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Politics: US backs international plastic pollution effort

Turning crop waste to fertilizer could fight air pollution in India

  Turning crop waste to fertilizer could fight air pollution in India In northern India, rice stubble burned by farmers creates smoke and air pollution. But a new technology instead converts crop waste into fertilizer, which can be sold by farmers for extra revenue.The burning stubble generates copious amounts of smoke across the states of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the Indian capital of New Delhi.

The U.S. will back international talks to develop a treaty curbing plastic pollution, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in Kenya Thursday.

Tony Blinken wearing a suit and tie: US backs international plastic pollution effort © Getty Images US backs international plastic pollution effort

"[T]oday, we are stepping up and stepping up our efforts to tackle another pollutant that threatens our planet, plastic, by announcing the United States support for multilateral negotiations on a global agreement to combat ocean plastic pollution," Blinken said Thursday at the United Nations Environment Program in Nairobi.

"By launching these negotiations at the UN Environmental Assembly in February 2022, our goal is to create a tool that we can use to protect our oceans and all of the life that they sustain from growing global harms of plastic pollution," he added.

Smog chokes Indian capital as air pollution levels soar

  Smog chokes Indian capital as air pollution levels soar NEW DELHI (AP) — Sky obscured by thick, gray smog. Monuments and high-rise buildings swallowed by a blanket of haze. People struggling to breathe. In the Indian capital, it is that time of the year again. The city’s air quality index fell into the “very poor” category on Sunday, according to SAFAR, India’s main environmental monitoring agency, and in many areas levels of the deadly particulate matter reached around six times the global safety threshold. NASA satellite imagery also showed most of India’s northern plains covered by thick haze.Among the many Indian cities gasping for breath, New Delhi tops the list every year.

The secretary of state noted that human activity is estimated to add up to 14 million tons of plastic pollution to the ocean annually, some of which can take millions of years to fully degrade.

Blinken called on any international agreement to provide for countries to develop independent national action plans on plastic pollution. Treaties require ratification by the full Senate, where the Biden administration has frequently run up against opposition to environmental agenda items by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), the 50th Democratic vote.

Curbing plastic pollution has been a rare environmental issue where Republicans and Democrats found some common ground, with then-President Trump in 2018 signing a bill aimed at reducing marine plastic waste into law.

However, the Trump administration strongly opposed efforts to develop an international treaty, and the U.S. was not involved in international talks on the matter. In an August 2020 investigation, the environmental advocacy group Greenpeace claimed the American Chemistry Council was lobbying the White House to use a U.S.-Kenya trade agreement to expand plastic exports to the African nation.

An existing international treaty, the Basel Convention, regulates transfers of hazardous waste between nations, and was amended in 2019 to cover plastic waste. The U.S., which signed but never ratified the 1989 agreement, did not agree to the amendment.

2021 Fantasy Football Flex Scoring Targets: Draft Strategies to Minimize Risk and Maximize Scoring .
SI Fantasy insider Shawn Childs shares flex scoring targets and how to best approach the end of your roster on draft day Scoring Targets seriesQB | RB1/RB2 | RB3/RB4 | WR1/WR2 | WR3/WR4 | TE | FLEX | K/DSTIn the fantasy market, there are all kinds of formats. For example, a fantasy owner needs to start two running backs, three wide receivers, and one, possibly, two flex players in the 12-team high-stakes market. The added length to the starting lineup requires fantasy owners to be creative when building their roster. In addition, it puts a premium on depth at the wide receiver position.

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