Roundup – World Environment News (30th June, 2017)

Another fortnight has gone by and the fight to save the environment continues. Many important decisions and actions have been taken around the world. President Macron, Arnold Schwarzenegger have joined politicians and legal experts to launch a campaign on environmental rights to present to the UN, research shows how plastic is killing UKs beaches and wildlife, kids are suing Donald Trump’s government over climate change, Singapore has committed $150million to improving the environment. Read more below –

  1. Global pact on environmental rights to be presented to UN

Hollywood star turned activist Arnold Schwarzenegger joined politicians and legal experts in Paris Saturday to launch a campaign for a global pact to protect the human right to a clean, healthy environment. The new pact will eventually be put to the United Nations for adoption, and impose legally-binding obligations on signatory states, similar to the covenants on human rights adopted by the United Nations. The new pact will outline rights and duties, provide for reparations to be made in case of a breach, and introduce the “polluter pays” principle, holding countries legally responsible or compelling them to adopt green laws. Another important step towards the environment. Read more here.


  1. Top Japanese Environment Honour for Indian Scientist-

Shrihari Chandraghatgi an Indian scientist was honoured with the Environment Minister Award, which is the highest award in the environmental sector in Japan for “Developing bioremediation technology to clean contaminated soil and groundwater”. His company has created solution to clean contaminated groundwater wherein they inject food for specific microorganisms into the contaminated water and these microorganisms either breathe the toxic compounds or eat on them. This solution is a cheaper alternative among all the remediation technologies and has been applied to over 400 contaminated sites including 2 sites in India. More here.


  1. 3. Plastic debris inundates remote UK coasts endangering wildlife-

A Greenpeace research ship is touring the Scottish coast and islands assessing the impact of plastic waste and the initial results are bleak. Plastic waste, from bottles to bags and packaging, were found on every beach surveyed. Microplastic and other plastic fragments were found in the feeding grounds of basking sharks, seals and whales and in birds’ nests at internationally significant seabird colonies. Campaigners in Scotland will deliver a petition to Scotland’s environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham calling for the introduction of a deposit return scheme for drinks containers in Scotland as a step to reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the Oceans. Read the whole article here.


  1. Kids Suing Trump over Climate Change Will Have Their Day in Court-

A lawsuit against the Trump administration filed by 21 young Americans and climate scientist James Hansen is going to trial and will be heard on Feb. 5, 2018. The 21 tweens and teens argued that by failing to tackle climate change and by incentivizing corporations to continue polluting by measures like tax breaks for fossil fuel companies, the Government has endangered their and future generations’ constitutional rights and not protected the atmosphere which they say is a “public trust”. The Judge held that the case was “not about proving that climate change is happening or that human activity is driving it” but whether the administration and its agencies “were responsible for some of the harm caused by climate change,” and whether a Court has the authority to order the Government to put in place policies to contain global warming. Read more here.


  1. Singapore launches S$150m research initiative to improve living environment-

The Ministry of National Development, Singapore has launched an S$150 million initiative aimed at developing Singapore’s urban planning research capabilities. The initiative, called the Cities of Tomorrow R&D Programme (CoT) aims to address key challenges facing Singapore such as climate change, ageing infrastructure, resource constraints and demand for space. CoT will support basic research, applied research, and small-scale demonstration projects. To allocate real money behind practical research regarding the environment would have implications beyond Singapore. These learnings could be used across the world. Read here.


  1. Angela Merkel challenges Donald Trump on climate change and trade ahead of G20

Angela Merkel announced, “The Paris agreement is irreversible and non-negotiable and I am determined to carry out the negotiations at the G20 Summit so that they can serve the Paris climate agreement.” Ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg. She is expected to lock horns with Trump on climate change, “We can not and will not wait for the latest in the world to be convinced by the scientific evidence for climate change,” she told the German parliament in uncharacteristically blunt language. We need more strong words and actions to save the environment. Read more here.


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