Climate Petition – Suedwestumfahrung Nein Tue, 21 Sep 2021 16:56:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Climate Petition – Suedwestumfahrung Nein 32 32 FERC accused of “bypassing” environmental review for LNG authorization in Alaska Tue, 21 Sep 2021 16:56:03 +0000

Environmental groups have asked a federal court to order the FERC to revoke its authorization for the proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Alaska, arguing that the Commission failed to adequately consider the environmental impacts of the development.

In a petition filed last week in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (DC), the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) said the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission “shied away” from its decision. obligation “to closely examine the harmful effects of the project. environmental impacts at almost every turning point ”in the compilation of the environmental impact study (EIA) which informed the 2020 authorization.

The CBD filed the petition on its own behalf and on behalf of other groups, including the Sierra Club and Earthjustice.

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The Alaska LNG project estimated at $ 38.7 billion is led by state-owned Alaska Gasline Development Corp. (AGDC). It would transport stranded natural gas from the North Slope via a new 807-mile pipeline to a liquefaction terminal on the south coast of Alaska. It is authorized to export 20 million metric tons / year (2.55 Gcf / d).

AGDC spokesman Tim Fitzpatrick told NGI the CBD request was wrong. “The environmental benefits of replacing coal, diesel and wood as energy and heat sources in Asia and the interior of Alaska with clean natural gas are clear,” he said. “This request to FERC is misguided and runs counter to widely accepted climate priorities.”

In particular, the CBD said that while the FERC determined that the project would increase Alaska’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30-47%, the Commission did not assess the potential impacts of the levels. higher GHGs. The CBD also said that FERC was “completely ignoring the indirect greenhouse gas emissions caused by the commercialization of the currently isolated Arctic gas project,” which it said violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA ).

In addition, the center said the commission had not examined in detail any alternatives to the project, including the impact of inaction on the proposal.

“The EIA concludes that all alternatives to the project would not meet the objectives of the project, would not be achievable or would not offer significant environmental benefits compared to the proposal of the company”, according to the file. “Therefore, FERC only analyzed the project in detail. FERC also did not consider in detail a no-action alternative.

Rather, FERC asserted that if it chose the no-intervention alternative, the Alaskan LNG developer or other applicants would likely develop another North Slope gas transportation project for export and delivery in the ‘State. The emissions from this project would likely be comparable to those from the Alaska LNG project and, therefore, a no-intervention decision would have provided no significant environmental benefit, FERC said.

However, the complainants argued that FERC’s reasoning was flawed, since such a project would be a large-scale undertaking and in any event subject to the assessments of the commission.

“There is no factual support for FERC’s conclusion that even if it chose the no-action alternative for the project, a similar project involving both export and in-state delivery would likely be developed. “, did he declare.

In addition, FERC did not properly consider the impact of the project on critically endangered Cook Inlet beluga whales and wetland habitats, the CBD said.

The news comes amid scrutiny of the environmental impacts of LNG projects in the United States. In July, the Department of Energy announced that it would prepare an additional EIA for Alaska LNG. The analysis would assess the potential environmental impacts associated with the production of natural gas on the North Slope and a life cycle analysis calculating the GHG emissions of LNG exported from the proposed project.

And last month, the DC Court of Appeals ordered FERC to review its approvals for two planned LNG export facilities in Texas. Circuit judge Robert Wilkins wrote in the court ruling that FERC’s environmental scans for the developments had been flawed. The facilities in question, the Rio Grande LNG from NextDecade Corp. 2019. Neither has made a final investment decision.

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Upset over Warwickshire County Council’s response to Chloe Fojtik’s street lighting petition Tue, 21 Sep 2021 05:07:08 +0000

Activist Chloe Fojtik was bitterly disappointed by what she called the county council’s insulting response to her petition for better street lighting.

Stratford resident Chloe, 23, started the petition in March after women shared harrowing stories of sexual harassment following the murder of Sarah Everard. In the petition, which had more than 3,866 signatures, she called on the Warwickshire Country Council to keep the street lights which usually go out at midnight.

Chloe Fojtik is campaigning to keep streetlights on after midnight. Photo: Mark Williamson

She said, “This is something close to my heart. With what happened to Sarah Everard, it amplified this feeling of not feeling safe at night. “

In 2013, the county council made a decision to turn off around 5,000 street lights across the county between midnight and 5:30 a.m. as part of a cost-cutting program.

Chloe presented the petition at a plenary council meeting in July. At the time, she spoke at length about women’s experiences and the need to help them feel safer on the streets.

However, when Cllr Wallace Redford, holder of the Transportation and Planning portfolio, sent her a response to her petition outlining the follow-up to the advice, Chloe was furious when he failed to mention women’s safety.

Instead, Cllr Wallace said, “After carefully considering your request, we have decided to undertake a thorough analysis of the types of crimes that affect people in a public place, as well as crimes such as residential burglary, theft and theft of motor vehicles. , and commercial burglary during the night period.

He concluded: “If there is a need to refresh our policy, we will do so, especially taking into account the implications of climate change. “

Chloe said the response was “insulting” and “disappointing”.

In a letter to Cllr Redford: “The women who have been assaulted because what appears to be the direct result of the streetlights going out at night has not even been recognized and it is deeply upsetting.

“Unfortunately, this response showed that Warwickshire County Council doesn’t seem to care, or even recognize the fear women feel when they come home, in the dark, with the lampposts turned off.”

Chloe concluded, “The women who have contacted me personally to tell me their stories deserve better.”

Meanwhile, Warwickshire Police have announced that they are participating in the national StreetSafe online tool which allows people to report places where they have felt unsafe.

The system – which is primarily aimed at women and girls – allows the public to anonymously drop a pin on a map and describe the factors that have concerned them.

See Thursday’s Herald for Warwickshire County Council’s response.

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OSHA Moves Towards Development of Thermal Standard | 2021-09-20 Mon, 20 Sep 2021 17:24:47 +0000

The federal government is increasing its oversight of farms and other operations where workers are exposed to extreme heat, launching an enforcement initiative and encouraging employers to provide water, rest and shade as needed to cope at high temperatures.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said on Monday it was stepping up efforts to protect workers, saying it would prioritize “heat-related interventions and inspections of work activities on days when the heat index exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit “.

The agency also said it “will take an important step towards a federal heat standard (…)

Last month, more than 100 groups including Public Citizen, United Farm Workers, Farmworker Justice, UFW Foundation and the Union of Concerned Scientists, as well as a former CalOSHA chief, called on OSHA for an emergency standard. on professional heat, citing in particular, the risk for farm workers. Many of the same groups submitted a petition in 2018 “for the first federal standard that would protect American workers outdoors and indoors from occupational exposure to excessive heat.”

Kristina Dahl, Senior Climate Scientist at UCS, said, “It’s great that OSHA is taking action on professional heat standards. We know that the lack of a federal heat standard has been detrimental to outdoor workers for too long – proof of this is that we still have workers who die on the job every year as a result of exposure to heat. extreme heat. “

For agricultural workers, she said, “the combination of extreme heat and exposure to toxic pesticides is particularly dangerous and is magnified by climate change. So these protections, which we hope will take into account a variety of risk factors, are urgently needed.

As the agency moves forward, Dahl said “it will be essential to build on the wealth of data and scientific information already published on how best to protect workers from heat, as well. that to immediately start raising awareness among those directly concerned, so that the rule-making process can be as expeditious as possible. OSHA’s average rule takes about eight years to develop, and workers can’t wait that long given the overheated climate to which they are currently exposed.

Large parts of the country have experienced heat waves this summer. Temperatures were especially high in the Pacific Northwest, where the mercury in late June hit 116 degrees Fahrenheit in Portland, Oregon, for example.

“Across the country, millions of workers face serious risks from high temperatures both outdoors and indoors,” Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said in a press release. “In a changing climate, the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme heat events increases the dangers workers face, especially for workers of color who disproportionately hold essential jobs under harsh conditions.”

OSHA said the ANPR to be released next month “will bring together diverse perspectives and technical expertise on topics such as heat stress thresholds, heat acclimatization planning, exposure monitoring and worker protection strategies “. Its new application initiative “applies to indoor and outdoor sites in general industry, construction, agriculture and marine where there are potential heat hazards.”

OSHA is also working on what it calls a “national focus program” on heat risk cases targeting high-risk industries. This program “will build on the OSHA Region VI Heat Illness Enhancement Regional Program, which covers Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

In addition, within OSHA’s National Occupational Safety and Health Advisory Committee (NACOSH), a Heat Illness Prevention Working Group will be formed “to better understand the challenges and to identify and share best practices to protect workers, ”OSHA said.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, five workers in agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting died each year from heat exposure between 2011 and 2019.

The BLS also found that from 2011 to 2019, “environmental heat cases resulted in an average of 38 deaths per year and an average of 2,700 cases with days off work,” the note told regional administrators. . In 2019, “despite widespread underreporting, 43 workers died from heat illness … and at least 2,410 others suffered serious illnesses and injuries,” OSHA said in its statement. .

For more information, visit

This article has been updated to include comments from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

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A threatened tribe: Dumagat vs dams Mon, 20 Sep 2021 05:34:51 +0000

The residents of Sitio Paydas have to cross the Agos River using a small boat due to the regular overflow of the river.
Photo by Kathleen Lei Limayo

(Last of two parts)

The Dumagat-Remontado, an indigenous people who settled in Tanay, Rizal province, believed they had seen the worst until Typhoon “Ulysses” struck in November last year. Most of their homes were on high ground, but storm-blown trees and other debris swept along the slopes eventually clogged the Daraitan River, raising the water level, and flooding the older homes. relatives.

“We were praying that the rain would stop,” said Imelda Bandilla, 35, recalling how she and her neighbors were surprised by the flooding up to their necks. They literally had to climb trees to survive.

Dumagat-Remontados crosses the Agos river by boat after the rupture of the bridge between Sitio Manggahan and Magata during Typhoon Ulysses. The typhoon, they said, was the most powerful storm to hit their community, displacing many and uprooting their livelihoods. Photos by Kathleen Limayo

The Bandillas lost their pets, livestock, and produce, but managed to save something they knew was crucial if they were to recover from the calamity quickly: their 140-watt solar panel and generator.

For clean energy advocates and climate crisis watchers, the Dumagat tribe is an example of how a poor, off-grid community highly vulnerable to the effects of global warming has found a lifeline in one of technological solutions proposed to slow it down.

But the tribe has also caught their attention these days due to another threat it faces:

“Ulyanin na ang panahon”

Largely isolated on the Sierra Madre, the Dumagat live on plowed land and forests, their rustic environment providing little buffer against natural disasters. Waterfalls flowing into the Tanay River irrigate their fields, but also cause heavy flooding during typhoon season, according to Climate Change Commission Commissioner Rachel Herrera.

Climate change due to climate change “makes it increasingly difficult for the Dumagat to rebuild their communities,” Herrera added.

Telling Ulysses, Margie Amuin, 32, a public school teacher, said she had “never seen our house submerged by flooding like this before. It has traumatized us so much that, to this day, even a little rain can make us anxious. “

She compared the unpredictable seasons to a person who has become senile: “Ulyanin na ang panahon”.

Amuin blames destructive practices like deforestation for these life-disrupting changes, with barren mountains no longer being able to substantially absorb rainwater and sediment runoff, and leaving more areas prone to landslides. Reduced forest cover also means the loss of carbon sinks, or natural environments that can absorb carbon dioxide and help slow the rate of global warming.

Amuin’s concerns are backed up by science: Research conducted in 2020 by scientists at the University of the Philippines (UP) found that the Sierra Madre, the longest mountain range in the country, has seen a significant decline in dense forest cover from 2017 to 2019 despite government tree planting efforts.

Citing satellite images, the UP study noted that since the launch of the national greening program in 2011, “the state of forest cover, at least in the greater Luzon region, does not show significant improvement. both regionally and regionally ”.

Not one but two

The calamity that plagued the Dumagat community last year caught the attention of environmental groups like the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities (ICSC) and These groups first helped the tribe rebuild their lives by donating solar panels and generators for collective use, increasing those previously purchased by individual households.

During its immersion in the community, expanded its involvement by joining the conversation about another more existential threat to the Dumagat way of life.

Chuck Baclagon, head of’s digital campaign in Asia, said the communities of Dumagat are located in a heavily deforested valley with no permanent structures that would protect them from extreme weather events.

And the situation, Baclagon said, is exacerbated by ongoing “mega-infrastructure” projects that threaten to flood their community.

Over the past decade, the Dumagat have protested against not one but two large dam projects planned in the Kaliwa Watershed Forest Reserve, a conservation site in the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor. Under the ancestral domain clause of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act 1997, the corridor is vested in the tribe.

The tribe had fiercely opposed – and succeeded in blocking – the first during the administration of Benigno Aquino: the Laiban dam project of the Metropolitan Water and Sewer System (MWSS).

Under the Duterte administration, they are once again up in arms, this time against the Chinese-funded Kaliwa Dam worth 12.2 billion pesos, one of the most expensive components of the “Build Build” program. Build ”. Kaliwa is intended to supply 600 million liters of water to Metro Manila and neighboring areas that currently depend on the Angat and Ipo dams.

On its website, the MWSS has identified areas in four municipalities that will be directly affected by construction: Tanay and Teresa in Rizal and General Nakar and Infanta in Quezon.

In Tanay, said the MWSS, “the fringes of the reservoir area (will) occupy part of Tinipak (cave and river)” in the village of Daraitan.

The construction will affect approximately 1,465 families, according to a project summary prepared by the DENR Environmental Management Office.

As with Laiban, the Dumagat are opposed to the Kaliwa Dam because it encroaches on their ancestral domain, said Octavio Pranada, one of the tribal chiefs.

By law, the government can only start infrastructure projects on ancestral lands if it has obtained a free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) certificate from title holders.

Social impact assessment

But despite opposition from tribal communities and conservationists, the project received an Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) in 2019 from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

“Unfortunately for this project, securing FPIC is a post-ECC condition,” said Nestor Castro, an anthropologist appointed by DENR to conduct a study assessing the “social impact” of the proposed dam.

Castro decided not to approve the project because, according to his assessment, the MWSS “failed to gain social acceptance from the population”.

Oddly, Castro said he was not even allowed to visit the future project site because he had been informed by the MWSS of the presence of Communist rebels.

Its final assessment therefore relied heavily on petition letters from members of the Dumagat-Remontado tribe, who primarily rooted their objection in physical and spiritual matters. They said the dam would destroy not only local biodiversity but also their sacred sites.

Among these sacred areas are the Tinipak Cave and the Tinipak River, where they set up animist shrines and perform rituals imploring the spirits of nature for protection.

As a compromise, the MWSS said it could erect “mini-dams” to divert the flow of water and leave sacred sites intact.

Nature reclaims the concrete tunnel of the Laiban Dam infrastructure that was abandoned when the project was halted.
Photo by Kathleen Lei Limayo

“Valid dissent”

But ultimately, the Dumagat fear that their land will “be taken away” and they “will have nothing more to transmit to [their] descendants, ”Pranada said.

And they are not alone in their worries.

The Haribon conservation group has estimated that at least 126 animal species hosted by the Sierra Madre, including the critically endangered Philippine eagle (they are found not only in Mindanao), the Philippine warty pig, and deer. Philippine brown will lose part of their natural habitat which currently extends to the Kaliwa watershed.

At least 300 hectares of forested area will be permanently flooded, Haribon added in a study published in June 2019.

The Human Rights Commission had also weighed and recognized the “valid dissent” of the Dumagat.

The CHR, in a November 2019 statement, agreed that “the Kaliwa Dam project would result in the destruction of their ancestral domains and the displacement of their populations” and that they “have the right to full disclosure of information on the project and the right to negotiate and object.

Related Story: Why the ECC Process for Kaliwa Dam was Flawed, According to Anthropologist

“I couldn’t blame the people who are very pessimistic with the government’s plans [because] they have had several projects… from which they have not benefited, at least in a sustainable way, ”said Castro. “The bottom line here is people’s consent, because at the end of the day they are the ones who will be affected and, as has always been the case in many hydroelectric projects in the Philippines, people at the project site are welcome to make sacrifices. “

When the groundbreaking program of the Kaliwa Dam Project was held in Rizal Province on June 29, an article about the event published by China’s state-owned Xinhua News Agency headlined: “Water failure in Metro Manila is expected to end with an innovative Philippines-China dam project.

It may be music for many urban ears, but not for those of Pranada. “Even if I am the only one standing, I will oppose the project. Our ancestors left us this land. I will not let it become water, ”he said.


Editor’s Note: This story is supported through the Climate Change Reporting Fellowship Program by the Asian Journalism Center and Internews Earth Journalism Network.

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HC denies order to challenge tree felling in Suhrawardy Udyan Sun, 19 Sep 2021 12:55:15 +0000

On-site project will not harm the environment, another attorney general said

The High Court on Sunday dismissed a lawsuit challenging the felling of trees in historic Suhrawardy Udyan for commercial establishments.

The virtual bench of Judge Farah Mahbub and SM Moniruzzaman rejected the petition.

Lawyer Syeda Rizwana Hasan represented the petitioners while Additional Attorney General Sheikh Mohammad Morshed represented the state.

“This is one of the government’s megaprojects and no establishment will be built there on a commercial basis. The government is implementing the HC directive issued in 2009, ”said Additional Attorney General Sheikh Mohammad Morshed.

Read also – “No trees to be cut down unnecessarily in Suhrawardy Udyan”

The project is being implemented without harming the environment by following the report of a 6-member committee formed in this regard, he said.

On September 13, the court set the final hearing on the writ on Sunday.

On May 9, six organizations and one individual filed a petition to stop logging in Suhrawardy Udyan.

The petitioners are Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), Association for Land Reforms and Development (ALRD), Nijera Kori, Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK ) and architect Mobassher Hossain.

Read also – Written request filed against the cutting of trees in Suhrawardy Udyan

The petitioners also called for the issuance of a rule seeking to explain why the cutting of ancient and historic trees in Suhrawardy Udyan under the pretext of building an independence monument will not be declared illegal and unconstitutional, why the construction of commercial establishments going beyond the main design will not be declared illegal and why a directive should not be given to evict establishments already built.

The mayor of the Dhaka South City Corporation, the secretaries of the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs, Chief Conservator of Forests, Chairman of RAJUK, Director General of the Ministry of the Environment and the Chief Engineer of the Ministry of Public Works were respondents.

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European Union style bloc launched for Latin America, … Sat, 18 Sep 2021 22:39:00 +0000

By David Alire Garcia and Noe Torres

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 18 (Reuters) – Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean should aspire to a bloc like the European Union, the Mexican president and other leaders said at a summit on Saturday, with the aim of ‘wrest influence from the Organization of American States (OAS).

For years, some of the region’s left-wing flag bearers who attended the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) gathering saw the OAS as too close to the United States, in particular despite the exclusion of Cuba from its members. States.

The host of Saturday’s summit, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, told more than a dozen presidents and prime ministers at the opening ceremony that such a revamped diplomatic corps could better boost the economies of the region hit by inequalities and dealing with health and other crises.

“In these times, CELAC can become the main instrument to consolidate relations between our Latin American and Caribbean nations,” he said in a cavernous ballroom in Mexico’s ornate National Palace, where leaders took turns to speak and where sparks sprang up between the ideological opponents.

“We should be building something on the American continent similar to the economic community that was the start of the current European Union,” leftist Lopez Obrador said. He stressed the need to respect national sovereignty and adhere to non-interventionist and development-friendly policies.

Leaders met at the invitation of Lopez Obrador with the avowed aim of weakening the OAS. The summit kick-off drew attention to the region’s center-left leaders, including Peru’s new president Pedro Castillo, Cuban Miguel Diaz-Canel and Venezuelan Nicolas Maduro.

Right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro withdrew from CELAC last year, criticizing it for raising undemocratic countries. Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez canceled at the last minute due to a sudden cabinet reshuffle in his country.


Some cracks have appeared among the leaders. Uruguay’s center-right president Luis Lacalle said his participation should not be interpreted as joining some of the region’s most authoritarian regimes or rejecting the OAS.

“We are worried and look seriously at what is happening in Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela,” he said, ticking off what he described as repressive actions, including the imprisonment of political opponents.

Cuba’s Diaz-Canel retaliated by attacking neoliberal policies that he said have stunted social progress. He also criticized Lacalle’s leadership, noting the big response to a recent petition campaign by his national political opposition.

The Uruguayan responded by criticizing Cuba’s communist government, noting that it does not tolerate the opposition or allow its people to elect their own leaders.

Bolivian President Luis Arce called for a global agreement to cancel the debts of poor countries while Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez called for a regional body to fight climate change.

A new CELAC fund to respond to natural disasters was also announced.

Former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez helped set up CELAC in 2011, and his beleaguered successor Maduro arrived in the Mexican capital on Friday night as a surprise addition. .

In remarks Friday night, Maduro suggested that a new CELAC headquarters be established in the Mexican capital. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard politely avoided the proposal on Saturday at the request of journalists, calling the idea premature. (Reporting by David Alire Garcia and Noe Torres; Editing by Andrea Ricci and David Gregorio)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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]]> 0 As climate change fears grow, a real fight for a fake grass Sat, 18 Sep 2021 11:49:12 +0000

EAST ORANGE, NJ – Residents near a small neighborhood park in New Jersey woke up earlier this month to the roar of heavy machinery: A grassy field they had been begging authorities to fix for years was finally in the process of getting a makeover.

Then they learned the details.

The land and more than a dozen trees bordering Columbian Park in East Orange, a densely populated town in northern New Jersey, were bulldozed to make way for a synthetic grass football and baseball field and a track racing rubber. Plans also include a play area and stationary exercise equipment, as well as 40 new saplings.

Many local residents whose courtyards are directly adjacent to the park were enraged, joining their counterparts in a growing number of cities across the state and country trying to block the use of a product that was once coveted as a replacement for all the time. for lawns that are more difficult to maintain.

Elsewhere in New Jersey, similar turf battles take place in Maplewood, Westfield and Princeton.