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Climate Change News

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A palm oil plantation encroaches on a wildlife reserve (500sq km) in Malaysia (Picture: Getty Images)

Have you ever heard of palm oil? If not, you’re guaranteed to have tried it – because it’s used in almost everything you eat, drink and use. For example, you will find it in baked foods, chocolates, and sweets, cosmetics, shampoo, cleaning products, washing detergents and toothpaste. In fact, it is used in around 40% to 50% of foods and other household products sold in the western world, and is now the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet. To satisfy this huge demand, tens of millions of tonnes of palm oil is produced every year. However, this ubiquitous oil is contributing in major ways to deforestation, climate change, and the deaths of tens of thousands of animals.

Read more: Palm oil is destroying the planet and killing animals – and it’s in almost everything

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On 22 December 2017 animal and human health experts gathered in Hanoi, Vietnam to discuss ways of disseminating the findings and recommendations of a ‘Surveillance and early-warning systems for climate-sensitive diseases in Vietnam and Laos’, or Pestforecast project.

Read more: Vietnam-based project to design key maps and tools for managing climate-sensitive diseases

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Authorities have been urged to take the threat of air pollution seriously after Greenpeace revealed average levels of particulate matter with diameter of 2.5 microns or smaller (PM2.5) was higher at all air-quality monitoring stations than World Health Organization (WHO) standards for three years in a row.

Read more: Health problems posed by lack of awareness about air pollution

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KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Trafficked into work and routinely abused, migrant fishermen in Thailand are still subject to forced labor despite efforts by the government to clean up the industry, advocacy groups said on Tuesday.

Migrant workers prepare to unload their catch at a port in Samut Sakhon province, Thailand, January 22, 2018. Picture taken January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

KUALA LUMPUR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Trafficked into work and routinely abused, migrant fishermen in Thailand are still subject to forced labor despite efforts by the government to clean up the industry, advocacy groups said on Tuesday.

Thailand’s multibillion-dollar seafood sector came under scrutiny in recent years after investigations showed widespread slavery, trafficking and violence on fishing boats and in onshore processing facilities.

Read more: 'It was torture': Grim tales in Thai fishing sector despite reforms

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File photo: Songkha's Thepha district is under water in November last year.

Similar weather conditions to those that occurred during the nation’s second most severe flooding in 1995 is predicted for this year, according to weather experts. They are warning that an expected “La Nina” condition will bring more rain and storms than usual to Thailand and that increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather should be expected as a result of climate change.

Read more: ‘La Nina’ weather in 2018 increases likelihood of major flooding: experts

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NINH THUAN, VIETNAM – Conergy, Southeast Asia’s leading downstream solar specialist, today announced their selection as the EPC contractor for a 30 MWp solar photovoltaic (PV) power project in the south central coastal region of Vietnam, representing the first phase of a 300-MW clean energy pipeline. Local government officials, Conergy executives and investors held a ground-breaking ceremony today for 80 guests.

The solar plant, planned for nearly 400,000 square meters, will be located in Ninh Thuan province and is being built by Conergy on behalf of investment firms from Vietnam and the Philippines.

The project investors include the BIM Group, headquartered in Vietnam and AC Energy from the Philippines.

Read more: Conergy announces its first solar farm in Vietnam

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Global warming could be responsible for forcing 24,000 people to leave the Mekong Delta every year.

Inhabitants of this low-lying delta are among the world’s most vulnerable to climate change Shutterstock

The Vietnamese Mekong Delta is one of Earth’s most agriculturally productive regions and is of global importance for its exports of rice, shrimp and fruit. The 18 million inhabitants of this low-lying river delta are also some of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change. Over the last 10 years around 1.7 million people have migrated out of its vast expanse of fields, rivers and canals, while only 700,000 have arrived.

Read more: How climate change is triggering a migrant crisis in Vietnam

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A man rides a boat along the overflowing Thu Bon river in Hoi An after typhoon Damrey hits Vietnam: the effects of climate change are intensifying extreme weather events in the country (photo: Kham/Reuters/Newscom)

By 2100, climate change could impact more than 12 percent of the Vietnamese population and reduce growth by 10 percent. The Vietnamese government considers the response to climate change a vital issue and has implemented environmental policies to better cope with these risks.

But the country—which has relied heavily on fossil fuels and overexploitation of natural resources—needs to further adapt its economy toward a more sustainable and eco-friendly growth model.

Read more: For Vietnam, Greener Growth Can Reduce Climate Change Risks

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The thriving heritage enclave in George Town. — Sunpix by Masry Che Aini

Penang may soon be inundated with more flooding in its low lying areas in tandem with the rise in sea levels, owing to the global climate change phenomenon which has been shaping the environmental reality of this century.

Read more: Climate change may lead to flooding of heritage sites in Penang

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When climate diplomats from the world’s leading nations gathered in 1997 to negotiate a round of emissions cuts in Kyoto, Japan, carbon emissions had risen to some 35 billion tonnes and the global surface temperature was roughly 0.7°C above the average of the late 19th century.

IN 1988, when world leaders convened their first global conference on climate change in Toronto, the earth’s average temperature was a bit more than half a degree Celsius above the average of the last two decades of the 19th century, according to measurements by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Read more: Cold response to global warming measures

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