Stories on why we find it so hard to save our own planet, and how we might change that.

Are South Africa’s blackouts a green turning point?

March 26, 2023 0:27:23 5.08 MB ( 21.19 MB less) Downloads: 0

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: Producer: Laurence Knight Researcher: Matt Toulson Production Coordinators: Sophie Hill and Siobhan Reed Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Vadon Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell

Can artificial intelligence help farmers adapt to the effects of climate change?

March 19, 2023 0:26:59 5.09 MB ( 20.81 MB less) Downloads: 0

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: Producer: Ben Cooper Researchers: Matt Toulson and Laura Cain Production Coordinator: Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith Sound Engineer: James Beard

Can investors change an oil company from within?

March 12, 2023 0:27:39 26.54 MB Downloads: 0

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: 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

How can we prevent the spread of disease in a warming world?

March 05, 2023 0:27:31 26.41 MB Downloads: 0

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: 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

Can the ski industry survive climate change?

February 26, 2023 0:27:32 26.43 MB Downloads: 0

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 Richardson, 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 Email us: Producers: Ben Cooper and Mora Morrison Researcher: Matt Toulson Production Coordinator: Siobhan Reed Series Producer: Ros Jones Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell

Can natural gas ever be green?

February 18, 2023 0:27:36 26.49 MB Downloads: 0

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: 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

How can oceans help us capture carbon?

February 12, 2023 0:28:8 27.0 MB Downloads: 0

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

How is India doing in the fight against climate change?

February 05, 2023 0:27:24 26.3 MB Downloads: 0

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: 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

Why are we still subsidising fossil fuels?

January 29, 2023 0:27:0 25.92 MB Downloads: 0

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: 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

Why isn’t the world heating equally?

January 22, 2023 0:27:38 26.52 MB Downloads: 0

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: Production Team: Producer: Natasha Fernandes Production coordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross and Siobhan Reed Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Emma Rippon Sound Engineer: Neil Churchill

How can we cool our warming world sustainably?

January 15, 2023 0:27:17 26.19 MB Downloads: 0

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: Producer: Lily Freeston Researcher: Natasha Fernandes Production Coordinators: Siobhan Reed and Sophie Hill Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: China Collins Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell

Can renewables be used for heating?

January 08, 2023 0:27:19 26.22 MB Downloads: 0

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 Email us: 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

Can we reduce lives lost from extreme weather?

January 01, 2023 0:27:46 26.65 MB Downloads: 0

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: 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

How to speak to a climate denier

December 25, 2022 0:27:47 26.67 MB Downloads: 0

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: Producer: Mora Morrison Researcher: Richard Tisdale Production Coordinator: Siobhan Reed & Sophie Hill Series Producer: Alex Lewis Editor: Bridget Harney Sound engineer: Graham Puddifoot

Was the 2022 World Cup as green as it seemed?

December 18, 2022 0:27:19 26.22 MB Downloads: 0

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 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