• This weekly round-up brings you some of the key environment stories from the past seven days.
  • Top stories: Window for action closing - warning to G20 ahead of COP26; Fossil fuel production set to far exceed climate targets - UN; John Kerry on COP26.

1. Environment stories from around the world

The European Parliament has asked the EU to legally require companies to fix methane leaks and impose binding targets on countries to cut emissions of the greenhouse gas.

French beekeepers have warned of the worst harvest in decades as unseasonably cold and wet weather due to climate change has prevented bees from producing honey.

A new report from the UN's climate agency has warned that climate change could mean Africa's eastern glaciers will vanish in two decades, 118 million poor people will face drought, floods or extreme heat, and the economy could shrink by 3% by mid-century.

More than 700,000 people have been affected by flooding in South Sudan, with UNHCR blaming climate change for the worst floods in some parts of the country in more than half a century.

The United Kingdom has set out its net-zero strategy as it prepares to host COP26 in Glasgow.

The Spanish city of Seville plans to name and categorize heat waves - in the same way as is done for tropical storms and hurricanes.

US Climate Envoy John Kerry has said that the COP26 summit is the "last best hope for the world to get its act together".

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.

Contact us to get involved.

2. Planned fossil fuel production far exceeds climate targets, UN warns

Major economies are set to produce more than double the amount of coal, oil and gas in 2030 than is consistent with meeting the goals set out in the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the UN and researchers warned this week.

The UN Environment Programme's (UNEP) annual production gap report measures the difference between governments' planned production of fossil fuels and production levels which are consistent with meeting the temperature limits set in Paris.

The report, which analysed 15 major fossil fuel producers, found they plan to produce, in total, around 110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting the degree of warming to 1.5°C, and 45% more than is consistent with 2°C.

Global fossil fuel production
Minding the production gap.
Image: UN

3. Window for action closing - warning to G20 ahead of COP26

Nine countries have urged the world's biggest economies to boost their climate pledges, saying their actions will set the tone for the upcoming COP26 summit in Glasgow.

"The window for taking decisive climate action is rapidly closing," said the letter, seen by Reuters, which was sent to Prime Minister Mario Draghi of Italy, the current president of the G20.

G20 leaders will gather in Rome on 30-31 October, a meeting that will "set the tone" for COP26.

"Our message is very clear, that we need the G20 to step up and to raise their ambitions before we meet in Glasgow," Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.

Signatories to the letter included Sweden, Latvia, Belgium, Estonia, Ireland, Grenda, Costa Rica, Denmark and the Marshall Islands.