December 24, 2019
This past year has been overwhelming, to say the least, as we’ve endured an endless stream of rapid-fire information about the state of our planet. From climate accountability lawsuits to microplastics pollution, it can be easy to forget what happened yesterday, let alone six months ago. 
23 Numbers That Explain The State Of Planet Earth In 2019
As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time to take stock of where we are. A slew of reports on everything from biodiversity loss to plastic waste has emphasised what’s at stake. Meanwhile, ever-intensifying impacts of flooding and wildfires around the world continue to show us what a warming world will look like.
The destruction is staring us straight in the eyes and it’s impossible to look away; 2019 has made us acutely aware of the scale of the challenge ahead if society is going to seriously tackle everything from rising temperatures to species decline.
This doesn’t mean there hasn’t been any progress, though. Renewables are making up greater shares of our energy production as coal continues to decline. Meanwhile, jobs continue to grow in low-carbon sectors like electric vehicles and energy efficiency.We have collected some of the significant stats of the past year, those which present a snapshot about the state of our planet right now. Here’s a look back at 2019 by the numbers.Impacts99%: The chance that 2019 winds up in the top five hottest years ever recorded. According to NOAA data, this year will be either the third or second hottest year in human history.
0.95C: How much warmer July was compared to the 20th-century average temperature for that month, making it the hottest July ever recorded in human history.
5: Number of new islands discovered in the Russian Arctic due to melting glaciers.
259,816 acres: Amount of land burned so far due to wildfires in California this year. 
10,000 square kilometers: Amount of land in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest cleared due to deforestation between January and August of this year. 
1,000: Number of people who died, at the most conservative estimate, due to devastating flooding in April in Mozambique as a result of Cyclone Idai, the worst disaster to hit the region in 20 years. 
1m: Number of land and marine species that could become extinct due to human actions, unless “transformative change” is made across local, national, and global levels, according to a report released by the UN in May. 
99.8: Percentage of endangered species in the United States that will find it difficult to adapt to a warming world.Consumption3.1m: Drop in the number of cars sold globally this year, the steepest decline since the 2008 recession.
42%: Portion of all passenger vehicles sold around the world this year that were fuel-guzzling, emissions-heavy SUVs.
65,000 tonnes: Amount of plastic waste sent by the United States as of May this year (the most recent data available) to 58 different countries.
11.6bn: Number of microplastics released by one plastic tea bag when steeping in water brewed at near boiling temperature.
7 months: Time it took for the world to reach “Earth Overshoot Day” representing the moment each year at which humanity starts to consume natural resources faster than the earth can replenish them. This was the earliest that we’ve ever reached this threshold.Energy11m: Number of people employed around the world by the renewables sector – from manufacturing and trading to installation – in 2018, according to the latest figures released this summer. 
50%: Amount by which renewable energy is expected to increase over the next five years.
38.9: Share of electricity provided by renewables in the UK in the third quarter of 2019 (the most recent figures available), surpassing the amount provided by coal (38.8%) for the first time ever.
3%: Expected drop in coal usage around the world in 2019 according to analysis by Carbon Brief ― a record low use of the dirty fossil fuel.
2021: Date by which the European Investment Bank will no longer fund fossil fuel projects according to a November announcement.Action6m: Number of people across 4,500 locations in 150 countries that went on strike for the climate in September. 
164: Number of environmentalists killed for their work in 2018 according to a report released in July 2019.
11,000: Number of scientists from 153 countries who declared a climate emergency in November warning that “untold human suffering” is “unavoidable” without drastic action.
28: Number of countries where there are ongoing climate action lawsuits against governments and companies. The United States has the most with 1,023 cases.
50%: Amount by which global emissions must drop in the next decade in order to preserve a stable climate. As the executive director of the UN Environment Program, Inger Andersen, said, more action is needed: “Our collective failure to act early and hard on climate change means we now must deliver deep cuts to emissions – over 7% each year, if we break it down evenly over the next decade.” If it matters to you, it matters to us. Support HuffPost’s journalism here. For more content and to be part of the “This New World” community, follow our Facebook page.HuffPost’s “This New World” series is funded by Partners for a New Economy and the Kendeda Fund. All content is editorially independent, with no influence or input from the foundations. If you have an idea or tip for the editorial series, send an email to thisnewworld@huffpost.com.
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Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
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NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
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