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Climate and Sustainability Spring/Summer News Round-up

August 15, 2023

‘Fight has only just begun’: Climate activist Greta Thunberg holds her final school strike

June 9, 2023

Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg has been striking from school each Friday for 251 consecutive weeks. She graduated high school recently, meaning that she can no longer school strike for the climate. She will continue to protest each Friday and assures that the fight will continue since we are still going down a path of fossil fuel dependence and heading towards a tipping point for climate chaos.

Read on CNBC

"Why glass, paper and other options aren’t the simple alternative to plastic that they seem to be"

June 7, 2023

Summary: Plastics are made from fossil fuels, and most plastic products are not able to be recycled, instead breaking down into harmful microplastics. Therefore, reducing plastic pollution will involve developing better substitutes, which is difficult considering plastic’s cheapness and versatility. Glass, aluminum, paper and compostables are often considered as plastic alternatives, but each comes with limitations related to production, recycling, cost and more.

Read on The Washington Post

Philadelphia is under a ‘code red’ alert as millions from the East Coast to Canada suffer unhealthy air from Quebec’s wildfires

June 7, 2023

The Canadian wildfires that threatened East Coast public health in a drastic decline in air quality may have been accelerated by climate change. Some air quality indexes in major metro areas in the region reached above 200, which is considered to be “unhealthy.” Climate change has worsened the hot and dry conditions that fuel wildfires like the ones in Canada.

Read on CNN

How Canada's wildfires and air quality warnings are connected to climate change

June 2023

This year, the Canadian wildfire season started earlier and has burned more acres than average. Wildfires are not caused by climate change, but the heat, drought, and other conditions that make wildfires more severe are. Also, climate change is expected to worsen air pollution as the jet stream weakens due to rising global temperatures.

Read on ABC News

More than checking a box: Environmental justice in renewable energy project finance

June 6, 2023

Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are important to consider in the clean energy transition because BIPOC and low-income communities have been barred from participating in engagement opportunities and jobs. Renewable energy project planners should consider who is running the project, if community members have a say, who the project benefits and disadvantages and more.

Read on Renewable Energy World

Plastic recycling in focus as treaty talks get underway in Paris

May 29, 2023

Talks are starting about a global plastics treaty, and there is debate between countries about if the focus should be on limiting plastic production or appeasing to the petrochemical industry and regarding recycling as the solution. Some goals of the participating countries and the U.N. Environment Programme are circularity, or keeping plastic that is created in circulation for as long as possible, and creating a text that all 55 nations involved agree upon by 2024.

Read on Reuters

Environmental justice is a form of social justice

May 27, 2023

Reports show that climate change is happening and is primarily caused by humans. Also, racial discrimination is apparent in environmental leadership, policy-making, and enforcement, demonstrated by the targeting of BIPOC communities for toxic waste facilities and dumps. The Dakota Access Pipeline is another example of environmental racism, as it would result in a disproportionate environmental burden on the Indigenous Standing Rock Sioux nation. There are 17 principles of environmental justice decided upon at the First National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit of 1991.

Read on LGBTQ Nation