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In July 2017 Greenlight Planet opened the first store in Myanmar offering solar products through the pay-as-you-go model. (Supplied)

Digital payment solutions are an ideal, cost-effective way to enable rural households to access reliable solar power.

SINCE REFORMS began in 2011, Myanmar has become one of the fastest-growing developing markets in Asia. Growing access to communications technology – SIM cards, fast data coverage and cheap smartphones – is helping fuel this growth.

Read more: Harnessing the power of fintech in Myanmar

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Coral bleaching poses a threat not only to fragile reefs but to entire marine ecosystems as well. Photo Credit: www.globalcoralbleaching.org

Coral bleaching is bad news for fragile marine ecosystems. Mass bleaching of corals on a wide scale is worse news still. Yet bleaching en masse reefs around the seas are, according to scientists who have surveyed bleaching records of 100 reefs collected between 1980 and 2016 from around the tropics.

The researchers, who have published their findings in the journal Science, have found that reefs are bleaching with far more frequency than ever before in recorded memory. Worse: more frequent episodes of mass bleaching allows fragile corals less time to recover. The culprit for this phenomenon is the usual suspect: climate change that increases water temperatures.

Read more: Coral Reefs are getting KO’d by Climate Change

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The Collins glacier on King George Island in the Antarctic has retreated in the last 10 years and shows signs of fragility. AFP photo

Antarctica:  A decade ago, a thick layer of ice covered the Collins Glacier on Antarctica’s King George Island.

Now, the rocky landscape is visible to the naked eye, in a region that is both a victim of and a laboratory for climate change.

Read more: Antarctica: a laboratory for climate change

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The coastal city of San Juan in Puerto Rico was flooded after Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017.Credit: Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo/The Washington Post/Getty

Cities must address climate change. More than half of the world’s population is urban, and cities emit 75% of all carbon dioxide from energy use 1. Meeting the target of the 2015 Paris climate agreement to keep warming well below 2° C above pre-industrial levels requires staying within a ‘carbon budget’ and emitting no more than around 800 gigatonnes of CO2 in total after 2017. Yet bringing the rest of the world up to the same infrastructure level as developed countries (those listed as Annex 1 to the Kyoto Protocol) by 2050 could take up to 350 gigatonnes of the remaining global carbon budget 2. Much of this growth will be in cities in the developing world (see ‘Urban development challenge’).

Cities are increasingly feeling the effects of extreme weather. Many are located on floodplains, in dry areas or on coasts. In 2017, more than 1,000 people died and 45 million people lost homes, livelihoods, and services when severe floods hit southeast Asian cities, including Dhaka in Bangladesh and Mumbai in India. California’s suburbs and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil have experienced floods and mudslides on the heels of drought, wildfires and heavy rains. Cape Town in South Africa has endured extreme drought since 2015. By 2030, millions of people and US$4 trillion of assets will be at risk from such events (see go.nature.com/2sbj4qh).

Read more: Six research priorities for cities and climate change

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Social media micro-influencers Marcus Nai (@marcusnai) and Melissa (@tacomels) raising awareness on climate change on their respective Instagram profiles. PHOTOS: INSTAGRAM/@MARCUSNAI, INSTAGRAM/@tacomels

SINGAPORE - Another ministry is paying social media micro-influencers to post on Instagram to spread the word of an issue.

This time, the Ministry for the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) has engaged them to raise awareness on climate change and what people can do to help.

Read more: Environment ministry pays social media influencers to spread word on climate change

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Batangas, Philippines – Activists from Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Philippines unfurled a banner reading “PEOPLE AND PLANET, NOT PROFIT” from Shell’s Batangas oil refinery today, sending a sharp reminder to Shell to attend upcoming hearings into the responsibility of big fossil fuel companies for climate-related human rights harms. 

Read more: ‘People and planet, not profit’ – Greenpeace activists demand Shell show up at climate change and...

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Agroforestry, on average, stores markedly more carbon than agriculture, researchers found. Here, alley cropping walnut and soybeans is shown in Missouri. In the United States, agroforestry is lauded for its environmental benefits; in the tropics its economic benefits are seen as in dispensable. Credit: USDA National Agroforestry Center

Agroforestry could play an important role in mitigating climate change because it sequesters more atmospheric carbon in plant parts and soil than conventional farming, according to Penn State researchers.

Read more: Agroforestry systems may play vital role in mitigating climate change

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Fire clownfish hiding in anemones at Wakatobi. (Shutterstock/File)

While the Earth has only warmed around 0.74 degrees Celsius over the last 100 years, this small temperature increase is affecting ocean ecosystems and could impact upon the global marine tourism industry.

Read more: How climate change threatens Indonesia's marine tourism

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The American cross-country skier Jessie Diggins competing in 2016. “Saving winter is something I believe in,” she said.CreditAlexander Hassenstein/Bongarts, via Getty Images

The thrill of victory

Jessie Diggins is a cross-country skier on the American women’s team and a favorite to win a medal at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. If she succeeds, it will be only the second time the United States has won a medal in the sport and the first for an American woman.

Read more: This Olympic Skier Wants to Save the World’s Snow

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Minister Masagos Year of Climate Change Action

From monitoring paper usage in schools, setting up recycling corners at the workplace, to using reusable shopping bags, educational institutions, organizations, and individuals can now pledge to commit to activities to tackle climate change.

Read more: Everyone can be ‘Captain Planet’, as 2018 is earmarked Year of Climate Action

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