The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
UK Pledges £61.4 Million to Fight Ocean Plastics
The announcement came the night before the start of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting from April 16 to 20. May hoped to encourage other Commonwealth countries to join the Commonwealth Clean Oceans Alliance (CCOA) through which the funds will be directed.
The CCOA was established by the UK and Vanuatu to tackle plastic pollution. So far, Ghana, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka have also decided to join, May announced in Sunday's speech.
"This week we will look closely at how we can tackle the many threats to the health of the world's oceans, including the scourge of marine plastic pollution," May said, as the Independent reported.
May further called plastic pollution "one of the most significant environmental challenges facing the world today."
The fund will be divided in three parts: £25 million towards researching the science and economics of marine plastic pollution, £20 million to prevent plastic and other pollutants from industry in developing countries from reaching the ocean, and £16.4 million to improve waste management in the UK so that plastics don't enter the ocean through rivers.
"The UK public has shown passion and energy in the fight against plastic waste, and I believe the Commonwealth is uniquely placed to further this transformative action," May said Sunday.
The UK has taken a leadership role in the last year in raising awareness of the ocean plastic problem and taking action.
In January, famous British naturalist Sir David Attenborough won the Impact Award at the UK's National Television Awards for his 2017 BBC series Blue Planet II, which called particular attention to the issue of ocean plastics, the Independent reported.
In 2017, Attenborough described a particularly devastating scene of a young albatross being fed.
"There is a shot of the young being fed and what comes out of the beak of the adult? Not sand eels, not fish, and not squid, which is what they mostly eat, but plastic. It's heartbreaking. Heartbreaking," he said.
The series so moved Queen Elizabeth II that she moved in February to ban plastic straws and bottles on all royal properties, including public cafes.
But the UK isn't the only country mobilizing around the problem. The focus of Earth Day 2018 is ending plastic pollution by Earth Day of 2020, which will mark the day's 50th anniversary.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Extreme weather events supercharged by climate change in 2012 led to nearly 1,000 more deaths, more than 20,000 additional hospitalizations, and cost the U.S. healthcare system $10 billion, a new report finds.
A Bay Area conservation group struck a deal to buy and to protect the world's largest remaining privately owned sequoia forest for $15.6 million. Now it needs to raise the money, according to CNN.
The Rugby World Cup starts Friday in Japan where Pacific Island teams from Samoa, Fiji and Tonga will face off against teams from industrialized nations. However, a new report from a UK-based NGO says that when the teams gather for the opening ceremony on Friday night and listen to the theme song "World In Union," the hypocrisy of climate injustice will take center stage.
By Wudan Yan
In June, New York Times journalist Andy Newman wrote an article titled, "If seeing the world helps ruin it, should we stay home?" In it, he raised the question of whether or not travel by plane, boat, or car—all of which contribute to climate change, rising sea levels, and melting glaciers—might pose a moral challenge to the responsibility that each of us has to not exacerbate the already catastrophic consequences of climate change. The premise of Newman's piece rests on his assertion that traveling "somewhere far away… is the biggest single action a private citizen can take to worsen climate change."
On Monday, Sept. 23, the Climate Group will kick off its 11th annual Climate Week NYC, a chance for governments, non-profits, businesses, communities and individuals to share possible solutions to the climate crisis while world leaders gather in the city for the UN Climate Action Summit.
By Pam Radtke Russell in New Orleans
Local TV weather forecasters have become foot soldiers in the war against climate misinformation. Over the past decade, a growing number of meteorologists and weathercasters have begun addressing the climate crisis either as part of their weather forecasts, or in separate, independent news reports to help their viewers understand what is happening and why it is important.