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NEWS UPDATE #73


Overheated Planet Entering ‘Uncharted Territory at Frightening Speed’
Common Dreams
With new evidence that the concentration of greenhouse gases broke yet another record in 2014, the head of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned on Monday that the warming planet is hurtling “into uncharted territory at a frightening speed.” The United Nations weather agency’s latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin (pdf) reports that atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) reached 397.7 parts per million (ppm) in 2014, substantially beyond the 350ppm level deemed “safe” by scientists to avoid global warming.

Climate Change Threatens 55 Million in India’s Coastal Areas, Report Warns
The Wire
Climate change threatens nearly 55 million people in India’s coastal areas and could lock in enough sea level rise to submerge land currently home to more than half a billion people globally if the temperature spikes by 4º celsius – humanity’s current trajectory. The warning came from a new report published yesterday in Climate Central, a US-based non-profit research and journalism organisation. It also warned that a 4º celsius increase in temperature could submerge over 145 million people in China. The findings come just weeks ahead of a UN climate summit in Paris, from November 30 to December 11. The objective of the summit is to cap the rise in Earth’s temperatures to 2º celsius above pre-industrial levels, and this remains a serious challenge.

India could push world into climate change danger zone, warn scientists
The Guardian UK
Before the UN climate summit in Paris in December, India has pledged to increase carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions more slowly than the economy grows. The latest analysis of India’s plan calculates that if it expands as it hopes – by more than 8.5% a year – emissions will reach 9bn megatonnes by the end of the next decade. This is about one-fifth of the total annual emissions that scientists calculate the world can emit in 2030 and still have a more than a 50% chance of avoiding the global temperature rising more than 2C, considered a dangerous threshold.

Coal from Carmichael mine ‘will create more annual emissions than New York’
The Guardian UK
Coal from Adani’s proposed $16bn Carmichael project will create annual emissions similar to those from countries like Malaysia and Austria and more than New York City, according to calculations designed to highlight the scale of the mine’s environmental impacts. The Australian Conservation Foundation has launched another legal action against the federal government’s renewed approval for the mine – this time on the grounds that environment minister Greg Hunt failed to consider its impact on climate change and therefore on the Great Barrier Reef.

China smog around 50 times WHO recommendations
Deccan Herald
A swathe of China was blanketed with dangerous acrid smog today after levels of the most dangerous particulates reached around 50 times World Health Organisation maximums, with energy use for heating blamed as winter sets in. Pictures showed smog so thick that buildings in Changchun, the capital of Jilin province in the northeast, were rendered invisible. One image showed a restaurant’s neon sign seemingly floating in mid-air above traffic, proclaiming in yellow: “Northeastern Dumpling King”.

Who will be liable for an Indian Fukushima. Nobody it seems
Kumar Sundaram, Catch News
If the statement of the newly appointed chairman of India’s Atomic Energy Commission last week is anything to go by, the Narendra Modi government has made up its mind to entirely exempt foreign nuclear suppliers of any liability in case of a nuclear accident. Not only does this mark an unfortunate U-turn from the BJP’s position on the issue so far, but also implies that the ‘breakthrough’ on the issue — claimed by the Prime Minister himself earlier this year — has evidently not gone far enough.

Gujarat fishermen sue World Bank arm in US Court for funding Tata Power’s Mundra UMPP
The Times of India
Fishing communities and farmers from Mundra in Kutch district on Thursday filed suit against the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private-lending arm of the World Bank Group, in federal court in Washington, DC, through their representative EarthRights International (ERI). The IFC provided a $450 million loan to the Tata Mundra UMPP. As per IFC’s rules demand that its borrowers take precautions to protect vulnerable communities’ and the environment. IFC is under obligation to supervise, monitor and enforcing these rules.

 

Attack On KSS Activists Fighting Against Adani Pench Power Project
National Alliance of People’s Movements
Secretary of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti, Sajje Chandravanshi and four others were brutally attacked in village Chaunsara of district Chhindwara in Madhya Pradesh on 14 November 2015. Villagers of the area have been resisting the construction of Adani – Pench Power Project for past many years due to forcible land acquisition, water diversion from Pench and environmental illegalities that the project proponents have deployed to construct the environmentally damaging 1,320 megawatt (2 x 665 MW) coal-fired power station.

India, UK strike 3.2 bn pound deal on energy, climate change
The Economic Times
Ahead of the Paris climate summit, India and Britain have agreed on a comprehensive package of collaboration on energy and climate change which includes commercial deals worth 3.2 billion pounds.

Copenhagen Unveils First Climate-change Adapted Neighborhood
Chimalaya.org
When the next megastorm hits the Danish capital, St. Kjeld’s residents will be safe and dry. That’s because as of December, they live in the world’s first climate-change-adapted neighborhood. “St. Kjeld’s transformation shows what can be done if you take climate change seriously,” says Morten Kabell, Copenhagen’s deputy mayor in charge of environment and technology. In truth, following a catastrophic cloudburst in 2011 that resulted in damage of about $1 billion, this windy port city had little choice but to find ways of protecting itself.

 

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