Climate change and modern slavery are linked:

What’s the issue?

antislavery.org

Climate change and modern slavery are linked closely together in a vicious circle.

Climate-induced disaster, environmental degradation and growing scarcity of resources are affecting many communities, driving millions of people into poverty and forcing many to migrate in search of work, food or safety. In many cases, victims of the climate emergency will be left more vulnerable to forms of modern slavery, including human traffickingforced labour and child slavery.

Three of the ways that climate change and modern slavery are linked:

  • When people are forced to migrate, they face greater risks of human trafficking and forced labour. People who lose their livelihoods, income and ties to their community are often made vulnerable to exploitation, and in the worst cases, modern slavery, as they are forced to migrate. By 2050, the World Bank estimates that more than 143 million people will have been forced from their homes in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America because of climate change
  • The same industries that drive climate change leave people vulnerable to forced migration. Extractive industries and agricultural businesses in particular contribute to the emissions that drive climate change, while also profoundly damaging the land and water that ordinary people rely upon. This pushes many more people into poverty and forces them to leave their homes and communities, making them more vulnerable to people traffickers and at risk of slavery
  • Many victims of the climate emergency are exploited by businesses that contribute to the problem. Many of the people forced into migration by the climate emergency find themselves trafficked into forced labour, some within the very industries that are degrading the environment – completing a vicious circle in which climate change drives, and is driven by, modern slavery

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The Nord Stream gas pineline leaks the worst ever greenhouse gas event? Why it happened and what are the damages to the climate?

*Nord Stream is a network of natural gas pipelines run under the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany

Nord Stream gas leaks may be biggest ever, with warning of ‘large climate risk’

theguardian.com

‘Colossal amount’ of leaked methane, twice initial estimates, is equivalent to third of Denmark’s annual CO2 emissions or 1.3m cars

gas leak bubbling to surface of Baltic Sea
Scientists estimate the leaks could release up to 400,000 tonnes of methane into the atmosphere. Photograph: Danish Defence/AFP/Getty

Seascape: the state of our oceans is supported by

Scientists fear methane erupting from the burst Nord Stream pipelines into the Baltic Sea could be one of the worst natural gas leaks ever and pose significant climate risks.

Neither of the two breached Nord Stream pipelines, which run between Russia and Germany, was operational, but both contained natural gas. This mostly consists of methane – a greenhouse gas that is the biggest cause of climate heating after carbon dioxide.

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Why rivers shouldn’t look like this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkmJRJaPBXE

The quintessential image of a river you might recognise from post cards and paintings – nice and straight with a tidy riverbank – is not actually how it is supposed to look. It’s the result of centuries of industrial and agricultural development. And it’s become a problem, exacerbating the impact of both extreme flooding and extreme drought. Josh Toussaint-Strauss looks into how so many rivers ended up this way, and how river restoration is helping to reestablish biodiversity and combat some of the effects of the climate crisis

‘This is what a river should look like’: Dutch rewilding project turns back the clock 500 years

‘We make nature here’: pioneering Dutch project repairs image after outcry over starving animals

Josh Toussaint-Strauss Ali Assaf Joseph Pierce Nick Hildred Ryan Baxter, Source: The Guardian

What Is “Loss and Damage” from Climate Change? 8 Key Questions, Answered

WRI.org

The planet has already warmed by 1.1 degrees C (2 degrees F) due to human-induced climate change. Millions of people today are facing the real-life consequences of higher temperatures, rising seas, fiercer storms and unpredictable rainfall. Rapidly reducing emissions is essential to limit temperature rise and secure a safer future for us all, as is making major investments to protect communities from severe impacts that will continue to worsen.

Yet collective efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and adapt are currently not enough to tackle the speed and scale of climate impacts, meaning that some losses and damages from climate change are inevitable. How countries handle these losses and damages has been a key issue at UN climate negotiations and beyond.

Here, we provide an explainer on the concept of loss and damage and what’s needed to address it:

1) What Is Loss and Damage?

“Loss and damage” is a general term used in UN climate negotiations to refer to the consequences of climate change that go beyond what people can adapt to, or when options exist but a community doesn’t have the resources to access or utilize them. This could include the loss of coastal heritage sites due to rising sea levels, or the loss of homes and lives during extreme floods.

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Political declaration on establishing the Just Energy Transition Partnership with Viet Nam

GOV.UK

Published 14 December 2022

  1. The Governments of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, together with the International Partners Group, consisting of the European Union, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Japan, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of France, the Italian Republic, Canada, the Kingdom of Denmark and the Kingdom of Norway;
  2. Recognising the need to accelerate action towards the objectives and long-term goals of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, including through the implementation of the Glasgow Climate Pact, to minimise the worst adverse impacts of climate change for countries, people and the environment;
  3. Noting that limiting global warming to 1.5°C to mitigate the worst adverse impacts of climate change requires rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, including reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to net zero around mid-century as well as deep reductions in other greenhouse gas emissions, emphasising climate change adaptation and achieving net zero emissions as an opportunity for sustainable development;
  4. Recognising that for Viet Nam, as an independent, sovereign and fast developing lower middle income country heavily affected by the impacts of climate change, it will be key to embrace the opportunities brought about by the fast decreasing cost of renewable energies as an opportunity for sustainable development and to tackle related challenges such as poverty, inequality and unemployment, which are exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, and that vulnerable groups and some important economic sectors may be impacted by the energy transition, including thermal electricity generation, coal mining, heavy industry and transport;
  5. Recognising the need for new, predictable, long-term and sustainable support from partner countries, multilateral organisations and investors in finance, technology and capacity building for Viet Nam to exploit fully the opportunities of the transition in accordance with the national framework of public debt and external debt management to contribute significantly to the implementation of the NDC of Viet Nam, its commitment to reach to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and its development orientation to become a high-income developed country by 2045;
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As climate changes, Mekong farmers try floating rice

mekongeye.com

Mekong Delta farmers turn to indigenous rice strain to counter unpredictable floods as upstream dams affect water flow

Farmer Bui Bich Tien, 52, holds a floating rice plant that grows taller than himself in his fields during the floating season in Vinh An hamlet, An Giang province, Vietnam. PHOTO: Thanh Hue

AN GIANG, VIETNAM – Before the first August rain of the flood season in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, Bui Bich Tien started planting rice seedlings. Over the next six months, as the annual floods from upstream inundated his farmland in Vinh An hamlet, Tri Ton district in An Giang province, the rice grew with and above the rising water level.

This is no ordinary rice variety. Known as floating or deep-water rice, as the water level rises, the rice plants outgrow it, reaching up to three meters tall. It was once a staple, feeding farmers across five Mekong countries.

Tien, 52, is one of the few farmers to continue this tradition. He has been growing this species since he inherited 1.5 hectares of land in 1999.

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Charting a path for Vietnam to achieve its net-zero goals

Mckinsey.com

By harnessing opportunities across sectors—particularly in power—Vietnam could potentially accelerate decarbonization to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Vietnam is more exposed to climate risk than nearly any other country in the world. By some estimates, it is one of the top five countries likely to be most affected by climate change.1 Barring adaptation and mitigation measures, the country could face severe social and economic consequences.

Stakeholders across the country understand this reality and have begun making pledges and announcing policies aimed at reducing greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions. At the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) in 2021, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh announced the country’s commitment to phase out coal power generation by the 2040s and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Most recently, in its National Strategy on Climate Change, Vietnam announced a 43.5 percent emissions-reduction target by 2030, sector-specific emissions targets for 2030 and 2050, and qualitative suggestions for achieving these goals.2

While these are praiseworthy goals, they are unlikely to propel Vietnam to net-zero emissions by 2050 on their own. Carrying out that mission will require more detailed and specific actions. To sketch out one possible scenario for Vietnam to achieve its climate ambitions, we conducted a bottom-up analysis of the country’s key economic sectors and the required emissions trajectory. Carefully focused and aggressive actions to reduce emissions across sectors of the economy, especially in power, could put Vietnam on a path to potentially achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

This transition won’t be easy. Vietnam faces structural challenges, and the transition will require considerable investment—as well as significant mindset and operational changes. Nonetheless, by building on existing efforts and engaging across sectors, Vietnam could realize its commitments and help keep global warming below key thresholds.

Such actions would also improve health outcomes, provide access to new sustainable value pools, and grow GDP.

The net-zero imperative and progress to date

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The Reality of Vietnam’s Energy Transition

The country has emerged as a regional leader in renewables, but some thorny challenges lie ahead.

thediplomat.com

By Kathryn Neville November 25, 2022

The Reality of Vietnam’s Energy Transition
The Vinh Tan thermal power plant in Binh Thuan province, Vietnam.Credit: Depositphotos

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Earlier this fall, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry shone a spotlight on Vietnam, urging the Southeast Asian nation to “do what is sensible” and refocus its energy sector by investing in renewables and retiring fossil fuels. His remarks coincided with a deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom that made headway last week, which will see the two powers invest at least $11 billion in Vietnam’s green transition. The Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) seeks to cancel projects for new coal plants and build out 60GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. Expected to be finalized at an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting next month, the ambitious package will include public and private financing, technology transfers, and technical assistance.

JETP is not the first deal of its kind. The last decade has seen investors show a growing interest in expanding renewable technology in Southeast Asia. But for Vietnam’s government, the green energy transition is less about a passion for saving the planet and more about driving economic growth by any means possible. Vietnam cares about decarbonization – and renewables do have the potential to become the lowest-cost available energy option. But many political, regulatory, and financing challenges still stand in the way of this goal. Vietnam will ultimately act in its own best interest when deciding its energy future, but it must be wary of not getting overly ambitious with its commitments to the green transition by taking on debt and accepting capital for projects that are premature, imprudent, or ill-advised. An “energy transition” can be dangerous to any developing country that does not have the same risk tolerance as wealthier nations, and Vietnam is susceptible to falling into this trap.

Analysis: Can Indonesia ditch coal and improve lives with new green deal?

reuters.com

By Michael Taylor

  • Summary
  • Indonesia secures $20 billion worth of pledges
  • Improving lives just as important as closing coal power plants
  • Training workforce for green energy is key to ‘just transition’

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – After clinching one of the largest-ever climate finance deals to shutter its coal-fired power plants early, Indonesia needs to work out how to make sure communities that will be impacted by the shift to renewable energy do not lose out, analysts said.

A coalition of rich nations pledged $20 billion of public and private finance to help Indonesia retire its coal power plants sooner than planned, the United States, Japan and other partners said this week

The Indonesia Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), which involves providing grants and concessional loans over a three- to five-year period linked to cuts in emissions from the power sector, is based on a similar deal made with South Africa last year.

Tommy Pratama, executive director of Indonesian policy think-tank Traction Energy Asia, said a “just transition” that benefits local communities is vital for the green deal’s success.

“The key decisions about how the funding is spent must be open and transparent with the full involvement of acknowledged experts, affected local communities and civil society groups,” said Pratama in an interview.

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COP27: one big breakthrough but ultimately an inadequate response to the climate crisis

Published: November 20, 2022 12.11pm GMT The Conversation

Author

  1. Matt McDonaldAssociate Professor of International Relations, The University of Queensland

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Activist in front of a COP27 sign holds a picture of the Earth with a face, and a thermometer in its mouth.
EPA/SEDAT SUNA EPA-EFE/SEDAT SUNA

For 30 years, developing nations have fought to establish an international fund to pay for the “loss and damage” they suffer as a result of climate change. As the COP27 climate summit in Egypt wrapped up over the weekend, they finally succeeded.

While it’s a historic moment, the agreement of loss and damage financing left many details yet to be sorted out. What’s more, many critics have lamented the overall outcome of COP27, saying it falls well short of a sufficient response to the climate crisis. As Alok Sharma, president of COP26 in Glasgow, noted:

Friends, I said in Glasgow that the pulse of 1.5 degrees was weak. Unfortunately it remains on life support.

But annual conferences aren’t the only way to pursue meaningful action on climate change. Mobilisation from activists, market forces and other sources of momentum mean hope isn’t lost.

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EU and international partners launch ground-breaking partnership on just energy transition with Indonesia

ec.europe.eu

Today, the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen , on behalf of the EU, and the leaders of the International Partners Group (IPG), which is jointly led by the United States and Japan and includes Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway and the United Kingdom, launched a Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) with Indonesia . The launch takes place in connection with an event within the framework of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) at the G20 summit, which takes place on 15-16 November 2022 in Bali.

In a joint statement , Indonesia and international partners have announced their commitment to meeting ground-breaking climate targets and related financing. This is done to support the Asian country in an ambitious and fair energy transition, which is in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement and which contributes to keeping the global warming limit of 1.5 °C within reach.

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Perilous Pathogens: How Climate Change Is Increasing the Threat of Diseases

Climate change is creating many pathways for zoonotic diseases to reach people. Four cases show how the climate crisis is altering disease threats and how the world can respond.

cfr.org

Article by Claire Klobucista and Lindsay Maizland November 4, 2022 4:12 pm (EST)

THAILAND: Infectious-disease researchers catch bats to study. Adam Dean/New York Times/Redux

The world is already witnessing the consequences of human-caused climate change, including hotter temperatures, rising sea levels, and more frequent and severe storms. What’s harder to see are climate change’s effects on the spread of disease: on the mosquito that carries a virus, or the pathogenic bacteria on a piece of fruit.

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Early retirement for Indonesian coal plants could cut CO2, boost jobs, analysis says

by Hans Nicholas Jong on 20 October 2022

news.mongabay.com

At a cost of $37 billion, Indonesia could retire its coal power plants as early as 2040 and reap economic, social and environmental benefits from the shift, a new analysis by nonprofit TransitionZero shows.

Replacing coal with renewables will create a windfall of new jobs, which would outweigh coal closure job losses by six to one, according to the analysis.

The analysis has also identified three coal plants in Indonesia that are the most suitable for early retirement, as they have lower abatement costs and are the most polluting.

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s plan to retire its coal-fired power plants and replace them with renewable energy by 2050 is not only feasible, but, when environmental costs are considered, will be less costly than relying on coal to power the Indonesian economy, according to a new analysis.

Indonesia is often dubbed as the last bastion for coal, as its power sector remains heavily reliant on the fossil fuel — about 70% of its generated electricity came from coal in 2021. Indonesia is also the world’s biggest thermal coal exporter.

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