Central Ulan Bator is barely visible due to air pollution. Traditional yurts have been set up on the outskirts of the capital. (Yasuhiro Sugimoto)
Global warming forcing Mongolian nomads to change lifestyles
ULAN BATOR--Men on horseback chase sheep and goats over the snow-covered land in winter in the Mongolian plains, where temperatures can drop to minus 30 degrees.
Judge Peter Tomka, center, president of the International Court of Justice, delivers its verdict in The Hague on March 31. (AP Photo)
World court rules Japanese whaling not scientific, orders temporary halt
THE HAGUE--The International Court of Justice on March 31 ordered a temporary halt to Japan's Antarctic whaling program, ruling that it is not for scientific purposes as the Japanese government had claimed.
Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, during a news conference in Yokohama on March 31 (Nobuhiro Shirai)
U.N. climate panel: Global warming worsens food, hunger problems
YOKOHAMA--Global warming makes feeding the world harder and more expensive, a United Nations scientific panel said.
A downpour flooded houses in Obama, Fukui Prefecture, in September 2013. An increase in greenhouse gas emissions could lead to cataclysmic environmental changes, a U.N. panel draft report says. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
U.N. panel: Reduce greenhouse gases or suffer catastrophic effects
Greenhouse gases must be cut 40 to 70 percent within 36 years to prevent cataclysmic environmental changes, according to a U.N. panel’s draft report that urges an immediate shift away from coal-fired power plants.
The urinal with a wash basin that won an award in the eco-services category of the 2013 Eco-Products Awards (Provided by West Nippon Expressway Co.)
Water-saving urinal wins eco-product award
A urinal that uses recycled water for flushing has won an eco-products award.
The opening session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP19 in Warsaw, Poland, on Nov. 11. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Japan's new CO2 goal dismays U.N. climate conference
TOKYO/WARSAW--China, the EU and environmentalists criticized Japan at U.N. climate talks on Nov. 15 for slashing its greenhouse gas emissions target after its nuclear power industry was shuttered by the Fukushima disaster.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japan dials back climate change emissions target
Japan has drastically scaled back its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, complicating efforts to forge a global climate change pact.
Pedestrians walk on a street in heavy smog in Shenyang city, Liaoning province, China on Oct. 21. (AP Photo)
China to send air pollution inspection teams to provinces
BEIJING--China's Environment Ministry said on Oct. 24 it will send inspection teams to provinces and cities most seriously affected by smog to ensure rules on fighting air pollution are being enforced.
Masses of cars and buses move slowly in a traffic jam on a road in Beijing on July 9. (AP file photo)
China sets new targets to cut air pollution
BEIJING--China unveiled comprehensive new measures to tackle air pollution on Sept. 12, with plans to close old polluting steel mills, cement factories and aluminum smelters, as well as slash coal consumption and boost nuclear power and natural gas use.
A child dives into the sea off the island nation of Tuvalu in the western Pacific Ocean. Tuvalu has been facing the threat of rising sea levels, which could someday force the tiny nation's entire population to be evacuated. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Draft U.N. climate report warns of rising temperature, sea levels
A new report from an influential U.N. climate change panel predicts a spike in global temperatures and sea levels toward the end of the century, with much of the blame falling on humans.
Workers from a company affiliated with major trading house Sojitz Corp. farm tuna in Matsuura, Nagasaki Prefecture, in July. (Toru Nakagawa)
Japanese tuna dealers fret over supplies after new regulations
Fishmongers in Japan are growing increasingly concerned about their ability to secure stable supplies of Pacific bluefin tuna, as harvesting the popular sushi staple is scheduled to come under tighter regulations starting in February.
President Barack Obama wipes perspiration from his face as he speaks about climate change at Georgetown University in Washington on June 25. (AP Photo)
Obama's unlikely climate change partner: China
WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama has stumbled on an unusual partner in his quest to combat climate change: China.
Power lines make their way over a freeway towards the San Onofre nuclear power plant on June 7 in San Onofre, California. The troubled power plant on the California coast is closing after an epic 16-month battle over whether the twin reactors could be safely restarted with millions of people living nearby, officials announced on June 7. (AP Photo)
California utility to close troubled nuclear plant
LOS ANGELES--The owners of Southern California's San Onofre plant announced on June 7 they are shutting it down for good after the discovery of damaged equipment led critics to charge it could never operate safely again.
The planned site for the Wind Farm Tsugaru project in Tsugaru, Aomori Prefecture. Pine trees, constantly buffeted by strong winds, lean at an angle. (Yu Kotsubo)
Japan's feed-in-tariff system for clean energy mired in regulations
The nuclear disaster in Japan two years ago ignited a push to develop a new and clean energy industry, but those efforts are being stymied by a raft of regulations.
Japan "wins" a Fossil of the Day award at a climate change meeting in Doha on Nov. 27, 2012. International organizations present the award to countries with a less-than-enthusiastic approach to fight global warming. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
With no specific goals, Japan set to attend U.N. climate change meeting
Japan is expected to take a back seat at a United Nations meeting on climate change in Germany later this month as the Abe administration lacks a specific goal on reducing the nation's carbon footprint.
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.'s ballast water processing device, seen here at Yokohama Port's Honmoku Pier on April 5, comprises a container that houses all key equipment and is designed to be installed in the hold of a ship. (Hiroaki Kimura)
Mitsubishi releases device to sterilize ships' ballast water
YOKOHAMA--To thwart invasive species, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. unveiled a new device that removes living organisms from ships' ballast water at Yokohama Port's Honmoku Pier on April 5.
Factories are seen through a haze of smog in the Shanxi province, China. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
China to push compulsory insurance for polluting industries
BEIJING--China will force heavily polluting industries to participate in a compulsory insurance program to ensure they can adequately provide compensation for damage, the government said on Feb. 21.
Pedestrians wear surgical masks as thick smog blankets Beijing's Tiananmen Square on Jan. 30. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Politics of pollution: China's oil giants take a choke-hold on power
BEIJING--The search for culprits behind the rancid haze enveloping China's capital has turned a spotlight on the country's two largest oil companies and their resistance to tougher fuel standards.
Beijing asked residents on Feb. 1 to set off fewer fireworks over this month's Chinese New Year period as it battles a persistent air quality crisis. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Less bang for Beijing New Year due to smog
BEIJING--China's notoriously smog-bound capital Beijing asked residents on Feb. 1 to set off fewer fireworks over this month's Chinese New Year period as it battles a persistent air quality crisis.
The Asahi Shimbun
Air pollution from China reaches Japan, other parts of Asia
Traces of China's air pollution have reached southwestern Japan, alarming residents and leading government officials to consider international cooperation to deal with the problem.

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