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Green Economy and Environment News in the Philippines

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In recent years, the world’s population has experienced dramatic changes in the environment and global climate – ushering in an age of uncertainty. For businessmen, entrepreneurs, and ordinary individuals in the Philippines, environmental news may guide personal habits, industry processes and business management to accommodate more environmentally aware options. With Business Mirror’s Environmental News, you can stay up to date with the latest developments in climate change, climate talks, and global efforts to stop or slow down climate change.

Princess Empire oil-spill damage widens

Marking a month since oil tanker MT Princess Empress sank in Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, causing an oil spill from its cargo — containing 900,000 liters of industrial oil — Greenpeace satellite imagery shows the day-to-day expansion of the slick that reached coastal ecosystems of Oriental Mindoro, including the biodiversity-rich Verde Island, from the period of March 8 to 23, 2023. Red areas show the location of vulnerable marine ecosystems including mangroves, coral reefs and seagrass beds.

Difficulty measuring methane slows plan to slash emissions

Methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, has been shown to produce roughly 80 times the climate-warming power of carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. The gas is released from pipelines, storage tanks and energy facilities. It also wafts from landfills and the cattle industry. Scientists say a substantial reduction in the emissions is among the changes that could make the swiftest impact on climate change.
mercury lamp disposal, e-waste

Group calls for proper disposal of busted lamps with mercury

According to the government-published “Guidebook on the Management of Mercury-Containing Lamp Wastes,” mercury and mercury compounds are highly toxic. “Exposure to high levels of mercury can cause permanent brain damage, central nervous system disorders, memory loss, heart disease, kidney failure, liver damage, vision loss, sensation loss, and tremors,” it said. It warned that “even at low-level exposure to mercury has caused serious health effects, including neurological damage, reproductive system damage, behavioral problems and learning disabilities.”

Six climate breakthroughs that made 2022 a step toward net zero

THE damage caused by climate change over this past year was at times so immense it was hard to comprehend. In Pakistan alone, extreme summer flooding killed thousands, displaced millions and caused over $40 billion in losses, Fall floods in Nigeria killed hundreds and displaced over 1 million people. Droughts in Europe, China and the US dried out once-unstoppable rivers and slowed the flows of commerce on major arteries like the Mississippi and the Rhine.

In war-torn states hurt by climate, scant hope for new funds

The United Nations’ climate conference, which wrapped up last weekend in Egypt, established a new fund to help poor, vulnerable countries hit hard by climate change. Countries like Yemen and Somalia are among the world’s poorest and more vulnerable to climate change impacts as they are less able to adapt to weather extremes. But they have little or no access to climate financing. And they are unlikely to receive funds because they lack stable governments.

Historic compensation fund approved at UN climate talks

The decision establishes a fund for what negotiators call loss and damage. It is a big win for poorer nations which have long called for cash — sometimes viewed as reparations — because they are often the victims of climate worsened floods, droughts, heat waves, famines and storms despite having contributed little to the pollution that heats up the globe.

‘Plastic Man’ in Senegal on mission against trash

Environmental activist Modou Fall, who many simply call “Plastic Man,” wears his uniform — “it's not a costume,” he emphasizes — while telling anybody who will listen about the problems of plastics. As he walks, strands and chunks of plastic dangle from his arms and legs, rustling in the wind while some drags on the ground. On Fall's chest, poking out from the plastics, is a sign in French that says, “No to plastic bags.”

Fed up young climate activists: ‘Adults aren’t listening’

With decades of warmer and extreme weather ahead of them, young climate activists envision a future that has them frustrated and anxious, according to more than 130 activists questioned by The Associated Press. Most of them said they think their strikes and protests are effective. But lately in high-profile, attention-grabbing actions, a handful of activists have gone beyond skipping school to targeting art work, tires and fossil fuel depots.

World leaders gather to talk climate amid many distractions

Nearly 50 heads of states or governments on Monday will take the stage in the first day of “high-level” international climate talks in Egypt with more to come in the following days. Much of the focus will be on national leaders telling their stories of being devastated by climate disasters, culminating on Tuesday with a speech by Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Sharif, whose country’s summer flood caused at least $40 billion in damage and displaced millions of people.

COP27’s Coke sponsorship leaves bad taste with green groups

Over the years, the meetings have evolved to resemble trade fairs, with big corporations, startups and industry groups setting up stalls and pavilions on the sidelines to lobby and schmooze — underscoring how a growing number of companies want to engage with the event, sensing commercial opportunities as climate change becomes a bigger global priority.

UN group adopts 2050 goal of net-zero emissions from planes

Aviation is a relatively small contributor to overall climate-changing emissions, but its share is expected to grow. More people are expected to travel on planes in the coming years, and aviation lacks cleaner alternatives such as electric power that are rapidly becoming widely available for cars and trucks.

What the Russia-Ukraine war means for Asia’s climate goals

Most Asian countries are prioritizing energy security, sometimes over their climate goals. For rich countries like South Korea or Japan, this means forays into nuclear energy. For the enormous energy needs of China and India it implies relying on dirty coal power in the short term. But for developing countries with already-strained finances, the war is having a disproportionate impact. How Asian countries choose to go ahead would have cascading consequences: They could either double down on clean energy or decide to not phase out fossil fuels immediately.

Tiny Oregon town hosts 1st wind-solar-battery ‘hybrid’ plant

On-site battery storage isn’t new, and interest in solar-plus-battery projects in particular has soared in the US in recent years due to robust tax credits and incentives and the falling price of batteries. The Wheatridge Renewable Energy Facility in Lexington, Oregon, however, is the first in the US to combine integrated wind, solar and battery storage at such a large scale in one location, giving it even more flexibility to generate continuous output without relying on fossil fuels to fill in the gaps.

Q&A: Amanda Gorman talks UN poem, fame, future presidency

Gorman once again graced center stage in front of world leaders. Her fame exploded after she recited her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, which made her the youngest inaugural poet in US history. Her poem quickly topped bestsellers lists and made her one of the most in-demand poets, putting her on other big stages like the Super Bowl and in an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Its largest lake is so dry, China digs deep to water crops

A severe heat wave is wreaking havoc across much of southern China. High temperatures have sparked mountain fires that have forced the evacuation of 1,500 people in the southwest, and factories have been ordered to cut production as hydroelectric plants reduce their output amid drought conditions. The extreme heat and drought have wilted crops and shrunk rivers including the giant Yangtze, disrupting cargo traffic.

Italy’s Lake Garda shrinks to near-historic low amid drought

Northern Italy hasn’t seen significant rainfall for months, and snowfall this year was down 70%, drying up important rivers like the Po, which flows across Italy's agricultural and industrial heartland. Many European countries, including Spain, Germany, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and Britain, are enduring droughts this summer that have hurt farmers and shippers and promoted authorities to restrict water use.

Berlin hosts envoys for heart-to-heart talks on climate

Developing countries are still waiting for rich nations to provide $100 billion in climate aid each year, a target they were meant to reach by 2020. Big polluters, however, have also long resisted the idea that they should pay for the destruction their greenhouse gas emissions are causing around the world.
extreme weather advisory

UK gets ready for travel disruptions as temps may hit 40°C

The alert covers large parts of England on Monday and Tuesday, when temperatures may reach 40°Celsius (104°Fahrenheit) for the first time, posing a risk of serious illness and even death among healthy people, the UK Met Office, the country's weather service, said Friday. The British heat record is 38.7°C (101.7°F), set in 2019.

How a favela in Rio got its clean water back, for $42,300

The Enchanted Valley project is years in the making. The president of the local residents’ association, Otávio Barros, brought a group of tourists to a waterfall downhill in 2007 and, when they wanted to bathe in its waters, he told them they couldn’t; all the community’s sewage flowed through that cascade. The seed of an idea was planted, though, and he started drumming up support.

Peru’s ‘worst ecological disaster’ slams small-scale fishing

Peru has characterized the spill of 11,900 barrels in front of a Repsol refinery as its “worst ecological disaster.” A report by United Nations experts estimates it involved about 2,100 tons of crude, well above the 700 tons the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation Limited considers the threshold for a large spill — and an unprecedented amount for the type of crude that leaked. The oil was extracted from Buzios, the world’s largest deep water oil field and the most productive in Brazil.