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March’s latest and greatest reads on deforestation, global health, and everything in between.
1. "Unhealthy environment kills 12.6 million people every year: WHO study" by Shreya Dasgupta at Mongabay
A new study from the World Health Organization shows that nearly one in every four deaths worldwide can be attributed to unhealthy environmental conditions. Even more, children under five and adults between 50-75 are affected the most. This study has some pretty huge implications for the future of global health and shows that the state of our environment affects us more than was originally thought. Environment-related diseases are on the rise across both low- and high-income countries - it is a problem that impacts us all. I think Margaret Chan, the WHO Director-General, said it best: “A healthy environment underpins a healthy population."
2. "Palm Oil: Who's Still Trashing Forests?" by Annisa Rahmawati at Greenpeace
Earlier this month, Greenpeace shared the results of their investigation into companies that have pledged to stop deforestation for palm oil. Turns out, not all of them are following through on their promises. Of the 14 companies they surveyed, only two were on track (as a lover of Nutella, I'm feeling quite relieved). We appreciate the commitment that these companies have made, but Borneo's rain forests can't wait. We hope that with the release of this report, you will be able to make smarter consumer choices that protect our planet.
3. "The economy is growing, but carbon emissions aren't. That's a really big deal" by Chris Mooney at Washington Post
Alright, back to the good news! Last year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) made a surprising announcement: For the first time in decades, when the global economy grew (by 3.4% in 2014), greenhouse gas emissions from the use of energy had not. Now the IEA is saying the same thing about 2015; there was a 3.1% growth in global GDP while emissions remained flat. Don't get me wrong: we're still talking 32 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. But it means that economic growth is "decoupling" from greenhouse gas emissions. We've still got a long way to go, but this is welcome news. Now to get global emissions to start going down...