We’ll start at the COP 21 – where the annual meeting of all nations that make up the United Nations Framework on Climate Change — 195 nations in total, gather to discuss the effect of human actions on our planet.
Every so often, the countries negotiate agreements and set goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are the primary drivers of climate change – which is why there is so much interest surrounding this particular summit.
The goal is pretty clear-cut: to achieve a legally binding agreement, with universal participation among all nations, to keep global warming below what most scientists say is the critical threshold of 2 degrees Celsius of warming.
â€” The Guardian (@guardian) November 27, 2015
New Zealand’s role in the talks has been in the news too – with Prime Minister John Key receiving criticism over comments he made at the summit about oil subsidies.
Prime Minister John Key used the UN Climate Conference to call for an end to fossil fuel subsidies – despite allegations oil companies get tax subsidies here.
The Green Party alleges that fossil fuel companies get special tax breaks, and therefore the government is being hypocritical.
Prime Minister Key also picked up the “Fossil of the Day” award on the opening day of the talks – not exactly a ‘coveted’ prize at the summit.
â€” Climate News NZ (@ClimateNewsNZ) December 1, 2015
Across the Tasman they’ve been dealing with their own weather issues – when more than a dozen homes losing their roofs and close to 19,000 properties were left without power after very dangerous thunderstorms tore across south-east Queensland on Sunday afternoon.
The storms, which began out west in the afternoon before moving towards the coast in the early evening, dropped golf ball to egg-sized hail in the Brisbane suburbs of Rocklea, Acacia Ridge, Archerfield and Corinda, and more than 72 millimetres of rain in 30 minutes at Harrisville in the Scenic Rim.
OH MY GOD!! The storm here in Brisbane is AMAZING!!! pic.twitter.com/eAZTS7R7DU
â€” samtasaurus6 (@samasaurus6) November 29, 2015
Meanwhile in Queensland, severe storms pummeled parts of the southeast this week.
Stanthorpe collected 75 mm on Wednesday, the heaviest rainfall in December in more than 90 years.
We ended the week on a tragic note in India, where weeks of heavy rain and flooding have knocked out power, suspended public transportation and left people stranded in Chennai, one of the country’s largest cities.
The Indian army and navy are carrying out rescue operations, while the Indian Coast Guard is also working to rescue people.
At least nine people have died so far in severe flooding that has hit Chennai in recent days, according to a Tamil Nadu state official tally released Wednesday (Thursday NZT).
And finally, a new interview emerged this week, revealing details around Karen Olsen’s departure from TVNZ earlier this year.
While we don’t deal in gossip here at WeatherWatch.co.nz, we are big fans of Ms Olsen, and thought the article was definitely worth a read – if only to hear what one of the most respected weather voices in the country has to say about our media environment! Check the interview out, here.
Don’t forget to vote in this week’s poll, below – and have a look at what’s in store for your weekend with Philip Duncan, here!
– Drew Chappell, WeatherWatch.co.nz
– Photo: CNN