Improving the Environment

A new study links air pollution with an increase in hospital visits. (Matthew Taylor, Guardian)

Acting on Climate

Clean Money: Ireland announced it is divesting from fossil fuels. (Damian Carrington, Guardian)

“The [divestment] movement is highlighting the need to stop investing in the expansion of a global industry which must be brought into managed decline if catastrophic climate change is to be averted,” said Thomas Pringle, the independent member of parliament who introduced the bill. “Ireland by divesting is sending a clear message that the Irish public and the international community are ready to think and act beyond narrow short term vested interests….” More…

Heat Is On: More global heat waves broke records. (Jonathan Watts, Guardian)

The past month has seen power shortages in California as record heat forced a surge of demand for air conditioners. Algeria has experienced the hottest temperature ever reliably registered in Africa. Britain, meanwhile, has experienced its third longest heatwave, melting the roof of a science building in Glasgow and exposing ancient hill forts in Wales…. More…

Speak Up: We need to talk more about climate change impacts.

Ending Plastic Pollution

Good Business: Starbuck announced it was going to stop offering disposable plastic straws. (Christina Caron, New York Times) Also: EDN’s President, Kathleen Rogers, in USA Today on the news.

“By nature, the straw isn’t recyclable and the lid is, so we feel this decision is more sustainable and more socially responsible,” Chris Milne, director of packaging sourcing for Starbucks, said in a statement…. More…

National Action: Odisha in India announced plans to ban plastic. (Meera Mohanty, The Economic Times)

Protecting Life on Earth

New world heritage sites were named. (Gulnaz Khan, National Geographic)

Nominees must meet one of 10 criteria—six cultural and four natural—ranging from Earth’s most biodiverse landscapes to artistic works of universal significance. This year, the committee recognized 19 new sites for their “outstanding universal value,” extended the boundaries of Central Sikhote-Alin, a Russian biosphere reserve, and removed the Belize Barrier Reef from the List of World Heritage in Danger…. More…