World roundup: December 19 2022
Stories from Iran, South Africa, Colombia, and elsewhere
Happy Hanukkah to those who are celebrating!
In today’s global news:
Worldometer is tracking COVID-19 cases and fatalities.
The New York Times is tracking global vaccine distribution.
The United Nations’ “COP15” biodiversity summit in Montreal resulted on Monday in the adoption of a global agreement to designate at least 30 percent of the planet as protected territory by 2030, or “30 by 30” as they’re apparently calling it. While this sounds good, there are a couple of potential complications. The first is the obvious—these kinds of international agreements are by design meant to be unenforceable and therefore are symbolic. I would refer anyone who questions this to the Paris climate agreement’s 1.5 degrees Celsius warming limit. The second problem is that the Chinese delegation, which held the summit’s presidency, apparently declared the agreement adopted even as a number of African delegations—most prominently the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s delegation—were in the middle of objecting to it. The Congolese rain forest is one of the most bio-diverse places on Earth, so it would be kind of important to have the DRC on board with this effort. But it and other African countries are demanding greater financial support from the developed world—i.e., the countries that have contributed the most to species loss to date—for conservation efforts in the developing world.
Syrian state media reported another round of Israeli missile attacks on areas around Damascus early Tuesday. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights the target was a Hezbollah arms depot and at least two people were killed.
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