Wednesday 07 Dec 2022 |
Environment and development AL-BIA WAL-TANMIA Leading Arabic Environment Magazine

297 - December 2022
Najib Saab
Climate, a Step Forward
Najib Saab
Now that the dust of the climate battles in Sharm El-Sheikh has settled, it is time for a levelheaded assessment that helps draw lessons and morals

Antonio Guterres
Eight billion people; one humanity
Antonio Guterres
The world’s population will reach 8 billion in the middle of November – a testament to scientific breakthroughs and improvements in nutrition

Sultan Al Jaber
A Bold and Realistic Energy Transition
Sultan Al Jaber
While renewables accounted for over 80% of all new power generating capacity in 2021, they comprise only 4% of today’s energy mix
Meet the
Najib Saab
Selected articles News
'Doomsday glacier,' which could raise sea level by several feet, is holding on 'by its fingernails,' scientists say 6/9/2022
Antarctica's so-called "doomsday glacier" -- nicknamed because of its high risk of collapse and threat to global sea level -- has the potential to rapidly retreat in the coming years, scientists say, amplifying concerns over the extreme sea level rise that would accompany its potential demise. ...more
The audacious PR plot that seeded doubt about climate change 27/7/2022
Thirty years ago, a bold plan was cooked up to spread doubt and persuade the public that climate change was not a problem. The little-known meeting - between some of America's biggest industrial players and a PR genius - forged a devastatingly successful strategy that endured for years, and the consequences of which are all around us. ...more
Bottling the sun 14/6/2022
From a small hill in the southern French region of Provence, you can see two suns. One has been blazing for four-and-a-half billion years and is setting. The other is being built by thousands of human minds and hands, and is — far more slowly — rising. The last of the real sun’s evening rays cast a magical glow over the other — an enormous construction site that could solve the biggest existential crisis in human history. ...more
Ukraine's natural environment is another casualty of war. The damage could be felt for decades 23/5/2022
The pine forests around Irpin are Oleh Bondarenko's happy place. He discovered them as a child, when his mom sent him to the area for summer camp, and he has been coming back ever since. ...more
Forests Can Heal an Ailing Planet – But Champions Needed 10/5/2022
Humanity has been receiving warning signs for some time that our home, the Earth, is in peril. The concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) is increasing and the global average temperature is rising. Thousands of species are threatened with extinction. Vast areas of land have become degraded, ten million hectares of forest are being cleared each year, and more than 800 million people are malnourished. ...more
Building Materials – A Hidden Heavyweight for Climate Action 7/4/2022
An era of massive construction is currently underway, with a new area the size of Paris being built every week. The global building floor area is expected to double by 2060, which will have a massive impact on the climate. The production of building materials and construction activities are already responsible for 10% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. ...more
More than Just SDG 12: How Circular Economy can Bring Holistic Wellbeing 7/4/2022
As it’s moved from the fringes of academia into the mainstream, the circular economy has been posited as a means to address ecological breakdown by cutting resource extraction and limiting warming to 1.5-degrees. Now, practitioners are also exploring how a circular economy with social and ethical concerns at its heart can create new jobs, ensure more equitable resource management and combat inequalities. ...more
Preventing Plastic Pollution with Partnership 10/3/2022
The world has a plastic problem. Since the 1950s, the rate of plastic production has grown exponentially and faster than that of any other material. This is a trend with severe environmental consequences. ...more
Blue Peace in the Middle East: A 12-year Journey Towards Water Cooperation for Sustainable Development 28/2/2022
According to a Chinese proverb, ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’.This certainly holds true for the Blue Peace Middle East (BPME) initiative which was launched in 2010 with the aim of transforming water from a potential source of conflict into an instrument of cooperation and peace. ...more
Animal Welfare Matters for Sustainable Development: UNEA 5.2 is an Opportunity for Governments to Recognize That 25/2/2022
This Monday, 28 February, the world’s environment ministers will gather in Nairobi, Kenya, to resume the fifth UN Environment Assembly, which takes up the theme of ‘Strengthening Actions for Nature to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs). Ahead of the Conference, seven countries from Africa and South Asia have tabled a resolution on animal welfare, the environment, and the sustainable development nexus. ...more
Governments Weigh New Global Treaty on Plastics and Sustainable Development 25/2/2022
Plastic pollution doesn’t stop at borders. It’s everywhere: in the water we drink, the air we breathe, and even in the most remote parts of the planet. International policy measures must be taken to address the scope of the problem. Later this month, we have an opportunity to do just that. ...more
Solar Power to the Rescue? Leveraging the Resilience of Farmers in Fragile and Conflict-affected Countries to Achieve the SDGs 8/2/2022
In the past decade, food security conditions have substantially deteriorated across conflict-affected countries in the Middle East. Wars have damaged key infrastructure that supports the agricultural sector, such as transportation, water, and sanitation. As a result of conflict, food prices have increased, incomes diminished, joblessness soared, and lack of equitable access to water and food intensified. ...more
China’s Artificial Sun Just Broke a Record for Longest Sustained Nuclear Fusion 24/1/2022
Superheated plasma reached 126 million degrees Fahrenheit for 17 minutes ...more
Petra and Climate Change… How to safeguard the "Lost City"? 21/1/2022
Petra, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, which has welcomed 1,135,300 visitors in 2019, is prone to witness more hydrological hazards, including flash floods, landslides, and earthquakes, due to climate change, urban expansion at the site’s neighboring areas, and its geological location near the Jordan rift valley. ...more
U.N. summit aims for global pact to protect nature 7/12/2022
Countries are gathering Tuesday for a key U.N. nature conference in Montreal, aiming to broker a new global agreement to protect what's left of Earth's wildlife and natural spaces. ...more
EU agrees law preventing import of goods linked to deforestation 7/12/2022
The European Union agreed on Tuesday on a new law to prevent companies from selling into the EU market coffee, beef, soy and other commodities linked to deforestation around the world. ...more
Global renewable capacity growth set to double over next five years, says IEA 7/12/2022
Global renewable power capacity growth is set to double over the next five years, driven by energy security concerns in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday. ...more
US, EU weigh climate-based tariffs on Chinese steel, aluminium -Bloomberg News 7/12/2022
The United States and the European Union are weighing new tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminium as part of a bid to fight carbon emissions, Bloomberg News reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. ...more
Consortium seeks first proposals for carbon capture shipping project 7/12/2022
A consortium of global energy and shipping organisations said on Tuesday it was seeking proposals to study ways to offload captured carbon dioxide from ships during port calls. ...more
Europe embraces solar power in a revolutionary way 6/12/2022
Europe is accelerating its use of solar power, in part motivated by Russia’s war in Ukraine. In line with Europe’s pledge to half greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the EU is installing solar panels and roof tiles just about everywhere. ...more
Canada and China prepare to open Cop15 biodiversity summit despite rifts 6/12/2022
More than 10,000 scientists, government officials and activists will gather in Montreal this week for the world’s most important biodiversity conference, eager to hammer out a deal to stem habitat loss around the world and preserve sensitive ecosystems. ...more
Jabal: the new wheat scientists say can withstand extreme heat and drought 6/12/2022
A new drought-tolerant variety of durum wheat has been created as part of an international breeding programme to boost climate resilience in the food system by increasing crop diversity. ...more
BP doubles down on hydrogen as fuel of the future 6/12/2022
BP chief executive Bernard Looney is betting on hydrogen to power future low-carbon businesses as the governments of major economies stump up cash to develop the fuel to decarbonise. ...more
New magnetic material can clean microplastics in an hour 6/12/2022
Microplastics have become a problem in our current world in every aspect. They are found nearly everywhere and have been traced in our foods and water. To deal with the menace, scientists are working around the clock to find a solution. ...more
USAID DAWERR Helps Municipalities Improve Solid Waste Management 5/12/2022
The Diverting Waste by Encouraging Reuse and Recycling (DAWERR) project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced its second round of support to three new groupings of municipalities to improve solid waste management (SWM) services, thus diverting significant proportions away from landfills. ...more
Countries split on plastics treaty focus as U.N. talks close 5/12/2022
The first round of negotiations on a global plastics treaty ended on Friday with agreement to end plastic pollution but a split on whether goals and efforts should be global and mandatory, or voluntary and country-led. ...more
Air pollution hurts Bangladesh GDP as well as health, World Bank says 5/12/2022
Air pollution in Bangladesh is robbing the South Asian nation of economic growth as well as causing premature death and illness, the World Bank said on Sunday. ...more
Earthshot Prize: Prince William announces five winners 5/12/2022
Childhood friends in Oman who figured out how to turn carbon dioxide into rock are among five winners chosen for the Prince of Wales's prestigious Earthshot Prize. ...more
In Mexico, endangered monarch butterflies inspire hopes of a comeback 5/12/2022
From a distance, they appear like autumn foliage: millions of endangered monarch butterflies blanketing trees in a kaleidoscope of brown, orange and black. ...more
Egypt to build 21 desalination plants in phase 1 of scheme - sovereign fund 2/12/2022
Egypt plans to award deals next year to build 21 water desalination plants in the first $3 billion phase of a programme that will draw on cheap renewable energy, the CEO of the country's sovereign fund said on Thursday. ...more
World Cup: Shuttle flights cast doubts on carbon-neutral pledge 2/12/2022
In the run-up to the World Cup, Qatar pledged to make this the first carbon-neutral event in the tournament's history. But climate advocates raised serious doubts about its sustainability claims. So, is Qatar living up to its promise? ...more
EU unveils plans to cut Europe’s plastic and packaging waste 2/12/2022
The EU executive wants to ban mini-shampoo bottles in hotels and the use of throwaway cups in cafes and restaurants, as part of sweeping legal proposals to curb Europe’s mountains of waste. ...more
Nature needs $384 billion annually by 2025, U.N. says 2/12/2022
Investments into protecting and better managing the world's ecosystems need to reach $384 billion a year by 2025, more than double their current levels, to guard against the threats of climate change and loss of natural resources, the U.N.'s environment watchdog said on Thursday. ...more
Disasters caused total of $122 bln in insured losses in 2022 -Swiss Re 2/12/2022
Hurricane Ian and other natural catastrophes have caused an estimated $115 billion of insured losses so far this year, well above the 10-year average of $81 billion, Swiss Re (SRENH.S) estimated on Thursday. ...more
Abu Dhabi reduces number of single-use plastic bags by 90% 1/12/2022
Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi’s Single-Use Plastic Policy has offset the use of 87 million single-use plastic bags since its launch on 1 June 2022, reducing the use of single-use plastic bags by more than 90 per cent, supporting efforts to enhance sustainability in the emirate. ...more
Future global treaty on plastics must cut production to ease pollution, some states say 1/12/2022
Countries have begun to discuss a future global plastics treaty which would cut pollution, some hope entirely by 2040, at U.N. talks in Uruguay this week, with many states calling for curbs on plastic production as a way to reach that goal. ...more
Air pollution linked to almost a million stillbirths a year 1/12/2022
Almost a million stillbirths a year can be attributed to air pollution, according to the first global study. ...more
Companies not doing enough to protect nature, environmental non-profit says 1/12/2022
Companies are not doing enough to stop biodiversity loss, and most have no idea about the damage to nature caused by their supply chains, a report from environmental disclosure platform CDP said on Wednesday. ...more
Whole Foods stop selling lobsters to save endangered whales 1/12/2022
The U.S. retail giant Whole Foods has decided to stop selling Maine lobsters across its stores. The store said that the decision came following a move by several sustainability organizations to halt endorsement of the U.S. lobster fishing industry. ...more
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