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September 16, 2016

Ceasefire in Syria

A week-long ceasefire was brokered by the U.S. and Russia in Syria, with activists on the ground reporting that it was largely holding. However, humanitarian aid deliveries were being held up at the border, reportedly because delivery routes had not been agreed, and “facilitation letters” that would allow convoys to pass through checkpoints and into besieged areas weren’t provided.

More than 250,000 people are said to have lost their lives during this brutal conflict that has lasted for more than 5 years. More than 4.8 million have fled abroad and an estimated 6.5 million are displaced within the country, according to the United Nations.

Water Crisis in India Turns Violent

Protests shut down parts of Bangalore city, as India’s Supreme Court ordered the state of Karnataka to share water from the Cauvery River with neighboring Tamil Nadu. Following the court’s decision, the protests turned violent.

This is the latest chapter in a long-running dispute, with both states claiming to need the water for irrigation following a weak monsoon season.

Costa Rica Went Without Fossil Fuels for 76 Days

Some hydropower projects are not without their problems, given the environmental impact of setting them up and the extent to which local communities are consulted before they go ahead, but the move does serve as an example to richer economies who have been slow to shift their reliance away from fossil fuels.According to the Costa Rica Electricity Institute (ICE), between June 17 and August 31, 100% of the country’s energy needs were met by renewable energy – predominantly hydropower.

Emissions reductions will be a major talking point in the ongoing climate negotiations, but smaller, sustainable energy projects are on the rise in some countries and are crucially helping communities that were previously without power gain access to energy. We have a report on this coming out soon.