15 July 2021 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights


Equator Prize 2021 honors trailblazing Indigenous and local solutions for people and planet
UNPD, 15 Jul 2021

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and partners announce the winners of the 12th Equator Prize, recognizing local and Indigenous communities from around the world. The winning organizations showcase local, innovative, nature-based solutions for tackling biodiversity loss and climate change, and achieving their local development goals even during a pandemic. Equator Prize winners demonstrate the benefits of placing Indigenous and local communities’ knowledge and practices of nature-based solutions at the heart of local development.


Trillions of dollars spent on Covid recovery in ways that harm environment
The Guardian, 15 Jul 2021

Trillions of dollars poured into rescuing economies around the world from the Covid-19 crisis have been spent in ways that worsen the climate crisis and harm nature because governments have failed to fulfil promises of a “green recovery” from the pandemic. Only about a tenth of the $17tn in bailouts provided by governments since the start of the pandemic was spent on activities that reduced greenhouse gas emissions or restored the natural world, according to analysis from Vivid Economics, published on Thursday.


EU launches big climate plan for "our children and grandchildren"
Reuters, 14 Jul 2021

European Union policymakers on Wednesday unveiled their most ambitious plan yet to tackle climate change, aiming to turn green goals into concrete action this decade and set an example for the world's other big economies to follow. The European Commission, the EU executive body, set out in painstaking detail how the bloc's 27 countries can meet their collective goal to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030 - a step towards "net zero" emissions by 2050.


Amazon rainforest now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs
The Guardian, 14 Jul 2021

The Amazon rainforest is now emitting more carbon dioxide than it is able to absorb, scientists have confirmed for the first time. The emissions amount to a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, according to a study. The giant forest had previously been a carbon sink, absorbing the emissions driving the climate crisis, but is now causing its acceleration, researchers said.


Climate change: Technology boosts efforts to curb tree loss in Amazon
BBC, 13 Jul 2021

Technology can help indigenous communities to significantly curb deforestation, according to a new study. Indigenous people living in the Peruvian Amazon were equipped by conservation groups with satellite data and smartphones. They were able to reduce tree losses by half in the first year of the project. Reductions were greater in communities facing threats from illegal gold mining, logging and drugs.


Australia court rules environment minister has duty of care for carbon dioxide emissions
Jurist, 11 Jul 2021

The Federal Court of Australia ruled Thursday that the environment minister has a duty of care to persons under the age of 18 when it comes to decisions about projects that will release greenhouse gases (GHG). The case was brought by eight schoolchildren and a nun who sought to stop the expansion of a coal mine in New South Wales. The state government had already approved the mine, but environment minister Sussan Ley had not yet made a decision on the project. The children sought an injunction to stop the project.