Tag Archives: Environmental problems

Brazil presents a disputed nature conservation scheme for the Amazon region | National | Instant News


RIO DE JANEIRO – Following harsh criticism of its environmental and climate policies, the Brazilian government on Wednesday presented a controversial program for the preservation of nature reserves in the Amazon region.

The scheme dubbed “Park Adoption” allows individuals or companies to sponsor national parks in the Amazon region for a fee of 50 reais (9 dollars) per hectare per year, according to a government statement.

The area of ​​the reserve varies between 2,574 and 3,865,172 hectares. However, it is only possible to “adopt” the entire garden.

French company Carrefour was the first to declare sponsoring a 75,000-hectare “Reserva Extrativista do Lago do Cunia” reserve in the northern state of Rondonia.

Carrefour is currently trying to improve his image in Brazil after the cruel death of a black man in one of his supermarkets in Rio de Janeiro in November.

Greenpeace Brazil has criticized the park initiative as an attempt to disguise reality, accusing the government of shifting responsibility for funding part of the country’s environmental protection to companies.

Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao, chairman of the Amazon Council, told the World Economic Forum in Davos that the country would have no funds left for spending in the Amazon region after the pandemic.

Greenpeace, however, is referring to the Amazon Fund, a private fund that aims to fight deforestation and for the conservation of the Amazon rainforest, and which has been paralyzed since disagreements over its use.

Brazil has faced growing criticism for its management of the Amazon, especially under hardline President Jair Bolsonaro.

Rainforest deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon region has reached its highest point in 12 years, said space agency Inpe, which is responsible for monitoring rainforests, as recently as December.

Between August 2019 and July 2020, 11,088 square kilometers of forest were cut in the area, according to Inpe, which represents the largest area displaced since 2008.

This is equivalent to about 4,340 football fields per day or three soccer fields per minute and compared to the same period last year, deforestation increased by 9.5%.

Bolsonaro sees the region primarily as untapped economic potential and wants to develop more land for agriculture, mining and energy production. He has dismissed international criticism of his environmental policies as meddling in domestic affairs.

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Saharan dust plumes cause a spike in European air pollution | National news | Instant News


The Saharan dust plume that has blanketed southern and central Europe in recent days has caused a sharp rise in air pollution across the region, researchers said Tuesday.

The European Commission’s Copernicus satellite monitoring program said levels of particles measured smaller than 10 micrometers – called PM10 – surged in cities such as Barcelona, ​​Lyon and Marseille on Sunday.

The fine sand clouds blowing north from Algeria paint the sky red and mix with fresh snowfall in the Alps and Pyrenees, making the slopes appear orange.

Although PM10 particles can enter the lungs, causing difficulty breathing, asthma attacks and other health problems, Saharan dust concentrations do not reach levels considered dangerous.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Volkswagen doubles electric car sales ahead of climate rules | World | Instant News


By DAVID McHUGH AP Business Writer

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Europe’s push into electric cars is increasing – despite the pandemic.

Automobile maker Volkswagen doubled sales of its car with a battery only tripled by 2020 as the new ID.3 electric compact car hits the market ahead of the EU’s new tough limits on car emissions. And Germany, long overdue in adopting electric vehicles, saw more people buying electricity in December than opting for the previously dominant diesel vehicle.

Those are early signs of what is likely to be the coming year of increasing market share for electric cars as EU regulations drive its implementation, despite the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic that has caused the overall auto market to shrink.

Volkswagen said Tuesday its brand sold 134,000 battery-powered cars last year, up from 45,000 in 2019.

Including hybrids, which combine an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, electric car sales reached 212,000, up from 82,000 in 2019.

Volkswagen announcement The auto industry association in Germany reported that one in four cars sold in the country in December had an electric motor, an absorption supported by incentives as part of the government’s stimulus package during the COVID-19 recession.

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Amazon fires cause Brazil’s CO2 emissions to spike amid pandemic | National | Instant News


BRASILIA, Brazil – Wildfires have caused carbon dioxide emissions to spike in Brazil over the past two years, undermining President Jair Bolsonaro’s government efforts to restore the country’s environmental credentials.

Emissions jumped 10% in 2019, Bolsonaro’s first year in office, after a decade of minor declines or stagnation, according to a report published Friday by Observatorio do Clima, a network of Brazilian environmental organizations. Preliminary data suggests a new trend will increase by as much as 20% by 2020, even as the pandemic limits the amount of CO2 produced by transportation and industrial activity around the world, the group warned.

“It’s a sizeable increase that is turning Brazil against global trends,” Tasso Azevedo, former head of the Brazilian Forest Service and now in charge of the system for estimating greenhouse gas emissions for the Observatorio do Clima, said in an interview. “It’s basically linked to deforestation; Brazil is moving further away from its Paris Agreement goals.”

The environment ministry did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Brazil has faced global outrage in the past two years as more fires ravage the Amazon rainforest and Pantanal wetlands. In June, a group of prominent institutional investors managing about $ 3.7 trillion in assets sent a letter to the Brazilian government threatening to withdraw from the country unless environmental metrics improve.

Since then, the government has shifted its strategy and is now asking investors to help the Amazon in unconventional ways, such as sponsoring a patch of rainforest. Government officials led by Vice President Hamilton Mourao are also stepping up efforts to convince the world that Brazil cares about the environment, by visiting the forest this week with a group of diplomats from Europe and Latin America.

The Observatorio do Clima figures place Brazil among the world’s largest emitters of carbon dioxide, after China, the US, Russia, India and the European Union. Deforestation was responsible for 44% of the country’s emissions last year, followed by agriculture, with 28%.

Brazil produced 10.4 tonnes of CO2 per capita in 2019, above the global average of 7.1 tonnes, according to the organization.

Despite the government’s attempts to change the world’s perceptions of Brazil’s environmental policies, Bolsonaro has maintained an aggressive style when it comes to the issue. In a speech at the opening of this year’s United Nations General Assembly, he downplayed the seriousness of the forest fires, saying they were caused by farmers and indigenous peoples “burning their fields in deforested areas.”

Some of his cabinet members went even further. In his 2019 speech, Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo said the cold May front he was experiencing in Rome was proof that theories about global warming were wrong.

PHOTO (for assistance with pictures, call 312-222-4194): ENV-BRAZIL-AMAZON-FIRES

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If the viruses don’t kill us, climate change will | Instant News


FILE – In this Saturday, July 22, 2017 file photo, a polar bear stands on ice in the Franklin Strait in Canada’s Arctic Islands. In a year of natural disasters, several world leaders at the United Nations annual meeting in September 2020 took a long view, warning: If COVID-19 doesn’t kill us, climate change will happen. With Siberia experiencing its warmest temperatures on record this year and massive chunks of ice in Greenland and Canada sliding into the ocean, countries are well aware that there is no vaccine for global warming. (AP Photo / David Goldman, File) (David Goldman)

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