Caribbean

Ocean water

Island states win historic climate case in world oceans court

Nine small island states have won a historic climate change case at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which ruled that all signatories to a United Nations treaty on marine activities must do more to protect the world’s oceans from climate change. The tribunal found that signatories to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’s responsibilities to prevent marine pollution extend to greenhouse gas emissions, which harm oceans by altering the earth’s atmosphere.

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Dominica flag

Dominica’s High Court ends the country’s ban on being gay in historic ruling

The High Court of Dominica, an island nation in the Caribbean, has overturned a colonial-era law banning same-sex relations between consenting adults after a gay man filed a lawsuit claiming the ban was unconstitutional. The ruling stated that the constitution guarantees that a person shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his right to assemble and freely associate with other persons and that this “must necessarily include the freedom to enter into and maintain intimate relationships without undue intrusion by the State.”

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Dominican Republic forested landscape

The Dominican Republic reforests a fifth of the country in 10 years

Plan Yaque, founded in 2009, brings together 30 organizations to conserve the Yaque River basin, the Dominican Republic’s lifeline. The plan’s simplicity rests in convincing landowners that reforestation is not only an ecological need but also beneficial to their well-being. By 2019, Plan Yaque and other environmental efforts have restored 18 percent of damaged land, ranking as Latin America’s second-largest land recovery.

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Coal pollution

The U.S. and six other nations commit to unabated coal phase-out

At the COP28 Climate Summit in Dubai, the U.S., Czech Republic, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, Iceland, Kosovo and Norway in formally joining the alliance, which was launched in 2017 by the U.K. and Canada. The new members have committed to not developing new unabated coal power plants and phasing out existing unabated coal plants.

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Installing rooftop solar

U.S. Department of Energy to invest more than $400 million on rooftop solar in Puerto Rico’s most vulnerable communities

This funding will also support thousands of local clean energy jobs, help achieve President Biden’s goal of lowering energy costs for all Americans, as well as help Puerto Rico achieve its goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050. The first installations are slated to begin in Spring 2024.

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