Mar 14 2014

Climate Roundup: China Pollution, EU Vote on Arctic Protection, and Congress and Kerry’s Lipservice on Climate

Each week Uprising will analyze the most pressing climate change stories of the past week with our guest Kelly Mitchell, Coal Campaigner for Greenpeace.

Japanese held electronics company Panasonic has decided to pay employees who are required to work in China a pollution stipend to compensate for the hazardous air quality levels in that country. China has been plagued by poor air quality since 2013 when indicators showed pollution at emergency levels. The severe pollution has been found not just in China’s capitol Beijing but also in least nine other cities around the country.

The European Parliament passed an unprecedented resolution this week to create a sanctuary in the Arctic around the high seas area of the North Pole. Although the resolution does not mention pollution from ships and oil rigs, it does create the largest conservation zone in the world, protecting animals in an almost 2 million square mile area. The resolution is seen as a positive sign that greater attention is being directed toward preserving the Arctic from environmental exploitation.

A group of 30 Senators this week, part of a newly formed ‘climate caucus’ launched an all-night “talkathon” to support climate legislation. Following their action, Secretary of State John Kerry also focused on the same topic to issue his first policy directive for the State Department. Kerry’s directive makes climate change a number one priority for the State Department, saying, “it’s not an exaggeration to say to you that your entire way of life that you live and love is at risk.”

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