Fish die-offs, Fukushima releases, rice prices soaring: Asia records losses in world’s warmest year

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But like the United Nations conference on climate change, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. in dubai Towards the end of the year, we marked the final end of the fossil fuel era.

Here are some of the most impactful environmental stories from Asia this week in 2023.

A farmer tends to a rice field in Agam, West Sumatra, Indonesia, on December 6. Photo: AP

Asian rice price crisis

Extreme weather events caused by climate change have destabilized Asia throughout the year. El Niño disrupts weather patterns, diverting rainfall and causing hotter and drier conditions in many parts of the region, reducing rice production. Forecasters expect El Niño conditions to persist until at least early next year.

This results in Indiais the world’s largest rice exporter and has cracked down on shipments, allowing only a small amount to be sent overseas.
Rice prices in Asia have risen to their highest level in nearly 15 years since India introduced the ban.Rival exporter prices Thailand It also rose to its highest level since the height of the global financial crisis at the end of 2008.

Scorching heatwaves and uneven distribution of monsoon rains have devastated crops, fueled food inflation and forced central banks to further tighten lending.

Asia braces for further US price shock as markets reel from India’s export ban

Visitors inspect the BYD Seal EV at the 40th Thailand International Motor Expo 2023 held in Bangkok, Thailand on December 4. Photo: EPA-EFE

The relentless rise of EVs

In a more positive development, Southeast Asian countries are increasingly prioritizing production. Electric car It aims to reduce heavy dependence on imported fossil fuels and achieve net-zero carbon commitments.
The countries in this region are This year we bumped into each other. Attract the attention of powerful investors by providing raw materials, tax breaks, and infrastructure. Demand for EVs in the region is also rapidly increasing, although it still lags behind other regions of the world.

Southeast Asia EV race, domestic market faces long and winding road

Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant photographed in August. This month, Japan began releasing treated wastewater from tsunami-damaged facilities into the ocean. Photo: Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images/TNS

Concerns about drainage

The concerns have hurt Japan’s fish exports, but the controversy has not deterred nuclear energy development in the region, including China, as countries seek to transition away from dirty fuels.

Has China’s Fukushima-related ban been extended to reel in ornamental carp?

Cleaners search for recyclable plastic materials among trash washed ashore after heavy rains on the coast of Chennai, India, in December. Photo: EPA-EFE

plastic promise

Plastic waste threatens even the most remote parts of the planet – Everest It has been found as far as the Mariana Trench and in infants ingested through breast milk.
But world leaders are moving to put in place the framework of a plastic waste treaty to clean up the planet and promote a circular economy. Asia accounts for a significant portion of all plastic produced annually. Hong Kong and South Korea It is one of the countries with the highest per capita production, with mainland China topping the list.

Talk about trash: Plastic waste treaty negotiations raise hopes for Asia’s circular economy

Thailand’s popular fish, the protein-rich mini mackerel known as ‘plathu’, faces an uncertain future.Photo: Shutterstock

There is no mackerel

A combination of climate change, pollution and overfishing is beginning to deprive Thailand of its favorite food, protein-rich mini mackerel. Platu.

Not only are too many fish removed from the sea each year for their numbers to recover, but rising ocean temperatures and extreme weather conditions are putting marine ecosystems in a delicate state. Platu Continue to live under pressure.

Why Thailand’s favorite fish may soon disappear from menus forever

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COP28 climate summit concludes with agreement to ‘transition’ away from fossil fuels

COP28 climate summit concludes with agreement to ‘transition’ away from fossil fuels

Cop28 cop out?

A glimmer of hope appeared at the end of the year that the world might still be able to overcome global warming. united nations climate conference in dubai, cop 28where countries finally agreed to transition away from fossil fuels. it was necessary To fight climate change.

Asia in crisis as COP28 deal falls ‘far short’ of acceptable fossil fuel phase-out

However, no timeline has been announced for phasing out oil, gas and coal, or introducing financial mechanisms to support the transition for developing countries.

Next year will show whether world leaders are serious about talking about climate change.

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