05 November 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

U.S. Quits Paris Climate Agreement: Questions and Answers
The New York Times, 05 Nov 2020

As of Wednesday, under United Nations rules, the United States is officially out of the global climate accord. U.S. greenhouse gas emissions will not necessarily spike, leaving the Paris Agreement does not in itself mean the United States will stop addressing climate change. But it does mean the federal government has formally abandoned, for now at least, President Obama’s goal of cutting emissions about 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

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India’s capital New Delhi suffers most toxic air in a year
Aljazeera, 05 Nov 2020

New Delhi, the capital city with the worst air quality worldwide, suffered its most toxic day in a year on Thursday, recording the concentration of poisonous PM2.5 particles at 14 times the World Health Organization’s safe limit. A raging coronavirus epidemic, with more than 400,000 confirmed cases in the city of 20 million, has heightened alarm over the health hazard posed by the choking smog, with doctors warning of a sharp increase in respiratory illnesses.

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Norway’s Supreme Court Hears Rights Challenge to Arctic Oil Drilling
The New York Times, 05 Nov 2020

The Norwegian Constitution declares that all citizens have the right to a healthy environment. But Norway’s economy is built around an oil and gas industry that accounts for more than half of national exports. Now the country’s Supreme Court is being asked to confront this apparent paradox, as it hears a challenge by environmental groups seeking to invalidate licenses for new oil exploration in the Arctic on constitutional grounds.

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Environmentalists Under Threat in South Africa
Human Rights Watch, 04 Nov 2020

Environmental activist Fikile Ntshangase was killed after her refusal to withdraw legal challenges to existing and future mining operations. While shocking, the killing of the environmental activist is not surprising. Environmental defenders such as Ntshangase have long faced threats for voicing their concerns about mining activity on nearby communities.

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Fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest jump in October
Aljazeera, 02 Nov 2020

Fires in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest surged in October and the number of blazes is up 25 percent in the first 10 months of 2020, compared with a year ago, data from government space research agency INPE showed. The agency recorded 17,326 hot spots in the world’s largest rainforest in October, more than double the number of fires detected in the same month last year. 

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