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The Climate Question Podcast

English, Sciences, 1 season, 184 episodes, 3 days, 10 hours, 20 minutes
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Stories on why we find it so hard to save our own planet, and how we might change that.
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Can fertilisers go green?

Ammonia has revolutionised the way we produce our food, helping us to grow much, much more... But it’s also helping to grow global greenhouse gas emissions too. Synthetic fertilisers are actually responsible for around 5% of the planet-warming gases going into the air - that’s more than deforestation.In this episode, Graihagh Jackson examines this challenge that modern agriculture poses to the climate, and finds out whether it’s possible to cut emissions from fertiliser use without cutting food production at the same time. She’ll also be joined by local reporters in Kenya to hear about innovative projects aiming to tackle this problem and turn farming green. Do you have a climate question you’d like answered? E-mail us: [email protected] Presenter: Graihagh Jackson Reporters in Kenya: Michael Kaloki and James Gitaka Producer: Ben Cooper Researcher: Octavia Woodward Production co-ordinator: Brenda Brown Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Editors: Simon Watts and Sophie Eastaugh
4/16/202426 minutes, 28 seconds
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Why are electric two-wheelers booming?

Delhi’s roads are being taken over by electric mopeds, scooters and rickshaws. More than fifty per cent of two- and three-wheelers are already electric, and the market is expected to continue growing. It’s good news for the fight against climate change. Why has the transition to green vehicles been so swift in India and what can the rest of the world learn from it? Graihagh Jackson speaks to reporter Sushmita Pathak, who’s been chatting to those who’ve made the switch to electric as well as those who haven’t. Akshima Ghate from the RMI Foundation and Louise Ribet of C40 cities explain why these small vehicles are so popular and what countries like India and others gain from encouraging electric uptake. From better air quality and healthier children to energy security and manufacturing expertise, there are many benefits beyond mitigating climate change. Presenter: Graihagh Jackson Producer: Ben Cooper Researcher: Octavia Woodward Editors: Sophie Eastaugh and Simon Watts Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Production Co-Ordinator: Brenda Brown Got a question you’d like us to answer? Send an email to: [email protected]
4/7/202427 minutes, 2 seconds
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How is climate change affecting animal migration?

Global warming is forcing wildebeest and sharks to move their feeding grounds - with devastating effects on the rest of the food chain and on carbon storage. Sophie Eastaugh reports.
3/31/202427 minutes, 2 seconds
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How does extreme heat affect pregnant women?

The BBC’s Global Health Correspondent Tulip Mazumdar investigates how extreme heat fuelled by climate change is affecting pregnant women in India. New research shared with the BBC suggests that pregnant informal workers in Tamil Nadu who were exposed to high temperatures saw double the risk of stillbirth, premature birth, low birth weight and miscarriage. Discussing her reporting from India with The Climate Question host and fellow mum Graihagh Jackson, Tulip hears the heart-breaking stories of women affected and explores simple solutions that would make their work in scorching agricultural fields safer. Email us at [email protected] Produced by Sophie Eastaugh, Graihagh Jackson and Camilla Horrox Editor: Sophie Eastaugh Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinator: Brenda Brown
3/21/202426 minutes, 58 seconds
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Your questions answered: reversing climate change, eating avocados, electric vehicles and more

You asked, we answered. This week our expert panel dive into your questions. Can climate change cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions? How bad are avocados for the environment? Is climate change reversible? Send your questions to: [email protected] Plus, a look at biofuels and vertical farming, China’s electric vehicle boom, and the apparent contradiction between more renewable energy and the continuing rise in planet-warming gases Join Graihagh Jackson and our expert panel: - Dr Akshat Rathi, Senior Reporter for Climate, Bloomberg - Justin Rowlatt, Climate Editor, BBC News - Prof. Tamsin Edwards, Climate scientist, Kings College London
3/17/202427 minutes, 12 seconds
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What's it like living a "sustainable" life?

As governments and industry find ways of reducing emissions to keep climate change under control, some people are taking responsibility for their own carbon footprints. In this episode, Graihagh Jackson explores some different ways of living a green life – from setting up an eco-friendly commune in Denmark, to making small adjustments to our lifestyles in cities such as London. Graihagh also talks to one of the UN's top experts on the social aspects of fighting climate change: what's the right balance between action by individuals and action by governments?Presenter: Graihagh Jackson Producers: Ben Cooper and Sophie Eastaugh Researcher: Octavia Woodward Production co-ordinator: Brenda Brown Editor: Simon Watts Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Got a climate question you’d like answered? E-mail the team: [email protected]
3/10/202423 minutes, 39 seconds
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What's it like being a "Chief Heat Officer"?

As climate change makes the world hotter, some cities have appointed "Chief Heat Officers" to try to improve their response to record-breaking temperatures. The Climate Question's Graihagh Jackson speaks to two women who've been doing the job in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and Monterrey, Mexico. What does their role involve? What solutions are out there? And do they get enough funding?Plus, Umaru Fofana reports from Freetown on the extreme heat gripping the city. Umaru talks to locals forced to sleep outside because of the temperature, despite risks to their health and safety. And he also investigates a new piece of building design that might help people living in informal settlements. Presenter: Graihagh Jackson Reporter in Sierra Leone: Umaru Fofana Producer: Osman Iqbal Researcher: Octavia Woodward Editor: Simon Watts Sound Engineers: James Beard and Tom Brignell
3/3/202423 minutes, 54 seconds
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Could solar farms in space power Earth?

It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the idea of assembling giant solar farms in space and then beaming the renewable energy back down to Earth is gaining real life traction. Some advocates have claimed it could supply all the world’s energy needs by 2050.But how would these solar farms be assembled, how much fuel and money would it take to blast them into space in the first place, and how would we safely beam their energy back to Earth?In 2023, Sophie Eastaugh and Luke Jones spoke to Sanjay Vijendran, in charge of space-based solar at the European Space Agency, learn about the history of the idea from Rick Tumlinson, founder of SpaceFund, and hear words of caution from Dr Jovana Radulovic, head of mechanical and design engineering at Portsmouth University in the UK. Plus, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet describes life on the International Space Station and how it’s powered.Thanks to the Space Studies Institute for extracts of their interview with Gerard O’Neill.Let us know what you think about the show – email [email protected]: Simon Tulett Researchers: Matt Toulson and Graihagh Jackson Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinator - Siobhan Reed
2/28/202427 minutes, 25 seconds
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Do we need a 'Category 6' for hurricanes?

Graihagh chats to the BBC World Service's Global Story podcast about a plan for a super-category for storms. Is climate change making them so powerful that we need a new grade?
2/23/202424 minutes, 40 seconds
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Why is nuclear power back in fashion?

At the big COP climate summit last December, more than 20 countries pledged to triple global nuclear capacity by 2050 to help cut carbon emissions. The signatories included familiar nuclear names such as the US, France and Japan...but also newcomers, like Ghana. Although Ghana doesn’t currently have any nuclear power plants, president Nana Akufo-Addo says he wants to build one or two by 2030. So why is this African nation turning to nuclear? How will it pay for the multi-billion-dollar power plants? And will this help fight climate change?Presenter Graihagh Jackson is joined by: on-the-ground reporter Thomas Naadi; Dr Michael Bluck, Director of the Centre for Nuclear Engineering at Imperial College London; and Dr Kacper Szulecki, research professor at the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs. Production team: Octavia Woodward, Ben Cooper, Brenda Brown, Simon Watts, Matt Willis. Sound design by Tom Brignell.
2/18/202423 minutes, 50 seconds
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Are wetlands our secret weapon for fighting climate change?

The world's wetlands store carbon and can help us tackle some of global warming's impacts. Are we overlooking their importance? And what can we do to protect them more?Graihagh Jackson travels to wetlands near her home in East Anglia while Qasa Alom reports from the Bay of Bengal. And The Climate Question catches up with an old friend of the show, Dr Musonda Mumba, Secretary-General of the Convention on Wetlands.Production team: Osman Iqbal, Octavia Woodward, Brenda Brown, Simon Watts, Matt Willis Sound design by Tom Brignell.Send your questions to: [email protected]
2/11/202427 minutes, 3 seconds
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Why is climate change fuelling tension in the Arctic?

Global temperatures have already increased by around 1.3C above pre-industrial levels, but this warming is not spread evenly across the planet. The Arctic, despite being one of the coldest regions on Earth, has become a hotspot for global warming. Local temperatures there are rising as much as four-times faster than in other parts of the world. This rapid warming is unsettling the delicate environmental balance, causing significant ice loss – with implications for both the region and the wider world. In a previous episode on the Arctic region, Graihagh Jackson explored the impact that climate change was having on the people – and ice sheet – of Greenland. In the second part of The Climate Question's focus on the High North, she explores the implications of an increasingly ice-free region on global politics, military relations, and trade. Guests: Mathieu Boulègue, consulting fellow at Chatham House and global fellow at the Polar Institute of the Wilson Centre Julie Brigham-Grette, professor of Earth Sciences in the Department of Earth, Geographic and Climate Science at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Malte Humpert, senior fellow at the Arctic Institute and journalist at High North News Amund Trellevik, on-the-ground reporter in Norway Producer: Ben Cooper Series Producers: Simon Watts and Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators: Debbie Richford, Sophie Hill and Jacqui Johnson
2/4/202427 minutes, 23 seconds
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Is Climate Change on the ballot paper in 2024?

2024 will see billions of voters head to the polls in a record-breaking year for elections. It follows 2023 – another record-breaking year for the climate... so could global warming impact the way people vote? Or will it be eclipsed by the other big issues that dominate news headlines, like inflation and the cost of living, healthcare, education, and jobs. In this episode, presenter Graihagh Jackson hears from voters all over the world, and dives into research examining their priorities and what motivates them when they’re at the ballot box. She also finds out how climate change policies affected the outcome of recent elections in the Netherlands and Australia. Guests: Jessica Long, Head of Environmental, Social and Governance Consulting at IPSOS UK Anna Holligan, BBC correspondent in the Netherlands Noora Firaq, Deputy CEO of Climate Outreach Phil Mercer, BBC correspondent in Australia Got a Climate Question for us? Email: [email protected] Production team: Ben Cooper, Octavia Woodward, Brenda Brown, Simon Watts, Matt Willis Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
1/28/202423 minutes, 37 seconds
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Your questions: The impact of war; "green" rooftops; carbon cost of pets

You asked, we answered. In this episode, a panel of experts dive into your questions. How does war impact climate change? What are the carbon footprints of pets? Can so-called "green" or "living roofs" increase the resilience of cities? Send your questions to: [email protected] Presenter Graihagh Jackson and her guests: Dr Akshat Rathi, Senior Reporter for Climate, Bloomberg Esme Stallard, Climate and science reporter, BBC News Prof Tamsin Edwards, Climate scientist, Kings College LondonProduction Team: Osman Iqbal, Octavia Woodward, Simon Watts, Matt Willis Sound Mix: Rod Farquhar, Tom Brignell
1/21/202424 minutes, 2 seconds
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Tidal power: What’s holding it back?

Lake Sihwa in South Korea is home to the world’s largest operating tidal power station, using the tides to generate enough power for a city of half a million people. This regular rise and fall of the seas is more predictable than sunny or windy weather and can be forecast years in advance. Nine thousand miles away in Northern Ireland is Strangford Lough. A narrow inlet leading to the mighty Atlantic Ocean means it’s one of the world’s best sites for harnessing tidal energy. The fast and strong currents have led to the world’s first commercial-scale tidal energy power station being built here. But now that’s being decommissioned.The technology for harnessing tidal energy has been around for more than half a century and the potential to create energy from the sea is huge. Yet tidal power only accounts for a tiny proportion of the global renewable energy mix. Presenter Graihagh Jackson finds out what’s holding tidal power back. Thanks to our contributors: Rémi Gruet, CEO of Ocean Energy Europe Dr Carwyn Frost, Lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast Choi Jae-baek, Senior Manager of K-water Email: [email protected] Presenter: Graihagh Jackson Reporters: BBC’s Jordan Dunbar in Norther Ireland and freelance journalist Malene Jensen in South Korea Producer: Ben Cooper Researcher: Octavia Woodward and Shorouk Elkobrosi Editor: Alex Lewis Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
1/14/202427 minutes, 2 seconds
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Will "sustainable" fuels transform air travel?

The future of flying might depend on used cooking oil, plants and green electricity. Sustainable aviation fuels, known as SAF, are made from less carbon-intensive processes and renewable sources. Airlines are touting them as the key to decarbonising flying. The aviation industry has pledged to move from 2.5% of all global CO2 emissions to net zero by 2050 – with these alternative fuels being the cornerstone of the strategy. However, there’s little SAF actually being produced, it, and it’s much more expensive than fossil fuels. Can the technologies really take off?Climate Question host Graihagh Jackson investigates, with reporting from the BBC's Monica Miller in Malaysia and Singapore.Presenter: Graihagh Jackson Producer: Osman Iqbal Researcher: Octavia Woodward Editor: Simon Watts Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
1/7/202423 minutes, 52 seconds
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Who's doing best on fighting Climate Change?

Emma Tracey starts 2024 by hearing from Kenya and Costa Rica - two of the countries ranked highest in the fightback against Climate Change. She talks to on-the-ground reporters in Nairobi and San Jose; while Climate Question regular Mia Moisio explains which nations score well on the Climate Action Tracker and what the rest of the world can learn from them. Reporters: Michael Kaloki in Kenya and Cindy Regidor in Costa Rica Producer: Ben Cooper Researcher: Shorouk Elkobrosi Series Producer: Simon Watts Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Email us: [email protected]
12/31/202327 minutes, 2 seconds
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Can Climate Change ever be funny?

Budding comedian (and Climate Question presenter) Jordan Dunbar sets out to discover if humour can help us understand - and cope with - global warming. Jordan gets advice from comics and academics from around the world, and then performs his own Climate Change routine at a stand-up comedy venue in London.Presenter and part-time comedian: Jordan Dunbar Full-time comedians: Dr Jason Leung, Njambi McGrath, Esteban Gast Comedy history guru: Aaron Sachs, Professor of History at Cornell University and author of "Stay Cool: Why Dark Comedy Matters in the Fight Against Climate Change"Researcher: Octavia Woodward Producer: Osman Iqbal Series Producer: Simon Watts Sound mix: Tom BrignellEmail us: [email protected]
12/24/202327 minutes, 35 seconds
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Climate review of the year

2023 was the hottest year on record. How did the planet cope? And what has the world actually done to tackle climate change? The BBC’s Graihagh Jackson is joined by a panel of journalists and experts for an annual stocktake of the climate crisis. Under review from the past twelve months are wonky weather patterns, clever energy solutions and tense diplomatic negotiations. Graihagh Jackson: Presenter of The Climate Question Najma Mohamed: Head of Nature Based Solutions at the United Nations Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre Justin Rowlatt: BBC Climate Editor Akshat Rathi: Senior Environment Reporter at Bloomberg News Email us: [email protected] Producer: Nick Holland Researcher: Octavia Woodward Editor: Simon Watts Sound: James Beard, Tom Brignell & Graham Puddifoot
12/22/202349 minutes, 7 seconds
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Was this year's climate summit a game-changer?

The deal at this year's COP conference in Dubai is being hailed as "historic" because it's the first time nearly 200 countries have all acknowledged the role of fossil fuels in Climate Change. But critics says the agreement is riddled with loopholes, and that the pledge to "transition" from oil, gas, and coal is too weak.So who's right? And what difference will this year's discussions make? Graihagh Jackson gets the low-down from COP from BBC Climate Editor Justin Rowlatt, and she talks to three leading experts on Climate Change diplomacy.Guests: Adil Najam - Professor of International Relations, Earth and Environment at Boston University's Pardee School, USA Dr Musonda Mumba – Secretary General for the UN Convention on Wetlands David Victor - Professor of Innovation and Public Policy University of California, San Diego, USA.Email us: [email protected]: Osman Iqbal, Octavia Woodward Editor: Simon Watts Sound mix: Graham Puddifoot and Tom Brignell
12/15/202327 minutes, 35 seconds
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The 100 Women climate debate

As part of the BBC's 100 Women season, Mercy Juma in Nairobi talks to three leading activists from Africa. What are the particular effects of Climate Change on women? Are their voices being heard? And what positive action can be taken?Presenter: Mercy Juma Guests: Dr Susan Chomba, World Resources Institute; Dr Sahondra Kiplagat, Environmental Psychologist and Lecturer at University of Nairobi; Temilade Salami, Founder of the Ecochampions mentorship programme for youth climate leaders across Africa. Producers for 100 Women: Valeria Perasso, Paula Adamo Idoeta Series Producer for The Climate Question: Simon Watts Sound Mix: Neil Churchill and BBC Nairobi Engineers Team
12/7/202323 minutes, 45 seconds
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Should the UAE host a big climate summit?

As the world’s attention turns to this year’s COP summit in the UAE, questions remain about the host country and conference president. It’s not the first time that an oil-producing country has hosted the climate change summit. But some environmental campaigners are unhappy about COP28 being held in the United Arab Emirates, and the choice of conference president, Dr. Sultan Al-Jaber – the CEO of the national oil company, ADNOC. However, supporters say that the country is extremely vulnerable to the effects of climate change, so it has as much of a right to host the conference as anyone else. Meanwhile, Dr Al-Jaber boasts considerable experience working in renewables – having previously run the UAE’s renewable energy company MASDAR. So what’s really going on? To find out more, presenter Graihagh Jackson is joined by: Sam Fenwick, presenter of the BBC World Service programme ‘Business Daily’ Fiona Harvey, Environment editor at The Guardian Zeina Khalil Hajj, Head of Global Campaigning and Organising at 350.org Mia Moisio, climate policy expert at New Climate Institute and Climate Action Tracker Producer: Ben Cooper Researchers: Shorouk Elkobrosi and Octavia Woodward Series Producer: Simon Watts Editor: China Collins Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Production co-ordinators: Jacqui Johnson and Sophie Hill
11/27/202327 minutes, 16 seconds
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Your Climate Questions Answered

Graihagh Jackson and BBC Climate Editor Justin Rowlatt team up with the BBC's Global News Podcast team to answer listeners questions. They cover everything from the big COP summit in Dubai to tree-planting, nuclear fusion and what action to take personally on Climate Change. Presenter: Nick Miles Guests: Climate Question Host Graihagh Jackson and BBC Climate Editor Justin Rowlatt Producers: Osman Iqbal, Stephen Jensen, Phoebe Hopson Series Producer: Simon Watts Editors: China Collins and Karen Martin
11/26/202330 minutes, 52 seconds
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What is COP?

It's the world's biggest - and most controversial - climate conference. But how does it actually work? And does it make a difference? Jordan Dunbar investigates. To help get some simple answers to simple questions, Jordan is joined by climate experts- Dr Mosunda Mumba, Secretary General of the Wetlands Convention Professor David Victor of Innovation and Public Policy University of California, San Diego, USA Adil Najim, Professor of International Relations and Environment at Boston University's Pardee school in the United States. Check out the other explainers in these series including – ‘What Is Climate Change?’ and ‘Why Is 1.5 Degrees Important?’
11/24/202314 minutes, 6 seconds
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Why is 1.5 degrees important?

In his latest Climate Change 101, Jordan Dunbar finds out why 1.5C is the world's target for limiting global warming. Why 1.5 degrees? And what happens if we miss the goal?
11/21/202312 minutes, 31 seconds
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What has COP achieved?

Nearly three decades since the United Nations climate talks began, we take a look at what it has achieved when it comes to tackling climate change. We also look towards COP 28 taking place in Dubai and ask what progress can be made at the latest round of negotiations. It’s the only international negotiation on climate change and a unique opportunity to get agreement on how to best tackle global warming – but it has its critics as well as its fans. Joining Graihagh Jackson and Jordan Dunbar are: Adil Najam - Professor of International Relations, Earth and Environment at Boston University's Pardee School, USA Dr Musonda Mumba – Secretary General for the Convention on Wetlands David Victor - Professor of Innovation and Public Policy University of California, San Diego, USA. Email us: [email protected] Researchers – Barry Sadid and Shorouk Elkobrsi Series Producer – Alex Lewis Editor - China Collins Sound Engineer - Tom Brignell
11/19/202326 minutes, 58 seconds
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Why are climate scientists receiving abuse?

As the world faces up to the increasingly apparent effects of climate change, access to accurate information that helps us to understand what’s going on, why, and what we can do about it, is vital. But in its efforts to do this, the science community is facing a growing amount of abuse from people who do not believe what they’re saying. Anger at the science is leading to threats against the scientists in some cases. In this episode, presenter Jordan Dunbar is joined by BBC Verify’s Merlyn Thomas to find out more and are joined by the following guests: Nihan Kalle, BBC Monitoring, based in Istanbul Helene Muri, research professor in climate change at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Lincoln Alves, climate scientist at the National Institute for Space Research in Brazil. Hannah Ritchie, deputy editor at Our World in Data and a researcher at the University of Oxford, UK. Email us: [email protected] Producer: Ben Cooper Researcher: Octavia Woodward Series producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound engineers: Tom Brignell and James Beard
11/12/202326 minutes, 58 seconds
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Why does it matter that Greenland is melting?

Greenland is an island covered in a sheet of ice that is over 3km thick in places, containing 7.4 metres of average global sea level rise. Due to climate change, it’s melting at an astonishing rate. We meet some of the people being forced to rapidly adapt their traditional ways of life. And find out why ice loss means sea level rises for elsewhere in the world – but the opposite for the island itself Joining presenter Graihagh Jackson are: • Mads Malik Fuglsang Holm, reporter in Greenland • Twila Moon, deputy lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre, University of Colorado, USA Email us : [email protected] Producer: Ben Cooper Series Producers: Simon Watts and Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators: Debbie Richford, Sophie Hill and Jacqui Johnson
11/5/202327 minutes, 27 seconds
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Why did Ecuador vote to stop drilling for oil?

The Yasuni National Park in Ecuador forms part of the Amazon rainforest and is one of the most bio-diverse places on the planet. It also produces 60,000 barrels of oil per day. In a recent referendum, held as part of Ecuador’s Presidential elections, people voted to stop drilling for oil – including the newly elected President Daniel Noboa. We visit the town of El Coca – the gateway to the park - where the result thrilled people who are concerned about the climate. But many, especially those whose livelihoods depend on the oil industry, feel the opposite. Presenter Sophie Eastaugh speaks to: Lisette Arevalo, reporter in Ecuador Alejandra Santillana, activist with Yasunidos group in Ecuador who campaigned for the vote Fernando Santos, Ecuador’s Energy & Mining Minister Tessa Khan, climate lawyer and cofounder of the Climate Litigation Network, UK Navraj Singh Ghaleigh, Senior Lecturer in climate law at Edinburgh University, UK Email us: [email protected] Presenter: Sophie Eastaugh Producer: Greg Brosnan Production co-ordinators: Sophie Hill and Jacqui Johnson Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound mix: Tom Brignell
10/28/202327 minutes, 27 seconds
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How do our listeners stay positive on climate?

This week we hear from listeners about the ways they cope and how they remain positive on climate change. From being involved in a like-minded community, to taking action in everyday ways. Or just knowing that the brightest minds are pushing innovative climate solutions forward every day. In a wave of negative climate news, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain about the future. Climate change is a real threat, and it’s normal to experience worry, but there are reasons to be positive. We hear from a psychologist about how ‘climate anxiety’ is a normal response to the uncertainty around us and from a Libyan climate activist about what motivates her, despite experiencing climate devastation in her own country. Presenters Jordan Dunbar and Graihagh Jackson are joined by; Susan Clayton, Professor of Psychology at The College of Wooster, USA. Nissa Bek ,climate activist and the founder of Project Mulan, Libya With thanks to listeners: Ben, Tim, Sarah, Brian, Michael, Tony, Sean and Solomon Email us: [email protected] Presenters: Graihagh Jackson and Jordan Dunbar Producer: Osman Iqbal Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
10/22/202326 minutes, 54 seconds
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Bill Gates: how I stay positive on climate change

Bill Gates, the tech billionaire turned philanthropist, has been combating poverty, disease, and inequity around the world for decades. However, in recent years he has shifted focus and resources towards the climate crisis. Gates believes fighting climate change and fighting poverty are two sides of the same coin. Food, health and economic crises will last longer and become more severe as climate threats escalate; disproportionately impacting the most vulnerable communities. Surprisingly, Gates remains optimistic and believes the power of human ingenuity will win out with a technology-driven approach in both mitigation and adaptation. Graihagh Jackson sits down with Mr Gates to talk about his positive outlook and the billions he’s investing in tackling climate change. Email us: [email protected] Presenter: Graihagh Jackson Producer: Osman Iqbal Series Producer: Alex Lewis (+ Simon Watts) Editor: China Collins Sound Engineers: James Beard and Graham Puddifoot
10/15/202327 minutes, 33 seconds
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How can we fight drought in the Horn of Africa?

The worst drought in 40 years has left 23 million people at risk of starvation in the Horn of Africa. New research has found that it was 100 times more likely to have happened because of climate change. Food insecurity, conflict and perishing livestock are just a few elements of an ever-worsening crisis, with proactive planning difficult for governments with limited resources and other immediate problems. So what can be done to fight the worst effects of the ongoing crisis? Presenter Sophie Eastaugh hears about climate adaptation strategies pioneered by Maasai people, initiatives to implement Early Warning Systems, and what’s stopping governments acting. Sophie is joined by: Lanoi Meitiekene, a leader within the Maasai community Joyce Kimutai, Principal Meteorologist at Kenya Meteorological Department Yared Abera Deme, Research Analyst with the International Climate Action team, WRI Africa, Ethiopia. Presenter: Sophie Eastaugh Producers: Osman Iqbal and Cesar Vargas Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
10/8/202327 minutes, 7 seconds
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Are disabled people forgotten in climate disaster plans?

About 16 percent of the world’s population is thought to be disabled, but they are still 2 to 4 times more likely to be injured or killed in a natural disaster than those who are not disabled. Emma Tracey, from the BBC’s Access All podcast, investigates for The Climate Question, meeting disabled people who have dealt with extreme weather events first hand. As well as those who are researching and enforcing change, even in the places you’d least expect it Emma is joined by: Sébastien Jodoin, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law of McGill University, Canada Kera Sherwood-O'Regan, an Indigenous and disabled climate justice advocate, New Zealand Gaele Sobott, writer, living in Sydney, Australia Kemi Yemi-Ese, visual artist from Austin Texas, US Setareki Macanawai CEO, Pacific Disability Forum based in Fiji Presenter: Emma Tracey, BBC Access All Producers: Octavia Woodward and Jordan Dunbar Series Producer: Simon Watts Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Nigel Appleton Production Coordinators: Sophie Hill, Jacqui Johnson
10/1/202326 minutes, 58 seconds
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Can tourism ever really be good for the climate?

This week, we’re off to Costa Rica, an eco-tourism hotspot. Eco-tourism is big business - it’s forecasted to generate $103 billion annually by 2027. But how well do its green claims actually stack up when it comes to the climate? Presenter Qasa Alom visits the birthplace of Sea Turtle conservation, goes on patrol with a ranger protecting the forest from loggers and miners, and spots luxury tourist developments in the terrain of the puma. How big is tourism’s climate impact, and can this ever be mitigated by its benefits? Guests: Ralf Buckley, Director of the International Centre for Ecotourism Research, and Research Director of the Climate Response Program at Griffith University, Australia. Stefan Gossling, Professor at the Linnaeus University School of Business and Economics and Lund University's Department of Service Management If you have a question about climate change that you’d like us to answer, or a comment – please email them to [email protected] Presenter: Qasa Alom Producers: Sophie Eastaugh and Jamie Hamilton Researcher: Octavia Woodward Series Producer: Simon Watts Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators: Sophie Hill, Jacqui Johnson
9/24/202326 minutes, 58 seconds
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What should I eat to help fight Climate Change?

The Climate Question receives lots of emails from listeners asking about the impact that the food and drink we consume on a daily basis has on the environment and climate: which foods are most associated with greenhouse gas emissions? Which fruits and vegetables are the most sustainable choices at the supermarket? How would a tax on carbon-intensive imported produce, like beef, work? In this programme, a panel of experts answer your questions to help you see past the product packaging, wherever you are in the world. Presenter Graihagh Jackson is joined by: Dan Saladino, food journalist, author and presenter; Franziska Funke, Associate Doctoral Researcher in environmental economics at the Technical University of Berlin; Dr Ximena Schmidt, sustainability expert at Brunel University, London; If you have a question about climate change that you’d like us to answer, or a comment – please email them to [email protected] Producer: Ben Cooper Researcher: Octavia Woodward Series Producer: Simon Watts Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators: Debbie Richford, Sophie Hill and Sabine Schereck
9/17/202323 minutes, 28 seconds
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Meet the Climate Quitters: Part Two

In this, the second episode in our spin-off series on Climate Quitters, we invite trailblazers from three different continents to reveal the ups and down, highs and lows of their new lives in climate conscious careers. In Mumbai, Namita Dandekar swapped a role marketing stock for one of India's largest - and wealthiest - conglomerates for a front-line position with The RainTree Foundation, an organisation that works with rural communities to introduce climate friendly practices into their everyday lives and livelihoods. In Vihiga County in Kenya, Kevin Makova traded in his job as a schoolteacher to create sustainable employment opportunities for members of the community keen to work in climate and conservation focused jobs. And in Berkeley, California, Eugene Kirpichov said goodbye to a lucrative post developing AI systems for Google to build a new, global workforce that he hopes will be capable of solving the climate crisis conundrum. But is the grass always greener - and cleaner - for climate quitters? What are the realities of life on the other side of that leap? And does putting the planet first come at a personal cost? In this globe-spanning episode, your host, Paul Connolly, probes all three guests for their views and experiences so far - and we go a step further to bring you on-the-ground, in-person reports from the projects based in both India and Kenya. Presenter: Paul Connolly Series Producers: Simon Watts and Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound engineers: James Beard and Tom Brignell Production co-ordinator: Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill
9/10/202326 minutes, 58 seconds
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Going carbon neutral - lessons from Denmark

Bornholm – a Danish island in the Baltic Sea – is trying to go carbon neutral by 2025. It’s a lofty ambition that would put the island decades ahead of most countries. This dream has been 15 years in the making; a crash in fish stocks meant Bornholmers had to reinvent themselves and they chose to become ‘the bright green island’. Since then, they’ve been making biogas from pig manure, building wind turbine after wind turbine, and now they're piloting new ways of storing this renewable energy, including in a battery made of salt. The island isn’t just trying to rid itself of fossil fuels – it's also aiming to go zero waste by 2032. In this week’s episode, Graihagh Jackson teams up with CrowdScience presenter Caroline Steel to explore Bornholm’s double quest to go green.The changes haven't just been at top-level – the island’s businesses and 40,000 residents have been encouraged to reduce their climate impact too. Graihagh visits a brewery whose production has gone carbon neutral by capturing CO2 to create the bubbles in its beers, and meets a chef whose Michelin-star restaurant uses locally-sourced food. And over on CrowdScience, Caroline tackles Bornholm’s zero waste ambition, visiting a project turning used nappies into compost and a glassblower making tableware out of wasted insulin vials. (https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct4y4h) Will Bornholm make its bold goals, and what lessons can be learned for elsewhere? Presenters: Graihagh Jackson and Caroline Steel Producer: Sophie Eastaugh Production Coordinators: Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill Series Producer: Simon Watts Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
9/3/202327 minutes, 27 seconds
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Can live music go green?

The live music industry is booming. With global growth in concerts and festivals, more and more of us are enjoying our favourite bands and artists live. The music industry now relies on touring for money – encouraging more and more bands to travel and fans to see them. This is causing emissions to soar just like the private jets. So what can be done? Jordan Dunbar discovers the problem isn’t coming from who you might think and that this could be a climate opportunity rather than a problem. Guests: Ben Pol, Afrobeats star Prof Carly McLachlan, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research, University of Manchester Jordi Herreruela, Director of the Cruilla Barcelona Festival Luke Howells, Head of Sustainability for Coldplay and Glastonbury Festival Henry Stuart, Co-Founder and CEO of Visualise Producers: Osman Iqbal and Ben Cooper Reporter in Barcelona: Esperanza Escribano Researchers: Octavia Woodward and Isobel Gough Series producer: Simon Watts Editor: China Collins Sound engineers: Tom Brignell Production coordinators: Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill
8/25/202327 minutes, 18 seconds
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Can small islands live with Climate Change?

The Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, has been raising awareness of the impact that climate change is having on small island nations like hers – from the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean, right across to the Pacific Ocean. In addition to facing more extreme weather and temperatures, these islands also have to contend with the threat posed by rising sea levels – which for some islands, is existential. In this episode, Qasa Alom speakers to reporters in Fiji and The Maldives about what small island nations can do to survive. Guests: Dr. Nadya Vinogradova Shiffer, Director of the Ocean Physics program at NASA Dr. Rosanne Martyr-Koller, Coastal Hazards and Adaptation Scientist at Climate Analytics Shahudha Mohamed, on-the-ground reporter in the Maldives Tim Vula, on-the-ground reporter in Fiji Producer: Ben Cooper Researcher: Octavia Woodward Series Producer: Simon Watts Editor: China Collins Sound Engineers: Hal Haines and Rod Farquhar Production Coordinators: Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill
8/20/202323 minutes, 59 seconds
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What is Climate Change?

Jordan Dunbar introduces The Climate Question's guide to the Climate Change basics - with the help of some friends of the show.
8/16/202314 minutes, 57 seconds
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Have we underestimated Climate Change?

A combination of heatwaves across the Northern Hemisphere, unseasonable warmth in parts of South America and Antarctica, and global sea surface temperatures around 0.51°C above the 30-year average, saw July 2023 confirmed as the hottest month ever on Earth. Climate scientists are now poring over the record-breaking data. Professor Jim Skea, the newly-elected chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joins Graihagh Jackson to discuss how worried we should be, and the challenges ahead as he takes up the most important role in global climate science. Producer: Ben Cooper Researcher: Isobel Gough Series Producer: Simon Watts Editor: China Collins Sound Engineers: Graham Puddifoot and Neil Churchill Production Coordinators: Gemma Ashman, Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill
8/9/202326 minutes, 22 seconds
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Should I quit my job to fight climate change?

Have you thought about quitting your job because of climate change? Research shows more and more people are worried about their career’s impact on the planet. So this week The Climate Question hears from four people from around the world who’ve taken the plunge and done it. Luke Jones meets an air steward who's swapped flying for teaching; a restaurant critic who's become a tree-planter; a fossil fuel company engineer who's switching to working in renewables; and a multinational CEO turned sustainable business campaigner. Presenter: Luke Jones Series Producers: Alex Lewis and Simon Watts Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Editor: China Collins
8/6/202327 minutes, 20 seconds
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Can we have a climate-friendly death?

Funeral rites are steeped in culture, tradition and faith, with most of the world opting for cremation or burial. However, with new research now revealing the carbon impact of established funeral choices, more people are questioning their cost to the climate. With alternatives such as ‘water cremation’ and ‘eco-burials’ becoming available, will people start to consider another way? Presenter Jordan Dunbar hears about initiatives in India to modify traditional funeral pyres, calculates the climate cost of the most common choices, and hears from Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughter, Rev. Mpho Tutu van Furth, about her surprise at her father’s final act on earth. Producer: Osman Iqbal Researcher: Octavia Woodward Series Producer: Simon Watts Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators: Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill
7/30/202327 minutes, 3 seconds
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How are Afghans fighting climate change?

Climate change has been tightening its grip on the people of Afghanistan, with flood after flood and drought after drought. It’s considered to be one of the most vulnerable countries in the world, not just because it's warming twice as fast as the global average, but because its people’s ability to fight back has been severely hampered by decades of conflict and war. To add insult to injury, Afghanistan has contributed very little to the climate crisis. Since the Taliban takeover two years ago, financial aid to help locals adapt has drastically dropped, leaving Afghans to take matters into their own hands. Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Barry Sadid hear how the diaspora are helping villages back home to build life-saving dams and protect themselves against flood and drought. And we ask if there’s a way for foreign governments to financially support Afghanistan without legitimising the Taliban. Producers: Jordan Dunbar and Barry Sadid from BBC Monitoring Series Producer: Simon Watts Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators: Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill
7/23/202323 minutes, 43 seconds
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Climate Change and El Nino: Can we handle both?

Scientists say an El Nino weather event has started. Its effects will be felt everywhere in the form of heavier rainfall in some parts of the world and deeper droughts in others. What's the link with Climate Change? And is it making it harder for us to prepare? On this week's edition of The Climate Question, Graihagh gets a briefing on El Nino from a leading expert; we travel to Peru to meet the coastal communities on the front line; and we hear how ancient civilisations not only learned to deal with El Nino, but managed to use it to their advantage. Presenter Graihagh Jackson is joined by: Tom Di Liberto, Meteorologist at the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration in the US Dr George Adamson, Senior Lecturer in Geography, King's College London Dr Laila Shahzad, Disaster Risk expert at Government College, Lahore. Producer: Osman Iqbal BBC reporter in Peru: Guillermo Olmo Research: Octavia Woodward and Matt Toulson Sound: Tom Brignell Series Producer: Simon Watts Editor: China Collins
7/16/202327 minutes, 13 seconds
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What's the cost of fashion to the climate?

The journey from catwalk, to wardrobe, to landfill is getting shorter and shorter. Our demands for fast fashion mean around 100 billion garments are produced every year. We’re buying more, then wearing them less often. Many will end up in the trash. Not only that, there’s been a big growth in clothes being made out of synthetic materials originating from crude oil. In this updated edition, we ask: can fashion cost less to the climate? and how much progress is the industry making? Speaking to Kate Lamble and Sophie Eastaugh are- • Vanessa Friedman, New York Times Fashion Editor • Lily Cole Fashion model, actress and podcast host ‘Who Cares Wins’ • Phillip Meister, Quantis Sustainability Consulting • Claire Bergkamp, Textile Exchange • Sonya Bhonsle, Global Head of Value Chains, CDP. Producers: Jordan Dunbar and Ben Cooper Researcher: Natasha Fernandez Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Emma Rippon
7/9/202326 minutes, 58 seconds
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Is Barbados's climate finance plan a game-changer?

Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, is on a mission to fight climate change through a radical scheme to reform the international financial sytem. With time running out in the battle to keep the world below the 1.5C warming threshold, the Bridgetown Initiative aims to transform global institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank – freeing up billions, maybe even trillions of dollars, for poorer countries that are struggling to cope with the impacts of a hotter planet. Graihagh is joined by the BBC’s Climate Editor, Justin Rowlatt, who interviewed Prime Minister Mottley at a crucial climate finance summit in Paris. We find out more about her plan, how it works and the progress being made. Producers: Ben Cooper and Miho Tanaka Researcher: Octavia Woodward Series Producer: Simon Watts Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators: Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill
7/2/202327 minutes, 5 seconds
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Does climate change mean a future without coffee?

Rising temperatures are leading to lower coffee yields. But there is hope in the shape of a new variety of bean.
6/25/202324 minutes, 24 seconds
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How does war affect the climate?

With the Ukrainian counter-offensive underway, Sophie Eastaugh looks at the climate damage caused by the conflict there and by the recent civil war in Tigray, Ethiopia. Sophie speaks to Lennard de Klerk, a Dutch specialist in carbon accounting, who’s just published the most comprehensive analysis yet of the greenhouse gas emissions caused by the fighting in Ukraine. For her part, an environmental researcher in Kyiv tells The Climate Question her country may have an opportunity to build back greener once the war is over. The programme also hears from farmers in Tigray about how a region once praised internationally for its reforestation efforts is now losing tree cover at an alarming rate. And this edition of The Climate Question looks more broadly at the carbon footprint of militaries around the world, speaking to Professor Neta Crawford, one of the leading experts in the field. Presenter: Sophie Eastaugh Producer: Daniel Gordon Research: Matt Toulson Sound Mix: Tom Brignell Series producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Production coordinators: Sophie Hill, Debbie Richford Contributors: Lennard de Klerk, Carbon Accounting Expert Professor Neta Crawford, Balliol College, Oxford Natalia Gozak, Ukrainian environmentalist Biniam Gidey, Reporter, Tigray, Ethiopia
6/18/202327 minutes, 26 seconds
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What can I do to help climate change?

The Climate Question gets lots of emails from listeners asking what they can do about climate change. Is it morally justifiable to fly for leisure? Which type of fish is most sustainable? And how can I use my career or free time to help the planet? In this programme a panel of experts answer your questions and run through some of the most effective things you can do to make a difference, wherever you are in the world. Presenter Graihagh Jackson is joined by: Alice Brock, Phd researcher at Southampton University who specialises in personal carbon budgets Disha Ravi, climate activist with Fridays for Future India Tambe Honourine Enow, Founder of the Africa Climate and Environment Foundation If you have a question about climate change that you’d like us to answer, or a comment – please email them to [email protected] Producer: Sophie Eastaugh Researcher: Matt Toulson Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators: Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill
6/11/202327 minutes, 5 seconds
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Is climate change ruining your relationship?

How can you have a successful relationship with someone if you believe passionately in climate action, but they don’t? The fate of our planet can be a divisive, emotive, even frightening issue. It’s something that’s tearing more and more couples and families apart, experts have told us. It’s not easy getting past those differences with the ones we love, but it is possible. We speak to a couple, as well as a mother and daughter, to find out how. And we ask whether the way we talk to our loved ones about climate change might offer important lessons on how we discuss the issue more broadly. Presenter Graihagh Jackson is joined by: Daze and Antonia Aghaji, from London Caroline Hickman, researcher at the University of Bath in the UK and psychotherapist Mohini and Sam Pollock, from Campbell, California Producer: Simon Tulett Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Production co-ordinators: Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill
6/4/202327 minutes, 18 seconds
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Why are women more affected by climate change?

The impacts of climate change are already being felt around the world. Research shows that some groups are disproportionately affected. Women already face many socioeconomic, cultural, and political inequities, with those living in areas heavily impacted by natural disasters related to climate change, such as floods, drought, and coastal erosion, enduring even worse outcomes. So what can be done to address this? Presenter Sophie Eastaugh is joined by: Dr. Mayesha Alam, Vice President of Research at FP Analytics, senior fellow at the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research, and professor at Johns Hopkins University Verania Chao, Programme Specialist in Climate Change, Gender Equality and Inclusion at UNDP Sahar Habib Ghazi, on-the-ground reporter in Sindh province, Pakistan Producers: Ben Cooper and Matt Toulson Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators: Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill
5/28/202327 minutes, 23 seconds
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Is lab-grown meat better for the planet?

Billions of dollars have been pumped into the promise of a climate-friendly way of producing meat, but is growing a steak in a lab any better for the planet than rearing a cow on a farm? Supporters of the idea say it will dramatically reduce the impact of livestock, which is responsible for about 15% of the world’s planet-warming gases, as well as returning huge amounts of land to nature. But studies suggest cultivating meat in a lab might actually be worse for the planet, at least in the long-run – we put both claims to the test. Plus, ten years on from the unveiling of the world’s first lab-grown meat, we ask why it’s still only available to buy at one restaurant in Singapore, and only on Thursdays. Presenter Graihagh Jackson is joined by: Tasneem Karodia, co-founder of Mzansi Meat, in South Africa; John Lynch, postdoctoral research associate at the University of Oxford, in the UK; Nick Marsh, the BBC’s Asia business correspondent, in Singapore Producer: Simon Tulett Researcher: Matt Toulson Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators: Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill
5/21/202327 minutes, 28 seconds
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Can we trust Google’s carbon footprint calculations?

If you are planning a trip, but you want to check the climate impact before choosing how to get there, then beware. Google has been seriously underestimating the carbon footprint of plane flights, and overestimating that of some train journeys. And its calculations don’t just appear in its search results, but also feed the sites of more and more online booking companies, like Skyscanner and Booking.com. To be fair, carbon footprints are actually very hard to get right, as the BBC’s Climate Editor, Justin Rowlatt, discovers on his own trip to Rotterdam. On the way out, he takes the Eurostar high-speed train, whose carbon emissions depend on the weather over the North Sea that day. On the way back he catches a plane, whose climate impact… also depends on the day’s weather conditions over the North Sea. So what is Google doing to fix its methodology and can we trust carbon footprint calculations at all? And do passengers even really care that much about the environmental impact of their journey, or should they be made to pay for it directly? Presenter Justin Rowlatt is joined by: Doug Parr, chief scientist and policy director at Greenpeace UK Dr Feijia Yin, assistant professor for the climate effects of aviation at Delft University of Technology Andrew Murphy, head of sustainability at Eurostar Sola Zheng, aviation researcher at the International Council on Clean Transportation Email us: [email protected] Producer: Laurence Knight Production Coordinators: Sophie Hill and Debbie Richford Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
5/14/202327 minutes, 25 seconds
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Why are 15-minute cities so unpopular?

The idea of cities where everything you need on a daily basis can be reached within a quarter of an hour by foot or bike has grown in popularity in recent years, as local authorities adopt more sustainable approaches to urban planning. In theory, by having work, shopping, education, healthcare, and leisure all within a short distance could reduce dependency on cars, improving personal health and lowering carbon emissions. But the idea of adapting cities in this way hasn’t been universally-welcomed. Presenter Graihagh Jackson is joined by: Jay Pitter, author and urban planner Mark Watts, Executive Director at C40 Cities Gian Carlo Vega, on-the-ground reporter in Bogotá, Colombia, who was joined by Vanessa Velasco, Urban Development Specialist at the World Bank Producer: Ben Cooper Researchers: Matt Toulson, Bethan Ashmead-Latham and Pierre-Antoine Denis Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators: Siobhan Reed, Debbie Richford and Sophie Hill
5/7/202327 minutes, 24 seconds
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Is there a greener way to rank successful economies?

Many blame our obsession with economic growth as being one of the biggest drivers of climate change. The United Nations is currently looking at options for what might replace Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the world’s primary go-to indicator of success, taking into account factors including sustainability and the natural environment. If this happens, it would be the biggest shift in how economies are measured since nations first started using GDP in 1953, 70 years ago. Presenter Graihagh Jackson is joined by: Ehsan Masood, author, science journalist and an editor at the journal, Nature; Diane Coyle, economist and Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge; Adil Najam, Dean Emeritus and Professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University; Fouty-Boulanga Mouleka, on-the-ground reporter in Gabon Producer: Ben Cooper Researchers: Matt Toulson, Pierre-Antoine Denis and Bethan Ashmead-Latham Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators: Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill
4/30/202327 minutes, 23 seconds
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How renewable are renewables?

Wind and solar power will play a crucial role in curbing climate change, but what happens to all the worn-out turbines and photovoltaic panels once they are past their best? Most wind turbine blades are almost impossible to recycle, and solar panels are very expensive to disassemble, but efforts are under way to prevent a possible renewable waste mountain. Presenter Graihagh Jackson hears how old wind turbine blades are being turned into everything from bridges to flowerbeds, and we visit one of the world’s only solar panel recycling facilities. Plus – what’s the carbon footprint of a wind turbine or a solar panel in the first place? Plus we hear from listeners Prateek, Alex and Elle. Let us know what you think about the show – email [email protected] Contributors: Paul Leahy, lecturer in wind energy at University College Cork, Republic of Ireland, and principal investigator at Re-Wind; Ute Collier, deputy director of the Knowledge, Policy and Finance Centre at the International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi; Guy Chichignoud, chief technology officer, ROSI, France; Vivian Jia Tong Li, campaigner for Greenpeace East Asia, Beijing. Producer: Simon Tulett Researchers: Matt Toulson and Pierre-Antoine Denis Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Simon Watts Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinators - Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill
4/23/202327 minutes, 26 seconds
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Could solar farms in space power Earth?

It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but the idea of assembling giant solar farms in space and then beaming the renewable energy back down to Earth is gaining real life traction. Some advocates have claimed it could supply all the world’s energy needs by 2050. But how would these solar farms be assembled, how much fuel and money would it take to blast them into space in the first place, and how would we safely beam their energy back to Earth? Sophie Eastaugh and Luke Jones speak to Sanjay Vijendran, in charge of space-based solar at the European Space Agency, learn about the history of the idea from Rick Tumlinson, founder of SpaceFund, and hear words of caution from Dr Jovana Radulovic, head of mechanical and design engineering at Portsmouth University in the UK. Plus, French astronaut Thomas Pesquet describes life on the International Space Station and how it’s powered. Thanks to the Space Studies Institute for extracts of their interview with Gerard O’Neill. Let us know what you think about the show – email [email protected] Producer: Simon Tulett Researchers: Matt Toulson and Graihagh Jackson Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Production Coordinator - Siobhan Reed
4/14/202326 minutes, 56 seconds
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How did we discover climate change?

In 1856, an American woman called Eunice Newton Foote discovered that higher levels of carbon dioxide would warm the planet. But credit for discovering climate change was given to someone else who made the same discovery three years later. We celebrate Foote’s role in early climate science by recreating her little-known experiment and asking if there are some voices that continue to be overlooked in climate science today – and how we overcome these climate blind spots? Presenter Graihagh Jackson is joined by: Dr Alice Bell, Head of Climate and Health Policy at Wellcome and author of ‘Our Biggest Experiment – An Epic History of the Climate Crisis’ Professor Regina Rodrigues, Professor of Physical Oceanography and Climate at the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Florianopolis, Brazil. Professor Andrea Sella, Professor of Chemistry at University College London. Producer: Louise Parry Researcher: Louise Byrne Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Vadon Sound Engineer: Graham Puddifoot Email us: [email protected]
4/9/202327 minutes, 49 seconds
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Can green start-ups lead the way in Africa?

With rolling blackouts and huge waste disposal issues a regular occurrence in large parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, we look at how green tech start-ups offer smart, climate-friendly ways to solve the issues holding the region back. In Malawi, our repórter Peter Jengwa meets Admore Chiumia, whose company Green Impact Technologies turns waste into energy. In Zimbabwe, the BBC’s Shingai Nyoka visits AI entrepreneur Leroy Nyangani who’s come up with a way of making solar energy more financially accessible, while also solving a big problem of energy access in the country where, almost 70% are not connected to the grid and blackouts are the norm. Audrey-Cynthia Yamadjako from the African Development Bank outlines a new scheme designed to support green SMEs on the continent. Presenter Luke Jones is joined by the BBC’s Karnie Sharp who was raised in South Africa. They discuss how, with proper support, green solutions to everyday problems may unlock Africa’s economic and human potential. Producer: Ivana Davidovic Researcher: Matt Toulson Series producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Vadon Sound: Tom Brignell
4/2/202327 minutes, 20 seconds
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Are South Africa’s blackouts a green turning point?

Worsening energy blackouts are crippling South Africa. They’re being caused in part by an over-reliance on ageing coal-fired power stations which can’t produce enough electricity. The government has an ambitious plan to rapidly build up solar and wind power by opening up the grid to private providers. But it’s facing opposition from the coal lobby. Will this electricity crisis be the thing that finally pushes South Africa to implement its climate plan? And can it be implemented in a way that treats all South Africans equally, and doesn’t unfairly benefit a rich minority? Presenters Sophie Eastaugh and Luke Jones are joined by: Dr Nthabiseng Mohlakoana, expert in South Africa’s Just Energy transition, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands Steve Nicholls, Head of Mitigation at the Presidential Climate Commission, South Africa’s Elna Schutz, freelance journalist who spoke to businesses in and around Johannesburg Email us: [email protected] Producer: Laurence Knight Researcher: Matt Toulson Production Coordinators: Sophie Hill and Siobhan Reed Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Vadon Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
3/26/202327 minutes, 23 seconds
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Can artificial intelligence help farmers adapt to the effects of climate change?

The effects of climate change on weather patterns around the world, including seasonal temperatures and rainfalls, are being felt keenly in agriculture – with shifting seasons and varying yields undermining years of habit-formed knowledge and process. Technology experts are helping farmers, including in some of the world’s poorest regions, adapt to the new food production landscape through the use of artificial intelligence, or AI, and machine learning. Presenters Sophie Eastaugh and Luke Jones are joined by: Ranveer Chandra, Managing Director for Research for Industry and the CTO of Agri-Food at Microsoft Himanshu Gupta, Co-founder and CEO of ClimateAI Dr Claudia Ringler, Deputy Director of Environment and Production Technology Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute Email us: [email protected] Producer: Ben Cooper Researchers: Matt Toulson and Laura Cain Production co-ordinator: Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Engineer: James Beard
3/19/202326 minutes, 59 seconds
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Can investors change an oil company from within?

Some oil and gas giants are being pushed by shareholders to adopt more climate friendly strategies. An environmental law charity is suing the directors of a global oil company, arguing their climate strategy is not adequate to meet current targets, supported by other shareholders. Elsewhere, a group of investors in another fossil fuel giant, recently unseated multiple board members in an effort to force a change of direction. How effective is this form of activism? Presenter Paul Connolly is joined by: Chris James, Founder and Chief Investment Officer at Engine No.1, US Camila Domonoske, NPR journalist, US Tariq Fancy, former Global Chief Investment officer for Sustainable Investing at BlackRock, Canada Email us: [email protected] Producers: Ben Cooper and Mora Morrison Researcher: Matt Toulson Production Coordinator: Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: James Beard and Rod Farquhar
3/13/202327 minutes, 39 seconds
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How can we prevent the spread of disease in a warming world?

Our warming world is changing the geographical distribution of several animal species. Mosquitoes have been able to colonise new regions, places where they haven’t been found before including Afghanistan and countries in Europe. According to the World Health Organisation, dengue fever is the most critical mosquito-borne viral disease in the world. Globally there’s been a 30-fold increase in infections in the last 50 years. But is there a way to prevent the spread of the disease? Presenter Paul Conolly is joined by: Valdya Baraputri, reporter, BBC News Indonesia in Jakarta Dr. Dewi Iriani, Paediatrician at Koja Hospital, Jakarta Dr Nyla, Vice Director of Koja Regional Hospital, Jakarta Dr. Imran Pambudi, Director of Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control, Health Ministry of Indonesia Manisha Kulkarni, Associate Professor University of Ottawa in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health Felipe Colon Gonzalez, Technology Lead The Wellcome Trust, London Email us: [email protected] Producer: Ivana Davidovic Researcher: Matt Toulson Production Co-ordinators: Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Rod Farquhar
3/5/202327 minutes, 31 seconds
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Can the ski industry survive climate change?

Record-breaking temperatures in the Alps in Europe have led to a disappointing ski season so far. Some slopes have been more brown than white, while others have been forced to close all together. Many worry this is a bad omen for the whole industry – which employs thousands globally. This is part of a wider trend of unpredictable weather. Some ski resorts are trying to adapt, by making artificial snow for example, but these short-term measures aren’t always sustainable. It’s predicted that the Alps will have 25% less snow by 2050, whereas resorts in Arctic Sweden are forecast to stay colder for longer. Could the northern country become skiing’s last resort, or will the industry have to fundamentally change to survive? Presenter Graihagh Jackson is joined by: Anna Richards, freelance journalist Linda Lundmark, associate professor at Department of Geography at Umea University Mathias Vuille, professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University of Albany Rob Stewart, writer and PR Director for Ski Press With thanks to additional research by Harald Rice, University of Surrey. Email us: [email protected] Producers: Ben Cooper and Mora Morrison Researcher: Matt Toulson Production Coordinator: Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill Series Producer: Ros Jones Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
2/26/202327 minutes, 32 seconds
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Can natural gas ever be green?

Natural gas is often seen as an environmentally friendly alternative to coal, yet it’s a fossil fuel and gives off climate warming emissions when burned. On the internet there are many adverts suggesting that natural gas is a clean and green way to reduce emissions. We investigate whether these adverts mislead the public as to whether gas is really ‘green.’ Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Marco Silva are joined by: Pep Canadell, Executive Director of the Global Carbon Project & Chief Research Scientist at CSIRO Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science and affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University Former Senator, Mary Landrieu, co-chair of ‘Natural Allies for a Clean Energy Future’ Email us: [email protected] Producers: Frances Read and Marco Silva Researchers: Natasha Fernandes and Matt Toulson Production Coordinator: Siobhan Reed Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
2/20/202327 minutes, 36 seconds
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How can oceans help us capture carbon?

The ocean covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface and can hold more than 150 times the amount of carbon dioxide as air. Around a quarter of CO2 emissions created by human activity each year is absorbed by them. From phytoplankton to whales to seagrass meadows, we explore how this happens. And in climate news, we hear about the wildfires and drought affecting Chile. Hosts Jordan Dunbar and Kate Lamble speak with: Rita Steyn, Contributing Editor at The Marine Diaries and lecturer at University of Tampa, Florida Michael Yap is a Marine Biologist and Founder of Seagrass Guardians, Malaysia Dr. Haimanti Biswas, Principal Scientist of Biological Oceanography at CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, India Dr. Annette Scheffer, Marine Biologist and Lecturer, speaking with us from Antarctica John Kirkwood, Marine Biologist and Expedition Leader speaking with us from Antarctica Alex Godoy Faundez, Director of the Sustainability Research Centre, Universidad of Desarrollo in Chile This programme was first broadcast in May 2022 Researcher: Immie Rhodes Reporter: Mark Stratton Producers: Dearbhail Starr and Sophie Eastaugh Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell and Neil Churchill Production coordinator: Siobhan Reed
2/12/202328 minutes, 8 seconds
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How is India doing in the fight against climate change?

India has made a lot of climate pledges in the last couple of years. They’ve had mixed reviews. Some have applauded the country’s ambition – including committing to a net zero target - while others argue it’s still too reliant on coal, the dirtiest of fossil fuels. India is already facing the brutal impacts of a warming planet and, with a population of around 1.4 billion, its energy demand is huge – and growing. But there are reasons to be optimistic. We travel to a rural area near Mumbai to hear about the benefits of solar energy and get a temperature check from BBC Marathi’s Janhavee Moole on what people are discussing locally. We also speak to two experts to better understand how we can rate India’s commitments compared with other countries as well as the barriers it could face as it transitions to a greener economy. Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Janhavee Moole are joined by: Dr Nandini Das, an Energy Research and Policy Analyst at Climate Analytics Harjeet Singh from The Climate Action Network based in Delhi Email us: [email protected] Producers: Mora Morrison, Sophie Eastaugh and Ivana Davidovic Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Production Coordinator: Siobhan Reed Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
2/5/202327 minutes, 24 seconds
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Why are we still subsidising fossil fuels?

In 2009, the G20 countries pledged to phase out 'inefficient' fossil fuel subsidies, which have long been seen as an obstacle to fighting climate change. But today, subsidies for oil and gas producers are at record levels -- $64 billion in 2021. It’s not just to do with the war in Ukraine. Despite its image as a leader on climate change, the UK is listed as one of the worst offenders for government support to oil and gas producers because of its generous tax relief. We hear from the centre of the UK’s oil and gas industry in Aberdeen, Scotland, about the difficult balance between energy security, jobs and climate change. Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Luke Jones are joined by: Ipek Gensu, Senior Research Fellow at Overseas Development Institute Lord Deben, Chairman of the UK’s independent Climate Change Committee and former Secretary of State for the Environment from 1993-97 Kevin Keane, BBC Scotland’s Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs correspondent – at Aberdeen port Fran Bell, Fiscal and Investor Relations Manager at Offshore Energy UK Email us: [email protected] Producer: Sophie Eastaugh Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Production Co-ordinators: Helena Warwick Cross and Siobhan Reed Archive: The Obama White House
1/29/202327 minutes
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Why isn’t the world heating equally?

The Arctic is warming four times faster than the global average temperature. Ice caps are melting which are forcing the indigenous Innuit community living around the Northwest passage to change their way of life. Polar bears and wildlife are losing their habitats and the ability to hunt. Further south, Middle Eastern countries are facing temperatures above 50 Celsius more regularly. We speak to people living in these rapidly warming parts of the world and find out why their countries are warming faster than others. We also find out why the change to an El Niño weather pattern later this year might make things even hotter in some parts of the world. Presenters Sophie Eastaugh and Luke Jones are joined by: Carlo Buontempo, from Copernicus, the European Union’s Earth Observation Programme Kenzie Azmi, Greenpeace Middle East Campaigner Essa Ramadan, Meteorologist and Weatherman in Kuwait Reporter: Mark Stratton in the Arctic Plus an interview with Dr Wenju Cai from Southern Hemisphere Oceans Research and Ben Rich from the BBC Weather Centre Email us: [email protected] Production Team: Producer: Natasha Fernandes Production coordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross and Siobhan Reed Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Emma Rippon Sound Engineer: Neil Churchill
1/22/202327 minutes, 38 seconds
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How do we stay cool in a warming world?

Heatwaves are already the most deadly of climate risks. If we don’t keep climate change in check, we’ll experience more of them, reaching even higher temperatures. Already we need cooling to keep our homes, hospitals and workplaces comfortable, our vaccines stable and our food nutritious. As the planet warms up we’ll have even greater need. Currently the cooling industry is incredibly polluting – it accounts for around 10% of global CO2 emissions. And the demand for it is only going to increase. An International Energy Agency report said that the amount of air conditioners will grow by 5.6 billion by 2050, up from 1.6 billion today – which amounts to 10 new ACs sold every second for the next 30 years. So how can we cool our warming world sustainably? This episode looks at the biggest problems with cooling, the rapid rise in air conditioners and the surprisingly simple ways we can keep things cool without using any energy at all. Presenters Luke Jones and Graihagh Jackson are joined by: Zerin Osho, International Climate Law and Policy at Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development Karim Elgendy, Associate Fellow at Chatham House and Associate Director at engineering consultancy firm Buro Happold Chhavi Sachdev, Journalist, India Email us: [email protected] Producer: Lily Freeston Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Production Coordinators: Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
1/15/202327 minutes, 17 seconds
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Can renewables be used for heating?

Half of all the energy we use globally goes on heating and cooling. We need heating for all sorts of things; from keeping our homes warm to industry which needs super high temperatures. At the moment, the heat we use is mostly powered by polluting fossil fuels, a huge driver of climate change. But can renewables deliver the high temperatures and a constant supply which are so vital? In this episode we visit the world's first commercial-scale sand battery in Finland and find out how it’s using renewables to heat 100 homes and a public swimming pool. Presenters Luke Jones and Graihagh Jackson are joined by: Erika Benke, Journalist, Finland Professor Amin Al-Habaibeh, Professor of Intelligent Engineering Systems, Nottingham Trent University Professor Dan Gladwin, Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield And BBC Brasil journalist Nathalia Passarinho on the swearing in of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as President and his climate promises. Email us: [email protected] Producer: Lily Freeston Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Production Coordinators: Siobhan Reed and Helena Warwick-Cross Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Bridget Harney Sound Engineers: Tom Brignell and Graham Puddifoot
1/8/202327 minutes, 19 seconds
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Can we reduce lives lost from extreme weather?

Extreme weather is becoming even more extreme thanks to climate change. Countless lives are claimed by heatwaves, cold snaps, cyclones, droughts and torrential rains every year around the world. Climate change threatens to make things worse. But the United Nations is spearheading new action to make sure every person on Earth is protected by early warning systems within the next five years. It’s hoped that this could dramatically reduce the numbers of deaths caused by extreme weather. Presenters Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson were joined by: Laura Paterson, from the World Meteorological Organization Ilan Kelman, Professor of Disasters and Health at the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction at University College, London, UK and University of Agder, in Kristiansand, Norway. Hasin Jahan, the Director of WaterAid in Banglasdesh Reporter: BBC’s Nicolas Négoce in Senegal Email us: [email protected] Production Team Producer: Claire Bowes Production coordinators: Helena Warick-Cross and Siobhan Reed Series producers: Jordan Dunbar & Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton Smith Sound Engineer: James Beard
1/2/202327 minutes, 46 seconds
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How to speak to a climate denier

From climate sceptic to climate campaigner, Sarah Ott grew up in the US surrounded by doubters, listening to out-right deniers. This is the story of what changed her mind. We also hear people’s questions about climate change from Kenya where there’s major drought and we speak to BBC Disinformation reporter Marco Silva on dealing with climate misinformation. Presenter Neal Razzell is joined by: Sarah Ott, teacher and former sceptic Marco Silva, BBC Climate Disinformation Reporter Michael Kaloki, journalist in Kenya With thanks also to Sander van der Linden, Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Cambridge, UK Email us: [email protected] Producer: Mora Morrison Researcher: Richard Tisdale Production Coordinator: Siobhan Reed & Sophie Hill Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Bridget Harney Sound engineer: Graham Puddifoot
12/26/202227 minutes, 47 seconds
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Was the 2022 World Cup as green as it seemed?

Back in 2010, FIFA announced that the tiny country of Qatar would host the 2022 World Cup. It would be the first Middle Eastern country to do so. The tournament has seen thousands of fans travel to see it, with millions tuning in around the world. But it hasn’t been without controversy. The event’s organisers claimed that it would be the first fully carbon-neutral World Cup. A big new solar park was built, fleets of electric buses were released onto the roads and climate-friendly projects were set up to offset emissions. Some say that organisers are trying to do the right thing. But others are critical, arguing that emissions have been underestimated and that the carbon-neutral claim is misleading. This episode dives into the debate and asks if the 2022 World Cup was really as green as it seemed. Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Luke Jones are joined by: Rumaitha Al Busaidi, Omani football pundit and climate change activist Khaled Diab, Communications Director at not-for-profit Carbon Market Watch Zach Banzon, goalkeeper for Kaya FC in the Philippines and “Team Player” for We Play Green Peter Ball, Journalist, BBC World Service Josephine Moulds, Reporter at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism Producers: Lilly Freeston and Sophie Eastaugh Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Production Coordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross and Siobhan Reed Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
12/18/202227 minutes, 19 seconds
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How much does biodiversity matter to climate change?

The ecosystems of the land and ocean absorb around half our planet warming emissions. But these are being destroyed by human activity. At the same time, climate change is a primary driver of the destruction of these habitats and biodiversity loss. If biodiversity is our strongest natural defence against climate change (as it’s been described), what’s stopping us from doing more to protect it? As the big global biodiversity conference (COP15) gets underway in Montreal, Canada, presenters Sophie Eastaugh and Luke Jones are joined by a panel, including Victoria Gill, BBC science correspondent at COP15 in Montreal; Felipe Zapata, a Colombian botanist at UCLA; Marcela Fernandez from conservation NGO Cumbres Blancas; Akanksha Khatri, Head of Nature Action Agenda at the World Economic Forum Email us: [email protected]. Researcher: Frances Read Producer: Georgia Coan Editor: Bridget Harney
12/11/202227 minutes, 51 seconds
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Are meat substitutes as green as we think?

What we eat has a massive impact on global warming. Meat and dairy are among the biggest drivers of the climate crisis - creating more planet-warming emissions than all the cars in the world. As we all try to reduce our carbon footprints, it’s not surprising that the global market for meat alternatives that come from soy or pea protein is growing at a huge rate. In fact it’s estimated that by the end of the decade it will be worth nearly 20 times what it was in 2018. But are these meat substitutes as good for the planet as we’d like to think? Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Simon Maybin are joined by: Reporter: Paul Furley BBC Radio Gloucestershire Dale Vince, Chair of Forest Green Rovers, UK Gustavo Guadagnini, Director of the Good Food Institute in Brazil Dr Ximena Schmidt, Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Brunel University, UK Nick Jacobs, Director of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems Email us: [email protected] Producer: Georgia Coan Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Production Coordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross and Siobhan Reed Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
12/4/202227 minutes, 32 seconds
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Did ‘Africa’s COP’ deliver for Africa?

At the start of COP 27 Egyptian President Fattah al-Sisi told the world that it was vital that African countries receive "appropriate support and funding according to the principle of shared responsibilities and burdens”. For years the richest nations have been accused of failing to meet their $100 billion-a-year pledge for funding. It turn out this doesn’t even scratch the surface - a recent report puts the estimated figure for all of Africa’s climate needs closer to $2.8 trillion dollars. The Climate Question looks at whether COP 27 made a difference to the money flowing and asks how African countries will get what they need to protect themselves from climate change. Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell are joined by: Peter Okweche from the BBC’s Focus on Africa Gyude Moore, former Liberian government minister, now Senior Policy Fellow for the Centre for Global Development in Washington Ayaan Adam, Senior Director at The Africa Finance Corporation Mxolisi Kaunda, Mayor of Durban Yvonne Denise Aki-Sawyerr, Mayor of Freetown The Climate Question’s Jordan Dunbar at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh Email us: [email protected] Producers: Georgia Coan and Sophie Eastaugh Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Production Coordinators: Siobhan Reed and Helena Warwick-Cross Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton Smith Sound Engineer: Graham Puddifoot
11/28/202227 minutes, 14 seconds
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What does climate change mean for Egypt?

The world has been in Egypt for COP27, the UN’s big climate talks. It’s a country that’s already feeling the acute effects of climate change – temperatures have risen by two degrees since last century, damaging farming and driving up food prices. Tensions are rising, but many are concerned that restrictions on the right to protest and freedom of expression mean that climate change is not getting the attention it deserves and preventing Egypt from adapting. The Climate Question hears how global warming is affecting Egypt – and whether the government is listening. Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell are joined by: Amr Magdi, Senior Researcher, Middle East & North Africa Division at Human Rights Watch BBC Arabic’s Sally Nabil Glada Lahn, Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House think tank The Climate Question’s Jordan Dunbar at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh Email us: [email protected] Producers: Lily Freeston and Sophie Eastaugh Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Production Coordinators: Siobhan Reed and Helena Warwick-Cross Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton Smith Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
11/20/202227 minutes, 20 seconds
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COP27: Are countries keeping to their climate pledges?

Last year at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, countries made big promises to tackle climate change – by curbing their greenhouse gas emissions and reducing deforestation. But as this year’s COP27 continues in Egypt, we ask whether countries are keeping to their word. Presenters Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson are joined by a host of guests at COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh: The Climate Question’s Jordan Dunbar; Esme Stallard, BBC Climate and Science journalist; Joe Curtin, managing director, power and climate at the Rockefeller Foundation; Carlos Nobre, Earth System scientist from National Academy of Sciences, Brazil; Suranjali Tandon, assistant professor at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi; Dr Frances Colon, former American science diplomat; Jennifer Morgan, German climate envoy; Belinda Margono, Directorate General of Forestry Planning, Indonesian government. Email us: [email protected] Presenters: Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Producers: Sophie Eastaugh and Georgia Coan
11/13/202236 minutes, 59 seconds
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What role is overpopulation playing in the climate crisis?

If there were fewer of us, would the amount of greenhouse gasses we emit reduce? It’s a question that often creeps up in discussions about climate change. Studies show that the global population will decline eventually and populations in many rich nations are already declining. However, 11,000 scientists signed a paper warning of “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless society transforms, including the reversal of population growth. But an analysis by the United Nations found that affluence has a greater impact on the climate than population. When we talk about overpopulation, what are we really saying and where does the conversation go from here? This episode was first broadcast on 13th December 2021. Presenters Neal Razzell and Kate Lamble are joined by: Nyovani Madise, head of the Malawi office of the African Institute for Development Policy. Anu Ramaswami, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Princeton. Arvind Ravikumar, professor in energy transition and climate policy at the University of Texas. Producer: Darin Graham Reporter: Rajesh Joshi Series producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Production coordinator: Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill
11/6/202227 minutes, 24 seconds
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How green is green finance?

We’ve been told that big finance is crucial to the transition to net zero, and billions of dollars are invested in so-called sustainable finance every year. But the BBC’s Climate Editor Justin Rowlatt, together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, have been looking into a new green finance product and found that not all is quite as it seems. Their investigation has found an example of sustainable finance backed by the multi-national bank HSBC being used to help extract a vast new reserve of fossil fuels in Brazil. And it's not the only one. Some question how this can happen, while others defend it. Presenters Justin Rowlatt and Graihagh Jackson are joined by: Tariq Fancy, former Global Chief Investment officer for Sustainable Investing at BlackRock Caroline Harrison, Head of Market Intelligence Research at Climate Bonds Initiative Ulf Erlandsson, Chief Executive at the Anthropocene Fixed Income Institute Julia Carneiro, journalist based in Brazil Email us: [email protected] Producers: Sophie Eastaugh and Miho Tanaka Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editors: Bridget Harney and Richard Fenton-Smith Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Production coordinators: Siobhan Reed and Helena Warwick-Cross
10/30/202227 minutes, 19 seconds
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What should Africa do with its fossil fuel reserves?

Africa accounts for around 10 per cent of the world's known fossil-fuel reserves. But plans to build an oil pipeline through East Africa to transport hundreds of thousands of barrels a day have been condemned by the European Union. The pipeline, which runs from the source in Uganda to the Tanzanian coast, will generate billions of dollars a year. But critics say it will release tens of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In this programme we hear from the people involved in the fight over the East African Crude Oil Pipeline, and find out if they think it will go ahead. Presenters Dickens Olewe and Graihagh Jackson are joined by Faten Aggad, Senior Advisor on Climate Diplomacy and Geopolitics at the African Climate Foundation Tony Tiyou, Founder and CEO of Renewables in Africa Brian, climate campaigner Email us: [email protected] Reporter: Aboubakar Famau, BBC Swahili Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Producer: Lily Freeston Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Clare Fordham Production Coordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross, Siobhan Reed Sound Engineer: Tom Brignall
10/23/202227 minutes, 43 seconds
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Are prizes the best solution for climate change?

We know many of the obstacles in the way of a creating a cleaner planet - making cement green, decarbonising electricity or creating affordable clean transport. But how do we get the experts the funding they need to bring these solutions to the world? Many people see innovation prizes as the answer - from Prince William’s ‘Earthshot’ to Elon Musk’s ‘X-Prize’ there are hundreds of millions of dollars up for grabs. Is this the best way to find solutions to the climate crisis? Who really wins from these prizes, companies or the climate? Joining presenters Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson are – Marcius Extavour, Chief Scientist and Vice President for Energy and Climate at the XPrize foundation Robert Burrell, Professor of Intellectual Property and Information Technology Law Zorina Khan, Professor of Economics at Bowdoin College and Author of Inventing Ideas Vidyut Mohan, Co-Founder of Takachar Plus an interview with Hannah Ritchie from Our World In Data, on plans put forward by the New Zealand Government to tax cow burps. Email us: [email protected] Producer: Jo Casserly Reporter: Partha Prasad Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Series Producer: Jordan Dunbar Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Production coordinators: Siobhan Reed and Helena Warwick-Cross
10/16/202227 minutes, 43 seconds
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Can climate protests make a difference?

As pandemic restrictions ease in many places, street protests are starting up again. But what happens when the public takes climate action into their own hands, from sticking themselves to diggers to bunking off school? Mass protests and demonstrations can be an effective way to gain media attention but do they lead to lasting change? Kate Lamble and Neal Razzell are joined by: Disha Ravi, climate activist, India Dan Hooper, (Swampy), climate activist, UK Mel, member of Scientist Rebellion, Mexico Dana R. Fisher, Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, USA Ruud Wouters, researcher Media, Movements & Politics, University of Antwerp, Belgium Contact us: [email protected] Team: Reporter: Imran Qureshi, India Producer: Lizzy McNeill Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Series Producer: Alex Lewis Production Co-ordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross, Siobhan Reed Sound engineer: Tom Brignall
10/9/202227 minutes, 27 seconds
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What can we do with nuclear waste?

The race to reduce emissions has more and more nations reaching for the nuclear option. Nuclear power plants are being built around the world, generating carbon-free electricity day and night, windy or calm. But they also generate radioactive waste, some of which can remain deadly for thousands of years. Thousands of tonnes of nuclear waste currently sit in “temporary” sites, some decades old. This has been fuel to critics who have described nuclear power as a scourge for future generations. No country yet has a permanent solution to the problem. Now, almost 70 years after the first nuclear plant, Finland is set to change that. Engineers have been creating a giant cavern they say will become the world’s first permanent nuclear waste disposal site. Can it silence the critics or are we just passing on the problem to future generations? Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell spoke to: Professor Michael Bluck, director of the Centre for Nuclear Engineering at Imperial College, London. Dr Leslie Dewan Nuclear Engineer, CEO and co-founder of Radiant Nano Nuclear Security Company. Shaun Burnie Nuclear specialist with Greenpeace East Asia Reporter: Ilpo Salonen, Finland Producer: Lizzy McNeill, Jordan Dunbar Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Series Producer: Alex Lewis Production Co-ordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross, Siobhan Reed Sound engineer: Tom Brignall
10/2/202227 minutes, 35 seconds
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How much can flooding in Pakistan be blamed on climate change?

Floods in Pakistan have destroyed or damaged millions of homes, schools and businesses. So far nearly 1500 people have died and 33 million have been affected. With Pakistan contributing less than 1% to global CO2 emissions, a keen sense of injustice is felt in the country, and demands for international support have been made. The Pakistan government has called it a “climate catastrophe” and according to the World Weather Attribution group, it is likely climate change led to intense rainfall. But critics blame mismanagement and say Pakistan should have been more prepared for the inevitable. In this programme, we tell the story of the collapse of one building to see how much of the crisis can be blamed on climate change. Guests: Saher Baloch, Correspondent at BBC World’s Urdu service Zarmat Shinwari, owner of New Honeymoon Hotel Humayun Shinwari, owner of New Honeymoon Hotel Sayed Nabi, manager of New Honeymoon Hotel Email us: the [email protected] Presenter: Neal Razzell Co-presenter: Saher Baloch Producer: Lily Freeston Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Production Coordinator: Siobhan Reed and Helena Warwick-Cross Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
9/25/202227 minutes, 25 seconds
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Can animals evolve to deal with climate change?

As climate change brings rising temperatures and shifting patterns of rainfall, animals are adapting to keep pace. Bird’s bodies are growing smaller, their wingspan longer, lizards are growing larger thumb pads to help them grip more tightly in hurricane strength winds, beak size is changing. We visit the Galapagos, where evolution was first discovered by Charles Darwin, to investigate the many ways the behaviour and physiology of animals are changing to survive the impact of climate change. But can they do it quickly enough? First broadcast – 14 March 2022 Presenters Jordan Dunbar and Kate Lamble are joined by: Kiyoko Gotanda, Assistant Professor at Brock University Ramiro Tomala, Expedition leader, Metropolitan Touring in the Galapagos Thor Hanson, conservationist and author of Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid Anne Charmantier, Director of Research at Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE), Montpellier With thanks to research carried out by Colin Donihue of Institute at Brown for Environment and Society. Producer: Dearbhail Starr Reporter: Mark Stratton Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Nicola Addyman Production Coordinators: Sophie Hill and Siobhan Reed Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
9/18/202227 minutes, 27 seconds
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Does climate change have an ‘image problem’?

Images are a key part of communicating climate change, and shape how we understand the crisis unfolding around us. But while lots of research has been done into the language we use to talk about climate, images are often left out of the conversation. As a result, over time, a limited set of images have come to dominate how we think of climate change – like polar bears and melting glaciers - which haven’t kept up with the changing conversation about the crisis. All too often, these images tend to be abstract, removed from our daily lives and typically don’t feature people - when we know that climate change is happening all around us, all the time, and is very much a story with people and communities at its core. So how can we develop a new, and more effective visual language for climate change? What kind of images ‘work’ to both convey the urgency of the crisis as well as inspire behavioural change? And what are some of the ways in which photographers are seeking to represent the crisis in a way that transforms apathy into action? First broadcast – 27 December 2021 Guests: Cristina Mittermeier, photographer and conservationist Arati Kumar-Rao, National Geographic Explorer and photographer Toby Smith, Programme Lead at Climate Visuals Saffron O’Neill, University of Exeter Presenter: Neal Razzell Series Producer: Alex Lewis Producer: Zoe Gelber Researcher: Lizzie Frisby Production Coordinator: Siobhan Reed & Helena Warwick-Cross
9/12/202227 minutes, 31 seconds
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What can we learn from fixing the ozone hole?

In 1985 British scientist Jonathan Shanklin and colleagues published a study that shocked the world. The study revealed a hole in the Earth’s atmosphere right over Antarctica. It had been caused over time by chemicals known as CFCs, used in things like fridges, air conditioning units and aerosol cans. These were destroying the layer of ozone in the stratosphere which protects us from most of the sun's ultraviolet radiation - without it, cases of skin cancer would soar. Less than two years after the discovery, world leaders signed an agreement called the Montreal Protocol, committing to phase out CFCs. It has been described as the most successful international treaty of all time - every UN country has signed up, and ozone is expected to return to its previous levels around the middle of the century. So what can we learn from how we tackled the ozone hole in how we address climate change? First broadcast - 29 Nov 2021 Presenters Neal Razzell and Kate Lamble are joined by: Jonathan Shanklin, Meterologist at the British Antarctic Survey, Dr Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth Science at the Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center, Tina Birmpili, former executive secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, Dr Anita Ganesan, associate professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Bristol. Producer: Sophie Eastaugh Researcher: Natasha Fernandes
9/5/202227 minutes, 19 seconds
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Can we engineer rain to help solve climate change?

From the Aztecs to the Zoroastrians, humans have always prayed for rain. We’ve tried dances, ritual sacrifices and even blowing up the sky to boost rainfall. This might sound crazy but desperate times call for desperate measures. Climate change is making people desperate again, in some regions droughts are becoming more frequent and pervasive whereas in others floods threaten livelihoods and cities. We have already affected our weather cycle but can we control it? Many governments have turned to cloud seeding programmes to try to manipulate rain to fall where they desire it to. But does it actually work, and what are the potential ramifications? We speak to experts about how people are trying to create rain, whether we’re on the brink of a geopolitical nightmare. Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell spoke to: Cynthia Barnett, Environmental Journalist and author of ‘Rain: a Natural and Cultural History’ Dr Katja Friedrich, Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder Dr Dhanasree Jayaram, Assistant Professor at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal Academy of Higher Education. The team this week: Reporter: Valdya Baraputri, Bilingual Reporter BBC Indonesia, reporting in Jakarta Researcher: Imogen Serwotka Producer: Lizzy McNeill Series Producer: Jordan Dunbar Production Coordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross & Siobhan Reed Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Wizard: Tom Brignell
8/28/202227 minutes, 25 seconds
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Why can’t we build more wind farms?

In rural North East Spain, proposals to build hundreds of new wind turbines have sparked opposition and divided communities. And it isn’t only Spain. There has been resistance to wind power projects across the world from Mexico to the US. Opposition groups have succeeded in delaying, and sometimes cancelling, the construction of new wind farms. To move away from fossil fuels, we will need a huge expansion in renewables. But will wind power be able to meet this challenge in the face of local opposition around the world? Guests: Oliver Metcalfe, Bloomberg NEF Joyce Lee, Global Wind Energy Council Alejandra Ancheita, Mexican NGO, ProDESC Presenters: Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson Reporter: Esperanza Escribano Producers: Josephine Casserly and Jordan Dunbar Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell PC: Siobhan Reed and Helena Warwick-Cross
8/21/202227 minutes, 29 seconds
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What do warmer waters mean for life below the waves?

The Ocean, it covers more than 70% of the surface if our planet, it provides us with food, medicine and even influences the weather. For years its also helped to mitigate the effects of climate change. Since the 1970’s over 90% of atmospheric warming caused by green house gas emissions has been absorbed by our Oceans. But this comes at a cost. Overtime their temperatures have risen and this has had disastrous impact on some of our most important ecosystems. Join us on a dive into the world of warming waters to discover what this means for life below the waves. Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell spoke to: Dr Juli Berwald, Science writer and author of ‘Life on the Rocks’ Dr Jahson Alemu I. Marine Ecologist, Northeastern University College of Science Dr Emma Camp, Coral Biologist, Future Reefs, University of Technology, Sydney The team this week: Reporter: Janhavee Moole from BBC Marathi service reporting in Mumbai. Researcher: Imogen Serwotka Producer: Lizzy McNeill Series Producer: Jordan Dunbar Production Coordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross & Siobhan Reed Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Wizard: Tom Brignell.
8/14/202227 minutes, 22 seconds
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Is Influencer culture bad for the planet?

Shopping online is nothing new but with the rise of influencer culture, livestreaming, and social commerce buying stuff has never been easier. Research suggests that the production and use of household goods and services is responsible for about 60% of global greenhouse gas emissions. So is influencer culture making us buy more - contributing to climate change? Or is it more complicated than that? In this programme we hear from Nigerian influencer Noble Igwe and eco-influencer Rosie Okotcha. As well as finding out about the growing popularity of influencers in India and the potential of Chinese live-streamers to become environmental icons. Presenters Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson speak with the following contributors: Noble Igwe, Nigerian influencer Rosie Okotcha, Eco-influencer Professor Shirley Yu, Senior Practitioner Fellow with the Ash Center of Harvard Kennedy School Junofy Anto Rozina founder of India Behavioural Economics Network JB MacKinnon author of ‘The Day The World Stops Shopping’ The team this week: Producer: Claire Bowes Researcher: Imogen Serwotka Series Producer: Alex Lewis Production Coordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross, Siobhan Reed Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Magician: Tom Brignell
8/8/202227 minutes, 29 seconds
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Are there any 'easy fixes' to climate change?

We know from The Climate Question back catalogue, solving climate change is a knotty problem which does not lend itself to quick fixes. But in this programme a panel of experts discuss whether there could be any easy wins on climate change such as putting solar panels across the Earth’s deserts and changing what we eat. Presenter Neal Razzell is joined by: Rebekah Shirley - Director of Research, Data & Innovation at World Resources Institute (WRI) Africa, Peggy Liu - Director at Project Drawdown, Chair of JUCCCE Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE) Zeke Hausfather – Climate Scientist and author for Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Producer: Serena Tarling Production support: Siobhan Reed and Helena Warwick-Cross Sound mix: James Beard Series producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton Smith
8/1/202227 minutes, 28 seconds
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Can flying ever be climate friendly?

Since the 1990s, air flight has made the world a smaller place. In one 24-hour period you can fly to the other end of the globe. In an hour you might be able to skip the traffic and fly to the other end of your country. But this convenience comes at a cost….to the climate. Aviation accounts for somewhere between 2 to 5% of the world’s emissions. And as the world’s desire to travel proves insatiable, the number of planes in the sky each day is only increasing. The aviation industry has aspirational plans to decarbonise using sustainable and/or synthetic aviation fuels. But these are currently some way off. In the meantime, airlines are offering carbon offsets. Offsets are controversial products and only 1% of passengers pay for them. So, this week on The Climate Question we are asking, can flying ever be climate friendly? Presenters Neal Razzell and Merlyn Thomas speak with the following contributors: Jo Dardenne, Aviation Director at Transport & Environment Souparna Lahiri, Climate Policy Advisor with The Global Forest Coalition Simon Berrow, Chief Executive Officer of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group Joana Setzer, Assistant Professor at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change & the Environment, LSE Special thanks to Helen Coffey, author of Zero Altitude: How I learned to fly less and travel more Sebastian Mikosz of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) The team this week: Reporters: Peter O’Connell in Kilrush on the west coast of Ireland Researcher: Louise Parry & Immy Rhodes Producer: Dearbhail Starr Series Producer: Alex Lewis Production Coordinators: Iona Hammond & Siobhan Reed Editor: Richard Vadon Sound Magician: Tom Brignell
7/24/202227 minutes, 14 seconds
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Can we feed the world without using chemical fertilisers?

The development of agriculture some 12,000 years ago changed the way humans live. As technologies have developed we’ve become more and more efficient at producing large amounts of food and feeding an ever growing population, often with the help of synthetically produced nitrogen fertiliser. These fertilisers can damage ecosystems. They also produce a potent greenhouse gas called Nitrous Oxide which is 265 times more warming than carbon dioxide. It’s estimated that the manufacturing and use of this fertiliser contributes 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. But is it feasible to ban synthetic nitrogen fertilisers or would that risk plunging the world into mass food insecurity? Join presenters Qasa Alom and Graihagh Jackson as they journey from an urban garden in Sri Lanka, where a radical fertiliser ban caused chaos, to eastern Africa where Kenyan farmers are mixing tradition with new technology to try and save the world’s climate, and its soils. With thanks to: Dr Rona Thompson, Senior Scientist at the Norwegian Institute for Air research, Norway Professor Manish Raizada, dept. of Plant Agriculture, at the University of Guelph, Canada Dr David Lelei, research associate at CIFOR-ICRAF, Nairobi, Kenya Elijah Musenya, farmer, western Kenya. And Phelystus Wayeta, for travelling to Western Kenya to report on farmers and farming practices. Producer: Lizzy McNeill Reporter: Aanya Wipulasena, Colombo, Sri Lanka Researchers: Imogen Serwotka Production co-ordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross , Siobhan Reed. Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Mix: Tom Brignell
7/17/202227 minutes, 16 seconds
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How can we get more people on their bikes?

Cycling is healthy, cheap - and as modes of transport go, they don’t come much greener. Worldwide, transport is responsible for nearly a quarter of all carbon emissions, with road transport alone accounting for 75% of that. But so far, most discussions on greening the transport sector have focussed on electrifying our cars, trucks and buses – overlooking the vital role that bicycles could play in the climate transition. In fact, experts say that we’re unlikely to meet our short-term climate goals without more people getting on their bikes. So what needs to change to make that happen? We look at what’s been done on streets of Bogota, New York and Kampala to get more people cycling across the world. Presenters Kate Lamble and Neal Razzell are joined by: Janette Sadik-Khan, former Transport Commissioner of New York City Henk Swarttouw, President of the European Cyclists Federation and World Cycling Alliance Amanda Ngabirano, Lecturer in Urban Mobility at Makerere University, Kampala Jaime Ortiz Mariño, architect and organiser of the first ciclovía event in Bogotá Producer: Zoe Gelber Reporter: Laura Ubate in Bogotá Researchers: Immie Rhodes and Louise Parry Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Mix: Tom Brignell
7/10/202227 minutes, 10 seconds
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Where have all the mangroves gone?

Along almost every tropical coastline you can find the tangled roots of mangrove trees, a natural barrier against extreme weather. They are also one of the most powerful weapons we have for fighting climate change. Mangrove forests are six times better at capturing carbon than tropical forests. But in the last 40 years up to a third of mangrove forests worldwide have disappeared. Joining presenters Kate Razzell and Qasa Alom to discuss where our mangroves have gone are: Leah Glass, Technical Advisor for Blue Carbon at Blue Ventures Andre Aquino Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist, World Bank, Indonesia Producer: Dearbhail Starr Researchers: Immy Rhodes and Louise Parry Reporter: Fyneface Dumnamene Series producer: Alex Lewis Sound Mix: Tom Brignell Production Co-ordinators: Siobhan Reed and Helena Warwick-Cross Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
7/3/202228 minutes, 48 seconds
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How can we save the world’s tropical peatland?

Scientists estimate that peatlands around the world hold about 350 billion tonnes of carbon. The tropical peatland of the Congo Basin – known as Cuvette Centrale - are thought to store the equivalent of 20 years of US fossil fuels emissions. BBC Africa Correspondent Andrew Harding has been up to his neck in it, witnessing the work being done by scientists to protect it and what might threaten its future. He also hears a warning from Environment Minister, Arlette Soudan-Nonault, about the choices the Republic of Congo faces between preserving the peatlands and making use of its resources to provide a living for its population. We find out how one simple lesson learned in Indonesia is being shared with countries in Africa and South America to help keep a global promise to protect tropical peatlands. It’s not just about promises though – financial experts explain why persuading richer countries to pay cash for “wasteland” could be good for all of us. Presenters Kate Lamble and Neal Razzell are joined by: Dr Daniel Murdiyarso, Principal Scientist with the Centre for International Forestry Research, Indonesia Prof Kevin Chika Urama, Chief Economist, African Development Bank Sara Jane Ahmed, finance advisor to the V20 Group of climate vulnerable countries. Reporter: Andrew Harding, BBC Africa Correspondent in Cuvette Centrale, Republic of Congo Producer: Alex Murray Researchers: Natasha Fernandes, Mai Kanaaneh, Kirsteen Knight Series Producer: Alex Lewis Production Coordinators: Sophie Hill, Siobhan Reed Sound Mix: Tom Brignell Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
6/26/202227 minutes, 21 seconds
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Does recycling help fight climate change?

Reduce, reuse, recycle is a familiar mantra the world over. Recycling has been described as ‘one of the easier climate-friendly acts” that individuals can do. A recent poll found that, globally, most of us believe that recycling is the single best thing we can do to tackle the climate crisis. But there isn’t much mention of “reduce” and “reuse”. This week, presenters Kate Lamble and Neal Razzell explore how successful the world’s recycling system really is, visiting Port Klang in Malaysia where huge swaths of the globe’s recycling gets sent only to end up... well, listen and you’ll find out! Kate and Neal will also learn how climate friendly recycling really is and whether there are other more important actions we can take to improve how we manage our waste. Thank you to contributors: Ke Wang, Lead of the PACE Program at the World Resources Institute (Platform for Accelerating the Circular Economy) Costas Velis, Lecturer in Resource Efficiency Systems at the University of Leeds, UK Jenny van Doorn, Professor of Marketing Services at the University of Groningen, Netherlands Farhan Nasa, Project Coordinator at Break Free from Plastic, Malaysia Our team: Reporter: Chen Yih Wen, Environmental Reporter in Tanjung Harapan, Klang, Malaysia Researchers: Immie Rhodes, Natasha Fernandes, Marcia Veiga, Sarah Wild. Producer: Dearbhail Starr Series Producer: Alex Lewis Production Coordinators: Sophie Hill, Siobhan Reed Sound Mix: Tom Brignell Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
6/19/202227 minutes, 23 seconds
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How is climate change affecting our mental health?

We often talk about the physical costs of climate change; the economic fallout, the effect on livelihoods and damage to the earth. But all of the changes to our world caused by global warming will have an effect on our minds, our mental health too. Earlier this year the mental health challenges caused by rising temperatures and extreme weather events were spotlighted in a report by the UN’s climate science body, the IPCC. Anxiety, stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even suicide, are all predicted to increase as the world heats up. Jordan Dunbar looks at what this means for people living on the front line of climate change, including examples from Nigeria, India and the Philippines. Joining Jordan to discuss the mental health challenges facing a warming world are: Dr Brandon Gray – Clinical Psychologist, World Health Organisation Dr Gesche Huebner Senior Researcher University College London, Energy Institute Dr Paolo Cianconi Psychiatrist Catholic University of Rome, Department of Neurosciences Presenter: Jordan Dunbar Reporter: Rajesh Joshi Producer: Jordan Dunbar and Sarah Wild Production Coordinators: Sophie Hill, Siobhan Reed Series Producer: Alex Lewis Sound Engineer: James Beard Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
6/12/202227 minutes, 22 seconds
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Is destroying the planet a vote winner?

Long term climate policy has long been at odds with short-term politics. As numerous countries head to the polls this year, we visit Brazil, Australia and the United States and see how climate policy is being used as a political tool to divide voters. During recent the elections in Australia – a country with some of the world’s highest emissions per capita – experts believe that experiencing the effects of climate change first hand brought the need for action up the agenda, leading to the unseating of the climate sceptic Liberal National Coalition. We hear from a follower of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who believes that the country’s own deforestation figures are fake. Meanwhile, in the US, we look at how the Republican party’s position changed from the 2008 presidential elections from proposing climate policies to denying that man-made climate change is real. Kate Lamble and Neal Razzell are joined by: Kate Walton, political journalist based in Canberra, Australia Kathy Hochstetler, Professor of International Development at the London School of Economics, UK Anthony Leiserowitz, Director of the Program for Climate Change Communication at Yale University, USA Reporter: Roberta Fortuna Researcher: Immie Rhodes Producer: Dearbhail Starr Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Mixer: Tom Brignell
6/5/202227 minutes, 26 seconds
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What can we do to stop rising levels of methane?

Recent research shows that levels of Methane gas in the atmosphere are rising rapidly. It is over 80 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide so poses a major threat to the world’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 C. At COP26, over 100 countries signed a Global Methane Pledge to reduce man-made emissions by 2030 – experts say cutting methane emissions is ‘the most powerful lever we have for reducing warming... over the next 30 years’. So what can be done to stop the levels rising further? We hear how farmers in Bangladesh, along with other parts of Asia, are using wetting and drying techniques in rice paddies to reduce emissions; how cows are being fed special dietary supplements with a surprising ingredient: seaweed, but why naturally occurring wetlands are a cause for concern. Presenters Kate Lamble and Neal Razzell are joined by: Xin Lan, Greenhouse Gas Scientist with NOAA and University of Colorado Drew Shindell, Special Representative on Methane Action for the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Ermias Kebreab, Professor at the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis, Humnath Bhandari, Bangladesh country representative, International Rice Research Institute, Producers: Alex Murray and Serena Tarling Researcher: Immy Rhodes Reporter: Akbar Hossain, BBC Bengali Series Producer: Alex Lewis Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Editor: Richard Vadon
5/29/202227 minutes, 23 seconds
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How can oceans help us capture carbon?

The ocean covers over 70% of the Earth’s surface and can hold more than 150 times the amount of carbon dioxide as air. Around a quarter of CO2 emissions created by human activity each year is absorbed by them. From phytoplankton to whales to seagrass meadows we explore how this happens. Jordan Dunbar and Kate Lamble are joined by: Rita Steyn, Contributing Editor at The Marine Diaries and lecturer at University of Tampa, Florida Michael Yap, Marine Biologist and Founder of Seagrass Guardians, Malaysia Dr. Haimanti Biswas, Principal Scientist of Biological Oceanography at CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, India Dr. Annette Scheffer, Marine Biologist and Lecturer, speaking with us from Antarctica John Kirkwood, Marine Biologist and Expedition Leader speaking with us from Antarctica Researcher: Immie Rhodes Reporter: Mark Stratton Producer: Dearbhail Starr Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
5/22/202227 minutes, 14 seconds
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Why is Asia embracing nuclear power?

China currently has 53 nuclear power plants with plans to scale up significantly in the next decade, while India is planning to build 10 new power plants over the next three years. South Korea’s new government has committed to restarting its civil nuclear programme and even Japan’s prime minister has pledged to resume nuclear power in a country that has long been resistant. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, energy security has now become more of a priority with countries looking for alternatives to Russian gas. And as countries transition to renewable power in an effort to reach net zero by 2050, governments are looking for a stable, green power supply which is lower cost. In the latest IPCC report, all pathways recommended nuclear in some form to mitigate against climate change. After nuclear disasters such as Fukushima in Japan, safety has become an even more pressing issue, both in the region and globally, in the face of a resistant public and to safeguard communities around any power plants. We gained access to the Hinkley Point power plant in the UK which has adapted the design of the reactors to make them safer after what happened in Japan; but the pace of building has been slow and costs have been high. In China, a commitment to build more has led to a coordinated approach in terms of training, the supply chain and funding. But there are challenges ahead. Presenters Kate Lamble and Jordan Dunbar are joined by Changhua Wu, a policy analyst specialising in China's environment, energy, climate change and sustainable development; Diane Cameron, head of the Nuclear Technology Development and Economics Division at the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency; Edwin Lyman, expert on nuclear safety and proliferation; and Director of Nuclear Power Safety at the Union of Concerned scientists in Washington. Producers: Serena Tarling and Alex Murray Researcher: Immy Rhodes Series Producer: Alex Lewis Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
5/15/202227 minutes, 10 seconds
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Is the world ready for an electric vehicle revolution?

There are over 10 million electric cars on the road globally after a decade of rapid growth, representing around 1% of the world’s car stock. But there are questions about whether there is the infrastructure to match. In many countries there are not enough chargers being installed to cope with the number of electric cars being sold. There are also doubts about whether existing electricity grids have the ability to store enough capacity to cope with charging demand and whether the amount of energy required can be fulfilled by green electricity alone. This week we look at Norway, an early adopter to electric vehicles, or EVs, and have been through a quick adaption period in which they improved their electricity grid to support night time charging, as well as improving the network of fast chargers around the country to enable EVs to take their drivers long distances. We then look at Vancouver in Canada has been looking at ways in which they can improve their EV infrastructure, to encourage the public to make the switch away from internal combustion engines. But do they have enough public chargers to serve those without access to their own private driveway? And finally we take a look at how Sub-Sahara Africa is electrifying motorbikes and minibuses. Many rural communities remain off-grid because demand for electricity is so low that it is not financially viable for them to build the infrastructure. For these rural areas, electric vehicles will bring a solid demand for electricity, bringing the potential for companies to make a profit from introducing solar mini-grids to those communities that don’t yet have electricity. Mora Morrison and Jordan Dunbar are joined by: Christina Bu, Secretary General of Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai, Founder of Electric Drive Africa Ian Neville, Senior Sustainability Specialist for the City of Vancouver With special thanks to Katherine Collett from the Energy and Power Group at the University of Oxford. Producer: Dearbhail Starr Researchers: Immie Rhodes and Lauren Stanley Reporter in Vancouver: Max Collins Series Producer: Alex Lewis Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
5/8/202227 minutes, 17 seconds
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Could Chile be a climate leader?

The renowned climate scientist and IPCC author Maisa Rojas has been making headlines after being appointed as Chile’s new Minister for the Environment. She has pledged to deliver a green, sustainable and resilient future – and a ‘just transition’ to renewables from an economy that has to date been reliant on mining, forestry and agriculture. The legacy of General Augusto Pinochet has cast a long shadow over Chile, so one of the first hurdles is a vote on a new constitution in July which would ease the passage of new climate legislation. The new government of leftist leader Gabriel Boric also faces a divided Congress, and will need to galvanise support for a radical new agenda. Chile has vast potential for solar energy and hydropower, providing the infrastructure is in place to transmit it to different parts of the country. Can the government play a leading role globally in shifting to great dependency on renewables – and closing down coal-fired power stations in the coming decade? Presenters Kate Lamble and Mora Morrison are joined by: Maisa Rojas, Minister for Environment for the Chilean government and climatologist Claudia Heiss, head of political science at the Institute of Public Affairs at Universidad de Chile. Dr Álvaro López-Peña, consultant on energy transition, CEO ALP Sustainable Energy Producer: Serena Tarling and Darin Graham Researchers: Natasha Fernandes and Frances Read Reporter: John Bartlett Series Producer: Alex Lewis Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Editor: Nicola Addyman
5/1/202227 minutes, 28 seconds
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What does 'net zero' really mean?

When talking about climate change, the term net zero has become popular with politicians over the last few years. More than 130 countries have now pledged to go net zero to help slow global warming. Reaching net zero means reducing the amount of emissions as much as possible and removing any that remain from the atmosphere. We hear from communities in South Africa, where the government plans to reach net zero by 2050. But the country is heavily tied to coal and faces several challenges around employment and energy security. And while politicians make their net zero announcements, the United Nations projects that emissions will continue to rise even with the current pledges politicians have announced. What does net zero mean and could it help climate change? Presenters Jordan Dunbar and Kate Lamble are joined by: Dr Mahmoud Mohieldin, UN climate change high-level champion for Egypt Lola Vallejo, climate programme director at the IDDRI Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum Clarification: this programme includes a contribution from Dr Benny Peiser, director of the Global Warming Policy Forum. Within the programme, we should have also said that the Forum questions climate change science and the cost of policies to tackle it. Reporter: Zinhle Kanyane Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Producer: Darin Graham Series producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Nicola Addyman Sound engineer: Tom Brignell Production coordinators: Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill
4/24/202227 minutes, 18 seconds
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How are young people feeling 6 months from COP?

Hundreds of youth activists travelled to Glasgow, Scotland, to have their voices heard. As we approach the halfway point between COP26 and COP27- to be held in Egypt - we want to know how young people are feeling about progress made. We speak to Maria Reyes from Mexico, Edwin Namakanga from Uganda and Farzana Faruk Jhumu from Bangladesh, who all attended the conference. Is the world on course to protect nature, curb emissions and generate the necessary finance to help poorer nations adapt? Helping us answer these questions is Wanjira Mathai, a COP veteran and the Vice President and Regional Director for Africa at the World Resources Institute, and COP26 president Alok Sharma. With presenters Jordan Dunbar and Mora Morrison. Producer: Mora Morrison Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Series Producers: Ros Jones + Alex Lewis Studio engineer: Tom Brignell
4/17/202227 minutes, 25 seconds
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Is space travel a problem for the climate?

As more countries launch more rockets into orbit for commercial and scientific reasons, the space industry is experiencing rapid growth. It’s on the verge of an even greater increase as space tourism takes off. The International Space Station is now open to tourists and private companies have developed rockets that can be reused – all meaning more launches into space. But rocket exhausts contain particles that can affect the climate. What are the potential impacts and is it time to apply the brakes to the new space race? Presenters Jordan Dunbar and Phoebe Keane are joined by: D Raghunanadan, director at the Delhi Science eForum Eloise Marais, associate professor of physical geography at University College London Stephen Freeland, emeritus professor of international law at Western Sydney University. Producer: Darin Graham Researcher: Lizzie Frisby Reporter: Mike Killian Series producer: Alex Lewis Sound engineer: Neil Churchill Editor: Emma Rippon
4/10/202227 minutes, 17 seconds
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What does war in Ukraine mean for the climate? Part 2: Energy Security

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, parts of the world are so dependent on Russian gas that they have no option but to continue to buy it. This week’s episode looks long term plans for improving energy security, particularly in Europe where the biggest focus is on increasing renewables. Whilst this sounds like great news for the climate, Europe only accounts for 10% of the worlds’ emissions. For fossil fuel rich countries like the United States, energy security policy will mean pumping more oil and gas out of the ground. We visit Bonny Island in the Niger Delta where business in Liquified Natural Gas is booming to explore how other resource rich countries stand to gain from the increase in oil and gas prices. And ask, as the world makes plans to stop purchasing Russian oil and gas, what will this mean for Russia’s climate policy? Presenters Kate Lamble and Jordan Dunbar speak with contributors: Simone Tagliapietra, Senior Fellow and Energy expert at European think tank, Bruegel Laura Cozzi, Chief Modeler at International Energy Agency (IEA) Ken Caldeira, Senior Scientist at Carnegie Institution of Sciences and at Breakthrough Energy Oksana Antonenko, Global Risk Analyst at Control Risks Group Researchers: Natasha Fernandes, Frances Reed and Julian Kwong Reporter: Fyneface Dumnamene is Executive Director at Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre Producer: Dearbhail Starr Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Nicola Addyman Studio Engineer: Tom Brignell
4/3/202227 minutes, 27 seconds
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What does war in Ukraine mean for the climate? Part 1: Russian gas

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has been met with harsh financial sanctions. These have come from North America and Europe. The US and Canada have also banned Russian oil and gas, but Europe has found itself unable to do so - even as natural gas prices soar. The EU receives 40% of its natural gas from Russia, and for many countries, if they turn it off, the lights will go out and they’ll be unable to keep themselves warm. As a result European money continues to pay Russia for its natural gas resources. This episode looks at the short term plans for European countries, dependent on Russian gas, to remove it from their energy systems and ask if this could be the perfect moment to turn away from fossil fuels, including natural gas, and turn toward a much improved renewable energy network? Presenters Jordan Dunbar and Kate Lamble are joined by: Victoria Gill, BBC Science and Climate Correspondent Simone Tagliapietra, Senior Fellow specialising in European Union climate and energy policy at think tank, Bruegel Bernice Lee, is Hoffmann Distinguished Fellow for sustainability, Chatham House Team: Producer: Dearbhail Starr Reporter: Alessia Cerantola Researcher: Natasha Fernandes & Frances Read Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Nicola Addyman Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
3/27/202227 minutes, 38 seconds
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Can we rely on insurance to help rebuild after extreme weather?

Scientists say extreme weather is intensifying and becoming more frequent because of climate change and the impacts are causing huge losses. People living in Brisbane and other parts of eastern Australia dealt with those impacts recently, when heavy rain fell for days - destroying thousands of homes and at least 22 people are known to have died. Authorities declared it a once in a-100-year-event, making it the second disaster of its kind in the same area in just 11 years. While insurers face losses trying to cover it all, reinsurers say climate change is now a number one risk. We talk to residents in Brisbane as they clean up after the floods and ask if insurance can be the world’s safety net as the impacts of climate change intensify? Presenters Jordan Dunbar and Kate Lamble are joined by: Ernst Rauch, chief geo and climate scientist, Munich Re Robin McConchie, reporter based in Brisbane. Ekerete Olawoye Gam-Ikon, insurance strategy consultant Maryam Golnaraghi, director, climate change and environment, the Geneva Association Producer: Darin Graham Reporter: Robin McConchie Researchers: Lizzie Frisby, Frances Read, Natasha Fernandes, Perisha Kudhail Series producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Nicola Addyman Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
3/20/202227 minutes, 48 seconds
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Can animals evolve to deal with climate change?

As climate change brings rising temperatures, droughts and shifting patterns of rainfall, animals are adapting to keep pace. Bird’s bodies are growing smaller, their wingspan longer, lizards are growing larger thumb pads to help them grip more tightly in hurricane strength winds, beak size is changing. We visit the Galapagos, where evolution was first discovered by Charles Darwin, and investigate the many ways animals are adapting their behaviour and physiology to survive the impact of climate change. Changes to climate are also influencing animals’ genetics, meaning that we are seeing species evolve within our own lifetime. However, most animals won’t be able to adapt quickly enough to cope with the speed they need to in order to survive in a warming world. Presenters Jordan Dunbar and Kate Lamble look at what role evolution plays in helping animals adapt to climate change. Contributors: Kiyoko Gotanda, Assistant Professor at Brock University Ramiro Tomala, Expedition leader, Metropolitan Touring in the Galapagos Thor Hanson, conservationist and author of Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid Anne Charmantier, Director of Research at Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE), Montpellier With thanks to research carried out by Colin Donihue of Institute at Brown for Environment and Society. Producer: Dearbhail Starr Reporter: Mark Stratton Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Nicola Addyman Production Coordinators: Sophie Hill and Siobhan Reed Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
3/13/202227 minutes, 19 seconds
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The 'unequivocal' consequences of climate change

"A brief and rapidly closing window of opportunity” is how a new major climate change report from the UN described the effect of rising emissions. Already 40% of the world's population is "highly vulnerable" to the impacts, according to the latest report from the International Panel on Climate Change. And it’s all happening much more quickly than previously thought. Sophie Eastaugh and Jordan Dunbar discuss the findings with a panel of experts. How much more serious do things need to get before action is taken? Produced for the BBC World Service by Darin Graham.
3/6/202227 minutes, 14 seconds
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How quickly is battery technology advancing?

The need to be able to store electricity as part of our low carbon future, has increased dramatically as the use of renewable energy has expanded. Both solar and wind energy rely on sunlight and weather, only providing intermittent power. Electric cars need to be able to travel greater distances on one charge and cost less to have mass market appeal. It’s clear batteries are a key - but evolving - technology. Improvements still need to be made to their safety, power and cost. Megawatt batteries are being built in many countries, in a step toward creating a renewable energy back-up for the grid. But these batteries are made using Lithium, which is limited because of their size, the length of their lifespan, and their track record in causing fires. We look at the limitations of the batteries that exist right now, and what new technology in the field is expected to bring in the coming 10 to 15 years. We also visit a hydro-pump powered energy storage system in Israel, where the company, Augwind, is developing an interesting alternative to electric batteries. Presenters Kate Lamble and Jordan Dunbar are joined by: Susan Babinec is Program Lead in Energy Storage at the Argonne National Laboratory Sandra Chavez is Director Partnerships at Powerhouse Gary Yang is Founder of UniEnergy Technologies Eshhar Chetsrony is the VP Business Development at Augwind Producer: Dearbhail Starr Reporter: Roni Dori Researchers: Lizzie Frisby Series Producer: Alex Lewis and Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon Sound Engineer: Andrew Garratt
2/27/202227 minutes, 1 second
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What will happen if the world's glaciers melt?

We hear a lot about how melting glaciers are contributing to sea-level rise but not so much about the impact inland. In places like Tajikistan, glaciers feed rivers and are a significant water source. As they melt climatologists expect water flows to increase, contributing to a rise in mudslides and floods. But in the long term, the melting ice will lead to water shortages. We look at mountain communities living near glaciers and try to understand what impact this is having now and what might happen in the future. What can we do to prepare for the consequences of glacier melt? Presenters Kate Lamble and Jordan Dunbar are joined by: Edson Ramírez Rodriguez. glaciologist, University of San Andrés Jemma Wadham, professor of glaciology, University of Bristol Natalya Idrisova, project coordinator, The Little Earth Reporter: Navruz Karimov Producers: Darin Graham and Tatyana Movshevich Series Producer: Alex Lewis Researcher: Matilda Welin Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
2/20/202227 minutes, 23 seconds
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Is our obsession with GDP killing the climate?

For nearly a century, governments around the world have measured the health of their economies by a single metric: GDP, or Gross Domestic Product. It measures a country’s economic growth, and over the years has become a shorthand for national progress; a rising GDP is generally understood to mean more people in work, more companies in business, living standards on the rise. Yet, as experts have argued for decades, there is a lot that GDP leaves out. While it measures the value of all goods and services produced and consumed in an economy, it doesn’t account for nature, wellbeing, or planetary health. To GDP, a 100-year-old carbon capturing tree is worthless until its chopped down and sold as timber. Cleaning up after disasters, such as extreme weather events, improve GDP due to the increase in spending - even as people and planet suffer the consequences. In an age of climate breakdown, many economists are arguing that our obsession with GDP is damaging the planet. So is it time to ditch GDP as a measure of progress and come up with a new metric that puts sustainability at its core? Presenters Jordan Dunbar and Tanya Beckett are joined by the economists: Professor Kate Raworth, Senior Associate at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute Professor Tim Jackson, Director of Centre for Understanding Sustainable Prosperity Professor Jayati Ghosh, University of Massachusetts, Amherst Dr Celestin Monga, visiting professor of public policy at Harvard University
2/13/202227 minutes, 23 seconds
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Can we believe companies’ promises on climate?

Ahead of COP 26, a rush of businesses declared their commitment to “net zero” emissions targets. But concerns were raised about how credible these targets were. Critics pointed out that many companies’ plans did not require them to change behaviour any time soon, or be held accountable for realising them - and that some of their promises just weren’t good enough. In this edition of The Climate Question, Kate Lamble and Jordan Dunbar ask how much can we believe in companies’ promises on climate?
2/6/202227 minutes, 37 seconds
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How committed is China to climate change?

At the UN climate summit in Glasgow last year, China and the United States announced they will work together on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Experts say this is a significant move because China and the United States are the two largest economies and polluters. China emits the most greenhouse gasses, around 27% of global emissions, but it is walking a narrow path between its energy crisis and its commitment to climate work. There are reports of plans to build up to 80 new coal power plants. Without China acting, attempts to keep global temperatures down will not work. How committed is China to climate change? Presenters Kate Lamble and Jordan Dunbar are joined by: Changhua Wu, executive director of the Professional Association for China’s Environment Todd Stern, former climate envoy, United States Bernice Lee, research director, Chatham House Producer: Darin Graham Reporter: Sophia Yan Researchers: Tatyana Movshevich and Matilda Welin Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Emma Rippon Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
1/31/202227 minutes, 10 seconds
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Are we too reliant on tech that’s not invented yet?

Written into many of the promises made by countries about how they intend to achieve their UN climate pledges to reduce emissions is an assumption that technology will help them make this happen. But this technology either does not currently exist or is in its infancy. This includes schemes to take carbon out of the air via carbon capture and storage or direct air capture and to replace our dependency on fossil fuels with green hydrogen. We visit the world’s largest direct air capture plant in Iceland and speak to the person in charge of Namibia’s grand plans to become the green hydrogen production hub of the world - can both really be scaled up in order to meet our current needs? Presenters Kate Lamble and Jordan Dunbar are joined by: Zeke Hausfather, Director of Climate and Energy at the Breakthrough Institute, Victoria Gill, BBC’s Science Correspondent, Christoph Beuttler, Head of Climate Policy at Climeworks, and Jane Olwoch, Executive Director of South African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) Producer: Dearbhail Starr Researcher: Tatyana Movshevich and Zoe Gelber Reporter: Magnús Geir Eyjólfsson Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
1/23/202227 minutes, 18 seconds
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Can putting a price on nature help us care about it more?

Everyone who steps outside can appreciate the value that the natural world brings to our lives. To some people, the idea of placing a monetary value on trees and mangrove forests is wrong because nature and its gifts are priceless. But others say the love of nature has not stopped it from being polluted or destroyed. The natural world plays a major role in capturing the carbon from our atmosphere. A marketplace now exists where countries and big business can pay others to protect their forests, swamps and bogs in return for offsetting their emissions. Could giving nature a dollar value make us care about it more and help us fight against climate change? Presenters Kate Lamble and Jordan Dunbar are joined by: Kevin Conrad, founder, Coalition for Rainforests Tina Stege, climate envoy, Marshall Islands Pavan Sukhdev, chief executive officer, GIST Producer: Darin Graham Researcher: Natasha Fernandez Reporter: Gloria Bivigou Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Graham Puddifoot
1/16/202227 minutes, 19 seconds
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Are we putting too much faith into electric vehicles?

Billions of dollars are being invested in electric vehicles in the name of fighting climate change. World leaders are backing them as the green fix for our burgeoning road transport emissions. But when you factor in the carbon emissions that come from manufacturing EVs, how well do they stack up against their petrol and diesel counterparts? If all the cars on the road switched to EVs, could we meet our climate targets? This week The Climate Question looks under the bonnet of electric vehicles – and whether there is an altogether better solution. Presenters Neal Razzell and Kate Lamble are joined by: Heather Maclean, Professor of Civil and Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto Quentin Willson, Motoring journalist and EV campaigner Clarisse Cunha Linke, Brazil Director of the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy Estelle Honnerat, reporter in Paris Dr Emma Smith, Research Fellow in Antarctic Seismology, University of Leeds Producer: Sophie Eastaugh Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
1/10/202227 minutes, 36 seconds
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Is science fiction holding back climate action?

For centuries, we’ve been reading, watching and listening to science fiction. And all too often, it’s pretty pessimistic about our future, especially when it touches on the topic of climate change. This is leading some to ask whether these doom and gloom stories are doing the climate fight more harm than good - causing us to feel so anxious and powerless that we don’t take action. So for this week's climate question, Graihagh Jackson is asking: Is sci-fi holding us back? First broadcast on 5th April 2021. Graihagh Jackson is joined by: Amy Brady, editor-in-chief of the Chicago Review of Books, where she writes a monthly column called Burning Worlds. In it she explores how fiction addresses climate change. Cheryl Slean is a playwright, filmmaker and educator working with the National Resource Defense Council’s Re-write the Future campaign to increase accurate climate stories in film and television. Ken Liu is a futurist and author of speculative fiction. He has won the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards. His debut novel, The Grace of Kings, is the first volume in a silkpunk epic fantasy series. Producer: Jordan Dunbar Editor: Emma Rippon Sound Engineer: Andy Garratt and Tom Brignell
1/2/202227 minutes, 42 seconds
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Does climate change have an ‘image problem’?

Images are a key part of communicating climate change, and shape how we understand the crisis unfolding around us. But while lots of research has been done into the language we use to talk about climate, images are often left out of the conversation. As a result, over time, a limited set of images have come to dominate how we think of climate change – like polar bears and melting glaciers - which haven’t kept up with the changing conversation about the crisis. All too often, these images tend to be abstract, removed from our daily lives and typically don’t feature people - when we know that climate change is happening all around us, all the time, and is very much a story with people and communities at its core. So how can we develop a new, and more effective visual language for climate change? What kind of images ‘work’ to both convey the urgency of the crisis as well as inspire behavioural change? And what are some of the ways in which photographers are seeking to represent the crisis in a way that transforms apathy into action? Guests: Cristina Mittermeier, photographer and conservationist Arati Kumar-Rao, National Geographic Explorer and photographer Toby Smith, Programme Lead at Climate Visuals Saffron O’Neill, University of Exeter Presenter: Neal Razzell Producer: Zoe Gelber Researcher: Lizzie Frisby Series Producer: Alex Lewis
12/27/202127 minutes, 24 seconds
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Why do we find it so hard to take action on climate change?

For decades scientists have warned us about the risks of climate change. Yet humans are badly psychologically designed to face up to the challenge of changing our behaviour. Research shows that constant threats of impending doom make us hit the snooze button rather than waking us up. And our evolutionary shortcomings mean we respond to the threat of immediate danger rather than what might happen in the future. So what can actually work to help us change our status quo? Presenters Kate Lamble and Neal Razzell are joined by: George Marshall, Founder of Climate Outreach and author of Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change Elke Weber, Professor of Psychology at Princeton University Per Espen Stoknes, Psychologist, Economist and author of What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming. Producer: Sophie Eastaugh Reporter: Frank Walter Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Emma Rippon Sound Engineer: Graham Puddifoot
12/20/202127 minutes, 23 seconds
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What role is overpopulation playing in the climate crisis?

If there were fewer of us, would the amount of greenhouse gasses we emit reduce? It’s a question that often creeps up in discussions about climate change. Studies show that the global population will decline eventually and populations in many rich nations are already declining. However, 11,000 scientists signed a paper warning of “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless society transforms, including the reversal of population growth. But an analysis by the United Nations found that affluence has a greater impact on the climate than population. When we talk about overpopulation, what are we really saying and where does the conversation go from here? Presenters Neal Razzell and Kate Lamble are joined by: Nyovani Madise, head of the Malawi office of the African Institute for Development Policy. Anu Ramaswami, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Princeton. Arvind Ravikumar, professor in energy transition and climate policy at the University of Texas. Producer: Darin Graham Reporter: Rajesh Joshi Series producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
12/13/202127 minutes, 34 seconds
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Counting the cost of fashion

The journey from catwalk, to wardrobe, to landfill is getting shorter and shorter. Our demands for fast fashion mean around 100 billion garments are produced every year. We’re buying more, then wearing them less often. Many will end up in the trash. Not only that, there’s been a big growth in clothes being made out of synthetic materials originating from crude oil. In this edition we ask can fashion cost less to the climate? Speaking to Kate Lamble and Sophie Eastaugh are- • Vanessa Friedman New York Times Fashion Editor • Lily Cole Fashion model, actress and podcast host- ‘Who Cares Wins’ • Phillip Meister - Quantis Sustainability Consulting • Claire Bergkamp – Textile Exchange Producer: Jordan Dunbar Researcher: Natasha Fernandez Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Emma Rippon
12/6/202127 minutes, 31 seconds
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What can we learn from the fight to fix the ozone hole?

In 1985 British scientist Jonathan Shanklin and colleagues published a study that shocked the world. The study revealed a hole in the Earth’s atmosphere right over Antarctica. It had been caused over time by chemicals known as CFCs, used in things like fridges, air conditioning units and aerosol cans. These were destroying the layer of ozone in the stratosphere which protects us from most of the sun's ultraviolet radiation - without it, cases of skin cancer would soar. Less than two years after the discovery, world leaders signed an agreement called the Montreal Protocol, committing to phase out CFCs. It has been described as the most successful international treaty of all time - every UN country has signed up, and ozone is expected to return to its previous levels around the middle of the century. So what can we learn from how we tackled the ozone hole in how we address climate change? Presenters Neal Razzell and Kate Lamble are joined by: Jonathan Shanklin, Meterologist at the British Antarctic Survey, Dr Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth Science at the Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center, Tina Birmpili, former executive secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, Dr Anita Ganesan, associate professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Bristol. Producer: Sophie Eastaugh Researcher: Natasha Fernandes
11/29/202127 minutes, 30 seconds
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Could giving nature rights help fight climate change?

Around the world a growing number of rivers, mountains, nature reserves, even marshes have all been given legal rights. It’s an idea that’s being tested in courtrooms around the world. But to what extent might this help reduce the worst impacts of climate change and help us adapt to a warmer and wetter world? Presenters Kate Lamble and Neal Razzell are joined by: Natalia Greene , Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature John DX Lapid, reporter in the Philippines Liza Osorio, lawyer Jacinta Ruru, Professor of Law at the University of Otago, Aotearoa/New Zealand Jan Darpo, Professor of Environmental Law, Uppsala University, Sweden Producer: Darin Graham Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Series producer: Ros Jones Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: James Beard
11/21/202127 minutes, 12 seconds
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What did we learn at COP26?

The lights have come on in Glasgow, the bar is closed and it's time to head home. Now the 26th Conference of Parties is over we ask what's really been decided and where do we go from here? In discussion with our presenters Neal Razzell and Kate Lamble are; Jeffrey Sachs - Director Earth Institute, Columbia University Dr Rose Mutiso - Research Director, Energy For Growth Hub Kenya Helen Mountford - Vice President, Climate & Economics, World Resources Institute
11/14/202127 minutes, 13 seconds
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How’s it going at COP26?

Climate negotiators from all over the world are gathered in Glasgow for the global summit to discuss how we can curb the worst effects of global warming. The Conference of Parties (or COP26) has now reached its half-way point. Kate Lamble and Neal Razzell take the temperature on what has been discussed so far.
11/8/202127 minutes, 4 seconds
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What do young activists want from COP?

This week will bring around 25,000 world leaders, business people, policy shapers and campaigners together in Glasgow for COP26, a global climate summit that’s seen as a crucial moment in the fight to curb global warming. Among them will be young activists who in the last few years have made global headlines with the School Strike for Climate movement. Beginning with Greta Thunberg in Sweden in 2018, millions of young people have taken to the streets to try to get their voices heard. We hear from three young people devoted to climate activism. In the Philippines, Mitzi Jonelle Tan grew up amid severe typhoons that would flood her bedroom. In India, Disha Ravi saw her grandparents struggle to get enough water for their farm. And in the United States, 19-year-old Jerome Foster has been invited to join President Biden’s Environmental Justice Advisory Council. Do these young activists feel their voices are being heard? What action do they most want to see from world leaders at COP – and how realistic are their demands? Presenters Kate Lamble and Jordan Dunbar talk to Disha Ravi, Mitzi Jonelle Tan, Jerome Foster and the BBC’s Environment Correspondent, Matt McGrath. Producer: Sophie Eastaugh Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Series producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Neil Churchill
11/1/202127 minutes, 25 seconds
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What will it take for countries to keep their climate promises?

World leaders are gathering in Glasgow for a global climate summit to agree on how to further limit the threat of global warming. Experts say the conference, known as COP26, could be the last chance for governments to agree on a way to cut global emissions in half by 2030. It’s also an opportunity to assess how well they have been doing with previous targets to prevent average global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius, agreed at a big climate meeting in Paris in 2015. According to the Climate Action Tracker, The Gambia is thought to be one of the only countries with plans in line with 1.5 degrees. What further commitments will leaders from the rest of the world arrive with at COP26 and what will it take for countries to keep those climate promises? Presenters Kate Lamble and Katie Prescott are joined by: Sandra Guzman, consultant, Climate Policy Initiative. Jennifer Morgan, executive director, Greenpeace International. Niklas Höhne, founding partner, New Climate Institute Producer: Darin Graham Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Reporter: Thomas Naadi Series producers: Alex Lewis and Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Neil Churchill
10/24/202127 minutes, 4 seconds
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Putin and the planet

Russia is the world’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gasses. Any talk of changing that needs to focus on President Vladimir Putin. Under his leadership, Russia has become a fossil fuel powerhouse. Since he took office in 2000, Russian oil production has risen by 70%. Today, the state is dependent on its revenues. Four in every ten dollars Moscow spends comes from fossil fuels. So the idea that Russia needs to shift away from fossil fuels to prevent the worst effects of climate change strikes at the very heart of Mr Putin’s power. But Russia is already suffering more than most from the effects of climate change. Arctic temperatures are rising faster than the global average, forests the size of countries are going up in smoke. Two thirds of the country’s permafrost - permanently frozen ground - has roads, homes, schools, oil and pipelines and even nuclear reactors are built on it. And the permafrost is starting to melt. Putin’s latest national security document for the first time mentions climate change as a risk. But can he do what is necessary to prevent things from getting worse? Contributors - Angelina Davydova - Environmental Journalist Chris Miller - Director of the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Eurasia Program Vladimir Chuprov - Director of the Energy Program, Greenpeace Russia Presenters: Neal Razzell and Kate Lamble Reporter - Olga Dobrovidova Producer: Jordan Dunbar
10/17/202127 minutes, 27 seconds
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Why can't we stop gas flaring?

There are thought to be over 10,000 gas flares around the world that contribute to global warming by emitting tonnes of carbon dioxide and methane. Flared gas is a by-product of oil extraction and is frequently used as a method of eliminating unwanted gasses in countries such as Albania, Algeria, Libya, Iraq, Russia and Nigeria. Yet, year after year deadlines set to stop the practice are missed. The oil industry says better infrastructure is needed to stop flaring and some of the world’s largest producers of oil have committed to ending flaring by 2030. What will it take for that to happen? Presenters Neal Razzell and Kate Lamble are joined by: Bjørn Otto Sverdrup, chair, Oil and Gas Climate Initiative Mark Davis, CEO of Capterio. Sharon Wilson, senior field advocate, Earthworks Producer: Darin Graham Reporter: Fyneface Dumnamene Series producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
10/10/202127 minutes, 36 seconds
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What made us doubt climate change?

Recent research has shown that oil companies knew about the threat of climate change decades ago. Yet over forty years, it has been revealed that they contributed millions of dollars to think tanks and campaigns to spread doubt and misinformation about climate change – its existence, the extent of the problem, and its cause. Across the US, these revelations have sparked a wave of lawsuits against the fossil fuel industry, demanding accountability for climate change – and now a US congressional committee has started to investigate. Executives from the world’s biggest oil companies and trade groups have been called to testify before US lawmakers in October this year, in an inquiry modelled on the tobacco hearings of the 1990s, which paved the way for far tougher nicotine regulations. This week, The Climate Question looks over the evidence behind these allegations – and asks whether Big Oil might finally be facing a reckoning for its role in the climate crisis. Presenters: Neal Razzell and Phoebe Keane Producer: Zoe Gelber Series Editor: Ros Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
10/3/202126 minutes, 44 seconds
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What homes to build in a climate-changed world?

Heatwaves and floods are becoming more frequent around the world. But are the homes being built today taking that into account? The Climate Question considers the impact that living in a building threatened by rising water or constructed so that you bake in the heat has. And it asks why planners and developers in many countries have been so reluctant to adapt. Where are lessons being learnt and will other places follow their lead?
9/26/202127 minutes, 10 seconds
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What role has the media played in the climate crisis?

For decades, around the world, climate change coverage has been thin. Guests discuss why the media in petrol states, in particular, have struggled to tell that story. Science illiteracy in newsrooms has led to a mixture of climate silence and false balance in print and on air. But, even when the science has not been contested, the way the crisis has been reported may have caused audiences to turn away. Can climate coverage learn lessons from how that other hugely consequential science story of our time – the pandemic - has been told? Contributors : Mark Herstsgaard, co-founder Covering Climate Now Marianna Poberezhskaya, associate professor Nottingham Trent University Kris De Meyer, neuroscientist Kings College London Wolfgang Blau, The Reuters Institute Presenter: Graihagh Jackson Producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
9/19/202127 minutes, 36 seconds
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When will countries stop exploring for oil?

If we are to ensure that there’s no more than a 1.5 degrees centigrade increase in global warming, the International Energy Agency recently stated that oil exploration must stop. A few countries have heeded that warning but the vast majority have not. The Climate Question hears from two nations – one already rich from oil, the other poor and yet to benefit from recent oil finds – about why they are continuing to explore. But, even for those who are following the IEA’s advice, will stopping be straightforward or might hurdles still lie in wait? Contributors: Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency Bård Lahn, Research Fellow at the Center for International Climate Research, Norway Catherine Higham, Climate Change Laws of the World Coordinator, London School of Economics Presenters: Jordan Dunbar & Gaia Vince Reporter: Kiana Wilburg Producers: Darin Graham & Soila Apparicio Series producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
9/12/202127 minutes, 27 seconds
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Should rich countries help pay for climate change impacts in poorer ones?

As extreme weather events become more frequent and intense, the developing world says urgent action is needed to avert catastrophe. Some in the developing world say that as richer countries caused the bulk of global emissions, they should compensate them for the losses and damages caused by the climate crisis. But will delegates, negotiators and politicians gathering at the international climate conference, COP26, in Glasgow in November take notice? In previous years rich countries have been reluctant to agree to compensate poorer countries. If that happens again, what will the impact be on reaching a global commitment to reduce emissions? Joining presenters Graihagh Jackson and Gaia Vince: Dr Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development. Rémy Rioux, chief executive of the French Development Agency. S.I Ohumu, Lagos reporter Linnea Nordlander, postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for International Law and Governance, University of Copenhagen. Producer : Darin Graham Series Producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
9/5/202127 minutes, 29 seconds
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Can we be ‘nudged’ to act on climate change?

Another chance to listen to an episode that asks whether we can change our ways. Drastic change is needed to limit the increase in global temperature caused by climate change. More than two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide result from how we live our lives. But the behaviours that drive these emissions tend to be deeply habitual and hard to shift - the way we heat our homes, what we eat and how we travel to work. And our behavioural good intentions all too often fail to translate into action. So our climate question this week is how we can be nudged, or even shoved, to change? First broadcast on 1st March 2021 Guests: Elisabeth Costa, senior director, Behavioural Insights Team Erik Thulin, behavioural science lead at the Centre for Behaviour and the Environment at Rare Professor Martine Visser, behavioural economist at the University of Cape Town Mo Allie, BBC reporter in Cape Town Presented by Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell Produced by Alex Lewis Researched by Zoe Gelber Edited by Emma Rippon
8/22/202127 minutes, 25 seconds
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“Code red for humanity”

A diplomatic deadline looms as new science urges faster action. Can nations respond? So far, the answer has been ‘no.’ Three decades of international talks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions has left them higher than ever and set to rise further. We provide a brief history of climate talks, with an eye on what can be learned ahead of the next round, called COP26, in Glasgow. Contributors: Mark Maslin, Professor of Earth System Science, University College London and author of How to Save Our Planet. Navin Singh Khadka, Environment Correspondent, BBC World Service Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation Ambassador Tosi Mpanu-Mpanu, lead climate negotiator for the Democratic Republic of Congo Presenters: Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell Producer: Josephine Casserly Series producer: Ros Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
8/15/202127 minutes, 24 seconds
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Is green hydrogen the fuel of the future?

Hydrogen gas has long been recognised as a potentially valuable tool for tackling climate change. The most abundant element in the universe, it is also a clean-burning gas and – in theory – could be used to power almost anything, from our cars and homes, to planes and ships, to agriculture and heavy industry. We already produce millions of tons of hydrogen each year for use in the chemicals industry, by extracting it from natural gas - a process which emits CO2. But hydrogen can also be made by splitting water molecules with electricity – and when that electricity is powered by renewables it comes without a carbon price tag. It is this so-called ‘green hydrogen’ that is currently generating hype around the world as the ‘fuel of the future’ and the missing piece of the decarbonisation puzzle. Across the world, governments are announcing far-reaching hydrogen strategies. Fossil fuel companies, too, are investing big, hoping to cash in on the ‘hydrogen boom’. But for all the talk of green hydrogen as a miracle fuel, it has a long list of drawbacks too. It is expensive, difficult to store, inefficient and explosive. Previous hype cycles around hydrogen have ended in failure for a combination of these reasons. So while experts agree that hydrogen does have a role to play in decarbonisation, the question is – how big should it be? And are we about to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on a white elephant? Contributors: Mike Strizski, founder of the Hydrogen House Project Michael Leibreich, founder of Bloomberg NEF Sonja van Renssen, Managing Editor of Energy Monitor Nawal Al-Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Presenters: Graihagh Jackson and Marnie Chesterton Producer: Zoe Gelber Editor: Ros Jones
8/8/202127 minutes, 9 seconds
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What do we tell the kids?

Climate change is going to shape young people’s lives, and yet many students feel their schools are not equipping them with the knowledge and skills to face this future. Teachers aren’t always confident broaching climate change in the classroom. And governments have been slow to get comprehensive and compulsory climate change education onto national curriculums. But how do you teach young children about something so big and scary? And how should adults deal with the hopelessness that some young people feel when faced with a crisis they feel powerless to change? This week, we’re going to Ghana, the US, China, the UK and Europe to find answers. Contributors: Christina Kwauk, Kwauk & Associates, Brookings Institution Lily Henderson, Teach the Future Koen Timmers, Climate Action Project Dr Emmanuel Tachie-Obeng, Ghana Environmental Protection Agency Presenters: Neal Razzell and Katie Prescott Reporter: Thomas Naadi Producer: Josephine Casserly Series producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
8/1/202127 minutes, 12 seconds
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Can shipping fix its climate problem?

It's estimated that 9 out of 10 items sold in our shops are shipped halfway around the world on ships. The resulting emissions amount to around 3% of the global total, more than many countries, but we rarely hear about the role shipping plays in the climate crisis. Partly this is because most of shipping's pollution occurs far out at sea, out of the sights and minds of many consumers - and largely out of the reach of regulation. Like aviation, ships travel across borders, so their emissions are not attributable to any one country. There's no simple fix to shipping's climate problem. Currently most ships use one of the dirtiest forms of fossil fuels, known as 'bunker fuel' - because it's plentiful and cheap. And they use a lot of it - 300 million tonnes per year. But there are alternatives out there. Hydrogen, sustainable bio-fuels - even wind power - are all possible, so why aren't they already being used? What will it take to turn the shipping industry around? Contributors: Alan McKinnon, Professor of Logistics at Kuehne Logistics University, Hamburg Camille Bourgeon, International Maritime Organisation Diane Gilpin, CEO of Smart Green Shipping Faig Abbasov, Shipping Programme Director at Transport and Environment Presenters: Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson Reporter: Lotte von Gaalen Producer: Zoe Gelber Series producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
7/25/202127 minutes, 26 seconds
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The North American heatwave

The heatwave that hit parts of the west coast of North America shattered records by several degrees. It affected parts of the United States and Canada that were unused to extreme heat. Hundreds of people died and emergency teams were pushed to their limits. In Lytton, Canada, temperatures reached 49.6 degrees celsius. Days later, the entire village burnt down. Scientists say that climate change had made this heatwave 150 times more likely. They also warn that, if global warming continues, about one-third of the world’s population will become threatened by extreme heat. So does our attitude to extreme heat need to change? Joining presenters Neal Razzell and Manuela Saragosa: Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Dr Lipika Nanda, vice president, multisectoral planning in public health, Public Health Foundation of India Dr Christienne Alexander, president of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians Daniel Stevens, director, Vancouver Emergency Management Agency Dallas Gonsalves, centre manager for Gathering Place Community Centre Martin Paulson, operations chief of the Vancouver Fire Department. Producer: Darin Graham Series producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
7/18/202127 minutes, 18 seconds
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Will football tackle the climate crisis?

You don’t often hear climate change and football mentioned in the same sentence, but rising temperatures are set to disrupt every area of our lives, the ‘beautiful game’ included. Heat and other extreme weather have already been affecting training and matches, which experts say we can expect a lot more of in coming years. But not only is the sport at risk from the climate crisis, it’s also a significant contributor to it. The operation of multi-thousand capacity stadiums, spectator travel and merchandise, not to mention the fossil fuel sponsorship that props up professional tournaments, mean that football is currently part of the climate problem. Yet football also has an audience of billions – all potentially affected by climate change – who could be part of the solution. Featuring footballers and fans, we ask if football can tackle its carbon problem and be a force for good in the fight against climate change. Guests Morten Thorsby, Norwegian midfielder Sofie Junge Pedersen, Danish midfielder David Goldblatt, football historian and writer Manuel Gaber, founder of Unser Fussball campaign Federico Addiechi, Head of Sustainability and Environment at FIFA Reporter Uli Knapp Presenters: Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson Producer: Zoe Gelber Series producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
7/11/202127 minutes, 18 seconds
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Could climate change cause more water conflicts?

Freshwater sources around the world are becoming more irregular, and disputes between countries are common, with fears that access to water could eventually lead to conflict. There’s a high-profile case going on right now in northeast Africa, where talks about a huge new dam on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia have stalled. Ethiopia says it needs the hydroelectric dam to help solve some of its power supply problems. However, the Blue Nile is the largest source for the river Nile, which runs through Egypt, and there are concerns there that the dam will have huge consequences for people living further downstream. According to the United Nations, around two-thirds of rivers shared by two countries or more lack formal agreements on how to manage the water. So how can we help countries reach agreements over equal access to water, and ensure they stick to them in the future? Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell are joined by: Samuel Marunga, editor, BBC Monitoring Lenka Thamae, executive secretary of the Orange-Senqu River Commission Ashok Swain, professor of peace and conflict research at Uppsala University Susanne Schmeier, associate professor of water law and diplomacy at IHE Delft Producer: Darin Graham Series producers: Richard Fenton-Smith and Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
7/4/202126 minutes, 28 seconds
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Why is Australia so slow to act on climate change?

Australia is one of the world's biggest per-capita greenhouse gas emitters, and a Climate Question listener wants to know why the world isn't demanding her country do more. Jodie lives in tropical Queensland, which she says is 'paradise', but it's also a place affected by bushfires, drought, and cyclones. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says 'Australia can always be relied upon' to deliver action on climate change, but critics at home and abroad point to a record of over-promising and under-delivering. Observers also blame the country's powerful and profitable fossil fuel industries as a reason why the Australian government has been slow to make progress. But is it time, as listener Jodie asks, to give her country a 'a kick up the bum'? Contributors: Dr Niklas Hohne, The New Climate Institute, Cologne Greg Bourne, The Climate Council Australia Presenters - Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson Reporter - Issy Phillips, FBi Radio, Sydney Producer – Jordan Dunbar Editor – Emma Rippon
6/27/202127 minutes, 2 seconds
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Why are we failing to protect the Amazon rainforest?

The Brazilian legislature is currently considering a bill that would legalise the private occupation of some public land in the Amazon region - a move that would most likely lead to further deforestation. But could renewed international pressure from foreign governments and corporations demanding protection of the Amazon convince the Brazilian government to rethink its policies, or will they simply go ignored, as it favours short-term economic gain over long-term environmental protection? Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell are joined by: Diane Jeantet, freelance reporter Manuela Andreoni, rainforest investigations fellow at the Pulitzer Centre Marcello Britto, president of the Brazilian Agribusiness Association Oliver Stuenkel, professor of international relations at FGV in São Paulo Virgilio Viana, fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development Producer: Darin Graham Researcher: Zoe Gelber Series producers: Rosamund Jones and Richard Fenton Smith Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
6/20/202127 minutes, 5 seconds
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Carbon capture and storage

It’s likely that there will be no successful green transition without an element of carbon capture, storage and re-use. The oil industry has been burying CO2 underground since the 1970s, so the infrastructure and technology is already available, but removing CO2 from the air at scale is new, and the companies doing it are small. We head to an experimental ‘direct air capture’ plant in Canada to hear how they are making fuel out of air, and explore what changes will be required to ensure that their industry becomes a significant one in the years to come. But if we think that a technology fix is out there, might we limit other efforts? Presenters: Neal Razzell and Manuela Saragosa Contributors: Steve Oldham, CEO, Carbon Engineering Dr Jennifer Wilcox, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management at the US Department of Energy Prof Stuart Haszeldine, professor of carbon storage and capture at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland Dr Simon Evans, policy editor, Carbon Brief Producer: Jordan Dunbar Series producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
6/13/202127 minutes, 34 seconds
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What will it take for cities to go carbon neutral?

Cities emit around three-quarters of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations, and over half of the world’s population now live in one. Many have set ambitious targets to slash and offset their emissions, in the hope of neutralising their impact on the environment and slowing climate change. Some are aiming to do this very soon. Copenhagen’s goal is 2025. More than 700 others have committed to targets over the following decades. But how does a city, choked with traffic and packed full of buildings that require huge amounts of energy, actually go about achieving carbon neutral goals? Joining presenters Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell: Nick Garnett, BBC reporter Dr Seppo Junnila, professor of real estate business at Aalto University, Finland Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone Mark Watts, executive director, C40 Cities Producer: Darin Graham Series producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon Sound engineer: Tom Brignell
6/6/202127 minutes, 21 seconds
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Should we ‘dim the sun’ to save the planet?

Scientists agree that cutting carbon emissions as soon as possible is key to tackling global warming. But as emissions continue to rise, some are now calling for more research into measures that could be used alongside decarbonisation, including – controversially – what’s known as ‘solar geoengineering’ technologies. One idea being considered is spraying light-reflecting particles into the atmosphere to temporarily cool down the earth. It may sound far-fetched, but the idea is based on naturally observed effects following volcanic eruptions. Scientists are now asking whether we could mimic those effects to avoid the worst climate impacts. But research into this technology is not without opposition. A recent solar geoengineering experiment in Sweden got cancelled following a fierce backlash from indigenous and environmental groups. Many say tampering with the climate in this way is too risky to ever try in the real world. So how does solar geoengineering work? What are the risks? And will we ever have to use it? Contributors: Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer at the New Yorker and author of Under a White Sky Asa Larrson-Blind, Vice-President of the Saami Council Raymond Pierrehumbert, Halley Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford David Keith, Professor of Applied Physics and Public Policy at Harvard University Presenters: Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson Producers: Zoe Gelber and Jordan Dunbar Series producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
5/30/202127 minutes, 14 seconds
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Is bottom trawling for fish bad for the climate?

More than two thirds of our planet is covered by the oceans, but there’s still much to be uncovered about the role that these watery worlds play in climate change. But recent scientific research claims that bottom trawling, a method of fishing that involves dragging heavy nets across the seafloor, emits about the same amount of carbon annually as aviation. Seabed sediments, which act as huge carbon sinks, are churned up, resulting in carbon dioxide emissions. So should trawling – commonplace around the globe because of its effectiveness – be reduced? And has the climate change impact of bottom trawling been exaggerated? Presenters Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson are joined by: Dr Enric Sala, explorer in residence, National Geographic Barrie Deas, chief executive of the National Federation of Fishermen's Organisations Minna Epps, director, Global Marine and Polar Programme Domitilla Senni, senior campaigner, MedReAct Producer: Darin Graham Series producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
5/23/202127 minutes, 31 seconds
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Is South Korea a climate villain?

South Korea’s economic development has been the envy of many nations: from war, famine and poverty to one of the richest countries on Earth, all within just a couple of generations. In 1955, gross domestic product was just $64 per capita. Last year, it was $31,000. But this growth was turbocharged by fossil fuels, and has come at a high environmental price. Seventy percent of the power generated in the country comes from fossil fuels and, compared to many rich nations, its commitment to renewables is small. Is South Korea a hero of economic growth or a climate villain? And should developing nations still look to the country as a model to follow? Joining Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson: Jeffrey Sachs, former UN adviser, and professor at Columbia University Zeeshan Abedin, economist at the International Growth Centre Julie Yoon, World Service Language Reporter, Seoul Producer: Jordan Dunbar Series producer: Rosamund Jones Editor: Emma Rippon
5/16/202127 minutes, 38 seconds
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Can indigenous knowledge help us fight climate change?

Indigenous people represent only about six percent of the world’s population, but they inhabit around a quarter of the world’s land surface. And they share these regions with a hugely disproportionate array of plant and animal life. According to the UN and the World Bank, about 80 percent of our planet’s biodiversity is on land where indigenous people live. Global climate policy has however been slow to recognise that indigenous knowledge - built up over centuries - is worth listening to. This is despite the fact that sometimes in very remote areas, where scientific and meteorological data is lacking, this knowledge may be all there is. Indigenous knowledge can provide valuable insight into what adaptations have worked in the past, and so provide an important guide to the future. What are the barriers to bringing indigenous knowledge out from the margins of climate research and policy, and can they be overcome? Guests: Nancy Kacungira, journalist, BBC Africa Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim, environmental activist and member of Chad’s pastoralist Mbororo people and Earthshot Prize Council Nigel Crawhall, chief of section, local and indigenous knowledge systems, UNESCO Aida Sanchez, assistant professor at Norwegian University of Life Sciences Presenters: Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson Producer: Darin Graham Researcher: Zoe Gelber Editor: Emma Rippon
5/9/202127 minutes, 32 seconds
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Why can't we crack our food waste problem?

From fruit rotting in fields, to retailers turning down funny shaped vegetables, and consumers scraping leftovers into the bin, food waste is everywhere. It’s estimated that around a third of all our food ends up not being eaten. If we could sort this, total greenhouse gas emissions would reduce by around eight percent. To put that in context, the only countries that are responsible for emissions of that size are China and the US. So, what can be done? Graihagh Jackson and Jordan Dunbar discuss fixes - big and small - and hear from a farmer in Morocco turning apples that would otherwise rot into vinegar. The first thing that needs to happen for change to start is for governments to properly count the climate cost of food waste. And that, it seems, is a long way off. Guests: Dr Tammara Soma - Research director of the Food Systems Lab at Simon Fraser University Dr Liz Goodwin - Senior fellow and director in food loss and waste at the World Resources Institute Mahacine Mokdad – journalist Presenters: Jordan Dunbar & Graihagh Jackson Producer: Olivia Noon Editor: Emma Rippon
5/2/202126 minutes
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Is carbon the new calorie?

More companies are rolling out carbon dioxide emission labels on products to help us make greener choices. Unilever, the global consumer goods giant, recently announced it is committing to put carbon footprint information on 70,000 products, while multi-national companies Oatly and Quorn have already started adding labels like this to their packaging. But this is not the first time companies have tried this. In the 2000s, for example, an international supermarket put carbon labels on hundreds of products, but cancelled the project after a few years. Why are carbon labels coming back now, and what does this information really tell us? How do you measure the carbon footprint of a product? And will this drive behaviour change and help the environment? Presenters: Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson Producer: Darin Graham Researchers: Zoe Gelber and Olivia Noon
4/25/202129 minutes, 26 seconds
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What does the world want from the US?

President Biden has invited the world’s major polluters to a summit on Earth Day (April 22nd). It may be the biggest climate summit ever organised by an American leader. On the campaign trail last year, Mr Biden said climate change was his “number one issue.” Now, the pressure is on for him to make a big announcement. But while the US has rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, it has no official plan to hit the Paris targets. Frantic work is underway in the US to come up with something that satisfies the President’s lofty campaign rhetoric but can actually get through America’s polarised, gridlocked political system. Ahead of the summit, The Climate Question is reaching out to climate diplomats and experts from China, Bangladesh, the EU and beyond, to hear what the world expects from the US on climate change. Presenters: Neal Razzell & Graihagh Jackson Producer: Jordan Dunbar
4/21/202127 minutes, 2 seconds
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Is it time to ditch the plough?

Cities, money, roads, beef burgers and telephones, in fact pretty much all of human civilisation as we know it, would probably not exist were it not for one simple invention. The plough. This humble yet revolutionary tool enabled us to cultivate vastly greater amounts of food than our hunter gatherer forefathers giving rise to villages, cities and empires. But it has come at a cost. Nearly 10,000 years of cultivated agriculture have released billions of tonnes of carbon from the soil into the atmosphere. Just within the EU, it’s estimated 5% of current greenhouse gas emissions come from agricultural soils. That’s more than aviation and shipping combined. Around the world an increasing number of farmers are adopting new methods without the plough to restore soil health and lock more carbon into the ground. But some scientists are questioning whether the potential for carbon sequestration into the soil is being over hyped. What’s more, for millennia the plough has been a crucial ally in boosting yields and in the coming decades we are going have to produce lots more food to feed the growing global population So the Climate Question is; Is it time for us to ditch the plough?
4/11/202126 minutes, 57 seconds
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Is science fiction holding back climate action?

For centuries, we’ve been reading, watching and listening to science fiction. And all too often, it’s pretty pessimistic about our future, especially when it touches on the topic of climate change. This is leading some to ask whether these doom and gloom stories are doing the climate fight more harm than good - causing us to feel so anxious and powerless that we don’t take action. So for this week's climate question, we’re asking: Is sci-fi holding us back? Graihagh Jackson is joined by: Amy Brady, editor-in-chief of the Chicago Review of Books, where she writes a monthly column called Burning Worlds. In it she explores how fiction addresses climate change. Cheryl Slean is a playwright, filmmaker and educator working with the National Resource Defense Council’s Re-write the Future campaign to increase accurate climate stories in film and television. Ken Liu is a futurist and author of speculative fiction. He has won the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards. His debut novel, The Grace of Kings, is the first volume in a silkpunk epic fantasy series.
4/4/202127 minutes, 17 seconds
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What can we do about climate migration?

Bangladesh is a country that is exceptionally vulnerable to climate change. With a low elevation and high population density, as well as poor infrastructure and an economic reliance on farming, it is naturally susceptible to extreme weather. The intensification of conditions due to climate change means more people are being driven from their homes and land by sea level rises, storms, cyclones, drought, erosion, landslides, flooding and salinisation of the land. It's estimated that by 2050, one in every seven people in Bangladesh will become a climate migrant. But Bangladesh is far from being alone. Across South Asia, it’s estimated that more than 40m people will be displaced; worldwide, the figure runs into the hundreds of millions. Climate migration is coming. The question is, what are we going to do about it? Guests: Akbar Hossain - reporter, BBC Bengali Service Qasa Alom - presenter, BBC Asian Network Dr Tasneem Siddiqui - founding chair of Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit in Bangladesh Dr Kanta Kumari Rigaud - lead environmental specialist at the World Bank Presented by Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell Produced by Alex Lewis Researched by Zoe Gelber Edited by Emma Rippon
3/28/202127 minutes
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Climate justice in the courtroom

A Peruvian farmer is suing a German fossil fuel company, the city of Baltimore has filed a lawsuit against 26 oil and gas firms, and a Polish coal mining company was taken to court by its own shareholders. Activists, investors and everyday people are increasingly pursuing climate litigation as a means to exert pressure on companies and shift our societies onto a more sustainable trajectory. But success is far from assured. Our climate question this week is: Can companies be held accountable for climate change? Guests: Saúl Luciano Lliuya - Peruvian farmer Florence Goupil - freelance journalist Rupert Stuart Smith - DPhil candidate at the University of Oxford researching climate change litigation and attributing climate change damages to individual emitters Sophie Marjanac - climate accountability lead at Client Earth Presented by Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell Produced by Zak Brophy Researched by Dearbhail Starr and Olivia Noon Mixed by Tom Brignell Edited by Emma Rippon
3/22/202126 minutes, 44 seconds
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Must our future be cast in concrete?

As the world becomes more populous, experts say we’re likely to use 25 percent more concrete in the next decade. But concrete is also responsible for eight percent of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions. There are concerns that the industry isn’t taking its carbon footprint seriously enough. So our climate question this week is: Must our future be cast in concrete? Guests: Arpad Horvath, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Berkley Professor Karen Scrivener, head of Laboratory of Construction Materials at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland Anupama Kundoo, professor of architecture at the Potsdam School of Architecture, Berlin, and working architect Sophia Yan, China correspondent for The Telegraph Presented by Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell Produced by Alex Lewis Researched by Zoe Gelber Edited by Emma Rippon
3/15/202127 minutes, 57 seconds
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What will happen to the fossil fuel workers?

The rise of renewables is good news for the climate, but for millions of families who rely on fossil fuels for a paycheque, it means big changes. People have been talking about a “just transition” for decades. The term was first used in the 1990s, when US unions were demanding help for those who'd lost their jobs because of tightening environmental laws. Now it means looking at how we decarbonise our economies around the world, without leaving certain people behind. Neal and Graihagh hear from Craig, Colorado, as it plans for the shut down of its coal mines. They also hear from the Middle East and North Africa, where countries have relied on oil and gas for their economies. The money from fossil fuels has kept an instable region together in the past, so what happens when that money runs out? Reporter: Sam Brasch, Colorado State Radio Experts: Laury Haytayan, Middle East and North Africa director at the Natural Resource Governance Institute; Professor Paul Stevens, Distinguished Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources Programme at Chatham House. Producer: Jordan Dunbar Researchers: Olivia Noon and Dearbhail Starr Editor: Emma Rippon
3/8/202127 minutes, 3 seconds
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Can we be ‘nudged’ to act on climate change?

Drastic change is needed to limit the increase in the global temperature caused by climate change. More than two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions come from how we live our lives. But the behaviours that drive these emissions tend to be deeply habitual and hard to shift - the way we heat our homes, what we eat and how we travel to work. And our behavioural good intentions all too often fail to translate into action. So our climate question this week is how we can be nudged, or even shoved, to change? Guests: Elisabeth Costa, senior director, Behavioural Insights Team Erik Thulin, behavioural science lead at the Centre for Behaviour and the Environment at Rare Professor Martine Visser, behavioural economist at the University of Cape Town Mo Allie, BBC reporter in Cape Town Presented by Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell Produced by Alex Lewis Researched by Zoe Gelber Edited by Emma Rippon And if you’ve got a climate question, then email the team: [email protected]
3/1/202128 minutes, 22 seconds
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Have we planted too much faith in trees?

It seems we all love trees. Politicians, celebrities and big businesses love trees too. They’re seen as a natural climate fix because they eat carbon dioxide, one of the main gases that cause global warming. The number of trees pledged in the coming years runs into the billions. Pakistan wants to plant more than three billion trees in the next couple of years. Ethiopia claims to have planted 350 million in one day! Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson try to see the wood from the trees amongst all these claims, and discover that a ‘forest’ planting campaign doesn't always end up creating the natural woodland we imagine it to be. And to add to the urgency of the climate crisis, there's a new problem - a warming world may mean plants can’t suck up our carbon dioxide as effectively. Have we planted too much faith in trees? Experts: Dr Kate Hardwick, Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew Prof Pedro Brancalion, professor of forest sciences at the University of São Paulo Dr Ben Ben Poulter, NASA Goddard Space Centre Rafael Bitante, SoS Mata Atlantica Project Producer: Jordan Dunbar (London), Jessica Cruz (Sao Paulo) Researcher: Soila Apparicio Editor: Penny Murphy
2/22/202127 minutes, 38 seconds
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Does big money really believe green is good?

When a man sitting on nearly $9 trillion dollars of funds speaks, CEOs, investors and politicians listen. In late January, Larry Fink, boss of the world’s largest hedge fund, BlackRock, announced in his annual letter that "climate risk is investment risk. But we also believe the climate transition presents a historic investment opportunity.” He's not alone in championing big money's green awakening, but the titans of finance remain invested in the fossil fuel industry to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. So does the rhetoric marry with reality? Guests: Caroline Le Meaux - Head of ESG Research, Engagement, and Voting policy at Amundi Jeanne Martin - Senior Manager at Share Action Vishala Sri-Pathma - BBC business reporter
2/15/202124 minutes, 1 second
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Can the internet ever be green?

The big tech firms of the world have reported record profits during lockdown. These firms are some of the industrial titans of the digital age. Their ability to manipulate vast quantities of data is revolutionising, well, everything. From streaming games and movies, to automating mining operations, controlling medical devices and even simple emails, the internet has brought incredible advances right across the globe. But we now know that previous industrial revolutions placed a huge burden on the planet. Our climate question this week is: Will this one be any different? Facebook has pledged to use only renewable energy by the end of 2020, not 2030, as we stated in the programme. Guests: Dr Rabih Bashroush - IT infrastructure expert, The Uptime Institute Dr Stephanie Hare - Author and tech researcher Mats Lewan - Tech reporter, Stockholm Presented by Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell Produced by Jordan Dunbar Researched by Soila Apparicio Edited by Emma Rippon
2/8/202127 minutes, 19 seconds
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Will Africa really leapfrog to renewables?

Africa has an electricity crisis. Hundreds of millions of people lack cheap, steady supply, crippling lives in countless ways. Every other continent has electrified off the back of fossil fuels but Africa, on the face of it, has the opportunity to do it differently. Researchers found that some 2,500 power plants are planned across the continent. But the majority are expected to run on fossil fuels threatening to lock Africa into dirty energy for decades. In this edition of The Climate Question, we ask: What would it take to bring clean power to every African? For answers, we have one of Africa’s leading experts on power. Damilola Ogunbiyi ran the Lagos power authority before taking over efforts to electrify Nigeria’s rural communities. Today, she’s the CEO of Sustainable Energy for All and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All. We are also joined by Tony Tiyou, the Cameroonian CEO of the firm Renewables in Africa. And we hear from a community in Nigeria where people just want the lights on, now.
2/1/202122 minutes, 58 seconds
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How can we live with the SUV?

Lockdown saw historic drops in global emissions in every sector, except one: sports utility vehicles, or SUVs. They are among the best-selling cars in markets around the world, from India to China, South Africa and Germany. But these vehicles pollute much more than a normal sized car, and require more fuel to move and energy to make. Seen as a status symbol and wrongly thought of as safer than other cars, what can we do to wean ourselves off this polluting vehicle? Featuring World Service India reporter Arunoday Mukhardji; New York Times Shanghai editor Keith Bradsher, author of High and Mighty: The Dangerous Rise of the SUV; Jillian Anable, Professor of Transport and Energy at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds; and Jim Holder, editorial director, Haymarket Automotive.
1/25/202127 minutes, 25 seconds
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Does Africa have a voice on climate?

Ugandan activist Vanessa Nakate is on a mission to make sure Africa is listened to on climate justice. In early 2019 she started taking to the streets of Kampala to protest about climate change. It was a lonely pursuit. She was often on her own, or at best with a couple of her siblings or friends. But she quickly started gaining recognition, and has since spoken at the UN and Davos. However, a year ago she was thrust into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons when the Associated Press cut her out of a photo with four other white youth climate activists at an international climate conference. That painful experience has since informed her activism and role within the climate movement: "We will not have climate justice without social and racial justice", she says. So, of all the problems the African continent is facing, why did she choose to raise her voice on climate change - and is anybody listening?
1/18/202124 minutes, 13 seconds
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Jakarta: A warning?

As sea levels rise due to global warming, what does the future hold for our coasts? Already threatened by rising tides, Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is in a perilous situation - it is sinking. We join reporter Resty Woro Yuniar on a crumbling sea wall to hear the reality of living under sea level, and speak with the engineer responsible for fighting flooding from both the sea and the mountains. We hear about plans to abandon the city as a capital, and try again on drier land. Author Jeff Goddell describes being next to the glacier that could show just how high the oceans could rise. Solutions in the past have involved building our way out of this problem, but some locations will be too expensive to save. Is Jakarta a warning to us all?
1/11/202126 minutes, 35 seconds
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A year to save the world

Five years ago, there was widespread celebration after world leaders signed up to the Paris Agreement. However, despite pledging to pursue efforts to limit global warming to just 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, emissions have continued to rise. Many are saying the COP26 conference in late 2021, where world leaders will meet again, is a make-or-break moment to turn words into action. What needs to be achieved? What is the cost of failure? And where are the signs of hope for success? Justin Rowlatt and Navin Singh Khadka talk to Laurence Tubiana, CEO of the European Climate Foundation (ECF), who was previously France’s climate change ambassador and special representative for COP21, and a key architect of the landmark Paris Agreement. They are also joined by Christiana Figuerres, who was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) between 2010 and 2016, and Dr Emily Shuckburgh, director of Cambridge Zero at the University of Cambridge, and reader in environmental data science at the Department of Computer Science and Technology. Producer: Zak Brophy Researcher: Soila Apparicio Editor: Ravin Sampat Sound Design: David Crackles
1/4/202126 minutes, 36 seconds
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2020: A year of extremes

Not only has this year been one of the hottest on record, but there has also been a catalogue of record breaking extreme weather events. From the unprecedented bush fires in Australia to the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record, we pick apart how climate change is impacting weather systems and the lives of millions of people around the world. Justin Rowlatt, the BBC’s Chief Environment Correspondent, and Navin Singh Khadkha, the multi-lingual environment correspondent for the BBC’s World Service, are joined by Dr Friederike Otto, associate director of the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford, and an associate professor in the Global Climate Science Programme; Prof Adam Scaife, the head of long range forecasting at the UK's Met Office; and Laura Meller, a Greenpeace spokeswoman on board their ship the Arctic Sunrise. Producer: Zak Brophy Researcher: Soila Apparicio Editor: Ravin Sampat Sound Design: David Crackles
12/28/202026 minutes, 32 seconds
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Are Catholics ignoring the Pope on climate change?

In 2015, Pope Francis asked Catholics the world over to protect our planet. But five years on, with emissions and extinctions rising, what difference has it made? And have any other religions followed suit? For answers, Neal and Graihagh are joined by two leading voices on the environment: Christiana Figueres, who helped the world reach the Paris Climate Agreement, and Cardinal Peter Turkson, the Pope’s leading climate advisor. They’ll hear evidence from Poland, a Catholic country that runs on coal and where Church leaders are not always in step with the Vatican’s teaching on the environment. They’ll also assess the global impact of the Pope’s green push, and talk about the role of faith in fighting climate change. Produced by Anna Meisel and Eleanor Biggs Editor: Ravin Sampat. Sound Design: Tom Brignall
12/21/202029 minutes, 7 seconds
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The secret solution to climate change

If we educate and empower girls and young women, they are likely to have more control over their fertility. And with fewer people on the planet, it becomes the number one climate change solution. But it’s more complicated than it sounds, and not without controversy. Experts: Christina Kwauk, a fellow in the Center for Universal Education at Brookings, and Paul Hawken, founder of Project Drawdown Reporter: Ashley Lime Producer: Jordan Dunbar Researcher: Eleanor Biggs Editor: Ravin Sampat Sound mixer: Tom Brignell
12/14/202026 minutes, 28 seconds
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How to hurricane-proof our world

The record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season has devastated parts of the Caribbean and Central America. We’ll hear what it has meant to one neighbourhood in Nicaragua. In a speech this week, the UN Secretary General said that “apocalyptic fires and floods, cyclones and hurricanes are increasingly the new normal.” What, if any, is the link between hurricanes and climate change, and should we be preparing for even stronger storms? Presenters: Neal Razzell, Graihagh Jackson, Alfonso Flores Bermudes Researcher: Zoe Gelber Studio manager: Tom Brignell Producer: Anna Meisel Editor: Ravin Sampat
12/7/202026 minutes, 28 seconds
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A degree away from carnage

Climate scientists have shifted the definition of what they believe is the "safe" limit of climate change. Researchers argued the global temperature rise must be kept below two degrees Celsius by the end of this century to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. But what are those worst impacts in reality? What does it mean to people, communities and the world we live in? In this episode, we go to the people who see the effect of the rising temperature in their daily life. Produced by Eleanor Biggs & Jordan Dunbar Edited by Ravin Sampat
11/30/202026 minutes, 28 seconds
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The war on trees and what it means for disease

Many people have worried that the Covid-19 pandemic meant the harm of climate change was being ignored. But could the opposite be true? Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson look at the links between both emerging pandemics and deforestation. We’ll be on the ground in Nigeria, with BBC reporter Nkechi Ogbonna showing us the reality of farming and land use change in the tropics. While in the bush, she meets an illegal logger to find out their take on climate change and pandemics. Professor Thomas Gillespie studies emerging infectious diseases, the types we don’t even have a name for yet. His work has shown the problems of land use change for mining and agriculture and the emergence of diseases that jump from animals to humans, like Covid-19. The more we cut down, the closer we get to diseases we’d never encountered before. We also hear about global solutions from World Service environment correspondent Navin Singh Kadhka, and how we can help in the fight to save the rainforests.
11/23/202022 minutes, 58 seconds
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America v China

Will a Joe Biden presidency be better for the environment than President Trump’s policies? Is China really set to take the lead on tackling climate change? And can the world's two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases work together for the good of the planet? We're joined by former governor of California Jerry Brown, now with the California-China Climate Institute at Berkeley, and Daily Telegraph journalist Sophia Yan. Presenters: Neal Razzell, Graihagh Jackson, Vincent Ni Researcher: Eleanor Biggs Producer: Anna Meisel Editor: Ravin Sampat
11/16/202022 minutes, 58 seconds
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Introducing The Climate Question

Not just a show about climate, it’s also about how we can change. What’s stopping us from stopping climate change? Finding new ways of understanding what is happening to our world and the solutions that are out there.
11/2/20206 minutes, 8 seconds