19 May 2022 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

Key climate change indicators hit record highs in 2021: UN report
Aljazeera, 18 May 2022

Four key climate change indicators all set new record highs in 2021, the United Nations has said, warning that the global energy system was driving humanity towards catastrophe and calling for an urgent transition to renewable energy.
Greenhouse gas concentrations, sea level rise, ocean heat and ocean acidification all set new records last year, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in its State of the Global Climate in 2021 report released on Wednesday. 

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Climate crisis makes extreme Indian heatwaves 100 times more likely – study
The Guardian, 18 May 2022

Record-breaking heatwaves in north-west India and Pakistan have been made 100 times more likely by the climate crisis, according to scientists. The analysis means scorching weather once expected every three centuries is now likely to happen every three years.
The region is currently suffering intense heat, with the Indian capital New Delhi setting a new record on Sunday above 49C and the peak temperature in Pakistan reaching 51C. Millions of people are suffering from crop losses, and water and power outages. 

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Pollution responsible for one in six deaths across planet, scientists warn
The Guardian, 17 May 2022

Pollution is killing 9 million people a year, a review has found, making it responsible for one in six of all deaths.
Toxic air and contaminated water and soil “is an existential threat to human health and planetary health, and jeopardises the sustainability of modern societies”, the review concluded.
The death toll from pollution dwarfs that from road traffic deaths, HIV/Aids, malaria and TB combined, or from drug and alcohol misuse. The researchers calculated the economic impact of pollution deaths at $4.6tn (£3.7tn), about $9m a minute. 

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Germany to reject EU green investment label for nuclear power
Reuters, 16 May 2022

Germany will oppose European Union plans to include nuclear energy as a sustainable investment in its "taxonomy" policy for labelling green investments, the government said on Monday.
Brussels is seeking approval from EU countries and European Parliament for its plan to label gas and nuclear as climate-friendly investments, which has split opinion among states who disagree on the fuels' green credentials. 

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Canada opens public consultations on national climate adaptation strategy
Reuters, 16 May 2022

Canada launched the public consultation phase of a national climate adaptation strategy on Monday, aimed at developing its first-ever framework to help cope with increasing natural disasters and other severe impacts from global warming. 

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Can Ukraine hold Russia accountable for environmental crimes?
Aljazeera, 16 May 2022

As forensic investigators in Ukraine uncover evidence of killings that may amount to war crimes, experts of a different kind are at work to document the effect of Russia’s war on the environment.
Ukraine’s ministry in charge of environmental protection said in a briefing last month that destroyed military equipment and ammunition, as well as exploded missiles and air bombs, pollute the soil and groundwater with chemicals, including heavy metals. 

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‘Must be credible’: Energy giants challenged over climate action
Aljazeera, 12 May 2022

The climate commitments of global energy giants lack credibility as they rely on costly technologies that have yet to be proven at scale, according to a report published by Carbon Tracker.
The non-profit think tank that researches the effect of climate change on financial markets noted on Thursday that despite a spate of new targets set by the top 15 global energy firms, most are still not pledging an absolute cut in emissions. 

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