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Francisco José García de Zúñiga, a farmer in Jaén, Spain, is facing a challenging harvest season due to consecutive years of drought in 2022 and 2023. Jaén is a crucial region for olive oil production, with Spain being the world’s largest producer, contributing to 70% of European Union consumption and 45% globally.

The persistent lack of rain in olive-producing areas like Jaén has led to a significant impact on both the quantity and price of olive oil. Mr García de Zúñiga emphasizes that Spain’s challenges affect global production, adhering to the basic law of supply and demand. As Spain produces less oil, global supply decreases, and if demand remains constant, prices rise.

In Spain, olive oil prices have surged by over 70% this year, following a substantial increase in 2022. Factors contributing to this surge include rising costs of fuel, electricity, and fertilizers over the past two years, but the primary factor is the extended period of drought. The Nuestra Señora del Pilar cooperative, one of the world’s largest olive oil factories, experienced a severely low olive harvest in the 2022-23 season.

Cristóbal Gallego Martínez, the cooperative’s president, highlights the impact of climate change on traditional agricultural assumptions. Dry periods are lasting longer, and the usual cycle of poor and good harvests is disrupted. He calls for government measures, such as investing in irrigation systems, to address the changing climate patterns.

The rise in olive oil prices is not limited to Spain, as it has been observed across Europe. Some neighboring countries have seen a less sharp increase, leading to Spaniards crossing borders to purchase slightly cheaper oil. The UK and Ireland, for instance, have lower prices due to having bought oil at a lower cost several months ago.

Despite the economic considerations, experts warn against opting for cheaper alternatives, as olive oil is a vital component of the Mediterranean diet, known for its health benefits. Lower-cost alternatives, such as sunflower oil, might lead to a loss in nutritional value. Fernando López-Segura, from Córdoba’s Reina Sofía hospital, underscores the cardiovascular benefits of consuming [virgin extra] olive oil, emphasizing the importance of maintaining its place in the Mediterranean diet. However, current consumption trends are influenced not only by health considerations but also by the unpredictable patterns of rainfall.

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In this news article, French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his stance on the conflict in Gaza. He condemned the bombing of civilians in Gaza, stating that there is “no justification” for it, and called for a ceasefire, emphasizing the need to protect civilians. Macron also condemned the actions of Hamas, recognizing it as a terrorist organization, while urging other leaders, including those in the US and the UK, to join his calls for a ceasefire.

On the topic of Ukraine, Macron characterized Russia’s invasion as imperialism and colonialism, emphasizing the duty of his country and others to support Ukraine in its defense. He warned of the potential threat posed by a victorious Russia to other former Soviet states and the entire continent.

Macron also discussed online extremism, singling out Facebook’s parent company Meta and Google for not fulfilling their promises to moderate hate speech on their platforms. He expressed concern about insufficient moderators for French language content on many online platforms.

Regarding climate change, Macron mentioned its role in contributing to terrorism, citing the example of Lake Chad in West Africa, where the effects of global warming led to political instability.

In summary, Macron called for a ceasefire in Gaza, condemned the actions of both Israel and Hamas, expressed support for Ukraine against Russia’s invasion, criticized online platforms for inadequate moderation, and highlighted the link between climate change and terrorism in certain regions.

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Around 3,000 individuals have been forced to evacuate their residences on Spain’s Tenerife island due to a rekindled wildfire. This fire, originally ignited on Wednesday, has now affected communities in the island’s northeast, situated away from the primary tourist zones. High temperatures and strong winds have caused the same fire that ravaged the area in August to flare up once again.

To assist in firefighting efforts, Spain’s military has been deployed. Rosa Davila, president of the Tenerife Council, expressed hope that the deployment of multiple helicopters on Thursday would aid in stabilizing the fire. As a precautionary measure, most people have been evacuated from the towns of Santa Ursula and La Orotava, according to local authorities.

The Canary Islands, including Tenerife, have been on high alert for wildfires due to unusually high temperatures. Although the August blaze was brought under control, it was never completely extinguished. That wildfire persisted for several days and caused extensive damage to thousands of hectares of forest surrounding Mount Teide, Spain’s highest peak.

The increased frequency and intensity of heatwaves are attributed to human-induced climate change, which has caused global temperatures to rise by approximately 1.1 degrees Celsius since the start of the industrial era. Without significant reductions in emissions, temperatures will continue to climb.

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FIFA has confirmed that the 2030 World Cup will be hosted across six countries spanning three continents. Spain, Portugal, and Morocco are set to co-host the tournament, with the opening matches taking place in Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay to commemorate the World Cup’s centenary. This decision is expected to be ratified at a FIFA congress next year.

The choice of co-hosting the tournament across multiple continents has drawn criticism, with concerns raised about its impact on fans, the environment, and human rights. FIFA’s president, Gianni Infantino, emphasized the unique global footprint this approach would create, uniting Africa, Europe, and South America.

This proposal signifies a significant change for the World Cup, as teams may find themselves playing in two different seasons due to the hemisphere switch. If approved, Morocco will become only the second African nation to host a World Cup. Spain, Portugal, Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay will also qualify automatically as co-hosts.

In addition to the World Cup announcement, FIFA revealed that only bids from countries within the Asian Football Confederation and the Oceania Football Confederation would be considered for the 2034 finals. This led to Saudi Arabia announcing its bid for the 2034 tournament. The deadline for prospective hosts to express interest is October 31.

FIFA’s decision to expand the World Cup across three continents has raised concerns about sustainability and climate impact, given the significant air travel and emissions associated with such a large-scale event.

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Claudia Duarte Agostinho vividly recalls the fear she felt during the devastating heatwave and wildfires that swept through Portugal in 2017, claiming over 100 lives. The trauma of those wildfires left her and her siblings anxious about their future. Claudia, aged 24, her brother Martim, aged 20, and her 11-year-old sister Mariana are among a group of six young Portuguese individuals who have taken an unprecedented step by filing a lawsuit against 32 governments, including all European Union member states, the UK, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, and Turkey.

Their lawsuit accuses these nations of inadequately addressing climate change and failing to sufficiently reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This groundbreaking case is the first of its kind to be brought before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, potentially carrying legally-binding implications for the accused governments. The initial hearing took place recently.

These six claimants, ranging in age from 11 to 24, argue that the annual forest fires in Portugal since 2017 are a direct consequence of global warming. They assert that their fundamental human rights, including the right to life, privacy, family life, and freedom from discrimination, are being violated due to governments’ failure to combat climate change adequately. They have already experienced significant impacts, such as extreme temperatures forcing them indoors, restricting their daily lives, and causing health issues like eco-anxiety, allergies, and respiratory conditions. Remarkably, none of them seeks financial compensation.

The case’s proponents argue that the policies of these 32 governments are steering the world toward a catastrophic 3-degree Celsius global warming scenario by the century’s end. They demand urgent action to prevent unbearable heat extremes that threaten their health and well-being. In a 2021 study, the Lancet found widespread climate anxiety and dissatisfaction with government responses among children and young people worldwide, impacting their daily lives.

The governments, in their responses, contest that the claimants haven’t adequately demonstrated that their suffering directly results from climate change or Portuguese wildfires. They argue that there is no immediate evidence of climate change posing a risk to human life or health, and they question the ECHR’s jurisdiction over climate policy.

This David vs. Goliath case could have far-reaching implications, potentially binding these governments to increase climate action by reducing emissions and phasing out fossil fuels. It would also guide domestic courts dealing with climate change-related cases. A verdict is anticipated in nine to 18 months.

For Claudia, this case represents a glimmer of hope in an otherwise uncertain world. She contemplates the possibility of having children one day, but winning this case would mean that people are truly listening, governments are taking action, and a brighter future might be on the horizon.

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During a visit to the southern French city of Marseille, Pope Francis urged European nations to display increased tolerance towards migrants. Speaking at a gathering of bishops and young people from Mediterranean countries, the Pope emphasized that those risking their lives at sea should not be seen as invaders.

French President Emmanuel Macron was present during his address. The call comes amidst renewed debate on migration following mass arrivals on Italy’s Lampedusa island last week. Pope Francis stressed that migration is not an emergency but a reality that requires a wise and European response.

He also advocated for legal and regular entry routes for migrants, particularly those fleeing war, hunger, and poverty, emphasizing the duty of humanity to rescue those attempting to cross the Mediterranean.

The Pope’s visit to Marseille marked the first by a pope to the city in 500 years and included discussions on migration, economic inequality, and climate change.

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Venice is poised to greenlight a trial €5 (£4.30; $5.35) levy for daily tourists as a strategy to manage tourism. This fee will apply to all visitors aged 14 and above and necessitates advance booking for entry to the city. Simone Venturini, a city council member overseeing tourism, has disclosed that this trial period will take place during peak tourist seasons in the upcoming year.

Venice is grappling with the consequences of excessive tourism, and it’s among Europe’s most visited cities. Its compact size, measuring just 7.6 sq km (2.7 sq miles), hosted nearly 13 million tourists in 2019, according to Italian national statistics. Post-pandemic, visitor numbers are anticipated to surpass pre-pandemic levels.

The primary aim of this fee is to encourage day-trippers to select off-peak days for their visits. However, tourists staying overnight will be exempt from this charge. The city intends to evaluate and potentially refine this fee as necessary.

Earlier this year, Venice was suggested to be included on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites in danger due to the impacts of climate change and mass tourism, which pose a threat of irreversible alterations to the city. In 2021, large cruise ships were banned from accessing the historic center of Venice through the Giudecca canal, a move triggered by a ship collision and concerns over pollution and erosion.

Nonetheless, it remains uncertain whether this daily charge will discourage tourists. Some, like Karina from Germany, don’t see it as a significant burden, while others like Cal, a student from Ireland, find it relatively steep for a day of sightseeing.

Venice is witnessing a growing exodus of residents due to the overwhelming presence of tourists. The shortage of long-term rental options for residents has become a pressing issue, with landlords preferring to rent to tourists during the summer season. Citizen associations, Ocio and Venissa, have conducted studies revealing that the number of beds available for tourists now exceeds those for residents. Many government buildings have been converted into hotels, a transformation that threatens the city’s identity as it shifts towards a tourist-centric model.

Maria Fiano, who heads Ocio, advocates for restrictions on tourist accommodations as a solution to the issue and expresses skepticism about the effectiveness of the daily fee proposed by the town hall, viewing it as a superficial measure.

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In central Greece, rescue efforts are underway to reach hundreds of individuals stranded by severe floods, resulting in 10 casualties.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has emphasized the significant challenge Greeks are facing in their battle against the forces of nature.

Following days of heavy rainfall, rivers have overflowed, leading to the submersion of villages and the destruction of homes and bridges.

Residents in the vicinity of Palamas and Karditsa have issued appeals for essential supplies such as food and water.

The plains of Thessaly, after enduring weeks of scorching temperatures and wildfires, have been inundated by a three-day-long storm.

Within a 24-hour period, an astonishing 800mm (31.5 inches) of rain poured down, surpassing the region’s average annual rainfall.

Larissa, a major city with 150,000 inhabitants, is now under threat as the River Pineios has breached its banks in certain suburbs. This city is not only significant in size but also serves as the agricultural hub for the entire country, with nearly a quarter of this year’s crop production being lost.

Satellite imagery has revealed extensive flooding across approximately 73,000 square meters of land in Thessaly.

Many residents in the region are expressing anger towards the Greek authorities, alleging that climate change is being used as an excuse for subpar construction projects. For instance, a bridge that collapsed three years ago due to a cyclone was subsequently rebuilt and is now completely destroyed again, symbolizing government failures for many Greeks.

The city of Larissa has been transformed beyond recognition, with numerous impassable roads, flooded houses at lower elevations, and extensive infrastructure damage caused by the storm’s fury.

The devastation is further compounded by the remnants of the wildfires that Greece has battled throughout the summer, resulting in burnt trees and scorched land.

Xenia, a long-time resident, tearfully watches her home from a distance, which is now mostly submerged. She contemplates the possibility of never returning to her beloved home and having to rent an affordable apartment with her modest salary.

The death toll has climbed to 10, with at least four individuals reported missing, raising concerns that the number may rise as rescuers gain access to more flooded areas.

During visits to the hardest-hit regions, Prime Minister Mitsotakis described the situation as an unprecedented natural phenomenon. He pledged to expedite compensation for those whose homes had been destroyed or damaged.

Although the rain has mostly ceased, floodwaters in certain areas remain at depths exceeding 2 meters (6.5 feet). The coastal city of Volos has been without clean drinking water for four days, prompting residents to collect water from various sources.

The Greek fire brigade has conducted over 1,800 rescues across Greece since Tuesday and continues to search for missing individuals, including an Austrian couple swept away with their honeymoon cabin.

These floods come on the heels of Greece’s hottest summer on record and extensive wildfires in the northern part of the country. Scientists attribute the increasing frequency and severity of such extreme weather events to climate change.

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An Austrian couple celebrating their honeymoon in Greece has gone missing as heavy rains caused devastating floods, prompting a search operation by emergency services. The torrential downpour led to entire villages in central Greece being submerged, leaving residents stranded on their rooftops. Storm Daniel, affecting Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria this week, has claimed the lives of over a dozen people.

The newlyweds, who had recently tied the knot upon arriving for their vacation, sought refuge in a bungalow they had rented in Potistika, near Mount Pelion, as the relentless rain battered central Greece. Unfortunately, the flash floods carried their rented house into the sea. The property’s owner, Samaras Thanakis, recounted advising the couple and other guests to seek higher ground, but the dire situation made decisions challenging.

Rescue efforts, hindered by collapsed bridges and damaged roads in the region, are ongoing, with the Greek fire brigade actively searching for the missing couple. Some areas in Greece received an astounding 800mm of rain, equivalent to a year’s worth of precipitation in just a few days. The Karditsa plain turned into a vast expanse of water, submerging villages near Palamas.

Palamas’ mayor, Giorgos Sakellariou, made a desperate plea for assistance on Greek television, highlighting the dire conditions and immediate danger residents faced. The extreme weather also affected Athens, the island of Skiathos, where numerous tourists remain stranded, as well as coastal regions around Volos and Pelion. In response to the escalating crisis, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis canceled a major government event scheduled for the weekend.

Storm Daniel’s impact has been felt across the region, with Greece, Turkey, and Bulgaria collectively witnessing a death toll of over a dozen people, including at least four in Greece. Climate scientists have emphasized that global warming contributes to increased summer evaporation, leading to more intense storms.

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As wildfires continue to rage uncontrollably for a fourth consecutive day near Alexandroupolis in north-eastern Greece, a hospital in the area has been evacuated, with dozens of patients being relocated.

The flames encroached upon the university hospital grounds, prompting the evacuation of patients, including newborns and those in intensive care. The evacuation involved transporting patients to a ferry docked at a nearby port. The ferry was converted into a makeshift hospital ward where patients, some connected to oxygen tanks, were placed on mattresses.

Additional tents were set up along the shoreline. The city of Alexandroupolis, near Greece’s northeastern border with Turkey, is grappling with severe wildfires, exacerbated by strong winds and temperatures expected to reach 39°C (102°F). The fires have also affected other areas in Greece, such as Evia Island and Boeotia in central Greece, leading to village evacuations.

Tragically, at least one fatality has occurred due to the fires near Alexandroupolis. The hospital evacuation was hindered by the flames entering the hospital grounds, causing smoke and ash to envelop the area. The explosion of oxygen bottles added to the chaos. Throughout the night, the outskirts of Alexandroupolis were illuminated by a fiery red glow, and satellite imagery revealed extensive smoke cover over multiple Greek regions.

While some patients were transferred to other local hospitals, around 90 patients were relocated to the Adamantios Korais ferry, which was repurposed to care for newborns and intensive care cases. Additionally, residents from neighboring villages were advised to evacuate to Alexandroupolis for safety. Fires have also affected areas northwest of the city, including Rhodope and Kavala. In a different region, warehouses near Athens were engulfed in flames, accompanied by dark smoke clouds.

Firefighting efforts have been bolstered by assistance from France, Cyprus, and Romania. This situation is emblematic of the intensified wildfire risk currently faced by Greece and other European countries due to climate change, as extreme weather events become more frequent and intense.

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