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Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry attends Global Table on Sept. 3 in Melbourne, Australia. Daniel Pockett / Getty Images

Former U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, argued at a conference in Melbourne that economic and environmental benefits stem from investments in renewable energy, but climate crisis deniers in power risk running humanity off a cliff, as the Guardian reported.

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks at a news conference at UN headquarters on Sept. 18. Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Today is the United Nations Climate Action Summit, a gathering called by UN Secretary General António Guterres to encourage climate action ahead of 2020, the year when countries are due to up their pledges under the Paris agreement.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Half bleached coral in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. JAYNE JENKINS / CORAL REEF IMAGE BANK

The government agency that manages Australia's Great Barrier Reef on Friday downgraded its outlook for the condition of the coral system from "poor" to "very poor."

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A view of the Abbot Point coal port as seen on April 25, 2019 in Bowen, Australia. Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images

Australia's love affair with fossil fuels has it setting new records for carbon emissions, year after year, and seeing a decline in renewable energy sources, according to new research from Ndevr Environmental, an emissions-tracking organization, as the Guardian reported.

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Covering Climate Now / YouTube screenshot

By Mark Hertsgaard

The United Nations Secretary General says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency."

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Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks at a presidential forum in Miami on Aug. 8.

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Calling the global climate crisis both the greatest threat facing the U.S. and the greatest opportunity for transformative change, Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled today a comprehensive Green New Deal proposal that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy and create 20 million well-paying union jobs over a decade.

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Photon-Photos / iStock / Getty Images Plus

The desert of Australia's Northern Territory has the iconic Ayers Rock, but not much else. Soon, it may be known as home to the world's largest solar farm, according to the Guardian.

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Australia has suffered from frequent drought. CSIRO

Hey President Trump, here's some of that global warming you were asking for. As much of the northern hemisphere shudders through a blistering winter, in Australia, where it's the middle of summer, temperatures for the month of January were the hottest on record, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology confirmed Friday.

The extreme weather has sparked wildfires in the drought-ridded south. Australian Open tennis players fainted, vomited and hallucinated, heat-stressed bats literally fell out of trees and wild horses died en masse from thirst. Meanwhile, the tropical north has been battered by historic flooding and rainfall.

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Aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef. Marco Brivio / Photographer's Choice / Getty Images

The Great Barrier Reef faces yet "another nail in the coffin," Dr. Simon Boxall from the National Oceanography Centre Southampton told BBC News Friday.

That is because the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) has approved plans to dump one million tonnes (approximately 1.1 million U.S. tons) of sludge into the World Heritage Site. The decision comes in the same month that runoff from flooding in Queensland, Australia threatened to smother part of the reef and two years after the unique ecosystem was weakened by back-to-back coral bleaching events caused by climate change.

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Port of Longview, Washington. Sam Beebe / Ecotrust, CC BY-SA 3.0

By Shawn Olson-Hazboun and Hilary Boudet

A year after Washington state denied key permits for a coal-export terminal in the port city of Longview, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would proceed with its review—essentially ignoring the state's decision.

This dispute pits federal authorities against local and state governments. It's also part of a larger and long-running battle over fossil fuel shipments to foreign countries that stretches up the entire American West Coast.

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The Hazelwood Power Station, which closed last year, in Victoria, Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Australia's coal-loving lawmakers dismissed the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) warning to phase out the polluting fossil fuel by 2050.

In a recent interview with SkyNews, deputy prime minister Michael McCormack said Australia will "absolutely" continue to use and exploit its coal reserves regardless of what the IPCC report says.

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U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry during a meeting with Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman in Kyiv, Ukraine, on May 21. Maxym Marusenko / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who has aggressively championed fossil fuels and expressed skepticism that the climate crisis is man-made, will step down from his post by the end of the year, The New York Times reported.

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No LNG Rally on May 26, 2015, in Salem, Oregon; in 2016 we defeated the project. Alex Milan Tracy

By Dan Serres

As highlighted by the article Why Does Climate Change Matter to the Columbia?, we are in the the fight of our lives to stop dirty fossil fuels and transition to clean energy. The good news? You are making a difference right now. As activists, you have a tremendous impact on greenhouse gas pollution in the Pacific Northwest. Over the past decade, you defeated the region's largest fossil fuel proposals. From stopping liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments on the Lower Columbia River, to blocking mind-blowing quantities of coal exports, to persuading Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to deny North America's largest oil train terminal, your efforts register on a global scale.

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Conservative lawmaker Scott Morrison has forced out Malcolm Turnbull as Australian prime minister, the third time the country's leader has sunk over climate policy in the past decade, and the seventh since 1997, according to Australia's ABC News.

An internal Liberal party row started when Turnbull proposed modest emissions targets for the country's energy sector. He dropped the plans Monday after pressure from the party's right-wing faction, but that led to a narrowly defeated leadership challenge from Peter Dutton on Tuesday, then a final ousting from Morrison on Friday.

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Lighthouse Resources Inc.

Washington state regulators denied a water quality permit for a major coal export terminal Tuesday, dealing a possibly lethal blow to the project.

The Washington Department of Ecology denied the permit for the Millennium Bulk terminal project, finding that the proposed terminal would have caused "significant and unavoidable harm" to the nearby city of Longview.

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Pexels

Last year's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report sounded a global alarm about the need to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to reach "net zero" levels by 2050. While there have been stark climate warnings for decades, this time the reaction was different. There is an unprecedented global surge of inspired climate activism, and across the country governors and state legislatures are taking up emissions reduction plans. Even some top-tier Democratic presidential candidates are pushing climate policies that would have been mostly unthinkable just a few months ago.

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Goldman Environmental Prize Foundation

Six grassroots environmental activists will receive the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize today. Dubbed the Green Nobel Prize, the Goldman Prize honors environmental activists from each of the six continental regions: Europe, Asia, North America, Central America and South America, Africa and islands and island nations.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Prize founded in 1989 by U.S. philanthropists Rhoda and Richard Goldman. To date, 194 winners from 89 different nations have received this award.

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Cyclone Idai hit the Mozambican coast earlier this month, devastating the port city of Beira and killing at least 700 people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. GUILLEM SARTORIO / AFP / Getty Images

By Michael Novick

Environmental catastrophes in southern Africa and in the U.S. Midwest underscore the fact that life-threatening damage from capitalist-induced climate change is happening already.

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The Paradise Fossil Plant in Kentucky. TVA

By Tara Lohan

President Trump didn't exactly lie low over the holidays.

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