Media to share content on climate change

ST joins global network to swop coverage of issue

Twenty-five leading media companies sealed an agreement yesterday to form a global Climate Publishers Network to promote awareness of climate change.

Members will work together to enhance coverage of global warming in the run-up to the Nov 30- to-Dec 11 United Nations climate change conference in Paris, called COP21.

Representatives from more than 190 countries will attend the meeting aimed at sealing a global deal to limit carbon emissions from industry, transport and agriculture that scientists say are heating up the planet.

The Straits Times is a founding partner of the network, brought together by The Guardian of Britain, El Pais of Spain and the Global Editors Network, a leading global group of editors.

Major newspapers from around the world have been invited to join the grouping.

China Daily and India Today are the other publications from Asia. Other members include The Sydney Morning Herald from Australia, The Seattle Times from the United States, the Politiken from Denmark and the Al Ahram from Egypt.

The aim of the alliance is to share stories, graphics and other material on climate change with other members without any licence fees, broadening the reach of climate change issues and themes.

"Climate change is going to have a major impact on our lives, and so is of considerable interest to our readers," said ST editor Warren Fernandez.

"This is an important year for the debate on climate change. We want to provide content, in words, pictures, videos and graphics, to help our readers make sense of the debate," he said.

"This partnership, with some of the best newspapers in the world, will help us do that.

"It will also showcase some of our own content by ST correspondents on how global warming is affecting us in Asia to readers around the world."

An alarming increase in temperatures has made climate change one of the leading global concerns for people, governments and businesses.

March this year was the warmest March since record-keeping began in 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

And the first quarter of this year has been the warmest first quarter on record during the same period.

Meanwhile, snow and ice continue to disappear.

According to NOAA, the Northern Hemisphere's snow coverage in March was the seventh lowest on record.

Scientists and researchers have warned that failure to curb carbon emissions will have serious consequences - triggering rising sea levels, more extreme storms and droughts - leading to the loss of habitats in parts of the world. Climate change could lead to some species becoming extinct.

The agreement expected in Paris at the end of the year will define the way the world responds to climate change and influence efforts by nations and businesses to curb carbon emissions.

The United Nations says nations must present firm pledges showing how they will cut or curb the growth of greenhouse gas pollution.

The next round of discussions on climate change will take place in Bonn, Germany, early next month.

COP21 stands for the 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties.

shefali@sph.com.sg