New reforms revealed by China last week point to a shift in priorities that puts more emphasis on issues like environmental protection, rather than economic growth “at all costs”, Reuters reported. In an effort to clean up the country’s water and air, the Chinese government said it will hold local authorities responsible for pollution, and take environmental achievements into more account when assessing officials.
Toxic waste dumped illegally by an Italian mob group may have contaminated water supplies near Naples, the Guardian reported. Protesters claim that the contaminated water and soil have led to illnesses like cancer among the region’s children.
Representatives at the international climate talks in Warsaw are debating if and how developed countries should compensate developing countries for climate change damages, The New York Times reported. Part of the problem becomes directly linking specific events, like Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, to climate change, according to scientists.
Fears of growing water scarcity are pushing the oil and gas industry to develop a way to economically recycle wastewater from hydraulically fractured wells, Forbes reported. Currently, only about 10 percent of fracking water is recycled in the United States, according to the chief operating officer of a company involved in recycling oil and gas wastewater.