Friday 01 Dec 2023 |
Environment and development AL-BIA WAL-TANMIA Leading Arabic Environment Magazine

309 - December 2023
Najib Saab
Mission Impossible at Dubai Summit
Najib Saab
Perhaps the most important thing that will be discussed at COP28 in Dubai is the first Global Stocktake (GST)

David Malpass
Impactful climate mitigation requires standards, verification and standardization
David Malpass
Climate costs and development together need vast new resources. For developing countries, the needs are particularly large
Meet the
Najib Saab
Selected articles News
Benchmarks for Success for COP28 6/11/2023
Floods recently wreaked havoc in Libya, damaging critical infrastructure and killing more than 6,000 people. Wildfires in Canada burned 18.5 million hectares, an area the size of Syria. September 2023 set “gobsmackingly bananas” heat records that unsettled climate scientists. ...more
75 percent of exclusive hardwood may be illegally harvested 26/10/2023
The tropical wood type ipê is popular for building exclusive wooden decks, and in North America and Europe, the demand for the material has increased sharply. Now, a study from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, shows that more than three-quarters of all ipê from the top producing region in Brazil could have been harvested illegally. "The study reveals where in the chain the greatest risks lie. It can be a tool to counteract illegal logging," says Caroline S.S. Franca, PhD student at Chalmers. ...more
How mercury emissions from industry can be greatly reduced 4/7/2023
Sulphuric acid is the world’s most used chemical. It is an important reagent used in many industries and it is used in the manufacture of everything from paper, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics to batteries, detergents and fertilisers. It is therefore a worldwide challenge that sulphuric acid often contains one of the most toxic substances – mercury. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have now developed a method that can reduce the levels of mercury in sulphuric acid by more than 90 per cent– even from low levels. ...more
Gentle method allows for eco-friendly recycling of solar cells 13/4/2023
By using a new method, precious metals can be efficiently recovered from thin-film solar cells. This is shown by new research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden. The method is also more environmentally friendly than previous methods of recycling and paves the way for more flexible and highly efficient solar cells. ...more
Stadium 974: What happens next to the first temporary World Cup stadium? 12/12/2022
The World Cup's first temporary stadium will soon be dismantled after hosting seven matches in two weeks at Qatar 2022. ...more
'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
COP28 kicks off with climate disaster fund victory 1/12/2023
The U.N. climate summit clinched an early victory Thursday, with delegates adopting a new fund to help poor nations cope with costly climate disasters. ...more
Air pollution from fossil fuels ‘kills 5 million people a year’ 1/12/2023
Air pollution from fossil fuel use is killing 5 million people worldwide every year, a death toll much higher than previously estimated, according to the largest study of its kind. ...more
Like a high-sodium diet: traffic pollution can cause rise in blood pressure – study 1/12/2023
Getting stuck in traffic is one of the most common stressors that millions of Americans face every day. The bumper-to-bumper traffic can come at the cost of wasted gas, environmental pollution, and as new research shows, even spikes in blood pressure. ...more
Accelerated Energy Transition Can Add 40 million Energy Sector Jobs by 2050 1/12/2023
Socio-economic analysis of IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook sees significant economic prosperity and calls for progressive policy actions at COP28 ...more
Australian populations of threatened bird species fall 60% in past 40 years 1/12/2023
Australia’s populations of threatened and near-threatened bird species have declined by 60% on average in the past 40 years, new research shows. ...more
Deal to keep 1.5C hopes alive is within reach, says Cop28 president 30/11/2023
An “unprecedented outcome” that would keep alive hopes of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C is within reach, the president-designate of the UN Cop28 climate summit has said – and even Saudi Arabia is expected to come with positive commitments. ...more
Most sponsors of Cop28 have not signed up to UN-backed net zero targets 30/11/2023
Most companies sponsoring the UN climate talks in Dubai are not committed to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions in line with globally recognised net zero targets, it has been revealed. ...more
England to get new national park as part of nature plan 30/11/2023
England will get a new national park as part of a government set of "nature pledges" to give greater access and protection to the countryside. ...more
Sri Lanka needs $100 billion to become net zero emitter by 2040, president says 30/11/2023
Sri Lanka needs $100 billion to become a net zero emitter by 2040, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Tuesday, as the island also attempts to build climate change resilience while navigating its worst financial crisis in decades. ...more
Plans to present meat as ‘sustainable nutrition’ at Cop28 revealed 30/11/2023
Big meat companies and lobby groups are planning a large presence at the Cop28 climate conference, equipped with a communications plan to get a pro-meat message heard by policymakers throughout the summit. ...more
Toxic gas putting millions at risk in Middle East, BBC finds 29/11/2023
Toxic pollutants released during gas flaring are endangering millions more people than previously feared, a BBC investigation suggests. ...more
Citizens in richer countries back climate help for vulnerable - EIB poll 29/11/2023
Citizens in Europe, the United States, China and Japan believe their countries should compensate poorer nations to help address the impact of climate change, a European Investment Bank poll of more than 30,000 people shared with Reuters showed. ...more
Thai cabinet approves draft clean air act to reduce pollution 29/11/2023
Thailand's cabinet on Tuesday approved a draft clean air act in a bid to reduce pollution, a government spokesperson said. ...more
First transatlantic flight using 100% sustainable jet fuel to take off 29/11/2023
The first transatlantic flight by a commercial airliner fully powered by “sustainable” jet fuel will take off from London Heathrow this morning. ...more
Second endangered Sumatran rhino born in Indonesia 29/11/2023
Another Sumatran Rhinoceros was born in an Indonesian sanctuary last week, the Environment Ministry said, the second birth of this critically endangered animal at the reserve this year. ...more
COP28 climate summit puts spotlight on turning methane pledges into action 28/11/2023
Delegates at this year's U.N. COP28 climate summit are anxious to boost the world's climate change agenda with concrete plans for clamping down on the second-most prominent greenhouse gas – methane. ...more
US oil and gas production set to break record in 2023 despite UN climate goals 28/11/2023
The United States is poised to extract more oil and gas than ever before in 2023, a year that is certain to be the hottest ever recorded, providing a daunting backdrop to crucial United Nations climate talks that hold the hope of an agreement to end the era of fossil fuels. ...more
Biden to skip COP climate meeting in Dubai - official 28/11/2023
U.S. President Joe Biden will not attend a gathering of world leaders focused on climate change in Dubai this week, a U.S. official said on Sunday. ...more
British empire’s past emissions ‘double UK’s climate responsibility’ 28/11/2023
The UK is responsible for almost twice as much global heating as previously thought when its colonial history is taken into account, analysis has revealed. ...more
Environmental groups take Portugal to court over climate inaction 28/11/2023
Environmental groups have filed a legal action in a Lisbon court against Portugal over an alleged failure to put into practice its own regulation to tackle climate change, they said on Monday. ...more
Egypt climate envoy sees international funds helping developing industries decarbonise 27/11/2023
A financing scheme that draws on funding from Western donors to help developing countries shift to cleaner power generation could be mirrored for heavy industries and other hard-to-abate sectors, Egypt's climate champion said. ...more
The Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi Develops the Region’s Bespoke Air Emissions and Modelling System 27/11/2023
To enhance its air quality monitoring system, the Environment Agency–Abu Dhabi (EAD) has developed and implemented a sophisticated, multi-theme air quality modelling system for Abu Dhabi. ...more
UN aviation meeting agrees to goal of 5% lower emissions by 2030 27/11/2023
A meeting of more than 100 countries on Friday agreed to an interim goal for emissions reductions from global aviation by 2030 by using less-polluting fuels, but China, Russia and some others aired concerns about the impact on their economies. ...more
World's largest iceberg breaks free, heads toward Southern Ocean 27/11/2023
The world's largest iceberg is on the move for the first time in more than three decades, scientists said on Friday. ...more
Buyers worldwide go for bigger cars, erasing gains from cleaner tech. EVs would help 27/11/2023
The negative impact on the climate from passenger vehicles, which is considerable, could have dropped by more than 30% over the past decade if not for the world’s appetite for large cars, a new report from the Global Fuel Economy Initiative suggests. ...more
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