Environment and Climate Change

30 years ago the world pledged to fix the ozone layer. And it worked

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Could the Montreal Protocol be the world’s most successful treaty? Alex Gray In 1987, countries around the world came together to sign it. World Economic Forum Their mission? To save the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol marks its 30th anniversary on 16 September 2017, the UN’s International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The celebration is all the more special, because the treaty worked. Health benefits Thanks to the treaty, more than 135 billion tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions were prevented from reaching ... Read More »

Chocolate industry drives rainforest disaster in Ivory Coast

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Exclusive: As global demand for chocolate booms, ‘dirty’ beans from deforested national parks have entered big business supply chains ‘Once this was all trees, but they burned them to plant cocoa’: the ruin of West Africa’s rainforest Ruth Maclean in Marahoué national park, Ivory Coast The Guardian The world’s chocolate industry is driving deforestation on a devastating scale in West Africa, the Guardian can reveal. Cocoa traders who sell to Mars, Nestlé, Mondelez and other big brands buy beans grown ... Read More »

A lesson from Hurricane Irma: capitalism can’t save the planet – it can only destroy it

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The perpetual quest for growth drives our economics. That’s why our environment and financial system lurch from crisis to crisis. George Monbiot The Guardian There was “a flaw” in the theory: this is the famous admission by Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, to a congressional inquiry into the 2008 financial crisis. His belief that the self-interest of the lending institutions would lead automatically to the correction of financial markets had proved wrong. Now, in the midst ... Read More »

Pope Francis slams ‘stupid’ climate change deniers

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Pontiff calls on politicians to take scientists’ advice as he raises alarm over global warming after major storms. Al Jazeera and news agencies Pope Francis has sharply criticised climate change deniers as “stupid” in the wake of a spate of powerful hurricanes that have wreaked havoc in the US, Mexico and the Caribbean. “Those who deny it [climate change] should go to the scientists and ask them,” the pontiff said on Monday during an in-flight press conference on the return leg of ... Read More »

‘Grandmother plant’: Ex-UN climate chief Christiana Figueres has advice for PM

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AGL’s Liddell power station is a “grandmother” plant that shouldn’t receive funds more usefully invested elsewhere to improve Australia’s energy prospects, Christiana Figueres, the former United Nations climate chief… Peter Hannam The Sydney Morning Herald Ms Figueres, who as executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change oversaw the Paris climate agreement, said time is running out for Australia to get its energy and carbon policies in… “The time is short,” Ms Figueres told Fairfax Media during a ... Read More »

The Guardian view on climate change: see you in court

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It is possible to determine which nations and companies are responsible for damaging the climate. It’s only a matter of time before courts decide they must pay for global warming. Editorial The Guardian Recent days have seen Houston, Texas literally sunk under sheer weight of rain, Carribbean islands battered by powerful storms barrelling across the Gulf and now Florida homes blasted by Irma, the largest of three hurricanes churning in the Atlantic basin. It seems almost certain that man-made climate ... Read More »

Master plan to protect sea

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HÀ NỘI — A master plan on the use of Việt Nam’s sea is being built by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, a necessary move according to experts. Viet Nam News The plan will map out sea-based socio-economic activities until 2035 in line with integrated management of sea and island resources and environment. It focuses on marine environment and resources, the value of marine ecosystems and appropriate exploitation of the sea. The plan is being built in accordance ... Read More »

Trump Admin Quietly Pushing ‘Small Scale’ LNG Exports That Avoid Environmental Reviews

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The Trump administration proposed regulations to expedite the permitting process for natural gas exports from “small-scale” facilities on the Friday before Labor Day. Steve Horn – Joshua Frank CounterPunch The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) had proposed an alteration of the rules for the export of “small-scale” liquefied natural gas (LNG) under the Natural Gas Act. The proposal will now be open to a public commenting period set to end October 16. “The Trump Administration is focused on finding ways to unleash American energy and providing ... Read More »

France bans production of hydrocarbons

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French Ecology Minister Nicolas Hulot proposed on Wednesday  (6 September) a bill to end the modest production of hydrocarbons in France, hoping to lead by example. EURACTIV’s partner Ouest France reports. Ouest-France | translated by Paola Tamma EURACTIV The text will be presented to the Council of Ministers by Hulot, fulfilling a  promise of Macron’s presidential campaign. The law stipulates that no new hydrocarbon exploration license will be granted, which will stop the search for new oil or gas deposits. ... Read More »

Climate Denialism Is Literally Killing Us

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The victims of Hurricane Harvey have a murderer—and it’s not the storm. Mark Hertsgaard The Nation The horrors hurled at Houston and the Himalayan lowlands in late August were heartbreaking—but also infuriating. How many times must we see this disaster movie—titled Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, along with many lesser-known foreign releases—before we intervene and change the ending? And how long before we hold the ultimate authors of such climate catastrophes accountable ... Read More »

Donald Trump suppressed report into coal mining’s risk to public health, accuses world-leading Nature scientific journal

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Scientists have voiced fears that the United States could become like Soviet Russia where ideology was more important than hard evidence Ian Johnston The Independent  One of the world’s leading scientific journals has accused the Trump administration of suppressing a major study into the public health risks of coal mining, saying it raises the prospect of researchers being prevented from making discoveries that the US government does not like. Donald Trump, who has dismissed climate change as a “hoax”, has ... Read More »

EU Commission bans Baltic Sea eel fishing, while increasing quotas for herring and salmon

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The European Commission proposes a decrease for the Baltic fishing opportunities by 7% compared to 2017, offering a highly differentiated proposal by the type of fishery for 2018. Irene Kostaki NewEurope The proposal, which is a part of a long-term approach, aims to adjust and maintain the level of fishing at long-term sustainable levels, ensuring a stable fishing pressure, higher quotas and hence an improved income for fishermen and their families. Decisions taken on the Baltic fishing opportunities over the ... Read More »

Participation in the Seoul International Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

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The Cyprus Institute and the Future Earth Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Centre will feature data and research on the challenges facing cities in MENA nations at an upcoming exhibition in South Korea. Future Earth This page will be updated following the opening weeks of the Biennale. The Cyprus Institute (CyI) and the Future Earth Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Centre will participate in the upcoming Seoul International Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism in South Korea. ... Read More »

I was an Exxon-funded climate scientist

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ExxonMobil’s deliberate attempts to sow doubt on the reality and urgency of climate change and their donations to front groups to disseminate false information about climate change have been public knowledge for a long time, now. Katharine Hayhoe  The Conversation Investigative reports in 2015 revealed that Exxon had its own scientists doing its own climate modeling as far back as the 1970s: science and modeling that was not only accurate, but that was being used to plan for the company’s future. Now, a peer-reviewed study published August 23 ... Read More »

Russian tanker sails through Arctic without icebreaker for first time

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Climate change has thawed Arctic enough for $300m gas tanker to travel at record speed through northern sea route Patrick Barkham The Guardian A Russian tanker has travelled through the northern sea route in record speed and without an icebreaker escort for the first time, highlighting how climate change is opening up the high Arctic. The $300m Christophe de Margerie carried a cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Hammerfest in Norway to Boryeong in South Korea in 19 days, ... Read More »

China now patrolling Philippines sea, air space

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China now patrols Philippine seas and air space. Its coast guard controls entry into and the vicinity of Scarborough Shoal, 120 miles off Luzon. Jarius Bondoc The Philippine Star Paramilitary fleets increasingly are fishing in the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone. Warships venture close to Zambales and Mindoro in the West Philippine Sea. Chinese aircraft regularly confront Philippine flights to Pag-asa Island in Palawan’s Kalayaan Island Group. Maritime research vessels are exploring the Philippine western seabed as well as Benham ... Read More »