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Amazon rainforest now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs
New research published in the journal Nature has revealed that the Amazon rainforest emits more carbon dioxide than it absorbs. Experts have warned that the forest, sometimes known as the “lung of the Earth,” is in a worrying condition. The study was led thanks to airplanes on different parts of the forest. It comes months after a satellite study showed that the Amazon had emitted nearly 20% more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere over the past decade than it absorbed. This newly published research confirmed the precedent outcomes with even more impressive data: fires produced about 1.5bn tonnes of CO2 a year, with forest growth removing 0.5bn tonnes. The gap between the two represents the total emissions of Japan over a year. The origin of these outstanding figures is mainly ravaging fires and deforestation.
The geopolitical tensions around the Amazon are also a major issue as the Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, has been globally criticized for its skepticism and policy.
Preserving the Amazon, such as the other forests, is necessary for conserving our ecosystem and lives on our planet. Biodiversity is essential, and we must protect it. Damages to forests could only worsen the consequences of climate change, such as the increase of drought and extreme weather, the loss of crops, and the extinction of thousands of species.
Germany floods: at least 120 dead and hundreds unaccounted for
After the heatwaves in Canada at the beginning of the month, other countries are experiencing extraordinary weather events. It is the case in Germany, where floods have killed hundreds of people. Belgium, Switzerland, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands are also strongly hit by disasters.
The flooding is already considered to be the worst of the century. Emergency services are still looking for thousands of people as buildings and facilities have been destroyed and floodings keep gaining ground.
Although the priority is to rescue the survivors and save as many people as we can, scientists have strongly condemned politicians for not having protected their citizens from extreme weather events. Many of them have already published studies, years ago, to warn about such potential disasters, but unfortunately these concerns have not been addressed. Tackling climate change has become an emergency, but being prepared for disasters is crucial as any country can be affected.
EU Climate Plans provoke national opposition over rising emissions costs
The European Commission has finally unveiled its climate plans. The plan concerns the ambitious strategy to achieve the EU’s goal to reduce its carbon emissions by 55% by 2030, before reaching carbon neutrality by the mid-century.
Many measures have been presented, such as raising the cost of carbon from some sectors (energy, manufacturing, transport), taxing aviation and shipping fuels, or charging importers depending on products.
This has to be first approved by all the EU Members and the European Parliament before becoming effective. However, it seems that approval will not be as easy as Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the Commission, has thought. France, Italy, Spain, and four other EU-Members have already expressed their disagreements regarding some “Fit the 55” measures, especially regarding new taxes. One of the main concerns is the impact on citizens, who will suffer from these price increases, especially for traveling and heating. Negotiations are not expected to take place until 2023.
Furthermore, the plans could raise a concern of the United States as aluminum and steel could be taxed in the next few years. President Biden has not expressed his opinion yet, but has always maintained his willingness to create a common climate strategy with the EU.
Prints for Wildlife
The website of Prints for Wildlife gathered thousands of pictures taken by wildlife photographers from worldwide renowned ones to local ones. The campaign aims to collect money for African Parks, which manage 19 parks in 11 African countries. The second edition of the event especially focuses on raising funds for wildlife and communities hit by the pandemic.
This year, the objective is to reach a million dollars collected before the end of the event on August 11th.