UN General Assembly declares access to clean and healthy environment a universal human right

28 July 2022

Climate and Environment UN NEWS

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 resolution, based on a similar text adopted last year by the Human Rights Council, calls upon States, international organisations, and business enterprises to scale up efforts to ensure a healthy environment for all. 

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.

Tiếp tục đọc “UN General Assembly declares access to clean and healthy environment a universal human right”

Myanmar’s environment hit by rare earth mining boom

Pristine parts of northern Kachin State are under threat as demand grows for high-tech devices that rely on rare earth.

mekongeye.com

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.  

Tiếp tục đọc “Myanmar’s environment hit by rare earth mining boom”

State of Climate Action 2021: Systems Transformations Required to Limit Global Warming to 1.5°C

WRI.org

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.

Tiếp tục đọc “State of Climate Action 2021: Systems Transformations Required to Limit Global Warming to 1.5°C”

11.11 sales are a symptom of the greater disease of mindless consumerism

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.

CNA.com

Commentary: 11.11 sales are a symptom of the greater disease of mindless consumerism
Workers sort out parcels for delivery in Beijing on Jul 14, 2021. (File photo: AP/Ng Han Guan)

Tiếp tục đọc “11.11 sales are a symptom of the greater disease of mindless consumerism”

Indonesian environment ministry ends WWF partnership amid public spat

Vietnam’s first carmaker to launch nonprofit electric bus service

Vietnam’s first carmaker to launch nonprofit electric bus service

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.

Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam’s first carmaker to launch nonprofit electric bus service”

7 Environment and Development Stories to Watch in 2019

WRI

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!

A century later, 2019 shows signs of being another big year—and a precarious one, as WRI President and CEO Andrew Steer explained at the Institute’s annual Stories to Watch presentation on January 9 in Washington. Tiếp tục đọc “7 Environment and Development Stories to Watch in 2019”

Q&A: Air Pollution Remains Cause for Alarm in Asia

IPSnews.net

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”

Thailand: The rich world’s new dumpsite for e-waste

Royal Thai Police raid Wai Mei Dat. Gaylord boxes and Super Sacks filled with imported e-waste. Photo Copyright The Nation, Thailand Portal. May 22, 2018. [baselactionnetwork / Flickr]

Thailand has become one of the largest dumpsites for electronic waste from developed countries since China’s January ban on the import of plastic waste. EURACTIV’s partner Le Journal de l’environnement reports. Tiếp tục đọc “Thailand: The rich world’s new dumpsite for e-waste”

Vietnam’s Champion for Renewable Energy: Q&A with Goldman Prize Winner Khanh Nguy Thi

WRI

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.

In 2011, Khanh founded the Green Innovation and Development Centre (GreenID) to promote sustainable energy development in Vietnam. She also started the Vietnam Sustainable Energy Alliance, a network of 11 Vietnamese and international environmental organizations that collaborate on regional energy issues. Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam’s Champion for Renewable Energy: Q&A with Goldman Prize Winner Khanh Nguy Thi”

We calculated how much money trees save for your city

theconversation

Megacities are on the rise. There are currently 47 such areas around the globe, each housing more than 10 million residents.

More than half the global population now lives in urban areas, comprising about 3 percent of the Earth. The ecological footprint of this growth is vast and there’s far more that can be done to improve life for urban residents around the world. Tiếp tục đọc “We calculated how much money trees save for your city”

Goldman environmental prize: top awards dominated by women for first time

theguardian.com

Winners are all grassroots activists who have taken on powerful vested interests

Goldman environment prizewinners 2018: (clockwise from top left) Manny Calonzo, Francia Márquez, Nguy Thi Khanh, LeAnne Walters, Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid, Claire Nouvian.
 Goldman environment prizewinners 2018: (clockwise from top left) Manny Calonzo, Francia Márquez, Nguy Thi Khanh, LeAnne Walters, Makoma Lekalakala and Liz McDaid, Claire Nouvian. Photograph: 2018 Goldman Environmental Prize

The world’s foremost environmental prize has announced more female winners than ever before, recognising the increasingly prominent role that women are playing in defending the planet.
Tiếp tục đọc “Goldman environmental prize: top awards dominated by women for first time”

Is Earth’s ozone layer still at risk? 5 questions answered

theconversation

False-color image of ozone concentrations above Antarctica on Oct. 2, 2015. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

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”

Dirty business: The hidden workers who deal with waste in Vietnam’s capital

By Hoang Phuong, Duc Hoang   April 18, 2018 | 09:00 pm GMT+7

Workers collect, classify and recycle all kinds of waste just to earn a little bit extra.

Minh has lived in Hanoi for ten years, but still doesn’t speak fluent Vietnamese.

He comes from an ethnic minority group based in the north of the country, but moved down to the capital to earn a living as a waste disposal worker in a residential building.

Minh does not get the chance to practice his Vietnamese very much because concrete walls separate him from the rest of society, and the only connection he has with other people is a waste pipe.

Minh does not know exactly how old his two sons are. All he knows is that they quit school early to follow him in the waste business.

Tiếp tục đọc “Dirty business: The hidden workers who deal with waste in Vietnam’s capital”

Minhs wife and older son clean up the bunker of garbage under a residential building in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Do Manh Cuong

Minh’s wife and older son clean up the bunker of garbage under a residential building in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Do Manh Cuong

Evidence mounts for Alzheimer’s, suicide risks among youth in polluted cities

sciencedaily.com

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.

FULL STORY

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”