News Digest | 1-15 June

Heatwaves in Asia made 30 times more likely because of climate change, scientists say

International scientists conducted a rapid analysis and found that global warming increased the risk of a rising heat wave in parts of southern Asia in April of this year by at least 30 times. Monitoring stations in numerous areas in India, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Laos last month recorded temperatures that were unusually high for the time of year, rising as high as 45 degrees Celsius. Schools in the vicinity were shut down as a result of the area’s extreme heat-related fatalities, hospitalizations, road damage, and fires. In some places of Thailand, the extreme heat and humidity have made it feel warmer than 50 degrees Celsius. In one of the many affected regions of the country, thirteen individuals died in the heat at a public event near Mumbai, the financial hub of India. West Bengal, an east Indian state, would close all of its educational institutions for a week. Numerous international climate studies have identified the South Asian region as one of the regions most impacted by climate change. India is currently the third-highest emitter of greenhouse emissions despite being the most populous and largest country in the region. To lessen severe health issues, government-run heat response measures must be put into place faster in India and other affected nations.

‘Toxic tidal wave’ of plastic pollution putting human rights at risk

The experts explained how the “plastics cycle” harms people’s rights to a healthy environment, life, health, food, water, and a sufficient standard of living at every stage. The plastic itself includes harmful compounds that endanger both people and the environment while being produced with a heavy reliance on fossil fuels.  Additionally, 85% of single-use plastics are thrown away or placed in landfills. Experts claim that plastic pollution has had an “alarming” contribution to climate change that is frequently ignored.  For instance, the removal of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere by marine organisms is hampered by the presence of plastic particles in the oceans. They pointed out that historic decisions recognizing the human right to a clean, healthy, and sustainable environment approved by the UN General Assembly and the Council during the previous two years should prompt and direct efforts to eliminate plastic waste. They also appreciated developments in the quest for a legally enforceable agreement to stop plastic pollution, especially that which pollutes the oceans.  By 2040, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) predicts that the annual input of plastic garbage into aquatic ecosystems might range from 23 to 37 million tonnes.

Singaporeans see climate change as top challenge for S-E Asia in 2023: Survey

Singaporeans have identified the greatest threat to Southeast Asia in 2023 as climate change, along with more severe and frequent weather events. But for their ASEAN counterparts, the most pressing concerns following the Covid-19 outbreak were basic problems like unemployment, inflation, a commodities shortage, and the rising cost of living. The results, which were included in the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute report The State of Southeast Asia 2023, showed that 59.5 percent of the 1,308 survey respondents polled across the 10 ASEAN member states ranked unemployment and economic recession as a more pressing concern than climate change, which was ranked as the second-biggest challenge at 57.1 percent. More than 60% of Singaporeans who responded ranked climate change as the largest issue.

World off track for reaching key goal on sustainable energy by 2030

In a recent report, the World Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the UN Statistics Division (UNSD), and the International Energy Agency (IEA) all issued warnings that the world is not on track to meet Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) by 2030. The report emphasized the requirement for greater investment in energy access, energy efficiency, and renewable energy in order to fulfill SDG7. As a means of assisting nations in achieving the goals, it also urged increased international collaboration.Achieving the target will significantly improve people’s health and well-being, protect them from threats in the social and environmental sphere such asair pollution, and increase access to primary healthcare and services. It is anticipated that the current global energy crisis, which has been made worse by the conflict in Ukraine, would encourage the use of renewable energy sources and increase energy efficiency as certain governments increase investment. However, according to IRENA estimates, worldwide public financial flows supporting renewable energy in low- and middle-income countries have been declining ever since the COVID-19 outbreak, and money is only available to a select few nations.It will be important to establish new opportunities for investment unlocking and structurally altering global public finance in order to achieve SDG 7 commitments. The report also reveals that the prospects for achieving universal access to clean cooking and power are becoming worse due to increased debt and rising energy prices.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *