Sherry here with November’s news digest. I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful foliage season.
To begin with a very important news, another UN Climate Change Conference known as the COP26 just ended. The global community has made little progress on the goals of the Paris Agreement since its adoption in 2015. Gathering at COP26, scientists and leaders around the world hoped to move beyond empty political promises into action. However, this conference does not seem to have been any different than previous ones. Learn more about this climate summit at Mongabay.
Even though the COP26 produced mostly stagnation, there is still potential to halt global temperature change to 2°C. Specifically, China and India need to honor their pledges, reaching carbon net-zero at the given time. COP26 is also the first time where fossil fuels were brought into discussion in a UN climate agreement. Read more about COP26 reflections at conversation.com.
Another recent international development in environmental conservation is the EU taxonomy. By classifying whether an activity is environmentally and/or socially sustainable, the EU taxonomy can promote funding in sustainable activities. It might also bring an end to greenwashing by holding businesses responsible for their environmental footprint. Part of the taxonomy is to be implemented this year. Read more about the EU taxonomy at Ecology for the Masses.
In many cases, nature can guide us to construct our communities in safer and more cost-effective ways. A research paper recently published by Texas A&M University sheds light on opportunities ahead for adding natural elements into infrastructure projects, which are especially applicable in areas of frequent extreme weather. The paper aims to incentivize adoption of natural infrastructures by stirring discussions around low-cost natural methods and extended project lifecycles. Examples of natural infrastructure are already seen in the US and many European countries. Explore more about adoption of natural infrastructure here.
Sadly, things are not getting better for our neighbors in the ocean. The estimated North Atlantic right whale population fell to 336 in 2020, reaching the lowest record in the past 20 years. The whales were once abundant in waters off New England, but their numbers largely decreased during the commercial whaling era. Read more about North Atlantic right whales at Boston.com.
On land, fortunately, people are working on saving some of the world’s largest and oldest trees. Those trees, once considered fire-proof, are now at risk of being wiped out by more intense fires. In reaction, grassroot organizations constructed by local residents, workers, and volunteers are taking conservative measures such as protecting the trucks with fire-resistant foils, setting up sprinklers, and replanting. Learn more about people’s effort in tree conservation at the Guardian.
That's all for this month's news digest. I hope everyone has a wonderful rest of the month!