• This weekly round-up brings you some of the key environment stories from the past seven days, to help keep you up to date.
  • Top stories: Rain on the top of Greenland's ice sheet; study finds climate change makes extreme weather more likely; Denmark and Costa Rica seek alliance to phase out fossil fuels.

New York City had its wettest hour on record, as storm Henri hit the east coast of the US, a meteorologist told AP.

Indonesia may experience more natural disasters in the coming months as the annual rainy season is expected to start earlier and be more severe this year, the country's meteorological agency, BMKG, said on Thursday.

Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg was back protesting outside the Swedish parliament last Friday, the three-year anniversary of her first school strike which grew into a global, youth-led protest movement.

Meanwhile, in the UK, Extinction Rebellion began a two-week climate protest in London, with 200 arrests in the first four days.

At least 20 people have died in the Venezuelan state of Merida following intense rains that caused mudslides and rivers to overflow.

A large swath of Denali National Park, one of Alaska's top travel destinations, has closed for the summer tourist season weeks early after heightened landslide activity from excessive thawing of a mountain slope made the park's only access road unsafe.

The British government is considering plans to release beavers back into the wild across England some four centuries after the dam-building mammals became extinct in Britain. The proposals would see the animals allowed to be introduced if strict criteria were met along with an assessment of their impact on the surrounding land and other species.

2. Climate change has made extreme rainfall events 'more likely'

Climate change has made extreme rainfall events of the kind that sent lethal torrents of water hurtling through parts of Germany and Belgium last month at least 20% more likely to happen in the region, scientists said on Tuesday.

A day of rainfall can now be up to 19% more intense in the region than it would have been had global atmospheric temperatures not risen by 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.16 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, according to research published by the World Weather Attribution (WWA) scientific consortium.

"We will definitely get more of this in a warming climate," said the group's co-leader Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at the University of Oxford.

What’s the World Economic Forum doing about climate change?

Climate change poses an urgent threat demanding decisive action. Communities around the world are already experiencing increased climate impacts, from droughts to floods to rising seas. The World Economic Forum's Global Risks Report continues to rank these environmental threats at the top of the list.

To limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C and as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, it is essential that businesses, policy-makers, and civil society advance comprehensive near- and long-term climate actions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The World Economic Forum's Climate Initiative supports the scaling and acceleration of global climate action through public and private-sector collaboration. The Initiative works across several workstreams to develop and implement inclusive and ambitious solutions.

This includes the Alliance of CEO Climate Leaders, a global network of business leaders from various industries developing cost-effective solutions to transitioning to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy. CEOs use their position and influence with policy-makers and corporate partners to accelerate the transition and realize the economic benefits of delivering a safer climate.

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With extreme weather events dominating news headlines in recent years, scientists have been under increasing pressure to determine exactly how much climate change is to blame.

During the last year alone, scientists found that U.S. drought, a deadly Canadian heat wave and wildfires across the Siberian Arctic had been worsened by the warming atmosphere.

The 12-15 July rainfall over Europe triggered flooding that swept away houses and power lines, and killed more than 200 people, mostly in Germany. Dozens died in Belgium and thousands were also forced to flee their homes in the Netherlands.

3. Denmark and Costa Rica seek alliance to end reliance on fossil fuels

Denmark and Costa Rica are trying to forge an alliance of countries willing to fix a date to phase out oil and gas production and to stop giving permits for new exploration, government ministers said and documents showed.

Global share of electricity generation, 2019
Reliance on fossil fuels in 2019.
Image: IEA

Burning fossil fuels is the main source of the greenhouse gas emissions heating the planet, but so far there has been no collective government action to end oil and gas production.

"Restricting domestic oil and gas production in line with what is required to live up to the Paris Agreement goals will be the core focus," the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) said.

Industry and governments are moving too slowly to meet the Paris Agreement's goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and limiting temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7° Fahrenheit).

The International Energy Agency has said there should be no new investments in fossil fuel supply projects anywhere in the world if the Paris targets are to be met.

This article uses reporting from Reuters.