Newsdesk – December 15


Climate change: COP24 fails to adopt key scientific report. Attempts to incorporate a key scientific study into global climate talks in Poland have failed. Scientists and many delegates in Poland were shocked as the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Kuwait objected to this meeting “welcoming” the report. With no consensus, under UN rules the passage of text had to be dropped. Many countries expressed frustration and disappointment at the outcome. Scientists and campaigners were also extremely disappointed by the outcome. “We are really angry and find it atrocious that some countries dismiss the messages and the consequences that we are facing, by not accepting what is unequivocal and not acting upon it,” said Yamide Dagnet from the World Resources Institute, and a former climate negotiator for the UK. “I sincerely hope that all countries will fight that we don’t leave COP24 having missed a moment of history” – BBC

  • Nations still worlds apart at crunch UN climate summit –
  • U.N. climate talks go into overtime as negotiators grapple with text – Reuters
  • Trump rolls back decades of Clean Water Act protections – BBC
  • Permafrost Melt Could Destroy a Third of All Arctic Infrastructure, Affecting as Many as 4 Million People – Gizmodo
  • Almost All of the Arctic’s Oldest Ice Is Already Gone – Popular Mechanics
Photo Credit: Flickr: Mandy Jansen

Dreaming of a sustainable Christmas: How to reduce your ecological footprint this festive season. In 2018, Australia banned single-use plastic bags, once ubiquitous straws were phased out of venues and coffee keep cups became a staple. Now Christmas is just around the corner — a time when we overeat, overspend, and produce more waste than any other time of the year. But the good news is that you can still live a little this festive season without having a big ecological impact. Planet Ark Recycling Programs Manager Ryan Collins said a little creativity could go a long way when it came to wrapping presents. “You can use old newspapers and magazines, or last year’s wrapping paper perhaps, even old linen,” he said. “Gift bags can be reused time and time again. However, if people are receiving gifts that have paper wrapping, then just remember you can either reuse it next year or make sure you recycle it in your kerbside bin.” Wrapping paper can be recycled, but plastic cellophane or metallic wrapping has to go to landfill, as does tinsel – Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Tackling climate change could save millions of lives, report says. Climate studies often pinpoint the detrimental public health impacts related to rising atmospheric temperatures, extreme weather events and other consequences of a changing climate. A report released by the World Health Organization on Wednesday details the public health benefits that could come with tackling the issue. Meeting the goals put forth in the Paris agreement would be expected to save more than 1 million lives a year from air pollution alone by 2050, it says. The report provides recommendations for governments on how to tackle the issue of climate change. The new World Health organization report, launched at the COP24, is based on contributions from more than 80 health professionals, academic experts and representatives of civil society and international agencies who have worked on climate change and public health for more than three decades. “One of the main — and critical — messages in this report is that you can’t really separate climate changes from health — both in the short-run and the long-run” – CNN

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018. On Nov. 27, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018 (EICDA) was introduced. This is the first bipartisan carbon pricing bill of its kind and is an exciting advancement of Congressional efforts to price carbon emissions and reduce greenhouse gases. The EICDA places a price of $15 per metric ton of carbon dioxide, starting in 2019. The price will increase by $10 per year and increases to $15 per year if the previous year’s emissions goals are not reached. This bill sets an ambitious fee and is projected to reduce U.S. carbon pollution by 33 percent in 10 years below 2015 levels. Ultimately, the bill seeks to reduce emissions by 90 percent by 2050. This legislation exceeds our commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and exceeds the Clean Power Plan reductions by three times – Friends Committee on National Legislation