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Climate-smart agriculture boosts yields, mitigates extreme weather impact and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. A study in Central America, Africa, and Asia points to profitable opportunities for farmers and the environment.

CREDIT: INTERNAIONAL CENTER FOR TROPICAL AGRICULTURE / GEORGINA SMITH

Cacao farmers in Nicaragua lose their crop, the main ingredient for chocolate, to fungal blight and degrading soils. Yields drop in Vietnam's rice paddies because of higher temperatures and increased salinity. Bean and maize growers in Uganda see their plants die during severe dry spells during what should be the rainy season. The two-punch combination of climate change and poor agricultural land management can be countered with simple measures that keep farms productive and profitable. Implementation of this climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices can increase yields, benefit the environment and increase farmer income, according to a new cost-benefit analysis by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) published November 19 in PLOS ONE.

Read more: Simple steps to climate-proof farms have big potential upside for tropical farmers

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A coal-fired power plant in Kosovo. Credit: World Bank.

At the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Bali in October, the Bank signaled that it would further limit its future coal finance portfolio, introducing a new policy that will encourage divestment from coal in financial intermediaries (i.e. commercial banks and asset funds) that are clients of the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the Bank’s private sector arm). The Bank also formally announced that a coal-fired power plant in Kosovo, which it had previously considered funding, was now ‘off the table’ (see Observer Autumn 2018).

Read more: As climate crisis bites, World Bank further distances itself from coal

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Undersea forests, bleached and killed by rising ocean temperature, might disappear in a few decades, experts warn.

 Bleached coral in Guam in 2017. Photograph: David Burdick/AP

Children born today may be the last generation to see coral reefs in all their glory, according to a marine biologist who is coordinating efforts to monitor the decline of the world’s most colorful ecosystem.

Read more: Next generation ‘may never see the glory of coral reefs’

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