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March 2020: Monthly Environmental News Roundup

1. Air pollution likely to raise, the mortality rate for coronavirus, experts say.  

Bad air is believed to cause harm to the lung and heart and is responsible for at least 8 m of early deaths each year. The fundamental risk to health Includes respiratory infections, including coronavirus. Over Northern Italy, the center of the outbreak of that country, reductions in air pollution have been reported. In the four weeks since January 25, when regions shut down in response to the outbreak, air pollution has also fallen sharply across China. Dangerous small particles of emissions dropped by 25% while nitrogen dioxide, primarily emitted by diesel vehicles, and dropped by 40%. Once this crisis is over, lawmakers will take action to get polluted vehicles off our highways. Therefore, street sweeping is a crucial investment for a better future.

2. McDonald’s to drop Happy Meals plastic toys to reduce environmental effects

Gareth Helm, chief marketing officer of the company in the United Kingdom, said: ‘ We are concerned about the ecosystem and committed to reducing plastics in our sector, including our Happy Meal. When parents and children are given the opportunity to change their plastic toys to a book or paper toy when they purchase a product, it will begin trialing the new toys from May. The fast-food giant expects the move would save more than 3,000 metric tons of plastic in their UK sector by 2021, which will be their largest single reduction to date. Getting it right is a huge challenge, but we know that the improvements we are making now have the potential to make a big difference. ‘ In the past, the organization has committed to lowering emissions by 36 percent by the end of the decade, and using recycled or sustainable materials in all its packaging by 2025.

3. Take new ecological approval for Bengaluru 8-lane program: SC to BDA

Maintaining that environmental conservation was an intrinsic component of development and growth, the highest court stated that compliance with environmental standards couldn’t be reduced to an ad-hoc process where the promoter of the project sought to remedy its abject failure to disclose material information and obtained the specified clearances at a late stage. The plan by the Karnataka government to construct a 65-km eight-lane peripheral bypass in Bengaluru to decongest city traffic suffered a setback on Tuesday with the Supreme Court ordering the Bangalore Development Authority to conduct a project’s “new fast” environmental impact assessment. A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and Hemant Gupta also said the court couldn’t “gloss over” the “patent paradox” in disclosing the presence of forest land to be diverted for the Tumkur Road-Hosur Road project.

4. Black Rock turns the investments of the Capital market into the environment fund

According to the fund’s prospectus, BlackRock may use data or other economic, financial, or governance (ESG) risk metrics like ratings given by independent analysis providers to make a decision whether to take a position in protection while evaluating success in environmental practices. Blackrock said it might use a minimum of 5 percent of its net income from the investment fees that it receives from the fund to shop for and sell carbon credits either directly or through a 3rd party company. BlackRock said in January that it considers sustainability the cornerstone of its investment plan for the $6.3 trillion it manages for investors.

5. Association of Environmental contractors plans Coronavirus Preparation for construction workers in NYC   

Morris Napolitano had the idea of educating construction workers on how to clean up a decade before the novel coronavirus emerged to prevent contracting a pandemic disease. The training will have to wait until June, as officials in New York have banned 50 or more gatherings — including the ECA / Linders training seminar. Workers will keep a minimum of 6 ft from each other. Project owners and contractors will have on-site soap and water, and possibly even hand sanitizers. Another way to safeguard workers from the COVID-19 virus is to interrupt operations at construction sites. “I have a feeling this will continue,” says Napolitano, adding this, “a couple of my jobs have already been shut down.” The curriculum will include basics for contractors on infection management and discuss risk evaluation for infection control.

6. Three Rivers Land Trust receives $375,000 from SAVE THE YADKIN Project Environmental Development Grant Program

The NC Wildlife Resources Commission and Three Rivers Land Trust have the ability to sell the lands on the open market until September 2021, to raise $8.5MM required to buy those lands. This project is critical on a number of levels, from public access to water quality to conservation of natural resources, and we are grateful that EEG has donated these funds to make this acquisition possible. Three Rivers Land Trust and the North Carolina Wildlife Management Board successfully acquired 2,463 acres and 45 miles of coastline along the Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers in Davie, Davidson and Rowan Counties last year.
7.United Kingdom Court prohibits expansion of the Heathrow airport on environmental grounds

Johnson’s government already divided on the expansion program, the ruling made it less likely that he would move ahead quickly, analysts said. For the Paris Agreement — already under pressure from President Trump, who pulled the United States out of the agreement last year — the ruling party sent a clear signal about its ability to act as a check on energy and infrastructure domestic policies. The United Kingdom Court of Appeal released a landmark decision on Thursday overturning plans to construct a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport, arguing that the government unlawfully violated its promises to minimize carbon emissions and protect the world from extremely high temperatures.

8. Tesla Gigafactory in Berlin to stop after environmental problems

After local activists raised concerns about its effect on biodiversity and water supplies, a German court forced Tesla to temporarily stop planning work for its nearby Berlin Gigafactory, reports Reuter. Local community activist Gruene Liga Brandenburg (Brandenburg Green League) later protested about the work, citing environmental concerns. Since Tesla was due to finish tree-felling in just three more days, the court ordered the car firm to stop the work immediately so that appeals could be heard from the environmentalist group. Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory will be the fourth in the world after Gigafactory 3 was built in Shanghai, China, which produced the first cars just under a year after the factory began operating.

9. DC Environmental Film Festival is going ‘virtual’ because of concerns of Coronavirus

The Environmental Film Festival will hold a “virtual” festival due to coronavirus concerns, after canceling all public events scheduled for March 12-22. Since those screenings have been canceled, now the festival will be showing selected works online, including Josh Murphy’s essential documentary “Artifishal.” “Okavango: River of Dreams,” directed by award-winning filmmakers and conservationists Dereck and Beverly Joubert was expected to be the opening night screening. The closing night movie was scheduled to become “Jane Goodall: The Promise” world premiere. Although the screenings for the opening and closing night have been canceled, Forder hopes to reschedule them this fall. They can also be found on PBS and on National Geographic.

10. Brexit an opportunity to ban United Kingdom waters Supertrawlers

The ships of factory size can be hundreds of feet long and have been blamed for indiscriminate fishing as they capture hundreds of thousands of fish in relatively short periods. Environmentalists are concerned that their existence coincides with numbers of dolphins ending up dead with spikes. Ministers should look at whether enabling supertrawlers to work in UK waters is compatible with our waters ‘ sustainable management and exploration. the effect of the UK’s commercial remote water fleet on the waters of other countries. A Ministry of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesperson said: “We will have the right, as an independent coastal state, to determine who fishes in our waters and under what conditions.

11- New study finds Indian birds in Decline overall

Using data from more than 10 million records from lists submitted by more than 15,500 birders from about 2 lakh locations, the study is a groundbreaking attempt to Marshall the expertise of the citizen science. The birdwatchers uploaded the data online to the eBird India database, part of the global internet-based eBird network, which is housed in the ornithology laboratory at Cornell University. “It’s difficult to really understand birds in a vast country like India, without the involvement of birdwatchers,” said Ashwin Viswanathan, NCF research associate who worked on the paper. The study showed that raptors (which kill prey and also include vultures), migratory shorebirds, and habitat specialists are the groups showing the biggest decline.

12.Seven Indian States running dry due to Shortfall in rainfall: Ministry of the Environment

A study from India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences showed that the seven Indian states have experienced a decline in the trend of annual rainfall over the last 30 years. It highlighted that seven Indian states falling in the Ganga basin have experienced a major decline in rainfall patterns and a rise in the number of dry days between 1989-2018 during the monsoon season. The aforementioned states witnessed a decrease in the pattern of rainfall, thus increasing the number of dry days during the monsoon season. However, the decline in the frequency of these rainfall events has significantly impacted groundwater availability in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. The Ministry obtained the data by examining the trend of rainfall distribution of 28 states over a 30-year time period. It could be linked to climate change.

13. 11 units of power plants do not meet environmental requirements

Under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, CPCB provided directions/show-cause notice for closure on 26.02.2020 to 11 units of 4 TPPs. In the stipulated time provided by MoEF&CC / CPCB, the CEA also sent letters to thermal power stations for strict compliance with established environmental standards. As many as 14 power plants with a total power generation capacity of 13,830 megawatts (MW) did not comply with environmental standards. Although 14 power plants with a total generating capacity of 13,830 MW were issued notices on January 31, 2020, a further 11 units of four power plants with a total generating capacity of 1,495 MW were issued directions on February 26, 2020.

14. The Polish minister of environment has coronavirus

Polish Environment Minister Michal Wos said that after checking positively for the novel coronavirus he was under quarantine, adding that he felt fine. Many internationally afflicted politicians include French Minister of Culture Franck Riester, Spanish Minister for Inclusion Irene Montero and Iranian Vice President Massoumeh Ebtekar. The 38 million-person of EU nation has 156 confirmed COVID-19 cases including 3 deaths. It has, among other precautionary steps, shut its doors to international travelers and closed schools. “I went under quarantine and took the test after a state forest employee with whom I had contact was found to have coronavirus yesterday, “the 29-year-old Wos said on Twitter Monday.

15- India overtook China-for the most Polluted cities in the world

Beijing — once famous for its toxic haze — has reduced smog rates and lowered a list of the world’s most polluted cities from 84 three years earlier to 199, according to IQAir AirVisual’s 2019 World Air Quality Study published Tuesday. In recent years, many Chinese cities, including Beijing, have significantly improved their air quality while Indian metropolises remain among the worst polluted in the world, according to a new survey. Following new government policies aimed at addressing the problem, the air quality of New Delhi has dropped from where it was five years ago, rising to the fifth-worst spot globally and making it by far the most polluted major city in the world, the report said.

16- International demand for wind turbine materials to cross $8 billion over the next decade

According to a new estimate, the global demand for wind turbine materials is expected to reach $8 billion by 2029 on the back of an estimated Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of about 7 percent, backed by the growing number of wind power plants worldwide. With Siemens AG, Teijin Limited, Toray Industries, Reliance Industries limited as the major participants, the global market for wind turbine materials is competitive in nature. In 2019, wind blades retained their dominance on the wind turbine materials market based on application, as turbine materials in wind blades replaced traditional materials such as aluminum and steel.

17- The richest 10% use 20 times more energy than the lowest 10%

They pooled data from the European Union and the World Bank to quantify the distribution of carbon footprints, as well as what different income classes prefer to invest their money on carbon-intensive goods and services. Lead author Yannick Oswald, Ph.D. researcher at Leeds School of Earth and Climate, said: ‘ We found that none of the types of energy are free from energy inequalities or support communities in equal measure.’ The researchers also highlighted the unequal distribution of energy consumption among countries, with 20% of UK people being among the top 5% of global consumers of energy. University of Leeds researchers investigated income class energy disparity across 86 countries.

18. Rich countries may be forced to spend billions on biodiversity conservation

For the first time, delegates from over 140 countries responded to a 20-point draft agreement which includes proposals to protect nearly a third of the world’s oceans and land and the pollution from plastic waste and excess nutrients by 50%. It will now be crucial for countries to address the task in the next round of negotiations and to ensure that the draft agreement arrives in Kunming with the requisite commitment to bring about a world of nature-positive by the end of the decade. Biodiversity loss was highlighted at the World Economic Forum earlier this year as the third biggest danger to the planet in terms of likelihood and severity.

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