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Indigenous Australians take government to UN over climate change

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Indigenous Australians take government to UN over climate change

SYDNEY: Indigenous residents of low-lying islands off northern Australia will submit a landmark complaint with the United Nations on Monday accusing the government of violating their human rights by failing to tackle climate change.

The Torres Strait Islanders will tell the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva that rising seas caused by global warming are threatening their homelands and culture, lawyers representing the group said.

The lawyers, from the non-profit ClientEarth, said the case was the first of its kind to be lodged with the UN equating government inaction on climate change to a human rights violation.

In their complaint, the islanders ask the UN to find that international human rights law requires Australia to reduce its emissions to at least 65 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The country should become carbon neutral by 2050, phasing out its use and export of coal completely, they say.

The complaint also demands the government allocate Aus$20 million (US$14 million) for emergency infrastructure like sea walls to protect Torres Strait communities.

“Advancing seas are already threatening homes, as well as damaging burial grounds and sacred cultural sites,” the claimants said in a statement.

“Many Islanders are worried that their islands could quite literally disappear in their lifetimes without urgent action.”

Kabay Tamu of Warraber island said that his community had a “right to practice our culture in our traditional homeland”.

“Our culture starts here on the land. It is how we are connected with the land and the sea. You wash away the land and it is like a piece of us you are taking away,” he said in a statement.

 

 

 

 

 

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Environment

Climate ministry for fuel cars conversion over electric technology: Official

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electric vehicle charging

ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC) has held discussions with oil marketing companies (OMCs) on electric car policy phase-wise conversion from fuel cars to electric technology.

In an interview, an official of the ministry Tuesday said after the approval of the prime minister Imran Khan to form a policy framework for introducing electric vehicles, the ministry had expedited its efforts to take all relevant stakeholders in the loop.

“During the recent consultative session with OMCs the ministry has requested the companies to send their inputs over the matter within a week so that the policy formation to be carried out in the right direction,” he added.

He said everything was at the initial stages as the policy had to seek approval from the federal cabinet and Economic Coordination Committee, adding, “Likewise implementation mechanism will be developed.”

The ministry aimed at initiating conversion process from two wheels and three wheels transportation sources namely motorbikes and rickshaws then it would focus on the four wheels including cars and buses, he added.

He underscored that Research and Development Engineering Company Lahore was working on electric cars and had developed an indigenous electric bike equipment of Rs65,000 cost.

“The fully charged electric bike has the capacity to run for 125 kilometers.The company claims that if government assists the firm then the price could be managed at a lower rate,” he added.

The MoCC official said the regulatory framework for electric cars would also be developed whereas our target was to acquire the capacity of local manufacturing of electric cars along with indigenous potential for exporting this technology.

“The conversion of fuel using automobile to electric cars will help us to fulfill our Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. We have pledged to reduce vehicular emissions under the agreement,” he mentioned.

“Almost 43 per cent vehicular emissions are contributing to the overall ambient air pollution prevailing across the hotspots of the country. Electric cars will reduce the impact of oil consumption bill on our economy with the general consumers to get benefit at the basic level. It has 1/4 times less fuel cost as compared to oil using automobiles. Lahore University of Management Sciences has a thorough research work over electric cars and is in close coordination with the ministry to develop its policy framework,” he added.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Environment

Heatwave persists in Sindh

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Heatwave

SUKKUR: Heatwave continued in northern Sindh including Sukkur, Shikarpur, Jacobabad, Khairpur, Ghotki, Kashmore- Kandhkot and other parts on Friday.

A number of heat-related cases were reported in hospitals from various parts of the northern Sindh. Weather severity increased incidents of sun-stroke, which forced affectees to rush to public and private hospitals for treatment.

According to the Met Office, the current wave of heat is expected to decrease within the next two or three days. There were also reports of power outages in the region.

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World’s highest operating weather stations installed on Mt. Everest

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Himalya

ISLAMABAD: The National Geographic Society has announced the successful installation of the worlds highest operating weather stations on Mount Everest to provide researchers, climbers, and the public with near real-time information about mountain conditions, the media reported.
“The multi-disciplinary team installed the world’s two highest operating automated weather stations at Balcony area (8,430 m) and South Col (7,945 m), as well as three other weather stations on Mount Everest,” Fae Jencks, Director, Marketing and Communications at the National Geographic Society, said in a statement.
The other stations were placed at Phortse (3,810 m), Everest Base Camp (5,315 m) and Camp II (6,464 m), the statement said, adding that each weather station will record data on temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, and wind direction, The Himalayan Times reported.
Data from the weather stations and other new research conducted as part of National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Everest will help communities respond to climate risks that threaten the lives and livelihoods of the more than one billion people in the region.
The successful installation aims to break new ground in our monitoring and understanding of climate change as the stations will help continuously monitor the upper reaches of the atmosphere, which is critical to tracking and predicting weather patterns around the globe, the statement added.
“The Balcony weather station is the first weather station installed at an elevation above 8,000 meters, meaning it will also be the first to sample the stratosphere as natural variations in the atmospheric boundaries change over time.”
From April to June, an international team of scientists, climbers, and story-tellers, led by the NatGeo Society and Tribhuvan University and supported in partnership with Rolex, conducted a scientific expedition to Everest, believed to be the most comprehensive single scientific expedition to the mountain in history, it claimed.
With team members from eight countries, including 17 Nepali researchers, the expedition team conducted trailblazing research in five areas of science that are critical to understanding environmental changes and their impacts: biology, glaciology, meteorology, geology, and mapping.

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