Environment and Climate Change

UNGA Adopts Resolutions on Oceans

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6 December 2017: The UN General Assembly (UNGA) adopted two resolutions that aim to advance implementation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and support the conservation and management of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks and marine life in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ). Catherine Benson Wahlén SDG Knowledge Hub | IISD Member States also discussed an international legally binding instrument under UNCLOS, and other documents related to the law of the sea.   A ... Read More »

The Arctic – The Arctic Russia’s plan for the world’s newest ocean

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There’s a new ocean at the top of our globe In just the past three decades, global warming has shrunk the size of the Arctic Ocean’s summer ice by half. Vox The region is now more accessible than it’s been in 1,000 years, and governments around the world have taken notice. The melting of the Arctic has grave implications for global weather patterns and rising sea levels, and most of the world sees it as a looming disaster. But for ... Read More »

‘Death spiral’: half of Europe’s coal plants are losing money

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Air pollution and climate change policies are pushing coal-fired electricity stations to the brink, says a new report. Closing them would avoid €22bn in losses by 2030 Damian Carrington The Guardian More than half of the European Union’s 619 coal-fired power stations are losing money, according to a new report. As a result, the industry’s slow plans for shutdowns will lead to €22bn in losses by 2030 if the EU fulfils its pledge to tackle climate change, the report warns. ... Read More »

Six things New Zealand’s new government needs to do to make climate refugee visas work

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New Zealand’s new government plans to create the world’s first humanitarian visa for climate refugees. Nina Hall   The Conversation If the policy goes ahead, 100 Pacific Islanders could be granted access to New Zealand on the basis that their lives are at risk from rising seas. The commitment to tackle climate injustice should be applauded, but there are significant considerations that have to be taken into account when developing humanitarian climate… Six things New Zealand’s new government needs to ... Read More »

Air pollution linked to poor sperm quality

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Study finds ‘strong association’ between high levels of fine particulate matter and abnormal sperm shape – but impact on wider fertility remains unclear Matthew Taylor The Guardian High levels of air pollution are associated with poor sperm quality and could be partly responsible for the sharp drop in male fertility, according to a new study. A team of scientists, led by researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, studied the sperm of nearly 6,500 men and found a “strong ... Read More »

Glitter Is Banned From This Nursery for What Is Actually a Great Reason

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Oh, glitter. We’ll miss you. Glitter is great, right? Particularly now that it’s getting dark and cold and a bit depressing outside. Imogen Calderwood  But, as much as we love glitter for making everything look festive, a chain of children’s nurseries in the UK might actually have a point. Global Citizen Tops Day Nurseries has decided that glitter has to go, for the sake of the environment. Take action: Fight Waste to Protect Our Oceans Just like microbeads — which have ... Read More »

We have the tools to fight climate change. It’s time to start using them

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Stepping in to the COP23 climate talks in Bonn, Germany, is like wandering through an alternative reality. Johan Rockström Amy Luers At no point in these vast cavernous rooms are you confronted with the sheer urgency or the scale of transformation required to reduce the risk of a fossil-fueled catastrophe. World Economic Forum Meanwhile, back on Earth the Global Carbon Project announced on Monday that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are expected to grow approximately 2% this year. This comes as startling news ... Read More »

New Zealand’s War on Rats Could Change the World

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The nation wants to eradicate all invasive mammal predators by 2050 Ed Yong Gene-editing technology could help—or it could trigger an ecological disaster of global proportions. The Atlantic The first thing that hit me about Zealandia was the noise. I was a 15-minute drive from the center of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, but instead of the honks of horns or the bustle of passersby, all I could hear was birdsong.It came in every flavor—resonant coos, high-pitched cheeps, and alien ... Read More »

Sweden’s Recycling Is So Revolutionary, The Country Is Running Out Of Trash

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When it comes to recycling, Sweden sets an example for the rest of the world. Thanks to a government prioritization on sustainability, the Nordic country recycles 1.5 billion bottles and cans annually, a staggering amount for a population of about 9.6 million (in 2013). Sara Barnes BuzzWorthy In terms of rubbish, Swedes only produce a measly 461 kilograms (1,106 pounds) of waste average per year—less than 1% of discard ends up in landfills. This is slightly below the half-ton average in the rest of ... Read More »

Norway sued over Arctic oil exploration plans

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The case, led by Greenpeace, claims Norwegian government has violated constitutional right to a healthy environment and contravenes Paris agreement Tone Sutterud and Elisabeth Ulven in Oslo The Guardian The Norwegian government is being sued by climate activists over a decision to open up areas of the Arctic Ocean for oil exploration, a move they say endangers the lives of existing and future generations. The plaintiffs, led by environmental organisations Greenpeace and Youth and Nature, will on Tuesday claim that the Norwegian government has ... Read More »

The Bonn Climate Conference: All Our Coverage in One Place

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Hello, and welcome to our coverage of the Bonn climate conference. Jonathan Ellis The New York Times Negotiators from nearly 200 countries are meeting this week in Bonn, Germany, in the biggest climate change talks of the year. Our reporters Lisa Friedman and Brad Plumer are there and will be bringing you news and updates throughout. We are collecting all of our coverage here, in one place. Let’s start with the basics. Here’s what the Bonn conference is all about ... Read More »

Green finance? Why global banks are pledging billions to fight climate change

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Banking giant HSBC has pledged US$100 billion (£76 billion) to “fight climate change”, to be spent on sustainable finance and investment over the next eight years. Simon Wilde The Conversation It also commits to increasing its own use of renewable energy and to reducing its funding of coal projects. HSBC is following a growing trend among investment banks which includes a US$200 billion funding commitment from JP Morgan Chase, the acquisition of the UK’s Green Investment Bank by Macquarie, and ... Read More »

Coal-fired plant shifted $1bn offshore while pocketing $117m from Australian taxpayers

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Payment to owner of Loy Yang B – one of country’s dirtiest plants – was compensation for short-lived carbon tax Christopher Knaus and Nick Evershed  The Guardian The owner of one of Australia’s dirtiest coal-fired power plants quietly moved $1bn offshore within days of pocketing $117m from taxpayers in compensation for Labor’s now-defunct carbon tax. The revelation, contained in the Paradise Papers, has prompted renewed criticism of the “chronic failure” of Australian climate policy and warnings against future cash handouts ... Read More »

Citizens’ Assembly ideas confront worst of global warming

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Climate change is a pressing moral issue and action is needed for future’s benefit Kevin O’Sullivan  The Irish Times The recommendations made by the Citizens’ Assembly have the potential to achieve the kind of societal transformation necessary for Ireland to play its part in countering the worst affects of global warming caused by humans spewing out CO2 into the Earth’s atmosphere. Its brief – to identify how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change – may in time ... Read More »

There Will Soon Be Floods Of Climate Refugees: Will They Get Asylum?

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New Zealand is considering creating a new visa for people fleeing environmental disasters brought on by climate change Adele Peters FastCompany In 2012, a migrant worker from the tiny, low-lying Pacific island nation of Kiribati tried to become a refugee in New Zealand, arguing that he and his family were afraid to go home because of the impacts of rising sea levels. The courts didn’t accept that the dangers were imminent–or that they were due to reasons of persecution that ... Read More »

Smog blankets Pakistan, India, causing accidents, illness

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Smog has enveloped much of Pakistan and neighboring India, causing highway accidents and respiratory problems, and forcing many residents to stay home, officials said… ISLAMABAD – The Associated Press Hurriyet Pakistani meteorologist Mohammad Hanif said the pollution, caused by dust, the burning of crops, and emissions from factories and brick kilns in Pakistan and neighboring India, was expected to linger until the middle of the… He advised people to wear face masks to protect themselves from respiratory… Mohammad Arshad, a ... Read More »