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The UK and Sri Lanka lead on ‘Nitrogen for Climate and Green Recovery’

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The British High Commission in Colombo and the Government of Sri Lanka held a virtual event “Nitrogen for Climate and Green Recovery” on April 27 – 29 in Colombo.

The event launched the #Nitrogen4NetZero initiative, to widen engagement on sustainable nitrogen management in this crucial year for climate action.

#Nitrogen4NetZero is an initiative launched in partnership between the British High Commission, Colombo and the Government of Sri Lanka, championed by the President of Sri Lanka. The two key messages are that Net Zero will be impossible to achieve without action on nitrogen, and that action on nitrogen will offer multiple co-benefits for health, nature and economy.

Delivering a statement to the event, on behalf of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena emphasised that: “…Climate scientists have been studying and grappling with the impact of increased carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere for decades. I believe it is important to address the issue of nitrogen waste in a similarly urgent way, and to broaden the ongoing discourse on climate change accordingly.”

Speaking last year, COP26 President-Designate Alok Sharma had underlined the importance of joint action on climate change this year: “Tackling climate change is the one of the most urgent shared endeavours of our lifetimes, demanding bold action from every nation to prevent catastrophic global warming’……2021 is absolutely going to be a critical year for climate. I want to see the golden thread of climate action woven through every international event on the road to Glasgow.”

The United Kingdom will host COP26 in Glasgow later this year, and as the incoming Presidency are committed to working with Sri Lanka to accelerate climate ambition in 2020 and 2021.

At COP26, the United Kingdom will demonstrate the urgency and the opportunities of the journey towards a zero carbon economy and the power of international cooperation to address the gravest challenges the world faces. To ensure success countries need to commit to reaching net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible.

However, the transition to net zero emissions will also require action on nitrogen to reduce nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential around 300 times that of carbon dioxide.

A focus on reducing nitrogen pollution offers multiple win-wins across sustainable development for air, water, biodiversity, stratospheric ozone depletion, soils, food and the economy. These issues have been recognized by the UN Environment Assembly Resolution on ‘Sustainable Nitrogen Management’ (UNEP/EA.4/Res.14), led by India, and the Colombo Declaration led by Sri Lanka, which agreed an ambition to halve nitrogen waste from all sources by 2030, offering the potential to save $100 billion annually.

The #Nitrogen4NetZero initiative with member countries of the South Asian Cooperative Environment Program (SACEP) prepares the way to widen engagement in this crucial year for climate action. The initiative is being prepared with science support from the “GCRF South Asian Nitrogen Hub”, supported by UK Research and Innovation through its Global Challenges Research Fund.

The hub forms part of a global effort working in partnership with the UN Environment Program and the Global Environment Facility through the International Nitrogen Management System, led by the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology.

 

 



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At least 17 killed after explosion in Peshawar mosque

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(picture from twitter)

BBC reported that at least 17 people have been killed in an explosion at a mosque in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.

The blast happened when the mosque was packed with worshippers and more than 90 people were injured.

A section of the building was destroyed, and officials say people are buried under the rubble. Several others are being taken to local hospitals.

The cause of the explosion is unclear.

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More heavy rain ahead for New Zealand’s largest city

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Auckland experienced an unprecedented amount of rainfall on Friday (picture BBC)

BBC reported that residents in flood-hit northern New Zealand are bracing for more heavy rains as officials issued severe weather alerts.

At least four people have died and a state of emergency was declared in Auckland, which on Friday experienced its worst downpour on record.

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Information Dept. media release: EC Chief asks public not to be misled

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by Priyan de Silva

Chairman of the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Nimal Punchihewa, asked to comment on a special news release, purportedly issued by the Director General of the Department of Government Information, on Sunday (29), told  The Island  that preparations for the 09 March local government elections were going ahead, as planned, and that the media statement at issue was misleading.

The media statement says: “The gazette notice with signatures of the Chairman and other members of the Election Commission required for the commencement of the Local Government election process has not been sent to the Government Press for printing.”

Punchihewa requested the public not to be misled by any misinformation being spread in an attempt to create doubts in their minds.He also  reiterated that the EC would not be deterred by any acts of intimidation.

Three of the EC members have been threatened with death by an unidentified caller to resign from their posts. They are S. B. Divaratne, M. M. Mohamed and K. P. P. Pathirana. The Opposition has accused the government of trying to sabotage the LG polls.

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