WURD Radio’S ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit, plus a Landmark Ruling for French Climate Justice. Over 50 countries pledge to protecting 30% of planet’s land and water, and a snowy owl spotted in New York City for first time in 130 years!
50 Countries Pledge to Protect a Third of Earth, WURD’s ecoWURD Enviro Justice Summit, French Courts Make Landmark Climate Justice Ruling, Snowy Owl Makes Once-In-A-130-Year Appearance
COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT: WURD’S ECOWURD.COM
This is a story about community engagement. WURD Radio in Philadelphia isn’t just about the music. It’s also all about the environment. Surf on over to wurdradio.com and click on “ecowurd.” Great information about how the city of brotherly love is doing its part to bring climate action to citizens of color in that region.
In 2020, in recognition of Indigenous People’s Day, WURD Radio hosted its second day-long ecoWURD Environmental Justice Summit. This event presented an ambitious mix of LIVE broadcast panels on both its LIVE radio and digital platforms. It was the culmination of extensive journalism from WURD’s ecoWURD.com project which explores the environment at the intersection of race, class, health and income in Philadelphia and beyond. The summit was video recorded and it presents some fascinating information. I highly recommend you surf on over to ecowurd.com and search for The EcoWURD Summit Launch, sit down with a drink, a snack and a notetaking device. You’ll enjoy getting schooled.
DEEPER DIVE: ECOWURD.com
A LANDMARK RULING FOR FRENCH CLIMATE JUSTICE
In a landmark ruling for climate justice, French courts found the country guilty of failing to meet its climate goals. The case was brought to France by four environmental groups, including Greenpeace, and called the case a “historic win for climate justice.”
Reported by CBS News, the Administrative TrY-bunal in Paris found France failed to meet the country’s commitment to reducing 40% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The courts also found France guilty of “non-respect of its engagements” to combat climate change and “responsible for ecological damage.” During the proceedings, the court described the case as the “first major climate trial in France.”
The Administrative Tribunal said the group will decide within the next two months whether to offer recommendations for how the government address its failure to combat climate change. In a statement, executive director of Greenpeace France said, “we will use this decision as a crucial first step in pushing our scientifically-grounded arguments and get the court in the coming months to order the French state to act against the climate emergency.”
DEEPER DIVE: CBS News
OVER 50 COUNTRIES COMMIT TO PROTECTING 30% OF EARTH’S LANDS AND SEAS
A coalition of more than 50 countries has committed to protect almost a third of the planet by 2030 to halt the destruction of the natural world and slow extinctions of wildlife. The High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People, which includes the UK and countries from six continents, made the pledge to protect at least 30% of the planet’s land and oceans during the recent One Planet summit in Paris.
PM Boris Johnson said, “Johnson told the event: “We are destroying species and habitat at an absolutely unconscionable rate. Of all the mammals in the world, I think I am right in saying that 96% of mammals are now human being or livestock that human beings rely upon. “That is, in my view, a disaster. That’s why the UK has pledged to protect 30% of our land surface and marine surface.” Of the 11.6bn that BRITAIN HAS committed to climate finance initiatives, it’s putting £3bn to protecting nature.”
Why this matters to us is that the UK and other developed nations are beginning to quantify the absolute costs of destroying nature in monetary terms. Look we can’t escape capitalism. But if we can turn the restoration of nature into a capitalist pursuit, we can convince stone-cold capitalists to buy in in a meaningful way.
DEEPER DIVE: The Guardian
SNOWY OWL SPOTTED IN NYC FOR FIRST TIME IN 130 YEARS
For the first time in 130 years, a snowy owl was spotted in New York City’s Central park. While migration patterns are not entirely known, snowy owls typically nest in high Arctic tundra environments and, at times, venture south of the Canadian border looking for food in the winter.
Following the unusual sighting in New York City, experts have suggested the snowy owl’s migration south offers insight into changing environments. In an interview with Earther, director of climate science at the Audubon Society said, “[snowy owls] have been finding places in New York City outside of Manhattan for a while, so I think that that’s an indicator that they are finding what they need in these areas.”
The snowy owl is not listed as endangered or threatened in the United States but is protected under the U.S. Migratory Bird Act. However, the effects of climate change and deforestation will likely impact snowy owl populations and many other Arctic birds. According to Audubon Society, research shows roughly 7% of snowy owl’s habitat would remain suitable if global warming trends continue. It’s sightings like these are a good reminder of how vulnerable wildlife populations are to the effects of climate change, and that we must do our part to protect them.