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Valerie Volcovici
For Valerie Volcovici's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
John Kerry, the U.S. special envoy on climate issues, gestures as he attends a news conference in Beijing in July 2023.
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change
Mar 4, 2024
John Kerry bolstered U.S. climate reputation, but trust still elusive
Kerry is credited with restoring U.S. climate ties with China and courting private capital for climate action.
A man walks past a pollution pod designed to mimic the air quality in New Delhi, during the COP28 summit in Dubai, on Dec 4.
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change
Dec 15, 2023
How the world agreed to move away from fossil fuels at COP28
This year's climate conference marked the first time in history countries expressed a unified desire to end the oil age.
People walk through Dubai's Expo City during COP28 on Monday.
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change
Dec 5, 2023
COP28 crowds: A dangerous distraction or sign of success?
With a record 84,000 registered attendees, this year's COP28 is a far cry from the first in 1995, a low-key affair with fewer than 4,000 delegates.
Demonstrators hold banners in front of the TotalEnergies headquarter building at La Defense in Courbevoie, France, on Nov. 3, ahead of the international climate conference COP28 in Dubai later this month.
WORLD
Nov 7, 2023
Impasse broken on climate fund before COP28 but tough road ahead
Both developing and developed countries said they had made major concessions to avoid a failure that would have soured U.N. climate talks.
Environmental activists on the sidelines of the New Global Financial Pact Summit in Paris on June 23
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change
Oct 24, 2023
Countries deadlocked on 'loss and damage' as climate summit nears
Developing and developed countries at odds over fund's eligibility and who will oversee it.
Japan Times
WORLD / Politics
Jul 20, 2023
U.S. envoy John Kerry says China-U.S. climate relations need 'more work'
The two sides agreed climate change was urgent and that they should stick to the global commitment "to keep 1.5 alive.”
Japan Times
WORLD
Jul 17, 2023
China-U.S. climate progress could hinge on new methane deal
China had drafted a plan with concrete measures to curb methane emissions from energy, agriculture and waste but has yet to make the plan public.
Japan Times
WORLD
Jul 10, 2023
Pressure grows for world's militaries to report and reduce greenhouse emissions
As temperatures hit new highs, scientists and environmental groups are stepping up efforts to end a long-standing exemption that has kept some military climate pollution off the books.
Japan Times
WORLD
Jun 8, 2023
Accounting for war: Ukraine's climate fallout
The first 12 months of the war is expected to trigger a net increase of 120 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, equivalent to the annual output of a country such as Belgium.
Japan Times
WORLD
Jun 3, 2023
After rough start, U.N. plastic treaty talks end with mandate for first draft
By the session"s close, countries agreed to prepare a "zero draft" text of what would become a legally binding plastics treaty.
Japan Times
WORLD / Politics
May 4, 2023
U.S. climate envoy Kerry says China has invited him for talks
China last year briefly suspended talks with the U.S. on climate, security and other areas in response to a visit to Taiwan by then-U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Japan Times
BUSINESS / FOCUS
Jan 12, 2023
Biden's climate agenda has a problem: Not enough workers
With the U.S. unemployment rate at a historic low of 3.5%, companies fear that plans to transition away from fossil fuels could stall out as they struggle to fill job vacancies.
Japan Times
WORLD / FOCUS
Nov 1, 2022
COP27 climate summit to test resolve of world battling war and inflation
With nations dealing with the fallout of urgent crises, questions loom over whether they will act quickly and ambitiously enough to avoid the worst effects of climate change.
Japan Times
WORLD / ANALYSIS
Jul 1, 2022
Biden forced to rethink climate game plan after U.S. Supreme Court limits EPA powers
The U.S. president came into office with the aim of slashing power sector emissions to net zero by 2035, using the EPA as his key tool in doing so.
Japan Times
WORLD
Jul 1, 2022
U.S. Supreme Court limits federal power to curb carbon emissions
The decision will constrain the EPA's ability to issue any regulations on power plants that push for an ambitious national shift in energy policy toward renewable sources.
Japan Times
WORLD
Mar 18, 2022
World far short of climate goals during 'decade of action'
Failing to meet the 2030 emissions target risks pushing the world toward irreversible climate impacts, even if a second goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 is met, scientists say.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Feb 18, 2022
A U.N. pact may restrict plastic production. Big Oil aims to stop it.
U.N. members are set to meet this month to draft the blueprint for a global plastics treaty. That's a problem for Big Oil, with the plastic industry set to double output within 20 years.
Japan Times
WORLD / FOCUS
Nov 15, 2021
How a dispute over coal nearly sank the Glasgow Climate Pact
As envoys prepared to take their seats to adopt the accord on Saturday night, an unresolved dispute over coal threatened to derail it, and most of the people in the room had no idea.
Japan Times
WORLD / ANALYSIS
Nov 15, 2021
Was the Glasgow pact a win for the climate? Time will tell.
Success will be determined by the future actions of the governments that thrashed it out the deal, according to the summitu2019s U.K. hosts, participants and observers.
Japan Times
BUSINESS
Nov 1, 2021
Trash and burn: Big brands' new plastic waste plan faces skepticism
Experts say that burning plastic in cement kilns, a practice firms are promoting, emits harmful emissions and amounts to swapping one dirty fuel for another.

Longform

Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves