Environmental Impact

Politics • Oceanian
Rio Tinto CEO resigns after the destruction of ancient aboriginal caves
Jean-Sébastien Jacques
Jean-Sébastien Jacques Credit: Rio Tinto

Jean-Sébastien Jacques has resigned as the CEO of Rio Tinto after the company destroyed a 46,000-year-old sacred aboriginal site in Australia. Jacques will leave once his successor is chosen or at the end of March 2021, whichever comes first.

The company also announced the departure of the head of the iron ore business, Chris Salisbury, and the group expand for corporate relations, Simone Niven.

Rio Tinto chairman Simon Thompson released a statement saying: "We are determined to ensure that the destruction of a heritage site of such exceptional archaeological and cultural significance never occurs again at a Rio Tinto operation."

Climate & Environment
Half a million people flee Oregon to escape wildfires
Oregon Wildfires, 2018
Oregon Wildfires, 2018 Credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:20180811-FS-Rogue-KG-1068_(30465240178).jpg

Over half a million people – or 10+% of the state's population – are fleeing Oregon to escape the wildfires that have been raging across the Pacific Northwest.

Governor Kate Brown (D) told reporters that this most likely wasn't a "one-time event" and that the current situation was a "bellwether for the future" of "acute impacts of climate change." Brown has reported that at least four people have died, including a 12-year-old boy and his grandmother.

Climate & Environment
French fishing federation alleges Nestlé to be responsible for thousands of dead fish in French river
French fishing federation alleges Nestlé to be responsible for thousands of dead fish in French river
Credit: Fédération de pêche des Ardennes via Facebook

Thousands of dead fish have been found in the river Aisne in France. The Ardennes fishing federation posted on Facebook that on the third day of collecting dead fish they have removed one tonne in fish weight from the river. In total three tonnes of dead fish have reportedly removed.

Michel Adam the president of the Ardennes fishing federation has stated that they "have lodged a complaint against Nestlé France for pollution and violation of article 432.2 of the environmental code". The local prefecture has stated that the fish have died due to a decrease in the water's oxygen levels.

The Challerange Nestlé has confirmed that they've been responsible for an "occasional and involuntary overflow of biological sludge effluent, without the presence of chemicals". They also stated that the production of powdered milk in the factory has been stopped as soon as reports have gotten in.

Politics • American • Brazil
New evidence links Brazil meat giant JBS to Amazon deforestation
New evidence links Brazil meat giant JBS to Amazon deforestation
Credit: Ibama

The Guardian reports that the farm "Estrela do Aripuanã" in Mato Grosso would have used JBS transport services to transfer cattle to another 'clean record' property, which later supplied two company's slaughterhouses. The practice it is known as 'cattle triangulation'.

The investigation, joint initiative by Repórter Brasil, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Guardian, found photographic evidence of the cattle being transported from "Estrela do Aripuanã", already fined by Ibama for illegal deforestation, to another farm.

JBS said in a statement that "The company clarifies that the logistics and transportation service provided and executed, independently, must meet the same sustainability policies as the company, including blocking farms that do not comply with these policies".

Politics • World
UN holds meeting over fears that abandoned tanker off Yemens's coast could release 1.1 million barrels of crude into ocean
UN holds meeting over fears that abandoned tanker off Yemens's coast could release 1.1 million barrels of crude into ocean
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

United Nations have met and discussed possible actions to prevent a breach of the FSO Safer tanker that is anchored off Yemen's coast near the port of Hodeida. The 45-year-old tanker has been abandoned, is under the control of the Iran-backed Huthis and carries 1.1 million barrels of crude oil. The UN Security Council fears that in case the tanker explodes or leaks, the oil would destroy the environment and livelihood of tens of thousands of people that depend on fishing in the area.

The UN Security Council has reportedly proposed a plan to conduct repairs on the ship to which the Huthis had previously agreed in 2019, only for the mission to get cancelled in the last minute. In May a leak in the engine room has been repaired alorad but according to the British UN mission "a permanent solution is urgently needed".

Climate & Environment
Germany and Netherlands to ban disposable plastic in 2021
Germany and Netherlands to ban disposable plastic in 2021
Credit: Twentyfirstidentity (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The State Secretary Van Veldhoven of the Netherlands has announced that the country will ban disposable plastic such as cups and cutlery from July 3, 2021.

The ban is part of a directive by the European Union which requires all EU countries to put similar measures in place to reduce plastic waste. Germany had already announced similar measures.

Health
Post-lockdown surge in bicycle purchases
Post-lockdown surge in bicycle purchases
Credit: unsplash.com/Dovile Ramoskaite

Bicycle stores are experiencing accelerated sales post-lockdown. Houston Urban Bicycle Gallery owner Eric Attayi says he had to hire new employees as demand for bikes has reached a new high. By May he has sold more bikes than in all of 2019. The bicycle shop Higher Ground Bike Company in Tallahassee reports sales have tripled, going from 30-40 sales a month to 130.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland businesses have also seen an increase in e-bike purchases, with many family-owned shops working overtime to meet customer demand.

Climate & Environment
Kenya: Single-use plastic ban takes effect on Friday
Plastic bottle on beach
Plastic bottle on beach Credit: unsplash.com/Ishan @seefromthesky

Kenya forbids single-use plastics in the country's protected areas like national parks, forests and beaches. These include water bottles, straws and other single-use packaging. This ban was first announced three years ago and takes effect on June 6th, World Environment Day.

Business • Economy
Uber sends thousands of JUMP bikes to the scrapheap
Jump Electric Bike by Uber, Parked on the Street
Jump Electric Bike by Uber, Parked on the Street Credit: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

Uber is sending tens of thousands of its electric Jump bikes to the scrapyard, weeks after offloading the money-losing bike-share division on Lime.

“We explored donating the remaining, older-model bikes, but given many significant issues — including maintenance, liability, safety concerns, and a lack of consumer-grade charging equipment — we decided the best approach was to responsibly recycle them,” Uber said in a statement to NBC.

Politics • American • Brazil
Brazilian Environment Minister says pandemic is “opportunity” to environmental deregulation
Brazil Environment Minister Ricardo Salles
Brazil Environment Minister Ricardo Salles Credit: Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

Brazil's Environment Minister Ricardo Salles called the Covid-19 pandemic an "opportunity" to further deregulate environmental law without much public attention.

In a video released by the country's Supreme Court, Salles said: “We need to make an effort while we are in this calm moment in terms of press coverage, because they are only talking about Covid, and push through and change all the rules and simplify norms,”.

The video of a ministers’ meeting surfaced during an ongoing investigation of whether President Jair Bolsonaro interfered in appointing leaders of the federal police for personal gain.

Climate & Environment
Intel commits to cut waste and greenhouse gas emissions
Intel sticker on laptop computer
Intel sticker on laptop computer Credit: pexels.com/Jordan Harrison

Intel recently announced their environmental goals for 2030. The technology company aims to make the switch to 100% renewable energy and to recycle all its trash by the end of the decade. Currently, Intel does recycle over 90% of its trash and hazardous waste. Even though the company is decreasing its own emissions, they are not counting emission caused by companies and factories in their supply chain.