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Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

Case study: Renewables and Energy Transitions in Small Island States (IISD) Love Island ditches fast fashion: how reality celebrities influence young shoppers’ habits (The Conversation) Mangroves are disappearing – we read 200 scientific papers to find out why (The Conversation) Case study: Cracking down on illegal trafficking and logging: how environmentalists are protecting biodiversity in the Philippines (Eco-business) Southeast Asia chasing 'silver bullet' climate solutions at expense of proven methods (Eco-business) ‘Gold rush’ for gas production threatens to lock in global heating (The Guardian) Slow water: can we tame urban floods by going with the flow? (The Guardian) 10 Reasons Why Cultivated Meat Is The Future Of Protein: The Case For Lab-Grown (green queen) MEPs vote to end sale of petrol and diesel car by 2035 in EU (The Guardian) New global study identifies opportunities for increasing carbon storage on land to mitigate climate change (Ph . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

World Oceans Day 2022

Today is an extremely important UN Day of Observance – World Oceans Day themed "Revitalization: collective action for the ocean". The ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen, it is home to most of earth’s biodiversity, and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. Not to mention, the ocean is key to our economy with an estimated 40 million people being employed by ocean-based industries by 2030. BUT with 90% of big fish populations depleted, and 50% of coral reefs destroyed, we are taking more from the ocean than can be replenished. We need to work together to create a new balance with the ocean that no longer depletes its bounty but instead restores its vibrancy and brings it new life. The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Fuel prices having shock effect on environment

A very good article in The Conversation last week, highlights how the rocketing cost of fossil gas due primarily to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, has had a number of knock o effects with social and environmental fallout. In low and middle income countries, and often rural areas of HICs as well, it is very common for households to buy cylinders of LPG for cooking purposes. This is a by product of fossil gas extraction and usually provides a cheap, convenient and relatively cleaner option for households to meet their energy needs. But the price rises for gas have also meant price rises for LPG meaning many can no longer afford it and revert to previous fuels such as wood and charcoal. This has impacts for both the broader environment – GHG emissions – and the local environment – household and local air quality. It can also lead to vegetation stripping and other unregulated damage to soils. Then there are the social and economic costs of foraging for fuel and the kno . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Rania Al-Mashat puts finance at forefront of COP27

In the blink of an eye, COP27 is looming (Nov 2022). Hosted in Egypt, the conference will look to build on COP26 and address many of the additional problems the world has been faced with since – particularly the intersection of the war in Ukraine with covid in a time of climate crisis. Egypt’s Minister for International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, has now called on governments to make financial assistance for developing countries the top agenda item. Without it, the promises of COP26 cannot be delivered and future promises will look empty and unachievable. There is a strong argument that the development of the world’s wealthy countries – however you may define it (perhaps the OECD membership?) – grew wealthy both at the economic expense of the world’s poorer countries and very much at the expense of the environment. Now is the time to pay back is it not? These countries can afford it, face an ethical argument that they should and an even larger . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Driving change with career choice

An interesting and long overdue message from UN SG António Guterres which shows how we need ever more complex thinking about how to deal with the climate crisis. In an address to graduates at a university in the US, Guterres appealed to them (watch here) not to work for companies whose work encourages the continued exploitation of fossil fuels. He did not limit this to the obvious – oil companies and so on – but also to those who facilitate them, particularly in the banking, financial and consulting sectors. Corporations in these sectors are often the most aggressive at courting the best and brightest new graduate talent, so by critically analyzing the impact those corporations have on climate and then voting with your feet, you can begin to drive better climate oriented corporate work by starving bad actors of talent. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Sustainability round-up - interesting articles from around the web

World’s largest vats for growing ‘no-kill’ meat to be built in US (The Guardian) DESA Identifies 21 SDG Good Practices to Scale and Replicate Worldwide (IISD) Four reasons SUVs are less safe and worse for the environment than a regular car (The Conversation) How children are helping to make their families more eco-friendly – new research (The Conversation) Amazon palm oil: sustainable fuel or deforestation driver? (Eco-business) Getting our urban environment to net-zero (Eco-business video) This New Zealand Startup Is Making Plant-Based Mortadella From Microalgae (green queen) Cutting CO2 Not Enough—Reducing Other GHGs Critical In Climate Fight, Study Finds (green queen) ‘Go after the money’: Goldman environmental prize winner honoured for urging banks to divest from coal (The Guardian) Boosting legal timber supply in Cameroon (Cap4dev) . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

The importance of bees

Last Friday, 20 May was World Bee Day – a UN observance adopted in 2017. This recognizes how crucial protecting bees is to achieving the 2030 Agenda. Modern agricultural practices which use pesticides, insecticides, clear natural habitats, alongside pollution and global heating, have devasted many bee populations placing them under severe threat. Greenpeace estimates US losses running at double the natural rate. As bees pollinate some 90% of human food crops, this is potentially disastrous for humans as well as the bees. Clearly, bee loss relates to SDGs 2, 3 and 15 as well 10, 11 and 12. What is frustrating is that the resistance to fixing this – and it is fixable – seems only to be a resistance to change and an unwillingness to accept that for example the losses due to other pests will be far outweighed by the gains from saving bees. Once again, hoping for some sanity to prevail. . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

International Day for Biological Diversity

Yesterday, May 22 was International Day for Biological Diversity. The general public is finally becoming aware that complex ecosystems are crucial to all life on earth, us included, but that many modern human practices are highly destructive of this complexity. Governments are finally recognizing the issue and quite rightly getting pressured by their communities. The Convention on Biological Diversity has been ratified by 196 nations with its aim for "the conservation of biological diversity, the sustainable use of its components and the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources" The theme in 2022 is “Building a shared future for all life”. Fitting within the context of the ongoing United Nations Decade on Restoration, which highlights that biodiversity is the answer to several sustainable development challenges, the slogan conveys the message that biodiversity is the foundation upon which we can build back better. (se . . .

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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