19 November 2020 - NPWJ News Digest on Environmental Justice & Human Rights

Articles

Can Spain fix its worst ecological crisis by making a lagoon a legal person?
The Guardian, 18 Nov 2020

Murcia residents hope to protect the polluted Mar Menor, Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon, with a change in legal status. In 2016, an extreme eutrophication – a massive growth of algae caused by a discharge of nutrients, mainly from agriculture – turned the water here green and killed 85% of the seagrass. Thousands of fish were beached on the shore, unable to breathe because of a lack of oxygen resulting from the degradation of excessive algae and changes to salinity.

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UN warns of catastrophe as second hurricane in two weeks hits Central America
UN News, 17 Nov 2020

The United Nations warned on Tuesday of catastrophic consequences from Hurricane Iota, the second major tropical cyclone to hit Central America this month. “Iota made landfall less than two weeks after Hurricane Eta, which was also a very strong category four hurricane, made landfall just 25 kilometres apart. So, we're having these huge impacts hitting basically the same area. Nicaragua, Honduras, other parts of Central America have not recovered from Hurricane Eta, and now they're being slammed by this new terrific powerful hurricane” Clare Nullis, spokesperson for the World Meteorological Organization, told a regular UN news briefing in Geneva.  

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Pet flea treatments poisoning rivers across England, scientists find
The Guardian, 17 Nov 2020

Highly toxic insecticides used on cats and dogs to kill fleas are poisoning rivers across England, a study has revealed. The discovery is “extremely concerning” for water insects, and the fish and birds that depend on them, the scientists said, who expect significant environmental damage is being done. 

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Half of the world's aviation emissions is caused by just 1% of the population, study finds
CNN, 17 Nov 2020

Frequent fliers representing just 1% of the world's population accounted for more than half of total aviation emissions from passenger air travel in 2018, a new study says. Experts estimated that 11% of the world's population traveled by air in 2018, with up to 4% of people traveling abroad.  But just 1% of the world's population were responsible for more than half of total emissions from passenger aviation, researchers found. Aviation accounts for at least 2% of global carbon dioxide emissions, and the figure is expected to increase. 

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Greenland's glaciers could lose more ice than previously thought, raising concerns for sea level rise
CNN, 17 Nov 2020

Greenland's largest glaciers could lose even more ice than previously predicted -- a development that could have huge consequences for the rate of global sea level rise, according to a new study published Tuesday. Greenland's ice sheet is already melting rapidly, and that ice loss is one of the main contributors to rising sea levels. Planet-heating greenhouse gas emissions like carbon dioxide are accelerating this melt.

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New research reveals major benefits of integrated approaches to climate and nature
UN Environment Programme, 13 Nov 2020

Using new data and novel analytical approaches, research released today by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and partners underscores the size of the prize on offer from integrating action to save nature and combat climate change. The report, Strengthening synergies: How action to achieve post-2020 global biodiversity conservation targets can contribute to mitigating climate change, finds that conserving 30 per cent of land in strategic locations could safeguard 500 gigatonnes of carbon stored in vegetation and soils – around half the world’s vulnerable terrestrial carbon stocks – and reduce the extinction risk of nearly 9 out of 10 threatened terrestrial species.

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