“Weather” or Not: The Crisis of Global Environmental Governance

In the third volume of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment report, Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change, climate scientists suggest that the world is at a now-or-never point of global warming, where extreme climate events are imminent. This report, released on April 4, suggests that difficulties regarding greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuels are the product of socio-political issues, rather than technological shortcomings, as clean energy technologies have become more affordable and accessible.

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As the Global West Prepares to Relax COVID Restrictions, is it Doing Enough to Combat Vaccine Inequality across Africa?

It has been two years since the World Health Organization’s designation of the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. Since then, there have been 452,201,564 confirmed cases of COVID-19, along with 6,029,852 related deaths worldwide, reports WHO. As the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and local governments relax COVID-19 restrictions within the United States, the pandemic is still raging in developing nations, as both their economy and national morale struggle to regain normalcy. The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately highlighted the growing global divide in the distribution of vaccine doses, particularly exposing vaccine inequality across Africa. 

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Brazil Devastated by Mudslides and Floods

Brazil has suffered from numerous devasting mudslides and flash flooding this month, as the death toll rises to 217. Climate experts and meteorologists believe that the source of this influx of flash flooding and landslides has to do with the rapid urbanization in the Rio De Janeiro state, especially areas like the city of Petrópolis, where summer rains are not usually severe, as Al Jazeera reports.

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Myanmar Marks One Year Since Military Takeover

February 1marked one year since Myanmar’s  military staged a coup to oust democratically elected leader Aung Sann Suu Kyi, less than a decade after its transition into a democratic nation. The U.N. Security Council released a statement regarding the one-year anniversary, calling for those still detained to abe released, including the country’s former president Win Myint, reports U.S. News. Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and long-time supporter of democracy, remains detained as well. 

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Indonesia to Relocate Capital Due to Climate Change

On January 18, Indonesia’s parliament passed a bill to relocate the nation’s capital from Jakarta to the jungle island of Borneo, with the new city’s name to be Nusantara. The move, according to BBC News, will cost an estimated 466 trillion rupiah, or roughly $32.4 billion. The bill passed by approvals from eight factions, with one faction rejecting, according to Indonesian House Representative Puan Maharani.

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Emergence of Omicron Variant Provokes Global Fears

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) distinguished the COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529, or Omicron. Although South Africa was the first nation to report the Omicron variant to WHO on November 24, scientists are unsure of where and when it originated. According to The Washington Post, the variant has been detected all over the world, including in the United States, UK, EU, Israel, Hong Kong, and Botswana.

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A Summary of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference

On November 12, The United Nations Climate Change Summit, known this year as COP26, came to an end in Glasgow, Scotland. The conference, which started on October 31, saw roughly 20,000 heads of state, diplomats, and activists meet in person after being delayed from last year due to COVID-19. Following two weeks of climate change negotiations, world leaders of the Conference of the Parties discussed topics such as climate impacts, fossil fuel policy, and climate finance.

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Lebanese Minister Criticizes Yemen War, Sparking Diplomatic Spat with Gulf Nations

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have announced the removal of Lebanese envoys, following statements made by the Lebanese Minister about the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen. The Gulf nations have also enacted a blanket ban on all imports from Lebanon, according to BBC News.

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Sudan’s Military Arrests Prime Minister and Seizes Power

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and governmental officials were arrested in the capital city of Khartoum, halting the military and civilian power-sharing government that the country has utilized since late 2019 after President Omar al-Bashir was overthrown. As of Monday, October 25, 2021, Sudan is in a state of emergency, as thousands of pro-democracy protestors gather in the streets to oppose the military coup and the prime minister’s arrest, according to The New York Times.

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Could a New Legal Approach Curb Deforestation?

The Brazilian Government is ignoring the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted through the combination of deforestation and agricultural exploitation practices in the Amazon Rainforest under President Bolsonaro’s administration. Officials are failing to acknowledge the climate imbalance of the Global South, wildlife extinction, and habitat loss the rainforest is currently facing.

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