15 October 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights


Health Issues Surge As Wildfire Smoke Hits Millions In U.S.
Huffington Post, 15 Oct 2020

Wildfires churning out dense plumes of smoke as they scorch huge swaths of the U.S. West Coast have exposed millions of people to hazardous pollution levels, causing emergency room visits to spike and potentially thousands of deaths among the elderly and infirm, according to an Associated Press analysis of pollution data and interviews with physicians, health authorities and researchers.

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Ikea Will Buy Back Some Used Furniture
The New York Times, 14 Oct 2020

Ikea announced that next month it will begin a global buyback program of unwanted Ikea furniture to encourage customers to take a stand against excessive consumption.
The company also plans to become “climate positive” by 2030, saying it will drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and store carbon in land, plants and products.

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Canada's oil patch seeks government green aid to produce cleaner crude
Reuters, 14 Oct 2020

Canada’s struggling oil patch is seeking government aid to clean up its impact on the environment after the industry cut spending on green initiatives to weather the COVID-19 downturn. Canada, the world’s fourth-largest oil producer, pumps out the highest emissions per barrel among major oil nations, according to Rystad Energy. Most Canadian crude comes from hydrocarbon-soaked sands in the province of Alberta and extracting it comes at a high environmental cost.

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Covid Gives Tourism Chance to Curb Future Environmental Damage
Bloomberg, 14 Oct 2020

Thai Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa has wanted for decades to give the country’s national parks time to recover from the damage caused by an endless stream of tourists. Covid-19 gave him the chance.
Now, able to see the benefit of giving nature a respite, Varawut is going further. He has decreed that all national parks in Thailand will close for an annual average of three months, beginning in 2021. 

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"This is a war": Cross-border fight over water erupts in Mexico
The New York Times, 14 Oct 2020

Negotiating the exchange of water between Mexico and the United States has long been strained, but rising temperatures and long droughts have made the shared rivers along the border more valuable than ever, intensifying the stakes for both nations.

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