29 October 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights


Climate change: China's forest carbon uptake 'underestimated'
BBC News, 28 Oct 2020

China's aggressive policy of planting trees is likely playing a significant role in tempering its climate impacts. An international team has identified two areas in the country where the scale of carbon dioxide absorption by new forests has been underestimated. Taken together, these areas account for a little over 35% of China's entire land carbon "sink", the group says.
The researchers' analysis, based on ground and satellite observations, is reported in Nature journal.

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As Climate Disasters Pile Up, a Radical Proposal Gains Traction
The New York Times, 28 Oct 2020

As the effects of climate change become more devastating, prominent research institutions and government agencies are focusing new money and attention on an idea once dismissed as science fiction: Artificially cooling the planet, in the hopes of buying humanity more time to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
That strategy, called solar climate intervention or solar geoengineering, entails reflecting more of the sun’s energy back into space — abruptly reducing global temperatures in a way that mimics the effects of ash clouds spewed by volcanic eruptions.

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UN builds momentum for restoring forests as world enters key decade for ecosystems
UN News, 28 Oct 2020

The world has made considerable progress in the past decade, according to the new edition of FAO's international forestry journal Unasylva, entitled Restoring the Earth - the next decade, since 63 countries, subnational governments and private organisations have already committed to restoring 173 million hectares, and regional responses are making significant advances in Africa and Latin America.
The goal is to meet the “Bonn Challenge” - the world’s largest voluntary forest landscape restoration initiative, which was launched in 2011. It is a global target to bring 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested lands into restoration by 2020 and 350 million by 2030.  

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Youth-led climate change lawsuit dismissed by Federal Court
CBS News, 27 Oct 2020

A Federal Court judge ruled Tuesday that the Canadian government won't be going on trial for contributions to climate change — striking down a lawsuit brought by 15 young Canadians who argued the government was violating their charter rights.
Federal Court Justice Michael Manson rejected a lawsuit initiated by the youths aged 10 to 19 years old. Their case called on the court to compel Ottawa to develop a science-based climate recovery plan.
On Tuesday, Manson ruled the network of government actions that contribute to climate change is too broad for the court to grapple with, and the court has no role in reviewing the country's overall approach to climate change. Consequently, the case cannot proceed to trial.

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'Sleeping giant' Arctic methane deposits starting to release, scientists find
The Guardian, 27 Oct 2020

Scientists have found evidence that frozen methane deposits in the Arctic Ocean – known as the “sleeping giants of the carbon cycle” – have started to be released over a large area of the continental slope off the East Siberian coast, the Guardian can reveal.
High levels of the potent greenhouse gas have been detected down to a depth of 350 metres in the Laptev Sea near Russia, prompting concern among researchers that a new climate feedback loop may have been triggered that could accelerate the pace of global heating.

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