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‘Climate apartheid’: UN expert says human rights may not survive

Right to life is likely to be undermined alongside the rule of law, special rapporteur says

The world is increasingly at risk of “climate apartheid”, where the rich pay to escape heat and hunger caused by the escalating climate crisis while the rest of the world suffers, a report from a UN human rights expert has said.

Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, said the impacts of global heating are likely to undermine not only basic rights to life, water, food, and housing for hundreds of millions of people, but also democracy and the rule of law.

Related:Climate change denial is evil, says Mary Robinson

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BMW aims to double electric and hybrid sales in next two years

Carmaker to have 25 electrified models on sale by 2023 as strict new EU rules loom

BMW is accelerating its push away from the internal combustion engine towards battery technology, as the German carmaker seeks to double the number of electric and hybrid vehicles it sells in the next two years.

The company will have 25 electrified models on sale in 2023, two years earlier than previously planned, it announced on Tuesday. More than half of the vehicles will be fully electric.

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The case for a special Democratic climate debate | Kate Aronoff

Housing, immigration, health – there’s no policy area that won’t be touched by the climate crisis. The Democratic candidates should embrace the challenge

Twenty candidates – ten candidates per night – will take the stage during this week’s two-part Democratic primary debates. Each debate will last two hours, and, excluding introductions and interruptions, each candidate will have roughly 12 minutes of total speaking time. How much of that can we reasonably expect to be devoted to the climate crisis?

If past debates are any indication, not much. There were no direct questions about climate change posed in either the 2012 or 2016 debates. In refusing grassroots calls for a debate focused on climate change, Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez has promised this time would be different. In a Medium post composed after backlash to his decision, Perez wrote that he considers climate a top issue, and “made clear to our media partners that the issue of climate change must be featured prominently in our debates”. Given that network news spent more time covering the Royal Baby in one week than they’d spent in a year on climate change, that’s not exactly a convincing sell. If the DNC really did care about climate as much as Perez claims, it’d see the debate stage as a chance to offer a valuable counter-weight to the relative silence across television news about the climate crisis.

The climate crisis isn’t an “issue” so much as the foundations on which all politics is going to play out

Kate Aronoff is a writing fellow at In These Times. Shecovers elections and the politics of climate change

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The climate costs of a plastic planet | Carroll Muffett

Every stage of the plastic lifecycle releases harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere, contributing to global heating

Plastics are among the most ubiquitous materials in our economy, our lives, and our environment. They are also among the most pervasive and persistent pollutants on Earth.

In recent years, stark images of beaches, waterways, and wildlife filled with plastic have spurred demands for action to address plastic pollution. These calls are coupled with growing concern that plastic and its toxic additives pose serious risks to human health at every stage of the plastic lifecycle. Far less attention has been paid to the impacts of this same lifecycle on the earth’s climate. This is a dangerous oversight.

If growth continues on its present trajectory, plastics could creat 56bn metric tons in greenhouse emissions by 2050

Carroll Muffett is the president of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

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'No faith in coal': religious leaders urge Scott Morrison to take climate action

Open letter calls on the prime minister to block all new coal and gas projects, including Adani

More than 150 religious leaders have called on Scott Morrison to acknowledge the world faces a climate emergency and block all new coal and gas projects, including Adani’s Carmichael mine.

In an open letter headed “no faith in coal”, the leaders say the climate crisis is a profoundly moral problem and Australia’s response will be crucial in addressing it.

Related:Australia's emissions still rising, says report withheld in defiance of Senate order

Related:City of Sydney councillors to vote on declaring climate crisis a national emergency

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G20 nations triple coal power subsidies despite climate crisis

Major economies pledged a decade ago to phase out all aid for fossil fuels

G20 nations have almost tripled the subsidies they give to coal-fired power plants in recent years, despite the urgent need to cut the carbon emissions driving the climate crisis.

The bloc of major economies pledged a decade ago to phase out all fossil fuel subsidies.

Related:Global 'collapse' in number of new coal-fired power plants

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Labour to give Bank of England role in tackling climate crisis

John McDonnell says Bank would monitor City firms’ progress on carbon emissions

Labour plans to give the Bank of England powers to help check the readiness of City firms to cut carbon emissions and invest responsibly to tackle the climate emergency.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, announced proposals for an unprecedented expansion of the central bank’s role at the heart of policymaking, with officials at Threadneedle Street supporting the Treasury in checking on progress towards carbon targets.

Related:Global financial bodies not fit for purpose, John McDonnell says

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Dutchman swims 121-mile ice-skating route hit by climate crisis

Maarten van der Weijden tackles daunting course not used for skating in 22 years

As Europe braces for a heatwave this week, a Dutchman is swimming the route of the country’s most famed ice skating race, which has not been held for two decades as the climate crisis bites.

Instead of skating the 121 miles (195km) of the daunting Elfstedentocht (11 cities race), the Olympic gold marathon swimmer Maarten van der Weijden is ploughing his way through its canals.

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Jay Inslee targets fossil fuel interests with new presidential promises

  • Washington governor’s campaign centers on climate crisis
  • Announcement to be made in threatened Florida Everglades

Washington governor Jay Inslee will set his sights on powerful fossil fuel interests on Monday, by introducing a new portion of the presidential campaign he has centered on addressing the climate crisis.

Related:Mike Pence repeatedly refuses to say climate crisis is a threat to US

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Scott Morrison flags Trump-style economic plan in pledge to cut more red tape

PM promises to slash regulations ‘that impose the largest costs on key sectors of the economy’

After six years of the Coalition promising to cut red tape, Scott Morrison has used his first major speech since winning the election to promise to continue cutting red tape.

In a speech to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Western Australia, which acknowledged the “challenges and headwinds” facing the economy, Morrison said the government’s previous red tape-cutting initiatives had created savings of $5.8bn.

Related:Labor says Peter Dutton must release ‘secret’ audit of Manus Island contracts

Related:‘Red tape’ protects us. This dangerous love affair with deregulation must end | Josh Wilson

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