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Matt McGrath

Matt McGrath Environment correspondent

Welcome to my reflections and insight into what's really affecting the world all around us

Will Kerry strike gold at Lima climate talks?

John Kerry
John Kerry's attendance is being seen as evidence the US wants to make up for Copenhagen's failure

The US secretary of state John Kerry will arrive in Lima today to push forward global climate negotiations, taking place in the city.

Mr Kerry is the most senior American official to attend the talks since President Obama went to Copenhagen in 2009 - an event that didn't end particularly well.

The Secretary of State has long been the most engaged American politician on the issue of climate and environment and his attendance at these UN negotiations is being seen as further evidence that the US is determined to make up for the failures of Copenhagen in 2009 and deliver a strong agreement in Paris next year.

For once, the US is not being seen as the Great Satan of CO2.

Thanks to their joint initiative with China, the two countries are taking a bow as leaders of the fight against rising temperatures.

Read full article Will Kerry strike gold at Lima climate talks?

'Skunk power' creates confusion over nuclear fusion

Fusion
Lockheed Martin is working on a device that could become a compact fusion reactor

Aerospace giant Lockheed Martin is doing its best to shatter my favourite science cliche.

"Nuclear fusion is just 30 years away - and always will be."

Read full article 'Skunk power' creates confusion over nuclear fusion

Will Obama's climate surprise deliver a global deal?

obama Xi
China and the US agree a deal on climate but does it bring a global treaty any closer?

We are a fickle bunch, us earthlings.

Back in 2009, the US signed the Copenhagen Accord and pledged that they would cut their emissions in 2025 by 30% compared to 2005 levels.

Read full article Will Obama's climate surprise deliver a global deal?

Strictly come warming: Swing time at the UN

IPCC
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon launched the IPCC Synthesis Report in Copenhagen

Where would you rather be on a Saturday night?

Watching those familiar faces, admiring the nimble footwork, laughing at the catty comments?

Read full article Strictly come warming: Swing time at the UN

Climate summit advances towards Paris deal

Ban Ki-moon
There was some cheer for Ban Ki-moon at the New York climate summit

Despite the absence of India and Australia, a majority of prime ministers and presidents did as Mr Ban had asked. They came to New York with pledges of action.

The French promised a billion dollars for the Green Climate Fund, a significant amount you might think, but miles from the goal of getting a hundred billion a year by 2020.

Read full article Climate summit advances towards Paris deal

The 'green blob' loves Mr Ban - but for how long?

ban
Mr Ban was joined by other high-profile friends for the march

Former British Environment Secretary Owen Paterson would not have been a happy chappy if he had been in New York for the culmination of a global day of protest against a lack of political action on climate change.

In Mr Paterson's words, the world of environmental activism is the green blob - "a mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape".

Read full article The 'green blob' loves Mr Ban - but for how long?

Speedy charging driving a global boom in electric cars

car charged
According to Nissan, more than 2,000 of their Leaf electric cars have been sold in the UK in the first six months of 2014

Without a whisper or a whiff, electric cars seem to be gaining ground in the UK and elsewhere.

According to Ecotricity, the company that has installed a network of charging stations along the UK's motorways, we are seeing a "revolution".

Read full article Speedy charging driving a global boom in electric cars

Coral munching bumphead fish give insight into conservation

bumphead
Dubbed the reef elephant by researchers, bumphead parrotfish are highly endangered

Life is tough if you're a blundering, buck toothed, bumphead.

You're far, far bigger than all the rest of the parrotfish in the Pacific.

Read full article Coral munching bumphead fish give insight into conservation

Matt added analysis to:

Science minister has tough job to follow

As the youngest member of the Cabinet, Liz Truss will be welcomed by many as marking a distinct change from the divisive Owen Paterson.

Mr Paterson's views on climate change, genetically modified foods and especially the badger cull earned the deep distrust of environmental campaigners while generating support among farmers.

Read full article Science minister has tough job to follow

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About Matt

Originally from Tipperary in Ireland, Matt edited computer magazines for several years before joining BBC Radio 5 live at its launch in 1994. Following stints as producer and reporter, Matt became the station's science specialist in 1997. He joined the BBC World Service in 2006 as environment reporter.

He has reported on some of the major issues in science and environment in that period including BSE, foot and mouth disease, cloning, global warming and GM food.

Highlights include reporting from the solar eclipse in Alderney in 1999 and travelling to the Arctic in 2007. Matt tested the temperatures in Copenhagen by jumping into the icy harbour waters during the UN summit in 2009.

Over the years Matt has also reported extensively on the scientific impacts of doping in sport.

He was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2010-11.

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