Environment and Sustainability
Launch of Global Climate Change Alliance+
EU commissioner Neven Mimica has launched Global Climate Change Alliance+ (GCCA+), an initiative intended to become one of Europe’s major tools in helping the most vulnerable developing countries address global climate change. Roughly 350 million of EU funds and private and national public investments will be available until 2020. Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: "This is a great initiative which shows that EU is scaling up climate finance to help the most vulnerable countries take action against climate change. And it also sends a clear signal ahead of Paris: the EU stands by its commitments and is ready to continue to do its part."
No more diesel cars
An influential committee of MPs has called for a scrappage scheme for diesel cars because of endangerment to public health and high levels of pollution. Huw Irranca-Davies, chair of the Environment Audit Committee, has said that the plan “could provide a short-cut to cleaning up the air in our cities”. He also stressed the importance of focusing VED both on CO2 and NOx (nitrogen oxides) emissions, which are estimated to cause 23,500 premature deaths a year. Most diesel vehicles emit a larger amount of NOx than in official tests, a problem that gained significance after VW admitted cheating regulatory tests.
Population Matters at COP21
Population Matters will attend the Paris Climate Change conference in December to raise awareness about the links between population growth and climate change. They will be attending both the ‘open’ part of the official COP in Le Bourget and the side events organized by Coalition Climat. The main activities include leafleting, starting conversations about the effects of population growth on the environment and strengthening the link between lack of access to family planning, women’s rights and the ‘rights’ of the environment.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights
24.4 million more women voluntarily using modern contraception
Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) issued a new report on 12 November showing that the number of the world’s poorest women and girls voluntarily using modern contraception has increased by 24.4 million from 2012. The report Commitment to Action 2014-2015 also states that this increase has averted 80 million unintended pregnancies, 26.8 million unsafe abortions and 111,000 maternal deaths. However, FP2020 and its partners still need to take immediate action to speed up progress.
Equal pay in 118 years
The World Economic Forum has estimated that it will take 118 years before the world can expect a close in the gender pay gap. The 10th annual report on gender parity has calculated that the average full-time salary for working women is $11,102 a year, almost half the average for men of $20,554. The current yearly average for women almost matches men’s average income in 2006. The report also found a wide gap of salary between men and women doing the same job: for every $1 earned by a man, researchers estimate that, on average, a woman will get a little more than 60 cents. Saadia Zahidi, the writer of the report has proposed banning outright discrimination, improving parental leave, childcare and tax policy, among others, as potential solutions to eliminating the gender pay gap.
New documentary on overpopulation
The Dutch NGO, the Ten Million Club has launched a 19-minute documentary on the detrimental consequences of overpopulation. Overpopulation in the Netherlands: Living on a volcano addresses overconsumption, pollution, loss of nature, food insecurity in urban areas and the dangers of global warming. The documentary is produced by the Ten Million Club www.overpopulationawareness.org and Anchored Mind Productions www.anchoredminds.net .
Whole film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGLtt1bQqgM&feature=youtu.be
Refugees also fleeing ISIS
Leaders at the G20 conference in Antalaya, Turkey agreed that the refugee crisis was of global concern and needed a coordinated and comprehensive response to handle the crisis, in addition to its long term consequences. The president of the European Commission Jean Claude Juncker stressed that the Paris attacks should not dissuade countries from protecting and relocating refugees on their territories. A joint press conference on 15 November with the president of the European Council Donald Tusk said: “It is imperative to see that those who organised the attacks and perpetrated them are precisely the ones the refugees are trying to flee”. An agreement on the 2016 EU budget was concluded before the deadline and will strengthen the EU’s reponse to the refugee crisis both within and outside the EU.