Tag: environment

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2023 confirmed as hottest year; warning up on worsening climate crisis

The global temperature in 2023 hit 1.45 ± 0.12 °C—the hottest year on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in its Jan. 12 news release.   The years 2016 (which had a strong El Niño) and 2020 were previously classed as the warmest on record at 1.29 ±0.12°C and 1.27 ±0.12°C, respectively, above the...

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Hot new year!

While the traditional greeting is “Happy New Year,” this time it may need a significant addition in view of recent historic climate records.  The greeting may well be: “Happy New Year, despite a hot or even hotter 2024.”  June 2023 was the hottest June on record globally. July was also the hottest month. The following...

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Unmasking ‘phantom’ carbon credits in Thailand: A genuine answer to climate change or chimera?

Carbon credits have become a prominent approach in combating climate change in Thailand, providing an opportunity for both the private and public sectors to participate and benefit. But will it all add up? As the world intensifies its efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Thailand is at the forefront, promoting the rise of the voluntary...

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A thorny dilemma: Acacia plantations in Vietnam may not be all that green

The country’s embrace of acacia plantations has lifted some smallholder households out of poverty. But it comes at a cost to the environment and even lives. This is part two of a two-part series on the wood pellet industry in Vietnam. For part one, click here. The fast-growing and economical acacia has spread in Central Vietnam...

Green scandal in Indonesia
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Green scandal: How Indonesia’s pulp industry misleads the world’s fashion brands

In the era of environmental awareness, the phenomenon of greenwashing is increasingly common, where companies claim to be environmentally friendly while their actions speak otherwise. Indonesia is home to some prime examples. To watch the investigation “Skandal Hijau,” please click on the embedded video below. A description of the story follows. In the era of...

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Smoke, mirrors, wood pellets: Vietnam clears native forest to supply ‘clean’ energy to Asia

Expansive deforestation in Central Vietnam is being driven by the global demand for wood pellets—a supposedly green alternative to fossil fuels. This is part one of a two-part series on the wood pellet industry in Vietnam. For part two, please click here. Vietnam has supplied wood pellets to Japan and South Korea in their quest to...

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Chopping down trees in India, then compensating for them—but at whose cost?

India’s Jharkhand state led the country in reversing deforestation from 2022 to 2023, but cases from two districts show that these supposedly sustainable tree plantations come at a cost to forest rights. Here’s an FAQ to help you follow along with this story—especially helpful for readers who may not be as familiar with India. Walking in the...

Clearing the air: Questioning Singapore’s carbon credits decisions
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Clearing the air: Questioning Singapore’s carbon credits decisions

For some time now, Singapore has been relentlessly transforming itself into a global carbon trading hub. What does this entail? In Singapore, a company that directly releases 25,000 tons or more of carbon dioxide equivalents (tCO2e) per year is considered a large emitter. A carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) is a metric that converts other emitted gases, such as nitrogen...

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Carbon ambitions: Inside Cambodia’s REDD+ boom

Despite ongoing controversy in its flagship Southern Cardamom REDD+ project, Cambodia is driving forward with plans to greatly expand climate finance schemes across its officially protected areas. When Cambodia’s rainy season turns dirt roads into rutted mud, the villages tucked into rugged folds of the western Cardamom Mountains can feel far from just about everything....

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Blueprint for disaster: Singapore’s carbon hub threatens global climate targets

An ambitious plan to re-engineer the carbon market in Singapore could play havoc with net zero goals and raises questions about human rights in places like Cambodia. The wedding was just ending when the motorbike chase began. Rangers had arrested Meng Sotear, a 62-year-old rice and cashew farmer, ordered her aboard a motorbike and raced...