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After Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,000 people in the Philippines and damaged more than 1 million homes in 2013, Greenpeace Southeast Asia petitioned the Philippines’ Commission on Human Rights to declare the world’s largest fossil fuel companies “accountable for either impairing, infringing, abusing or violating human rights” because of their contribution to climate change. Earlier this month, the commission issued its conclusions. In a damning and lucidly written report, the commission found that the world’s largest fossil fuel companies had “engaged in willful obfuscation and obstruction to prevent meaningful climate action.” The companies continue to deny climate science and try to slow a transition away from fossil fuels, the report said, driven “not by ignorance, but by greed.”

Also this week, a new study found that pollution was responsible for an estimated 9 million deaths around the world in 2019. Fully half of those fatalities, 4.5 million deaths, were the result of outdoor air pollution, which is typically emitted by vehicles and industrial sources like power plants and factories. The report noted that countries with lower collective incomes often bear a disproportionate share of the impacts of pollution deaths, and called on governments, businesses and other entities to abandon fossil fuels and adopt clean energy sources.

In the Philippines, a Landmark Finding Moves Fossil Fuel Companies’ Climate Liability into the Realm of Human Rights
BY NICHOLAS KUSNETZ
While not binding, the findings of the report by the country’s Commission on Human Rights has broad implications for other cases, experts say.
Study Identifies Outdoor Air Pollution as the ‘Largest Existential Threat to Human and Planetary Health’
BY VICTORIA ST. MARTIN
Deaths from exposure to emissions from vehicles, smoke stacks and wildfires have increased by more than 50 percent this century, with poorer countries bearing the brunt of the impacts.
Climate Migrants Seeking Asylum in the US Lack a Clear Path to Refugee Status
BY AYDALI CAMPA
People displaced by climate change must show they face violence or persecution in their home countries to enter the U.S. legally. Advocates say it’s time to recognize climate as cause enough.
Q&A: The Activist Investor Who Shook Up the Board at ExxonMobil, on How—or if—it Changed the Company
BY NICHOLAS KUSNETZ
“If you've got a $30 billion project that is dependent on a certain level of demand for decades to come, you’re gonna fight like hell to make sure that demand is still there,” Charlie Penner said.
New York Is Facing a Pandemic-Fueled Home Energy Crisis, With No End in Sight
BY QURATULAIN TEJANI
More than a million households are 60 days in arrears on their energy bills, with an average of $1,427.71 in debt, and shut-offs are increasing.
Lead Poisonings of Children in Baltimore Are Down, but Lead Contamination Still Poses a Major Threat, a New Report Says
BY AGYA K. ANING
The Abell Foundation study found that as many as 85,000 homes in the city had “dangerous” levels of lead, and that remediation could cost billions.
Inside Clean Energy: Flow Batteries Could Be a Big Part of Our Energy Storage Future. So What’s a Flow Battery?
BY DAN GEARINO
A battery project uses a technology that could be vital for meeting the need for long-duration energy storage.
Warming Trends: Forests Are the Best Big-City Water Filters, Plus Veggie Burgers by Default, Sea Songs by ET’s Doctor and a Reminder to Eat Fresh Food in the Fridge
BY KATELYN WEISBROD
A column highlighting climate-related studies, innovations, books, cultural events and other developments from the global warming frontier.
ICYMI
Coming this Summer: Spiking Electricity Bills Plus Blackouts
BY DAN GEARINO
Climate change and poor planning puts strain on the grid and consumers.
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TODAY'S CLIMATE

Our twice-a-week dive into the most pressing news related to our rapidly warming world. Written by Kristoffer Tigue.


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