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Cayman Eco - Beyond Cayman  ??????Colombia to host 2020 World Environment Day on biodiversity?UN Environment11 December 2019Image Credit: Pacific Standard/Getty ImagesOn the eve of a critical year for environmental decision-making, Colombia, Germany and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced that Colombia will host World Environment Day 2020 in partnership with Germany and that it will focus on biodiversity.World Environment Day takes place every year on 5 June. It is the United Nations’ flagship day for promoting worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years, it has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental public outreach and is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries.Making the announcement on the margins of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain, Ricardo Lozano, Colombia’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Jochen Flasbarth, Germany’s State Secretary for Environment, and Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, stressed that with one million plant and animal species facing extinction, there has never been a more important time to focus on the issue of biodiversity. Read the whole story here.??Hawaii’s Most Populated Island Passes Sweeping Single-Use Plastic Ban?Huff Post8 December 2019Image Credit: Hawaiilife.comLawmakers in Hawaii’s largest city just passed what could be one of the strictest bans on single-use plastics in the country.The Honolulu City Council this week voted 7-2 to pass Bill 40, which bans businesses and restaurants in Honolulu County from serving food and beverages with plastic straws and utensils and containers made of polystyrene foam. The legislation will take effect in phases, with polystyrene foam being banned first in 2021 and disposable plastic being banned in 2022.The measure will cover Honolulu County, which the council oversees and includes the entirety of Oahu, Hawaii’s most populated island.Lawmakers on the Big Island and Maui County, which includes the islands of Maui and Molokai, have previously banned foam containers but those measures do not cover plastic utensils. Honolulu County followed suit in 2015 and banned plastic bags in grocery stores, making Hawaii the only state at the time to completely ban most plastic bags. Read the whole story and watch the video here.?Seven Caribbean countries will ban the use of plastics in the year 2020?Yucatan Times4 December 2019Starting January 1st, 2020, single-use plastics and polystyrene will be banned in seven Caribbean countries, with the main objective of preventing ocean pollution which directly affects different marine species.Unfortunately, the Caribbean has been highlighted as one of the most polluted regions in the world, so this measure is intended to prevent the degradation of their marine habitat that would cause a health and food security  risk for some 40 million people living in coastal areas.Which Countries Will Ban The Use Of Plastic?Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas are the countries that will ban the import and use of single-use plastics and polystyrene starting on January 1st, 2020.ImportanceAn average of 5 billion plastic bags made from petroleum products are consumed each year, most of these items could take hundreds of years to degrade.FactsOf the world’s thirty largest per capita polluters of this type of plastic, ten are of the Caribbean region. Read the whole story here.?People of Venice protest over floods and cruise ships? The Guardian25 November 2019 Boots worn by a protester from Venice’s ‘No Big Ships’ committee. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images Thousands of Venetians have taken to the streets to protest over frequent flooding and the impact of giant cruise ships. In heavy rain between 2,000 and 3,000 people answered the call of environmental groups and a collective opposed to the ships. Critics say the waves cruise ships create are eroding Venice’s foundations. Chanting “Venice resist” and calling for the resignation of the mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, the marchers also appealed for a massive project, Mose, to be mothballed.The multi-billion euro infrastructure project has been under way since 2003 to protect the city from flooding but has been plagued by cost overruns, corruption scandals and delays. The protest follows unprecedented flooding that devastated the city, submerging homes, businesses and cultural treasures. “Venetians have just endured a deep wound. The flooding … brought this city to its knees and revealed its extreme fragility to the world,” said activist Enrico Palazzi. Read the whole story here.?China says stopping climate change needs everybody to get involved? Bloomberg News21 November 2019  Shanxi, China. Photographer: Kevin Frayer/Getty ImagesFacing down the challenges of climate change requires multilateral cooperation and global carbon emission reduction goals, according to China’s special representative for climate change affairs. China has always sought a “multilateral system” on climate change negotiations, and is willing to work with the U.S. to help reign in global warming, Xie Zhenhua, told a session of the New Economy Forum in Beijing on Thursday. The comments contrast with the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to pull the world’s biggest economy out of the main multinational attempt to stave off global warming, the Paris climate accords.  Xie, who’s also president of the Institute of Climate Change & Sustainable Development at Tsinghua University, said China has an advantage when pursuing climate goals, as it’s central control of the economy provides levers to implement cleaner policies. Read the whole story here.?  A Roadmap for Combatting Climate Change? Conservation Law Foundation29 October 2019? Image credit: pnglot.com This post was co-written by Alyssa Rayman-Read, Vice President and Director of CLF Massachusetts, and Joan Meschino, state representative for the Third Plymouth District and lead sponsor of the 2050 Roadmap Bill. It originally appeared in Commonwealth. Living on the Massachusetts coastline means we both get a front-row seat to some of the most dramatic impacts of climate change. We can see what rising seas and pounding storms are doing to our beaches, businesses, and storied seaside communities. However, the effects of the climate crisis will not only be felt on the coast. Whether you live in Worcester, the Pioneer Valley, or on Cape Cod, none of us is immune to the public health, economic, and environmental impacts. The science is clear: Climate change threatens everything we know and depend on. And we have a responsibility to act now. Massachusetts has been a leader in the fight against climate change. Yet, several alarming reports by top climate scientists have made it clear that this fight is just beginning. If we are serious about safeguarding the character and nature of our communities, we must take action now. We need a bold commitment to addressing the climate crisis that includes concrete steps for reaching net-zero carbon emissions while promoting a just transition to a clean energy economy. That is why 59 legislators in the Massachusetts House and Senate, on both sides of the aisle, have signed onto the 2050 Roadmap Bill (H.3983). Developed with input from a diverse group of stakeholders, including labor and business leaders, local officials, environmentalists, and our utilities, the 2050 Roadmap Bill is a bold response to the crisis currently at our doorstep. The bill gives us a plan for steadily reducing our carbon pollution, while ensuring that the opportunities and benefits of a cleaner, healthier, more just economy are enjoyed by everyone in Massachusetts. Achieving carbon neutrality and a just transition by 2050 seems a daunting challenge. Still, it is one that we are confident that we can accomplish by updating and strengthening our existing legislative framework for climate action — the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008. Since it was implemented a decade ago, the GWSA has helped to drive our emissions down and our economy up, with the addition of more than 100,000 clean energy jobs in Massachusetts and over $13 billion annually to our economy. The 2050 Roadmap Bill will ensure that these nation-leading successes continue as we work to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. How will this happen? By combining the best-available science with a healthy measure of common sense. Like any business or family building for the future, the Commonwealth’s long-term climate goals will be best achieved by making a plan and then sticking to it. As its name signals, this wisdom lies at the heart of the 2050 Roadmap Bill. After re-calibrating our Global Warming Solutions Act goal to net-zero, the 2050 Roadmap Bill directs our state agencies to accelerate, broaden, and integrate their efforts to combat climate change, so that the Commonwealth will have a new, comprehensive strategy in place in record time. Shortly thereafter, the 2050 Roadmap Bill requires that the Commonwealth create new programs and regulations – whatever is needed to implement the plan. And not just once. The bill requires that we keep at it, updating our research, planning, and framework for action every three years so we can learn from our experience and continue to take advantage of new technologies, markets, and opportunities. As we accelerate these efforts, however, we need to ensure that we are moving forward together, building a new, clean energy economy that benefits us all. That is why the 2050 Roadmap Bill will, for the first time, place people-centered protections at the heart of our climate efforts. By requiring that the new plan and policies be designed to assess and minimize whenever possible any adverse economic, environmental, or public health impacts, this new legislation will ensure that low- and moderate-income people and those living in environmental justice neighborhoods thrive as we decarbonize. We do not need another study to tell us that the impacts of climate change are here. Storms are growing more intense each year, and we continue to break heat records every summer. We must reach net-zero emissions in the coming decades to ensure these conditions do not get worse, and the 2050 Roadmap Bill provides the plan to get us there. Read the whole story here.?  Ocean Cleanup mission takes aim at rivers? Mother Nature Network28 October 2019 The group behind the mission to rid our oceans of plastic has opened a second front in the war by pulling plastic from the world's most polluted waterways before it gets to the ocean. The Ocean Cleanup team unveiled a group of Interceptors, which are currently in operation on two rivers in Malaysia and Indonesia. By their estimate, roughly 80% of the world's plastic reaches the ocean through 1,000 rivers. The goal is to clean up those rivers by 2025, pulling in roughly 50,000 kilograms of plastic a day with each river Interceptor. "To truly rid the oceans of plastic, we need to both clean up the legacy and close the tap, preventing more plastic from reaching the oceans in the first place," said founder Boyan Slat. The river element was unveiled less than a month after the team successfully collected plastic in the ocean after a rocky few months. Read the whole story here.? Johnson’s Brexit Deal Could Water Down Environmental Standards? Forbes22 October 2019  Anti-Brexit protesters take part in 'Together for the Final Say' rally on October 19th, 2019, in London, UK. NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES The British Parliament is today fiercely debating whether to approve a new Brexit deal negotiated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and its approval will depend on getting enough support from opposition Labour Party MEPs. But as they learn more about what this version of Brexit would have in store for British environmental protection, they less the Labour MEPs like it. Like in the United States, environmental law in the EU is an area mostly legislated at ‘federal’ level – that is, in Brussels. That’s because standards need to be consistent across the EU’s single market. If the U.K. secedes from the European Union, it will be free to make its own environmental law. Given that Johnson’s governing Conservative Party has cited EU environmental regulations as the kind of “red tape” they want to do away with, there are concerns that environment and climate law is about to be uprooted to make the U.K. a more attractive place for industry. Read the whole story here.? Budget 2020: Styrofoam is out, water coolers are in?Loop TT7 October 2019(TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO) Government will ban the use of Styrofoam food containers within the local business industry from January 1, 2020.The measure was announced by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in the national 2020 budget presentation in Parliament on October 7, 2019.The measure had been previously stated by the Planning Ministry in 2018, who was arranging the final stages of legislation for launch this year. Imbert said the ban means local Styrofoam manufacturers will be required to include additives to make their products biodegradable."In our pursuit to attain our stated goal of placing the environment at the centre of national development, I propose to eliminate the use of Styrofoam and single-use plastics within the national economy."As an initial step, I propose to ban the importation of Styrofoam for use in the food service industry and to require manufacturers of food containers to introduce additives to make their products biodegradable."Additionally, Imbert said government offices will switch out their plastic water bottles for water coolers, to reduce plastic usage. "In order to encourage behavioural change, I propose to terminate the use of plastic water bottles in Government offices and substitute them with coolers with filters. This measure will take effect on January 1, 2020," he said. Government has a mandate to ensure 10 percent of its energy output comes from renewable sources by 2021, as part of its Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). Read the whole story here.? Ocean cleanup device successfully collects plastic for first time?The Guardian3 October 2019The boom skims up waste ranging in size from a discarded net and a car wheel to tiny chips of plastic. Photograph: APA huge floating device designed by Dutch scientists to clean up an island of rubbish in the Pacific Ocean that is three times the size of France has successfully picked up plastic from the high seas for the first time.Boyan Slat, the creator of the Ocean Cleanup project, tweeted that the 600 metre-long (2,000ft) free-floating boom had captured and retained debris from what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.Alongside a picture of the collected rubbish, which includes a car wheel, Slat wrote: “Our ocean cleanup system is now finally catching plastic, from one-ton ghost nets to tiny microplastics! Also, anyone missing a wheel?”......During a previous four-month trial the boom broke apart and no plastic was collected. Since then, changes have been made to the design including the addition of a “parachute anchor” to slow down the device’s movement in the ocean, allowing for faster-moving plastic debris to float into the system.The latest trial began in June when the system was launched into the sea from Vancouver. The project was started in 2013 and its design has undergone several major revisions. It is hoped the final design will be able to clean up half of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Read the whole story here.? A rising tide: ‘overtourism’ and the curse of the cruise ships?The Guardian16 September 2019In Kotor and Dubrovnik large cruise ships dock regularly throughout the season, depositing thousands of people each day into the tourist hotspots and putting intense pressure on the historic portsKnown as the “pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Mediterranean. Its charming old town, array of Unesco World Heritage sites and sizeable port were always draws, but the new success of Game of Thrones, much of which was shot in the Croatian city, has made it a particularly popular stopoff point for cruise ships, whose passengers are told they can see the highlights in a single day.Smaller boats or tenders take the passengers on to dry land, where they are typically bussed into the old town. Tours often start at the 16th-century Pile Gate, followed by a stroll along the Stradun to the city walls, entrance to which costs €30 (£27). Game of Thrones locations and Europe’s oldest pharmacy in a 14th-century Franciscan monastery are big pulls.Last year around three million visitors descended on the old town, most of them having poured out of around 400 cruise ships docked in the harbour. Critics say they are causing long-term damage to historical sites, but with the livelihoods of 80% of the locals dependent on tourist traffic, some are reluctant to address the problems. Read the whole story here.?Climate cartoons: an illustrated guide to a major new climate crisis poll?The Guardian15 September 2019The Guardian’s comic artist Susie Cagle draws some conclusions from a major CBS News poll released today as part of Covering Climate Now.Read the full poll results: ‘Americans are waking up’.CBS News surveyed a representative sample of more than 2,000 Americans earlier this month and found that...'Chaos, chaos, chaos': a journey through Bolsonaro's Amazon inferno?The Guardian9 September 2019A forest fire near Palmeiras, an isolated Amazon settlement in Brazil’s Rondônia state.From afar, it resembles a tornado: an immense grey column shooting thousands of feet upwards from the forest canopy into the Amazonian skies.Up close it is an inferno: a raging conflagration obliterating yet another stretch of the world’s greatest rainforest as a herd of Nelore cattle looks on in bewilderment.“It started this morning,” said Valdir Urumon, the chief of an indigenous village in this isolated corner of Rondônia state, as the vast pillar of smoke loomed over his settlement’s palm-thatched homes.By late afternoon, when the Guardian arrived on the scene, the fire had intensified into a catastrophic blaze, streaking north through a strip of jungle perhaps two miles long.Huge plumes of smoke drifted skywards as if this sweep of woodland near Brazil’s north-western border with Bolivia had been subjected to a ferocious bombing campaign. At the farmhouse nearest to the blaze the lights were on but not a soul was to be seen – much less anyone who might extinguish the giant pyre.But two empty petrol barrels and a cluster of plastic jerrycans dumped at its entrance hinted at a possible culprit – a cattle rancher torching yet another swath of the Brazilian jungle in order to expand his Amazon domain.Three weeks after Brazil’s unusually severe burning season sparked an international storm, the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro has launched a global PR campaign to try to convince the world everything is under control. Read the whole story here.? Why we must protect the ocean's 'twilight zone'?Mother Nature Network4 September 2019The twilight zone is so cold and dark that often the only light comes from bioluminescent life. (Photo: Margus Vilibas/Shutterstock)?Most of us think of the ocean as what we see on the sunny surface. But beneath the shimmering waves, there's a deeper layer called the twilight zone.Referred to by scientists as the mesopelagic, this dimension is considered a "dark hole" in our understanding of ecosystems and one of the most understudied regions in the world.The twilight zone can be found 200 to 1,000 meters (about 650 to 3,300 feet) below the ocean surface, at the point where the sun's rays can no longer reach, according to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) in Massachusetts. Because it's so deep and there's no sunlight, it's cold and dark.But that doesn't mean this deep layer is still and quiet. Instead, it's full of life including fish, crustaceans, jellyfish, squids and worms.Occasionally, there are bursts of bioluminescence, when living creatures give off their natural glows.Researchers estimate there may be up to 1 million undiscovered species in the zone. Oceanographers who want to study this life don't have much natural light to observe them. But if they use too much artificial light, they risk frightening them. So researchers are still trying to find the right balance.Studies have suggested that the biomass or weight of fish in the twilight zone might be as much as 10 times greater than they had originally thought, which is more than in the rest of the entire ocean. It could, in fact, make up more than 90% of all fish in the sea, according to the Blue Marine Foundation. Read the whole story here.?Brazil’s Bolsonaro on the Environment, in His Own Words?The New York Times27 August 2019President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has often criticized agencies that enforce environmental laws, and called fines for environmental crimes an “industry” that needs to be abolished. (Photo Credit: Adriano Machado/Reuters)Facing an avalanche of criticism over the fires raging across the Amazon, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil pledged in a televised address on Friday that his government would take a “zero tolerance” approach to environmental crimes.But that position is at odds with Mr. Bolsonaro’s own track record on safeguarding his country’s environment. Since taking office, he has worked relentlessly and unapologetically to roll back enforcement of Brazil’s once-strict environmental protections.More broadly, Mr. Bolsonaro has championed industries that want greater access to protected areas of the Amazon, sought to weaken the land rights of Indigenous people and scaled back efforts to combat illegal logging, ranching and mining.But last week, a surge in fires in the Amazon set off a wave of international outrage, with politicians, celebrities and protesters raising the alarm. It soon became clear that Brazil stood to lose mightily if Mr. Bolsonaro did not take action to protect the forest: European leaders said they might walk away from a trade deal struck in June and calls to boycott Brazilian products were gaining traction on social media. Read the whole story here.? The City Just Sweated Through Its 10th-Hottest July Ever?New York Today20 August 2019It was hot last month. In fact, it was the 10th-hottest July on record in New York City, according to data from the National Weather Service, which has been monitoring temperatures in Central Park since 1869.New Yorkers, though, weren’t alone in suffering through oppressive and dangerous heat. The average number of heat waves in 50 major American cities has tripled since the 1960s. And last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared that last month was the hottest July on record for the planet. Read the whole story here.? 17 countries currently use more than 80 percent of their typical yearly water supply?Science News8 August 2019PARCHED  People line up for water in New Delhi, one of several Indian cities that have faced water crises this year. A new analysis shows the country is one of 17 that typically uses more than 80 percent of its water supply. SHASHANK AGARWAL/SHUTTERSTOCKThe world is facing a water scarcity crisis, with 17 countries including India, Israel and Eritrea using more than 80 percent of their available water supplies each year, a new analysis finds. Those countries are home to a quarter of the world’s 7.7 billion people. Further population rise or dwindling water supplies could cause critical water shortages, the researchers warn.“As soon as a drought hits or something unexpected happens, major cities can find themselves in very dire situations,” says Rutger Hofste, a data scientist at the Washington, D.C.–based World Resources Institute, which released the data on August 6. “That’s something that we expect to see more and more.”To gauge countries’ risk — or “water stress,” WRI updated its online calculator with data from 1961 to 2014 on water use by households, industry and agriculture, as well as water supply data from surface sources and aquifers. Previously, the tool — called the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas — assessed water demand based a snapshot of 2010 data.People “immediately link [water woes] to climate change,” says Hofste, who is based in Amsterdam. But economic and population growth “are the biggest drivers.” Water use has increased by 250 percent, from 1,888.7 cubic kilometers in 1961 to 4,720.8 cubic kilometers in 2014, the analysis found. Read the whole story here.? How the 5 riskiest U.S. cities for coastal flooding are preparing for rising tides?Science News6 August 2019HIGH STAKES  Miami is the U.S. city at greatest risk of coastal flooding. Here, a 2009 storm brought 8 to 9 inches of rain to Miami Beach.The five U.S. cities most at risk from coastal flooding have begun to make plans for adapting to rising sea levels. Some are further along than others. Here’s where their flood resilience efforts stand:MIAMIFlorida’s flooding risk comes not just from storms and high tides but also from water seeping up through the porous limestone that underlies much of the state. After 2017’s Hurricane Irma caused more than $50 billion in damage, Miami residents voted in favor of a new tax to fund coastal flooding resilience projects across the city. The first project, in the city’s low-lying Fair Isle neighborhood, broke ground in March and will construct a drainage collection system and raise roadways.NEW YORK CITYIn 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit New York City with a 3.4-meter storm tide, causing over $19 billion in damage. Although there are now several programs to guide rebuilding and resiliency efforts, few adaptation projects have come to fruition, says Robert Freudenberg, an environmental planner with the Regional Plan Association in New York City. In March, the New York City Panel on Climate Change released a report and new flooding maps. In May, the city’s Office of Emergency Management began installing sandbags around lower Manhattan as a temporary measure to protect the waterfront while more permanent solutions are considered.Read the whole story here.? Brazilian institute head fired after clashing with nation’s president over deforestation data?ScienceMag.org4 August 2019Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (left), here with Minister of the Environment Ricardo Salles, attacked the validity of satellite data showing deforestation in Brazil has increased since he took office. AP PHOTO/ERALDO PERESThe director of the Brazilian agency that monitors deforestation was fired Friday, following a public face-off with President Jair Bolsonaro. Physicist Ricardo Galvão announced his own ousting as director of National Institute for Space Research (INPE) to reporters in Brasília, saying his altercation with the president had made the situation “unsustainable.” No replacement has been announced.Known for his stout personality, Galvão challenged Bolsonaro on 20 July, rebutting remarks about deforestation the president had made the day before. Questioned by journalists about the rise of deforestation in the Amazon—as indicated by satellite data from INPE’s Real-time Deforestation Detection System (DETER)—Bolsonaro called the institute’s data “a lie,” and said Galvão appeared to be “at the service of some nongovernmental organization.” Galvão replied by calling Bolsonaro a “coward,” defending INPE science, and daring Bolsonaro to repeat the accusation to his face. Bolsonaro didn’t meet with Galvão and continued to question INPE data in the following 2 weeks, even as deforestation continued. According to the latest DETER numbers, approximately 4500 square kilometers of forest were cleared in the first 7 months of this year, since the beginning of Bolsonaro’s administration—60% more than in the same period in 2018. Read the whole story here.?Ethiopia plants over 350 million trees in a day, setting new world record?UN Environment2 August 2019Photo credit: SmithsonianMag.comIn a record-breaking day this week, at the Gulele Botanical Garden in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia launched an historic tree planting campaign. Over 350 million trees were planted in an ambitious move to counter the effects of deforestation and climate change.The event is part of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Green Legacy Initiative. It aimed at planting 200 million trees in a single day in 1,000 sites across the country.Prime Minister Ahmed congratulated the country for not only meeting its collective Green Legacy goal but also exceeding it.Ethiopia's Minister of Innovation and Technology Getahun Mekuria was quoted saying that more than 350 million trees were planted in 12 hours, breaking the world record held by India since 2016, for the most trees planted in one day and which stood at 50 million trees. Read the whole story here.?School kids are drawn into battle over palm oil and the environment?Los Angeles Times2 August 2019Forest land smolders in Taruma Mirim, Brazil, after it was slashed and burned to make way for a palm plantation. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)Schoolchildren in Malaysia are at the center of the controversy over palm oil after staging a play that claimed it causes deforestation and the disappearance of thousands of orangutans every year.Students of the International School at ParkCity in Kuala Lumpur showed an excerpt from an anti-palm oil advertisement made by Greenpeace, prompting criticism of the school by Teresa Kok, the minister in charge of the industry. Kok, who’s championed the commodity - Malaysia’s biggest agricultural export, which is used in a huge range of consumer products, including ice cream, bread, cosmetics and cleaning products - said the school was spreading anti-palm-oil propaganda.The school later apologized, but questions have been raised over how far the government will go to control the image of its key agricultural industry. The scene encapsulates the larger political tensions with the European Union, where palm oil faces new limits on its use in the bloc’s biofuel sector. The furor surrounding the school shows just how sensitive the government has become over how palm oil is perceived. Read the whole story here.? Philippines: Most deadly place to defend the environment?ClickOn Detroit31 July 2019Protesters in the Philippines call on President Rodrigo Duterte to end extrajudicial killings.LONDON - The Philippines is now the deadliest country in the world for land and environmental defenders, with 34 killed in 2018, according to new research.Worldwide, a total of 164 people were killed in related violence - an average of more than three per week - according to the "Enemies of the State?" report from NGO Global Witness. Mining conflicts were responsible for the largest share of the deaths.But in the Philippines, disputes linked to agribusiness led to half of the killings, according to the research. Such conflicts have increased in the Southeast Asian nation due to President Rodrigo Duterte's plans to hand 1.6 million hectares of land over to industrial plantations.At the same time, Duterte's "war on drugs," which has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings, is creating a "culture of fear," according to the NGO. Read the whole story here.? Greta Thunberg to Attend New York Climate Talks. She’ll Take a Sailboat.?The New York Times29 July 2019Greta Thunberg at the National Assembly in Paris on Tuesday.CreditCreditPhilippe Wojazer/ReutersGreta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, will cross the Atlantic Ocean in mid-August on an open-cockpit racing yacht to attend a United Nations summit meeting on global warming.“Good news! I’ll be joining the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York,” Ms. Thunberg said Monday on Twitter. “I’ve been offered a ride on the 60ft racing boat Malizia II.”The trip to New York is expected to take two weeks. Ms. Thunberg, who is taking the year off from school to campaign against climate change, also plans to attend the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change talks, to be held in December in Santiago, Chile.She has called the two conferences “pretty much where our future will be decided” because nations will be pushed to further reduce emissions of the planet-warming gasses that come from burning fossil fuels. “We still have a window of time when things are in our own hands. But that window is closing fast. That is why I have decided to make this trip now,” Ms. Thunberg said in a statement Monday. Greta Thunberg plans to sail to New York in August aboard the Malizia II. CreditEPA, via ShutterstockMs. Thunberg does not fly because of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with air travel. She had been seeking an alternate means of traveling to New York for the summit meeting. Read the whole story here.? Fear of flying? Plant a spekboom to offset your carbon footprint?Daily Maverick30 July 2019Some of the 600 spekboom handed to delegates at the SATSA conference to get the carbon offset programme rolling. (Photo: SATSA)Flygskam — the word coined in Sweden to describe the shame of flying because of the high amount of climate-changing carbon that air travel generates — is gaining traction in Europe with increasing numbers turning to rail instead.While the flygskam movement can help cut carbon emissions, if the trend grows substantially it could have a negative impact on tourism in countries that Europeans cannot reach by hopping on a train — such as South Africa.The South African tourism industry is alert to that and has come up with a scheme it hopes will ensure European tourists don’t ditch plans to fly here on holiday because of the embarrassment of clocking up carbon emissions.The idea takes the form of a carbon-offsetting project launched a few weeks ago at the Southern African Tourism Services Association’s (SATSA) annual conference in the Eastern Cape.SATSA hopes that the project will grow to such a level that tourist flights to and from South Africa will eventually become carbon-neutral.There is nothing hi-tech about it, nor anything involving complex finance or carbon markets. It simply entails planting succulents. Not just any succulents, but the humble spekboom — many millions of them — as a carbon-offsetting mechanism.? Read the whole story here. Loggerhead sea turtles nesting in record numbers in Southeast?Mother Nature Network16 July 2019Photo: Bureau of Land Management/FlickrMassive loggerhead sea turtles lumber ashore each summer to dig nests in the sand along the Atlantic Coast. Although they're found worldwide mostly in subtropical and temperate ocean waters, they're the most abundant sea turtle species found in U.S. coastal waters of the Atlantic, from North Carolina through southwest Florida, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).All loggerhead turtle populations are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act and classified as vulnerable (with their numbers decreasing) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.But there's some good news this summer. There's an egg-laying boom along the coast in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, reports The Associated Press. Wildlife researchers credit the comeback to federal protections that were put in place more than 30 years ago.As MNN's Russell McLendon points out, the government protects endangered sea turtles in several ways:"Coastal wildlife refuges provide key nesting habitat, for example, since they're largely free of sea walls, beach lights and other types of development that can deter or disorient turtles. Refuge workers also cage eggs against predators like raccoons and opossums, and relocate nests at risk of washing away. And since the Endangered Species Act forbids killing or disturbing endangered turtles, they're also relatively safe from human hunters." Read the whole story here.? Trump touts environment record, green groups scoff?Reuters8 July 2019Photo credit: businessinsider.comWASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump boasted about his administration’s environmental record on Monday, saying America can lead the world in fighting pollution at the same time it is promoting fossil fuels, in a speech green groups derided as “utter fantasy.”Trump, who has dismantled scores of environmental rules and rejected mainstream climate science since taking office, gave the speech at a time of growing national support here for strong environmental protections. He is widely seen as vulnerable on that issue ahead of next year's presidential elections. Read the whole story here.? How could Brexit impact the environment??France 245 July 2019Image credit: Politico.euWhen you live in Europe, the air you breathe, the water you drink and the meat or fish you eat are all controlled in Brussels. That could no longer be the case for the United Kingdom. Due to Brexit, the country is now entering uncharted territory, and the environment could become collateral damage.About 80 percent of the UK's environmental rules derive from European laws, which over the past decades have played a leading role in helping the country clean up.Previously considered the "dirty man of Europe", the UK has reduced its CO2 emissions by 38 percent since 1990, faster than any other major developed country.So how could the UK's EU withdrawal impact the environment? The government has promised a green Brexit, but activists worry much of the progress made could be undone. Read the whole story here.? Nigeria turns the tide on electronic waste?UN Environment19 June 2019An ambitious new project launched in Lagos today is aiming to reform the electronics sector and put an end to the toxic toll improper management of electronic waste is taking on Nigeria.Over half a million tonnes of discarded appliances are processed in the country every year, threatening both the health of people in the informal recycling industry and the nation’s environment.With backing from the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Nigeria has joined forces with UN Environment and partners to turn the tide on e-waste, under the Circular Economy Approaches for the Electronics Sector in Nigeria project. Led by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), the $15-million initiative will bring together players from government, the private sector and civil society to kickstart a financially self-sustaining circular economy approach for electronics in Nigeria, protecting the environment while creating safe employment for thousands of Nigerians. Read the whole story here.?China’s environment ministry summons six city mayors for failing to deal with winter smog?South China Morning Post13 June 2019Baoding is one of two cities in the steel heartland of Hebei province that failed to meet its air pollution targets. Photo: AlamyChina’s environment ministry has summoned the mayors of six northern cities to a meeting in Beijing to account for their failures to meet winter targets to cut smog.Average air quality worsened significantly in much of northern China over the winter compliance period from October to March, prompting concerns the country’s “war on pollution” was losing steam amid an economic slowdown.The cities named by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment on Thursday were Baoding and Langfang in the steel heartland of Hebei province, as well as Luoyang, Anyang and Puyang in neighbouring Henan and Jinzhong in Shanxi.“These cities have relaxed their efforts to defend the blue skies, key tasks have not been completed … and some problems have rebounded,” the ministry said.? Read the whole story here. World Environment Day: 10 Quotes To Inspire You For Better Living?NDTV5 June 2019Image credit: dhakatribune.comNEW DELHI: World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year. Each year, World Environment Day has a new theme. The year's World Environment Day 2019 theme is "Beat Air Pollution" and the host is China. It was first established by the UN General Assembly in 1972. The day puts focus on environment and how it affects people's health. Pledging for a cleaner, safer, sustainable planet, this World Environment Day brings the focus on living in harmony with nature and addressing various challenges our environment faces.World Environment Day Quotes To Inspire You:For a better tomorrow, plant more trees and make this planet a better place to live in."Each one plant as many as you can" should be today's mantra.Live life more sustainably by being in sync with nature.A life lived consciously is a life best lived.Say no to plastic. Make your life eco-friendly products your best friend."Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed."- Mahatma Gandhi"A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people."- Franklin D Roosevelt"What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"- Henry David Thoreau, Familiar LettersNature is the best healer. Do not spoil it with your acts.Start changing your habits and make them environment friendly.Be pro-environment, pro-energy conservation and pro-nature this World Environment Day.Make environmentally conscious choices this World Environment Day.?Costa Rica has doubled its forest cover in the last 30 years?Mother Nature Network24 May 2019Photo: Anna Om/Shutterstock?In an interview with The New York Times, the country's first lady, urban planner Claudia Dobles, says that achieving that goal would combat a “sense of negativity and chaos” in the face of global warming. "We need to start providing answers."Although the goal seems like a big one, the tiny country lush with rainforests has already made some impressive inroads. Notably, after decades of deforestation, Costa Rica has doubled its tree cover in the last 30 years. Now, half of the country's land surface is covered with trees. That forest cover is able to absorb a huge amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.Although the story of Costa Rica's tree cover is a bit of a roller coaster, it's definitely on a positive climb now. In the 1940s, more than three-quarters of the country was covered in mostly tropical rainforests and other indigenous woodland, according to United Nations University. But extensive, uncontrolled logging led to severe deforestation. By 1983, only 26% of the country had forest cover. But through a continued environmental focus by policymakers, today forest cover has increased to 52%, which is double 1983 levels.Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado has called the climate crisis "the greatest task of our generation." He and other Costa Rican leaders hope they can spur other nations to follow their example. Read the whole story here. Mexico City declares environment emergency as fires hurt air quality?Reuters14 May 2019?A Mexican flag against a hazy backdrop of buildings in metropolitan Mexico City May 14, 2019. Mexican authorities declared an environmental emergency on Tuesday for metropolitan Mexico City as smoke from nearby wildfires pushed pollution to levels deemed potentially harmful to human health. REUTERS/Henry Romero?Environmental authorities advised residents to avoid outdoor activities and exercise and remain indoors with windows and doors shut. It called for especially sensitive groups, including infants, the elderly and sick, to stay at home.The local government said later that the circulation of vehicles would be restricted for most of Wednesday.The Mexican capital is home to nearly 9 million people, with more than 21 million in its metropolitan area.The city’s Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis came under pressure to act after visibility in the city began dropping sharply last week because of ash and smoke in the air. Dry weather has played a role in a spate of fires around the city. Read the whole story here.? One burger, hold the meat?CBC The National8 May 2019Lester Walker of Ghetto Gastro adds the finishing touches to a Beyond Beef dish during a product showcase in New York City last month. (Stuart Ramson/Associated Press)Once upon a time, only vegetarians, vegans and health food aficionados would be eager to nosh on meatless meals. Now food manufacturers, grocery stores and investors see huge potential in this growing consumer trend. When California-based company Beyond Meat listed its shares on the stock market late last week, the share price shot up 163 per cent on the first day of trading.Beyond Meat patties were introduced in an A&W burger last summer. When they sold out almost immediately, it helped ignite the phenomenon.That product is now going to be available for sale at grocery stores as well, for home grilling. And other brands and other products are coming fast.Even Canadian meat giant Maple Leaf Foods is jumping on the bandwagon, investing a whopping $600 million in plant-based protein. I interviewed CEO Michael McCain for this story, and he says he now views Maple Leaf as a "protein company," not as a meat company. "The consumer has been very clear that they want more protein in their diet, that they want more choice," he says. Read the whole story here.? UK MPs declare climate emergency?Cayman News Service3 May 2019?Jeremy Corbyn addresses a crowd after climate emergency declared by Parliament?Members of the UK parliament have backed a motion brought by the opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, declaring an environmental emergency. The House of Commons declaration comes on the heels of mass protests in London by grassroots environmental group Extinction Rebellion. While the parliamentary support for the declaration is not legally binding on the British government, it was described by the Labour leader as “a huge step forward” that could trigger a wave of “action from parliaments and governments around the globe”.“We pledge to work as closely as possible with countries that are serious about ending the climate catastrophe and make clear to US President Donald Trump that he cannot ignore international agreements and action on the climate crisis,” he said.Labour’s motion also calls on the government to aim to achieve net-zero emissions before 2050 and for ministers to outline urgent proposals to restore the UK’s natural environment and deliver a “zero waste economy” within the next six months. Read the whole story here.? Coachella 2019: This organization wants to save the environment with the festival’s fans?20 April 2019The Press-Enterprise?Attendees of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival enjoy riding seesaws at the Energy Factory booth on Saturday, April 20, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)?There are a few things you’ve come to expect at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.First, there’s the music and discovering new artists. Then there’s the heat, always the heat.And for 16 out of the past 20 years the festival has been happening, people have also been learning about the environment — even if they didn’t know it — thanks to Global Inheritance.As Earth Day approaches, the nonprofit environmental awareness organization, which is responsible for bringing the now iconic and colorfully decorated recycling bins and the teeter-totter that uses kinetic energy to charge your phone, celebrates its sweet 16 at Coachella with a couple of new programs.“We design programming to get people that aren’t engaged in environmental and social issues. We’re sort of that first date for people to experience different things from energy to recycling and transportation,” said Eric Ritz, founder and executive director of Global Inheritance.“It’s all the really obvious things we need to fix in the world and we present them in a way that is fun and interactive,” he added. Read the whole story here.? Living in a country that thinks green?BBC15 April 2019Norway (Photo credit: kimkim.com)?The latest climate reports look grim: recent research published in Science journal indicates that oceans are warming 40% faster than previously thought, while the UN panel of climate-change scientists released a landmark report in October 2018 warning that rising temperatures may cause major flooding, droughts, food shortages and wildfires by 2040 unless drastic action is taken.While the global community still has a long way to go in addressing the reported climate changes, certain countries have emerged as making positive global contributions to the planet, according to the Good Country Index, which aims to measure the impact a single country has on the wider world, such as its ecological footprint relative to the size of the economy and the percentage of renewable energy used.“In our age of advanced globalisation and massive interdependence, everything sooner or later, has an impact on the whole system,” said Simon Anholt, an independent policy advisor who founded the index. “I wanted to create the first index that measured the external impact of each country on the whole of humanity, the whole planet, outside its own borders.” Read the whole story here.? Sounding the climate alarm?CBC News: The National Today2 April 2019?A pharmacy sign displays record-breaking temperatures in Lille, northern France, last summer. There are several disturbing new reports about the pace and effects of global warming. (Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images)?The world is quickly getting warmer, and what little we are doing to combat the problem might actually be making things worse.  That's the conclusion of a series of alarming new studies and reports published over the past week, looking at the galloping impact of climate change both in Canada and around the globe.A comprehensive federal report on Canada's changing climate, released this morning, says the country is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, with an average rise of 1.7 C since 1948. It's even more extreme in the far North, where temperatures have increased 2.3 C in the same period.The findings echo the UN's World Meteorological Organization report on the State of the Global Climate in 2018, which catalogued another year of record temperatures, soaring carbon dioxide levels, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels — up 2 to 3 mm from 2017.??The organization estimates that 62 million people worldwide were affected by extreme weather events last year, with more than two million of them forced to relocate. Read the whole story here.? The Arctic Ocean, explained?National Geographic31 March 2019?Black-legged kittiwakes soar past an Arctic Ocean iceberg in Svalbard, Norway. (Photo credit: Toehold.in)?THE ARCTIC OCEAN is Earth's northernmost body of water. It encircles the Arctic, and flows beneath it. Most of the Arctic Ocean is covered by ice throughout the year—although that is starting to change as temperatures climb. Pale and stark on the surface, the Arctic Ocean is home to a stunning array of life.Though it's the world's smallest ocean—spanning 6.1 million square miles—the Arctic is now receiving unprecedented international attention. Scientists are racing to understand how warming temperatures will alter Arctic Ocean waters—and by extension the rest of the climate—and world leaders are racing to control newly opening waters.The Arctic Ocean is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth and feeling the onslaught of climate change. Read the whole story here.? UK pupils to join global strike over climate change crisis8 February 2019The GuardianStudents protest for climate action during a Fridays for Future school strike in Magdeburg, Germany. Photograph: Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert/APThe school climate strikes that have led to tens of thousands of young people taking to the streets around the world over recent months are poised to arrive in the UK next Friday.Thousands of pupils are expected to walk out of lessons at schools and colleges across the country amid growing concern about the escalating climate crisis.The movement started in August when the 16-year-old schoolgirl Greta Thunberg held a solo protest outside Swedens parliament. Now, up to 70,000 schoolchildren each week are taking part in 270 towns and cities worldwide.Individual protests have been held in the UK, but next week a coordinated day of action is expected to result in walkouts in more than 30 towns and cities from Lancaster to Truro, and Ullapool to Leeds. Read the whole story here. Climate change endangers small Jewish communities, warn campaigners23 January 2019The JCGeorge Town Harbour flooded by rough seas (Photo credit: Cayman News Service)The Commonwealth Jewish Council is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers climate change poses to small islands.Its Small Islands: Big Challenges campaign will be inaugurated on Monday at a Westminster event to be addressed by the governments former special adviser on climate change, Sir David King.Members of the CJCs 37 communities will be asked to press their governments to take action in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.CJC president Lord Mendelsohn - who this week hosted a dinner in the Lords for High Commissioners from small islands - said the organisation backed efforts to persuade countries to implement the Paris Agreement.But we hope for more, he said in an introduction to the CJCs campaign pack. We hope to help develop durable partnerships that can deal with the challenges of weather extremes and climate change and their terrible impacts.We want to help across the range of need, from finding ways to build early warning systems and adaptation measures to mechanisms to build resilient communities.The campaign has been timed to follow this weeks celebration of Tu Bishvat, the New Year for Trees.In a video message of support which cited the commandment given to Adam to take care of the world, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: We have a Jewish foreign policy for the 21st century. It is our responsibility within our Jewish psyche to recognise what we should be doing for the world around us.Recalling a holiday he and his Valerie had spent in the Cayman Islands, he said residents had told him of the horrific experience they had endured when a hurricane submerged Grand Cayman under water. Read the whole story here. When it comes to saving Floridas environment, DeSantis gets it so far11 January 2019Miami HeraldPhoto credit: orlandoweekly.comGov. Ron DeSantis got lots of attention when he focused on the environment for a handful of paragraphs during his inauguration speech last week.The unusually optimistic reaction shows that Floridians who hope to preserve a few precious pieces of this remarkable place are starved for hope and desperate for leadership.DeSantis began his green passage with an understatement: Our economic potential will be jeopardized if we do not solve the problems afflicting our environment and water resources.In truth, Floridas economy wont merely be jeopardized if we dont clean up our act; it will be strangled. Witness the crushing impact of the marathon red-tide outbreak and blue-green algae blooms upon businesses in coastal communities. That was a harrowing, nauseating, tourist-repelling glimpse of the future.But, unlike his predecessor, DeSantis seems to grasp that its a serious long-term challenge, not a fleeting scientific anomaly-turned-political inconvenience. The quality of our water and environmental surroundings are foundational to our prosperity as a state, DeSantis said. It doesnt just drive tourism; it affects property values, anchors many local economies and is central to our quality of life. The water is part and parcel of Florida s DNA, he went on. Protecting it is the smart thing to do; its also the right thing to do.Some wariness from the public would make sense, because this isnt the first time weve heard such words from politicians who in times of choking red tides or slime-covered rivers become born-again environmentalists. The test, of course, is how hard (or if) the politicians back up their words after the campaign is over.DeSantis is wasting no time. On Thursday, he issued a head-spinning executive order calling for a $2.5 billion hike in environmental funding, including increased water-quality monitoring, a purge of septic tanks, and hang on a ban on fracking. This is a Republican, folks, one who apparently has heard of Theodore Roosevelt. Read the whole story here. In India, Natures Power Overwhelms Engineered WetlandsYale Enviornment 36020 December 2018Partially submerged houses in Kerala, India last August. REUTERS / SIVARAM VIn India, they call the state of Kerala in the countrys far south Gods own country. That wasnt how it felt last August, when monsoon floods devastated its densely populated low-lying coastal plain. Around 500 people drowned, in an area best known to outsiders for its placid backwaters, a network of brackish lakes, lagoons, and canals where growing numbers of Western tourists cruise the picturesque waterways aboard luxury houseboats.Now that the floodwaters have abated, questions are being raised about whether the disaster was made worse by water engineering projects in the backwaters designed to feed the states population and attract tourists. Increasingly, Kerala residents are wondering if Gods own country is damned as well as dammed.The floods came out of the Western Ghats. This chain of mountains down the west side of India is one of the countrys wettest places, drenched from June to September in monsoon. In early August, the rains there were exceptionally intense and unremitting. The rivers flowing from the mountains west toward the Arabian Sea dumped their water into the backwaters on a coastal plain that is largely below sea level. Read the whole story here. Do Brazilians really care about the environment?Scientific American8 November 2018by Carlos SouzaPhoto credit: Getty ImagesThe election of Jair Bolsonaro as our next president suggests we dont, but the truth is more complicated.Brazil is the guardian of the planets largest tropical rainforest, where most of the Earth's biodiversity and forest carbon stocks are concentrated, and which possesses the worlds largest reservoir of fresh water. Its natural patrimony extends over other five unique biomes. Even though, recently elected President Jair Bolsonaro, with 55 percent of valid votes, had made clear during his campaign that the environmental agenda was not a priority.Bolsonaros first moves after the election showed signs that he was going to merge the Ministry of the Environment with the Ministry of Agriculture. However, in response to initial critiques from academics, NGOs, conservationists, and part of the agribusiness sectorsuch a merger had been called an extinction by conservationists, anthropologists, and activistsBolsonaro is backing down. But Bolsonaro has promised other actions that could negatively affect the environmental, such as allowing mining inside Protected Areas; ending he calls an industry" of fines designed to enforce the environmental regulation; and making environmental licensing for infrastructure development and the use of pesticides more flexible.Collateral effects of his promises during the presidential campaign to loosen environmental regulations have already begun. Deforestation in the Amazon region has risen, according to existing forest monitoring alerts (see SAD data from Imazon and DETER data from Inpe.), and more invasions of Protected Areas. Read the whole story here. The White House approved a climate reportThe New York TimesClimate Fwd:by Lisa Friedman10 October 2018Its been a big week for climate science. My colleague Coral Davenport, who spent the past week in Korea nailing down the findings of a landmark report from the United Nations scientific panel on climate change, writes that the immediate consequences of global warming are more dire than previously thought. The report describes a strong risk of crisis as early as 2040.At current levels of warming, which stand around 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1.0 degree Celsius) above preindustrial levels, the planet is already seeing more intense forest fires, coral bleaching, storm surges and crop failures.Things will get far worse, the report found, if the warming reaches 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius). That, unfortunately, is the course were on. This piece by Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich helps visualize how critical that half-degree Celsius can be.Despite the scientists call to action, Coral and Mark Landler report, the response from the White House was muted, with President Trump saying Tuesday evening only that he will be looking at it. Since the Trump administration has systematically worked to discredit climate science and dismantle regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it fit a pattern.And yet Coral noted something significant: Despite its stance on climate science, the Trump administration formally approved the document. In the world of diplomacy, it sends a signal that even the Trump administration might not be willing to publicly buck the conclusions of the worlds top climate scientists. Read the whole story here. Nobel Prize-winning economist says carbon taxes are the solution to climate changeCBC8 October 2018Paul Romer,2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences co-winner(Photo credit: qz.com)Just hours before William Nordhaus and Paul Romer won a Nobel Prize on Monday for their work on the economics of climate change, the UN issued a dire warning about global warming.The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems on this fast-warming planet.But Romer whose work focuses on adapting economic theory to take better account of environmental issues and technological progress says this crisis can easily be averted through economic policy. Read the whole story here. Swiss Company Opens Its Third CO2-Capturing SiteYale Environment 3602 October 2018A new ClimeWorks facility in Italy will suck 150 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year. CLIMEWORKSClimeWorks, a Swiss company working to commercialize carbon sequestration technology, has opened its third carbon dioxide capture site, located in Troia, Italy. The new plant will suck 150 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year the equivalent of taking 32 cars off the road and convert it to methane to be used in natural gas-powered trucks, Quartz reported.Scientists have long argued that reducing greenhouse gas emissions isnt enough by itself to combat climate change. The world must also lower existing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by removing carbon dioxide from the air. ClimeWorks launched its first carbon sequestration plant in Zurich in May 2017. The facility captures 900 metric tons of CO2 annually, which is then pumped into the greenhouse of a Swiss farm. Read the whole story here. Worlds First Recycled Plastic Bike Path Opens in The NetherlandsYale Environment 36017 September 2018A new bike path in the Dutch city of Zwolle is made from the equivalent of 218,000 recycled plastic cups. Photo credit: KWS/TOTAL/WAVINA new 100-foot track in the Dutch city of Zwolle is the worlds first bike path made almost entirely out of recycled plastic, containing the equivalent of 218,000 plastic cups or 500,000 plastic bottle caps. The plastic road is the latest example of the growing shift among cities and businesses toward a circular economy, which requires reusing products and producing no waste.The designers of the new bike path in Zwolle Dutch engineering firm KWS, pipe maker Wavin, and French oil major Total claim the road is two to three times more durable than traditional asphalt roads and has the potential for drastically reducing the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills and oceans. This first pilot is a big step towards a sustainable road made of recycled plastic waste, the paths inventors, Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma, said in a statement.The plastic track is a prefabricated, modular design, allowing for quick and easy installation. It is filled with sensors that will monitor the durability of the road, including tracking temperature and the number of bike trips. The path also has cavities to divert and store excess stormwater. A second plastic section of bike path will be installed in the Dutch city of Giethoorn in November.In recent years, engineers across the globe have been developing innovative second uses for roadways, from building bridges out of recycled plastic to opening solar-paneled motorways. Giant deep sea coral reef discovered off South Carolina coastMother Nature Network26 August 2018A deep sea coral specimen that was discovered off the coast of East Timor. (Photo: Nick Hobgood/Wiki Commons)It's not every day that you find a huge, previously undiscovered biological feature sitting right off a major U.S. coastline, but that's exactly what scientists manning the research vessel Atlantis stumbled upon while exploring some 160 miles off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina.There, about a half mile below the ocean's surface, lies a dense forest of deep sea coral that stretches for at least 85 miles. It's a humongous ecosystem that has probably been developing for at least a few hundred thousand years.This is a huge feature, said Erik Cordes, the expedition's chief scientist, to the Huffington Post. Its incredible that it stayed hidden off the U.S. East Coast for so long.Just mountains of it, he added. We couldnt find a place that didnt have corals.The existence of the reef, which was initially flagged from sonar mapping, was officially confirmed using a pair of submersible dives. The expedition's original mission was to explore uncharted canyons, gas seeps and coral ecosystems off the Atlantic coast. No one thought that they'd find something like this, though.The live corals are living upon giant mounds of rubble that were constructed by the corals that came before them. It's a massive piece of scaffolding that accumulates as corals die and leave their skeletal remains behind. Cordes estimates that coral has likely been growing here for millennia. He also predicts that the reef probably plays a keystone role in the region's fisheries. The team witnessed at least one giant swordfish cruising over the corals during their time in the submersible.The find comes as the Trump administration is proposing an expansive offshore drilling plan that could stretch up and down the Atlantic coast. Researchers hope that their findings will stall those plans, or at least strengthen efforts to designate protected zones. Given that these coral reefs are a new, previously unstudied ecosystem, it's unclear just how sensitive the region's ecology might be to oil and gas exploration.It's a remarkable discovery, and proof of just how little we know about the ocean's ecosystems. Hopefully it won't disappear before we get a chance to truly explore and understand this natural wonder. Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot quits French governmentFrance 2428 August 2018Photo credit: Rappler.comFrench Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot announced his resignation on Tuesday, citing disappointment with the lack of progress on climate and other environmental goals.Hulot said his decision, taken on Monday night, was the result of an accumulation of disappointments over the inadequacy of steps to tackle climate change, defend biodiversity and address other environmental threats.A former TV presenter and green activist whose cabinet portfolio included energy, Hulot said on France Inter radio that he had not yet informed President Emmanuel Macron of his decision to resign.Hulot consistently scored high in popularity polls and his departure will be a blow to Macron, whose own ratings are plumbing new lows. Read the whole story here. Illegal fishing and Amazon deforestation operations linked with offshore tax havensThe Independent13 August 2018Industries linked to environmental damage including Amazon rainforest deforestation and illegal fishing are heavily involved in the shady world of offshore tax havens.An investigation has revealed that huge quantities of money flowing into the Brazilian soy and beef sectors are funnelled through nations where taxation is low and financial transparency is lacking.The same analysis found most fishing vessels implicated in illegal or unregulated activities were registered in tax havens.The release of the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers has shown how businesses, politicians and global elites make use of offshore tax havens to undertake financial dealings in secret and pay minimal tax.However, the potential environmental impacts of these activities have been largely ignored. Read the whole story here. Al Gore Says President Trump Not Yet as Damaging to Environment as He FearedTIME14 August 2018Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore speaks during an interview in Greensboro, N.C., Aug. 13, 2018. Gerry BroomeAPThe Trump administration has made some dangerous changes to environmental policy, but the damage so far has been less than it initially appeared, former Vice President Al Gore said in an interview Monday.He (President Trump) has had less of an impact so far than I feared that he would. Someone said last year his administration is a blend of malevolence and incompetence, Gore said in an interview with The Associated Press in Greensboro. I think theyve made some mistakes in some of the moves theyve made. The courts have blocked some of what they wanted to do as a result.Even the Republican-controlled Congress has stepped in at times, he said. The U.S. system has a lot of inherent resilience, Gore said. Its hard for one person, even the president, to change things very quickly if the majority of American people dont want them changed. Read the whole story here. How corruption has damaged Armenia's environmentFRANCE 2418 June 2018Photo credit: 123RF.comIt's now more than a month since anti-government demonstrations in Armenia forced the government of Serzh Sargsyan to resign. At the heart of the protest movement was anger over widespread corruption. Open-pit mining has left scars on the tiny country's beautiful landscape. Corruption allowed developers to flaunt environmental regulations and locals' rights, as FRANCE 24's Gulliver Cragg reports. Watch the video here. In a warming West, the Rio Grande is drying upThe New York Times24 May 2018The Rio Grande south of Socorro, N.M.Even in a good year, much of the Rio Grande is diverted forirrigation. But its only May, and the river is already turning to sand.LEMITAR, N.M. Mario Rosales, who farms 365 acres along the Rio Grande, knows the river is in bad shape this year. It has already dried to a dusty ribbon of sand in some parts, and most of the water that does flow is diverted to irrigate crops, including Mr. Rosaless fields of wheat, oats, alfalfa and New Mexicos beloved chiles.Because last winters mountain snowpack was the second-lowest on record, even that irrigation water may run out at the end of July, three months earlier than usual. But Mr. Rosales isnt worried. He is sure that the summer thunderstorms, known here as the monsoon, will come.Sooner or later, well get the water, he said.The monsoon rains he is counting on are notoriously unpredictable, however. So he and many of the other farmers who work 62,000 acres along 140 miles of the Rio Grande in central New Mexico may get by or they may not.Nobodys got a whole lot of water, said David Gensler, the hydrologist for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, whose job is to manage the river water that is delivered to Mr. Rosales and the others through diversion dams, canals and ditches. If we use it up early in the season and dont get any rain further on, the whole things going to crash. Read the whole story here. Kenyas coastal conservation heroesUN Environment15 May 2018Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute Chief Scientist James Kairo holds a mangrove seedling while talking to visitors at the Mikoko Pamoja project site.Here in Gazi we get 1.5 tonnes [of carbon] per hectare, Kairo says. That is the carbon stored below ground and if you add the one which is stored above ground, which is up to 500 tonnes, we are talking about 2,000 tonnes of carbon in the system.Just 30 km south of the booming port town of Mombasa, residents of two tranquil Kenyan villages are making history.Here, amongst the mud-walled houses and coconut trees, the people of Gazi and Makongeni villages have become the worlds first communities to harness the carbon market through mangrove conservation.The Mikoko Pamoja (mangroves together) project is restoring Gazi Bays coastal ecosystems, with community members planting thousands of mangrove seedlings each year and trading the resulting carbon offset on the global market protecting the coastline, restoring local fisheries, and bringing in over $25,000 for community initiatives in the projects first two years alone. Read the whole story here. Caribbean Island Nations Cite U.S. Report at Climate Change TalksScientific American3 May 2018Photo credit Express.co.ukA U.S. report was offered for a conference on how the global battle against climate change is progressingbut it wasnt put there by the United States.A group of Caribbean islands led by St. Lucia posted the 2017 U.S. National Climate Assessment special report released under the Trump administration in November as one of its submissions ahead of Sundays dialogue on progress and ambition for the Paris Agreement. Its a forum intended to encourage countries to increase the ambition of their Paris pledges by 2020.The climate of the United States is strongly connected to the changing global climate, begins the executive summary of the report, which the U.S. Office of Global Change released after a deadline had lapsed. It is part of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which will be completed in 2018.Its unclear whether the islands were making a political statement by offering the report. The United States has made no submission ahead of Sundays preliminary Talanoa Dialogue discussion on the sidelines of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks in Bonn, Germany. The State Department confirmed that the United States will participate in the Sunday session.So the highly vulnerable islands might have intended the submission as a dig against the Trump administration for its Paris retreat and lack of financial assistance to at-risk countries like them. But a separate submission points to the reports section on the Southeast and the Caribbean, which details threats from changes in ocean circulation and other impacts. Read the whole story here. Electric buses are hurting the oil industryBloomberg.com23 April 2018Photo credit: govtech.com- About 279,000 barrels a day of fuel wont be needed this year- China adds a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeksElectric buses were seen as a joke at an industry conference in Belgium seven years ago when the Chinese manufacturer BYD Co. showed an early model.Everyone was laughing at BYD for making a toy, recalled Isbrand Ho, the Shenzhen-based companys managing director in Europe. And look now. Everyone has one.Suddenly, buses with battery-powered motors are a serious matter with the potential to revolutionize city transportand add to the forces reshaping the energy industry. With China leading the way, making the traditional smog-belching diesel behemoth run on electricity is starting to eat away at fossil fuel demand. Read the whole story here. How the Environment Has Changed Since the First Earth DayNational Geographic21 April 2018Ash spews from a coal-fueled power plantWhen Earth Day was first created in 1970, it rode the coattails of a decade filled with social activism. Voting rights were strengthened, civil rights were outlined, and women were demanding equal treatment.But there was no Environmental Protection Agency, no Clean Air Act, or Clean Water Act.Fast forward 48 years and what started as a grassroots movement has exploded into an international day of attention and activism dedicated to preserving the environment. Officially, the United Nations recognizes this upcoming April 22 as International Mother Earth Day.Across the globe, millions of people take part in Earth Day. According to the Earth Day Network, one of the largest activist bodies organizing Earth Day events, people celebrate by holding marches, planting trees, meeting with local representatives, and cleaning up their local environments. Read the whole story here. Global Warming is Increasing Russia's Profits, and PollutionVICE News8 March 2018Photo credit: Wikipedia.orgWhile many parts of the world are struggling from catastrophic effects of climate change, Russia is looking to capitalize on it, with the Kremlin driving a narrative that touts the economic benefits.Like more and faster access to petroleum and mineral reserves that were previously unreachable. The Northern Sea Passage, a legendary shipping lane along Russias Arctic coastline, has been largely inaccessible for part of the year because of dense sea ice. But now, that ice is melting, opening up a new trade route for Russia's cargo ships. Russian oil companies are already betting big on the new reserves they hope to find in the Russian Arctic, and other industries like mining are ramping up production since they now have faster shipping routes to many ports. Read the whole story here.China's plastic trash banREUTERS (Oslo)29 January 2018REUTERS-Kim Kyung-Hoon-File PhotoChinas crackdown on imports of plastic trash should be a signal for rich nations to increase recycling and cut down on non-essential products such as plastic drinking straws, the head of the U.N Environment Programme said on Monday.Erik Solheim, a former Norwegian environment minister, urged developed nations to re-think their use of plastics and not simply seek alternative foreign dumping grounds after Chinas restrictions took effect this month.We should see the Chinese decision I heard some complaints from Europeans as a great service to the people of China and a wake-up call to the rest of the world, he said in a telephone interview from Nairobi.And there are lots of products we simply dont need.Prime examples, he said, were microbeads - tiny pieces of plastic often used in cosmetics which have been found to pollute the worlds oceans, rivers and lakes - and drinking straws.The average American uses 600 straws a year, he said, generating vast amounts of plastic waste. Everyone can drink straight from the bottle or the cup.He suggested restaurants and bars could put up signs along the lines of: If you desperately need a straw we will provide it.Some companies have already cut back on straws.He praised bans on microbeads, sometimes used as abrasives in facial scrubs or toothpaste. The United States passed a law in 2015 to ban microbeads and a ban in Britain took effect this month.Piles of waste have built up in some western ports after China, the main destination for more than half of plastic waste exported by western nations, banned foreign garbage including some grades of plastics and paper. Read the whole story here.Why plastic straws are key to fighting ocean pollutionThe Weather Network1 December 2017Photo Credit www.theweathernetwork.comThe world uses 1 billion unrecyclable plastic straws a day 500 million in the United States an untold number of which end up in the ocean, polluting the water and coastlines and posing a deadly threat to sea turtles and other marine animals. The Lonely Whale Foundations Strawless in Seattle campaign resulted in the elimination of 2.3 million disposable plastic straws in the month of September in that city. As of July 1, 2018, Seattle will ban non-compostable plastic straws and cutlery from 3,100 food service businesses that range from Starbucks to sports stadiums. Lonely Whale will take its strawless campaign to at least 10 more cities next year. Read whole story here. Business risk from climate change now top of mind for Canadas corporate boardsThe Globe and Mail22 November 2017Michael Sabia has a message for Canada's corporate directors as he weighs how to deploy one of the biggest pools of investment capital in the country: Climate change is top of mind.Mr. Sabia the chief executive officer of the Caisse de dpt et placement du Qubec wants climate-related factors to be at the core of how the country's second-largest pension fund approaches all of its investment decisions, regardless of asset class."That's what I think is going to be required for investors like us to benefit from the opportunities and protect ourselves from the risks that are obvious here," Mr. Sabia says.Last month, the pension fund announced plans to slash the carbon footprint of its investment portfolio by 25 per cent by 2025. It also aims to boost its low-carbon investments by 50 per cent to the tune of more than $8-billion by 2020.The term "carbon footprint" refers to the amount of greenhouse gases produced by a particular company or person. As part of its commitment, the Caisse says it will be reducing its exposure to the most carbon-intensive assets in its portfolio, such as activities related to coal. The pension fund will also begin disclosing data on the portfolio's greenhouse gas emissions in its annual report. Read the whole story here.Satellite eye on Earth: September 2017 - in picturesThe Guardian31 October 2017Photograph VIIRS-Suomi NPP-NASAAlgal blooms, hurricanes and volcano fields are among the images captured by Nasa and the ESA last month. See the fascinating photoshere. Forget 'the environment': we need new words to convey life's wondersThe GuardianAugust 9, 2017If Moses had promised the Israelites a land flowing with mammary secretions and insect vomit, would they have followed him into Canaan? Though this means milk and honey, I doubt it would have inspired them.So why do we use such language to describe the natural wonders of the world? There are examples everywhere, but I will illustrate the problem with a few from the UK. On land, places in which nature is protected are called sites of special scientific interest. At sea, they are labelled no-take zones or reference areas. Had you set out to estrange people from the living world, you could scarcely have done better. Read the whole story here. Chinas Religious Revival Fuels Environmental ActivismThe New York TimesJuly 12, 2017MAO MOUNTAIN, China Far from the smog-belching power plants of nearby cities, on a hillside covered in solar panels and blossoming magnolias, Yang Shihua speaks of the need for a revolution.Mr. Yang, the abbot of Mao Mountain, a sacred Taoist site in eastern China, has grown frustrated by indifference to a crippling pollution crisis that has left the land barren and the sky a haunting gray. So he has set out to spur action through religion, building a $17.7 million eco-friendly temple and citing 2,000-year-old texts to rail against waste and pollution.China doesnt lack money it lacks a reverence for the environment, Abbot Yang said. Our morals are in decline and our beliefs have been lost. Read the whole story here. Stony corals more resistant to climate change than thoughtScience DailyJune 1, 2017Stylophora pistillata is a colorful and well-studied stony coral common in the Indo-Pacific.Stony corals may be more resilient to ocean acidification than once thought, according to a Rutgers University study that shows they rely on proteins to help create their rock-hard skeletons."The bottom line is that corals will make rock even under adverse conditions," said Paul G. Falkowski, a distinguished professor who leads the Environmental Biophysics and Molecular Ecology Laboratory at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. "They will probably make rock even as the ocean becomes slightly acidic from the burning of fossil fuels."Read the whole story here.Facts and evidence matter in confronting climate crisisDavid Suzuki FoundationMarch 24, 2017Melting arctic ice in the sunset (Photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr)We recently highlighted the faulty logic of a pseudoscientific argument against addressing climate change: the proposition that because CO2 is necessary for plants, increasing emissions is good for the planet and the life it supports.Those who read, write or talk regularly about climate change and ecology are familiar with other anti-environmental arguments not coated with a scientific sheen. A common one is that if you drive a car, buy any plastic goods or even type on a computer keyboard your observation that we need to reduce fossil fuel use is not valid no matter how much evidence you present. Like the CO2 is plant food claim, its a poor argument, but for different reasons.Its easy to refute the junk science claim with large amounts of available evidence. This ones simply a logical fallacy.The statement that gas-fuelled cars cause pollution is true whether or not the person making it drives a car, just as a claim that automobile emissions are harmless is false, regardless of the claimants car ownership or driving habits.As well as being a faulty assertion, pointing out the many uses for fossil fuels in an attempt to reject the need to reduce reliance on them is actually an argument in favour of burning less coal, gas and oil. Fossil fuels are useful for many purposes from life-saving medical equipment to computer keyboards so why extract, transport and burn them so rapidly and wastefully? Supplies arent endless.Read the whole story here. Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate ChangeNew York TimesJune 18, 2015Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, blending a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.The vision that Francis outlined in a 184-page papal encyclical is sweeping in ambition and scope: He describes relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment and says apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness are to blame.The most vulnerable victims, he declares, are the worlds poorest people, who are being dislocated and disregarded.Francis, the first pope from the developing world, used the encyclical titled Laudato Si, or Praise Be to You to highlight the crisis posed by climate change. He places most of the blame on fossil fuels and human activity, while warning of an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequence for all of us if corrective action is not taken swiftly. Developed, industrialized countries were mostly responsible, he says, and are obligated to help poorer nations confront the crisis. Read the whole story here. The Dutch boy mopping up a sea of plasticBBC News MagazineOctober16, 2014"I don't understand why 'obsessive' has a negative connotation, I'm an obsessive and I like it," says Boyan Slat. "I get an idea and I stick to it."This idea came to him at the age of 16, in the summer of 2011, when diving in Greece. "I saw more plastic bags than fish," says Slat. He was shocked, and even more shocked that there was no apparent solution. "Everyone said to me: 'Oh there's nothing you can do about plastic once it gets into the oceans,' and I wondered whether that was true."Over the last 30 to 40 years, millions of tonnes of plastic have entered the oceans. Global production of plastic now stands at 288 million tonnes per year, of which 10% ends up in the ocean in time. Most of that - 80% - comes from land-based sources. Litter gets swept into drains, and ends up in rivers - so that plastic straw or cup lid you dropped, the cigarette butt you threw on the road they could all end up in the sea.The plastic is carried by currents and congregates in five revolving water systems, called gyres, in the major oceans, the most infamous being the huge Pacific Garbage Patch, half way between Hawaii and California. Read the whole story here. Addressing global warming is an economic necessityDavid Suzuki FoundationJuly 11, 2014Those who don't outright deny the existence of human-caused global warming often argue we can't or shouldn't do anything about it because it would be too costly. Take Prime Minister Stephen Harper [of Canada], whorecently said, "No matter what they say, no country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country."But in failing to act on global warming, many leaders are putting jobs and economic prosperity at risk, according to recent studies. It's suicidal, both economically and literally, to focus on the fossil fuel industry's limited, short-term economic benefits at the expense of long-term prosperity, human health and the natural systems, plants and animals that make our well-being and survival possible. Those who refuse to take climate change seriously are subjecting us to enormous economic risks and foregoing the numerous benefits that solutions would bring.The World Bank hardly a radical organization isbehind one study. While still viewing the problem and solutions through the lens of outmoded economic thinking, its report demolishes arguments made by the likes of Stephen Harper. Read the whole story here. UN Panel Looks to Renewables As the Key to Stabilizing ClimateYale Environment 360April 17, 2014In its latest report, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes a strong case for a sharp increase in low-carbon energy production, especially solar and wind, and provides hope that this transformation can occur in time to hold off the worst impacts of global warming.Those wind turbines endlessly turning on the hill near your home tell of a changing world. So do the fields of solar panels sprouting from the deserts of California to the plains of Germany. But the world is not changing fast enough, says the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).The 2,000-page study of how to head off climate change, released in Berlin on Sunday, calls for a tripling of the share of global energy generated by low-carbon energy sources. Electricity generation will have to go from its current 30 percent use of low-carbon sources to 80 percent by 2050, the report says. And with todays main low-carbon sources nuclear and hydropower unlikely to grow much, that requires a vastly bigger plug-in to the newcomers, wind and solar.Only that way, says the IPCC, can the world have a better-than-even chance of keeping below the two degrees of warming widely regarded as the danger level.Crazy? Some believe an industrial world powered by sun and wind is an expensive green dream that is destined to fail. But maybe not. For one thing, the report says, prices of wind and solar energy are falling fast. So the damaging impact of such a transformation on the global economy would be very small provided we get moving soon. Read the whole story here.Johnson’s Brexit Deal Could Water Down Environmental Standards?Forbes22 October 2019Anti-Brexit protesters take part in 'Together for the Final Say' rally on October 19th, 2019, in London, UK. NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGESThe British Parliament is today fiercely debating whether to approve a new Brexit deal negotiated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and its approval will depend on getting enough support from opposition Labour Party MEPs.But as they learn more about what this version of Brexit would have in store for British environmental protection, they less the Labour MEPs like it.Like in the United States, environmental law in the EU is an area mostly legislated at ‘federal’ level – that is, in Brussels. That’s because standards need to be consistent across the EU’s single market.If the U.K. secedes from the European Union, it will be free to make its own environmental law. Given that Johnson’s governing Conservative Party has cited EU environmental regulations as the kind of “red tape” they want to do away with, there are concerns that environment and climate law is about to be uprooted to make the U.K. a more attractive place for industry. Read the whole story here.Johnson’s Brexit Deal Could Water Down Environmental Standards?Forbes22 October 2019Anti-Brexit protesters take part in 'Together for the Final Say' rally on October 19th, 2019, in London, UK. NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGESThe British Parliament is today fiercely debating whether to approve a new Brexit deal negotiated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and its approval will depend on getting enough support from opposition Labour Party MEPs.But as they learn more about what this version of Brexit would have in store for British environmental protection, they less the Labour MEPs like it.Like in the United States, environmental law in the EU is an area mostly legislated at ‘federal’ level – that is, in Brussels. That’s because standards need to be consistent across the EU’s single market.If the U.K. secedes from the European Union, it will be free to make its own environmental law. Given that Johnson’s governing Conservative Party has cited EU environmental regulations as the kind of “red tape” they want to do away with, there are concerns that environment and climate law is about to be uprooted to make the U.K. a more attractive place for industry. Read the whole story here.Johnson’s Brexit Deal Could Water Down Environmental Standards?Forbes22 October 2019Anti-Brexit protesters take part in 'Together for the Final Say' rally on October 19th, 2019, in London, UK. NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGESThe British Parliament is today fiercely debating whether to approve a new Brexit deal negotiated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and its approval will depend on getting enough support from opposition Labour Party MEPs.But as they learn more about what this version of Brexit would have in store for British environmental protection, they less the Labour MEPs like it.Like in the United States, environmental law in the EU is an area mostly legislated at ‘federal’ level – that is, in Brussels. That’s because standards need to be consistent across the EU’s single market.If the U.K. secedes from the European Union, it will be free to make its own environmental law. Given that Johnson’s governing Conservative Party has cited EU environmental regulations as the kind of “red tape” they want to do away with, there are concerns that environment and climate law is about to be uprooted to make the U.K. a more attractive place for industry. Read the whole story here.Seven Caribbean countries will ban the use of plastics in the year 2020?Yucatan Times4 December 2019Starting January 1st, 2020, single-use plastics and polystyrene will be banned in seven Caribbean countries, with the main objective of preventing ocean pollution which directly affects different marine species.Unfortunately, the Caribbean has been highlighted as one of the most polluted regions in the world, so this measure is intended to prevent the degradation of their marine habitat that would cause a health and food security  risk for some 40 million people living in coastal areas.Which Countries Will Ban The Use Of Plastic?Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas are the countries that will ban the import and use of single-use plastics and polystyrene starting on January 1st, 2020.ImportanceAn average of 5 billion plastic bags made from petroleum products are consumed each year, most of these items could take hundreds of years to degrade.Facts Cayman Eco - Beyond Cayman  ??????Colombia to host 2020 World Environment Day on biodiversity?UN Environment11 December 2019Image Credit: Pacific Standard/Getty ImagesOn the eve of a critical year for environmental decision-making, Colombia, Germany and UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today announced that Colombia will host World Environment Day 2020 in partnership with Germany and that it will focus on biodiversity.World Environment Day takes place every year on 5 June. It is the United Nations’ flagship day for promoting worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Over the years, it has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental public outreach and is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries.Making the announcement on the margins of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid, Spain, Ricardo Lozano, Colombia’s Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Jochen Flasbarth, Germany’s State Secretary for Environment, and Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme, stressed that with one million plant and animal species facing extinction, there has never been a more important time to focus on the issue of biodiversity. Read the whole story here.??Hawaii’s Most Populated Island Passes Sweeping Single-Use Plastic Ban?Huff Post8 December 2019Image Credit: Hawaiilife.comLawmakers in Hawaii’s largest city just passed what could be one of the strictest bans on single-use plastics in the country.The Honolulu City Council this week voted 7-2 to pass Bill 40, which bans businesses and restaurants in Honolulu County from serving food and beverages with plastic straws and utensils and containers made of polystyrene foam. The legislation will take effect in phases, with polystyrene foam being banned first in 2021 and disposable plastic being banned in 2022.The measure will cover Honolulu County, which the council oversees and includes the entirety of Oahu, Hawaii’s most populated island.Lawmakers on the Big Island and Maui County, which includes the islands of Maui and Molokai, have previously banned foam containers but those measures do not cover plastic utensils. Honolulu County followed suit in 2015 and banned plastic bags in grocery stores, making Hawaii the only state at the time to completely ban most plastic bags. Read the whole story and watch the video here.?Seven Caribbean countries will ban the use of plastics in the year 2020?Yucatan Times4 December 2019Starting January 1st, 2020, single-use plastics and polystyrene will be banned in seven Caribbean countries, with the main objective of preventing ocean pollution which directly affects different marine species.Unfortunately, the Caribbean has been highlighted as one of the most polluted regions in the world, so this measure is intended to prevent the degradation of their marine habitat that would cause a health and food security  risk for some 40 million people living in coastal areas.Which Countries Will Ban The Use Of Plastic?Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas are the countries that will ban the import and use of single-use plastics and polystyrene starting on January 1st, 2020.ImportanceAn average of 5 billion plastic bags made from petroleum products are consumed each year, most of these items could take hundreds of years to degrade.FactsOf the world’s thirty largest per capita polluters of this type of plastic, ten are of the Caribbean region. Read the whole story here.?People of Venice protest over floods and cruise ships? The Guardian25 November 2019 Boots worn by a protester from Venice’s ‘No Big Ships’ committee. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images Thousands of Venetians have taken to the streets to protest over frequent flooding and the impact of giant cruise ships. In heavy rain between 2,000 and 3,000 people answered the call of environmental groups and a collective opposed to the ships. Critics say the waves cruise ships create are eroding Venice’s foundations. Chanting “Venice resist” and calling for the resignation of the mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, the marchers also appealed for a massive project, Mose, to be mothballed.The multi-billion euro infrastructure project has been under way since 2003 to protect the city from flooding but has been plagued by cost overruns, corruption scandals and delays. The protest follows unprecedented flooding that devastated the city, submerging homes, businesses and cultural treasures. “Venetians have just endured a deep wound. The flooding … brought this city to its knees and revealed its extreme fragility to the world,” said activist Enrico Palazzi. Read the whole story here.?China says stopping climate change needs everybody to get involved? Bloomberg News21 November 2019  Shanxi, China. Photographer: Kevin Frayer/Getty ImagesFacing down the challenges of climate change requires multilateral cooperation and global carbon emission reduction goals, according to China’s special representative for climate change affairs. China has always sought a “multilateral system” on climate change negotiations, and is willing to work with the U.S. to help reign in global warming, Xie Zhenhua, told a session of the New Economy Forum in Beijing on Thursday. The comments contrast with the decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to pull the world’s biggest economy out of the main multinational attempt to stave off global warming, the Paris climate accords.  Xie, who’s also president of the Institute of Climate Change & Sustainable Development at Tsinghua University, said China has an advantage when pursuing climate goals, as it’s central control of the economy provides levers to implement cleaner policies. Read the whole story here.?  A Roadmap for Combatting Climate Change? Conservation Law Foundation29 October 2019? Image credit: pnglot.com This post was co-written by Alyssa Rayman-Read, Vice President and Director of CLF Massachusetts, and Joan Meschino, state representative for the Third Plymouth District and lead sponsor of the 2050 Roadmap Bill. It originally appeared in Commonwealth. Living on the Massachusetts coastline means we both get a front-row seat to some of the most dramatic impacts of climate change. We can see what rising seas and pounding storms are doing to our beaches, businesses, and storied seaside communities. However, the effects of the climate crisis will not only be felt on the coast. Whether you live in Worcester, the Pioneer Valley, or on Cape Cod, none of us is immune to the public health, economic, and environmental impacts. The science is clear: Climate change threatens everything we know and depend on. And we have a responsibility to act now. Massachusetts has been a leader in the fight against climate change. Yet, several alarming reports by top climate scientists have made it clear that this fight is just beginning. If we are serious about safeguarding the character and nature of our communities, we must take action now. We need a bold commitment to addressing the climate crisis that includes concrete steps for reaching net-zero carbon emissions while promoting a just transition to a clean energy economy. That is why 59 legislators in the Massachusetts House and Senate, on both sides of the aisle, have signed onto the 2050 Roadmap Bill (H.3983). Developed with input from a diverse group of stakeholders, including labor and business leaders, local officials, environmentalists, and our utilities, the 2050 Roadmap Bill is a bold response to the crisis currently at our doorstep. The bill gives us a plan for steadily reducing our carbon pollution, while ensuring that the opportunities and benefits of a cleaner, healthier, more just economy are enjoyed by everyone in Massachusetts. Achieving carbon neutrality and a just transition by 2050 seems a daunting challenge. Still, it is one that we are confident that we can accomplish by updating and strengthening our existing legislative framework for climate action — the landmark Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008. Since it was implemented a decade ago, the GWSA has helped to drive our emissions down and our economy up, with the addition of more than 100,000 clean energy jobs in Massachusetts and over $13 billion annually to our economy. The 2050 Roadmap Bill will ensure that these nation-leading successes continue as we work to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. How will this happen? By combining the best-available science with a healthy measure of common sense. Like any business or family building for the future, the Commonwealth’s long-term climate goals will be best achieved by making a plan and then sticking to it. As its name signals, this wisdom lies at the heart of the 2050 Roadmap Bill. After re-calibrating our Global Warming Solutions Act goal to net-zero, the 2050 Roadmap Bill directs our state agencies to accelerate, broaden, and integrate their efforts to combat climate change, so that the Commonwealth will have a new, comprehensive strategy in place in record time. Shortly thereafter, the 2050 Roadmap Bill requires that the Commonwealth create new programs and regulations – whatever is needed to implement the plan. And not just once. The bill requires that we keep at it, updating our research, planning, and framework for action every three years so we can learn from our experience and continue to take advantage of new technologies, markets, and opportunities. As we accelerate these efforts, however, we need to ensure that we are moving forward together, building a new, clean energy economy that benefits us all. That is why the 2050 Roadmap Bill will, for the first time, place people-centered protections at the heart of our climate efforts. By requiring that the new plan and policies be designed to assess and minimize whenever possible any adverse economic, environmental, or public health impacts, this new legislation will ensure that low- and moderate-income people and those living in environmental justice neighborhoods thrive as we decarbonize. We do not need another study to tell us that the impacts of climate change are here. Storms are growing more intense each year, and we continue to break heat records every summer. We must reach net-zero emissions in the coming decades to ensure these conditions do not get worse, and the 2050 Roadmap Bill provides the plan to get us there. Read the whole story here.?  Ocean Cleanup mission takes aim at rivers? Mother Nature Network28 October 2019 The group behind the mission to rid our oceans of plastic has opened a second front in the war by pulling plastic from the world's most polluted waterways before it gets to the ocean. The Ocean Cleanup team unveiled a group of Interceptors, which are currently in operation on two rivers in Malaysia and Indonesia. By their estimate, roughly 80% of the world's plastic reaches the ocean through 1,000 rivers. The goal is to clean up those rivers by 2025, pulling in roughly 50,000 kilograms of plastic a day with each river Interceptor. "To truly rid the oceans of plastic, we need to both clean up the legacy and close the tap, preventing more plastic from reaching the oceans in the first place," said founder Boyan Slat. The river element was unveiled less than a month after the team successfully collected plastic in the ocean after a rocky few months. Read the whole story here.? Johnson’s Brexit Deal Could Water Down Environmental Standards? Forbes22 October 2019  Anti-Brexit protesters take part in 'Together for the Final Say' rally on October 19th, 2019, in London, UK. NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES The British Parliament is today fiercely debating whether to approve a new Brexit deal negotiated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and its approval will depend on getting enough support from opposition Labour Party MEPs. But as they learn more about what this version of Brexit would have in store for British environmental protection, they less the Labour MEPs like it. Like in the United States, environmental law in the EU is an area mostly legislated at ‘federal’ level – that is, in Brussels. That’s because standards need to be consistent across the EU’s single market. If the U.K. secedes from the European Union, it will be free to make its own environmental law. Given that Johnson’s governing Conservative Party has cited EU environmental regulations as the kind of “red tape” they want to do away with, there are concerns that environment and climate law is about to be uprooted to make the U.K. a more attractive place for industry. Read the whole story here.? Budget 2020: Styrofoam is out, water coolers are in?Loop TT7 October 2019(TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO) Government will ban the use of Styrofoam food containers within the local business industry from January 1, 2020.The measure was announced by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in the national 2020 budget presentation in Parliament on October 7, 2019.The measure had been previously stated by the Planning Ministry in 2018, who was arranging the final stages of legislation for launch this year. Imbert said the ban means local Styrofoam manufacturers will be required to include additives to make their products biodegradable."In our pursuit to attain our stated goal of placing the environment at the centre of national development, I propose to eliminate the use of Styrofoam and single-use plastics within the national economy."As an initial step, I propose to ban the importation of Styrofoam for use in the food service industry and to require manufacturers of food containers to introduce additives to make their products biodegradable."Additionally, Imbert said government offices will switch out their plastic water bottles for water coolers, to reduce plastic usage. "In order to encourage behavioural change, I propose to terminate the use of plastic water bottles in Government offices and substitute them with coolers with filters. This measure will take effect on January 1, 2020," he said. Government has a mandate to ensure 10 percent of its energy output comes from renewable sources by 2021, as part of its Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). Read the whole story here.? Ocean cleanup device successfully collects plastic for first time?The Guardian3 October 2019The boom skims up waste ranging in size from a discarded net and a car wheel to tiny chips of plastic. Photograph: APA huge floating device designed by Dutch scientists to clean up an island of rubbish in the Pacific Ocean that is three times the size of France has successfully picked up plastic from the high seas for the first time.Boyan Slat, the creator of the Ocean Cleanup project, tweeted that the 600 metre-long (2,000ft) free-floating boom had captured and retained debris from what is known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.Alongside a picture of the collected rubbish, which includes a car wheel, Slat wrote: “Our ocean cleanup system is now finally catching plastic, from one-ton ghost nets to tiny microplastics! Also, anyone missing a wheel?”......During a previous four-month trial the boom broke apart and no plastic was collected. Since then, changes have been made to the design including the addition of a “parachute anchor” to slow down the device’s movement in the ocean, allowing for faster-moving plastic debris to float into the system.The latest trial began in June when the system was launched into the sea from Vancouver. The project was started in 2013 and its design has undergone several major revisions. It is hoped the final design will be able to clean up half of the debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Read the whole story here.? A rising tide: ‘overtourism’ and the curse of the cruise ships?The Guardian16 September 2019In Kotor and Dubrovnik large cruise ships dock regularly throughout the season, depositing thousands of people each day into the tourist hotspots and putting intense pressure on the historic portsKnown as the “pearl of the Adriatic”, Dubrovnik has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Mediterranean. Its charming old town, array of Unesco World Heritage sites and sizeable port were always draws, but the new success of Game of Thrones, much of which was shot in the Croatian city, has made it a particularly popular stopoff point for cruise ships, whose passengers are told they can see the highlights in a single day.Smaller boats or tenders take the passengers on to dry land, where they are typically bussed into the old town. Tours often start at the 16th-century Pile Gate, followed by a stroll along the Stradun to the city walls, entrance to which costs €30 (£27). Game of Thrones locations and Europe’s oldest pharmacy in a 14th-century Franciscan monastery are big pulls.Last year around three million visitors descended on the old town, most of them having poured out of around 400 cruise ships docked in the harbour. Critics say they are causing long-term damage to historical sites, but with the livelihoods of 80% of the locals dependent on tourist traffic, some are reluctant to address the problems. Read the whole story here.?Climate cartoons: an illustrated guide to a major new climate crisis poll?The Guardian15 September 2019The Guardian’s comic artist Susie Cagle draws some conclusions from a major CBS News poll released today as part of Covering Climate Now.Read the full poll results: ‘Americans are waking up’.CBS News surveyed a representative sample of more than 2,000 Americans earlier this month and found that...'Chaos, chaos, chaos': a journey through Bolsonaro's Amazon inferno?The Guardian9 September 2019A forest fire near Palmeiras, an isolated Amazon settlement in Brazil’s Rondônia state.From afar, it resembles a tornado: an immense grey column shooting thousands of feet upwards from the forest canopy into the Amazonian skies.Up close it is an inferno: a raging conflagration obliterating yet another stretch of the world’s greatest rainforest as a herd of Nelore cattle looks on in bewilderment.“It started this morning,” said Valdir Urumon, the chief of an indigenous village in this isolated corner of Rondônia state, as the vast pillar of smoke loomed over his settlement’s palm-thatched homes.By late afternoon, when the Guardian arrived on the scene, the fire had intensified into a catastrophic blaze, streaking north through a strip of jungle perhaps two miles long.Huge plumes of smoke drifted skywards as if this sweep of woodland near Brazil’s north-western border with Bolivia had been subjected to a ferocious bombing campaign. At the farmhouse nearest to the blaze the lights were on but not a soul was to be seen – much less anyone who might extinguish the giant pyre.But two empty petrol barrels and a cluster of plastic jerrycans dumped at its entrance hinted at a possible culprit – a cattle rancher torching yet another swath of the Brazilian jungle in order to expand his Amazon domain.Three weeks after Brazil’s unusually severe burning season sparked an international storm, the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro has launched a global PR campaign to try to convince the world everything is under control. Read the whole story here.? Why we must protect the ocean's 'twilight zone'?Mother Nature Network4 September 2019The twilight zone is so cold and dark that often the only light comes from bioluminescent life. (Photo: Margus Vilibas/Shutterstock)?Most of us think of the ocean as what we see on the sunny surface. But beneath the shimmering waves, there's a deeper layer called the twilight zone.Referred to by scientists as the mesopelagic, this dimension is considered a "dark hole" in our understanding of ecosystems and one of the most understudied regions in the world.The twilight zone can be found 200 to 1,000 meters (about 650 to 3,300 feet) below the ocean surface, at the point where the sun's rays can no longer reach, according to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) in Massachusetts. Because it's so deep and there's no sunlight, it's cold and dark.But that doesn't mean this deep layer is still and quiet. Instead, it's full of life including fish, crustaceans, jellyfish, squids and worms.Occasionally, there are bursts of bioluminescence, when living creatures give off their natural glows.Researchers estimate there may be up to 1 million undiscovered species in the zone. Oceanographers who want to study this life don't have much natural light to observe them. But if they use too much artificial light, they risk frightening them. So researchers are still trying to find the right balance.Studies have suggested that the biomass or weight of fish in the twilight zone might be as much as 10 times greater than they had originally thought, which is more than in the rest of the entire ocean. It could, in fact, make up more than 90% of all fish in the sea, according to the Blue Marine Foundation. Read the whole story here.?Brazil’s Bolsonaro on the Environment, in His Own Words?The New York Times27 August 2019President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil has often criticized agencies that enforce environmental laws, and called fines for environmental crimes an “industry” that needs to be abolished. (Photo Credit: Adriano Machado/Reuters)Facing an avalanche of criticism over the fires raging across the Amazon, President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil pledged in a televised address on Friday that his government would take a “zero tolerance” approach to environmental crimes.But that position is at odds with Mr. Bolsonaro’s own track record on safeguarding his country’s environment. Since taking office, he has worked relentlessly and unapologetically to roll back enforcement of Brazil’s once-strict environmental protections.More broadly, Mr. Bolsonaro has championed industries that want greater access to protected areas of the Amazon, sought to weaken the land rights of Indigenous people and scaled back efforts to combat illegal logging, ranching and mining.But last week, a surge in fires in the Amazon set off a wave of international outrage, with politicians, celebrities and protesters raising the alarm. It soon became clear that Brazil stood to lose mightily if Mr. Bolsonaro did not take action to protect the forest: European leaders said they might walk away from a trade deal struck in June and calls to boycott Brazilian products were gaining traction on social media. Read the whole story here.? The City Just Sweated Through Its 10th-Hottest July Ever?New York Today20 August 2019It was hot last month. In fact, it was the 10th-hottest July on record in New York City, according to data from the National Weather Service, which has been monitoring temperatures in Central Park since 1869.New Yorkers, though, weren’t alone in suffering through oppressive and dangerous heat. The average number of heat waves in 50 major American cities has tripled since the 1960s. And last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared that last month was the hottest July on record for the planet. Read the whole story here.? 17 countries currently use more than 80 percent of their typical yearly water supply?Science News8 August 2019PARCHED  People line up for water in New Delhi, one of several Indian cities that have faced water crises this year. A new analysis shows the country is one of 17 that typically uses more than 80 percent of its water supply. SHASHANK AGARWAL/SHUTTERSTOCKThe world is facing a water scarcity crisis, with 17 countries including India, Israel and Eritrea using more than 80 percent of their available water supplies each year, a new analysis finds. Those countries are home to a quarter of the world’s 7.7 billion people. Further population rise or dwindling water supplies could cause critical water shortages, the researchers warn.“As soon as a drought hits or something unexpected happens, major cities can find themselves in very dire situations,” says Rutger Hofste, a data scientist at the Washington, D.C.–based World Resources Institute, which released the data on August 6. “That’s something that we expect to see more and more.”To gauge countries’ risk — or “water stress,” WRI updated its online calculator with data from 1961 to 2014 on water use by households, industry and agriculture, as well as water supply data from surface sources and aquifers. Previously, the tool — called the Aqueduct Water Risk Atlas — assessed water demand based a snapshot of 2010 data.People “immediately link [water woes] to climate change,” says Hofste, who is based in Amsterdam. But economic and population growth “are the biggest drivers.” Water use has increased by 250 percent, from 1,888.7 cubic kilometers in 1961 to 4,720.8 cubic kilometers in 2014, the analysis found. Read the whole story here.? How the 5 riskiest U.S. cities for coastal flooding are preparing for rising tides?Science News6 August 2019HIGH STAKES  Miami is the U.S. city at greatest risk of coastal flooding. Here, a 2009 storm brought 8 to 9 inches of rain to Miami Beach.The five U.S. cities most at risk from coastal flooding have begun to make plans for adapting to rising sea levels. Some are further along than others. Here’s where their flood resilience efforts stand:MIAMIFlorida’s flooding risk comes not just from storms and high tides but also from water seeping up through the porous limestone that underlies much of the state. After 2017’s Hurricane Irma caused more than $50 billion in damage, Miami residents voted in favor of a new tax to fund coastal flooding resilience projects across the city. The first project, in the city’s low-lying Fair Isle neighborhood, broke ground in March and will construct a drainage collection system and raise roadways.NEW YORK CITYIn 2012, Hurricane Sandy hit New York City with a 3.4-meter storm tide, causing over $19 billion in damage. Although there are now several programs to guide rebuilding and resiliency efforts, few adaptation projects have come to fruition, says Robert Freudenberg, an environmental planner with the Regional Plan Association in New York City. In March, the New York City Panel on Climate Change released a report and new flooding maps. In May, the city’s Office of Emergency Management began installing sandbags around lower Manhattan as a temporary measure to protect the waterfront while more permanent solutions are considered.Read the whole story here.? Brazilian institute head fired after clashing with nation’s president over deforestation data?ScienceMag.org4 August 2019Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (left), here with Minister of the Environment Ricardo Salles, attacked the validity of satellite data showing deforestation in Brazil has increased since he took office. AP PHOTO/ERALDO PERESThe director of the Brazilian agency that monitors deforestation was fired Friday, following a public face-off with President Jair Bolsonaro. Physicist Ricardo Galvão announced his own ousting as director of National Institute for Space Research (INPE) to reporters in Brasília, saying his altercation with the president had made the situation “unsustainable.” No replacement has been announced.Known for his stout personality, Galvão challenged Bolsonaro on 20 July, rebutting remarks about deforestation the president had made the day before. Questioned by journalists about the rise of deforestation in the Amazon—as indicated by satellite data from INPE’s Real-time Deforestation Detection System (DETER)—Bolsonaro called the institute’s data “a lie,” and said Galvão appeared to be “at the service of some nongovernmental organization.” Galvão replied by calling Bolsonaro a “coward,” defending INPE science, and daring Bolsonaro to repeat the accusation to his face. Bolsonaro didn’t meet with Galvão and continued to question INPE data in the following 2 weeks, even as deforestation continued. According to the latest DETER numbers, approximately 4500 square kilometers of forest were cleared in the first 7 months of this year, since the beginning of Bolsonaro’s administration—60% more than in the same period in 2018. Read the whole story here.?Ethiopia plants over 350 million trees in a day, setting new world record?UN Environment2 August 2019Photo credit: SmithsonianMag.comIn a record-breaking day this week, at the Gulele Botanical Garden in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia launched an historic tree planting campaign. Over 350 million trees were planted in an ambitious move to counter the effects of deforestation and climate change.The event is part of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Green Legacy Initiative. It aimed at planting 200 million trees in a single day in 1,000 sites across the country.Prime Minister Ahmed congratulated the country for not only meeting its collective Green Legacy goal but also exceeding it.Ethiopia's Minister of Innovation and Technology Getahun Mekuria was quoted saying that more than 350 million trees were planted in 12 hours, breaking the world record held by India since 2016, for the most trees planted in one day and which stood at 50 million trees. Read the whole story here.?School kids are drawn into battle over palm oil and the environment?Los Angeles Times2 August 2019Forest land smolders in Taruma Mirim, Brazil, after it was slashed and burned to make way for a palm plantation. (Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times)Schoolchildren in Malaysia are at the center of the controversy over palm oil after staging a play that claimed it causes deforestation and the disappearance of thousands of orangutans every year.Students of the International School at ParkCity in Kuala Lumpur showed an excerpt from an anti-palm oil advertisement made by Greenpeace, prompting criticism of the school by Teresa Kok, the minister in charge of the industry. Kok, who’s championed the commodity - Malaysia’s biggest agricultural export, which is used in a huge range of consumer products, including ice cream, bread, cosmetics and cleaning products - said the school was spreading anti-palm-oil propaganda.The school later apologized, but questions have been raised over how far the government will go to control the image of its key agricultural industry. The scene encapsulates the larger political tensions with the European Union, where palm oil faces new limits on its use in the bloc’s biofuel sector. The furor surrounding the school shows just how sensitive the government has become over how palm oil is perceived. Read the whole story here.? Philippines: Most deadly place to defend the environment?ClickOn Detroit31 July 2019Protesters in the Philippines call on President Rodrigo Duterte to end extrajudicial killings.LONDON - The Philippines is now the deadliest country in the world for land and environmental defenders, with 34 killed in 2018, according to new research.Worldwide, a total of 164 people were killed in related violence - an average of more than three per week - according to the "Enemies of the State?" report from NGO Global Witness. Mining conflicts were responsible for the largest share of the deaths.But in the Philippines, disputes linked to agribusiness led to half of the killings, according to the research. Such conflicts have increased in the Southeast Asian nation due to President Rodrigo Duterte's plans to hand 1.6 million hectares of land over to industrial plantations.At the same time, Duterte's "war on drugs," which has led to thousands of extrajudicial killings, is creating a "culture of fear," according to the NGO. Read the whole story here.? Greta Thunberg to Attend New York Climate Talks. She’ll Take a Sailboat.?The New York Times29 July 2019Greta Thunberg at the National Assembly in Paris on Tuesday.CreditCreditPhilippe Wojazer/ReutersGreta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, will cross the Atlantic Ocean in mid-August on an open-cockpit racing yacht to attend a United Nations summit meeting on global warming.“Good news! I’ll be joining the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York,” Ms. Thunberg said Monday on Twitter. “I’ve been offered a ride on the 60ft racing boat Malizia II.”The trip to New York is expected to take two weeks. Ms. Thunberg, who is taking the year off from school to campaign against climate change, also plans to attend the annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change talks, to be held in December in Santiago, Chile.She has called the two conferences “pretty much where our future will be decided” because nations will be pushed to further reduce emissions of the planet-warming gasses that come from burning fossil fuels. “We still have a window of time when things are in our own hands. But that window is closing fast. That is why I have decided to make this trip now,” Ms. Thunberg said in a statement Monday. Greta Thunberg plans to sail to New York in August aboard the Malizia II. CreditEPA, via ShutterstockMs. Thunberg does not fly because of the greenhouse gas emissions associated with air travel. She had been seeking an alternate means of traveling to New York for the summit meeting. Read the whole story here.? Fear of flying? Plant a spekboom to offset your carbon footprint?Daily Maverick30 July 2019Some of the 600 spekboom handed to delegates at the SATSA conference to get the carbon offset programme rolling. (Photo: SATSA)Flygskam — the word coined in Sweden to describe the shame of flying because of the high amount of climate-changing carbon that air travel generates — is gaining traction in Europe with increasing numbers turning to rail instead.While the flygskam movement can help cut carbon emissions, if the trend grows substantially it could have a negative impact on tourism in countries that Europeans cannot reach by hopping on a train — such as South Africa.The South African tourism industry is alert to that and has come up with a scheme it hopes will ensure European tourists don’t ditch plans to fly here on holiday because of the embarrassment of clocking up carbon emissions.The idea takes the form of a carbon-offsetting project launched a few weeks ago at the Southern African Tourism Services Association’s (SATSA) annual conference in the Eastern Cape.SATSA hopes that the project will grow to such a level that tourist flights to and from South Africa will eventually become carbon-neutral.There is nothing hi-tech about it, nor anything involving complex finance or carbon markets. It simply entails planting succulents. Not just any succulents, but the humble spekboom — many millions of them — as a carbon-offsetting mechanism.? Read the whole story here. Loggerhead sea turtles nesting in record numbers in Southeast?Mother Nature Network16 July 2019Photo: Bureau of Land Management/FlickrMassive loggerhead sea turtles lumber ashore each summer to dig nests in the sand along the Atlantic Coast. Although they're found worldwide mostly in subtropical and temperate ocean waters, they're the most abundant sea turtle species found in U.S. coastal waters of the Atlantic, from North Carolina through southwest Florida, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).All loggerhead turtle populations are listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act and classified as vulnerable (with their numbers decreasing) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.But there's some good news this summer. There's an egg-laying boom along the coast in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, reports The Associated Press. Wildlife researchers credit the comeback to federal protections that were put in place more than 30 years ago.As MNN's Russell McLendon points out, the government protects endangered sea turtles in several ways:"Coastal wildlife refuges provide key nesting habitat, for example, since they're largely free of sea walls, beach lights and other types of development that can deter or disorient turtles. Refuge workers also cage eggs against predators like raccoons and opossums, and relocate nests at risk of washing away. And since the Endangered Species Act forbids killing or disturbing endangered turtles, they're also relatively safe from human hunters." Read the whole story here.? Trump touts environment record, green groups scoff?Reuters8 July 2019Photo credit: businessinsider.comWASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump boasted about his administration’s environmental record on Monday, saying America can lead the world in fighting pollution at the same time it is promoting fossil fuels, in a speech green groups derided as “utter fantasy.”Trump, who has dismantled scores of environmental rules and rejected mainstream climate science since taking office, gave the speech at a time of growing national support here for strong environmental protections. He is widely seen as vulnerable on that issue ahead of next year's presidential elections. Read the whole story here.? How could Brexit impact the environment??France 245 July 2019Image credit: Politico.euWhen you live in Europe, the air you breathe, the water you drink and the meat or fish you eat are all controlled in Brussels. That could no longer be the case for the United Kingdom. Due to Brexit, the country is now entering uncharted territory, and the environment could become collateral damage.About 80 percent of the UK's environmental rules derive from European laws, which over the past decades have played a leading role in helping the country clean up.Previously considered the "dirty man of Europe", the UK has reduced its CO2 emissions by 38 percent since 1990, faster than any other major developed country.So how could the UK's EU withdrawal impact the environment? The government has promised a green Brexit, but activists worry much of the progress made could be undone. Read the whole story here.? Nigeria turns the tide on electronic waste?UN Environment19 June 2019An ambitious new project launched in Lagos today is aiming to reform the electronics sector and put an end to the toxic toll improper management of electronic waste is taking on Nigeria.Over half a million tonnes of discarded appliances are processed in the country every year, threatening both the health of people in the informal recycling industry and the nation’s environment.With backing from the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Nigeria has joined forces with UN Environment and partners to turn the tide on e-waste, under the Circular Economy Approaches for the Electronics Sector in Nigeria project. Led by the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), the $15-million initiative will bring together players from government, the private sector and civil society to kickstart a financially self-sustaining circular economy approach for electronics in Nigeria, protecting the environment while creating safe employment for thousands of Nigerians. Read the whole story here.?China’s environment ministry summons six city mayors for failing to deal with winter smog?South China Morning Post13 June 2019Baoding is one of two cities in the steel heartland of Hebei province that failed to meet its air pollution targets. Photo: AlamyChina’s environment ministry has summoned the mayors of six northern cities to a meeting in Beijing to account for their failures to meet winter targets to cut smog.Average air quality worsened significantly in much of northern China over the winter compliance period from October to March, prompting concerns the country’s “war on pollution” was losing steam amid an economic slowdown.The cities named by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment on Thursday were Baoding and Langfang in the steel heartland of Hebei province, as well as Luoyang, Anyang and Puyang in neighbouring Henan and Jinzhong in Shanxi.“These cities have relaxed their efforts to defend the blue skies, key tasks have not been completed … and some problems have rebounded,” the ministry said.? Read the whole story here. World Environment Day: 10 Quotes To Inspire You For Better Living?NDTV5 June 2019Image credit: dhakatribune.comNEW DELHI: World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year. Each year, World Environment Day has a new theme. The year's World Environment Day 2019 theme is "Beat Air Pollution" and the host is China. It was first established by the UN General Assembly in 1972. The day puts focus on environment and how it affects people's health. Pledging for a cleaner, safer, sustainable planet, this World Environment Day brings the focus on living in harmony with nature and addressing various challenges our environment faces.World Environment Day Quotes To Inspire You:For a better tomorrow, plant more trees and make this planet a better place to live in."Each one plant as many as you can" should be today's mantra.Live life more sustainably by being in sync with nature.A life lived consciously is a life best lived.Say no to plastic. Make your life eco-friendly products your best friend."Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed."- Mahatma Gandhi"A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people."- Franklin D Roosevelt"What is the use of a house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?"- Henry David Thoreau, Familiar LettersNature is the best healer. Do not spoil it with your acts.Start changing your habits and make them environment friendly.Be pro-environment, pro-energy conservation and pro-nature this World Environment Day.Make environmentally conscious choices this World Environment Day.?Costa Rica has doubled its forest cover in the last 30 years?Mother Nature Network24 May 2019Photo: Anna Om/Shutterstock?In an interview with The New York Times, the country's first lady, urban planner Claudia Dobles, says that achieving that goal would combat a “sense of negativity and chaos” in the face of global warming. "We need to start providing answers."Although the goal seems like a big one, the tiny country lush with rainforests has already made some impressive inroads. Notably, after decades of deforestation, Costa Rica has doubled its tree cover in the last 30 years. Now, half of the country's land surface is covered with trees. That forest cover is able to absorb a huge amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.Although the story of Costa Rica's tree cover is a bit of a roller coaster, it's definitely on a positive climb now. In the 1940s, more than three-quarters of the country was covered in mostly tropical rainforests and other indigenous woodland, according to United Nations University. But extensive, uncontrolled logging led to severe deforestation. By 1983, only 26% of the country had forest cover. But through a continued environmental focus by policymakers, today forest cover has increased to 52%, which is double 1983 levels.Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado has called the climate crisis "the greatest task of our generation." He and other Costa Rican leaders hope they can spur other nations to follow their example. Read the whole story here. Mexico City declares environment emergency as fires hurt air quality?Reuters14 May 2019?A Mexican flag against a hazy backdrop of buildings in metropolitan Mexico City May 14, 2019. Mexican authorities declared an environmental emergency on Tuesday for metropolitan Mexico City as smoke from nearby wildfires pushed pollution to levels deemed potentially harmful to human health. REUTERS/Henry Romero?Environmental authorities advised residents to avoid outdoor activities and exercise and remain indoors with windows and doors shut. It called for especially sensitive groups, including infants, the elderly and sick, to stay at home.The local government said later that the circulation of vehicles would be restricted for most of Wednesday.The Mexican capital is home to nearly 9 million people, with more than 21 million in its metropolitan area.The city’s Environmental Commission of the Megalopolis came under pressure to act after visibility in the city began dropping sharply last week because of ash and smoke in the air. Dry weather has played a role in a spate of fires around the city. Read the whole story here.? One burger, hold the meat?CBC The National8 May 2019Lester Walker of Ghetto Gastro adds the finishing touches to a Beyond Beef dish during a product showcase in New York City last month. (Stuart Ramson/Associated Press)Once upon a time, only vegetarians, vegans and health food aficionados would be eager to nosh on meatless meals. Now food manufacturers, grocery stores and investors see huge potential in this growing consumer trend. When California-based company Beyond Meat listed its shares on the stock market late last week, the share price shot up 163 per cent on the first day of trading.Beyond Meat patties were introduced in an A&W burger last summer. When they sold out almost immediately, it helped ignite the phenomenon.That product is now going to be available for sale at grocery stores as well, for home grilling. And other brands and other products are coming fast.Even Canadian meat giant Maple Leaf Foods is jumping on the bandwagon, investing a whopping $600 million in plant-based protein. I interviewed CEO Michael McCain for this story, and he says he now views Maple Leaf as a "protein company," not as a meat company. "The consumer has been very clear that they want more protein in their diet, that they want more choice," he says. Read the whole story here.? UK MPs declare climate emergency?Cayman News Service3 May 2019?Jeremy Corbyn addresses a crowd after climate emergency declared by Parliament?Members of the UK parliament have backed a motion brought by the opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, declaring an environmental emergency. The House of Commons declaration comes on the heels of mass protests in London by grassroots environmental group Extinction Rebellion. While the parliamentary support for the declaration is not legally binding on the British government, it was described by the Labour leader as “a huge step forward” that could trigger a wave of “action from parliaments and governments around the globe”.“We pledge to work as closely as possible with countries that are serious about ending the climate catastrophe and make clear to US President Donald Trump that he cannot ignore international agreements and action on the climate crisis,” he said.Labour’s motion also calls on the government to aim to achieve net-zero emissions before 2050 and for ministers to outline urgent proposals to restore the UK’s natural environment and deliver a “zero waste economy” within the next six months. Read the whole story here.? Coachella 2019: This organization wants to save the environment with the festival’s fans?20 April 2019The Press-Enterprise?Attendees of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival enjoy riding seesaws at the Energy Factory booth on Saturday, April 20, 2019. (Photo by Drew A. Kelley, Contributing Photographer)?There are a few things you’ve come to expect at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.First, there’s the music and discovering new artists. Then there’s the heat, always the heat.And for 16 out of the past 20 years the festival has been happening, people have also been learning about the environment — even if they didn’t know it — thanks to Global Inheritance.As Earth Day approaches, the nonprofit environmental awareness organization, which is responsible for bringing the now iconic and colorfully decorated recycling bins and the teeter-totter that uses kinetic energy to charge your phone, celebrates its sweet 16 at Coachella with a couple of new programs.“We design programming to get people that aren’t engaged in environmental and social issues. We’re sort of that first date for people to experience different things from energy to recycling and transportation,” said Eric Ritz, founder and executive director of Global Inheritance.“It’s all the really obvious things we need to fix in the world and we present them in a way that is fun and interactive,” he added. Read the whole story here.? Living in a country that thinks green?BBC15 April 2019Norway (Photo credit: kimkim.com)?The latest climate reports look grim: recent research published in Science journal indicates that oceans are warming 40% faster than previously thought, while the UN panel of climate-change scientists released a landmark report in October 2018 warning that rising temperatures may cause major flooding, droughts, food shortages and wildfires by 2040 unless drastic action is taken.While the global community still has a long way to go in addressing the reported climate changes, certain countries have emerged as making positive global contributions to the planet, according to the Good Country Index, which aims to measure the impact a single country has on the wider world, such as its ecological footprint relative to the size of the economy and the percentage of renewable energy used.“In our age of advanced globalisation and massive interdependence, everything sooner or later, has an impact on the whole system,” said Simon Anholt, an independent policy advisor who founded the index. “I wanted to create the first index that measured the external impact of each country on the whole of humanity, the whole planet, outside its own borders.” Read the whole story here.? Sounding the climate alarm?CBC News: The National Today2 April 2019?A pharmacy sign displays record-breaking temperatures in Lille, northern France, last summer. There are several disturbing new reports about the pace and effects of global warming. (Denis Charlet/AFP/Getty Images)?The world is quickly getting warmer, and what little we are doing to combat the problem might actually be making things worse.  That's the conclusion of a series of alarming new studies and reports published over the past week, looking at the galloping impact of climate change both in Canada and around the globe.A comprehensive federal report on Canada's changing climate, released this morning, says the country is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, with an average rise of 1.7 C since 1948. It's even more extreme in the far North, where temperatures have increased 2.3 C in the same period.The findings echo the UN's World Meteorological Organization report on the State of the Global Climate in 2018, which catalogued another year of record temperatures, soaring carbon dioxide levels, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels — up 2 to 3 mm from 2017.??The organization estimates that 62 million people worldwide were affected by extreme weather events last year, with more than two million of them forced to relocate. Read the whole story here.? The Arctic Ocean, explained?National Geographic31 March 2019?Black-legged kittiwakes soar past an Arctic Ocean iceberg in Svalbard, Norway. (Photo credit: Toehold.in)?THE ARCTIC OCEAN is Earth's northernmost body of water. It encircles the Arctic, and flows beneath it. Most of the Arctic Ocean is covered by ice throughout the year—although that is starting to change as temperatures climb. Pale and stark on the surface, the Arctic Ocean is home to a stunning array of life.Though it's the world's smallest ocean—spanning 6.1 million square miles—the Arctic is now receiving unprecedented international attention. Scientists are racing to understand how warming temperatures will alter Arctic Ocean waters—and by extension the rest of the climate—and world leaders are racing to control newly opening waters.The Arctic Ocean is warming faster than anywhere else on Earth and feeling the onslaught of climate change. Read the whole story here.? UK pupils to join global strike over climate change crisis8 February 2019The GuardianStudents protest for climate action during a Fridays for Future school strike in Magdeburg, Germany. Photograph: Klaus-Dietmar Gabbert/APThe school climate strikes that have led to tens of thousands of young people taking to the streets around the world over recent months are poised to arrive in the UK next Friday.Thousands of pupils are expected to walk out of lessons at schools and colleges across the country amid growing concern about the escalating climate crisis.The movement started in August when the 16-year-old schoolgirl Greta Thunberg held a solo protest outside Swedens parliament. Now, up to 70,000 schoolchildren each week are taking part in 270 towns and cities worldwide.Individual protests have been held in the UK, but next week a coordinated day of action is expected to result in walkouts in more than 30 towns and cities from Lancaster to Truro, and Ullapool to Leeds. Read the whole story here. Climate change endangers small Jewish communities, warn campaigners23 January 2019The JCGeorge Town Harbour flooded by rough seas (Photo credit: Cayman News Service)The Commonwealth Jewish Council is launching a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers climate change poses to small islands.Its Small Islands: Big Challenges campaign will be inaugurated on Monday at a Westminster event to be addressed by the governments former special adviser on climate change, Sir David King.Members of the CJCs 37 communities will be asked to press their governments to take action in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.CJC president Lord Mendelsohn - who this week hosted a dinner in the Lords for High Commissioners from small islands - said the organisation backed efforts to persuade countries to implement the Paris Agreement.But we hope for more, he said in an introduction to the CJCs campaign pack. We hope to help develop durable partnerships that can deal with the challenges of weather extremes and climate change and their terrible impacts.We want to help across the range of need, from finding ways to build early warning systems and adaptation measures to mechanisms to build resilient communities.The campaign has been timed to follow this weeks celebration of Tu Bishvat, the New Year for Trees.In a video message of support which cited the commandment given to Adam to take care of the world, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said: We have a Jewish foreign policy for the 21st century. It is our responsibility within our Jewish psyche to recognise what we should be doing for the world around us.Recalling a holiday he and his Valerie had spent in the Cayman Islands, he said residents had told him of the horrific experience they had endured when a hurricane submerged Grand Cayman under water. Read the whole story here. When it comes to saving Floridas environment, DeSantis gets it so far11 January 2019Miami HeraldPhoto credit: orlandoweekly.comGov. Ron DeSantis got lots of attention when he focused on the environment for a handful of paragraphs during his inauguration speech last week.The unusually optimistic reaction shows that Floridians who hope to preserve a few precious pieces of this remarkable place are starved for hope and desperate for leadership.DeSantis began his green passage with an understatement: Our economic potential will be jeopardized if we do not solve the problems afflicting our environment and water resources.In truth, Floridas economy wont merely be jeopardized if we dont clean up our act; it will be strangled. Witness the crushing impact of the marathon red-tide outbreak and blue-green algae blooms upon businesses in coastal communities. That was a harrowing, nauseating, tourist-repelling glimpse of the future.But, unlike his predecessor, DeSantis seems to grasp that its a serious long-term challenge, not a fleeting scientific anomaly-turned-political inconvenience. The quality of our water and environmental surroundings are foundational to our prosperity as a state, DeSantis said. It doesnt just drive tourism; it affects property values, anchors many local economies and is central to our quality of life. The water is part and parcel of Florida s DNA, he went on. Protecting it is the smart thing to do; its also the right thing to do.Some wariness from the public would make sense, because this isnt the first time weve heard such words from politicians who in times of choking red tides or slime-covered rivers become born-again environmentalists. The test, of course, is how hard (or if) the politicians back up their words after the campaign is over.DeSantis is wasting no time. On Thursday, he issued a head-spinning executive order calling for a $2.5 billion hike in environmental funding, including increased water-quality monitoring, a purge of septic tanks, and hang on a ban on fracking. This is a Republican, folks, one who apparently has heard of Theodore Roosevelt. Read the whole story here. In India, Natures Power Overwhelms Engineered WetlandsYale Enviornment 36020 December 2018Partially submerged houses in Kerala, India last August. REUTERS / SIVARAM VIn India, they call the state of Kerala in the countrys far south Gods own country. That wasnt how it felt last August, when monsoon floods devastated its densely populated low-lying coastal plain. Around 500 people drowned, in an area best known to outsiders for its placid backwaters, a network of brackish lakes, lagoons, and canals where growing numbers of Western tourists cruise the picturesque waterways aboard luxury houseboats.Now that the floodwaters have abated, questions are being raised about whether the disaster was made worse by water engineering projects in the backwaters designed to feed the states population and attract tourists. Increasingly, Kerala residents are wondering if Gods own country is damned as well as dammed.The floods came out of the Western Ghats. This chain of mountains down the west side of India is one of the countrys wettest places, drenched from June to September in monsoon. In early August, the rains there were exceptionally intense and unremitting. The rivers flowing from the mountains west toward the Arabian Sea dumped their water into the backwaters on a coastal plain that is largely below sea level. Read the whole story here. Do Brazilians really care about the environment?Scientific American8 November 2018by Carlos SouzaPhoto credit: Getty ImagesThe election of Jair Bolsonaro as our next president suggests we dont, but the truth is more complicated.Brazil is the guardian of the planets largest tropical rainforest, where most of the Earth's biodiversity and forest carbon stocks are concentrated, and which possesses the worlds largest reservoir of fresh water. Its natural patrimony extends over other five unique biomes. Even though, recently elected President Jair Bolsonaro, with 55 percent of valid votes, had made clear during his campaign that the environmental agenda was not a priority.Bolsonaros first moves after the election showed signs that he was going to merge the Ministry of the Environment with the Ministry of Agriculture. However, in response to initial critiques from academics, NGOs, conservationists, and part of the agribusiness sectorsuch a merger had been called an extinction by conservationists, anthropologists, and activistsBolsonaro is backing down. But Bolsonaro has promised other actions that could negatively affect the environmental, such as allowing mining inside Protected Areas; ending he calls an industry" of fines designed to enforce the environmental regulation; and making environmental licensing for infrastructure development and the use of pesticides more flexible.Collateral effects of his promises during the presidential campaign to loosen environmental regulations have already begun. Deforestation in the Amazon region has risen, according to existing forest monitoring alerts (see SAD data from Imazon and DETER data from Inpe.), and more invasions of Protected Areas. Read the whole story here. The White House approved a climate reportThe New York TimesClimate Fwd:by Lisa Friedman10 October 2018Its been a big week for climate science. My colleague Coral Davenport, who spent the past week in Korea nailing down the findings of a landmark report from the United Nations scientific panel on climate change, writes that the immediate consequences of global warming are more dire than previously thought. The report describes a strong risk of crisis as early as 2040.At current levels of warming, which stand around 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit (1.0 degree Celsius) above preindustrial levels, the planet is already seeing more intense forest fires, coral bleaching, storm surges and crop failures.Things will get far worse, the report found, if the warming reaches 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius). That, unfortunately, is the course were on. This piece by Brad Plumer and Nadja Popovich helps visualize how critical that half-degree Celsius can be.Despite the scientists call to action, Coral and Mark Landler report, the response from the White House was muted, with President Trump saying Tuesday evening only that he will be looking at it. Since the Trump administration has systematically worked to discredit climate science and dismantle regulations aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it fit a pattern.And yet Coral noted something significant: Despite its stance on climate science, the Trump administration formally approved the document. In the world of diplomacy, it sends a signal that even the Trump administration might not be willing to publicly buck the conclusions of the worlds top climate scientists. Read the whole story here. Nobel Prize-winning economist says carbon taxes are the solution to climate changeCBC8 October 2018Paul Romer,2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences co-winner(Photo credit: qz.com)Just hours before William Nordhaus and Paul Romer won a Nobel Prize on Monday for their work on the economics of climate change, the UN issued a dire warning about global warming.The report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that an extra single degree of heat could make a life-or-death difference in the next few decades for multitudes of people and ecosystems on this fast-warming planet.But Romer whose work focuses on adapting economic theory to take better account of environmental issues and technological progress says this crisis can easily be averted through economic policy. Read the whole story here. Swiss Company Opens Its Third CO2-Capturing SiteYale Environment 3602 October 2018A new ClimeWorks facility in Italy will suck 150 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year. CLIMEWORKSClimeWorks, a Swiss company working to commercialize carbon sequestration technology, has opened its third carbon dioxide capture site, located in Troia, Italy. The new plant will suck 150 metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year the equivalent of taking 32 cars off the road and convert it to methane to be used in natural gas-powered trucks, Quartz reported.Scientists have long argued that reducing greenhouse gas emissions isnt enough by itself to combat climate change. The world must also lower existing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 by removing carbon dioxide from the air. ClimeWorks launched its first carbon sequestration plant in Zurich in May 2017. The facility captures 900 metric tons of CO2 annually, which is then pumped into the greenhouse of a Swiss farm. Read the whole story here. Worlds First Recycled Plastic Bike Path Opens in The NetherlandsYale Environment 36017 September 2018A new bike path in the Dutch city of Zwolle is made from the equivalent of 218,000 recycled plastic cups. Photo credit: KWS/TOTAL/WAVINA new 100-foot track in the Dutch city of Zwolle is the worlds first bike path made almost entirely out of recycled plastic, containing the equivalent of 218,000 plastic cups or 500,000 plastic bottle caps. The plastic road is the latest example of the growing shift among cities and businesses toward a circular economy, which requires reusing products and producing no waste.The designers of the new bike path in Zwolle Dutch engineering firm KWS, pipe maker Wavin, and French oil major Total claim the road is two to three times more durable than traditional asphalt roads and has the potential for drastically reducing the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills and oceans. This first pilot is a big step towards a sustainable road made of recycled plastic waste, the paths inventors, Anne Koudstaal and Simon Jorritsma, said in a statement.The plastic track is a prefabricated, modular design, allowing for quick and easy installation. It is filled with sensors that will monitor the durability of the road, including tracking temperature and the number of bike trips. The path also has cavities to divert and store excess stormwater. A second plastic section of bike path will be installed in the Dutch city of Giethoorn in November.In recent years, engineers across the globe have been developing innovative second uses for roadways, from building bridges out of recycled plastic to opening solar-paneled motorways. Giant deep sea coral reef discovered off South Carolina coastMother Nature Network26 August 2018A deep sea coral specimen that was discovered off the coast of East Timor. (Photo: Nick Hobgood/Wiki Commons)It's not every day that you find a huge, previously undiscovered biological feature sitting right off a major U.S. coastline, but that's exactly what scientists manning the research vessel Atlantis stumbled upon while exploring some 160 miles off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina.There, about a half mile below the ocean's surface, lies a dense forest of deep sea coral that stretches for at least 85 miles. It's a humongous ecosystem that has probably been developing for at least a few hundred thousand years.This is a huge feature, said Erik Cordes, the expedition's chief scientist, to the Huffington Post. Its incredible that it stayed hidden off the U.S. East Coast for so long.Just mountains of it, he added. We couldnt find a place that didnt have corals.The existence of the reef, which was initially flagged from sonar mapping, was officially confirmed using a pair of submersible dives. The expedition's original mission was to explore uncharted canyons, gas seeps and coral ecosystems off the Atlantic coast. No one thought that they'd find something like this, though.The live corals are living upon giant mounds of rubble that were constructed by the corals that came before them. It's a massive piece of scaffolding that accumulates as corals die and leave their skeletal remains behind. Cordes estimates that coral has likely been growing here for millennia. He also predicts that the reef probably plays a keystone role in the region's fisheries. The team witnessed at least one giant swordfish cruising over the corals during their time in the submersible.The find comes as the Trump administration is proposing an expansive offshore drilling plan that could stretch up and down the Atlantic coast. Researchers hope that their findings will stall those plans, or at least strengthen efforts to designate protected zones. Given that these coral reefs are a new, previously unstudied ecosystem, it's unclear just how sensitive the region's ecology might be to oil and gas exploration.It's a remarkable discovery, and proof of just how little we know about the ocean's ecosystems. Hopefully it won't disappear before we get a chance to truly explore and understand this natural wonder. Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot quits French governmentFrance 2428 August 2018Photo credit: Rappler.comFrench Environment Minister Nicolas Hulot announced his resignation on Tuesday, citing disappointment with the lack of progress on climate and other environmental goals.Hulot said his decision, taken on Monday night, was the result of an accumulation of disappointments over the inadequacy of steps to tackle climate change, defend biodiversity and address other environmental threats.A former TV presenter and green activist whose cabinet portfolio included energy, Hulot said on France Inter radio that he had not yet informed President Emmanuel Macron of his decision to resign.Hulot consistently scored high in popularity polls and his departure will be a blow to Macron, whose own ratings are plumbing new lows. Read the whole story here. Illegal fishing and Amazon deforestation operations linked with offshore tax havensThe Independent13 August 2018Industries linked to environmental damage including Amazon rainforest deforestation and illegal fishing are heavily involved in the shady world of offshore tax havens.An investigation has revealed that huge quantities of money flowing into the Brazilian soy and beef sectors are funnelled through nations where taxation is low and financial transparency is lacking.The same analysis found most fishing vessels implicated in illegal or unregulated activities were registered in tax havens.The release of the Paradise Papers and Panama Papers has shown how businesses, politicians and global elites make use of offshore tax havens to undertake financial dealings in secret and pay minimal tax.However, the potential environmental impacts of these activities have been largely ignored. Read the whole story here. Al Gore Says President Trump Not Yet as Damaging to Environment as He FearedTIME14 August 2018Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore speaks during an interview in Greensboro, N.C., Aug. 13, 2018. Gerry BroomeAPThe Trump administration has made some dangerous changes to environmental policy, but the damage so far has been less than it initially appeared, former Vice President Al Gore said in an interview Monday.He (President Trump) has had less of an impact so far than I feared that he would. Someone said last year his administration is a blend of malevolence and incompetence, Gore said in an interview with The Associated Press in Greensboro. I think theyve made some mistakes in some of the moves theyve made. The courts have blocked some of what they wanted to do as a result.Even the Republican-controlled Congress has stepped in at times, he said. The U.S. system has a lot of inherent resilience, Gore said. Its hard for one person, even the president, to change things very quickly if the majority of American people dont want them changed. Read the whole story here. How corruption has damaged Armenia's environmentFRANCE 2418 June 2018Photo credit: 123RF.comIt's now more than a month since anti-government demonstrations in Armenia forced the government of Serzh Sargsyan to resign. At the heart of the protest movement was anger over widespread corruption. Open-pit mining has left scars on the tiny country's beautiful landscape. Corruption allowed developers to flaunt environmental regulations and locals' rights, as FRANCE 24's Gulliver Cragg reports. Watch the video here. In a warming West, the Rio Grande is drying upThe New York Times24 May 2018The Rio Grande south of Socorro, N.M.Even in a good year, much of the Rio Grande is diverted forirrigation. But its only May, and the river is already turning to sand.LEMITAR, N.M. Mario Rosales, who farms 365 acres along the Rio Grande, knows the river is in bad shape this year. It has already dried to a dusty ribbon of sand in some parts, and most of the water that does flow is diverted to irrigate crops, including Mr. Rosaless fields of wheat, oats, alfalfa and New Mexicos beloved chiles.Because last winters mountain snowpack was the second-lowest on record, even that irrigation water may run out at the end of July, three months earlier than usual. But Mr. Rosales isnt worried. He is sure that the summer thunderstorms, known here as the monsoon, will come.Sooner or later, well get the water, he said.The monsoon rains he is counting on are notoriously unpredictable, however. So he and many of the other farmers who work 62,000 acres along 140 miles of the Rio Grande in central New Mexico may get by or they may not.Nobodys got a whole lot of water, said David Gensler, the hydrologist for the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, whose job is to manage the river water that is delivered to Mr. Rosales and the others through diversion dams, canals and ditches. If we use it up early in the season and dont get any rain further on, the whole things going to crash. Read the whole story here. Kenyas coastal conservation heroesUN Environment15 May 2018Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute Chief Scientist James Kairo holds a mangrove seedling while talking to visitors at the Mikoko Pamoja project site.Here in Gazi we get 1.5 tonnes [of carbon] per hectare, Kairo says. That is the carbon stored below ground and if you add the one which is stored above ground, which is up to 500 tonnes, we are talking about 2,000 tonnes of carbon in the system.Just 30 km south of the booming port town of Mombasa, residents of two tranquil Kenyan villages are making history.Here, amongst the mud-walled houses and coconut trees, the people of Gazi and Makongeni villages have become the worlds first communities to harness the carbon market through mangrove conservation.The Mikoko Pamoja (mangroves together) project is restoring Gazi Bays coastal ecosystems, with community members planting thousands of mangrove seedlings each year and trading the resulting carbon offset on the global market protecting the coastline, restoring local fisheries, and bringing in over $25,000 for community initiatives in the projects first two years alone. Read the whole story here. Caribbean Island Nations Cite U.S. Report at Climate Change TalksScientific American3 May 2018Photo credit Express.co.ukA U.S. report was offered for a conference on how the global battle against climate change is progressingbut it wasnt put there by the United States.A group of Caribbean islands led by St. Lucia posted the 2017 U.S. National Climate Assessment special report released under the Trump administration in November as one of its submissions ahead of Sundays dialogue on progress and ambition for the Paris Agreement. Its a forum intended to encourage countries to increase the ambition of their Paris pledges by 2020.The climate of the United States is strongly connected to the changing global climate, begins the executive summary of the report, which the U.S. Office of Global Change released after a deadline had lapsed. It is part of the Fourth National Climate Assessment, which will be completed in 2018.Its unclear whether the islands were making a political statement by offering the report. The United States has made no submission ahead of Sundays preliminary Talanoa Dialogue discussion on the sidelines of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) talks in Bonn, Germany. The State Department confirmed that the United States will participate in the Sunday session.So the highly vulnerable islands might have intended the submission as a dig against the Trump administration for its Paris retreat and lack of financial assistance to at-risk countries like them. But a separate submission points to the reports section on the Southeast and the Caribbean, which details threats from changes in ocean circulation and other impacts. Read the whole story here. Electric buses are hurting the oil industryBloomberg.com23 April 2018Photo credit: govtech.com- About 279,000 barrels a day of fuel wont be needed this year- China adds a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeksElectric buses were seen as a joke at an industry conference in Belgium seven years ago when the Chinese manufacturer BYD Co. showed an early model.Everyone was laughing at BYD for making a toy, recalled Isbrand Ho, the Shenzhen-based companys managing director in Europe. And look now. Everyone has one.Suddenly, buses with battery-powered motors are a serious matter with the potential to revolutionize city transportand add to the forces reshaping the energy industry. With China leading the way, making the traditional smog-belching diesel behemoth run on electricity is starting to eat away at fossil fuel demand. Read the whole story here. How the Environment Has Changed Since the First Earth DayNational Geographic21 April 2018Ash spews from a coal-fueled power plantWhen Earth Day was first created in 1970, it rode the coattails of a decade filled with social activism. Voting rights were strengthened, civil rights were outlined, and women were demanding equal treatment.But there was no Environmental Protection Agency, no Clean Air Act, or Clean Water Act.Fast forward 48 years and what started as a grassroots movement has exploded into an international day of attention and activism dedicated to preserving the environment. Officially, the United Nations recognizes this upcoming April 22 as International Mother Earth Day.Across the globe, millions of people take part in Earth Day. According to the Earth Day Network, one of the largest activist bodies organizing Earth Day events, people celebrate by holding marches, planting trees, meeting with local representatives, and cleaning up their local environments. Read the whole story here. Global Warming is Increasing Russia's Profits, and PollutionVICE News8 March 2018Photo credit: Wikipedia.orgWhile many parts of the world are struggling from catastrophic effects of climate change, Russia is looking to capitalize on it, with the Kremlin driving a narrative that touts the economic benefits.Like more and faster access to petroleum and mineral reserves that were previously unreachable. The Northern Sea Passage, a legendary shipping lane along Russias Arctic coastline, has been largely inaccessible for part of the year because of dense sea ice. But now, that ice is melting, opening up a new trade route for Russia's cargo ships. Russian oil companies are already betting big on the new reserves they hope to find in the Russian Arctic, and other industries like mining are ramping up production since they now have faster shipping routes to many ports. Read the whole story here.China's plastic trash banREUTERS (Oslo)29 January 2018REUTERS-Kim Kyung-Hoon-File PhotoChinas crackdown on imports of plastic trash should be a signal for rich nations to increase recycling and cut down on non-essential products such as plastic drinking straws, the head of the U.N Environment Programme said on Monday.Erik Solheim, a former Norwegian environment minister, urged developed nations to re-think their use of plastics and not simply seek alternative foreign dumping grounds after Chinas restrictions took effect this month.We should see the Chinese decision I heard some complaints from Europeans as a great service to the people of China and a wake-up call to the rest of the world, he said in a telephone interview from Nairobi.And there are lots of products we simply dont need.Prime examples, he said, were microbeads - tiny pieces of plastic often used in cosmetics which have been found to pollute the worlds oceans, rivers and lakes - and drinking straws.The average American uses 600 straws a year, he said, generating vast amounts of plastic waste. Everyone can drink straight from the bottle or the cup.He suggested restaurants and bars could put up signs along the lines of: If you desperately need a straw we will provide it.Some companies have already cut back on straws.He praised bans on microbeads, sometimes used as abrasives in facial scrubs or toothpaste. The United States passed a law in 2015 to ban microbeads and a ban in Britain took effect this month.Piles of waste have built up in some western ports after China, the main destination for more than half of plastic waste exported by western nations, banned foreign garbage including some grades of plastics and paper. Read the whole story here.Why plastic straws are key to fighting ocean pollutionThe Weather Network1 December 2017Photo Credit www.theweathernetwork.comThe world uses 1 billion unrecyclable plastic straws a day 500 million in the United States an untold number of which end up in the ocean, polluting the water and coastlines and posing a deadly threat to sea turtles and other marine animals. The Lonely Whale Foundations Strawless in Seattle campaign resulted in the elimination of 2.3 million disposable plastic straws in the month of September in that city. As of July 1, 2018, Seattle will ban non-compostable plastic straws and cutlery from 3,100 food service businesses that range from Starbucks to sports stadiums. Lonely Whale will take its strawless campaign to at least 10 more cities next year. Read whole story here. Business risk from climate change now top of mind for Canadas corporate boardsThe Globe and Mail22 November 2017Michael Sabia has a message for Canada's corporate directors as he weighs how to deploy one of the biggest pools of investment capital in the country: Climate change is top of mind.Mr. Sabia the chief executive officer of the Caisse de dpt et placement du Qubec wants climate-related factors to be at the core of how the country's second-largest pension fund approaches all of its investment decisions, regardless of asset class."That's what I think is going to be required for investors like us to benefit from the opportunities and protect ourselves from the risks that are obvious here," Mr. Sabia says.Last month, the pension fund announced plans to slash the carbon footprint of its investment portfolio by 25 per cent by 2025. It also aims to boost its low-carbon investments by 50 per cent to the tune of more than $8-billion by 2020.The term "carbon footprint" refers to the amount of greenhouse gases produced by a particular company or person. As part of its commitment, the Caisse says it will be reducing its exposure to the most carbon-intensive assets in its portfolio, such as activities related to coal. The pension fund will also begin disclosing data on the portfolio's greenhouse gas emissions in its annual report. Read the whole story here.Satellite eye on Earth: September 2017 - in picturesThe Guardian31 October 2017Photograph VIIRS-Suomi NPP-NASAAlgal blooms, hurricanes and volcano fields are among the images captured by Nasa and the ESA last month. See the fascinating photoshere. Forget 'the environment': we need new words to convey life's wondersThe GuardianAugust 9, 2017If Moses had promised the Israelites a land flowing with mammary secretions and insect vomit, would they have followed him into Canaan? Though this means milk and honey, I doubt it would have inspired them.So why do we use such language to describe the natural wonders of the world? There are examples everywhere, but I will illustrate the problem with a few from the UK. On land, places in which nature is protected are called sites of special scientific interest. At sea, they are labelled no-take zones or reference areas. Had you set out to estrange people from the living world, you could scarcely have done better. Read the whole story here. Chinas Religious Revival Fuels Environmental ActivismThe New York TimesJuly 12, 2017MAO MOUNTAIN, China Far from the smog-belching power plants of nearby cities, on a hillside covered in solar panels and blossoming magnolias, Yang Shihua speaks of the need for a revolution.Mr. Yang, the abbot of Mao Mountain, a sacred Taoist site in eastern China, has grown frustrated by indifference to a crippling pollution crisis that has left the land barren and the sky a haunting gray. So he has set out to spur action through religion, building a $17.7 million eco-friendly temple and citing 2,000-year-old texts to rail against waste and pollution.China doesnt lack money it lacks a reverence for the environment, Abbot Yang said. Our morals are in decline and our beliefs have been lost. Read the whole story here. Stony corals more resistant to climate change than thoughtScience DailyJune 1, 2017Stylophora pistillata is a colorful and well-studied stony coral common in the Indo-Pacific.Stony corals may be more resilient to ocean acidification than once thought, according to a Rutgers University study that shows they rely on proteins to help create their rock-hard skeletons."The bottom line is that corals will make rock even under adverse conditions," said Paul G. Falkowski, a distinguished professor who leads the Environmental Biophysics and Molecular Ecology Laboratory at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. "They will probably make rock even as the ocean becomes slightly acidic from the burning of fossil fuels."Read the whole story here.Facts and evidence matter in confronting climate crisisDavid Suzuki FoundationMarch 24, 2017Melting arctic ice in the sunset (Photo credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Flickr)We recently highlighted the faulty logic of a pseudoscientific argument against addressing climate change: the proposition that because CO2 is necessary for plants, increasing emissions is good for the planet and the life it supports.Those who read, write or talk regularly about climate change and ecology are familiar with other anti-environmental arguments not coated with a scientific sheen. A common one is that if you drive a car, buy any plastic goods or even type on a computer keyboard your observation that we need to reduce fossil fuel use is not valid no matter how much evidence you present. Like the CO2 is plant food claim, its a poor argument, but for different reasons.Its easy to refute the junk science claim with large amounts of available evidence. This ones simply a logical fallacy.The statement that gas-fuelled cars cause pollution is true whether or not the person making it drives a car, just as a claim that automobile emissions are harmless is false, regardless of the claimants car ownership or driving habits.As well as being a faulty assertion, pointing out the many uses for fossil fuels in an attempt to reject the need to reduce reliance on them is actually an argument in favour of burning less coal, gas and oil. Fossil fuels are useful for many purposes from life-saving medical equipment to computer keyboards so why extract, transport and burn them so rapidly and wastefully? Supplies arent endless.Read the whole story here. Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate ChangeNew York TimesJune 18, 2015Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, blending a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.The vision that Francis outlined in a 184-page papal encyclical is sweeping in ambition and scope: He describes relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment and says apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness are to blame.The most vulnerable victims, he declares, are the worlds poorest people, who are being dislocated and disregarded.Francis, the first pope from the developing world, used the encyclical titled Laudato Si, or Praise Be to You to highlight the crisis posed by climate change. He places most of the blame on fossil fuels and human activity, while warning of an unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequence for all of us if corrective action is not taken swiftly. Developed, industrialized countries were mostly responsible, he says, and are obligated to help poorer nations confront the crisis. Read the whole story here. The Dutch boy mopping up a sea of plasticBBC News MagazineOctober16, 2014"I don't understand why 'obsessive' has a negative connotation, I'm an obsessive and I like it," says Boyan Slat. "I get an idea and I stick to it."This idea came to him at the age of 16, in the summer of 2011, when diving in Greece. "I saw more plastic bags than fish," says Slat. He was shocked, and even more shocked that there was no apparent solution. "Everyone said to me: 'Oh there's nothing you can do about plastic once it gets into the oceans,' and I wondered whether that was true."Over the last 30 to 40 years, millions of tonnes of plastic have entered the oceans. Global production of plastic now stands at 288 million tonnes per year, of which 10% ends up in the ocean in time. Most of that - 80% - comes from land-based sources. Litter gets swept into drains, and ends up in rivers - so that plastic straw or cup lid you dropped, the cigarette butt you threw on the road they could all end up in the sea.The plastic is carried by currents and congregates in five revolving water systems, called gyres, in the major oceans, the most infamous being the huge Pacific Garbage Patch, half way between Hawaii and California. Read the whole story here. Addressing global warming is an economic necessityDavid Suzuki FoundationJuly 11, 2014Those who don't outright deny the existence of human-caused global warming often argue we can't or shouldn't do anything about it because it would be too costly. Take Prime Minister Stephen Harper [of Canada], whorecently said, "No matter what they say, no country is going to take actions that are going to deliberately destroy jobs and growth in their country."But in failing to act on global warming, many leaders are putting jobs and economic prosperity at risk, according to recent studies. It's suicidal, both economically and literally, to focus on the fossil fuel industry's limited, short-term economic benefits at the expense of long-term prosperity, human health and the natural systems, plants and animals that make our well-being and survival possible. Those who refuse to take climate change seriously are subjecting us to enormous economic risks and foregoing the numerous benefits that solutions would bring.The World Bank hardly a radical organization isbehind one study. While still viewing the problem and solutions through the lens of outmoded economic thinking, its report demolishes arguments made by the likes of Stephen Harper. Read the whole story here. UN Panel Looks to Renewables As the Key to Stabilizing ClimateYale Environment 360April 17, 2014In its latest report, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes a strong case for a sharp increase in low-carbon energy production, especially solar and wind, and provides hope that this transformation can occur in time to hold off the worst impacts of global warming.Those wind turbines endlessly turning on the hill near your home tell of a changing world. So do the fields of solar panels sprouting from the deserts of California to the plains of Germany. But the world is not changing fast enough, says the latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).The 2,000-page study of how to head off climate change, released in Berlin on Sunday, calls for a tripling of the share of global energy generated by low-carbon energy sources. Electricity generation will have to go from its current 30 percent use of low-carbon sources to 80 percent by 2050, the report says. And with todays main low-carbon sources nuclear and hydropower unlikely to grow much, that requires a vastly bigger plug-in to the newcomers, wind and solar.Only that way, says the IPCC, can the world have a better-than-even chance of keeping below the two degrees of warming widely regarded as the danger level.Crazy? Some believe an industrial world powered by sun and wind is an expensive green dream that is destined to fail. But maybe not. For one thing, the report says, prices of wind and solar energy are falling fast. So the damaging impact of such a transformation on the global economy would be very small provided we get moving soon. Read the whole story here.Johnson’s Brexit Deal Could Water Down Environmental Standards?Forbes22 October 2019Anti-Brexit protesters take part in 'Together for the Final Say' rally on October 19th, 2019, in London, UK. NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGESThe British Parliament is today fiercely debating whether to approve a new Brexit deal negotiated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and its approval will depend on getting enough support from opposition Labour Party MEPs.But as they learn more about what this version of Brexit would have in store for British environmental protection, they less the Labour MEPs like it.Like in the United States, environmental law in the EU is an area mostly legislated at ‘federal’ level – that is, in Brussels. That’s because standards need to be consistent across the EU’s single market.If the U.K. secedes from the European Union, it will be free to make its own environmental law. Given that Johnson’s governing Conservative Party has cited EU environmental regulations as the kind of “red tape” they want to do away with, there are concerns that environment and climate law is about to be uprooted to make the U.K. a more attractive place for industry. Read the whole story here.Johnson’s Brexit Deal Could Water Down Environmental Standards?Forbes22 October 2019Anti-Brexit protesters take part in 'Together for the Final Say' rally on October 19th, 2019, in London, UK. NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGESThe British Parliament is today fiercely debating whether to approve a new Brexit deal negotiated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and its approval will depend on getting enough support from opposition Labour Party MEPs.But as they learn more about what this version of Brexit would have in store for British environmental protection, they less the Labour MEPs like it.Like in the United States, environmental law in the EU is an area mostly legislated at ‘federal’ level – that is, in Brussels. That’s because standards need to be consistent across the EU’s single market.If the U.K. secedes from the European Union, it will be free to make its own environmental law. Given that Johnson’s governing Conservative Party has cited EU environmental regulations as the kind of “red tape” they want to do away with, there are concerns that environment and climate law is about to be uprooted to make the U.K. a more attractive place for industry. Read the whole story here.Johnson’s Brexit Deal Could Water Down Environmental Standards?Forbes22 October 2019Anti-Brexit protesters take part in 'Together for the Final Say' rally on October 19th, 2019, in London, UK. NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGESThe British Parliament is today fiercely debating whether to approve a new Brexit deal negotiated by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and its approval will depend on getting enough support from opposition Labour Party MEPs.But as they learn more about what this version of Brexit would have in store for British environmental protection, they less the Labour MEPs like it.Like in the United States, environmental law in the EU is an area mostly legislated at ‘federal’ level – that is, in Brussels. That’s because standards need to be consistent across the EU’s single market.If the U.K. secedes from the European Union, it will be free to make its own environmental law. Given that Johnson’s governing Conservative Party has cited EU environmental regulations as the kind of “red tape” they want to do away with, there are concerns that environment and climate law is about to be uprooted to make the U.K. a more attractive place for industry. Read the whole story here.Seven Caribbean countries will ban the use of plastics in the year 2020?Yucatan Times4 December 2019Starting January 1st, 2020, single-use plastics and polystyrene will be banned in seven Caribbean countries, with the main objective of preventing ocean pollution which directly affects different marine species.Unfortunately, the Caribbean has been highlighted as one of the most polluted regions in the world, so this measure is intended to prevent the degradation of their marine habitat that would cause a health and food security  risk for some 40 million people living in coastal areas.Which Countries Will Ban The Use Of Plastic?Jamaica, Belize, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas are the countries that will ban the import and use of single-use plastics and polystyrene starting on January 1st, 2020.ImportanceAn average of 5 billion plastic bags made from petroleum products are consumed each year, most of these items could take hundreds of years to degrade.Facts
Cayman Eco
https://caymaneco.org/
Eléphants sans frontières – Les Lettres d'ivoire Eléphants sans frontières – Les Lettres d'ivoire
Que serait la France sans vignobles, vaches et chèvres ? Un pays sans âme que personne ne reconnaîtrait tant ses paysages et son art de vivre sont associés aux vins et aux fromages. Imaginez maintenant l'Afrique sans éléphants et sans lions. Serait-ce encore l'Afrique ? Bien sûr que non. C'est pourtant ce qui risque d'arriver d'ici…
https://cervieres.com/
Chanluu.com Chanluu.com
This classic double wrap bracelet is composed of Ethiopian opals on beige leather and closes with an engraved Chan Luu oval button. Wear it as a stand-alone piece or layer it with other bracelets. MATERIALS Ethiopian opals, beige leather MEASUREMENTS Adjustable closureApprox. 12" / 13" / 14" in length CARE Please visit
https://chanluu.com/
GWH Service – Chicago Medicine GWH Service – Chicago Medicine
GWH Service – Chicago Medicine
https://chicago.medicine.uic.edu/
Bienvenue - ChicIntemporel Bienvenue - ChicIntemporel
Balise Metadescription - home page
https://chic-intemporel.com/
Sponsor a Child – Ethiopia – Children’s House International Adoptions Sponsor a Child – Ethiopia – Children’s House International Adoptions
Sponsor a Child – Ethiopia – Children’s House International Adoptions
https://childrenshouseinternational.com/
Ethiopian Legal Brief – A blog about Ethiopian Law Ethiopian Legal Brief – A blog about Ethiopian Law
A blog about Ethiopian Law
https://chilot.me/
Addis Ababa Archives - Climate Outreach Addis Ababa Archives - Climate Outreach
Addis Ababa Archives - Climate Outreach
https://climateoutreach.org/
All 157 on board die in crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight - World - columbustelegram.com All 157 on board die in crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight - World - columbustelegram.com
An Ethiopian Airlines flight crashed shortly after takeoff from Ethiopia's capital on Sunday morning, killing all 157 on board, authorities said, as grieving families rushed to airports in Addis Ababa
https://columbustelegram.com/
Daniel Axum (Character) - Comic Vine Daniel Axum (Character) - Comic Vine
Super-strong person, met several defeats before being imprisoned after battle with Spider-Man. Released from prison after three years, attempted to rebuild life as professional fighter under the name Axum.
https://comicvine.gamespot.com/

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