News in the Humanosphere: Green financing for … coal?

Coal miners in Criseluna, Santa Catarina, Brazil. (UN Photo/Sebastiao Barbosa)

An important report from the AP demonstrates a problem in governance for green climate financing, which would be central to any international climate change agreement. “About $1 billion in loans under a U.N. initiative for poor countries to tackle global warming is going toward the construction of power plants fired by coal, the biggest human source of carbon pollution. … Japan gave the money to help its companies build three such plants in Indonesia and listed it with the United Nations as climate finance, The Associated Press has found. Japan says these plants burn coal more efficiently and are therefore cleaner than old coal plants. … However, U.N. Climate Chief Christiana Figueres, who was unaware that the Japanese-funded coal plants in Indonesia were labeled as climate finance, said ‘there is no argument’ for supporting such projects with climate money.” (AP http://yhoo.it/1vc1hEZ)

Gotta open those doors, Europe … Europe is aging faster than any other region of the world. It badly needs immigrants, say experts from the OECD and EU. But many Europeans don’t want them. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1vc1EiX)

Good News on Ebola … Liberia and Guinea have met a Dec. 1 target for isolating 70 percent of people infected with Ebola and safely burying 70 percent of those who die, the World Health Organization said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1A87KAQ)

Ebola

A surge in Ebola deaths reported by the World Health Organization at the weekend was due to about 1,000 Liberian deaths wrongly ascribed to the disease that would be removed, WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward said on Monday.  (Reuters http://bit.ly/1v5rOPb)

Sierra Leone does not yet have enough beds in treatment centers to isolate Ebola patients in the west of the country but many new facilities should be opened in the next few weeks, the World Health Organization’s assistant director-general said on Monday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1v5rK1O)

WHO targets on isolating patients and medical burials were missed in Sierra Leone as an NGO warns the virus has reduced country to “a nation of mere beggars.” (Guardian http://bit.ly/1A8aYEg)

A look into how prisons in Sierra Leone are trying to prevent the spread of Ebola within the cells. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1A8bKkW)

Ebola in the air: What science says about how the virus spreads (NPR http://n.pr/1vcb3qD)

Africa

One of South Africa’s largest AIDS awareness groups said the country’s response to the disease is beginning to stall. (AP http://yhoo.it/1vc15FN)

Appeals judges at the International Criminal Court on Monday upheld the conviction of a Congolese war lord who was sentenced to 14 years for recruiting and using child soldiers, bringing to an end the court’s first trial. (AP http://yhoo.it/1vc1hon)

More than 3,300 people were tested for HIV Sunday in the Ethiopian region of Gambella, a massive turnout that exceeded expectations among AIDS campaigners who had hoped to test 2,000 people, according to local officials. (AP http://yhoo.it/1vc1Oqu)

Suspected Islamic extremists struck in two state capitals in northeastern Nigeria on Monday, with a deadly double bombing at a crowded market and an attack on a police base. (AP http://yhoo.it/1A88hTc)

In Africa, the fight against stigma goes right to the top. For an African politician who is HIV-positive to be open about his or her status is still seen as electoral suicide. Campaigners say a lack of prominent role models is hampering their efforts to change attitudes. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1A8b5jk)

The chair of the U.K. government’s HIV and AIDS committee says the failure to get drugs to low- and middle-income countries is a “tragedy of epic proportions.” (Guardian http://bit.ly/1A8aWwn)

Human rights groups are calling on Mauritania to release nearly a dozen anti-slavery activists arrested during the past month. (VOA http://bit.ly/1v5qV9x)

As South Africa joins the rest of the world in commemorating World AIDS Day, experts say women below the age of 25 in the country have a high HIV infection rate and studies show they are getting the virus from older men. (VOA http://bit.ly/1A8gqHt)

MENA

A lack of funds has forced the United Nations to stop providing food vouchers for 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, the World Food Programme said on Monday. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1vc1EPL)

Rates of new HIV infections and AIDS-related deaths are rising faster in the Middle East and North Africa than anywhere else globally, says the latest data from UNAIDS. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1A8bAKi)

Saudi Arabia is considering stopping financial support to Yemen, a move that could tip the country further towards economic collapse, Yemeni, Saudi and Western officials have said. (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vc6o8j)

Three people have died from H5N1 bird flu in Egypt in the past week, bringing the death toll in the country this year to six, the Egyptian health ministry said on Monday. (Reuters http://bit.ly/1pHWaeV)

Asia

Thousands of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists forced the temporary closure of government headquarters on Monday after clashing with police, defying orders to retreat after more than two months of sustained protests in the Chinese-controlled city. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1A83Wj5)

A former Sri Lankan health minister on Monday signed an agreement with opposition parties, trade unions and professional groups to scrap the country’s powerful presidential system and carry out other democratic reforms if he beats incumbent Mahinda Rajapaksa and wins January’s presidential election. (AP http://yhoo.it/1A87Yrw)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently launched a “Clean India” campaign where he asked people to help keep their surroundings tidy. But there were no benefits announced for people who sort through the nation’s trash. (AP http://yhoo.it/1A89jyG)

The Americas

About 30 prisoners escaped from a jail in a provincial city north of the Haitian capital, a police official said Monday. (AP http://yhoo.it/1A87OAx)

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos demands an explanation from Gen Ruben Dario Alzate about his kidnapping following his release on Sunday. (BBC http://bbc.in/1A8aCOc)

Opinion/Blogs

The Gareth Evans interview (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/15MArto)

The global state of AIDS: The good, the goodish and the not-so good (Humanosphere http://bit.ly/1A8auOL)

What you need to know about the the Lima climate conference (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1rP1MoU)

Ebola: Where next and how bad? (IRIN http://bit.ly/1vc4Tqq)

Missing students a symptom of a larger crisis in Mexico (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/1A89CcN)

Oppenheimer’s ‘The Look of Silence’ casts a chilling gaze at massacre survivors (GlobalPost http://bit.ly/1A8apu9)

UK’s £1 billion pledge on life-saving vaccines — now others must follow (Save the Children http://bit.ly/1vccbui)

Why 16 days of activism against GBV must make impact (Tanzania Daily News http://bit.ly/1v5su77)

Renee C. Byer: Living on a dollar a day is an examination of worldwide extreme hunger and poverty (Slate http://slate.me/1yxHm3e)

52 break-up lines for aid workers (WhyDev http://bit.ly/1yxHW0P)

Major progress at the Global Fund: A one-year ‘more health for the money’ update for World AIDS Day (CGD http://bit.ly/1yxIrrK)

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About Author

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is a New Hampshire-based reporter for Humanosphere. Before joining Humanosphere, Tom founded and edited the aid blog A View From the Cave. His work has appeared in Foreign Policy, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, GlobalPost and Christian Science Monitor. He tweets at @viewfromthecave. Contact him at tmurphy[at]humanosphere.org.