• This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
  • Earth.Org Newsletters

    Get focused newsletters especially designed to be concise and easy to digest

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Week in Review: Top Climate News for August 21-25

by Earth.Org Asia Global Commons Aug 25th 20233 mins
Week in Review: Top Climate News for August 21-25

This weekly round-up brings you key climate news from the past seven days, including fears about Japan’s controversial plan to release wastewater from Fukushima’s nuclear plant into the ocean and a new IMF report suggesting global fossil fuel subsidies last year reached record levels.

1. Japan to Release Fukushima Wastewater Into Ocean From Thursday As Hong Kong, Macau Rush to Ban Seafood Imports

Japan is set to begin releasing wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant from Thursday, despite opposition from local fishing communities and threats from neighbouring countries to cut seafood imports.

Japan’s prime minister Fumio Kishida, who visited the plant on Sunday, said yesterday that the gradual discharge of over 500 Olympic swimming pools’ worth of wastewater collected from the plant will begin on Thursday, “weather and ocean conditions permitting,” adding that the plan is “safe.”

The Fukushima-Daiichi power plant was heavily damaged in a devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011, leading to one of the worst nuclear accidents in history and leaving Japan grappling with long-lasting environmental and health concerns. In 2021, the government announced a plan to release more than 1.3 million tonnes of treated radioactive water used for cooling from the Fukushima site into the Pacific Ocean, sparking international debates and concerns.

Read more here.

2. Millions of British Columbia Residents Under Air Quality Warnings As Wildfires Fill Skies With Toxic Smoke

Millions of people in the Western Canadian province of British Columbia were under air quality warnings on Monday as toxic smoke from rapidly spreading wildfires covered nearly the entire province in an unhealthy haze.

The thick smoke resulted in off-the-chart air pollution across the province. The air quality index in Kamploops, Central Okanagan, and Eastern Fraser Valley, which are among the worst affected areas, reached a “hazardous” level on Saturday, according to real-time air quality information platform IQAir’s measurements.

Read more here.

3. G20 Countries Invested More Than $1tn In Fossil Fuels in 2022 Despite International Pledges to Phase Out Subsidies: Report

G20 countries’ investments in the fossil fuel industry reached a record US$1.4 trillion last year, more than double the pre-pandemic and pre-energy crisis levels of 2019, a new report has found.

According to the Institute for Sustainable Development’s (IISD) new analysis published Monday, approximately three-quarters of all subsidies to the energy sector went to coal, oil, and gas last year. About $1 trillion worth of subsidies were aimed at consumers in a bid to protect them against the 2022 energy price crisis brought about by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which the authors blame for “catapult[ing] public financial support for fossil fuels to new levels.”

The world’s 20 largest economies also provided some $370 billion to the fossil fuel industry through investments by state-owned enterprises and loans from public finance institutions.

Read more here.

4. Global Fossil Fuel Subsidies Hit Record $7tn in 2022, Says IMF

Fossil fuel subsidies reached a total of US$7 trillion in 2022, the highest value ever recorded, as countries around the world rushed to protect consumers from rising energy prices sparked by the war in Ukraine, according to a new report.

In its latest update on global fossil fuel subsidies published Thursday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) found that explicit subsidies, which cut the price of fuels for consumers, more than doubled since the previous assessment, from $500 billion in 2020 to $1.3 trillion in 2022. Undercharging for oil products accounted for nearly half of all subsidies, followed by coal (30%) and natural gas (20%).

Read more here.

Tagged: week in review
Subscribe to our newsletter

Hand-picked stories once a fortnight. We promise, no spam!

Instagram @earthorg Follow Us