A seagrass meadow near Atauro Island, Timor-Leste.

Seagrasses, mangrove forests, and coastal wetlands store vast amounts of carbon, and their preservation and restoration hold great potential to bank CO2 and keep it out of the atmosphere. But can the blue carbon market avoid the pitfalls that have plagued land-based programs?

By Nicola Jones

  • Analysis

    Are Huge Tree Planting Projects More Hype than Solution?

    High-profile programs aimed at planting billions of trees are being launched worldwide. But a growing number of scientists are warning that these massive projects can wreck natural ecosystems, dry up water supplies, damage agriculture, and push people off their land.

    By Adam Welz

  • Policy

    In Europe, a Backlash Is Growing Over Incinerating Garbage

    For years, European countries have built “waste-to-energy” incinerators, saying new technology minimized pollution and boosted energy production. But with increasing concern about the plants’ CO2 emissions, the EU is now withdrawing support for these trash-burning facilities.

    By Beth Gardiner

  • Energy

    The Oil Well Next Door: California’s Silent Health Hazard

    Unlike other oil-producing states, much of the drilling in California takes place in residential neighborhoods, often in Spanish-speaking communities. Despite mounting complaints about pollution from the wells, the state has failed to take action to address this public health problem.

    By Judith Lewis Mernit

Climate

Despite Pledges to Cut Emissions, China Goes on a Coal Spree

China is building large numbers of coal-fired power plants to drive its post-pandemic economy. The government has promised a CO2 emissions peak by 2030, but the new coal binge jeopardizes both China’s decarbonization plans and global efforts to tackle climate change.

By Michael Standaert

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Essay

How the Loss of Soil Is Sacrificing America’s Natural Heritage

A new study points to a stunning loss of topsoil in the Corn Belt — the result of farming practices that have depleted this once-fertile ground. Beyond diminished agricultural productivity and more carbon in the atmosphere, it is a catastrophic loss of an irreplaceable resource.

By Verlyn Klinkenborg

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