Environmental Current Events

Recently, there have been good and bad findings in regards to the environment around the world. In Sri Lanka, there were numerous findings of litter from top fast-fashion brands, Arctic areas near Canada and Russia have continued to melt, some even fully melting due to heatwaves and in Europe, there have been more efforts to reduce carbon emissions by cutting coal from power plants.


H&M Labels Found in Nature Reserve

Recently, volunteers participated in a clean-up in the Wetahirakanda Nature Reserve in Sri Lanka. The volunteers came across fabric labels on the surface of the soil belonging to the famous fast-fashion company, H&M. After further excavation, thousands more were discovered, even some buried under the A2 highway that cuts between the nature reserve. The reserve is also an elephant corridor. Since the reserve is protected under the Department of Wildlife

Conversation, this situation is taken seriously and is being investigated to find out who is responsible for this illegal dump. The labels are made in Sri Lanka which gives a possibility that it may be linked to factory rejected garments. H&M’s response to this issue was: "We take this extremely seriously and we are currently investigating how this could have happened and will make sure that the necessary steps are being taken.”


The Arctic Is Melting More This Year Than Scientists Assumed It Would

After months of exceptional heat, wildfires and other unfortunate events caused by climate change, the Arctic freeze still hasn't arrived. It is now at the second-lowest extent that it ever reached. 40% of the

4,000-year-old Milne Ice Shelf, which is Canada’s last fully in-tact ice shelf, had completely melted this past July. One of the largest reasons for the melt is the Siberian heatwave. This year, Siberia had a large heatwave that pushed temperatures to a new record, unfortunately. Verkhoyansk, Russia, was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit/38 degrees Celcius for the first time. Because of this heatwave, ice sheets started to melt earlier and faster than expected. The heatwave not only caused sea ice to melt but also caused massive wildfires which released more pollution than any other fire in the past two decades of data. The melting of the Arctic will destroy habitats, cause immense heat and raise sea levels near the coastal areas around the world. Humans are the reason for this continuous melt and if bigger changes are postponed, our planet’s deterioration may become unpreventable.


Sweden Shuts Down its Last Coal Power Plant

Sweden is the third European country to eliminate the usage of coal when it closed its last coal power plant in April. The country’s goal is to have improved health, climate protection and a stronger economy. The power plant KVV6, located in Hjorthagen, Stockholm has provided heat and electricity to the country since 1989. After a mild winter that required lower electricity than accustomed, the company owners shut down the whole facility 2 years earlier than expected. The company owners said this move will cut the company’s carbon emissions in half. 30 to 40 years ago, Stockholm was entirely fossil-dependent. With the big step they have taken, the country has improved significantly and has continued to make large changes in short time spans. Following Sweden, Portugal, the United Kingdom, France, Slovakia, Italy and Ireland are looking to remove coal from their power plants by 2025 or earlier. Now, more countries are using Sweden, Austria and Belgium as role models and following in their footsteps for overall better quality of life.


Sources:

http://www.dailymirror.lk/recomended-news/H-M-labels-dumped-in-Nature-Reserve/277-197928

https://thegenesistimes.com/thousands-of-hm-labels-found-in-wetahirakanda-nature-reserve/

https://www.ecowatch.com/amp/sweden-last-coal-plant-closes-2645853366

https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change-coal-power-sweden-fossil-fuels-stockholm-a9485946.html?amp

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/07/24/climate-change-arctic-heatwave-driving-record-temperatures-wildfires.html

https://theconversation.com/amp/wheres-the-sea-ice-3-reasons-the-arctic-freeze-is-unseasonably-late-and-why-it-matters-148918

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2020/oct/13/arctic-ice-melting-climate-change-global-warming


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