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Good morning, it's Kasmira, with this week's climate coverage. And there's a lot of it, with a flurry of both pledges and warnings to coincide with yesterday's Earth Day and the start of a virtual climate summit hosted by the US.

Among the promises made, Joe Biden vowed to drastically cut US emissions alongside commitments by other world leaders. Meanwhile, the World Meteorological Association's report on last year's climate showdown makes for a sobering read.

In other news, a Swiss research initiative will soon set sail on a mission to protect Red Sea coral. And lastly, a quick note to say there will be no newsletter on Monday but we’ll be back again with you on Tuesday.

photo journaliste

Kasmira Jefford


Climate news

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Not everyone welcomed US President Biden's climate pledge. Activists with Extinction Rebellion DC showed their views of what they called a "half baked"by leaving a pile of manure near the White House. (Keystone/EPA/Jim Lo Scalzo)

🌍 'No nation can solve this crisis on our own', US President Joe Biden said at the opening of the two-day climate summit, where he also committed the US to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. The packed day also saw climate activist Greta Thunberg deliver blistering remarks to a House of Representatives panel on fossil fuel subsidies, urging them to “use their common sense”. Follow the unfolding summit headlines here.

The Guardian (EN)

🌊 ⚠️ Double trouble. Covid, combined with a succession of extreme weather events, dealt a double blow to the fragile planet and for millions of people hit by climate-related disasters last year. The World Meteorological Association’s State of the Global Climate 2020 report, which gives a sobering account of climate change’s unfolding effects, is a wake-up call that there’s no time to lose.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

📗 Would Bill Gates' plan be enough to avert climate disaster? In his recent book, Climate: how to avoid a disaster, the entrepreneur and philanthropist puts forward a plan for tackling the climate challenge head on. But does it hold up to the task? Explorer and Bertrand Piccard, president of the Solar Impulse foundation, and climatologist Valentine Python, national advisor for the Greens, give their verdict.

Heidi.news (FR)

Here's what else is happening

Image of the day

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Coral reef in the Red Sea. (Credit: Transnational Red Sea Center)

🐠 Saving super corals. Images of white, dying coral reefs have become an all too gloomy and familiar sight. But in the Red Sea, these vulnerable marine species are providing a glimmer of hope after scientists at EPFL found that they are extremely resistant to rising water temperatures. The Transnational Red Sea Center (TRSC), a research centre at the Lausanne university, is now launching its first expedition at the end of June to study these unusual corals. The project, involving researchers from several Red Sea countries and supported by the Swiss confederation, has a second mission to promote "scientific diplomacy" in the Middle-East. Scientists will set sail on the “Fleur de Passion”, a research boat created by Geneva non-for-profit Fondation Pacifique.

Transnational Red Sea Center (EN)

Number of the day

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KEYSTONE/Salvatore Di Nolfi

Climate goals for Geneva airport are pie in the sky, says report. The canton plans to cut carbon emissions at Cointrin by 60 per cent by 2030. However, even continuing at the same low levels of activity experienced in 2020 would not be enough to achieve those objectives. That’s according to a report commissioned by the Geneva Green party. Exploring different scenarios, the study, by environmental NGO Noé21, says shifting short-distance traffic towards train journeys is the best solution.

Le Temps (EN)

Next on the agenda

📍 28 April | Rapid support on Covid-19 Related Waste Management The surge in caseloads of patients due to the pandemic has led to increased productions of hazardous healthcare waste for countries with or without adequate medical waste management systems. The event will share guidance notes.


📍 23-25 April | 48 hours of urban agriculture. Here's an idea for the weekend for green-fingered city dwellers: learn how to create your own vegetable garden or making your own compost at workshops taking place across Geneva. The event, organised by Les Défricheuses Association, is held in 20 cities in Switzerland, France, Belgium and Spain.

Les 48h (EN)

Deep dive into International Geneva

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🍃 April has come and gone, and we're making sure you're up to speed with what happened in International Geneva. Sent every last Wednesday of the month, the GS Monthly Digest brings you a selection of our top stories straight to your inbox.

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