Pollution

WHO Blames Most Global Deaths on Environment

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says one in four deaths worldwide are due to environmental factors like air, water and soil pollution, as well as unsafe roads and workplace stress.
 
In a press statement, WHO estimates 12.6 million people died in 2012 as a result of living and working in unhealthy environments, 23 percent of all deaths reported globally.
 
WHO head, Margaret Chan, points out that, "If countries do not take actions to make environments where people live and work healthy, millions will continue to become ill and die too young."

Carbon Pricing Schemes Doubles

The World Bank has previously said there is strong support from countries and businesses worldwide for carbon pricing schemes to cut greenhouse emissions.
 
The bank says that the number of carbon pricing schemes worldwide has almost doubled since 2012 but most taxes or markets have prices too low to prevent damaging global warming.
 

Rising CO2 Threat to Nutrient Levels in Crops

Researchers have warned that rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may cut the nutritional quality of some of the world's most important food crops.

They say the amounts of two important nutrients, zinc and iron, were found to be lower in wheat, rice, soybeans and field peas grown in open-air fields where the scientists created CO2 concentrations at the level they forecast for Earth by roughly 2050, about 550 parts per million.

Greenpeace Requests Meeting With Putin

Environmental organisation, Greenpeace, has asked for a meeting with Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin, following the arrest of the entire crew of the group’s ship that protested against Arctic oil drilling in Russia.
 
Greenpeace executive director, Kumi Naidoo, states that he was willing to travel to Moscow at any moment to secure the release of the 30 crew members of the Arctic Sunrise icebreaker.
 

Human Waste in Rivers Used to Irrigate Crops

Bacteria-riddled river water used to irrigate most fresh produce in South Africa poses an extreme health risk.

According to a report, the river water contains levels of E.coli bacteria that are as much as 10 000 times more than allowed by the World Health Organisation and the Department of Water Affairs.

The report further warns that not only is this dangerous for people but it might have a highly damaging effect on this country's international trading status and cause a suspension of exports of fruit and vegetables.

NGO Submits Proposals for a Carbon Tax

The World Wide Fund for Nature in South Africa (WWF-SA) has submitted its proposals to the National Treasury for a carbon tax.

The organisation says this will in effect help the country create an economy with a smaller carbon footprint.

It further argues that the driving force behind this proposal is the need to steer the economy away from its dependency on fossil fuels.

Developing Countries to Outpace OECD in Carbon Emissions

According to the figures released US Energy Information Administration (EIA), developing countries' carbon dioxide emissions will outpace emissions from the developed countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) over the next three decades.
 
The EIA says energy-related carbon dioxide emissions from developing countries will be 127 percent higher than in the world's most developed economies by 2040.
 
It says under the policies currently in place worldwide, carbon emissions will grow 46 percent by 2040 from a 2010 baseline.

Fracking Battle Heading to Court

According to John Yeld’s article titled, ‘Fracking battle destined for court’, a bruising and probably extremely expensive court battle over the controversial fracking method for shale gas in the Karoo now seems inevitable.

The African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general, Gwede Mantashe, threw down the gauntlet and his challenge was immediately accepted by the anti-fracking alliance of Afriforum and the Treasure the Karoo Action Group.

Fracking Can Pollute Water - New Study

A new study published by scientists from Duke University, the University of Rochester and California State Polytechnic University, has shown that ‘fracking’ can pollute drinking water, although it is uncertain the impact this has on human health.

South Africa has been split over the question of whether to frack, with one side saying that it would increase the country's energy independence, boost industry and job creation and reduce the cost of power.

World Environment Day Commemorated

Environmental organisation, Greenpeace Africa, joined other organisations in marking World Environment Day on 5 June 2013.

The organisation states that for it, every day is World Environment Day since continent faces many challenges and suffers from some serious environmental problems, including climate change, deforestation, water pollution, coal mining, nuclear waste, overfishing and industrial agriculture, etc.

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