As the only journalist from Singapore invited to cover the World Energy Summit J. Cheam gained access to world leaders to discuss renewable energy and climate change issues. The result was a package on climate change and energy that provides insight into the world’s rapidly evolving energy landscape and the global shift towards renewable energies. The story was written to appeal to a wide audience but also includes local voices and facts to make it relevant to the local reader. It was accompanied by a published online blog on carbon offsets which Jessica had purchased to offset her travels. The entire package was published as the cover story of the Saturday section of The Straits Times, and was subsequently republished by various publications.
Every day we hear stories of global warming – melting glaciers, wildfires and drought. But there’s another problem, which may be even more dangerous to sea life, yet many people have never heard of it. It’s ocean acidification: the gradual change in pH as CO2 dissolves in the seas. The frightening thing is that it may already be too late to do much about it. There’s a lag in time between CO2 building up in the atmosphere and its effect on the sea. Current atmospheric levels are high enough to slow the growth of corals, and stop other animals from building shells. To learn more about the problem – and get a clear sense of what we are about to lose – John Pickrell joined Australian scientists on a marine survey vessel over the Great Barrier Reef. Here he learned that entire ecosystems could collapse along with fisheries and tourism. This story follows the desperate struggle of scientists to document changes and find solutions before it’s too late.
This article exposed sharp practice at the office of climate change in Papua New Guinea (PNG) in the use of funds to protect rainforests. UN climate talks and a prospective U.S. climate bill have laid the foundations for a scheme whereby rich countries pay tropical countries to protect their rainforests and in return earn carbon offsets to help them meet their greenhouse gas emissions targets. But development and environment groups have warned that multi-million carbon deals already taking place in advance of such a deal threaten to stoke corruption and land grabs.Reuters in May ran an exclusive report using leaked 2008 papers which showed that the director of the office of climate change had endorsed a $10 million donation to the office from Australia-based carbon brokers. In return, that deal would have given the brokers exclusive rights to sell the carbon stored in vast swathes of the country's forests even though these are owned by the thousands of people that live in them. Reuters obtained a face-to-face interview in Bali with the director of the office of climate change who confirmed the authenticity of the papers. The report raised concerns of questionable practice in emerging forest carbon markets in Papua New Guinea. Shortly afterwards further news of misdeeds at the Office of Climate Change emerged in The Economist. Both these stories resulted in the Head of this office being suspended. The Reuters story was published as negotiations progressed to include a rainforest carbon market in a global deal to be agreed in Copenhagen in December.
A new framework for reducing carbon emissions takes a crack at the knottiest dilemma confronting a global climate solution: how to divvy cuts between rich and poor nations. The approach attempts to sidestep rancor that has stymied climate negotiations for years. It starts with a surprising finding that virtually every country has a class of individuals – the so-called "high emitters" - enjoying a rich, carbon-intensive lifestyle. If those individuals, no matter their locale, are forced to take responsibility for their emissions, a great swath of countries become participants in the climate effort. "It's ingenious," said one climate expert. "It's a great way to shift the conversation."