28 July 2022 – Environmental Justice & Human Rights

28 Jul, 2022 | News Digests

Hidden Menace: Massive methane leaks speed up climate change

AP News, 28 Jul 2022

To the naked eye, the Mako Compressor Station outside the dusty West Texas crossroads of Lenorah appears unremarkable, similar to tens of thousands of oil and gas operations scattered throughout the oil-rich Permian Basin. What’s not visible through the chain-link fence is the plume of invisible gas, primarily methane, billowing from the gleaming white storage tanks up into the cloudless blue sky. The Mako station, owned by a subsidiary of West Texas Gas Inc., was observed releasing an estimated 870 kilograms of…

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Congo oil blocks auction draws warnings of environmental catastrophe

Reuters, 28 Jul 2022

Licensing rights for 30 oil and gas blocks in the Democratic Republic of Congo will go up for auction on Thursday, opening parts of the world’s second-biggest rainforest to drilling that could release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. The 500 million acre Congo Basin is a major carbon sink, trapping billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases. Several of the proposed oil blocks overlap with peatlands, swampy areas that prevent plant material from fully decomposing.

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Leaked: US power companies secretly spending millions to protect profits and fight clean energy

The Guardian , 27 Jul 2022

The CEO of the biggest power company in the US had a problem. A Democratic state senator was proposing a law that could cut into Florida Power & Light’s (FPL) profits. Landlords would be able to sell cheap rooftop solar power directly to their tenants – bypassing FPL and its monopoly on electricity.

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FAO warns 90 per cent of Earth’s topsoil at risk by 2050

UN News Service , 27 Jul 2022

In a bid to protect soil globally and help farmers, the FAO warned on Wednesday that the equivalent of one soccer pitch of earth erodes, every five seconds. It also takes around a thousand years to create just a few centimetres of topsoil and to help land restoration. Now, the UN agency is calling for more action by countries and partners who’ve signed up to the Global Soil Partnership (GSP) over the last decade.

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Warning of ecological disaster over Malaysia forest plantations

Al Jazeera , 27 Jul 2022

Much of the logging in Malaysian forest reserves since the 1980s has been selective – loggers cut only a limited number of large trees. But operators of forest plantations take a starkly different approach – removing every tree so they can replant the entire site with a single tree species. The cost is most evident in Kelantan. The state government there has zoned some 199,000 hectares (768sq miles), or almost one-third of its reserves, for forest plantations. Much of these reserves are high carbon stock forests. Clearing these zones for forest plantations has coincided with significant carbon emissions over the last 20 years, as indicated by analyses of greenhouse gas inventories and tree loss.

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