Environment

A ship spewing heavy smoke is pictured on the Bosphorus in Istanbul on April 21, 2009.

In Turkey, a Battle Over Infrastructure Could Shape the Next Presidential Race

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s drive to build a new canal to bypass the Bosphorus faces a formidable opponent: Istanbul mayor and likely presidential contender Ekrem Imamoglu.

Chloe Cushman illustration for Foreign Policy

How Climate Change Has Supercharged the Left

Global warming could launch socialists to unprecedented power—and expose their movement’s deepest contradictions.

A view of the platform of the Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea from the Israeli northern coastal city of Caesarea on Dec. 19, 2019.

The World’s Next Energy Bonanza

Even more than fracking, tapping oceanic methane hydrates could soon upend the global energy landscape.

A protester walks past barricades in Haiti.

10 Important Stories You Might Have Missed in 2019

China’s designs in space, a drought crisis in southern Africa, and other stories you may have missed during this year’s chaotic and nonstop news cycle.

A crane lifts miners out of the shaft of a coal mine as workers break for lunch near the village of Latyrke near Lad Rymbai, in the district of East Jaintia Hills in Meghalaya, India, on April 13, 2011.

Return to the Rat Hole

Coal mining has been reopened in the Indian state of Meghalaya, but it isn’t clear that government protections will improve life for workers or help the environment.

A fishbone lies on a dry part of the bed of the River Loire in western France on July 24, 2019, as drought conditions prevail over much of western Europe.

5 Charts That Help Explain the State of the Environment in 2019

The world is not doing nearly enough to fight climate change, but politicians are finally starting to pay attention.

Steam and exhaust rise from different companies on a cold winter day in Oberhausen, Germany, on Jan. 6, 2017.

Green Deal, Greener World

Unlike the U.S. Democrats’ Green New Deal, the European Union’s version is technically feasible. Because of that, it could do much more to pave the way for future environmental gains.

View of a burnt area of the Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, the capital of the Brazilian state of Rondônia, on Aug. 26.

After Brazil’s Summer of Fire, the Militarization of the Amazon Remains

Bolsonaro sent the troops to put out the flames, but now they may be looking to other enemies.

At least three barges and one ship, the Courier, ran aground after they broke free from their moorings during Hurricane Gustav in New Orleans on Sept. 2, 2008.

Climate Change Is Coming for Global Trade

As sea levels rise and storms become fiercer, container shipping could be in for major disruptions.

Ethiopian builders work on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam near the Sudanese-Ethiopian border on March 31, 2015.

River of the Dammed

Ethiopia’s continued efforts to dam the Nile could end in war with Egypt. Here’s how to stop that from happening.

Indigenous leaders listen to Sonia Guajajara, the head of Brazil’s Indigenous People Articulation, as she speaks during a press conference on November 12 in Paris, as part of a tour calling on EU lawmakers to exert pressure on the Brazilian government to better protect the rights of indigenous communities, and scrutinize companies profiting from deforestation in the Amazon.

Brazil’s Amazon—and Its Defenders—Are Under Attack From Illegal Loggers

The killing of an indigenous forest guardian is only the latest incident in a pattern of impunity with consequences far beyond Brazil’s borders.

Activists march through Los Angeles during a climate change rally on Nov. 1.

Is the United States Really Leaving the Paris Climate Agreement?

Yes, but the process takes a long time. Final withdrawal will occur one day after the 2020 election—but Washington may still be able to get back in.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a "Trump Digs Coal" sign at a rally in West Virginia, one of the states hit by the coal industry's sharp decline, on Aug. 3, 2017.

Trump Can’t Save Coal Country

With eight bankruptcies in the last year—the latest this week—coal is in deep trouble again, and that could spell trouble for Trump in 2020.

Scottish National Party Member of Parliament Ian Blackford joins celebrations marking five years since Scotland's independence referendum.

Scotland Could Leave the United Kingdom Over Brexit—and Green Energy

The debate over how to best marshal the country's alternative energy sources may affect a new independence referendum.

Jean Ghodjendji radios back to colleagues at an advance post during a foot patrol in Bamingui-Bangoran National Park in the Central African Republic while fellow rangers scan the forest on May 18.

Central Africa’s Rangers Are as Threatened as the Animals They Guard

Park staff struggle to protect the animals—and themselves—against poachers and militias.

A woman casts her ballot at a polling station in Gaborone, Botswana, on Oct. 24, 2014.

It’s Not Just Elephants That Are Under Attack in Botswana

The country’s government is rolling back wildlife protections and endangering media freedom and the rule of law.

Brazilian soccer team fan, Giovanna Selena, from Brazil, flies her countries flag as she enjoys Copacabana beach while waiting for the start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 11, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Don’t Scapegoat Brazil Over the Environment

International threats to forcibly protect the Amazon betray ignorance about the subtle art of diplomacy.

Swedish environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg addresses politicians, media and guests with the Houses of Parliament on April 23, 2019 in London, England.

The Realpolitik of Greta Thunberg

Her global protest movement has impressed the world with its idealism—but more important are the ways it can steer practical politics.

Strong winds blow sand at a wind farm in the Coachella Valley on May 6, 2019 in Palm Springs, California.

The Limits of Clean Energy

If the world isn’t careful, renewable energy could become as destructive as fossil fuels.

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