New coal plants may tip global warming levels
LE BOURGET (France) • While scientists agree humanity needs to phase out coal within 35 years, thousands of new plants are being planned that would doom hopes of keeping global warming to safer levels.
Greenhouse gas emitted by these 2,440 potential plants - on top of those already in operation - would breach the United Nations (UN) target of restricting the planet's temperature rise, according to a mid-range estimate by Climate Action Tracker, a respected research group.
Members of the UN are striving for a pact to keep warming under 2 deg C higher than pre-industrial levels.
Police ban demos in Paris' Champs Elysees
PARIS • French police banned demonstrations in Paris' prestigious Champs Elysees avenue and near the venue for the UN climate conference at Le Bourget north of the capital during the two- week talks. The measures will remain in force until Dec 13.
French authorities are seeking to avoid any repetition of Sunday's clashes between hard-left demonstrators and riot police in a city still reeling from terrorist attacks last month that killed 130 people.
Hybrid grass may remedy climate change
CHANGSHA • A hardy, fast-growing grass known as "green heart" in Chinese may be a welcome new addition to the world's arsenal in the war against climate change.
The grass can grow 5m in two months and acts like a carbon sponge, capturing much higher levels of carbon dioxide than trees, according to researcher Lei Xuejun, who is in Paris for the climate change conference.
Mr Lei, director of the Carbon Cycle Research Centre in central China, first cultivated the grass in 2013 and has led the research since.
Urgent call to help drought-hit Lake Chad
LE BOURGET(France) • African leaders called at a climate summit on Monday for the world to help save drought- stricken Lake Chad and avert an even greater flow of refugees fleeing to Europe.
Some 2.5 million people have been displaced from the fast-drying Lake Chad basin, according to the UN. Besides fleeing the drought, many people are crossing international borders to flee the Islamist militant group Boko Haram.