13 May 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

NPWJ press release

NPWJ participates in the consultation to update the EU's Directive on environmental protection
No Peace Without Justice, 05 May 2021

No Peace Without Justice participated in a public consultation organised by the European Commission and open to academic institutions, NGOs and civil society in order to improve, review and update Directive 2008/99/EC and, in general, the EU’s environmental protection through criminal law. The directive (Directive 2008/99/EC) will require Member States to tackle and prevent activities that violate EU environmental legislation, such as the illegal shipment of waste, trade of endangered species and ozone polluting substances.

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Jailed, in hiding, expelled: Cambodia’s Mother Nature crackdown
Al Jazeera, 13 May 2021

Arrested last year with two of his fellow environmental activists, Thun Rotha has barely seen his baby who is now 14 months old. “He was arrested when our son was six months old,” Rotha’s wife Pat Raksmey told Al Jazeera. “It’s a smear campaign of the powerful. He has not incited anyone. He questions those who are in power.” Rotha is one of three members of the environmental NGO Mother Nature who were arrested in 2020 after they organised a march to the house of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen to express their concern about a plan to fill in Phnom Penh’s largest lake, Boeung Tamok and develop the site.

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Climate emissions shrinking the stratosphere, scientists reveal
The Guardian, 12 May 2021

Humanity’s enormous emissions of greenhouse gases are shrinking the stratosphere, a new study has revealed. The thickness of the atmospheric layer has contracted by 400 metres since the 1980s, the researchers found, and will thin by about another kilometre by 2080 without major cuts in emissions. The changes have the potential to affect satellite operations, the GPS navigation system and radio communications.

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Germany's more ambitious climate goals pressure industry to clean up
DW, 12 May 2021

Chastened by its highest court and harried by young climate activists, the German government has proposed one of the biggest restructurings of any major economy as it plans to slash emissions 65% from 1990 levels by the end of the decade and hit climate neutrality by 2045.

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Cities widely unprepared for climate risks, warns study
DW, 12 May 2021

Many cities lack a plan to tackle climate change, a London-based think tank said in a report on Wednesday. Among 812 cities examined across all continents, 43% had not yet drafted climate adaption plans despite most being aware of the risks such as heatwaves and flooding, the CDP (formerly called the Carbon Disclosure Project) found. The group is backed by charities to encourage sustainable investments.

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EXCLUSIVE Fed privately presses big banks on risks from climate change
Reuters, 12 May 2021

The U.S. Federal Reserve has asked lenders to start providing information on the measures they are taking to mitigate climate change-related risks to their balance sheets, according to four people with knowledge of the matter. The previously unreported supervisory discussions highlight how U.S. watchdogs are moving to execute President Joe Biden's agenda to incorporate climate risk into the financial regulatory system, with potentially major ramifications for Wall Street.

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US lawyer who sued Chevron over Ecuador pollution faces charges
Al Jazeera, 10 May 2021

A disbarred American lawyer who spent more than two decades battling Chevron Corp over pollution in the Ecuadorian rainforest attempted on Monday to fend off criminal contempt charges stemming from a lawsuit against him by the energy company. Steven Donziger is on trial in federal court in New York City in the United States for failing to turn over his computer, phones and other electronic devices and refusing court orders to surrender his passport in the civil case brought by Chevron.

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Logging exempt from environment laws despite destroying threatened species’ Victorian habitat, court finds
The Guardian, 10 May 2021

A Victorian government forestry agency has won an appeal against a landmark court judgment that found it had repeatedly breached conservation regulations during its logging of the state’s central highlands. The full bench of the federal court on Monday overturned a judgment that last year found VicForests had breached a code of practice related to a regional forestry agreement between the federal and state governments, and had therefore lost its right to be exempt from national environment laws.

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