeks, swamps and waterways of the Niger Delta, the heartland of Africa’s largest oil and gas industry.

Royal Dutch Shell and the Nigerian state-oil firm own most of the oil infrastructure in Ogoniland, although the Anglo-Dutch giant was forced out of operating in the region by communities in 1993 who said it caused pollution that destroyed their fishing environment.

Shell stopped pumping oil from Ogoniland after a campaign, led by writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was later hanged by the Nigerian military government, provoking international outrage.

“The environmental restoration of Ogoniland could prove to be the world’s most wide-ranging and long term oil clean-up exercise ever undertaken,” a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report released on Thursday said.

Congo Republic wants $2.6 billion to replant forest

Congo Republic Friday said it wanted to raise $2.6 billion to restock part of the world’s second largest forest, as part of its fight against uncontrolled logging and global warming.

The government said it planned to replant trees and set up regulated plantations in 1 million hectares of forest land over the next 10 years and was looking for donors and investors to foot most of the bill.

The Congo Basin holds the world’s second largest forest behind the Amazon, and experts say its preservation is a vital part of the fight against climate change.

Congo’s forest covers roughly 22 million hectares, or about two-thirds of the country’s surface, but is shrinking, largely because of logging and the unlawful felling of trees by villagers seeking wood for fuel.

“This is our most important project and it will revolutionize Congo’s forestry policy,” said Congo’s minister of economy for forestry Henri Djombo at a press conference announcing the plan. Forestry is Congo’s second largest industry behind oil.

He said that some private investors had already expressed interest in the project, but declined to name them.

Congo’s program would replant trees and set up private and government-run plantations producing wood, fuel, honey, palm oil and other products, the government said.

Congo plans to contribute nearly $432 million to the project with the rest coming from donors and investors.

German utilities launch offshore wind service base

German utilities E.ON and RWE said on Friday they will launch an offshore wind service base on the islands of Helgoland with a third partner, WindMW, boosting the emerging sector off the North Sea coast.

The Berlin government plans to have 10,000 megawatts (MW) of offshore wind power capacity installed by 2020 among wide-reaching plans to replace closed nuclear facilities with green energy.

The small Helgoland archipelago is some 40 miles off the German coastline and therefore in a good position to service the new offshore wind parks under construction in the south-east North Sea.

“With these plans … we participate in creating Germany’s energy transition,” said Joerg Singer, the mayor of Helgoland, which stands to gain 150 new jobs from the project.

China eyes steel, cement sectors for carbon credit trade-report

China is considering plans to cap the greenhouse gas emissions of steel, cement and other industries, paving the way for carbon credit trading in the world’s biggest emitter, a newspaper cited an official as saying on Thursday.

The comments from Sun Zhen, a climate official at the National Development and Reform Commission, add to recent signs that Beijing is seriously exploring absolute caps on some high polluting sectors, which would then allow businesses to trade on the right to emit carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels and making cement.

China is the world’s biggest emitter of the greenhouse gases from human activity. The cap-and-trade system would be part of the nation’s goal to cut carbon intensity — the amount of carbon dioxide pollution released for each unit of economic growth — by 40–45 percent by 2020 compared with 2005 levels.

“Throughout the country, we have adopted a plan for reducing releases of carbon,” Sun told the China Daily, the country’s official English-language newspaper.

“But when it comes to actually reducing the emissions of certain businesses, that calls for limiting the absolute quantity of emissions,” said Sun.

Platina Buys Three Italian Solar Parks, Plans to Purchase More

Platina Partners LLP, a London-based private equity firm, bought three solar plants in Italy and plans to buy more to take advantage of growth in the world’s largest market for so-called photovoltaic power after Germany.

The investor in renewable energy agreed to buy plants with 15 megawatts of capacity yesterday and plans to boost business in the country to 30 to 50 megawatts through further purchases, Managing Partner Thomas Rottner said in an interview in London.

Including the latest transaction, the company operates 13 Italian solar parks with 25 megawatts of capacity.

The country’s overall installed projects have expanded to almost 9 gigawatts, from about 1 gigawatt in late 2009, the renewable energy regulator’s latest figures show. That has made the Italian market interesting for Platina, Rottner said.

Below are old comments from the earlier Facebook commenting system:

  • Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

Are there global riot statistics? How much influence has climate weirding on peoples psychological state? We know that even tiny temperature anomalies ups violence — thresholds, we know that higher food prices cause large distress. Look at all the nations which saw uprising through the last month… EU officials warn that higher food prices in developed nations is cause of conflicts.


Who can lead when the world sinks into chaos? Leading does not equate to surveillance and police/military force. These does not offer solutions only short term order. What are solutions? Who is there to take up the fight for the world to lessen the impacts of climate disruption(clean energy and large scale carbon negative technology roll-out).

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 9:46am

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter · Reply · August 7 at 10:56am

Tania Regina Guimaraes

How come one does not worry more about exploding top of mountains in Virginia? or Fracking?

2 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 9:29am

Leif Erik Knutsen · Top Commenter · Friends with Joseph Romm

I believe a fair read of past reports on CP will show significant concern with coal mining practices as well as fracking Tania.

Like · Reply · August 7 at 11:22am

Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)



Safecast is a global project working to empower people with data, primarily by building a sensor network and enabling people to both contribute and freely use the data we collect. After the 3/11 earthquake and resulting nuclear situation at Fukushima Diachi it became clear that people wanted more data than what was available.


As part of our efforts to get readings for all of Japan, including many areas that have never had published measurements, we’ve been driving across the country taking readings constantly as we go. This provides some exceptionally detailed mapping of radiation levels along the routes we have traveled, we call this Safecasting. · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 9:54am

  • Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

The place we just stopped, one side of the street was 5 μSv/hr and 9 μSv/hr on the other. A meer 10 steps away. 1km from the evac zone.5 hours ago via web!/seanbonner/status/100125892185034752Like · Reply · August 7 at 9:57am

Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

And remember yesterday we read…

Shell Gets Tentative Approval to Drill in Arctic

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 9:39am

Leif Erik Knutsen · Top Commenter · Friends with Joseph Romm

That is the very same Shell with the great reputation in Niger Delta, right?

1 · Like · Reply · August 7 at 10:09am

  • Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

Yes and some media spin it, Nigeria = not Shell’s fault … just liek they did with Chevron in Ecuador … and in the end it hurts us too, when the carbon sinks in these regions fail, or when these populations fail, because failed states rather not adopt clean energy and likely cause more environment distraction. Example = Haiti which cut down each single tree — happy erosion.

Like · Reply · August 7 at 10:23am

Leif Erik Knutsen · Top Commenter · Friends with Joseph Romm

I think I begin to see the working view of the GOBP. They turn the USA into a failed state and then plead for foreign capital to rebuild, thus profiting on both ends of the dilemma. Much like the Congo etc.

Like · Reply · August 7 at 11:45am

Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

The Psychological Impacts of Global Climate Change. · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 10:19am

Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

The Weekend Wonk: Amory Lovins. · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 9:03pm

Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

Visit my homepage 😀

Contact me if you need a state of the art website — for your climate hawk project! (Special Offer) Cheers, Chris.

ps. I hope this is ok when I make this small little tiny advertisement here.

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 10:32am

Peter S. Mizla · Top Commenter · Vernon, Connecticut

And the weather gets weirder & weirder.

when will the storm break?

1 · Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 10:54am

Prokaryotes — · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

Fukushima Update for August 4: High Radiation at Fukushima in Perspective

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 8:56pm

James Hwang · Top Commenter (signed in using Hotmail)

What’s really sad is that Brazil’s government brought up a bill to restrict deforestation more, but somehow lobbyists watered down the bill so much that it completely reversed direction and allowed MORE deforestation. It looks like the bill will get vetoed but it’s a sad time for the forest.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 11:57am

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

Its all happeing on the west coast… big fights ahead…

National Geographic spotlights proposed oilsands pipeline to B.C.www.vancouversun.comNational Geographic magazine has again focused attention on Alberta’s oilsands, this time with an article on Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway project titled “Pipeline Through Paradise.” The magazine will hit newsstands this week, but the online version is available now.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 1:43pm

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

Battle over coal for China highlights global economic change · Reply · August 7 at 1:44pm

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

Climate Chaos

July was NJ’s 2nd-hottest month ever.www.northjersey.comNew Jersey’s average July temperature was 78.8 degrees, knocking last July into third place. This July ranks behind only July 1955 on the list of the state’s hottest months.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 1:45pm

Climate Portals

Sea levels around the Australian coast rose an average of 5–6mm per year between 1993 and early 2011, CSIRO observations show, well above the 20th Century average of 1.7 mm per year.

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 5:52pm

shaheercassim (signed in using Yahoo)

So Germany is replacing Green energy with Green energy. Any idea what happened to those coal and gas plants? What about energy imports?

Like · Reply · Subscribe · August 7 at 1:54pm

  • shaheercassim (signed in using Yahoo)

My question to Germany is, if renewables as so great, why are they shutting down 17 nuclear plants and building 11 GW of new coal and 5 GW of new gas as “stepping stones” to a clean future. It is completely retarded to spend all that money on new fossil fuel power plants that they know will operate for 50 years, when that money could instead go to 16 GW of new wind and solar (+ storage for when the wind is low and the sun isnt shining). Perhaps they realize that 16 GW of wind and solar simply won’t work. I can’t believe it..I would have kept the 17 nuclear plants and build an additional 16 GW of nuclear. Clearly, if renewables were the choice, they would have shut down their nuclear and fossil fuels, and replaced it completed with a “renewables megaproject”. But no, they’re building fossil fuel plants with money that could have been devoted to efficiency, nuclear, and renewables. Thanks anti-nuclear lobbyists.

Like · Reply · August 7 at 4:08pm

Paul Magnus · Top Commenter

Nuclear power is too expensive, uninsurable and dangerous. They should invest in pure green power….

Like · Reply · August 7 at 5:09pm