23 September 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

Summit Midstream Partners pleads guilty in largest U.S. inland spill from oil drilling
Reuters, 23 Sep 2021

Pipeline operator Summit Midstream Partners (SMLP.N) pleaded guilty in federal court in Bismarck, North Dakota, on Wednesday to criminal water pollution charges stemming from what prosecutors call the largest-ever land-based spill from oil drilling. The company agreed to pay $36.3 million to settle the criminal charges, as well as parallel civil charges filed by the U.S. government and the state of North Dakota.

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Boris Johnson: Humanity is reaching a turning point on climate change
BBC, 23 Sep 2021

A climate summit of world leaders in 40 days' time will be the "turning point for humanity", PM Boris Johnson has said in a speech to the United Nations. He warned that global temperature rises were already inevitable, but called on his fellow leaders to commit to major changes to curb further warming.
 

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Victoria’s environment regulator sued by advocates over alleged failure to limit emissions
The Guardian, 23 Sep 2021

Environmental advocates are suing Victoria’s environment regulator in the supreme court for allegedly failing to limit carbon and toxic air pollution. The non-profit group Environment Victoria lodged the case – which also names energy companies AGL, Energy Australia and Alinta as defendants – on Thursday morning and said it would be the first test of climate laws passed in the state in 2017.

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Northern Hemisphere summer wildfires emit record amount of CO2
Al Jazeera, 22 Sep 2021

Wildfires in Siberia, North America and around the Mediterranean caused record levels of planet-warming CO2 emissions this summer, the EU’s Earth monitoring service says. Globally, forests going up in flames emitted more than 2.5 billion tonnes of CO2 – equivalent to India’s annual emissions from all sources – in July and August alone, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) reported on Tuesday.

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Climate activists vow to continue M25 blockades despite jail threat
The Guardian, 22 Sep 2021

Environmental activists who blocked the M25 have vowed to continue their campaign after National Highways was granted an injunction against their protests. The campaign group Insulate Britain, which has shut down parts of the M25 five times in just over a week, said “our campaign will go on” despite the threat of jail, or pre-emptive arrests from the police.

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Nitrogen: The environmental crisis you haven’t heard of yet
Mongabay, 22 Sep 2021

On a sunny day, Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán is normally a sweeping vista of turquoise and sapphire, with the lake drinking the color of the sky until the two are nearly indistinguishable from each other. Ringed by mountains and towering volcanos, below Atitlán’s waves lie sunken ruins that were once used for worship and ceremony by the Mayan communities that have thrived here for thousands of years. But in 2009, those communities awoke one morning to an unsettling sight. Vast swaths of the azure lake had instead turned sickly green.

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WHO slashes guideline limits on air pollution from fossil fuels
The Guardian, 22 Sep 2021

The World Health Organization has cut its recommended limits for air pollution and urged nations to tackle dirty air and save millions of lives. In the first update for 16 years, the guideline limit for the most damaging pollution – tiny particles from burning fossil fuels – has been halved. The new limit for nitrogen dioxide (NO2), mainly produced by diesel engines, is now 75% lower.

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