Training a Single AI Model Can Emit As Much Carbon As Five Cars 

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, found that training large artificial intelligence models produces an astonishing amount of carbon emissions — an unexpected cost to the environment.

The process puts out the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide as five lifetime emissions of the average American car, as calculated by MIT Technology Review. That’s more than 626,000 pounds of carbon dioxide — as much as flying from New York to London and back every week for nearly three years.

Carbon Footprint

Continue reading “Training a Single AI Model Can Emit As Much Carbon As Five Cars”


Vietnamese supermarkets go back to leaves, leaving plastic bags

By Thi Ha, Dat Nguyen   April 3, 2019 | 08:13 am GMT+7

Vietnamese supermarkets go back to leaves, leaving plastic bags

At least three supermarket chains in Vietnam are using banana leaves to wrap vegetables. Photo by VnExpress/Nghe Nguyen

Several Vietnamese supermarkets have started using banana leaves to wrap vegetables in an effort to reduce plastic waste.

Shoppers at Lotte Mart in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 7 were recently surprised to see scallions, okra and other vegetables produce wrapped in banana leaves.

Continue reading “Vietnamese supermarkets go back to leaves, leaving plastic bags”

Will Vietnam follow China down the pollution path?

THE news that China is bracing for smog waves as the winter heating season begins has once again put the dangerous levels of air pollution in Asia in the spotlight. With the air in Beijing and adjacent areas expected to become heavily polluted over the next week, China will be facing concern – yet again – over its underwhelming response to the problem.
Continue reading “Will Vietnam follow China down the pollution path?”

Tracking the battles for environmental justice: here are the world’s top 10


Environmental justice activism is to this age what the workers’ movement was for the industrial age – one of the most influential social movements of its time. Yet, despite its consistent progress since the 1970s, environmental justice protests seem to get lost in the morass of information on broader environmental issues.

In contrast, labour conflicts, including strikes and lock-outs, carry such gravity that the International Labour Organization tracks these on a systematic basis. As more communities are refusing to allow the destruction and contamination of their land, water, soil and air, these, in turn, deserve to be counted. Continue reading “Tracking the battles for environmental justice: here are the world’s top 10”

Điều tra tình trạng môi trường tại Việt Nam, những chuyện nực cười

Hình ảnh banner: Một nông dân đang cho ngựa ăn cỏ voi ở tỉnh Cao Bằng, cỏ được trồng để người nông dân không cho gia súc ăn cỏ bên trong một khu rừng được bảo vệ gần đó. Ảnh của Michael Tatarski / Mongabay.

English: Environmental reporting in Vietnam often a comedy of errors

Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, ngày 30 tháng 1 năm 2018

  • Việt Nam đứng gần cuối Bảng thế giới trong xếp hạng toàn cầu về tự do báo chí
  • Tờ Phóng viên Không Biên giới xếp Việt Nam ở vị trí 175 trên 180 về chỉ số tự do báo chí năm 2017.
  • Các nhà báo môi trường ở Việt Nam, bao gồm cả các nhà báo công dân và blogger, thường phải đối mặt với nhiều rào cản, đôi khi là cả bị giam giữ.

Tuy không phải là một điều đáng ngạc nhiên, nhưng viết báo về môi trường ở Việt Nam không phải là một việc dễ dàng. Nhà nước một đảng Việt Nam gần đây đã được xếp hạng 175 trên 180 về Chỉ số Tự do Báo chí Thế giới năm 2017 của Tờ Phóng viên Không Biên giới, nằm giữa Sudan và Trung Quốc.

Continue reading “Điều tra tình trạng môi trường tại Việt Nam, những chuyện nực cười”

Environmental reporting in Vietnam often a comedy of errors – Điều tra tình trạng môi trường ở VN, những chuyện nực cười

Ocean plastic pollution – what role can social science play?

29 November 2017

IDS is partnering with the EU, UN, Chatham House and other organisations to host a high level side event on circular economy solutions to tackling ocean plastic pollution, during this year’s United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi (4-6 December). The event will showcase specific examples of collaborative action and policies that aim to reduce plastic waste, address unsustainable consumption and production patterns and redirect investment for a clean, efficient and circular economy. Ahead of the event, I want to highlight the importance of a universal development approach and transformative social science research, as solutions to the ocean plastics problem.

A large sculpture of a shark made out of plastic waste found in the ocean.

Ocean plastics pollution – not just an environmental issue

Plastics pollution of oceans has emerged as a major global environmental crisis. Between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes of plastics enter the ocean each year. It is devastating for marine ecosystems and the accumulation of microplastics in food chains pose a risk to human health. And the issue is becoming more serious.  By 2050, plastics production is expected to increase to over 2000 tonnes per year, up from 311 million tonnes in 2014.

Plastics end up in the ocean as the result of chains of human activities in different parts of the world. We are all contributing to it. China, Indonesia and the Philippines have been identified as the top three sources of ocean plastics pollution by the Ocean Conservancy. While litter found on the sea floor around the UK has risen 150% in the last year and UK plastic waste drifts to the artic where is has a very damaging impact on one of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the world.

Continue reading “Ocean plastic pollution – what role can social science play?”

Environmental activist murders set record as 2015 became deadliest year

theguardian – Global Witness says at least 185 activists were killed and anti-mining activities were the most deadly – with 42 deaths related to protests

Michelle Campos says her father and grandfather were publicly executed in September 2015 for opposing mining in Mindanao, Philippines.

Michelle Campos says her father and grandfather were publicly executed in September 2015 for opposing mining in Mindanao, Philippines. Photograph: Tulda productions

At least 185 environmental activists were killed last year, the highest annual death toll on record and close to a 60% increase on the previous year, according to a UK-based watchdog. Continue reading “Environmental activist murders set record as 2015 became deadliest year”

Companies in Viet Nam to become liable for environmental crimes

Published on Monday, 25 April 2016

Community forest rangers in Viet Nam.
Community forest rangers in Viet Nam.

blogs.adb – In many common law jurisdictions, such as the UK and Australia, the concept of ‘legal personhood’—whereby businesses and corporations can be subject to not only similar rights, but also similar liabilities, as individuals—is an inherent element of any comprehensive criminal enforcement regime. In contrast, in many code-based jurisdictions the criminal liability of legal personhood is a relatively new concept. For example, France introduced corporate criminal liability in 1994, followed by Italy in 2001, and Spain in 2010. Continue reading “Companies in Viet Nam to become liable for environmental crimes”

Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping for Greater Mekong Sub-Region


UNESCOBKK –  Thailand’s adaptive capacity to climate change is high among Mekong countries, while the western coastline of Myanmar and the Cambodian Mekong lowland region are the areas of the sub-region most vulnerable to the phenomenon’s effects.

These were among the key findings of the report, “Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping for the Mekong River Basin”, based on a study carried out by UNESCO Bangkok and the Water Resources and Environment Institute (WREI) of Khon Kaen University’s Faculty of Engineering in Thailand.

The study sought to identify the areas most vulnerable to climate change and climate-induced water problems in five Mekong countries: Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. The study used a framework developed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which conceptualizes vulnerability to climate change by looking at the exposure to and sensitivity of a system to a climate hazard and the ability of the system to cope with, adapt to or recover from the effects of hazardous conditions.

The study finds that Mekong countries are adversely affected by major natural hazards, such as tropical cyclones, floods and droughts. The study also mapped adaptive capacity and areas that are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which can be a useful tool for determining degrees of adaptation and mitigation responses at the provincial level. The findings of this study will be valuable for the five Mekong countries in ensuring sustainable adaptation to climate change.

Download PDF


Climate Change Vulnerability Mapping for Greater Mekong Sub-Region
Bangkok: UNESCO Bangkok; Khon Kaen: Water Resources & Environment Institute, Khon Kaenn University, 2015, 49p.


Livestock – Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector: Global Public Opinion on Meat and Dairy Consumption

Rob Bailey Research Director, Energy, Environment and Resources
Antony FroggattSenior Research Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources
Laura Wellesley Research Associate, Energy, Environment and Resources

chathamhouse– Human consumption of meat and dairy products is a major driver of climate change, but this new paper finds that there is a major lack of public awareness and understanding of the link between eating meat and dairy and climate change.

Consumption of meat and dairy produce is a major driver of climate change.

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from the livestock sector are estimated to account for 14.5 per cent of the global total, more than direct emissions from the transport sector.
  • Even with ambitious supply-side action to reduce the emissions intensity of livestock production, rising global demand for meat and dairy produce means emissions will continue to rise.

Shifting global demand for meat and dairy produce is central to achieving climate goals.

  • Recent analyses have shown that it is unlikely global temperature rises can be kept below two degrees Celsius without a shift in global meat and dairy consumption.
  • Reducing demand for animal products could also significantly reduce mitigation costs in non-agricultural sectors by increasing their available carbon budget.

However, there is a striking paucity of efforts to reduce consumption of meat and dairy products. Continue reading “Livestock – Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector: Global Public Opinion on Meat and Dairy Consumption”

Vietnam: Problems in enforcing environmental law and ensuring environmental rights for legal aid beneficiaries

Rights of legal aid beneficiaries and environmental rights: Article 34 of Decree No. 7/CP dated 12/1/2007 on guidelines for implementing 2006 Law on legal aid stipulates: poor people, policy supported groups and other marginalized groups are entitled to legal aid services in eight fields, including environmental law

Dr Truong Thi Quoc Khanh - permenant Deputy of the National Assembly’s Commission on Science, Technology, and Environment - presented at the workshop

Dr Truong Thi Quoc Khanh – permenant Deputy of the National Assembly’s Commission on Science, Technology, and Environment – presented at the workshop

IUCN – Legal aid beneficiaries are entitled to, represention by counsel in order to lodge a complaint, to conduct negotiations or during legal proceedings. All of these activities shall be provided at no cost, and be followed-up, monitored by the state legal aid center, lawyers, or legal counselors.

The aim of providing legal aid services for the poor and marginalized groups is to protect their rights and interests, and to improve their legal knowledge. It also aims to avoid needless loss of business. Thus, legal aid plays an important role in raising people’s awareness on environment, and poverty eradication. Environment is closely linked with poverty, thus poverty can induce vulnerable communities (who are heavily dependant on local natural resources) to increase use of natural resources, causing overexplointation and the exhaustion of these resources. Poverty will lead to the lack of investment on environment. In additions, the growth at no costs strategy and population boom in Viet Nam will suplement to this, causing the serious environmental problems. Continue reading “Vietnam: Problems in enforcing environmental law and ensuring environmental rights for legal aid beneficiaries”

Consumer goods giants under fire for poor palm oil record

Italian confectionery maker Ferrero is leading the consumer goods industry on sustainable palm oil procurement while household names Colgate-Palmolive, Johnson&Johnson, and PepsiCo are the biggest laggards, according to a new scorecard by Greenpeace International.

The scorecard ranked the 14 global companies which have made no-deforestation promises in recent years on their performance in three key areas: responsible sourcing of palm oil; transparency about their supply chain; and their support for wider industry reform. 

The 14 corporations were: Colgate-Palmolive, Danone, Ferrero, General Mills, Ikea, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg, Mars, Mondelez, Nestle, Orkla, PepsiCo, P&G and Unilever. Continue reading “Consumer goods giants under fire for poor palm oil record”

Lessons from Fukushima

7 March 2016
Author: Editors, East Asia ForumAs we approach the 5th anniversary of the 11 March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown which devastated Japan’s Tohoku region, how has the Japanese state absorbed the lessons of that triple disaster?

eastasiaforum_ The scale of the disaster was massive: a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, the most powerful to hit Japan in recorded history, which triggered a 40-metre-high tsunami that took out the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Over 20,000 perished, an evacuation zone carved out around Fukushima Daiichi will remain uninhabitable for tens of thousands of years, and 100,000 people from the evacuation zone and surrounding areas are still living as nuclear refugees. Continue reading “Lessons from Fukushima”

Hanoi’s persistent air pollution reaches hazardous level


Unclean air: Study finds pollution at dangerous level in HCMC’s new urban areas

Vietnam’s air quality among the worst in the world: study

Hanoi most polluted city in Southeast Asia: expert

Smog begins to blanket Saigon as air pollution soars

Urban dilemma: Fast-growing Ho Chi Minh City misses most environmental targets

HANOI – Saturday, March 05, 2016 13:11

Bike riders ride past a dusty road in Hanoi. Photo: Le Hieu/Zing
thanhniennews – Air pollution in Hanoi is worsening and has reached dangerous levels this week, according to official data.

Many locals are worried that the capital city is becoming another Beijing while environment officials said the situation is bad, but not that bad.

The Real-time Air Quality Index on on recent days ranked the pollution in Hanoi as “unhealthy” and “very unhealthy,” which means outdoor exertion should be limited for everyone. uses data collected from Vietnam Center for Environment Monitoring from the environment ministry, the United Nations International School of Hanoi and the US Embassy in Hanoi.

The index in Hanoi on Tuesday morning reached the “hazardous” 388, a level in which everyone may experience more serious health effects and everyone should avoid all outdoor exertion, according to the site.

The peak index has prompted several local media outlets to compare Hanoi with Beijing, whose air pollution usually scores above 300.
Continue reading “Hanoi’s persistent air pollution reaches hazardous level”