Story highlights Studies show that women are disproportionately impacted by global warming
From the Himalayas to Nigeria, women are trying to mitigate the impacts of climate change (CNN) Climate-related disasters, extreme weather events and depleting water sources affect everyone on earth, but studies show that women are disproportionately impacted by global warming.
Women in developing countries are particularly at risk as they are often poorer and more dependent on natural resources than men, according to the United Nations. On International Women’s Day , we profile five initiatives led by women fighting for a greener planet. The eXXpedition crew are seen on a sailing boat in the North Pacific Ocean. Read More Sailing crew spotlight planet’s plastic crisis Three hundred women from 100 different countries are sailing to remote parts of the planet over the next two years to raise awareness of the plastic crisis plaguing our oceans. British skipper Emily Penn launched the all-female eXXpedition voyages in 2014 because she was shocked by the “trillions of pieces of microplastics” she came across while sailing around the world. EXXpedition’s aim is to highlight the extent of the plastic crisis and gain a better understanding of the different types of plastic in the oceans, Penn told CNN.
Plastic island: How our trash is destroying paradise The women will collect samples of water, sand and air and analyze how they have been contaminated by plastic waste. They will also assess the potential health impacts of plastic pollution, with existing research suggesting that chemicals released by plastics can affect fertility and hormone function . Despite a “global backlash over plastic, we are not yet seeing the positive impact on the oceans itself,” Penn said.
Ridding the oceans of plastic entirely is unrealistic, instead the focus should be on stemming the tide of waste entering them, Penn said. The four female co-founders of zero-waste shop Épicerie Loco: Marie-Soleil L’Allier, Sophie Maccario, Martine Gariépy and Andréanne Laurin.
Quebec’s first zero-waste shop Frustrated by the lack of environmentally friendly food, toiletries and cleaning products in Quebec, Canada, Andréanne Laurin decided to open the province’s first zero-waste shop in 2016. With three other women, Laurin founded Épicerie Loco, a store in Montreal which only sells organic, eco-friendly products in reusable containers. “Supermarkets in Montreal waste around 10 percent of their food every day. Our waste [output] is no more than one or two percent,” Laurin told CNN. Leftover food does not get thrown in the bin at the end of the day, but instead is reworked into ready meals, she said. “We don’t accept anything that isn’t brought to us in a zero-waste container,” store manager Benedicta Porter told CNN, adding that they have completely eliminated single-use packaging by starting a glass jar deposit scheme.
The zero-waste movement has grown rapidly in Quebec since Épicerie Loco opened and the province now counts at least 15 other businesses with a similar mission, said Laurin. Nanbet Magdalene reads the bible to her children at night by solar light. Solar sisters power Africa’s clean energy revolution Single mother-of-five Nanbet Magdalene used to cook on a wood stove, choking on the toxic fumes, with only a kerosene lamp for light. She is one of 74 million people in Nigeria living without electricity , forced to rely on dirty, expensive charcoal and kerosene for energy. Magdalene’s life changed completely when she was recruited by Solar Sister , a social enterprise operating in Nigeria and Tanzania. Solar Sister recruits predominantly female entrepreneurs and trains them to sell affordable, renewable energy sources, like solar lamps and clean cookstoves.
Its mission is to eradicate energy poverty, empower women and mitigate the impacts of climate change, according to Fid Thompson, the enterprise’s communications director.
What is climate change? Your questions answered Women living in remote, impoverished communities in Africa are on the frontlines of climate change , suffering as a result of extreme weather, deforestation and shrinking farmland, Thompson told CNN. “Women are disproportionately vulnerable to extreme poverty and climate change as they have fewer assets and fewer resources than men,” she said. Access to renewable energy helps women grow their businesses, provide for their families and save both time and money. “With the income from selling solar lamps and clean stoves, I pay for fertilizers and laborers for my field, which helps me to grow more,” Magdalene told CNN. The president of the Women’s Alliance of Ladakh examines a pile of plastic waste collected in Leh, northern India.
Himalayan group bans plastic bags and promotes organic farming India’s Himalayan glaciers are thawing rapidly due to rising temperatures. In the remote Himalayan Ladakh region, melting glaciers are causing severe water shortages and threatening the livelihoods of the people living in the mountain villages below.
The Women’s Alliance of Ladakh (WAL) has spent the past three decades trying to mitigate the impacts of climate change and mass tourism on their community. An influx of tourists in recent years has led to a huge amount of plastic waste littering the mountain region, WAL secretary Punchok Dolma told CNN. To tackle this problem, she said that WAL has introduced a plastic bag ban and organized litter clean-ups.
Read more: Women hold the key to curbing climate change Climate change is also a major concern for Ladakh residents, Dolma said.
“Melting glaciers are a very big problem. Villages suffer from a lack of water as they depend on the glaciers. Every year people are moving from villages to towns and cities [as] their crops are not growing,” Dolma said. The men are the ones moving as they can find jobs in the cities, leaving the women behind to work in the fields, according to Dolma. Faced with diminishing water supplies, the women decided to stop using pesticides and focus on organic farming instead, which uses far less water, she said. Liron Simon and Shir Esh, founders of Airy, a start-up which produces pollution-absorbing moss tiles.
Pollution-absorbing tiles Air pollution is one of the world’s biggest invisible killers. It poses a serious health risk, with a recent report estimating that it will cause around seven million premature deaths globally next year and cost the world $225 billion in lost labor. Shocked by the toxic fumes above Israel’s highways, Shir Esh and Liron Simon founded Airy, a startup producing moss tiles for urban rooftops which absorb CO2 and airborne pollutants.
“Seeing the effect of pollution on humanity is disconcerting and so we decided to try to make a change,” Esh and Simon told CNN. Read: More than 90% of world’s children breathe toxic air Moss has a much larger leaf surface than other plants and acts as a natural air filter , absorbing CO2, nitrogen oxide and dust, according to Simon. Just a couple of square feet covered by moss tiles could absorb the same amount of pollutants as dozens of trees. On average a single tree absorbs 80 kg of CO2 a year, she said.
The project, which will be trialed in Tel Aviv, has the “potential to prevent thousands of pollution related deaths as well as alleviating greenhouse emission debt,” according to Airy’s founders.
“Climate change mitigation is the new product that everyone wants to buy and where there is demand there will be supply,” they said..
Climate change may lead oceans to be as acidic as 14 million years ago
Made in NYC Stock quotes by finanzen.net Global warming is making oceans so acidic, they may reach the pH they were 14 million years ago Business Insider Deutschland Aug. 16, 2018, 11:36 AM If we don’t curtail our CO2 emissions soon, our oceans could soon be as acidic as they were 14 million years ago,…
Made in NYC Stock quotes by finanzen.net Global warming is making oceans so acidic, they may reach the pH they were 14 million years ago Business Insider Deutschland Aug. 16, 2018, 11:36 AM If we don’t curtail our CO2 emissions soon, our oceans could soon be as acidic as they were 14 million years ago, killing off marine life as we know it. According to a study published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters, global warming isn’t the only problem caused by excess CO2 emissions. Our oceans are currently experiencing unprecedented acidification due to rising CO2 levels in the water. If we don’t curb the problem soon, our oceans could soon be as acidic as they were 14 million years ago, killing off marine life as we know it.
We already know plastic waste leads to a colossal level of marine pollution and threatens the lives and habitats of many animals and plants.
We also know sunscreen can bleach coral and destroy whole reefs and that even traces of drugs can tip the hormonal balance of various marine animals. Man is to blame for a large portion of the damage the underwater world has been subjected to, but as if that weren’t bad enough, it turns out we’re causing the ocean another problem, according to a study published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters. Global warming isn’t the only problem caused by excess CO2 emissions Research conducted by scientists at the University of Cardiff in Wales found that carbon dioxide levels will soon be as high as they were 14 million years ago, when the average temperature on Earth was three degrees Celsius higher. Due to rapid global warming, the pH will have dropped dramatically by 2100. Ocean acidification occurs when the pH of water drops, due to the absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere.
One third of CO2 emissions are caused by the burning of fossil fuels, which has been ongoing since the beginning of the industrial revolution: 525 billion tons of CO2 have been released into the oceans since that period began. Smoke is seen from a chimney in Altay, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Thomson Reuters The ocean’s pH will soon be as low as it was 14 million years ago The scientists examined the pH value of the water and the CO2 content of the past 22 million years. “Our new geological record of ocean acidification shows us that on our current ‘business as usual’ emission trajectory, oceanic conditions will be unlike marine ecosystems have experienced for the last 14 million years,” said lead author of the study Sindia Sosdian in a statement .
But even the current pH value is alarmingly low: “The current pH is already probably lower than any time in the last 2 million years,” said Carrie Lear, co-author of the study. She added: “Understanding exactly what this means for marine ecosystems requires long-term laboratory and field studies as well as additional observations from the fossil record.” The catastrophic damage to marine life can no longer be averted Though scientists still have to conduct further experiments to establish the precise ramifications this change will entail within the next next few decades, one thing is clear.
If we continue as we have done up until now, the over-acidification will not only kill off existing and future coral reefs entirely; it will cause catastrophic damage to many ecosystems, in which many animals rely on underwater plants for food sources. Read the original article on Business Insider Deutschland . This post originally appeared on Business Insider Deutschland and has been translated from German.
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Single-use plastics banned by EU Parliament – CNN
(CNN) The European Parliament has approved a law banning a wide-range of single-use plastic items, such as straws, cotton buds and cutlery, by 2021. Final implementation of the legislation is expected in the next few weeks. The law, which was supported by 560 Members of the European Parliament against 35 on Wednesday, stipulates that 10…
(CNN) The European Parliament has approved a law banning a wide-range of single-use plastic items, such as straws, cotton buds and cutlery, by 2021.
Final implementation of the legislation is expected in the next few weeks. The law, which was supported by 560 Members of the European Parliament against 35 on Wednesday, stipulates that 10 single-use plastic items will be banned in order to curb ocean pollution. MEPs also agreed a target to collect and recycle 90% of beverage bottles by 2029. “Europe is setting new and ambitious standards, paving the way for the rest of the world,” the European Commission’s first vice-president Frans Timmermans, who is responsible for sustainable development, said in a statement. Read More The new plans come after the EC found that plastics make up more than 80% of marine litter, which has disastrous effects on wildlife and habitats. The EU parliament notes that because of its slow rate of decomposition, plastic residue has been found in marine species as well as fish and shellfish — and therefore also makes its way into the human food chain.
JUST WATCHED Saving our oceans from plastic pollution Replay More Videos … MUST WATCH
Saving our oceans from plastic pollution 04:47 Under the new European law, tobacco companies will be required to cover the costs for the collection of cigarette butts and manufacturers of fishing gear will also have to pay for the retrieval of any plastic nets that have been left at sea. There’s also a new focus on further raising public awareness, where producers of items such as tobacco filters, plastic cups, sanitary towels and wet wipes will be required to clearly explain to users how to appropriately dispose of them.
The European Commission first proposed the ban in May , which was approved by member states in October. Dead whale found with 40 kilograms of plastic bags in its stomach China last year banned the import of 24 varieties of solid waste , including types of plastic and unsorted paper, putting pressure on Europe to deal with its own waste.
The World Economic Forum estimates that there are about 150 million tons of plastic in the world’s seas. A study published in Science in 2015 suggested that between five and 13 million tons more are flowing into them every year. Research shows there will be more plastic than fish by weight in the world’s oceans by 2050, which has spurred policymakers, individuals and companies into action. European nations began phasing out plastic bags more than 15 years ago.
Dozens of other countries and cities have already imposed bans or restrictions on plastic goods, including microbeads, plastic straws and coffee pods..
The last straw: European parliament votes to ban single-use plastics | Environment
Vote by MEPs paves way for law to come into force by 2021 across EU. The European parliament has voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers as part of a sweeping law against plastic waste that despoils beaches and pollutes oceans. The vote by MEPs paves the way for a ban…
Vote by MEPs paves way for law to come into force by 2021 across EU. The European parliament has voted to ban single-use plastic cutlery, cotton buds, straws and stirrers as part of a sweeping law against plastic waste that despoils beaches and pollutes oceans.
The vote by MEPs paves the way for a ban on single-use plastics to come into force by 2021 in all EU member states. The UK would have to follow the rules if it took part in and extended the Brexit transition period because of delays in finding a new arrangement with the EU.
The UK environment secretary, Michael Gove, who has previously sparred with the European commission over who is doing the most to cut down plastic pollution , also wants to curb single-use plastics.
As well as targeting the most common plastic beach litter, the directive will ban single-use polystyrene cups and those made from oxo-degradable plastics that disintegrate into tiny fragments.
EU member states will have to introduce measures to reduce the use of plastic food containers and plastic lids for hot drinks. By 2025, plastic bottles should be made of 25% recycled content, and by 2029 90% of them should be recycled.
The EU is also tackling the scourge of wet wipes that help to clog sewers in the form of “fatbergs”. Wet wipes, sanitary towels, tobacco filters and cups will be labelled if they are made with plastic. Packaging will warn consumers of environmental damage they do by disposing of these items incorrectly.
The “polluter pays” principle will be extended to manufacturers of fishing nets so that companies – but not fishing crews – pay the cost of nets lost at sea.
Frans Timmermans, a European commission vice-president, who has spearheaded the plan, said: “Today we have taken an important step to reduce littering and plastic pollution in our oceans and seas. We got this, we can do this.
Europe is setting new and ambitious standards, paving the way for the rest of the world.
At the sitting in Strasbourg, 560 MEPs voted in favour of the recent agreement hammered out with EU ministers, 35 against, with 28 abstentions.
The directive only has to pass through formalities before it is published in the EU rulebook. Once that happens, EU member states will have two years to implement the directive.
Every year, Europeans generate 25m tonnes of plastic waste, but less than 30% is collected for recycling. More than 80% of marine litter is plastic.
Topics Plastics European Union Marine life Oceans Pollution Europe Wildlife news.
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