17 December 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

In Landmark Ruling, Air Pollution Recorded as a Cause of Death for British Girl
The New York Times, 16 Dec 2020

A 9-year-old girl who suffered a fatal asthma attack in 2013 became the first person in Britain to officially have air pollution listed as a cause of death, a British official said. The landmark ruling puts a face and a name on one of the millions of people whose deaths are hastened by air pollution across the world every year.  And in Britain, legal experts said, it could open a new door to lawsuits by pollution victims or their families.

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Fed formally joins global panel working to reduce climate risks
Aljazeera, 15 Dec 2020

Climate change warriors just added a powerful new member to their ranks. The United States Federal Reserve on Tuesday said it has formally joined a global panel of central banks and supervisory authorities working to develop the environment and climate risk management for the financial sector. Tuesday’s announcement signals the US central bank is stepping out from behind the scenes to take a very public seat at the table in a body dedicated to providing global leadership in the fight against what many activists describe as a “climate emergency”.

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People, planet on ‘collision course’, warns UN Development Programme
UN News, 15 Dec 2020

“Humans wield more power over the planet than ever before. In the wake of COVID-19, record-breaking temperatures and spiralling inequality, it is time to use that power to redefine what we mean by progress, where our carbon and consumption footprints are no longer hidden”, said Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator. “As this report shows, no country in the world has yet achieved very high human development without putting immense strain on the planet. But we could be the first generation to right this wrong. That is the next frontier for human development.”

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Young Champions of the Earth: Indian’s burning desire for energy
UN News, 15 Dec 2020

An Indian engineer has been recognized by the United Nations for developing innovative technology which not only produces energy, but which helps to keep the air cleaner and reduce climate change. Vidyut Mohan has pioneered a portable machine which burns agricultural waste without releasing harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere turning it into charcoal and fertilizer which can be used by farmers in India.

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When it rains it pours: The devastating impact of hurricanes Eta and Iota in Honduras
Amnesty International , 13 Dec 2020

When it rains it pours in Honduras, a country that had already suffered multiple crisis in recent years: state repression, gang violence, economic problems, environmental destruction, mass emigration and, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. The two hurricanes left at least 94 dead affecting almost 4 million people across the nation, and analysts say they could cause the level of poverty to rise by 10%, surpassing 70% of the population. 

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This river in New Zealand is legally a person. Here's how it happened
CNN, 12 Dec 2020

Whanganui River became the first in the world to be considered a legal person. New Zealand's third-longest river could now be represented in court and had two guardians appointed to speak on its behalf. It was a move mimicked by other countries and praised by Indigenous rights advocates and environmentalists alike.

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