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UK still fails to meet methane cut commitment, study says | Greenhouse gas emissions



The analysis showed that the UK is still far from meeting its international obligations to reduce methane emissions, despite measures to ensure that cows do not burp as much of it.

Ministers unveiled a host of initiatives to cut UK greenhouse gas emissions as part of the government’s ‘green day’ energy announcement over a week ago, including plans to introduce methane suppression feed for livestock from 2025 and stop biodegradable waste entering landfills from 2028

But that wasn’t enough to cut the UK’s methane emissions by 30% by 2030, a target agreed as part of the global methane pledge the UK signed ahead of the 2021 Glasgow Cop26 summit, according to an analysis by think tank Green Alliance.

It has been determined that government policy will cut UK methane production by around 14% by 2030 from 2020 levels.

The ministers rejected one important measure to reduce methane emissions, namely an immediate ban on routine gas flaring and gas discharge from gas and oil drilling platforms in the North Sea. A review of the UK’s net zero strategy by former Energy Secretary Chris Skidmore as well as parliamentary committees recommended such a ban from 2025, but the practice would be allowed until at least 2030.

Offshore operators use enough gas to power more than 750,000 homes a year through flaring and gas venting, and enough to power at least 100,000 more homes through undetected leaks.

Measures to reduce methane emissions in the UK under and beyond the commitment are still possible, according to the Green Alliance. Imposing a ban on flaring and venting, forcing landfill operators to capture methane at a faster rate than what is currently emitted from landfills, accelerating repairs to existing leaking natural gas pipelines in the UK and encouraging faster use of methane suppression feedstock. for livestock could help the country achieve a reduction of more than 40% by 2030.

Liam Hardy of Green Alliance said: “The UK’s current methane abatement measures are wholly inadequate, but it is not too late to make a difference. The government should be able to put forward a plan to cut methane emissions by more than 43%. This will help us move closer to net zero and put the UK in a leading position ahead of international climate talks later this year.”

The UK is also falling behind on its overall climate commitment to achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, according to the government’s own analysis.

Currently, over 100 countries have signed up to the global methane pledge. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, its warming effect is about 80 times greater than that of carbon dioxide, although its lifetime in the atmosphere is shorter.

The scientific consensus is that drastically reducing methane emissions is one of the fastest and surest ways to avert the worst effects of the climate crisis and could help reduce global temperature rise by as much as 0.5°C over several decades. But global methane emissions are still rising, and many countries are misreporting gas production.

Satellite images provide a much clearer picture of global emissions than ever before. The Guardian recently reported the existence of over 1,000 “super-emitting” methane objects around the world.

The UK government has challenged the Green Alliance’s findings. “This analysis is completely wrong. The UK has taken early and ambitious action to tackle methane emissions. This already means that between 1990 and 2020, UK methane emissions have fallen by 62%, more than any other OECD country,” the spokesman said.

“We recognize the need to do more, so we are moving further and faster to cut emissions in line with the net zero strategy and carbon budgets, and the global methane commitment, the global reduction target.”


Do you want to protect your health? Start by protecting indigenous lands.



By protecting indigenous territories in the Amazon, more than 15 million respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, such as asthma and lung cancer, could be prevented each year and save nearly $2 billion in health care costs. This is according to new research in nature.

The 10-year study looked at the impact of wildfires in the Amazon on health and the amount of hazardous particles absorbed by the rainforest. It has been found that the Amazon can absorb nearly 26,000 metric tons of hazardous particles emitted each year, with indigenous territories absorbing nearly 27 percent of that pollution.

Rainforest foliage acts as a biofilter for air pollution and improves air quality by reducing the concentration of pollutants generated by fires, such as dust, soot and smoke. Ecosystems with fewer trees, green spaces, and organic defenses against airborne pollutants, such as cities, experience higher levels of health disparity, including general respiratory irritation, bronchitis and heart attacks, according to the researchers.

Wildfires rage in the Brazilian Amazon. often installed pastoralists, illegal miners and other landowners seeking to expand their business, exacerbating deforestation and threatening indigenous territories. In 2020, land conflicts in Brazil affected 1,576 cases, the highest number ever recorded The Pastoral Land Commission, affiliated with the Catholic Church, since it first started keeping records in 1985.

The researchers found that the particles released by these fires traveled hundreds of miles to remote cities, entering tiny sacs in the lungs and entering the residents’ bloodstreams.

The study concluded that protecting indigenous territories from wildfires and land grabbing could help prevent thousands of diseases. Research shows that when indigenous peoples receive financial and legal support for land management and property rights, forests perform better.

During the four years of former President Jair Bolsonaro, deforestation in the Amazon increased by 56 percent, with about 13,000 square miles of land destroyed. While indigenous peoples lost approximately 965 square miles of their traditional territories because of Bolsonaro’s policies.

Indigenous leaders urgently the current president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, will fulfill the promises he made during his campaign to establish new indigenous reservations in the Amazon and continue to change the policies of his predecessor.

“This study confirms what indigenous peoples have been saying for centuries,” Dynamam Tuxa, executive coordinator of the Brazilian Indigenous Association. It is reported by Agence France-Presse.

“This demonstrates the importance of our territories in the fight against dangerous pollution … and climate change.”

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CDC says deadly fungal infection is spreading at an alarming rate



A new government study has found that a drug-resistant and potentially deadly fungus is rapidly spreading through US healthcare facilities.

A fungus, a type of yeast called Candida auris or C. auris, can cause severe illness in people with weakened immune systems. The number of people diagnosed with infections, as well as those who are screened to be carriers of C. auris, has been growing at an alarming rate since it was first reported in the US, according to researchers from the Centers for disease control. and Prevention reported on Monday.

This increase, “especially in recent years, is really worrying,” says study lead author Dr. S. Megan Lyman, chief medical officer Department of Mycotic Diseases CDC, – said in an interview. “We are seeing an increase not only in areas of ongoing transmission, but also in new areas.”

A new CDC warning, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, comes as the Mississippi Department of Health is battling a growing outbreak of the fungus. Since November, at least 12 people have been infected with C. auris, four of which are “potentially associated with death,” said state epidemiologist Dr. S. Paul Byers said in an email.

Petri dish with Candida auris in a laboratory in Würzburg, Germany on January 23, 2018. Nicholas Armer / alliance photo via Getty Images file

Transmission continued at two long-term care facilities, although cases were identified at several other facilities in the state.

“Unfortunately, multidrug-resistant organisms such as C. auris have become more prevalent among people at highest risk, such as residents of long-term care facilities,” Byers said.

The fungus can be found on the skin and throughout the body, according to the CDC. This is not a threat to healthy people, but a third of people who get C. auris die.

In the CDC report, the researchers analyzed data from state and local health departments on people who contracted the fungus from 2016 to December 2016. December 31, 2021, as well as those who were “colonized”, which means that they were not sick, but carried the virus on their body with the possibility of transmitting it to others who might be more vulnerable to it.

The number of infections increased by 59% to 756 from 2019 to 2020 and then another 95% to 1471 in 2021.

The researchers also found that the incidence of people not infected with the fungus but colonized by it increased by 21% in 2020 compared to 2019 and by 209% in 2021, rising to 4041 in 2021 compared to 1310 in 2020.

A new study has found that C. auris is now found in more than half of the US states.

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This part of the US will be hardest hit by climate change



CLIMATE WIRE | According to a new index created by the Environmental Defense Fund and Texas A&M University, industrialized areas of the Deep South are the most vulnerable in the US to climate change, which analyzes the impact of climate and living conditions in the area, such as poverty and health.

Nearly all of the most vulnerable communities are located along the Gulf Coast from Mobile, Alabama to Corpus Christi, Texas, a region prone to floods and hurricanes, deep pockets of poverty, poor health, and economic and racial inequality. Communities in Memphis, Tennessee, Birmingham, Alabama, and Chattanooga, Tennessee also scored high on the index.

“Black communities in the Deep South are fighting for their lives to protect their community from years of environmental racism, and we need every tool available to showcase what years of pollution look like in our communities,” said Beverly Wright, Founder and CEO. director of the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice in New Orleans.

Wright welcomed the new index, saying in an email that “data is critical to ensuring that these federal resources reach the communities they are intended for.”

The index is the latest in a series of new or recently updated online tools that assess environmental and climate risks in more than 70,000 small geographic areas known as census tracts, each with only a few thousand people. The effort comes as the Biden administration is prioritizing “disadvantaged communities” in allocating billions of dollars in new environmental and community spending.

The new index will help “ensure that adaptation efforts are directed to those who need them most,” Grace T. Lewis, lead author and senior fellow at EDF’s Climate and Health Program, wrote in a blog post.

Other interactive tools include Centers for Disease Control and PreventionEnvironmental Justice Index, Federal Emergency Management Agency National Disaster Risk Index another EJ EPA Screenlaunched in 2015 and updated in 2022. The White House recently published Checking climate and economic justice a tool to help channel federal climate and environmental spending through the Biden administration’s Justice40 initiative.

More than a dozen states, including California, New York and Pennsylvania, have their own screening tools, which are sometimes used to prioritize funding and protect vulnerable areas.

And in August, the Wright Group and the Bullard Center for Environmental and Climate Justice at Texas Southern University launched the HBCU Climate and Environmental Justice Review Tool in collaboration with Justice40. The Justice40 initiative aims to allocate 40 percent of the benefits of federal climate and clean energy investments to “disadvantaged communities” that have high levels of environmental impact and social vulnerability.

The EDF and Texas A&M index stands out for its breadth and scope, according to officials. The researchers collected data on more than 180 indicators of both “underlying vulnerability” and climate change risks—about three times the number the White House used for its screening tool. The data spans five categories: health, socioeconomic status, infrastructure, environment. and extreme events such as hurricanes.

The five categories are part of the climate change index because “vulnerable groups will be disproportionately affected by greater exposure to climate risks and lower ability to prepare, adapt and recover from their effects,” the researchers wrote in the journal. International Environment Organization. Such communities have been the focus of “environmental justice” campaigns.

The index is designed to help communities explore federal funding opportunities, including through the bipartisan Infrastructure Act and the Inflation Reduction Act.

“The goal is to provide a science-based tool that provides the data needed to support increased investment in these areas,” said Elena Kraft, EDF Deputy Vice President and health and climate expert.

Sarah Colangelo, director of Georgetown University’s Clinic for Environmental Law and Justice, said the index will help vulnerable communities “both by providing data that validates community experiences and by visualizing risks for decision makers at the governmental, nonprofit and corporate levels.”

The index provides “a fine understanding of vulnerability to climate change,” Colangelo added.

The index shows that the most climate-vulnerable communities are along the industrialized Gulf Coast from Corpus Christi to Mobile, and in parts of Memphis and St. John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, along the Mississippi River. The parish south of Baton Rouge, Louisiana is part of a region commonly known as “cancer lane”. The Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the legacy of industrial pollution and high cancer rates in the area.

Some high-profile areas outside the South include major cities such as Philadelphia, parts of the Ohio Valley, and central and southern California.

Weihsue Chiu, study co-author and professor at Texas A&M University’s School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, highlighted the “hyperlocal nature” of health and socioeconomic disparities that will be exacerbated by rising average temperatures and associated natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, and droughts. .

“If you look at specific numbers, some of them are geographically dispersed” across states and counties, Chiu said. “But a lot of them, especially those basic vulnerabilities, you cross the street and it’s a whole different world.”

Chiu said the South generally scores high on the Basic Vulnerability Index because it has high levels of poverty and health problems. “It highlights a lot of the things that the EJ movement was talking about,” he said.

Reprinted from News from Europe and Europe with permission from POLITICO, LLC. Copyright 2023. E&E News provides important news for energy and environmental professionals.

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