8 episodes

Planet SOS sets out to explore issues around climate, nature and pollution that make up the crisis the planet faces.

Planet SOS Al Jazeera English

    • News

Planet SOS sets out to explore issues around climate, nature and pollution that make up the crisis the planet faces.

    • video
    Planet SOS: Stalemate at COP 25 as Earth continues to warm

    Planet SOS: Stalemate at COP 25 as Earth continues to warm

    The world's leading scientists agree our planet is in crisis. The last five years have been the hottest on record. Sea levels are the highest in human history. A million species are on the brink of extinction.

    But world leaders have, for another year, failed to resolve some of the sticking points over how to keep our planet cool, instead postponing those negotiations until next year.

    That is despite talks in Madrid dragging on for an extra two days.

    We bring you a Planet SOS special from COP25 in Madrid where Nick Clark takes us through some of the big issues on the table including the call for new, more ambitious emission-reduction targets, climate funding and how to protect the world's most vulnerable people in the face of a climate emergency.

    From Australia where wildfires continue to burn, to the heart of southern Africa where the once-mighty Victoria Falls have slowed to a trickle, our correspondents unpack the unforgiving nature of climate change.

    We meet those who choose not to fly and calculate the carbon footprint on the complicated route from London to Madrid. And our science editor Mereana Hond explains the connection between human activities and the crisis affecting our planet.

    In the end, countries managed to agree on motions calling for greater ambition to cut greenhouse gases in order to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. But they pushed difficult issues like the rules on global carbon markets until the next COP, to be held in Glasgow in 2020. A handful of countries including the US, China and Brazil are being blamed.

    We finish Planet SOS with voices from around the world calling for climate action to protect our planet for future generations.
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    • 25 min
    • video
    Planet SOS: Protecting the Earth’s water and the life that depends on it

    Planet SOS: Protecting the Earth’s water and the life that depends on it

    As our planet warms and poor water and land use practices contaminate our waterways and damage the environment, global water supplies are being affected. Planet SOS looks at what is being done to protect this vital resource.

    Al Jazeera's Nick Clark travels to Kenya's Mara River Basin. It is home to over a million people and a spectacular array of biodiversity, but it is also one of the frontlines of the climate and ecological crisis affecting our planet.

    Deforestation, pollution and climate change are impacting the vast river systems there. An increase in extreme weather events is compounding the challenges.

    We speak to the local people working to preserve the health of the waterways and the life within them for the benefit of communities and wildlife that depend on them.

    Haru Mutasa meets fishing communities in Uganda living on the shores of Africa's largest lake where diminishing fish stocks are having a knock-on effect on lives and livelihoods.

    And Al Jazeera's Robin Forestier-Walker investigates the boom in hydropower in Georgia, a clean but highly controversial way of generating energy.

    As global carbon dioxide emissions hit another record high this year Planet SOS looks at what the world's biggest emitter China is doing to address its emissions challenges.

    And we look at the issues on the table at COP25, the annual climate gathering in Madrid aimed at bringing those greenhouse gas emissions down.

    Finally, Paul Rhys is in Sweden, a country taking waste reduction more seriously than most.

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    • 25 min
    • video
    Planet SOS: Transforming the way we use land and its resources

    Planet SOS: Transforming the way we use land and its resources

    We rely on land for our food and to meet many of our basic needs. But the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says poor land-use practices are causing land degradation and desertification.

    The land is losing its ability to sustain life.

    Planet SOS talks to some of those trying to protect the Earth's green bastions.

    Al Jazeera's David Mercer meets the Guatemalan villagers using the global system of land concessions to both use and protect their forest.

    Emma Hayward travels to Wales where some farmers are employing sustainable practices to reduce the impact of pastoral farming.

    We speak to environmental activist George Monbiot on ways of overhauling the global food system.

    Nicolas Haque returns to Senegal to assess progress on the Great Green Wall, a project to restore land from east, right across to west Africa by planting trees.

    Mohamed Vall explores possible solutions that could get people back to land they once abandoned when the water stopped flowing.

    Planet SOS conducts a taste-test on the plant-based burger products that some are calling the future of food.

    And Mereana Hond looks ahead to COP25, the climate talks taking place this year in Madrid.

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    • 25 min
    • video
    Planet SOS: Where will climate refugees go when the tide rises?

    Planet SOS: Where will climate refugees go when the tide rises?

    The island nation of Palau in the western Pacific ocean is on the frontlines of the climate crisis. The very thing that has long nurtured people there now threatens them and their way of life.

    But as coral reefs around the world are turning into bleached coral grave yards, the super corals of Palau could hold the answer to saving the world's coral reefs.

    As oceans warm and sea levels rise, we explore efforts to protect the people and the unique biodiversity of Palau, including a unique sub-species of jellyfish.

    Al Jazeera's Nick Clark sits down with the President of Palau, Tommy Esang Remengesau Jr, a veteran campaigner on the world stage, who is fighting to draw attention to the plight of the people of the Pacific.

    Heidi Zhou-Castro travels to the Alaskan village of Newtok where Alaska Natives are confronting the emotional and financial toll of having to move, as the sea consumes their homes.

    And Mereana Hond lays out the vast impacts of just a half degree celsius rise in global temperature.

    Al Jazeera's Oliver Varney goes underwater to observe the pioneering work of scientists on Palau's Barrier Reef, hoping to unlock the secret of Palau's super corals and create special strains able to withstand the stresses of a warming planet for use in reefs around the world.

    We speak to scientist Ralph Keeling who along with his father Charles measured levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - what's now known as the Keeling Curve.

    Finally, Al Jazeera's Natacha Butler is in The Netherlands where they're using age-old technology to explore the possibility of building homes on the water.

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    • 25 min
    • video
    Planet SOS: Saving the world’s glaciers

    Planet SOS: Saving the world’s glaciers

    The ice sheets and glaciers of the Arctic are melting. Faster than scientists expected.

    The vast, pristine landscape is home to fragile ecosystems and unique biodiversity. It helps regulate our planet's weather and climate.

    But as the ice melts, once inaccessible land and waters are opening up, unlocking a mineral wealth some are eager to exploit.

    Al Jazeera’s Nick Clark presents a Planet SOS special from Iceland.

    We take you to the Solheimjokul glacier which, like other glaciers around the world, is rapidly shrinking. And we are in the capital Reykjavik, where the Arctic Council Assembly is trying to navigate very different views on the Arctic.

    Clark sits down with the head of the Arctic Circle Assembly and former president of Iceland, Olaf Ragnor Grimsson, to explore the future of this vital region.

    Amanda Burrell explains the connection between the melting ice of the north and the rising seas further south.

    And Planet SOS speaks to some of the many indigenous peoples of the Arctic who are fighting to protect their traditions and way of life and to ensure their voices are heard.

    Finally, we travel to California where scientists are trying to find ways to stop the rising levels of carbon dioxide that is warming up our planet. They are experimenting with gene-editing technology that can supercharge plants, making them able to take in more carbon dioxide.

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    • 25 min
    • video
    Planet SOS: Ecological crises affecting our planet

    Planet SOS: Ecological crises affecting our planet

    Momentum is growing around the world to keep our warming planet cool. But we face an ecological crisis too.

    In May, the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) published the most comprehensive study of life on Earth. It found that one million species face extinction - that is more than 12 percent of known life on earth.

    Ecosystems are collapsing and we are on track to destroy the natural infrastructure on which our world depends.

    Planet SOS explores the tension between prosperity and protection as the government in Niger opens up access to its oil reserves within a protected national park.

    Al Jazeera's Latin America editor reports from one of the most biologically-diverse places on Earth, Brazil's Amazon rainforest, and speaks with those risking their lives to protect it including indigenous leader Kurikindi from the Nina Amarun community in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

    Planet SOS is also focused on proposed solutions to the ecological crisis.

    We travel to Rwanda where innovative ideas and carefully-controlled tourism are helping to revive the numbers of critically-endangered mountain gorillas.

    And with just two ageing northern white rhinos left on the planet, we go to the United States where advances in science and technology offer the possibility for these creatures to once again roam free in the wild.

    And finally, we talk to our Science and Technology editor Mereana Hond about what we can all do to protect the natural world.

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    • 25 min

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