Category Archives: Water

Is Shell’s exit from Nigeria a front to dodge legal responsibilities?

The oil giant is selling its Niger Delta subsidiary – but lending the new owners the money for the purchase

By Andy Rowell and James Marriot Published 6-6-2024 by openDemocracy

Damaged trees in the Niger Delta following the 2008 Bodo oil spill. Photo: Sosialistisk Ungdom (SU)/flickr/CC

Nigerian activists believe Shell’s apparent end to its 87-year operation in the country is an effort to avoid its legal responsibilities while holding onto the potentially profitable side of the business.

In January, the oil giant revealed it had “reached an agreement to sell its Nigerian onshore subsidiary” to Renaissance, a consortium of four Nigerian oil firms and one based in Switzerland.

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UN Chief Calls for Global Ban on Fossil Fuel Advertising

“There is no longer any cover for agencies to say that they are doing the right thing when working with polluters,” said one campaigner. “Everyone knows this is wrong, and everyone needs to act.”

By Julia Conley. Published 6-5-2024 by Common Dreams

Over 100,000 marched in Vancouver in solidarity with the youth of the world in the September 27, 2019 Climate Strike.. Photo::Chris Yakimov/flickr/CC

Despite the grim news that scientists on Wednesday reported last month as the hottest May on record globally, marking 12 straight months with record-breaking heat, climate advocates expressed optimism after United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres signaled what one called a “game-changing intervention,” urging governments to ban advertisements by fossil fuel firms.

The demand is in line with prohibitions on advertising for other “products that harm human health—like tobacco,” said Guterres.

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As India Swelters, Experts Say Deadly Heat Is Growing Public Health Emergency

“How much evidence is enough for action?” asked one expert as temperatures soared to over 120°F in New Delhi and 16 people died in Bihar.

By Brett Wilkins. Published 5-30-2024 by Common Dreams

When the water tanker arrives in Delhi. Screenshot: Licypriya Kangujam/X

As a record heatwave scorches large swaths of India, killing 16 people in Bihar state, climate scientists warned Thursday that extreme heat fueled by the worsening climate emergency poses a fast-growing threat to public health and human survivability.

The Indian Meteorological Department said temperatures soared to over 120°F in recent days in New Delhi. The agency said it is investigating an all-time high reading of 127.2°F in the capital on Wednesday that may be attributable to a sensor error. If the reading is accurate, it would mark the highest temperature ever recorded in India.

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World Leaders Urged to Protect Syrian Refugees Amid Lebanon’s Crackdown

“Lebanon’s authorities must stop summarily deporting refugees to a place where they are at risk of violations, lift restrictions, and end their vitriolic campaign against refugees,” said one Amnesty campaigner.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-27-2024 by Common Dreams

Syrian refugee children in the Ketermaya refugee camp, outside Beirut, Lebanon on June 1, 2014. Photo: World Bank Photo Collection/flickr/CC

Amnesty International on Monday reiterated human rights groups’ rising concerns about a Lebanese crackdown on Syrian refugees as the European Union hosted a conference in Brussels focused on “supporting the future of Syria and the region.”

The conference comes at right-wing leaders in the E.U. campaign as anti-migrant ahead of the bloc’s June elections and after European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen in early May announced a three-year, €1 billion ($1.06 billion) assistance package to support “the most vulnerable people in Lebanon, including refugees, internally displaced persons, and host communities,” as well as “urgent domestic reforms” and “border and migration management.”

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Latin America shows why ecocide must be an international crime

Every state has an interest in prosecuting those who destroy our planet – we must ensure there are no ‘safe havens’

By Rodrigo Lledó. Published 5-21-2024 by openDemocracy

A lithium mine in Chile Photo: Reinhard Jahn/CC

Before leaving power in 1990, Chilean general and dictator Augusto Pinochet created a legal framework that guaranteed him absolute impunity. It didn’t work. He was arrested on charges of genocide and terrorism in London in 1998 by order of the Spanish justice system and, upon his return to Chile, finally had to face justice.

Years later, I had the opportunity to lead a team of public lawyers trying nearly 900 cases of crimes against humanity during the Chilean dictatorship. Though Pinochet was already dead, his accomplices had to be duly judged. But decades after his rule, human rights continue to be routinely violated in Latin America, often for defending the environment.

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Global Tribunal Issues ‘Historic’ Ruling for Oceans and Small Island Nations

“Protecting the global commons of the oceans and atmosphere is a matter of life and death,” said one expert who praised the decision.

By Jessica Corbett. Published 5-21-2024 by Common Dreams

Fighting against climate change in Tuvalu: reclaimed land, Photo: UNDP Climate/flickr/CC

An international tribunal on Tuesday delivered a decision that green groups and leaders of small island nations celebrated as a “groundbreaking victory for ocean and climate protection.”

The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) announced in an advisory opinion that greenhouse gas emissions are marine pollution under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and parties to the treaty “have the specific obligation to adopt laws and regulations to prevent, reduce, and control” them.

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Solidarity Marches Held Across Globe to Demand Cease-Fire in Gaza

Organizers held rallies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia to mark Nakba Day and condemn Israel’s bombing and starvation of Palestinian civilians.

By Julia Conley. Published 5-19-2024 by Common Dreams

The London march. Photo:: PSC/X

As one United Nations official on Saturday said that “brand new words” are needed to adequately describe the devastation Israel has wrought across Gaza in its U.S.-backed military assault, tens of thousands of people across the globe marched in solidarity with Palestinians to demand an end to the “ongoing Nakba.”

The marches were held to honor Nakba Day, which was marked on May 15—the 76th anniversary of the mass displacement of 700,000 Palestinians who were forced from their homes when Israel declared statehood in 1948. The protesters demanded a cease-fire in Gaza, where Israeli forces have killed at least 35,456 people since October, the majority of them women and children.

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200+ Groups to Congress: Stop ‘Zombie’ Funding for Fossil Fuels on Public Lands

“It’s past time our leaders take this simple step and stop funding activities that are completely at odds with protecting our climate,” one advocate said.

By Olivia Rosane. Published 5-15-2024 by Common Dreams

Oil drilling platforms have been placed in Alaska after the approval of the Willow Project, which has caused an uproar of controversy and opposition all over the nation. Environmentalists are strongly opposed to the project. Photo courtesy of KarmaActive

More than 200 environmental and climate advocacy groups sent a letter to Congress on Wednesday demanding that lawmakers stop funding the extraction of fossil fuels on public lands and waters.

The letter argues that Congress’ annual approval of taxpayer funds to subsidize oil and gas drilling and coal mining “undermine” the international agreement reached at the United Nations COP28 climate conference last year on the need for “transitioning away from fossil fuels.”

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Record 76 Million Internally Displaced in 2023, Largely Due to Violence

“We have never, ever recorded so many people forced away from their homes and communities,” one expert said. “It is a damning verdict on the failures of conflict prevention and peacemaking.”

By Olivia Rosane. Published 5-14-2024 by Common Dreams

A group of women and children are temporarily sheltered in a school in Al Salam camp for Internally Displaced Persons, South Darfur. Photo: UNAMID/flickr/CC

War, conflict, and environmental disasters displaced a record 75.9 million people from their homes at the end of 2023, the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center reported Tuesday.

The vast majority of the displaced—68.3 million—were forced from their homes due to conflicts, the highest number since data became available 15 years ago.

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Trump to Big Oil Execs: Give Me $1 Billion and I’ll Help You Wreck the Planet

“You won’t read a more important story today,” said one commentator. “Trump is willing to literally destroy the planet for $1 billion.”

By Jake Johnson. Published 5-9-2024 by Common Dreams

Photo: Trump White House Archived/flickr

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump made a straightforward offer to some of the top fossil fuel executives in the United States during a dinner at his Mar-a-Lago club last month, which marked the hottest April on record.

According to new reporting, Trump pledged to swiftly gut climate regulations put in place by the Biden administration if the oil and gas industry raises $1 billion for his 2024 presidential campaign.

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