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Investigation. Anglo American’s error undermines its promise of no glacier impacts for $3bn Chilean copper project / Desmog

For the last year I have been investigating a local glacier contamination story, with an impact that is experienced by Santiago’s 7million. 

When mining company Anglo American released a “Fake News” statement partly in response to my previous investigation into the CO2 emissions associated with their Los Bronces operations, they added that their glacier contamination was “less than 10% of the Swiss norm.”

I followed up with the Swiss Office for the Environment and the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow, and Landscape Research. The finding was that the ambient limit values for glacier contamination that the mining company has been using to justify current operations and their future Los Bronces Integrado expansion – don’t apply to glaciers at all.

Following the publication of the article, the local mayor Cristóbal Lira announced an investigation into the compliance by Anglo American with its environmental commitments.

I would like to express deep thanks to the glaciologists, air pollution scientists, environmental lawyers, NGOs and members of Chilean civil society who supported this investigation.

You can read the article here as originally published by DeSmog; or here for Chilean investigative news site Interferencia, in Spanish.

 

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Coronavirus’ real impact on the climate / Geographical

Covid-19 has forced us to reduce destructive atmospheric behaviours and has reminded us that we are at the mercy of nature.

This March I discussed with climate behavioural psychologist Paul Hoggett how the current viral crisis could affect our response and engagement as a species with the climate crisis. 

Published by Geographical, the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society.

Click to open and read in new tab. 

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A Climate of Inequality / Patagon Journal

For video reporting (in Spanish) from the streets of Santiago during the October social crisis, click this link. 

In the 21st issue of Patagon Journal I wrote and provided the photography for the lead story, “A Climate of Inequality.”

On the eve of the October 18th 2019 social crisis in Chile I was in the coastal town of Quintero, in an area commonly referred to be Chileans as a zona de sacrifico (sacrifice zone). Quintero is very close to an industrial corridor where multiple coal power plants and a national copper smelter  have been linked to chronic and acute air pollution incidents. I was meeting the Durán family that day, who are being broken up as they struggle to relocate their son to safety after he began passing blood in his stool as a result of exposure to the contamination.

I travelled back on the bus to Santiago that night, following increasingly dramatic reports of rioting in the city, until I could see the burning barricades for myself out of the window. 

The social crisis over rampant inequality  in Chile has strong links to the environmental crisis according to the head of the Chilean for Climate Science and Resilience CR(2), Maisa Rojas. 

I picked up these nexus issue of social-enviro-climate justice in Chile, for the Climate of Inequality story. You can subscribe to the magazine and read it here

 

 

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COP25: Europe’s Green Deal opens door to global climate disaster politics / Geographical

Hope is the last to die, and the Paris Agreement created plenty of it. For the last four years, since COP21 in France, world nations have consoled themselves that the gulf between their intentions and the globally agreed target to limit warming to well below 2˚C was a temporary accounting challenge. To close the gap, a crank or ‘ratchet mechanism’ was added to the Paris Agreement in 2015, intended to tighten national commitments and deepen emission cuts every five years.

Continue reading at Geographical

The third in my three part series from the 2019 UN Conference of the Parties, where world representatives met this December to try to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees. 

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COP25: Citizens and scientists unite behind climate injustice / Geographical

Indigenous activist Daiara Tukano of Brazil speaks to press during a demonstration against the slow pace of climate negotiations at COP25 (Image: Christine Thao Tyler)

Brandon Wu is director of campaigns and policy at Action Aid USA and he has just been reunited with his jacket. He’s spent a few chilly hours outside the COP25 United Nations climate summit in Madrid after being ejected from the venue. Earlier he had been part of an organised but extra-official protest in which youth, trade union, Indigenous, women and gender delegation groups beat empty pans and unfurled banners. ‘Police linked arms,’ he told Geographical, ‘forcibly marching people out of the door.’

Continue reading at Geographical

The second in my three part series from the 2019 UN Conference of the Parties, where world representatives met this December to try to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees. 

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COP25: World leaders debate global carbon trading playbook / Geographical

Any good parent knows you should never make a rule that you can’t enforce. In the first week, however, of the UN COP25 climate change conference, the troublesome Article Six policy of the Paris Agreement was a 2015 promise some nations were perhaps beginning to regret. Article Six allows countries and companies to potentially leverage emissions savings they create overseas for continued or even increased emissions at home. The mechanism is currently as vague as it sounds….

Continue reading at Geographical

The first in my three part series from the 2019 UN Conference of the Parties, where world representatives met this December to try to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees.