Aviation giant KLM to face legal action in first major challenge to airline industry ‘greenwashing’

Read the full story at CNBC.

Environmental groups argue that KLM’s advertising campaigns and “compensation” schemes violate European consumer law by giving a false impression about the sustainability of its flights and its plans to tackle climate breakdown. The case is thought to be the first corporate lawsuit about airlines and net zero — and one of the first cases about carbon offsets. As a result, it has effectively put the global aviation sector on notice.

Corporations pledge to buy ‘green’ at Davos gathering

Read the full story in the New York Times.

A global buyers’ club of more than 50 companies, including Microsoft and Ford Motor, say they will buy “green” steel, aluminum and other commodities by 2030.

Lowering carbon emissions by building regional food systems

Read the full story at Triple Pundit.

Our food systems currently contribute about one-third of human-produced greenhouse gas emissions. In endeavoring to lower emissions, we certainly can’t do away with food, but we can adapt. Greener methods of growing have been sprouting up over the years. Regenerative agriculture, for example, has been embraced by brands such as meat company Applegate and Danone, known for its dairy products. Through regenerative agriculture, farms and ranches restore their soils for healthier water systems and carbon sequestration. 

And then there’s regionalizing, which can tackle that 10 or so percent of the food system’s greenhouse gas emissions that come from transporting food. Regionalizing does not automatically guarantee sustainability, though. In Going Local, author Michael Shuman describes the process of creating a sustainable local economy as not, “walling off the outside world,” but “nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.”

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers find significant health benefits to air pollution reduction policies in NYC

Read the full story from the University of North Carolina.

A new study from scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill estimates reducing emissions in New York City could save more than 400 lives every year.

Researchers at the UNC Institute for the Environment modeled five sustainability policy scenarios in New York City and found a significant reduction in health risks associated with a decrease in air pollution based on the policies. The results were published this week in Environmental Science & Technology.

Why scientists need better communication strategies

Read the full story at Silicon Republic.

Arlene Blum successfully helped to ban a harmful flame retardant from children’s pyjamas in the 1970s. However, lobbyists, PR strategies and misinformation campaigns mean scientists’ fight against chemicals of concern is ongoing.

PFAS in household waste may be going airborne

Read the full story in Environmental Health News.

As states work to limit the use of PFAS, one path for their spread is often overlooked: incineration of consumer waste, such as clothing, textiles, food packaging, paints, and electronics.

Meet the 2022 winners of the ‘Green Nobels’ working on environmental activism

Read the full story at Fast Company.

A woman who successfully sued the Dutch government for failing to protect its citizens from climate change is just one winner of the 2022 Goldman Environmental Prize.

USEPA’s national PFAS datasets compile and integrate state and federal data, but gaps remain

Read the full story at JD Supra.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has made available a collection of National PFAS Datasets, which collects a variety of PFAS data from different state and federal sources on one convenient webpage.  Note that, for datasets for which USEPA was not involved in the collection of data and cannot vouch for its accuracy or completeness, it offers caveats to that effect. 

PFAS pose ‘watershed’ moment for Superfund liability

Read the full story at E&E News.

The Biden administration’s ambitions to crack down on “forever chemicals” — touted as an administration priority — are facing headwinds from key industries that say they could be unfairly punished and held liable for contamination they did not create.

Members of the water and waste sectors are ramping up pressure on Congress and EPA to shield them from an upcoming proposal as the agency makes progress on addressing PFAS contamination. Linked to a variety of health impacts like cancer, the notorious family of chemicals are widespread throughout commerce, leading to their persistence in both water and waste utilities.

The industries say they are “passive receivers” of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances and did not create the chemicals, which are used in everything from nonstick pans and dental floss to industrial firefighting foam. But they could soon face liability for PFAS contamination, whether they intentionally caused the problem or not.

Justice Dept. boosts focus on environmental cases that harm the poor

Read the full story in the Washington Post.

The Justice Department is ramping up enforcement of environmental cases that officials say disproportionately harm poor and marginalized communities, creating an office to help coordinate investigations and expanding the breadth of litigation against companies and local or state governments that appear to violate federal laws or commit civil infractions.