Joint Pilot Initiative Aims to Strengthen Resilience to Climate Change in Six Sahelian States – International Organization for Migration (IOM)

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Drought in several parts of the Sahel including in in the Hodh El Chargui region of Mauritania, have impacted communities. Photo Credit IOM 2017/ Sibylle Desjardins
Bamako, 12 July – The International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the Government of Mali and Belgian Embassy in Mali officially unveiled a regional initiative to support the development and implementation of data-based policies and programmes on migration and climate change in Mali and five other Sahelian countries. 
“In Mali, forward-thinking actions are planned to strengthen the resilience of displaced populations, migrants and communities, as well as natural resource management in an inclusive and sustainable manner,” Olivier Grosjean, IOM Chief of Mission a.i. in Mali “At the regional level, this pilot initiative will contribute to improving the availability of statistics on internal and cross-border displacement, including climate-related migration”. 
Sub Saharan Africa recorded 2.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to climate related disasters in 2023, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) 2024 Global Report on Internal Displacement representing around 7 per cent of the total IDPs in the region. The pilot initiative – worth five million euros in funding – will focus on migrants, internally displaced persons, host communities and agricultural and transhumant populations in Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Chad.  
“The Sahel is a region subject to significant population movements, whether prompted by the search for better economic opportunities or due to security or environmental reasons,” said Patrick Deboeck Chargé d’Affaires of the Belgian Embassy in Mali. “As one of its foreign policy priorities, Belgium adopted an integrated strategy for the Sahel region in July 2023, in which the fight against the root causes of forced migration and the protection of migrants and internally displaced persons are highlighted as key areas for our partnership.”  
Cyclical floods and severe droughts have impacted human mobility, livelihoods and stability in the Sahel region. This project, implemented by IOM in partnership with the relevant governments, is designed to support governments in addressing these issues. 
“I welcome this initiative as an appropriate action following our recommendations made during the 2023 International Migrants Day, which focused on climate change and human mobility,” said Mossa Ag Attaher, Minister for Malians Living Abroad and African Integration. “We need to pay particular attention to the nexus between migration and climate change, gender and development, and support communities affected by climate change impacts, while minimising the need for further displacement.”  
Extreme weather events are pushing more people to move. To avert, minimize and address displacement linked to climate disasters and strengthen people’s resilience, implementing sustainable climate adaptation, preparedness and concrete disaster risk reduction measures is urgent. IOM is committed to continue working for people who want to stay, for people on the move and for people who take the decision to move because of the effects of climate change. 
  
Note to Editors: 
The Project titled “Environment-Migration Nexus in Mali and Enhancing Data on Internal and Cross-Border Displacement in the Sahel” (Nexus Environnement-migration au Mali et reinforcement des données relative’s aux deplanements internes et transfrontaliers au Sahel), is supported by the Kingdom of Belgium. 
  
For more information, please contact:  
  
In Mali : mcd unit, allmalimediacom@iom.int  
In Dakar : Joëlle Furrer, jfurrer@iom.int  
In Geneva : Kennedy Okoth, kokoth@iom.int 
 
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Tesla quietly adds three new climate settings, one of which helps with phone calls – TESLARATI

Tesla has quietly added three new climate settings to its vehicles with a new Software Update, one of which will make phone calls more enjoyable without having to touch any controls.
Tesla’s climate control system is one of the most robust and advanced in any vehicle available on the market. Everything from cabin pre-conditioning to Dog Mode to the use of a heat pump, which helps fight range loss in the winter, is available on a Tesla.
However, the company is always improving its vehicles through Over-the-Air Software Updates. Most recently, Tesla rolled out Software Version 2024.26.1, which features a few new features that make the HVAC more advanced than ever before.
According to Not a Tesla App, Tesla has updated its Charging and Pre-Conditioning features with a scheduled feature that will allow owners to pick a predetermined time to perform these tasks.
The site writes:
“From the redesigned menu or the Tesla mobile app, schedule charging or preconditioning for your vehicle. You can select a location, schedule a one-off, repeat specific times or days of the week, and also control when charging starts and stops.
To schedule your charge and precondition, tap Controls > Schedule.”
Tesla is rolling out a new, easier-to-navigate climate panel that will make selecting comfort settings less of a task.
Some owners have complained about the fact that making adjustments to the vehicle’s temperature or where the air is coming from can be difficult to do while driving.
Tesla listened and is making the panel more streamlined.
Perhaps one of the most logical features, which is now available in Tesla vehicles, is the automatic reduction of fan speed when a phone call is initiated.
Ambient noise can be loud with cabin A/C running, and it can make phone calls difficult to execute.
Now, when in Auto, the A/C will automatically lower to reduce the sound during a phone call, making it easier to talk and listen.
I’d love to hear from you! If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please email me at joey@teslarati.com. You can also reach me on Twitter @KlenderJoey, or if you have news tips, you can email us at tips@teslarati.com.
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DLNR seeks local artists to participate in Climate Change Action Residency program – Hawaiipublicradio

The Hawaiʻi State Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission is looking for four local artists who work with various materials to join Hawaiʻi’s Artist Climate Change Action Residency program.
The selected artists will get to help in developing key topics, including land stewardship, energy efficiency and more.
Artists will participate in monthly meetings from September to November this year. They will also have a chance to visit projects on the ground to gain inspiration for their pieces.
“This initiative represents a creative approach to raising awareness about climate change and inspiring action,” said Victoria Keener, a research professor at Arizona State University and senior fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, who is part of the Artist Residency committee in a press release.
“By combining art with science and policy, we hope to reach a broader audience and foster an emotional connection to what can sometimes seem like dry scientific findings.”
Each artist will receive up to $7,000, including money for art materials. The art pieces are scheduled to be exhibited at Capitol Modern in the Fall of 2025.
The application deadline is Aug. 25. To apply, click here.

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EU’s trade policy clashes with sustainability and food sovereignty ambitions – Via Campesina

This article by Sofia Sanchez Manzanaro was first published on Euractiv on 5 July.
The EU should control agricultural prices and abandon its policy of free trade agreements (FTA), including the long-stalled trade deal with Mercosur, a representative of the farmers’ organisation European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), told Euractiv in an interview.
The Via Campesina movement, founded in 1993 to organise family and small-scale farmers around the world to resist globalisation, invented the term ‘food sovereignty’.
“The ECVC proposes to paralyse negotiations with Mercosur and freeze existing free trade agreements,” Andoni Garcia Arriola, a Spanish farmer and a member of the organisation’s coordinating committee, told Euractiv.
The deal with the Latin American bloc—formed by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay—has been put on the back burner amid farmers’ protests, the campaign for the European Parliament elections, and fresh concerns from EU countries about the FTA’s impact on the agricultural sector.
Nevertheless, the EU could be preparing to sign off on the deal in the coming months, the bloc’s lead negotiator Rupert Schlegelmilch told Brazilian media in May.
Once signed, the agreement would require backing from the European Parliament and a qualified majority of member states in the Council, representing at least 65% of the EU population.
This possibility seems increasingly unlikely as the French far-right, reinforced after the country’s legislative election in July, is set to oppose it.
Garcia stressed that free trade policies contribute to the “replacement” of local agricultural products for imported ones.
“This depresses domestic prices,” he said, adding that the EU favours “an export-oriented production model for agriculture.”
The farmer, who is based in the Basque country, stressed that pursuing free trade policies clashes with the objectives of the Green Deal and the Farm to Fork Strategy, which aims to make the EU’s food systems more sustainable.
“There should be greater control over imports and also on prices, with minimum entry prices,” said the ECVC member. “We don’t call for this as a protectionist measure, but to recover our food sovereignty.”
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON THE EURACTIV WEBSITE
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Hazardous Waste Enforcement: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Chemical Etching Manufacturer Enter into Expedited Settlement Agreement – JD Supra

Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.
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The United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) and PMA Industries, Inc. (“PMI”) entered into a May 9th Expedited Settlement Agreement (“ESA”) addressing alleged violations of the Federal Hazardous Waste Regulations. See Docket No. RCRA-09-2024-0036.
The ESA addresses a chemical etching manufacturing facility located in Phoenix, Arizona.
EPA is stated to have inspected the facility on May 17, 2023. Such inspection is alleged to have identified the following violations to Resource Conservation and Recovery Act regulations and EPA’s approved and authorized Arizona Hazardous Waste Management Program requirements:
PMI neither admits nor denies the factual or legal allegations contained in the ESA.
A civil penalty of $7,500.00 is assessed.
A copy of the ESA can be downloaded here.
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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.
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CEOs Embrace Sustainability as Key Growth Driver in 2024 According to Gartner Survey – CEOWORLD magazine


A recent survey by Gartner, Inc. reveals that 69% of CEOs regard sustainability as a significant business growth opportunity for 2024. Kristin Moyer, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, highlighted that as CEOs reevaluate their long-term strategies, environmental sustainability remains a critical competitive factor. Despite past instances of corporate greenwashing and potential cynicism due to economic conditions, CEOs are maintaining a strong commitment to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles.
Moyer noted that sustainability has become a top 10 business priority, even surpassing productivity and efficiency. Business leaders and investors recognize that neglecting environmental factors poses long-term risks to business results. However, savvy CEOs view significant sustainability challenges as opportunities for new business ventures.
The 2024 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey, conducted from July to December 2023, included over 400 CEOs and senior business executives from various regions, including North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, and South Africa, spanning multiple industries, revenue brackets, and company sizes.
According to the survey, CEOs are leveraging sustainability to drive business growth through several key areas: sustainable products and services (33%), sustainable business practices (18%), stakeholder engagement (18%), and decarbonization (18%).
Digital technology is identified as a crucial component in achieving both financial and sustainability goals. Technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics can optimize wind turbines to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions, while AI and IoT can minimize food loss and waste. Additionally, circular economy marketplaces can generate new revenue streams and reduce waste.
The survey also found that climate change is influencing business agendas, with 54% of CEOs acknowledging that their operations are at least moderately affected by changing weather patterns. Over half of the respondents have either made or are planning operational changes in response to these shifts.
Moyer emphasized that CEOs recognize the impact of climate change on weather patterns, which is already affecting their business operations. Adapting these operations, particularly through technological advancements in supply chain dynamics, is essential. The survey indicated that the most significant impacts of changing weather patterns on businesses are operational dynamics (30%), including logistics adjustments, such as warehousing and delivery routing. Relocations (14%) and advancements in automation, technology, and data (13%) are also notable impacts.
Overall, the survey underscores that sustainability and climate considerations are integral to CEOs’ strategies for future growth and operational resilience.
 
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Baltimore judge tosses climate change case brought by city against oil companies – The Baltimore Banner

In a first-of-its-kind decision, a Maryland judge tossed Baltimore’s climate suit against major oil companies on the grounds that it is not the role of the state courts to address a global issue such as climate change.
Originally filed in 2018, the lawsuit is one of more than a dozen similar cases against oil companies including Chevron, Exxon and BP winding through courts across the nation.
Jurisdictions across the U.S. are experiencing the impacts of climate change and are using legal means to extract compensation from oil companies that, they argue, profited from selling products they knew caused environmental harm and brought about calamities such as global warming and extreme weather.
Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Videtta A. Brown said in a Wednesday ruling the gas emissions that damaged Baltimore fall under the federal Clean Air Act.
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“Whether the complaint is characterized one way or another, the analysis and answer are the same — the Constitution’s federal structure does not allow the application of state law to claims like those presented by Baltimore,” Brown wrote in her opinion. “Global pollution-based complaints were never intended by Congress to be handled by individual states.”
Sara Gross, chief of the Affirmative Litigation Division in the Baltimore City Department of Law, said her office will seek a higher court’s review.
The city argued that oil and gas companies were liable for damages because they falsely marketed their products and concealed the harms associated with burning fossil fuels but were not seeking to regulate gas emissions.
“This decision is the oil companies’ dream. This is what they would love to happen to all those cases,” said Robert Percival, a professor and director of the Environmental Law Program at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
Percival said Brown argued that, even though Baltimore was seeking damages for consumer fraud and disinformation, it actually sought to regulate emissions.
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“These cases were state law actions for consumer fraud because of the oil companies’ lying about the impact of their products and engaging in a disinformation campaign,” Percival said. “The Clean Air Act has no provision for damages and nothing that would allow plaintiffs to recover for consumer fraud.”
Alyssa Johl, the vice president and general counsel for the Center for Climate Integrity, a D.C.-based environmental organization, said the decision was at odds with how other courts have ruled in similar cases, including a Maryland state court that allowed climate deception lawsuits that the city of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County separately brought against fossil fuel companies to proceed to trial.
“Judges across the country have agreed that cases like Baltimore’s are intended to hold bad actors accountable for fraud and deception; they in no way seek to regulate emissions,” Johl wrote in an email.
The decision is a win for the energy companies who have consistently tried to avoid arguing the cases in state courts and even appealed to the Supreme Court, hoping for a ruling that the cases belonged in federal courts. The Supreme Court declined to consider the plea and remanded the cases to state courts.
“Federal law doesn’t provide any damages action, so that’s why it’s kind of the oil companies’ dream. Their objective is to avoid a trial that would reveal what they really knew about their products causing climate change for decades,” Percival said. “They’re constantly trying to get the U.S. Supreme Court to just completely overstep itself and wipe out all state climate litigation.”
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Michael Gerrard, a professor of professional practice at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, called the decision a “setback for similar cases.” In January, a Delaware court ruled the state’s claims against oil companies can proceed but damages will be limited to emissions within the state.
Delaware’s lawsuit alleged the fossil fuel industry concealed the harms of its products, which in turn harmed the state.
“There are cases going in both directions on this,” Gerrad said. “This is mostly a matter of state law, with no uniform national outcome, unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in and shuts all the cases down.”
When filed in 2018, this was the 13th of its kind to be brought. The complaint sought to hold 26 oil and gas companies accountable for damages associated with sea-level rise and changes to the environment that prompted weather extremes such as hurricanes, droughts, heat waves and extreme precipitation caused by the companies’ products.
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