The Stream, October 6: Paris Climate Agreement Ratified

The Global Rundown

The international Paris accord to cut carbon emissions and curb climate change will go into effect early next month, following the agreement’s ratification by countries representing more than half of global emissions. There is a high probability the western United States will face a megadrought by the end of the century. More than a million people in Aleppo, Syria have not had access to running water for nearly a week. Water conservation is declining in California after the state removed mandatory water restrictions earlier this year. The Tokyo Electric Power Company is asking Japan’s government to help it manage the cost of decommissioning the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant. France is using wastewater in its sewage pipes to heat buildings and pools.

“Today is a historic day in the fight to protect our planet for future generations. This gives us the best possible shot to save the one planet we got. With optimism and faith and hope, we are proving it is possible.” –U.S. President Barack Obama, after Canada, the European Union, India, and Nepal ratified the Paris climate agreement to reduce global carbon emissions. With the official backing of 73 countries responsible for 57 percent of the world’s emissions, the agreement will go into effect on November 4. (Guardian)

By The Numbers

1.5 million people Number in Aleppo, Syria that have been without running water for five days amid an ongoing assault on the city by Syrian government and Russian forces. Oxfam

17.7 percent Average decline in California’s water use in August, compared to 2013 levels. It represents the lowest level of conservation since the state ended most mandatory water restrictions in June. Los Angeles Times

400,000 kilometers Cumulative length of sewage pipes in France, where new projects are tapping the residual energy in wastewater to heat schools, apartment buildings, and pools. Reuters

Science, Studies, And Reports

There is a 70 percent chance that the western United States will experience a megadrought that could last longer than 30 years by the end of the century, even if rainfall levels remain the same as they are now, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances. If rainfall levels decline due to climate change, the chance of a megadrought occurring within that time frame rises to 90 percent. Guardian

On The Radar

Tepco, the Japanese utility that operates the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant, is asking the government to help it avoid bankruptcy over the next 40 years as it decommissions the plant. The cost to safely close the plant, including processing and disposing of a large amount of contaminated water, could exceed earlier estimates by tens of billions of dollars. Reuters