With 161 votes in favour, and eight abstentions*, the UN General Assembly adopted a historic resolution on Thursday, declaring access to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment, a universal human right.
The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, welcomed the ‘historic’ decision and said the landmark development demonstrates that Member States can come together in the collective fight against the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.
Kachin State’s Chipwi Township in northernmost Myanmar is known for its pristine forests and crystal-clear water.
But 10 years ago, local residents started noticing the patches of land that had been cleared on the lush mountains surrounding their town, which borders China’s Yunnan province. It started with one patch of land, where all the trees were cut down. Then others followed.
Soon locals saw heavy machinery being moved through their town, heading to those barren plots of land. Then workers started flooding in. They excavated the ground and left open pits, many filled with chemically-laced water, in areas once rich in woodland. The water near those sites was no longer clean.
It became obvious at that stage that the newcomers were looking for something underneath the ground – rare earth, which contains elements widely used in high-tech products like smartphones, computer components, electric vehicles and solar cells.
Transformations must occur across every sector at far faster pace than recent trends to keep the window open to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C, according to this Systems Change Lab report authored by the UN High-Level Climate Champions, Climate Action Tracker, ClimateWorks Foundation, Bezos Earth Fund and World Resources Institute.
Limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires far-reaching transformations across power generation, buildings, industry, transport, land use, coastal zone management, and agriculture, as well as the immediate scale-up of technological carbon removal and climate finance. This report translates these transitions into 40 targets for 2030 and 2050, with measurable indicators.
Big sales events like 10.10 or 11.11 singles day sales may excite shoppers and net billions in profits for online retailers but if we don’t stop this insatiable need to consume, all of us are in trouble, says climate activist Ho Xiang Tian.
Indonesia’s environment ministry has terminated its forest conservation partnership with WWF, citing the organization’s violations of their agreement.
But the spat appears to have been inflamed by high-profile social media posts that praised WWF Indonesia’s work to tackle forest fires last year during a period in which government efforts faced widespread criticism.
WWF Indonesia has operated in Indonesia for more than 50 years, and its ongoing programs with other government institutions remain unaffected by the environment ministry’s move.
Vinfast announced Thursday the establishment of VinBus, which will offer passenger transportation services in major Vietnamese cities.
The company said that the Vinbus Transport Service Co. will operate under a non-profit model, aiming to develop a modern public transportation system that reduces pollution and noise in Vietnam’s major cities.
The company will exclusively produce and run electric buses, it said.
VinBus has a charter capital of VND1 trillion ($42.88 million), and expects to start running bus routes in 5 major cities: Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho.
In the short term, the company plans to operate 3,000 electric buses made by VinFast.
At present, the VinFast bus factory is still under construction. German industrial manufacturing giant Siemens has agreed to provide the technology and components to build electric buses here.
One hundred years ago, 1919 was a really big year: Countries signed the Treaty of Versailles to end World War I, Mahatma Gandhi began his nonviolent resistance against British rule, the Grand Canyon became a national park. And on a lighter note, pop-up toasters entered kitchens for the first time!
IPS correspondent Sinsiri Tiwutanond spoke to Global Green Growth Institute’s director-general Dr. Frank Rijsberman about Asia’s fight against air pollution.
On any given day, a pall of smog and dust hangs over Kabul’s streets. It clings to the face, burns the eyes, and stains the hands. It bathes the cars, often stuck bumper-to-bumper in traffic, and occludes the view of the distant mountains. Credit: Anand Gopal/IPS
BANGKOK , Jul 17 2018 (IPS) – At the start of the year the pollution in Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, reached six times the World Health Organization’s guideline levels for air quality.
Yet the levels, which appear higher than those of South Korea’s capital Seoul—where most people monitor the air pollution levels daily—is not treated with equal concern because of a lack of general awareness. This is despite the fact that air pollution has become the largest cause of premature deaths in Asia.
“When I went to Vietnam, I realised no one thought there was an air pollution problem because no one was directly addressing it. It was worse than Seoul when we checked the level there. In Seoul, people talk about air pollution everyday. In the morning, you check the air quality to see if you need a mask or if the kids can play outside. In Hanoi, the problem is just as bad but people just don’t know about it,” Global Green Growth Institute’s director-general Dr. Frank Rijsberman told IPS. Tiếp tục đọc “Q&A: Air Pollution Remains Cause for Alarm in Asia”→
Khanh Nguy Thi grew up near a coal plant in Bac Am, a village in northern Vietnam. While Nguy Thi’s lifelong dream was to become a diplomat, the memory of pollution in her hometown pulled her toward work in water conservation and community development.
Editor’s note: Curbing damage to Earth’s protective ozone layer is widely viewed as one of the most important successes of the modern environmental era. Earlier this year, however, a study reported that ozone concentrations in the lower level of the stratosphere had been falling since the late 1990s – even though the Montreal Protocol, a global treaty to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals, had been in effect since 1989. This raised questions about whether and how human activities could still be damaging the ozone layer. Atmospheric chemist A.R. Ravishankara, who co-chaired a United Nations/World Meteorological Organization Scientific Assessment panel on stratospheric ozone from 2007 to 2015, provides perspective.Tiếp tục đọc “Is Earth’s ozone layer still at risk? 5 questions answered”→
Date: April 13, 2018
Source: The University of Montana
Summary: Researchers have published a new study that reveals increased risks for Alzheimer’s and suicide among children and young adults living in polluted megacities.
This is pollution haze over Mexico City.
Credit: Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas
A University of Montana researcher and her collaborators have published a new study that reveals increased risks for Alzheimer’s and suicide among children and young adults living in polluted megacities.
Dr. Lilian Calderón-Garcidueñas said her group studied 203 autopsies of Mexico City residents ranging in age from 11 months to 40 years. Metropolitan Mexico City is home to 24 million people exposed daily to concentrations of fine particulate matter and ozone above U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. The researchers tracked two abnormal proteins that indicate development of Alzheimer’s, and they detected the early stages of the disease in babies less than a year old. Tiếp tục đọc “Evidence mounts for Alzheimer’s, suicide risks among youth in polluted cities”→