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


Hurricanes are maintaining their strength farther inland as the planet warms, study finds
CNN, 11 Nov 2020

Over the years, scientists have found lots of evidence that hurricanes are becoming more dangerous as the planet heats up. They are rapidly intensifying more often, dumping higher rainfall totals and even moving slower, all because the world's oceans and atmosphere are hotter due to human activity. Now, a new study has identified yet another connection to our warming climate: Hurricanes are maintaining their strength after landfall for much longer, and in turn, exposing populations far inland to damaging winds that they have rarely experienced before.

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New Technology Claims to Pinpoint Even Small Methane Leaks From Space
The New York Times, 11 Nov 2020

Methane, the powerful, invisible greenhouse gas, has been leaking from oil facilities since the first wells were drilled more than 150 years ago. Most of that time, it was very difficult for operators to measure any emissions accurately — and they had little motivation to, since regulations are typically weak. Now, technology is catching up just as there is growing alarm about methane’s role driving global warming. A Canadian company, GHGSat, last month used satellites to detect what it has called the smallest methane leak seen from space.

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UN chief stresses need for greater speed to achieve carbon neutrality
UN News, 09 Nov 2020

Although more Governments and businesses are committing to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the world is still falling far short of that goal, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday in his latest push for a cleaner, greener future. The UN chief made the statement in a video message for the opening of the Race To Zero Dialogues, part of a global campaign that mobilizes businesses, cities, regions and investors to support net zero carbon emissions, in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Mr. Guterres reported that so far, the European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea, along with more than 110 other countries, have made the pledge, while China is set to join them by 2060.

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A 23-Year-Old Is Suing Australia Over Climate Risk in Bonds
Bloomberg, 09 Nov 2020

The Australian government is defending a class-action lawsuit that claims it’s misleading investors by failing to disclose the impact of climate risk in its bond. Amid a growing wave of climate litigation worldwide, 23-year-old law student Kathleen O’Donnell says the Australian Office of Financial Management and the Treasury are deceiving investors by not disclosing climate change alongside other financial risks in its exchange-traded debt. She wants all marketing halted until the disclosures are made.

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Australia’s New South Wales unveils $23bn renewable energy push
Aljazeera, 09 Nov 2020

The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) said it plans to shift towards renewable energy from coal and aimed to lure 32 billion Australian dollars ($23.3bn) of private investment into the sector in the next decade. Australia’s most populous state said it would cut red tape and speed up approvals for businesses to invest in renewable energy projects, with four of its five coal-fired power plants expected to close in the next 15 years.

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Ecocide: Should killing nature be a crime?
BBC , 06 Nov 2020

Ecocide – which literally means “killing the environment” – is an idea that seems both a highly radical and, campaigners claim, a reasonable one. The theory is that no one should go unpunished for destroying the natural world. Campaigners believe the crime should come under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, which can currently prosecute just four crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression.

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