How Singapore is battling ‘existential’ climate threat

Environmental change and water dispute with Malaysia threaten low-lying state
Stefania Palma Financial Times 27 Jun 19;

One word crops up repeatedly in Singaporean authorities’ discussions on the environmental risks facing the low-lying country: “existential”.

An island nation half the size of London with limited natural resources, Singapore is vulnerable to rising sea levels and flooding, with food and water security major concerns. A spat with Malaysia over an accord that has underpinned water exports to Singapore for almost six decades has compounded the sustainability challenge.

However, Singapore has rolled out some of the world’s most progressive policies to tackle climate change risks as well as encouraging businesses to harness technology to address them.

“The effects of climate change are real, and in Singapore we are definitely going to be facing them,” says Pamela Lee, director of policy and planning at the National Climate Change Secretariat in the prime minister’s office.

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Malaysia, Johor: Crackdown on Pasir Gudang factories dumping chemical waste illegally

Kalbana Perimbanayagam New Straits Times 27 Jun 19;

PASIR GUDANG : The Department of Environment (DOE) in Johor has initiated investigation on at least 38 industrial factories operating in Pasir Gudang, for non-compliance and flouting the department’s laws, following the recent toxic fume pollution here.

State Health, Culture and Heritage Committee chairman Mohd Khuzzan Abu Bakar said action taken included the issuing of compounds to 37 factory operators who had failed to adhere to the department’s procedures under the Environmental Quality Act 1974.

“Of the total, 27 compounds were issued for unscheduled waste disposal, 10 were for industrial effluents and three notices to stop work and notice of demand, each were also issued to six of them.

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Indonesia: TNI foil alleged sale of protected primates worth Rp 1.42b

Rizal Harahap The Jakarta Post 27 Jun 19;

The Indonesian Military (TNI) have arrested two Pekanbaru residents for allegedly trading illegal wildlife in Dumai, Riau.

Dumai Customs and Excise Office head Fuad Fauzi said he had received a report from residents regarding the illegal selling of protected animals in the area.

“We suspect that the animals were heading to Malaysia and were to be delivered by speedboat from a harbor belonging to one of the locals,” he told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

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Indonesia: Number of hot spots down in first half of 2019

Kharishar Kahfi The Jakarta Post 27 Jun 19;

The Environment and Forestry Ministry has reported a drop in the number of hot spots across the country during this year’s first half from the equivalent period last year.

According to observation using the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite, 508 hot spots were detected in forest areas in Indonesia between Jan. 1 and June 25, marking a 25 percent drop from 685 detected in the same period of 2018.

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Indonesia: Houses in Aceh destroyed after 12 elephants go on rampage

Antara 27 Jun 19;

A house at Tuwi Meuleusong Village, Seunagan Timur Sub-district, Nagan Raya District, Aceh Province, is damaged after an elephant attack. (ANTARA/Istimewa)

Suka Makmue, Aceh (ANTARA) - A herd of 12 elephants recently ran amok in the villages of Blang Lango and Tuwi Meuleusong in Seunagan Timur Sub-district, Nagan Raya District, Aceh Province, destroying a house and plantations.

"Alhamdulillah (Thank God), (the attack) claimed no lives," Seunagan Timur Sub-district Head Teuku Mukhsin stated on Thursday.

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Big energy discussion 'scrubbed from record' at UN climate talks

Patrick GALEY, AFP Yahoo News 27 Jun 19;

Bonn (AFP) - Hours of discussions over whether the United Nations climate process needs protecting from big energy interests were "scrubbed" from official conclusions at a conference in Germany this week, AFP has learned.

Talks between nations over how to implement the Paris climate goals wrap up in Bonn Thursday, when summaries of discussions and decisions will be presented to delegates and observers.

Among those allowed to participate in UN climate talks are representatives of trade organisations who count among their members energy giants such as ExxonMobil and Shell.

Industry representatives say their presence as observers at climate negotiations is crucial as it will be the private sector that is tasked with implementing change in the global economy.

Critics question why lobby groups tied to fossil fuel companies should be allowed inside a process that specifically aims to slash the planet-warming emissions those fuels cause.

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Record-breaking heat wave cooks Europe

Mark Kaufman, Mashable Yahoo News 27 Jun 19;

The heat has arrived.

As predicted, a potent heat wave settled over Europe this week, bringing abnormally high June temperatures to vast swathes of France, Spain, Germany and beyond — home to hundreds of millions. Already, the highest ever recorded June temperatures have toppled in Germany, France, and Poland, reaching into the triple digits on Wednesday.

RadzyƄ, Poland hit nearly 101 degrees Fahrenheit, a region outside of Berlin reached 101.5 degrees, and the average max June temperature in France hit its highest point ever, at nearly 95 degrees. On Thursday, France peaked at over 107 degrees. And there's more heat to come.

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