Welcome to the Landscape News bi-weekly digest on landscapes, climate and sustainability. From what’s on your shelves to what’s in the atmosphere, here’s the news to know.
LANDSCAPE NEWS: Going for the gold
From rituals to panels, Indigenous peoples led the Global Landscapes Forum Bonn 2019 conference. A new global ‘gold standard’ on their rights is now in the works. These two Inuk poems will move you. Oh, and why Bonn?
CLIMATE: So hot right now
Unprecedented heatwaves across Europe – France saw a record temperature of 45.8 degrees Celsius – are seeing red alerts become a new norm during summers on the continent.
“Climate apartheid” is entering the global lexicon as those affected most by climate change are increasingly relegated to one side of the wealth gap (guess which). This undermines basic human rights and challenges democracy, says U.N. special rapporteur Philip Alston.
POLICY: Oh, Canada
The resulting declaration from world leaders at the 2019 G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, is similar to theirs from last year in Argentina, committing to address climate change through “inclusive finance… innovation in a wide range of areas for low emissions and resilient development… smart cities, ecosystem and community based approaches, nature based solutions and traditional and indigenous knowledge,” according to the document.
Also in the declaration, the U.S. reaffirmed its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
After the release of a report in April finding that Canada is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world, the country declared a “climate emergency” on 18 June.
On 19 June, Canada approved a USD 7.4 billion pipeline to carry nearly a million barrels of oil daily to the country’s west coast. Trudeau says every dollar earned will go toward clean energy.
Nigeria is investing USD 500 million to up its palm oil production from 600,000 to 5 million tons by 2027, which means doubling plantation acreage to 6 million hectares.
BUSINESS: It’s electric!
Since the UN Climate talks – also known as COPs – began in 1995, thousands of representatives of the world’s largest energy companies have attended, often outnumbering delegates from countries, reported Agence France-Presse using data from the Climate Investigations Center.
RESEARCH: Not exactly the paleo diet
In 1753, Species Plantarum was published, documenting every known plant species. A new report finds that 571 of seed-bearing plants therein are now extinct.
Data pooled from 26 different studies shows that the average American person eats at least 50,000 particles of microplastic each year… and counting. Only about 15 percent of a standard American diet has been evaluated so far.
Between May 2018 and May 2019, the atmosphere’s carbon dioxide concentration rose at the second-highest rate in the past 60 years.
In 2018, the energy industry’s carbon emissions rose at the fastest rate in a decade.
Mining for metals to be used in renewable energy infrastructure could contribute to biodiversity loss.
CULTURE: Mind the tan-lines
Is biodegradable “land art” the new street art? (See artist Saype’s Instagram above.)
A grocery store in Vancouver tried shaming its customers into bringing totes by plastering their plastic bags with faux branding for a wart ointment wholesaler and “Weird Adult Video Emporium.” The bags, ironically, have become collectors’ items.
And before your next vacation, consider swimwear’s notoriety for the non-biodegradable microfibers it sheds into our waters. Save the sea by buying from brands like Reformation, Tide + Seek and United by Blue.