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ELI In the News

Rare pangolins languish in China wildlife rescue system

Washington Post (by Christina Larson / AP)
January 24, 2019

When Chinese police found them in the trunk of a smuggler’s car, 33 of the trafficked pangolins — endangered scaly mammals from southern China — were still alive, wrapped in plastic bags soaked with their own urine.

But the fate of the creatures — whose scales are worth nearly their weight in silver on the black market — was not a happy one. Every last pangolin died in government captivity within a few months of the August 2017 seizure.

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UN: Poor Enforcement of Laws Worsens Environmental Threats

New York Times (by Associated Press)
January 24, 2019

A United Nations report says that a global failure to enforce environmental protection laws is exacerbating threats.

The report from the United Nations Environment Program released Thursday says there is a lack of monitoring agencies capable of effectively enforcing laws. It says poor implementation is one of the "greatest challenges to mitigating climate change, reducing pollution and preventing widespread species and habitat loss."

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EPA, Agriculture leaders rally farmers in Wilson County for clean water rule replacement

Nashville Tennessean (by Mike Reicher)
December 18, 2018

Top federal officials traveled to the Wilson County fairgrounds outside of Nashville Tuesday to promote the Trump Administration's proposal to weaken a federal clean water regulation. Andrew Wheeler, acting administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue called on Tennessee farmers to engage in the contentious debate. Trump officials want to limit which bodies of water are subject to the Clean Water Act, the 1972 landmark legislation that protects streams, rivers and other bodies of water from uncontrolled development and pollution. . .

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Movers and Shakers

Politico's Morning Energy (by Kelsey Tamborrino)
November 8, 2018

The Environmental Law Institute has added six new members to its leadership council: Jeanne Cohn-Connor, William J. Jackson, J. Scott Janoe, Shailesh Sahay, Fred Wagner and Peter H. Weiner. Read their bios here.

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Rights Groups Call for Greater Attention to Environmental Security in Armed Conflicts

Jurist (by Erik Slobe)
November 7, 2018

Amnesty International released two public statements on Tuesday regarding environmental security during war and armed conflicts. One statement addressed to the Chair of the UN General Assembly First Committee called upon the Chair to address environmental impacts of particular weapons and military practices and identify measures to minimize harm. The statement notes that in addition to the cost of human life, weapons destroy water, sanitation, and energy infrastructure and creates hazardous waste that has further impacts on human health.

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Trump’s plan to have Jim Mattis fast-track part of the border wall could backfire

Washington Examiner (by Travis J. Tritten)
November 5, 2018

President Trump's plan to have the Pentagon quickly build part of the wall on the U.S. border with Mexico is now facing years of potential delays because of environmental reviews.

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Obama team assembles again to toast Lisa Jackson

E&E Greenwire (by Robin Bravender)
October 24, 2018

Lisa Jackson's fan club had a reunion last night. The Obama-era EPA administrator returned to Washington, where she was surrounded by her former team and celebrated for her work at the agency, even as some of her efforts are being rolled back by the Trump administration. Trump EPA officials were at the swanky hotel dinner, too, where Jackson — now an executive at Apple Inc. — steered clear of criticizing the administration. Jackson, who led EPA from 2009 until early 2013, was given an environmental achievement award by the nonpartisan Environmental Law Institute.

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Daily on Energy

Washington Examiner (by John Siciliano & Josh Siegel)
October 23, 2018

ENVIRONMENTAL LAW INSTITUTE BOOSTS BOARD’S RANKS: The non-partisan Environmental Law Institute boosted its ranks in Monday with the addition of six new members to its board of directors. “I look forward to working with these renowned experts to advance ELI’s important mission of improving the environment though the effective rule of law,” said the group’s board chairman, Benjamin Wilson. The new members include Rachel Jacobson, Rick Leahy, John Lovenburg, Peggy Otum, Hilary Tompkins, and Wei “Kevin” Wei. 

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Count on Blockchain to Bolster ESG Truthfulness ... Eventually

Financial Advisor IQ (by Miram Rozen)
October 12, 2018

Even though Morningstar reported recently that investment flows into sustainable funds nearly doubled each month this year compared to 2017, financial advisors and other stakeholders continue to express lukewarm sentiments about the transparency and trustworthiness of ESG-related investment data. “Overall, we were disappointed by the lack of transparency and rigor of ESG ratings,” Shiva Rajgopal, the vice dean of research at Columbia Business School, writes in a recent Reuters opinion article.

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Environmental cooperation as a pathway to resolve Nigeria’s deadly farmer-herder conflicts

UN Environment
October 4, 2018

Nigeria’s central Middle Belt region is home to a diverse cultural population of semi-nomadic cattle herders and farming communities. For decades, the region has experienced increasingly violent attacks that have been partially attributed to direct competition over access and use of natural resources. According to a report released by the International Crisis Group in July, the violence between Nigerian farmers and herders killed at least 1,300 people in the first half of 2018, claiming “about six times more civilian lives than the Boko Haram insurgency”. . . .

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