Climate Change Current Affairs - 2020

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Palau first country to ban sunscreen to protect Coral Reefs

The Pacific Island, Palau has become the first country to ban sun cream that is harmful to corals. The country has banned common ingredients used in cosmetics including oxybenzone.

Highlights

The order of the ban was passed in 2018. However, it comes into effect from January 1, 2020. The Rock Islands in the Palau is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country has banned 10 ingredients that harm coral reefs. It includes oxybenzone, ethyl paraben, Octinoxate, Butyl paraben, Octocrylene, methyl benzylidene camphor, triclosan, benzyl paraben, methyl paraben, phenoxyethanol

Following Palau, other states such as Hawaii in US has also introduced such bans. The Hawaii ban comes into effect from 2021. The other states that have introduced such ban includes US Virgin Islands, Dutch Carribean Islands.

Though, it is a good start, the ban has to spread globally rather than pertaining locally.

How are sun creams harmful to corals?

The sun creams absorb UV radiations and make corals susceptible to bleaching. It is estimated that around 6 to 14,000 tons of sunscreen are washed into reefs annually.

Why Palau?

Palau is made of large volcanic islands and small coral reefs. The country has taken several climatic steps despite of its size. Palau was the second nation to ratify Paris climate agreement after Fiji.

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3000 Global Leaders to meet at WEF’s 50th annual meet

On December 22, 2019, the World Economic Forum said that around 3,000 world leaders will meet at its 50th annual meeting to discuss on actions that are required to make “cohesive and sustainable world”.

Highlights

The meet is to be attended by the global leaders from all over the world. It includes US President Trump, Russian President Putin and other leaders of top polluters. However, China, one of the top 5 polluters of the world is to skip the event. The leaders of countries who are to attend the meeting include Iraq, Norway, Afghanistan, Switzerland. The event is expected to have huge expectations as the UN Global Climate Summit failed to meet the required climate actions. Though the WEF meet does not focus on climate, it will make key decisions considering climate change as one of the factors.

India at the event

From India union ministers Piyush Goyal and Mansukh Mandaivya are to attend the meeting along with 100 CEOs. Along with the ministers, the chief ministers of three states will also attend the meeting. The theme of the event is

Theme: Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World

About the event

The event is to be held in Davos between January 21, 2020 and January 24, 2020. The leaders believe that it is essential and critical to develop “Davos Manifesto 2020”. The manifesto will aim to make the governments and companies reconsider or reimagine their steps of progress. The WEF was formed in 1971 for the very same purpose. A Universal ESG Scorecard is to be published at the WEF International Business Council meet.

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