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.
As fires continue to rage across North and South America, listen back to our two-part GLF Live series on this year’s devastating blazes.
The world’s billionaires have grown even richer this year. At the same time, 150 million people could fall into extreme poverty by the end of next year due to the economic fallout of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, governments have failed to invest in health care, social services and labor protection, leaving most of the world’s countries “woefully unprepared” for the pandemic, says Oxfam.
Small island nations are heavily dependent on tourism revenues for climate adaptation. Some, like the Maldives, face an impossible dilemma between staying open to tourists and remaining COVID-free.
Some 690 million people across the globe are undernourished – and governments will need to invest USD 33 billion a year in food security and nutrition to end hunger by 2030.
Mining interests are operating on around 20 percent of Indigenous lands in the Amazon, causing higher rates of deforestation. Nearby, almost half of the Indigenous territories in the Pantanal have been wiped out by wildfires.
Wracked by the heaviest rains in decades, 370,000 people have been forced from their homes in South Sudan since July, with many caught in a cycle between floods and ethnic violence over the past year.
A fifth of the world’s countries are at risk of ecosystem collapse due to biodiversity loss, including Australia, South Africa and India, according to insurance firm Swiss Re.
Your laundry might be contributing to the problem: washing and drying clothes releases thousands of microplastic particles that can cause severe damage to marine species.
And in Belgium, a “giant vacuum cleaner” has been dispatched to clear up millions of tiny pieces of plastic waste littered across a nature reserve.
China banned the use of pangolin scales in traditional medicine back in June, but dozens of Chinese companies are still engaging in the practice.
The E.U. is setting off a “renovation wave” to improve the energy efficiency of its buildings, which account for 40 percent of the bloc’s energy use. However, it could fall short on its plastic recycling targets.
U.S. officials have drawn the ire of conservationists by denying protection to wolverines, which only number about 300 in the lower 48 states.
BP believes demand for oil may have already peaked in 2019, but it seems ExxonMobil didn’t get the memo: leaked documents reveal the oil giant’s plans would increase its annual carbon emissions by 17 percent – or 21 million tons a year – by 2025.
But asset owners are increasingly steering clear. Thirty of the world’s largest investors have pledged to reduce emissions by up to 29 percent over the next five years, while the University of Cambridge is the latest university to divest from fossil fuels.
Honda is withdrawing from Formula 1 to focus on zero-emissions technologies. Electric cars are set to triple their market share in Europe this year.