27 January 2022 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

Liberian villagers threaten to leave mining agreement, citing broken promises
Mongabay, 27 Jan 2022

Communities in Liberia have threatened to withdraw from an agreement they made with a mining company two years ago, on the grounds that none of the promised benefits have materialized. Much of the dispute hinges on the interpretation of the agreement, which mandates Switzerland-headquartered Solway Mining Incorporated to make payments to communities, but doesn’t make clear how or when to do so. Solway denies any wrongdoing, while the mining ministry has questioned the relevance of the agreement, saying it’s not legally required for exploration to proceed.

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South Africa authorizes dumping at sea of cargo that turned volatile
Mongabay, 26 Jan 2022

South Africa plans to dump unstable chemicals at sea after they reacted with rainwater during offloading from the NS Qingdao bulk carrier in Durban in October and started releasing toxic fumes. The country’s maritime safety authority has until March to dump the cargo of fertilizers and industrial reagents into the open ocean 250 kilometers (155 miles) offshore of the fishing town of St. Helena Bay, a two-hour drive north of Cape Town.

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Coal-based liquid hydrogen pivotal for green energy? The experts doubt it
The Guardian, 26 Jan 2022

A world-first shipment of liquid hydrogen from Australia was declared momentous – a pivotal moment as the world clambers for clean liquid fuels to bring global greenhouse gas emissions to zero. Experts say the climate credentials of the technology being used to produce the hydrogen – using brown coal – are highly questionable. “The project’s current configuration is not clean. In fact, it is incredibly dirty,” said Kobad Bhavnagri, head of industrial decarbonisation at Bloomberg NEF.

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Oil gushing from pipeline leak off Thailand threatens to hit popular beaches in next 48 hours
The Indipendent, 26 Jan 2022

Efforts are underway to contain a vast oil spill in the Gulf of Thailand, with the country’s navy now joining the race to prevent thousands of tonnes of crude oil from reaching the shore. A slick containing up to 160,000 litres of oil has leaked from an undersea pipeline near an industrial area in Rayong province since Tuesday, and could it areas of the shoreline including popular beaches by Friday.

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Lawyers challenge water firm’s immunity over sewage discharge
The Guardian, 26 Jan 2022

Environmental campaigners are fighting to stop a water company being given almost total immunity from any private legal action for discharging untreated sewage into waterways. The Good Law Project (GLP) and the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) are challenging a decision by the high court that the water company United Utilities cannot be subject to any private legal action for its discharges of raw sewage from storm outfalls into the Manchester ship canal.

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Climate change: Key crops face major shifts as world warms
BBC, 26 Jan 2022

The parts of the world suitable for growing coffee, cashews and avocados will change dramatically as the world heats up, according to a new study. Key coffee regions in Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam and Colombia will all "drastically decrease" by around 50% by 2050. Suitable areas for cashews and avocados will increase but most will be far from current sites of production. Coffee is one of the world's most important crops, not just as key beverage but as a livelihood for millions of small farmers.

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Breath of fresh air: lockdown pollution slump may have saved 800 lives, study says
Reuters, 26 Jan 2022

More than 800 deaths may have been avoided thanks to better air quality during Europe's first coronavirus lockdown, the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service (CAMS) said on Wednesday.Measures brought in to stem the rise in infections resulted in far fewer cars and lorries on roads, which had the biggest impact on reducing deaths, according to the study led by experts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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'We are the power'. Canada's Indigenous land defenders pledge to fight on.
Aljazeera, 24 Jan 2022

For years, Indigenous land defenders like Freda have sought to protect their lands and sacred headwaters from the construction of a pipeline. First proposed in 2012, the 670-kilometre- (417-mile)-long Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline is intended to carry liquified natural gas (LNG) from northeast BC to a terminal on the coast in Kitimat. A portion of it is set to pass through the Wet’suwet’en Nation - 22,000 square kilometres of unceded territory that was never legally signed over to the Crown or to Canada.

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