Inner City
        Press' Environmental Justice Reporter

         Click here for Inner City Press' weekday news reports, from the United Nations and elsewhere.   Click here to Search This Site

  ICP has published a (double) book about a variety of inner city-relevant topics, including racism, environmental and otherwise - click here for sample chapters, here for an interactive maphere for fast ordering and delivery, and here for other ordering information.   CBS MarketWatch of April 23, 2004, says the the novel has "some very funny moments," and that the non-fiction mixes "global statistics and first-person accounts."  The Washington Post of March 15, 2004, calls Predatory Bender: America in the Aughts "the first novel about predatory lending;" the London Times of April 15, 2004, "A Novel Approach," said it "has a cast of colorful characters."  See also, "City Lit: Roman a Klepto [Review of ‘Predatory Bender’]," by Matt Pacenza, City Limits, Sept.-Oct. 2004. The Pittsburgh City Paper says the 100-page afterword makes the "indispensable point that predatory lending is now being aggressively exported to the rest of the globe," and opines that that the "novel Predatory Bender: A Story of Subprime Finance may, in fact, be the first great American lending malfeasance novel" including "low-level loan sharks, class-action lawyers, corporate bigwigs, hired muscle, corrupt politicians, Iraq War veterans, Wall Street analysts, reporters and one watchdog with a Web site."  And environmental justice too!  Click here for that review; for or with more information, contact us.

December 17, 2018

What's in a name? In India the so-called National Green Tribunal has ordered the Sterlite plan to be re-opened in Tamil Nadu...

December 10, 2018

Since January 2016, 235 commercial banks provided over US$ 101 billion in direct loans to the 120 top coal plant developers. The largest lenders to coal plant developers are the Japanese banks Mizuho Financial and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial with US$ 12.8 billion and US$ 9.9 billion respectively.

December 3, 2018

The UN praised the "Blue Economy" conference in Nairobi- which was full of single-use plastic including water bottles...
November 26, 2018

UN Guterres Told Solheim to Pull Himself For Travel Spending No Worse Than His Own Per Aftenposten

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR PFT

UNITED NATIONS GATE, November 24 – Even on the environment, the UN's last refuge as it fails under Antonio Guterres on conflict prevention and anti-corruption, the UN is in decay. After Erik Solheim of UNEP's travel spending reported by Inner City Press and others earlier this year, Solheim on November 20 resigned, effective November 22. Inner City Press which asked repeated about UNEP, Solheim's MoBike and China trip favoritism for his son, Guterres own travel waste and UNdisclosed business of son Pedro Guimarães e Melo De Oliveira Guterres and continues to ask and film (here and here) amid its now 143 day retaliatory ban from the UN by Guterres, linked Solheim's departure to Guterres' own sins. And now Aftenposten nails it, or at least part of it: "Monday, 19 November is far from a normal day for the former Minister for the Environment and Development. This day, in fact, a letter from António Guterres, the UN's own Secretary-General, is written. The wording of the letter is referred to as "powerful" and "very clear" by people who have seen it and as Aftenposten has talked to. The message is this: You have to pull yourself. Now." Some ask, and what did Guterres mean -- better you than me? Guterres has spent public funds on fully 16 trips to his home in Lisbon, refusing to disclose how much it costs and roughing up and banning Inner City Press which asks? Now Guterres is gone yet again, without disclosing where. Guterres apparently thinks that firing a person doing what he does gives him additional immunity, and that no one can hand him a letter saying, You have to pull yourself, now. Aftenpost's three authors bylined on story, Kristoffer Rønneberg, Helene Skjeggestad and Inger Lise Hammerstrøm report Guterres lined up Norway against Solheim before dropping the hammer. Why are Guterres' sleazy firing reported so differently than Trump's? And what of the China angle, and Guterres' actual role? We'll have more on this. In the briefing room, Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric gave the first question - of only four - to Al Jazeera which conveniently asked only about Solheim's travel, not Guterres. This is a pattern. Even banned, Inner City Press has asked in writing: "November 20-2: Confirm or deny that UNEP's Erik Solheim is resigning and either way, state when the OIOS report into his travel will be made public, and state how much the SG has spend on his 16 trips to Lisbon, including 2 UN Security each time." And here is all that Guterres' spokesmen sent back: "On your second question, we have the following note: The Secretary-General has accepted the resignation of Erik Solheim, the Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Mr. Solheim’s resignation is effective Thursday, 22 November.
The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Solheim’s service and recognizes that he has been a leading voice in drawing the world’s attention to critical environmental challenges, including plastics pollution and circularity; climate action; the rights of environmental defenders; biodiversity; and environmental security.
He has led advocacy at the highest levels of government, business and civil society to drive the transformational change needed to make a real difference in the lives of people and promote the cause of the environment.
The Deputy Executive Director of UNEP, Ms. Joyce Msuya of Tanzania, will be appointed as the Acting Executive Director while the Secretary-General launches a recruitment process, in consultation with Member States, to find a successor to Mr. Solheim. Ms. Msuya will be granted all the necessary support to ensure a smooth transition. New York, 20 November 2018." Nothing on Guterres' spending. We'll have more on this. Here was the fourth in Inner City Press' exclusive series on corruption in UN Environment, the re-branded UNEP, under Erik Solheim of Norway. After publishing three, Guterres had Inner City Press roughed up on June 22 and July 3, 2018 and banned since. It is pure censorship. But still our reporting, and that of our sources outraged at what Guterres is doing and others scrutinizing the UN if only their home country officials, see below, continues. On September 17, Inner City Press exclusively published the first in a series on travel waste in UNDP, starting with the bribery-used Office of South South Cooperation, here. This while Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric refuses to answer questions about the public costs of travel, of Guterres or Solheim, preferring to dissemble about why and on what basis Guterres and Alison Smale have banned Inner City Press. On August 27 Dujarric said it was for creating a "hostile environment for diplomats." Vine video here. On September 17 he said, to the contrary, it was all Guterres' Secretariat and there were not "any inputs from any member states." Video here. Which is it?
November 17, 2018

For the first time, Australia’s pollution has been mapped by postcode in a report titled The Dirty Truth by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).

Some of the areas identified as being the most polluted in Australia’s capital cities include:

Botany Bay in Sydney
Altona in Melbourne
Port of Brisbane
Parmelia near Perth

November 12, 2018

From India: "'There are no non-smokers in India,' says doctor who installed artificial lungs in Delhi to create awareness on air pollution.

In New York City, small three or two seat bus stops are no place for smoking...

November 5, 2018

On UK bonfire night: "Be it power stations, steel works, or waste incineration – they all have to invest a lot to clean these metals and other pollutants. But yet on fireworks night we just throw a load of it into our urban air without controls."

October 29, 2018

For more than two decades, residents of Melbourne's inner west have been fighting a losing battle to get trucks off their streets. So the thought that Melbourne's freight load could triple by 2050 is, quite simply, horrifying to them. "I can't imagine what the streets would be like around here if we had a massive increase in the truck numbers," said Martin Wurt from the Maribyrnong Transport Action Group. "We have got some of the worst health statistics in Australia because of the diesel pollution we are experiencing now."

October 22, 2018

UNlike the UN, Pearl Jam is investing in a carbon offset project in Alaska managed by ClimeCo, The American Land Conservancy, and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to be ‘accountable’ for pollution they created on their 2018 tour. It is the first of its kind in the region. The project will help to protect the coastal temperate rainforest area of Afognak Island and to preserve the habitat for many important animal species.

“As a band, it’s important for us to be accountable for the pollution we create. Since 2004 we’ve invested in projects around the world to mitigate the CO2 emissions caused by our tours” said Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard, who manages the band’s carbon mitigation program.

October 15, 2018

Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestle are among the companies that contribute most to ocean pollution with single-use plastics, according to a study presented on Tuesday by the "Break Free from Plastic" initiative.
The environmental movement, launched in 2016, has helped clear the coasts of 42 countries around the world of discarded plastics.

October 8, 2018

THE ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre’s (ASMC’s) review and outlook of the weather and smoke haze situation for the entire region has stated that major climate centres forecast a 70 per cent chance of weak El Nino conditions developing toward the end of the year, while current conditions remained neutral (neither El Nino nor La Nina).
October 1, 2018

Headline: "Norway announces $200 million boost to anti-ocean plastic efforts" - while Norway's Eric Solheim wastes UN Environment funds flying for personal reasons...
September 24 , 2019

At UN Environment Solheim Blames His Travel Abuse On His Staff In Email Leaked to Banned Inner City Press

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, CJR PFT

UNITED NATIONS GATE, September 18 – Even on the environment, the UN's last refuge as it fails under Antonio Guterres on conflict prevention and anti-corruption, the UN is in decay. This article is the fourth in Inner City Press' exclusive series on corruption in UN Environment, the re-branded UNEP, under Erik Solheim of Norway. After publishing three, Guterres had Inner City Press roughed up on June 22 and July 3, 2018 and banned since. It is pure censorship. But still our reporting, and that of our sources outraged at what Guterres is doing and others scrutinizing the UN if only their home country officials, see below, continues. On September 17, Inner City Press exclusively published the first in a series on travel waste in UNDP, starting with the bribery-used Office of South South Cooperation, here. This while Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric refuses to answer questions about the public costs of travel, of Guterres or Solheim, preferring to dissemble about why and on what basis Guterres and Alison Smale have banned Inner City Press. On August 27 Dujarric said it was for creating a "hostile environment for diplomats." Vine video here. On September 17 he said, to the contrary, it was all Guterres' Secretariat and there were not "any inputs from any member states." Video here. Which is it? This is today's UN pattern of decision, replicated from Guterres' 38th floor to UNEP, see Solheim's September 17 internal mem, below. First, from the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services draft audit of Solheim: "Some of the trips to Oslo and Paris were called 'bilateral meetings,' even though they took place during weekends or the Christmas holidays... On one occasion he made an eight hour flight from Washington DC for a weekend in Paris, before he boarded another flight for New York." This is what Guterres has been doing -- 15 times -- including this coming weekend in Lisbon. And Guterres spokesmen refuse to answer Inner City Press repeated questions about the costs, choosing instead to work for Inner City Press' roughing up and banning from the UN, then to intimidate remaining correspondents who attempt to ask about it. But who will audit Guterres? Inner City Press has provided extensive information to OIOS whose Ben Swanson has to his credit confirmed receipt. Now what? The draft OIOS audit of Solheim continues: "The UNEP and UN’s Nairobi office should reclaim from these employees (1) all travel expenses and the related working hours which have not been accounted for; and (2) all additional costs incurred by the UNEP as a consequence of uneconomic and inefficient decisions by the management." So who will Guterres be returning money to? And who will hold him accountable for the retaliatory roughing up of the only journalist who asked about his use of funds to travel to Lisbon, and dared to document by Periscope broadcast on Sutton Place the many times Guterres has been out of New York without disclosure? The use of UN Security to threat Inner City Press against filming on a New York City sidewalk - across the street from Guterres' publicly funded mansion - and subsequent 3 July 2018 assault outside the UN Budget Committee meeting including tearing of shirt, damaging of laptop computer and twisting of arm? Aftenpost runs this quote too: The two other senior staffers were allegedly given permission by Erik Solheim to work out of Paris, in spite of being formally assigned to Nairobi. One of them allegedly received more than 165 000 NOK (20 000 dollars) in a special security allowance for Nairobi, in spite of being relocated to Paris. Permitting these leaders to work in Paris is a direct violation of UN’s regulations, according to the draft report. 'Such arrangements will set the presedent [sic] for other employees who wish to work out of a place of their own choice, and probably lead to speculations about unfair treatment or claims when such request are being rejected.'"  Inner City Press' September 13 question to Guterres' spokesmen has gone entirely unanswered, despite the written promises of Alison Smale. But here's from Erik Solheim, leaked nearly immediately to Inner City Press: "From: Erik Solheim
Date: 17 September 2018 at 16:42:10 CEST
Subject: Update: ongoing audit of UN Environment’s travel
Dear Colleagues,
I hope this email finds you well. As many of you are aware, in recent days, several media articles have referred to preliminary findings of an ongoing audit of mission-related travel within UN Environment.
I am writing to personally address these reports and update you all on the current standing of this audit.
First, I welcome a transparent and fact-seeking audit of any part of our activities. When this audit by the United Nations Office of Internal Oversight Services has come to term, I am certain the findings will help us in our endeavor to continuously improve our work.
If the audit shows that we have made any mistakes, we are committed to take immediate action and rectify every one of them, with no exception. We will admit to any mistakes that may have occurred. Where administrative shortcomings have been clearly identified, we are already starting to take steps to improve processes and procedural controls, particularly as it relates to travel costs.
On this point allow me to state it clearly and to avoid confusion. The Office of Internal Oversight Services earlier this year investigated all my travels in great detail and found three instances of oversight out of all of them. The money was refunded immediately. Better administrative control systems would have helped avoid these mistakes in the first place.
I believe this audit – which is not an investigation but an audit of UN Environment travel processes - will provide us with an opportunity to revise and improve our systems. Rest assured that this will be done in a transparent and efficient manner.
In my two years, as Executive Director of UN Environment, I have been proud to lead teams of dedicated professionals working on the most urgent environmental challenges of our time. This requires global commitment to unprecedented action, driven by new levels of personal action and political will. During my tenure, I have worked tirelessly to deliver such action and mobilize that will for the success of our work together.
Making good on this type of global agenda demands engagement with the world and indeed an expanded approach to our work. I am therefore determined to continue to focus on our mandate – to create real results for real people with real impact on the ground. These necessary results can only be obtained in close dialogue with Member States, businesses and civil society. This is in line with the Secretary-General’s vision for a more impactful United Nations in the 21th century.
At the same time, I want to reassure you that all travel decisions are made with a focus on maximizing the effectiveness of this organization and meeting the urgent environmental challenges we are facing together, everywhere. If in pursuit of that goal, administrative rules are found to have been overlooked, I accept personal responsibility and offer my strong commitment to immediately refine this process going forward.
The leaked preliminary findings, on which these media reports are based, were draft notes as a starting point for consultations between the Office of Internal Oversight Services and UN Environment. As such it may, by its very nature, contain misunderstandings or inaccuracies. As a part of this process, we have provided extensive follow-up information to the Office of Internal Oversight Services. I ask that you keep in mind that many of the findings are in the process of validation.  We are now awaiting a first draft of the report for our comments prior to the report being finalized.
Once the Office of Internal Oversight Services completes its final report, it will be public on its website, as is standard practice. We will then work diligently to implement the auditor’s recommendations.
I look forward to discussing this with you tomorrow at the Townhall.\
Warm wishes,
Erik Solheim
Head of UN Environment

UN Environment." So Solheim blames his administrative staff, while imposing on UNEP staff more bureaucratic restrictions than UN rules require. As with Guterres - and others at the top of the UN, more on UNDP coming - it's a case of "Do as I say, not as I do." Here's just one of Inner City Press' questions to Guterres spokesmen, entirely unanswered after five days: "September 13-2: Regarding the UN system's rules for use of UN funds for personal travel, and in light of the OIOS criticism of Erik Solheim at UNEP (below), what is the SG's comment and action, will be ensure that the OIOS audit be released to the public in its entirety and that his own travel be subject to an independent audit? See, “"Some of the trips to Oslo and Paris were called 'bilateral meetings,' even though they took place during weekends or the Christmas holidays... On one occasion he made an eight hour flight from Washington DC for a weekend in Paris, before he boarded another flight for New York." Has the SG done anything similar since Jan 1, 2017?

"The UNEP and UN’s Nairobi office should reclaim from these employees (1) all travel expenses and the related working hours which have not been accounted for; and (2) all additional costs incurred by the UNEP as a consequence of uneconomic and inefficient decisions by the management." Should the money be returned, does the SG think?

Finally, confirm that the two others at UNEP subject to OIOS criticism are Anne Lemore and Lisa Svensson, or state why you will not do so, given the allegations of waste of public funds, and when you would release the names." We'll have more on this. Guterres' USG Alison Smale twice promised that questions will be answered, but like so much else she has said and written, this is false. To continue reporting we ask questions at the UN Delegates Entrance, or seemingly in the "High Level" Week on Second Avenue and 46th Street - and Smale says this creates a "hostile environment for diplomats." These people are censors and it must all be reversed. They are further killing the UN, and have assaulted press freedom. We will have more on all this.
September 17, 2018

"A strange mist blew into one town, residents said. There and elsewhere, people noticed that metal items like children’s swings were rusting, and they felt a shortness of breath. Fields turned black. Ecologists and doctors say the culprit was a significant release of industrial pollution, but the ecological disaster, which began in August, has an added complication. The pollution has been blowing across the de facto border between Russian-controlled Crimea and mainland Ukraine..."

September 10, 2018

In Tamil Nadu in India, "the State government has rejected the study report of the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) on the groundwater contamination in Thoothukudi, which appears to support Sterlite Copper. The law and order situation in and around Thoothukudi has returned to normality (after the police firing in which 13 people died) and an unscientific report would aggravate the situation, Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan said, in a letter to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Water Resources."

September 3, 2018

Cairo ranked as the most polluted city on earth, according to a recent study by Eco Experts. The study classified world cities based on various types of obstruction, including air, light, and noise pollution, followed by Delhi, Beijing, Moscow, Istanbul, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Paris, and Los Angeles.  As on press freedom, good job, Sisi - not.

August 27, 2018

In Australia, Sydney Water is investigating ways to clean up sewage pollution on Coogee Beach, and will release its findings...

August 20, 2018

CANZ in action: Newcastle couple buy New Zealand navy ship to fight ocean pollution Newcastle couple Paul and Wilma Adams wanted a boat for their conservation work preserving World War II shipwrecks in the Pacific. Now they're the owners of an ex-New Zealand Navy warship. Step onboard, in part one of your tour of the 44-metre Manawanui. audio h/t

August 13, 2018

Arrest in Bangalore After Testimony to UNHRC To Be Raised to UN But Will Zeid or Bachelet Speak?

By Matthew Russell Lee, CJR, Petition, Filing

UNITED NATIONS GATE, August 9 – How does today's UN under Secretary General Antonio Guterres protect those who testify to it? Or does his UN, as with whistleblowers and the investigative Press, leave them to be attacked, even by UN Security? The question is raised by the case of Thirumurugan Gandhi, a May 17 Movement activist who after testifying about the the security forces' Sterlite slaughter, has been arrested in Bangalore. The May 17 Movement has messaged Inner City Press, which has been banned from the UN by Guterres for 37 days and counting, that "Thirumurugan Gandhi has been arrested at the Bangalore airport early morning today. Thirumurugan Gandhi was traveling back from a recent visit to Europe, where he addressed the UNHRC [UN Human Rights Council] meeting in Geneva where he spoke about the recent protest against the sterlite plant in Tuticorin in which 13 people lost their lives in police firing. He was en route to Chennai city, where he hails from. This snooping upon him at the Bangalore Airport, is a gross violation of his fundamental rights. Though the police have just mentioned two old cases in Tamil Nadu to arrest Thirumurugan Gandhi, one wonders why this kind of a operation in Bangalore at the early morning hours as he was arriving here to reach Chennai. Given the total disregard for law and constitution by the State in general, especially in the background of the tumultuous political situation in Tamil Nadu, where the awakened youth of the state are up against the proxy government there, this arrest stinks. Chennai police have even detained Thirumurugan Gandhi even on flimsiest reasons in the recent times. Treating him like a common criminal, is Political Vendetta and nothing else. Thirumurugan Gandhi and the May 17th movement have been in the forefront of many pro-people mass movements. #ReleaseThirumurugan." This is something on which the UN should have to answer, particularly given his testimony to the UNHRC. Outgoing High Commissioner Zeid, and incoming Bachelet, should speak on this and other recent failures to protect (and worse) by the UN. (Inner City Press' August 8 UN GATE video here.) As to the UN Secretariat itself, when Inner City Press e-mails in this question since it remains banned by Guterres from the UN noon briefing, will it remain unanswered like so many others, as on Patton Boggs and Cameroon? Watch this site. August 6, 2018

Wind blowing in from the Arabian Peninsula has increased dust pollution in India...

July 30, 2018

Parts of France are taking measures to combat a rise in pollution seen in several areas of the country as a result of the scorching summer temperatures.Several areas in the south and south west have been placed on alert for pollution while other regions such as the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France are also taking measures to deal with the spike in dirty air. The rise in pollution is a result of the rising heat  seen across the country in recent days which had led to 18 departments being placed on heatwave alert on Wednesday and low wind levels.

July 23, 2018

In India, the State government of Punjab’s Pollution Control Board (PPCB) conducted a stringent check on vehicle pollution monitoring centers across the state recently. This drive has revealed shocking results. More than half of these centers were blatantly issuing clean certificates to vehicles without even undertaking any pollution checks.July 16, 2018

Now, the Uttar Pradesh government implements a sweeping ban on plastic products, primarily focusing on the food industry. The state government of Maharashtra announced a similar ban three weeks ago on June 23.

July 9, 2018

Guam Environmental Protection agency said all 43 beaches on Guam are polluted because of heavy rainfall Typhoon Maria brought.

July 2, 2018

On Libya Fighting in Oil Crescent Inner City Press Asked UN Which Speaks After UK, US, Italy and France

By Matthew Russell Lee, Vine, Periscope

UNITED NATIONS, June 27 – A week after Inner City Press on Libya asked the UN about General Haftar's moves on Derna, it was reported there that "UN" envoy Ghassan Salame refused to meet with people in Derna because Egypt, the UAE and France did not want him too. Salame was largely selected / placed in the position by France; Egypt backs Haftar. The UAE bought the UN's previous envoy Bernardino Leon. This is today's UN. On June 18, Inner City Press asked UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: In Libya, there's a lot of fighting in the Oil Crescent, and it seems that some large oil facilities are on fire in Ra's Lanuf.  So, I'm wondering, given Mr. [Ghassan] Salamé… seems like it's both an environmental as well as a political… pretty much of a crisis.  What's the UN system doing about these burning oil tanks…?

Spokesman:  "I did not get an update from Libya today." Oh - is that all the UN spokesman's job is, beyond evicting and restricting the Press that asks? The next days, nothing from Dujarric except more cutting off of questions by calling on favored scribes, and from the UN an ouster of Inner City Press,
video here, story here. Now this on June 27 - not from the UN which has an envoy, but from the US, UK, Italy and France: "The governments of France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States are deeply concerned about the announcement that the Ras Lanuf and Sidra oil fields and facilities will be transferred to the control of an entity other than the legitimate National Oil Corporation.  Libya’s oil facilities, production, and revenues belong to the Libyan people.  These vital Libyan resources must remain under the exclusive control of the legitimate National Oil Corporation and the sole oversight of the Government of National Accord (GNA), as outlined in UN Security Council Resolutions 2259 (2015), 2278 (2016), and 2362 (2017).  UN Security Council Resolution 2362 (2017) condemns attempts to illicitly export petroleum, including crude oil and refined petroleum products, from Libya by parallel institutions which are not acting under the authority of the GNA. Any attempts to circumvent the UN Security Council’s Libya sanctions regime will cause deep harm to Libya’s economy, exacerbate its humanitarian crisis, and undermine its broader stability.  The international community will hold those who undermine Libya’s peace, security, and stability to account.  We call for all armed actors to cease hostilities and withdraw immediately from oil installations without conditions before further damage occurs.  In September 2016, the LNA supported the legitimate National Oil Corporation’s work to rebuild Libya’s oil sector for the benefit of the Libyan people.  This action served Libya’s national interest.  The legitimate National Oil Corporation must be allowed again to take up unhindered work on behalf of the Libyan people, to repair infrastructure damaged after the attack by forces under the direction of Ibrahim Jadhran, and to restore the oil exports and production disrupted by that attack." Only after the above did UNSG Guterres belatedly speak, through his (censoring) spokesman DujarricJune 25, 2018

Here is a scam on which we aim to report: the claim that burning wood as coal is good for the environment. Bio-mass indeed. Contact us, and watch this site.

June 18, 2018

In Canada, Ontario's opposition parties are against PC Premier-Designate Doug Ford's plan to scrap the province's cap-and-trade system. Green party official Mike Schreiner says cancelling pollution pricing without a backup plan sends a signal to clean companies that the province is not open for business. NDP rep Peter Tabuns questioned how Ford will replace the $1.9 billion per year that the cap-and-trade auction brings in for the province. Environmental groups also criticized the move, calling it a bad idea for the environment and Ontario's economy."

June 11, 2018

In India, South Delhi is set to lose a chunk of its greens at the altar of 'development'. The city's forest department has cleared the NBCC's proposal to fell 3,748 fully-grown and healthy mango, neem, banyan, pilkhan, guava, etc. species of trees at Netaji Nagar and Nauroji Nagar.....

June 4, 2018

...Thousands had gone to the Thoothukudi collector’s office on May 22, the 100th day of the people’s protest against the pollution caused by the copper smelter plant of Sterlite Copper, a subsidiary of Vedanta Resources. As he, along with the other protesters, barged into the office premises, the Tamil Nadu police gunned him down, without a warning.

May 28, 2018

The crackdown on the environmental protest by Tamils in Tamil Nadu in India is an outrage...

May 21, 2018

So there's the European Commission’s’ final warnings to the UK and other nations to control emissions and reduce air pollution. The UK’s latest plan to control emissions, especially fumes from diesel cars which have been recorded at illegal levels since 2010, was ruled “inadequate”. In Europe, 40,000 early deaths have been attributed to air pollution. Now, the United Kingdom has until the end of 2018 to implement tighter restrictions.

May 14, 2018

India's struggles with air pollution-- last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a report showing that two of the world's most polluted megacities—Delhi and Mumbai—are in India. But a company there, Chakr Innovation, now sells a device that captures 90 percent of the soot particles from diesel generators and sells them to manufacturers to make ink...

May 7, 2018

Indonesia's Citarum River is now known as the most polluted river in the world...

April 30, 2018

More than 95% of the world’s population in 2016 (+7 billion) lived in areas with dangerously high levels of air pollution — that is, in areas where WHO organization guidelines for air quality (themselves likely an underestimate) were exceeded. This is according to a new annual report from the Health Effects Institute (HEI).

April 23, 2018

From Kenya: In 2016, after Omido and a team of lawyers filed a class action lawsuit alleging the government and the lead factory owners of violating Kenyan law and several international treaties, the threats intensified. Police in Mombasa began investigating the alleged threats in April, local media reported. Police chief for Mombasa County, Peter Omwana, told CNN “the matter had been dealt with,” while declining to provide specifics. Public prosecutors contacted local police three times to ask for any findings, said Mary Wanjiru, a spokesperson for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. They received no response, Wanjiru said...

April 16, 2018

Duke Energy Corp. will pay a $156,000 penalty for polluting ground and surface waters with potentially toxic coal-ash waste around three power plants, an amount one critic compared Friday to a couple of days salary for the utility’s top executive. The penalty is less than a slap on the wrist for the country’s No. 2 electricity company, which generated $23 billion in revenue and reported paying its chief executive, Lynn Good, $21.4 million last year...

April 9, 2018

South Korea's rapidly worsening air pollution has forced the country's professional baseball league to postpone three games. The Korea Baseball Organization on Friday postponed the games in capital Seoul and the nearby cities of Suwon and Incheon after the government issued alerts over high fine dust levels in the metropolitan area.

April 1, 2018

Censorship and pollution: The governor of Thailand’s Chiang Mai province has sued a local magazine for posting a “blasphemous” painting on Facebook of ancient kings wearing pollution masks as part of a campaign to protest the city’s hazardous smog.
March 26, 2018

At UN As Inner City Press Covers Guterres on Water, UN Requires Minder, Cage, Lake Chad Dying, Pitbull Cancels

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 22 – The UN Department of Public Information, acting against Press coverage of UN corruption cases, without hearing or appeal had Inner City Press physically ousted from the UN.  Audio here.

 Since then DPI's requirement that Inner City Press unlike other media have minders to stake-out public events in the UN has continued.  On March 22 Inner City Press sought to cover the General Assembly event on water, with for example Lake Chad having shrunk by 90%. But to get to the GA, unlike other state and sycophant journalists, Inner City Press had to get a DPI minder, and then had to build its own cage, admitted of blue rope. There were already journalists there, with no cage, including one from a country under multiple sanction. But today's UN trusts their state media, not the investigative Press. UNTV didn't even have Antonio Guterres' speech on, initially. But outside, even behind the rope, Inner City Press was approached by the Permanent Representative of out of the Lake Chad countries, who said if nothing is done in ten years the Lake is gone. The decade of water - will today's UN fail again? The rapper Pitbull cancelled on the UN, for an 11:15 am press conference.March 19, 2018

India, Tamil Nadu: CHENNAI: The state pollution control board is yet to give its nod for the India-based Neutrino project that is proposed to come up at Pottipuram village in Uthamapalayam taluk in Theni district. A senior official from the TN pollution control board (PCB) said that considering this as a special case, the Union ministry of environment, forests and climate change had issued the environmental clearance for the project a couple of days ago....

March 12, 2018

When UN Guterres Did Q&A With Bloomberg, Questions Pre-Picked, CEFC UN Bribery Ignored

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos, Periscope

UNITED NATIONS, March 5 – When UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres re-appointed Michael Bloomberg as UN climate change envoy on March 5, nearly two dozen media went up to the UN's 38th floor for the press encounter. But Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric had clearly chosen the questions in advance, calling on Agence France Presse and then another media whom he was heard calling by cell phone just before the press encounter. The questions and Bloomberg's remarks were directed at Trump, clearly the elephant in the room. At the end, since this should not be pre-scripted theater, Inner City Press asked if oil companies like CEFC China Energy should be in the UN Global Compact and UN ECOSOC, in which CEFC remains in consultative status months after the indictment of its UN representative Patrick Ho, while buying stakes in oil companies. This was not answered. Periscope here. Back on February 28 when Guterres met Egypt's new Ambassador Mohamed Fathi Ahmed Edrees, Inner City Press went through the UN's tourist entrance and then UN Security on the 37th floor to cover it. Still, before Guterres expressed his warm regards for Sisi, who is arresting all opponents, the UN Security officer who has already checked Inner City Press' microphone told it it could not record audio. This is censorship, and it is ongoing - they have not answered a petition with thousands of signatures. Meanwhile Guterres and his Global Communicator Alison Smale have purported to assign Inner City Press' long time UN work space to Sisi's no show state media, Sanaa Youssef of Akhbar al Yom. We'll have more on this.March 5, 2018

UN Environment Pays EUR 500,000 To Be in Volvo Ocean Race, For Dee Caffari, ICP Asks

By Matthew Russell Lee, Exclusive, Patreon doc

UNITED NATIONS, March 2 – Even on the environment, the UN's last refuge as it fails under Antonio Guterres on conflict prevention and anti-corruption, the UN is in decay. UN Environment, the re-branded UNEP, is paying over EUR 500,000 in a (reverse) corporate partnership with Volvo Ocean Races, see below. Guterres' deputy Amina J. Mohammed has refused Press questions since November on her role in signing 4000 certificates to export from Nigeria and Cameroon endangered rosewood already in China. Guterres, Mohammed and Alison Smale's only response has been to censor and continue to restrict the Press which asks, despite 5000 signature petition, UNanswered. Now whistleblowers in UNEP have written to Guterres, and exclusively sent a copy and documents to Inner City Press on UNEP mis management, harassment and misuse of government resources. Who authorized UNEP to spend EUR 500,000 in a mis-named corporate partnership with Volvo Ocean Races? Before today publishing the documents, Innr City Press on March 1 asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about it, video here, UN transcript here: and below. Dujarric did not explain, then or for the rest of the day; he said he hadn't spoken with Guterres about it. Oh. Inner City Press is today publishing in full, on Scribd and Patreon, the agreement with Volvo Ocean Races signed by Erik Solheim, here, and the EUR 500,000 agreement signed by UNEP's Lisa Emilia Svensson, here and here. This UN agency is paying for "public appearances by Dee Caffari and the crew" -- Ms. Caffari is a British sailor -- and for "hospitality activities." It's a new low. On March 2, Inner City Press again asked Guterres' spokesman Dujarric about it, from the UN transcript: Inner City Press: I had asked you yesterday about UNEP [United Nations Environment Programme], and I've seen… seen it published its agreement with Volvo Ocean Races, and it seems as… as I asked you yesterday, it's actually not dollars; it's euros.  From some 518,000 € paid by UNEP for this corporate partnership, so many people that I've spoken to think it's weird.  They thought a corporate partnership is the corporation is helping the UN, not the UN helping the corporations. Spokesman:  There are… there are different kinds of partnerships.  I think the point is that the leadership at UNEP has followed all the rules and regulations.  If people… if people feel there is… there's anything untoward, there are all sorts of mechanisms for people to… to express… to express those sentiments, but I think the question… the detailed questions as to the partnership are questions you need to raise to UNEP. Inner City Press:  Because one of the budget lines is “personal appearance by Dee Caffari”, who I had not heard of, but it turns out she's a big British sailor or yachtswoman.  Since the public sees celebrities or various extraordinary individuals sometimes speaking in favor of the UN, if you're being paid, is there some way to know who's being paid, who's not being paid? Spokesman:  "I don't… I don't know… you're jumping a couple of steps ahead.  I don't know the details of the partnership.  I think you need to ask UNEP." From the March 1 UN transcript: Inner City Press: I also wanted to ask you about UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme).   Whistleblowers there have alleged a number of irregularities, but the one that caught my eye and I've published has to do with the allegation is that UNEP, which claims under Mr. [Erik] Solheim to have a number of corporate partnerships is, in fact, in some cases paying the corporation for the partnership.  I.e., it's not a partnership like, you know, Barcelona Football Club with UNICEF, where they pay.  In this case, they're alleged that, under Mr. Solheim, the UN Environment, as it's now called, is paying $500,000 to Volvo Ocean Races.  And I wanted to know is it… one, I don't know if it's true, but they work there and they have a lot of names and a lot of information. Spokesman:  I think you can ask those questions directly of UNEP.  I have no doubt that Mr. Solheim is operating and running the agency in accordance to all relevant rules and regulations. Inner City Press: Did the Secretary-General receive this e-mail?  Because it was sent out as a cri de coeur of the people who work there, saying… Spokesman:  I have not spoken to him about it." Why not? Here's from what Solheim as written: "Dear colleagues, You may have received or heard about an anonymous email sent to me this week and copied to many. It consists of slander, rumors and false allegations. Worse, the message contains unfounded attacks on many good colleagues working hard for UN Environment. This is unacceptable. We must strive for openness."

February 26, 2018

"Minnesota initially sued 3M for $5 billion in damages for contaminating the groundwater of tens of thousands of east metro residents. On Tuesday, the state settled for $850 million.

While state officials cheered the size settlement and benefits to residents in east metro, Oliaei believes it may be too small. "It's a bit disappointing," Olia esaid"

February 19, 2018

“We are considering public transport free of charge in order to reduce the number of private cars,” three ministers including the environment minister, Barbara Hendricks, wrote to the EU environment commissioner Karmenu Vella. “Effectively fighting air pollution without any further unnecessary delays is of the highest priority for Germany,”

February 12, 2018

From Ghana: The Headmistress of Osudoku Senior High Technical School in the Greater Accra Region,  Sylvia Baaba Yankey, has confirmed to Citi News that the school has been shutdown temporarily because they can no longer endure harmful smoke emitted by a toiletries and plastics manufacturing Chinese company close to the school. According to her, the pollution from the company has worsened such that they had no option than to send the students home for health and safety reasons."

February 5, 2018

On Climate Risk, ICP Asks of CEFC, DSG Rosewood Signings, Panel Cites Transparency, UNseen

By Matthew Russell Lee, Periscope

UNITED NATIONS, January 31 – A Climate Risk event was held at the UN on January 31, complete with a delayed press conference with four speakers. Inner City Press asked them about the role of the UN, not just as a venue but as an actor, with a Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed who in 2017 signed 4000 certificates for already-exported endangered rosewood in China. The UN Global Compact accepted CEFC China Energy until Inner City Press repeated asking about its role as beneficiary of a UN bribery scheme to get oil in Uganda and Chad; China Energy Fund Committee is *still* in Special Consultative status with ECOSOC. Periscope video here, since the UN has withheld its, under UNTV boss Alison Smale.  Among the panelists, Betty Yee, California's Controller, repeatedly cited transparency. Fred Samama of Amundi to his credit acknowledged there is a danger of green-washing. Peter Damgaard Jensen of PKA said the UN could / should help emerging markets. (This is true, but today in Cameroon for example, the UN only supports colonialism and exploitation.) Iconic Jack Ehnes of CalSTRS appeared sympathetic. But will they continue to blithely provide a platform for the greenwashing not only of oil companies like CEFC China Energy, but of censoring UN officials like Amina J. Mohammed, who helped export endangered rosewood then refused all Press questions on it, and continues to censor and restrict the Press which asks? We'll have more on this - and on “The Investor Agenda.”
January 29, 2018

Bangkok's air pollution which exceeds health safety levels has improved but it could worsen at the end of next month, according to the Department of Pollution Control (DPC).

"Emergency measures have been introduced in the South Korean capital of Seoul to combat a thick layer of smog that is covering the city. Public transport was free during rush-hour as of Monday 15 January, in the hopes that car use will be reduced. The measures were introduced after the average daily density of ultra-fine dust hit more than 50 micrograms per cubic meter"...

January 15, 2018

In Kazakhstan's Temirtau, the snow is black. Temirtau has numerous industrial processing facilities, including the country's biggest steel-production plant, which is owned by ArcelorMittal Temirtau. Multiple locals pointed a finger at the company, and in a statement to the BBC, ArcelorMittal admitted that its facility may have played a decisive role in the black snow phenomenon...

January 8, 2018

In Nepal, A rally was organized in the capital against the rising level of air pollution in Kathmandu on January 5. A campaign against the air pollution named Swachchha Hawa was organized to create awareness of the air pollution and its consequences in public health....

January 1, 2017

Delhi is the most polluted city in India and also the 2nd most polluted city in the world. It is indeed a matter of concern as the pollution is making millions of people vulnerable to physical ailments. This is a huge matter of concern because this city has one of the maximum populations in the country. The levels of harmful particles in the air that are less than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) are about 153µg/m3....

December 25, 2017

AP: In Hoboken, across the Hudson River from New York City, the site of a former manufacturing plant for mercury vapor lamps sits within a mile of almost 100,000 residents, including 7,000 children under 5.

December 18, 2017

In Nigeria, "Onitsha, the commercial hub of the South-East, was the most polluted city in the world. Then this report that says three of our rivers are among the 20 most polluted globally. The affected rivers are: Imo, Kwa Ibo and Cross River."

December 11, 2017

Rosewood Scandal of UN Deputy Amina J. Mohammed Reported by France24 With Amina Omitted

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, December 5 – The UN has dodged Press questions for a month about UN Deputy Secretary General Amina J. Mohammed signing thousands of certificates for rosewood already exported from Nigeria and it seems Cameroon to China, just before she took up her UN position. Most recently, after UN correspondents who tried to help her evade the questions declared she is being "vilified," now France 24 runs a piece, here, about the sell-out of rosewood by Nigeria including that "Chinese businessmen paid bribes to officials in Nigeria's Environment Ministry" - without mentioning that the Minister at the time was Amina J. Mohammed. Instead an Ibrahim Jibril is shown saying it was before his time. The UN through its Department of Public Information under Alison Smale gives state media France 24 two separate offices in its headquarters, while evicting and restricting the investigative Press which has insisted that Mohammed should answer these questions, even more so now that the CITES meeting in Geneva declined China's open and Nigeria's more stealth lobbying to close the case, and issued a decision that "With regard to trade in specimens of Pterocarpus erinaceus: b) Parties should not accept any CITES permit or certificate for Pterocarpus erinaceus issued by Nigeria unless its authenticity has been confirmed by the Secretariat, noting that China and Nigeria
have existing CITES document exchanging mechanism to verify the authenticity of all CITES permits and certificates for Pterocarpus erinaceus issued by Nigeria. c) Range States and importing countries should pay particular attention to trade in Pterocarpus erinaceus to ensure that trade in this species only takes place when Parties are satisfied that it is in line with the requirements of the Convention. d) The Standing Committee welcomed the invitation by the Government of Nigeria to conduct a
technical mission to Nigeria and invited the Secretariat to provide any relevant information on compliance with the Convention related to trade in Pterocarpus erinaceus to the Standing
Committee." So on December 4 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric about this CITES decision. He insisted that all questions have been answered, and ended up by running out of the UN briefing room as Inner City Press asked another question. From the UN transcript
December 4, 2017

Entergy on its idled Vernon nuclear plant says "invasive" environmental sampling could cause radiological and nonradiological contamination to spread. The documents also say such sampling might damage buildings and important underground cables or pipes.

November 27, 2017

In 10 most polluted cities

Bamenda, Cameroon
Source: World Health Organization's Urban Ambient Air Pollution Database

November 20, 2017

More on Detroit: in the metro area, African-American children suffered 2,402 asthma attacks and missed 1,751 school days due to asthma per year

November 13, 2017

    In Detroit, protesters gathered Thursday at the Marathon Petroleum refinery to voice concerns about the company's lack of action. The demonstration came weeks after a federal appeals court ruled against a district court's decision that residents' claims of injury due to harmful air pollution from the oil giant fell past the statute of limitations, the Detroit News reported...

November 6, 2017

"Exxon Mobil will pay $2.5 million in fines for flaring gases at eight plants along the Gulf Coast" - is that enough?

October 30, 2017

"The most air polluted country in the world is Saudi Arabia, closely followed by Qatar."

October 23, 2017

As Mugabe's A Goodwill Ambassador of WHO, Guterres Silent, Echo of Biya & North Korea Cyanide

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 21 – Amid the outrage at Robert Mugabe being named a Goodwill Ambassador of the World Health Organization, the head of the UN system Antonio Guterres has been notably silent. He heads the system, but is not providing leadership, at the very least not publicly. The UN often blames similar absurdities on "member states" - but this was a decision by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (He's "listening" - at least he hears, see below.) On a different issue, when Inner City Press asked Guterres spokespeople repeatedly this year why the UN World Intellectual Property Organization provides help to North Korea for patents on cyanide, the UN refused to comment, just as it did on retaliation by Francis Gurry against whistleblowers at WIPO and other UN system agencies. Several Inner City Press readers have recently mused that perhaps Guterres will give some goodwill position to Cameroon's Paul Biya, like Mugabe a "long time President," in Biya's case for 34 years. This as the UN delivered a threat to Inner City Press to “review” it accreditation on Friday afternoon at 5 pm. The UN official who signed the letter, when Inner City Press went to ask about the undefined violation of live-streaming Periscope video at a photo op by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, had already left, minutes after sending the threat. What to make of the letter's vague statement, "filming and recording on the 38th floor are limited to official photo opportunities, and recording conversations of others in the room is not permitted. It has been brought to our attention that you breached that rule recently"? It's not only vague as to when, but absurd: once a Periscope is authorized to start streaming, it is impossible to not record someone who speaks loudly at the photo op. This comes two days after Inner City Press asked Guterres about the UN inaction on threatened genocide in Cameroon, and the UN claimedGuterres hadn't heard the 15-second long question. 

October 16, 2017

South Sudan’s undersecretary in the Ministry of Petroleum on Saturday denied reports of deaths due to environmental pollution caused by oil exploration. Residents of the former Upper Nile, who live near the oil fields in Palouch (North), complained of environmental pollution as a result of oil production. They reported outbreaks of unidentified diseases which they said were not there before oil production started in the area. These include giving birth to deformed babies and miscarriages by pregnant women. “We found that most of the companies working on the Oil fields are not actually doing the right thing especially to our people,” Josephine Napon, the Minister of Environment, said...

“Most of our people are dying, most of the children are born blind and most of them are dying just because of the pollution the oil companies have caused in those areas,” she stressed.
October 9, 2017

For UN Guterres Trip to Caribbean, 4 Qs All on Climate, No Pool UNlike Sisi Scam, Cameroon Ignored

By Matthew Russell Lee, Video

UNITED NATIONS, October 7 – UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is on a trip to the Caribbean, to Antigua and Barbuda and Dominica in the wake of recent storms. But despite the UN having dozens of communications staff, as of 2 pm on the first of his only two day trip there had been no information much less analysis from the trip so far. Past two pm, Guterres' own - if he writes them - tweet: "People of Barbuda face months of recovery after devastating #Irma. They urgently need help to rebuild their lives & a more resilient future." And the replies to that were largely about Southern Cameroons, and Biafra, and the Rohingya, decrying UN inaction. A sample: "Meanwhile people including children are being killed in Southern Cameroons by Biya's brutal regime you remained quiet with no action." Now past 6 PM the UN has provided a transcript of Guterres' press conference in Antigua - except they only summarized the questions, all four "on topic," on climate change. Guterres as he did has his similarly one-topic stakeout at the UN cited the World Bank's loans to Lebanon and Jordan, on which Inner City Press questioned him before he was Secretary General, here. Now he is supposed to speak to pressing issues, including whatever he may think Cameroon and the UN's controversial role in the Kenyan elections. Even as to Barbuda, some independent coverage is needed. Guterres' UN does not have “pool” reporting of such trips -- in fact, they refused to tell Inner City Press for two weeks this summer even where Guterres was. During the recent General Assembly high level week, the UN denied Inner City Press the ability to cover Guterres' meeting with Egypt's Sisi, claiming that Sisi's state media Akhbar al Yom would be “pooling.” But when Inner City Press asked if their rarely present correspondent Sanaa Youssef who was allowed in the meeting ostensibly as pooler would say who was in the meeting, for example UN human rights staff, no information was provided. It wasn't a pool - it was a cover-up. This has been raised to the UN's new head of Global Communications and the Department of Public Information Alison Smale, still without any response. The team, we learn from gushing tweets, is in Vienna, while questions about killings in such places as Cameroon go unanswered. Ah, communications, UNcommunicative.October 2, 2017

Hurricanes I: "When the St. Johns River broke its banks during Hurricane Irma, it wasn’t just homeowners caught unprepared.  The historic flooding also inundated industrial operations, like factories and power plants. The impact on sewage systems is well documented – and frankly hard to ignore. But Irma’s rains also flooded industrial wastewater ponds, causing tons of accidental pollution. It’s not clear if those polluters will be held to account."

September 25, 2017

UNEP's Erik Solheim said, “The profit of destroying nature or polluting the planet is nearly always privatised, while the costs of polluting the planet or the cost of destroying ecosystems is nearly always socialised."

September 18, 2017

On Hurricane Irma, UN Spox Cuts Off Press Q on Debt Moratorium, Gives 3 Minute Notice

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 16 – While the UN system's International Monetary Fund has yet to announce any debt moratorium for countries impacted by Hurricane Irma, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric gave the press a mere three minutes to sign up to attend the UN's September 18 meeting about Irma, see below. When the IMF re-started its biweekly embargoed press briefings on September 14, Inner City Press submitted a question about Hurricane Irma and moratoria: "On Antigua and Barbuda, and Hurricane Irma impacted countries more generally... will there be no moratoria? What is the IMF doing?" IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said, "There's a question from Matthew Lee on moratorium... on that, I would refer to what Mme Lagarde said a few days ago, of course the IMF has tremendous sympathy. She also said we stand ready to help. There are a number of options we can look at in that context. At the moment we are still trying to make an assessment. As a factual member, none of our members including Antigua and Barbuda have formally requested assistance from the Fund." Oh. On September 15, when Inner City Press at the UN asked Patti Smith about it, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric cut off the question saying he would answer it at his forthcoming briefing. He did not. Instead, with a mere three minutes' notice, at 3:57 pm on September 15 he told the Press it had until 4 pm to request a seat to cover the UN's meeting on Irma. He also excluded Inner City Press from information about his "background" briefing on UN General Assembly week. Here's Dujarric's Irma e-mail, with invitees: "From: UN Spokesperson - Do Not Reply
Date: Fri, Sep 15, 2017 at 3:57 PM
Subject: Media Advisory: Meeting on Hurricane Irma
Meeting on Hurricane Irma United Nations, 15 September 2017 — On 18 September 2017, the President of the seventy-second session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajèák, and the Secretary-General of the United Nations, H.E. Mr. António Guterres, will co-host a High-Level Meeting on Hurricane Irma at United Nations Headquarters. The meeting will be an opportunity to draw political attention to the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. It will aim to increase solidarity with those affected and highlight the need for building communities that are more resilient to natural disasters and climate change. Information will also be shared on what is being done at the national, regional and global levels to respond to the disaster. The event will bring together United Nations Member States, United Nations agencies and other relevant stakeholders. WHAT High-Level Meeting on Hurricane Irma WHO expected speakers to include:
·        H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajèák, President of the General Assembly
·        H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General
·        H.E. Mr. Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda
·        H.E. Mr. Darren Henfield, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bahamas
·        H.E. Mr. Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands
·        The Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, United Kingdom
·        Mr. Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator
·        Mr. Mark Lowcock, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
·        Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and International Development Association, World Bank  WHEN Monday, 18 September; 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EDT WHERE: Trusteeship Council Chamber HOW: There is limited seating at the event. UN journalists wishing to cover it can request special passes from the UN Media Accreditation and Liaison Unit.  External print journalists must register here by 4pm EDT on Friday, 15 September" - this is, in three minutes...
September 11, 2017

Sign o' the times: "The public is being urged Saturday by Heal the Bay to avoid the waters of the Los Angeles River this weekend due to “alarmingly” high levels of bacterial pollution."

September 4, 2017

Post Harvey, "Fourteen plants, operated by firms including Shell and Dow Chemical, have also reported wastewater overflows following the hurricane."

August 28, 2017

Dutch environmentalists went to court last week to demand that the Dutch government take urgent action to improve air quality, arguing that authorities haven’t done enough to meet European Union-mandated targets. The summary hearing in The Hague was part of a crowd-funded legal battle by the Dutch arm of Friends of the Earth, which says that the government must do more to reduce harmful airborne pollution.

August 21, 2017

Charm city: "Baltimore officials agreed this week to pay $3.9 million to help clean up hazardous pollution from a dump site in East Baltimore. The Board of Estimates, which is controlled by Mayor Catherine Pugh, voted Wednesday to enter into a consent decree with the federal government and state of Maryland to deal with pollution at the 68th Street Dump site."

August 14, 2017

Air Pollution Ranking of 32 Cities

City / Annual PM2.5 Level / Number of unhealthy particle pollution days

Delhi / 122
Beijing / 85
Cairo / 76
Shanghai / 52
Yaoudé / 49
Johannesburg / 41
Antananarivo / 37
Hong Kong / 29
Bangkok / 24
Seoul / 24
Moscow / 20
Mexico City / 20
Sao Paulo / 19
Brussels / 18
Paris / 18
Rio de Janeiro / 18
Singapore / 18
Manila / 17
Nairobi / 17
Berlin / 16
Barcelona / 15
London / 15
Munich / 15
Los Angeles / 11 / 77
Madrid / 10
Washington DC / 10
San Francisco / 9 / 5
New York / 9 / 0
Toronto / 8
Melbourne / 8
Boston / 7
Sydney / 6
August 7, 2017

In New Delhi, India, By October, the city's average air quality readings are likely to change as the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) will start monitoring pollution levels in 20 new locations. These include two industrial areas, Najafgarh and Okhla, and far-flung locations such as Mundka, Narela, Bawana and Dwarka

July 31, 2017

  Another Cameroon abuse: "Plastic waste has become a major problem in Cameroon’s capital, Yaoundé clogging up drains and rivers and causing flooding in the city whenever it rains. Cameroon’s government has been trying to tackle the country’s plastic pollution troubles for years, but with little success. Yaounde’s streets are littered with piles of plastic bags and bottles and residents are worried. Cheaper than other alternatives, plastic bags and bottles are popular in a place where the average income is less than 500 Central African francs (cfa) ($5) a day, and laws aimed at curbing the use and sale of disposable plastics remain ineffective."

July 24, 2017

Denmark voted against an EU decision to endorse an amendment to the Gothenburg Protocol on transboundary air pollution, saying it is being unfairly penalised for having taken early action to reduce ammonia emissions from its agriculture sector.

July 17, 2017

In India United Bengaluru, an NGO, has lodged a police complaint against encroachment and discharge of effluents into Vibhuthipura lake. The NGO members visited Kaggadasapura, Doddanekkundi and Vibhutipura lakes on Saturday and found all three lakes encroached upon and froth in Kaggadasapura lake. They also found untreated sewage from slum directly entering Vibhutipura lake.

July 10, 2017

In Malaysia, six solid waste landfills are found to have serious and recurring leachate contaminant issues, per Minister  Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar. The six solid waste landfills are the former ones at  Taman Beringin Kuala Lumpur; and Pajam Negeri Sembilan as well as at Sungai Udang Melaka; Pulau Burung in Penang; Tanah Merah Estate in Negeri Sembilan and CEP Simpang Renggam Estate in Johor.

July 3, 2017

In Tunisia, 100s demonstrated in the Tunisian city of Gabes against the environmental pollution generated by the phosphogypsum discharged into the sea by phosphate processing plants. Civil society and political parties gathered in front of the Tunisian Chemical Group (GCT), a public company operating phosphate mines in Ghannouch..

June 26, 2017

  Haiti's environmental catastrophe is made all the more outrageous by the billions of dollars the UN has spent while NOT solving or even addressing it. We'll have more on this.

June 19, 2017

So Dell is using "litter picked up from Haiti’s beaches and worked into recycled packaging." What else should they be doing?

June 12, 2017

UN Ocean Conference Ends on River Balcony, Guterres On Junket, New Envoy in the Works?

By Matthew Russell Lee, Photos here

UNITED NATIONS, June 9 – As the UN's week-long Ocean Conference finally ended on the evening of June 9 with a reception on the Delegates Lounge balcony over the river, complete with a Fiji band, the Colonel and Ambassadors galore, including Dominica's Italian Deputy Ambassador Paolo Zampolli, the question arose where this is all going. In terms of the Ocean, perhaps Secretary General Antonio Guterres will create a new Special Representative position on Ocean, and perhaps Fiji will fill it. Periscope video here and here. Guterres himself wasn't present, on a week-long junket to Central America. Numerous attendees marvels, Where are the promised reforms? Or is it just more of the same? During the week-long conference there were few answers on fisheries subsidies and the substance of Marine Protected Areas. Throughout the week Inner City Press, often as the only media in the UN Press Briefing Room or the only one asking questions, pursued the issue with ministers from Indonesia, Palau and the Maldives, and UN agencies which claimed not to know of widely reported scams right in their host countries. At the end, Inner City Press asked the accessible President of the General Assembly Peter Thomson of the push for the creation of a new job, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Ocean, and he seemed to acknowledge it. Photos here. Inner City Press and the Free UN Coalition for Access complained how money was spent on exhibits in the UN lobby and then the public banned for the whole week. This is today's UN. On June 7 when Monaco's Prince Albert II held a press conference at the UN, Marine Protected Areas were mentioned and Inner City Press went to ask him about the MPAs which offer little to no protection, see below. But as it turned out at the press conference, the questions were given to a group which the Prince gives money to - this was not disclosed - and the questions not surprisingly were softballs, repeated requests to defend the Paris Accord and sing the praises of the Prince's relatives and diving. To this has the UN descended: faux press conferences by royals, with the fact that those called on for questions are fundees not disclosed. To those the Prince - or his subjects - funds, an embargoed copy of his self-promotion was provided (a disgusted member of the group provided it to Inner City Press). The group, as the Prince should know, operates to get thrown out of the UN investigative Press. There was giggling, and some embarrassing wire service pick-ups, when the Prince "got naughty" and ostensibly stood up to power. At the end no question about Marine Protected Areas was permitted. There was applause, and the question, We'll see you tonight, won't we? There will be more faux prizes. To this has the UN descended. June 5, 2017

LAT: "Consider the American Great Lakes, where 80% of the litter along the shorelines is plastic. That trash doesn’t stay put — it flows through the canals and river systems through the St. Lawrence Seaway and into the Atlantic Ocean. A takeout container that blows off a Chicago landfill can wind up off the coast of Africa."

May 29, 2017

A report published earlier this month from Environment America Research & Policy Center and the Frontier Group detailed just how bad air pollution is in the city. It shows that the tristate area had 92 days of "elevated smog pollution" in 2015, which is just seven days shy of the Washington metropolitan area for the most in the northeastMay 22, 2017

Guardian: "People in the UK are 64 times as likely to die of air pollution as those in Sweden and twice as likely as those in the US, figures from the World Health Organisation reveal.

Britain, which has a mortality rate for air pollution of 25.7 for every 100,000 people, was also beaten by Brazil and Mexico – and it trailed far behind Sweden, the cleanest nation in the EU, with a rate of 0.4.

The US rate was 12.1 for every 100,000, Brazil’s was 15.8 and Mexico’s was 23.5, while Argentina was at 24.6."
May 15, 2017

BBC: The historic site of Buddha's birthplace in Nepal faces a serious threat from air pollution, scientists and officials have warned.
Recent data collected from air quality monitoring stations in five places across the country show Lumbini is highly polluted.
The warnings have come amid expanding industrialisation near the sacred site.
It is already located in a pollution hotspot on the Gangetic plains.
For the month of January, fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in Lumbini, in southwest Nepal, was measured at 173.035 micrograms per cubic metre.
The reading for the neighbouring town of Chitwan was 113.32 and the capital, Kathmandu, which is known for its high pollution levels, was at 109.82.

May 8, 2017

From the UK Guardian: "Environment lawyers are expected to take the government back to court over its controversial plans to tackle the UK’s air pollution crisis. They say the proposals are so weak they flout ministers’ obligation to protect public health."

May 1, 2017

At UN, Indigenous Tells ICP Guterres Hasn't Met Them, Of Norway & Dakota Access Pipeline

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 27 – As Citigroup's annual general meeting of shareholders began in Cooper Union in Manhattan on April 25, outside a protest formed. Casey Camp-Horinek spoke, movingly; the Reverend Billy Talen began a song. Periscope here. Inner City Press has covered earlier Citigroup AGMs as well, about CitiFinancial's predatory lending that robbed consumers and ultimately helped trigger the financial meltdown. What has changed since? And what has changed at the UN? On April 27 at an Indigenous Forum press conference, Inner City Press asked Rune Fjellheim of the Saami Parliament in Norway if that country's sovereign wealth fund is still invested in the Dakota Access Pipeline. It sounds like it is: see Periscope video here. Inner City Press asked the other panel members if "new" (112 day) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has met with the Indigenous Forum. They both said that he has not, that maybe he is "too busy." Inner City Press told them Guterres spokesman has said Guterres will be back in New York on April 27 (although as of 5:30, his scheduled had not been posted, nor had the UN's transcript of its noon briefing gone online. The day before this protest of Citibank for among other things funding the Dakota Access Pipeline, Inner City Press at the UN on April 24 asked a panel of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues about the protest and more generally about corporations which the UN blue-washes through its Global Compact and otherwise. Video here, from Minute 39. 
Willie Littlechild a First Nations Cree chief from Canada said he wasn't (yet) aware of the protest, but that he supported it, that is it hard to protest at the UN. That's putting it mildly: the US First Amendment does not apply to and is not accepted by the UN, which bans protests and