10 February 2022 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

Climate change bills in Northern Ireland edge closer to completion
The Guardian, 10 Feb 2022

Northern Ireland’s first legally binding climate act faces a race against time to get passed before the devolved institutions at Stormont are dissolved in the coming weeks.
The second of two climate change bills – introduced by the agriculture minister, Edwin Poots – has moved through consideration stage, with a batch of new amendments prompting more than 25 hours of assembly debate. 

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The country that’s worried most about climate change
E&ENews, 09 Feb 2022

 It seems like a paradox: Adults in India are deeply concerned about the impacts of climate change, but they are also the least critical of their government’s efforts to combat it, according to a new global poll.
Almost 90 percent of people in India are worried about global warming — more than anywhere else among the 13 countries surveyed. But just 35 percent say their government is failing to address the crisis — the least of those polled. The public’s trust in government is not rooted in India’s climate policies. The country remains hugely reliant on coal, and its emissions targets don’t match what scientists say is needed to prevent dangerous temperature increases. India is the world’s third-largest emitter after the U.S. and China.

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Italy makes constitution greener, environmentalists call for action
Reuters, 09 Feb 2022

Italian politicians and activists praised a new law building protection of the environment into the constitution, but said action needed to be taken to ensure that the country benefited.
Italy is famed for its natural beauty but environmentalists say it does too little to protect jewels such as the Venice Lagoon or thousands of kilometres of Mediterranean coastline.
The constitutional law, approved by parliament on Tuesday, says the state must safeguard the environment, biodiversity and the ecosystem "also in the interest of future generations".

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Germany appoints ex-Greenpeace chief as special climate envoy
The Guardian, 09 Feb 2022

Germany has named the former Greenpeace chief Jennifer Morgan as its special climate envoy, as part of a promise to put the climate crisis “at the top” of the diplomatic agenda.
The US-born Morgan, 55, who has been co-leader of Greenpeace International since 2016, will be the first person to hold the role in Germany.The appointment comes as Germany’s two-month-old coalition government, led by the Social Democrat chancellor, Olaf Scholz, aims to pursue more global cooperation to fight the climate emergency.

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Horn of Africa Facing Climate-induced Emergency
VoANews, 08 Feb 2022

GENEVA — The UN children’s fund, UNICEF, warns the Horn of Africa is facing a climate-induced emergency and says the international community must act now to prevent a catastrophic loss of life and livelihoods.
The specter of the 2011 famine in Somalia hangs over the dire situation confronting millions of people in the Horn of Africa. That emergency killed 250,000 people, half of them children. Hunger and malnutrition have worsened in the region after three years of consecutive drought. But famine has not been reported in any area. 

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‘Big Oil’ board members face hot seat over climate ‘deception’
Aljazeera, 07 Feb 2022

In 1977, an internal memo at Exxon, the United States oil giant, made clear that carbon emissions from its product were causing climate change. But not only that – time was running out to act.
“CO2 release most likely source of inadvertent climate modification,” said the shorthand document. “5-10 yr time window to get necessary information.” But over the coming years, rather than dropping fossil fuels to avert the dangers outlined in its own research, Exxon and other oil corporations chose a different path. The industry orchestrated a systematic campaign of disinformation to dupe the public, impede political action, and protect profits. 

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Ecuador’s Amazon residents seething after new oil spill
Aljazeera, 03 Feb 2022

There is oil in the water, on the rocks and in the sand where children normally play on the banks of the Coca River in Ecuador. Residents of Puerto Madero made no effort to hide their anger at the latest crude spill to hit the Ecuadorian Amazon.“This damage is not for a month, two months… it will be 20 years” before things return to normal,” said Bolivia Buenano, a merchant from the area some 120km (75 miles) from where the spill occurred. 

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