#United Nations
Ships Exploiting Regulatory Loophole to Emit SO2 Into the Ocean

Ships Exploiting Regulatory Loophole to Emit SO2 Into the Ocean

The Independent newspaper reported yesterday the results on an investigation revealing that “shipping companies have spent billions rigging vessels with ‘cheat devices’ that circumvent new environmental legislation by dumping pollution into the sea instead of the air.”  The devices, called open-loop scrubbers, remove sulfur exhaust air pollution from ships that run on heavy fuel oil.  Air pollution from ships is a significant health problem — some estimate that a cruise ship running on heavy fuel oil emits as much air pollution as a million cars a day.

Why This Matters:  Shifting pollution from one “medium” to another obviously is problematic — it does meet the spirit of the rule and is particularly disturbing given the U.N.’s report last week that ocean health is in dire trouble due to climate change. The sulfur that is diverted from the air into the water around the ships is harmful to oceans and marine life as well as exacerbating carbon dioxide emissions.

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Corporations Make Climate and Sustainability Commitments at UN

Corporations Make Climate and Sustainability Commitments at UN

The UN General Assembly’s #ClimateWeek may have been dedicated to governments making new commitments to meeting the Paris Accord, but many corporations also announced actions they will take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve their sustainability.  According to The Climate Group, an NGO that works with businesses and governments to shift their climate policies,  […]

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Water Crisis Deepens in Zimbabwe – 2 Million People’s Supply Cut Off

Water Crisis Deepens in Zimbabwe – 2 Million People’s Supply Cut Off

CBS News and CNN are reporting that because of a major drought in Zimbabwe that occurred for months, more than 2 million residents of Zimbabwe’s capital and surrounding towns were without tap water on Tuesday because city officials had to shut down the city’s main treatment plant — they do not have the money to […]

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UN IPCC Issues Important Report on Climate Change’s Impacts on Oceans and Ice

UN IPCC Issues Important Report on Climate Change’s Impacts on Oceans and Ice

This morning the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued its Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate which assesses the physical processes and impacts of climate change on ocean, coastal, polar and mountain ecosystems. The Report concludes that there is overwhelming evidence that the “Melting glaciers and ice sheets are causing […]

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UN Holds Summit for Young Climate Leaders

Why This Matters:  The student activists have clearly gotten the attention of the adults in the room.  But have they helped us to reach beyond those who were already listening?  Will these protests lead to tangible political action?  These are important questions and the success of the entire movement lies in building political support among current skeptics, and in pressuring politicians to take action.  And if anyone can get to those adults who have not been paying attention or who still don’t believe the scientific evidence of a warming planet, it is their own children.

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Bonus Biodiversity Interview:  Stephenne Harding, National Geographic Society

Bonus Biodiversity Interview: Stephenne Harding, National Geographic Society

Stephenne Harding is the Senior Director of the Campaign for Nature at the National Geographic Society and is also part of a coalition of environmental groups working to conserve at least 30% of the ocean by 2030.  She spoke to ODP from a key meeting of the United Nations in Kenya happening this week. ODP:  What is […]

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Shrinking Protected Areas Causing Biodiversity Concerns to Rise

Shrinking Protected Areas Causing Biodiversity Concerns to Rise

A new report from Conservation International published today in Science documents that governments have removed more than 500,000 square kilometers from protected areas and downgraded the protection for an additional 1.65 million square kilometers, the majority of which are associated with industrial-scale development.

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World Agrees To Pact to Control Solid Waste, U.S. Not A Party

World Agrees To Pact to Control Solid Waste, U.S. Not A Party

The 186 nations who are a party to the United Nation’s Basel Convention on solid waste concluded a historic agreement late Friday that will require countries to monitor and control the movement of plastic waste between national borders in order to deal with the world’s plastic crisis.  Unfortunately, the United States was not involved in the negotiations or the final agreement because it is one of just two countries that has not ratified the Basel Convention.  

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After the UN Extinction Report — Now What?

After the UN Extinction Report — Now What?

The United Nations report on the extinction crisis that came out on Monday made a relatively big splash. ICYMI, a group of scientists called the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), determined that biodiversity is declining at the fastest rate in human history, and only “transformational changes” to the way society operates can save the planet from ruin. 

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New Report Hopes to Spark “Paris Moment” for Biodiversity

New Report Hopes to Spark “Paris Moment” for Biodiversity

A major United Nations scientific report on biodiversity will be released later today, after a week of negotiations on the final text written by 400 leading scientists from 130 nations assessing the state of Nature — and its impact on humanity — across the globe, according to a draft obtained by Agence France-Presse (AFP). 

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One Wild Thing: UN Youth Art Contest Winner

One Wild Thing: UN Youth Art Contest Winner

Valerie Dou, 17, of the United States is the winner of the United Nation’s 2019 International Youth Art Contest. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) sponsored the contest in collaboration with the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in celebration of World Wildlife Day […]

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One Kid Thing:  Marine Wildlife Art Contest – Enter by Jan 31!

One Kid Thing: Marine Wildlife Art Contest – Enter by Jan 31!

The International Fund for Animal Welfare is teaming up with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on an art contest for kids from 4-18 to celebrate World Wildlife Day (WWD) on 2019!  The theme for WWD 2019 is Life Below Water so this year’s […]

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