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Disasters linked to climate change can increase risk of armed conflict

Environmental disasters linked to climate change can increase the risk of armed conflict, according to new research.

The Guardian report that the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found that 23% of conflicts over the last three decades have occurred during extreme weather events like droughts, floods and heatwaves.

The research concludes that climate change can be added to the list of conditions that have traditionally been seen to spark warfare – inequality, poverty and disputes over natural resources.

The findings suggest a worrying trend of increased climate change leading to more conflict around the world.

Lead author  Dr Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, told Carbon Brief: “We do not report evidence that climate disasters are directly triggering conflict outbreak, but rather that they may enhance the risk of an outbreak of a conflict rooting in context-specific circumstances.”

Peak coal in China hailed as climate turning point

China’s monumental coal burning looks to have finally peaked, according to a study by leading economists.

The news has been hailed as a potential turning point in the international battle against climate change, as China’s relentless use of coal to fuel it’s dramatic economic growth has been one of the leading cause of carbon emissions in recent years.

The Guardian reports that the economists believe that China reaching its coal peak could be a key moment in human history.

You can read the analysis, which was led by Lord Nicholas Stern, from the London School of Economics, in collaboration with colleagues from Tsinghua University in Beijing.  published in the Nature Geoscience.

UK nuclear plans face scrutiny from MPs

With the final investment decision on the UK’s new nuclear power plant due this week, MPs have said that future nuclear projects need to represent good value for money.

Members of the Welsh Affairs Committee said a new nuclear plant on Anglesey, called Wylfa Newydd, should only be built if it presents “value for money for the taxpayer”.

The EDF-led project known as Hinkley Point C in the south of England has been heavily criticised by green groups and members of both major political parties after years of delays and spiralling costs.

The new plant in Wales is planned to replace one which closed in December and had been running for more than 40 years. The replacement station is expected to cost around £8billion and will support 1,000 jobs.

The BBC report that MPs on the committee said they were satisfied with safety issues at British nuclear plants but needed reassurance over costs.  Some warned that public opinion had turned against nuclear power since the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

In other news

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Solar flight completes historic round the world journey after four months

US clean coal project blighted by problems

UK solar subsidy cuts cost 12,000 jobs

New hybrid wind farm to be built in Australian capital