26 August 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

NSW bushfire survivors win legal battle ordering EPA to take action on climate crisis
The Guardian, 26 Aug 2021

The New South Wales environmental regulator has been ordered to take action against climate change by the state’s land and environment court in a judgment environmental advocates have described as a landmark victory. It is the first time a court has found an Australian government agency is failing in its duty to address global heating and must take action to address greenhouse gas emissions, after a legal challenge by bushfire survivors.

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Australian environmental group sues Santos over clean energy claims
Reuters, 26 Aug 2021

An Australian environmental group is suing the country's No.2 independent gas producer Santos Ltd (STO.AX), alleging the company's statements about gas being "clean" and having a clear pathway to net zero by 2040 were deceptive. The Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court on Thursday, and says it is the first case in the world to challenge the validity of a company's net zero emissions target.

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Death toll rises to at least 20 in western Venezuela floods
Reuters, 26 Aug 2021

At least 20 people have died in the western Venezuelan state of Merida following intense rains that caused mudslides and rivers to overflow. On state TV on Wednesday a ruling Socialist Party official in Merida announced the death doll had risen and said authorities were working to restore telephone service in some areas. State governor Ramon Guevara said earlier that more than 1,200 houses had been destroyed and 17 people remained missing as rescue workers search the wreckage.

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Illegal mining in Colombia’s Amazon threatens Indigenous communities
Mongabay, 24 Aug 2021

In 2000, in the midst of Colombia’s vast Amazon rainforest, two elder members from the Indigenous groups that inhabit  Cahuinarí National Natural Park and Yaigojé Apaporis National Park made a sacred pact with their guardian spirits as part of their religious practice: they would never reveal where the gold deposits were or reopen their waters to illegal mining. The metal that they call “the reflection of the sun on the ground” would be forever hidden.

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UAE assesses net-zero emissions goal ahead of COP26 talks
Al Jazeera, 24 Aug 2021

The United Arab Emirates is assessing plans for a net-zero emissions target, a process that may not be finished in time for the COP26 climate talks. While the country is considering such a goal, its extreme heat and dry conditions make reducing greenhouse gas emissions difficult because plenty of energy is needed for cooling and desalination, according to a senior Ministry of Climate Change and Environment official.

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Paraguay wildfires threaten Indigenous land and protected forests
Al Jazeera, 24 Aug 2021

Paraguayan emergency services are battling fierce wildfires for a third consecutive year as a severe drought and a winter heatwave hit the South American country. Vast areas of Paraguay have been affected, with blazes concentrated in the northeastern administrative departments of Concepcion and Amambay. 

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