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Environment and development AL-BIA WAL-TANMIA Leading Arabic Environment Magazine

303 - June 2023
Najib Saab
Neither the End of Pandemics nor the Last of Wars
Najib Saab
The world has faced massive crises in the last few years, starting with the Corona pandemic

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
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
Global greenhouse gas emissions at all-time high, study finds 9/6/2023
Greenhouse gas emissions have reached an all-time high, threatening to push the world into “unprecedented” levels of global heating, scientists have warned. ...more
EU lawmakers draft deal in attempt to rescue nature law 9/6/2023
European Parliament lawmakers from some political groups have drafted a deal to try to pass a landmark EU law to protect nature, which the parliament's largest group is attempting to block. ...more
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon falls nearly 10% in May 9/6/2023
Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest fell almost 10% in May from the previous year, preliminary government data showed on Wednesday, as President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's administration has strengthened efforts at protection. ...more
Uber says green rides will enable customers to track CO2 savings 9/6/2023
U.S. ride-hailing giant Uber said on Thursday that customers will soon be able to track emissions avoided when choosing greener rides and have the option of shared rides in more cities to further reduce CO2 emissions. ...more
Climate change could cause disease to 76.8% of corals by 2100: Report 9/6/2023
Researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney) have estimated that 76.8 per cent of corals across the world would catch disease by 2100 amid global warming. ...more
Abu Dhabi takes 172 million single-use plastic bags out of circulation in one year 8/6/2023
Abu Dhabi has reduced the number of single-use plastic bags in circulation by 172 million since an emirate-wide ban came into effect a year ago, authorities said on Tuesday. ...more
Too late now to save Arctic summer ice, climate scientists find 8/6/2023
It is now too late to save summer Arctic sea ice, research has shown, and scientists say preparations need to be made for the increased extreme weather across the northern hemisphere that is likely to occur as a result. ...more
Airlines call for emissions help in long-haul to net-zero 8/6/2023
Global airlines called on Tuesday for broad co-operation to reach "very tough" emission targets and pledged to release interim climate targets next year as the industry aims for a goal of net-zero by 2050. ...more
Pathways to global sustainability revealed through a worldwide survey of experts 8/6/2023
The majority of sustainable development researchers believe that in affluent countries, it is necessary to look beyond economic growth to achieve sustainable development, a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland suggests. ...more
More wildlife-friendly farming needed to stop decline of insects in Britain, says report 8/6/2023
Conservation measures over the past 30 years have failed to stop the decline of insects on British farmland, a new report shows. ...more
Drought drives economic exodus from Iraq's rivers and marshlands 7/6/2023
On a sun-scorched shoreline in Iraq's southern marshlands, fishermen stood shovelling a grim catch: tiny fish gathered dead from the water, fit only for use as animal fodder. ...more
UN climate talks in Germany kick off with no final agenda 7/6/2023
United Nations climate talks in Germany kicked off on Monday without an agreed final agenda for technical discussions, a senior negotiator said, clouding optimism that the 10-day meeting would result in a clear programme for the COP28 conference in Dubai. ...more
Rich countries with high greenhouse gas emissions could pay $170tn in climate reparations 7/6/2023
Rich industrialised countries responsible for excessive levels of greenhouse gas emissions could be liable to pay $170tn in climate reparations by 2050 to ensure targets to curtail climate breakdown are met, a new study calculates. ...more
Atmospheric CO2 now 50% higher than pre-industrial level -NOAA 7/6/2023
Carbon dioxide levels as measured atop a Hawaiian volcano extended their record-breaking rise in 2023, reaching a level more than 50% higher than at the onset of the industrial era, U.S. scientists reported on Monday. ...more
Italy could abandon coal by 2024, environment minister says 7/6/2023
Italy could shut down its coal-fired power stations in 2024, a year earlier than planned, if gas prices remain at current low levels, Environment Minister Gilberto Pichetto Fratin said on Monday. ...more
UAE: 2 new lanes for having electric cars tested for licensing open in Abu Dhabi 6/6/2023
In line with the growing popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) in Abu Dhabi, dedicated new lanes for testing EVs for licensing purposes have opened up in the emirate. ...more
UN climate chief calls fossil fuel phase out key to curbing warming but may not be on talks’ agenda 6/6/2023
The world needs to phase out fossil fuels if it wants to curb global warming, the United Nations climate chief said in an interview with The Associated Press. But he said the idea might not make it on to the agenda of “make-or-break” international climate negotiations this fall, run in and by an oil haven. ...more
Report: Richer nations providing one-fifth of promised climate finance to poorer countries 6/6/2023
Wealthy nations are giving too little assistance to poorer countries to help them cope with the effects of climate change and transition to cleaner economies, Oxfam has said. ...more
How is my country doing on tackling climate change? 6/6/2023
Every year countries pledge to cut their greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to curb the impacts of climate change. ...more
'Extinct' butterfly species reappears in UK 6/6/2023
Blink and you could miss them - but mysterious sightings of an extremely rare butterfly have set the hearts of enthusiasts fluttering. ...more
After rough start, UN plastic treaty talks end with mandate for first draft 5/6/2023
After a rocky start to a week of negotiations, around 170 countries agreed to develop a first draft by November of what could become the first global treaty to curb plastic pollution by the end of next year. ...more
EU countries weaken nature law in hunt for deal 5/6/2023
European Union countries want to water down parts of the bloc's flagship nature law by adding loopholes to dodge certain targets, as they attempt to find a deal on the contested proposal, a draft document showed. ...more
World Bank's new chief asks staff to 'double down' on development, climate efforts 5/6/2023
The World Bank's new president Ajay Banga on Friday asked the lender's 16,000 staff to "double down" on development and climate efforts as he seeks to accelerate the bank's evolution to tackle the most pressing global problems. ...more
Britain's ETS CO2 emissions rose to 110.6 million tonnes in 2022 5/6/2023
Carbon dioxide emissions covered by Britain's emissions trading scheme (ETS) in 2022, were 110.6 million tonnes, up 2.7 million tonnes from the previous year, the UK ETS Authority said late on Thursday. ...more
Record wildfire emissions amid high temperatures and dry conditions, Copernicus reports 5/6/2023
High temperatures and dry weather have led to a rising number of wildfires in spring, leading to record emissions, new climate data has revealed. ...more
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