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ENVIRONMENT - September 2020

Sep 2020

Sep 29, 2020

Sri Lanka Returns Hazardous Waste to the UK

  • Sri Lanka said that it is sending 21 containers of waste back to the UK after they were found to contain hazardous material.
  • As per customs officials, hospital waste was discovered in many of the 263 containers imported by a private firm.
  • The shipment was meant to be made up of used mattresses, carpets and rugs for potential recycling.
  • Most of the containers have been stored in warehouses, with only a small amount of material having been re-exported.
  • The authorities said there was also plastic and polythene waste in the containers.
  • England's Environment Agency said that it was committed to tackling illegal waste exports.

Sep 28, 2020

Gujarat Tree Cover Shrank between 2006 and 2017

  • The Comptroller and Audit General (CAG) submitted its reports at both the houses of the parliaments. According to the report, forest cover in Gujarat decreased between 2006 and 2017.
  • The tree cover in the state was 8,390 square kilometres. It shrank to 6,910 square kilometres in 2017. According to the report, tree cover includes exclusive forest cover and tree patches outside forest area. The total forest cover in the country is 21.67%. Of this, Gujarat contributes 7.57%. The forest cover in the country increased from 690.90 thousand square kilometres to 712.25 thousand square kilometres.
  • Forest Cover in India includes lands more than one hectare with tree canopy density of more than 10% irrespective of legal status and ownership rights. According to the report, the Indian State of Forest Report said that the forest cover in the state increased to 14,860 square kilo metres. However, the tree cover in the state has decreased. This is contradictory.

Sep 26, 2020

California Bans Sale of Gas-powered Cars by 2035

  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order to end the sale of gasoline-powered cars in the state by 2035.
  • The order aims to phase out cars with internal combustion engines within 15 years by requiring that all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the Golden State in 2035 be zero-emission vehicles.
  • Newsom said the move, which comes as California is battling some of the worst wildfires in the state's recent history, will help California reduce carbon pollution in the transportation sector, which contributes to more than half of the state's total greenhouse gas emissions.

Sep 24, 2020

Warming Shrinks Arctic Ocean Ice to2nd Lowest on Record

  • Ice in the Arctic Ocean melted to its second lowest level on record this summer, triggered by global warming along with natural forces.
  • The extent of ice-covered ocean at the North Pole and extending further south to Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia reached its summertime low of 1.4 million square miles (3.7 million square kilometers) last week before starting to grow again. Arctic sea ice reaches its low point in September and its high in March after the winter.
  • This year's melt is second only to 2012, when the ice shrank to 1.3 million square miles (3.4 million square kilometers), according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which has been keeping satellite records since 1979.
  • In the 1980s, the ice cover was about 1 million square miles (2.7 million square kilometers) bigger than current summer levels.

Sep 23, 2020

World's Top Emitter China Aims to Go Carbon Neutral by 2060

  • According to Chinese President Xi Jinping, his country will aim to stop pumping additional carbon dioxide, the main global warming gas, into the atmosphere by 2060.
  • Xi's announcement during a speech to the UN General Assembly is a significant step for the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and was immediately cheered by climate campaigners.
  • Calling for a "green revolution", Xi said that the coronavirus pandemic had shown the need to preserve the environment.
  • Citing the Paris Agreement that he and former US President Barack Obama helped forge in 2015, Xi said his country would raise its emissions reduction targets with "vigorous policies and measures." "We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.
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