Olivia Rudgard
For Olivia Rudgard's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change
Feb 29, 2024
Politicians betting the earth on climate backlash in election year
Moves to roll back green policies and downplay climate change within the world's top climate polluters follow the hottest year on record.
Sun simulation at the Rail Tec Arsenal facility in Vienna, Austria, on Dec. 15, 2023
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change
Feb 16, 2024
Climate change threatens EU trains, but resilience is expensive
Europe’s railways, a safe, low-carbon technology that still carries a little glamor, are on the brink of a new era.
Petroleum pipelines and fuel storage tanks at a refinery near Manama, Bahrain, in 2017
Nov 18, 2023
To meet climate goals, Gulf countries will have to overhaul everything
The growing oil-rich region faces myriad challenges as the world pushes to decarbonize.
According to new analysis, 99% of the world’s population experienced above-average warmth in the past 12 months, making the period the hottest 12 months on record.
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change
Nov 10, 2023
‘No one is safe from climate change’ after hottest 12 months
Average temperatures between the start of November 2022 through October this year were 1.32 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Identifying a sustainable product can involve evaluating claims about emissions, plastic use, water waste and packaging recyclability.
ENVIRONMENT / Sustainability
Sep 19, 2023
Regulators are trying to stop greenwashing before it gets worse
The range of agencies tackling dubious sustainability claims is indicative of its ambiguity and breadth.
A sign reading "Anti-inflation challenge, second price cut" is seen near shelves at a supermarket in Nice, France, in June.
BUSINESS / Economy
Sep 12, 2023
The inflation crisis is fraying Europe’s climate consensus
Polls show most European voters are reluctant to bear the cost of switching to less-polluting technology.
The charred remains of Lahaina, a coastal town on the Hawaiian island of Maui, on Aug. 11
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change
Aug 28, 2023
Extreme weather events are driving climate denialism online
Researchers tracking talk on social media report that some people believe recent climate catastrophes are actually proof that climate change is fake.
Japan Times
Jul 16, 2023
How to adapt home design for extreme heat
Europeans and North Americans spend around 90% of their time inside, and millions of their homes were built for weather that no longer exists.
Japan Times
Jun 20, 2023
Europe now fastest-warming continent as heat outpaces global norms, report shows
Climate and weather hazards in 2022 led to 16,365 deaths, mostly relating to heat waves, and caused $2 billion in damage, largely connected with floods and storms, according to the analysis.
Japan Times
Jun 10, 2023
U.K. bans ‘misleading’ fossil fuel ads that overemphasize renewables
All of the campaigns targeted by the U.K. authorities emphasize the oil companies’ ambitions on renewable energy but fail to mention their sizeable carbon footprints.
Japan Times
Apr 24, 2023
A Canadian businessman spent $1 million to offset his carbon footprint
Craig Cohon pegged the carbon footprint of his life, including a globetrotting career, at 8,147 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent — 28 times the global average.
Japan Times
Mar 14, 2023
What Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse means for climate tech
SVB was known as a climate bank that lent big to renewable energy companies, specialized in small solar projects and served more than 1,550 customers doing climate and sustainability work.
Japan Times
Feb 28, 2023
The EU is cracking down on plastic. Will others follow?
The European Commission has proposed sweeping packaging regulations, requiring product packaging in the EU to be easier to reuse, recycle or in some cases, compost.
Japan Times
Feb 20, 2023
Despite perception as eyesore, wind turbine tourism takes off
There is ample research to suggest that travelers are not only unfazed by wind farms, but find them objects of fascination.
Japan Times
Jan 18, 2023
How eco-friendly is that product? Here are four ways to spot greenwashing
Research in the EU found that more than half of the 'green' claims it studied were vague, misleading or unfounded — and that consumers don't trust businesses to tell the truth.


Yayoi Kusama’s “Pumpkin,” once the victim of high waves that dragged it into the sea, sits at the end of a pier on the south side of Naoshima.
Why is the most exciting art in Japan so hard to get to?