The Stream, November 20: European Commission Targets Greece Over Wastewater

The  Global Rundown

The Global Rundown

The European Union’s executive body is pursuing fines against Greece for the country’s failure to address wastewater treatment problems. Poor conditions in a South Sudan refugee camp are leading to sickness, and rainstorms in Kenya are clogging a major East African trade route. Kiribati’s president continued to call for a global moratorium on new coal mines, and water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean that fuel El Niño reached their highest point on record. A Brazilian mining company announced plans to close nickel smelting and refining operations in Canada.

“There are countries in the north and south who cannot survive without the use of coal. I understand that. But if the global community is genuinely committed to reducing the impacts of climate change … coal is undoubtedly the worst of the fossil fuels.”–Anote Tong, president of Kiribati, calling on countries like Australia to support a global moratorium on new coalmines. The Pacific island nation, vulnerable to rising sea levels, has persistently asked for meaningful action on climate change. (Guardian)

By the Numbers

By The Numbers

$17 million Amount the European Commission is proposing to fine Greece for its failure to adequately address wastewater flowing into the Gulf of Elefsina. European Commission

50 kilometers Length of traffic backups near Mombasa, Kenya, where rain washed out a road near the port city and brought a major East African trade route to a halt for the second day this week. Reuters


Science, Studies, And Reports

There are three times as many hospital patients and five times as many sick children as there were five months ago at a refugee camp in South Sudan, according to Medecins Sans Frontieres. The Malakal camp is sheltering 48,000 people, but overcrowding and inadequate water and sanitation facilities are contributing to health risks. Medecins Sans Frontieres

Water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean that indicate the strength of the El Niño weather phenomenon reached a record high this week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported. Temperatures were 3 degrees Celsius above average, surpassing the previous record set in 1997. Reuters

On the Radar

On The Radar

Vale, a Brazilian mining company that co-owns the iron ore mine where failures at two tailings dam recently contaminated rivers in Minas Gerais, announced that it will close its nickel smelting and refining operations in Manitoba, Canada in 2018. It will, however, expand tailings facilities at the Manitoba site, with plans to improve water flow and review engineering work. Reuters

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