Environmental group demands that the EPA move to reduce emissions from the Denka manufacturing plant (nola)
The Denka Performance Elastomer manufacturing plant in LaPlace, Louisiana, along with two other chemical plants in the area, have been found to produce chloroprene and ethylene oxide emissions. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has previously acknowledged the ethylene oxide can cause a myriad of health conditions: damage to the brain and nervous system, irritation of the eyes, nose, skin, nose, and lungs, and an increased risk of lymphoid and breast cancer. St. John the Baptist Parish residents in Louisiana are found to be at the most risk of getting cancer due to their environment, so the Concerned Citizens of St. John filed a petition with Micheal Regan, the recently appointed administrator of the EPA. Coincidentally, the inspector general of the EPA has asked that the agency regulates ethylene and chloroprene emissions after Trump’s administration deliberately scaled back the EPA’s efforts to evaluate the danger the ethylene oxide poses to cities across the midwest.
Meet the young people holding their government accountable for lack of action towards the climate crisis (The Guardian)
Children and young adults all over the world are filing lawsuits, suing their governments, and creating organizations to push for governmental climate action to address the effects that climate change is having on their environments and everyday lives. One of the biggest court cases comes from 6 young people in Portugal: Sofia Oliviera and 5 other youths have been successful in filing a lawsuit against 33 countries across Europe with the European court of human rights. The court declined all countries' requests to have the case dismissed and granted the case priority status. As the first climate change case to be filed with the European court of human rights, this case will set an important precedent: treating climate change cases and lawsuits as human rights issues.
Global vaccination race draws parallels with inequalities in climate crisis (NY Times)
Vaccines are being distributed unequally: of the 1.1 billion shots already given out, a disproportionate amount of them have gone to citizens of wealthy countries, such as the United States. Poorer and underdeveloped countries, such as India, are suffering from the affects of this equity gap, with only minute percentages of their populations vaccinated and cases of COVID-19 increasing by the day. Experts fear this vaccination crisis reveals weaknesses in the plan for a unified global front fighting against climate change. The richest countries in the world are responsible for the vast majority of emissions and yet the poorest countries, lacking the technology and resources to combat them, endure the worst affects.
Learn ways you can support India in its recent COVID-19 case surge.
China's carbon emissions greater than those of all developed nations combined (CNN)
According to a recently released report from the Rhodium Group, China's emissions have more than tripled over the past three decades, accounting for 27% of total global emissions in 2019. For perspective, the world's second greatest carbon emitting nation - the United States - only contributed 11% of total emissions. However, Reinhard Steurer, climate scientist, notes that most of the products bought and consumed in the West are mass produced in China, adding to this huge 27% emission share.
French court approves extensive climate change legislation (Reuters)
The French National Assembly approved a landmark climate protection bill this past Tuesday (May 4th) which will prevent the future expansion or construction of airports, the use of public outdoor gas-fueled heaters, and decrease the amount of packaging waste produced in the nation. Several activists and organizations, such as Greenpeace, criticized the French bill for making too many concessions and not going far enough to effectively combat climate change. Supporters of the plan claim it implements smaller-scale, achievable climate protections moderate enough so that they will not provoke any widespread resistance. The legislation must still pass through the French Senate and lower house of Parliament to be officially enacted.
Read more about the protestors' views here.
Cutting methane emissions is crucial in the fight against climate change (BBC)
A new UN report reveals that decreasing emissions drastically and immediately is necessary for if we still aim to achieve the goal laid out in the Paris Agreement of keeping the global temperature rise within 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels. Despite the decreased emission levels predicted by the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown, carbon dioxide and methane emissions actually reached record highs this past year. Fortunately, the report also found that by using new technologies, we are certainly capable of finding a way to inexpensively achieve the vast emission reductions required to keep dangerous levels of climate change at bay.
Warming oceans threaten the nesting grounds of migratory birds (UN News)
Scientists warn that migratory birds face extinction, as their nesting grounds fall victim to rising ocean temperatures. One bird in particular, the Arctic tern, spends the majority of each year traveling, spending a significant amount of time flying over the ocean. Experts are concerned that, due to the warming ocean, algae are blooming later in the year at a time too early for younger sand eels to eat. Those sand eel populations have fallen, hurting migratory birds that need them for sustenance. According to the Executive Director of UNEP Inger Andersen, migratory birds have “a front row seat to the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.”
Climate change increases standard temperatures, creating a new normal of heat (CNN)
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published new climate normals, showing that the United States is warming. For example, Washington, DC, now has roughly 22 consecutive days of 90 degree temperatures. While in the past, DC had an average of 16 consecutive days with a peak temperature of 89 degrees.
Click here to see how temperatures have changed in your city.