North York Moors potash mine gets £1.7bn go-ahead

Guardian Environment News - 54 min 29 sec ago

National park authority backs plan to dig mile-deep shaft under protected moorland and tunnel 16km inland from coast, with promise of 1,000 jobs

A small corner of one of Britain’s most stunning national parks will be dug up to make way for a £1.7bn potash mine after locals were wooed with promises of more than 1,000 jobs – and the idea of restoring the proud mining heritage of the north-east of England.

After a four-year planning wrangle, members of the North York Moors National Park Authority narrowly gave the green light to UK firm Sirius Minerals – via its subsidiary York Potash – to dig a mile-deep shaft under heavily protected moorland overlooking Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay.

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Categories: Environment

Russia's Rosneft charged over pipeline leak that caused oil to come out of taps

Guardian Environment News - 1 hour 10 min ago

Environment watchdog investigates RN Yuganskneftegaz for water protection violations due to leak at Nefteyugansk that threatens to enter Ob river

Russia’s environmental watchdog has opened a case against state-owned oil corporation Rosneft after a pipeline leak resulted in oily water filling backyards and flowing out of locals’ taps in Siberia.

RN Yuganskneftegaz, a subsidiary of Rosneft, has been charged with an administrative violation of water protection regulations leading to contamination. The leak occurred last week just outside Nefteyugansk, a major oil town near the Ob river in the Khanty-Mansiysk region of Siberia, and quickly contaminated several hectares of water in the area, which has been suffering from flooding. The leak had been stopped as of Monday, the watchdog said.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil announces massive reforestation and renewable energy plan with US

Guardian Environment News - 3 hours 24 min ago

President Dilma Rousseff pledged to restore 12m hectares of deforested land and increase renewable energy use by 2030 as part of climate partnership with US

Barack Obama and Dilma Rousseff put climate change at the top of their agenda at their bilateral meeting on Tuesday, with the US and Brazil agreeing to obtain up to 20% of their electricity from renewable power by 2030.

Brazil also committed to restoring up to 12m hectares of forest – an area about the size of England or Pennsylvania – in another attempt to reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change.

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Categories: Environment

The European circular economy package – what the experts think

Guardian Environment News - 3 hours 48 min ago

The European commission put bold plans to scrap waste on hold last year, but is preparing to present a new and improved proposal

In December last year, the European commission stepped back from its circular economy package, which had included a ban on sending recyclable materials to landfill by 2025 and a target for EU states to recycle 70% of municipal waste by 2030.

While Friends of the Earth condemned the commission’s decision, it was an outcome that the lobby group BusinessEurope had hoped for, arguing that the package would inhibit the competitiveness of European businesses.

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Categories: Environment

China makes carbon pledge ahead of Paris climate change summit

Guardian Environment News - 6 hours 14 min ago

China submits carbon-curbing plan to UN ahead of Paris climate change summit, saying it will ‘work hard’ to peak emissions earlier than 2030 target

China will aim to cut its greenhouse gas emissions per unit of gross domestic product by 60-65% from 2005 levels under a plan submitted to the United Nations ahead of crucial climate change talks in Paris later this year.

The pledge has been eagerly awaited as the country is the world’s largest carbon emitter.

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Categories: Environment

London Greens prepare to rise to challenge of 2016 mayoral race

Guardian Environment News - 8 hours 8 min ago

With high expectations from the 2012 mayoral election and experienced London Assembly members standing down, the Green Party in the capital needs to choose its candidates for 2016 well

The Green Party’s candidate for next year’s mayoral election will have good reasons for both high hopes and trepidation. On the one hand, London’s Greens now claim a surging membership of around 12,000 and will have gathered valuable experience from fighting the recent general election campaign. On the other, anything less than emulating the feat of Jenny Jones in 2012 by finishing third, just ahead of the Liberal Democrats, would surely be a disappointment.

The Greens took 5% of the London vote in last month’s national poll compared with 8% for the Lib Dems and Ukip alike. Given the distinctive character of London mayoral elections, this need not be a bad omen but it underlines the importance of having a persuasive candidate. There are five contenders so far.

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Categories: Environment

The UK must be at the centre of the fight to limit climate change

Guardian Environment News - 10 hours 42 min ago

If Britain fails to meet its own ambitions on climate change, we lose opportunities for increased food production, new jobs, and new growth areas

In November, representatives from 196 countries will meet in Paris to try to agree a deal to prevent dangerous increases in global temperatures.

Efforts to date aim to begin the “peaceful divorce” between greenhouse gas emissions and economic growth: no longer do the two need to go together. Last year was the first year where the world economy grew but greenhouse gas emissions did not. We wait to see if this is an indication of a broader trend or a blip.

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Categories: Environment

U.N. Brokers Global Effort To Rein In Greenhouse Gas Emissions

NPR News - Environment - 10 hours 43 min ago

Speeches by high-level representatives were an attempt to keep momentum going as the world moves toward a key summit in Paris this year, which may produce an agreement to control greenhouse gases.

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Categories: Environment

North York Moors mineral mine set to get go-ahead

Guardian Environment News - 12 hours 51 min ago

Promising to create over 1,000 jobs and pump £1bn-plus into the UK economy, the scheme has won over many locals but angered environmentalists

One of the biggest developments in a UK national park in living memory could get the go-ahead on Tuesday if councillors approve plans for a £1.7bn mineral mine under the North York Moors.

Following Lancashire council’s surprise decision to defy its own planners and legal advisers by rejecting fracking on Monday, the meeting in Whitby will be closely watched by those keen to see whether big resources projects can win over local officials.

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Categories: Environment

Monkey bites woman on ear in sneak attack near Pirates of the Caribbean set

Guardian Environment News - 12 hours 57 min ago

Hollywood blockbuster surrounded by further controversy after a makeup artist working on a nearby set attacked

A monkey thought to be from the Gold Coast set of Pirates of the Caribbean 5 has attacked a makeup artist working on the set of another movie.

The artist, a woman in her 50s, told paramedics she was in the sound stage of the Movie World theme park about midday on Tuesday when the monkey bit her on the ear.

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Categories: Environment

Government must explain removal of support for onshore wind, advisers say

Guardian Environment News - 14 hours 41 min ago

Lords Deben and Krebs say end of subsidies is political step by government, which must explain cost and what will be done instead to meet targets

The government must explain how its withdrawal of support from onshore windfarms will affect the cost of meeting greenhouse gas emissions targets, and urgently set out plans for alternative electricity generation, its statutory advisors on climate change have said.

One of the first policy announcements from the incoming Conservative government was that support for onshore windfarms would be withdrawn from 2016, and planning procedures put in place that will make it much harder for any new windfarms to be brought forward.

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Categories: Environment

Dramas great and small

Guardian Environment News - 15 hours 12 min ago
Claxton, Norfolk These deer of such sweet mien momentarily suggested nothing less than something sabre-toothed and predatory

Through the hedge on the path to the marsh I could hear their commotion. Sharp-tipped hooves stabbing the ground and then a telltale blur of orange flanks that revealed them as Chinese water deer. Males squared up in combat.

As my binoculars dialled into crisp detail, they answered a long-standing mystery. For years I’ve found handfuls of loose deer hair strewn on the ground, but was always puzzled why it was shed in that fashion. Here was the answer.

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Categories: Environment

Queensland minister says green groups forced radical shift on Great Barrier Reef

Guardian Environment News - 17 hours 21 min ago

Steven Miles welcomes being ‘held to account’ after his federal counterpart Greg Hunt accused environmental groups of waging a ‘deceptive campaign’

Government moves to protect the Great Barrier Reef would not have occurred but for green groups “holding governments to account”, Queensland’s environment minister, Steven Miles, says.

The federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, has accused environment groups of exaggerating threats to the reef, citing Greenpeace for waging a “deceptive campaign” to have it declared “in danger” by the UN.

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef table coral provides vital shade for passing fish – video

Guardian Environment News - 17 hours 51 min ago
Scientists are calling for greater protection of Great Barrier Reef table corals, which offer protection from the sun's rays to groups of fish. The researchers at James Cook University found that depletion of such large corals forces fish to leave their ecosystems Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

U.N. Holds Climate Talks In New York Ahead Of Paris Meeting

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2015/06/29 - 2:41pm

The United Nations is having a high-level climate meeting ahead of the end-of-year meeting in Paris that will hopefully result in a major new agreement to rein in greenhouse gases.

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Categories: Environment

Supreme Court Rules In Industry's Favor. What's EPA's Next Move?

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2015/06/29 - 2:25pm

Monday's decision from the high court technically only applies to the Clean Air Act's standards on mercury emissions from power plants. But it could affect future EPA regulations, legal experts say.

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Categories: Environment

How to eat healthy and save the planet

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2015/06/29 - 11:35am

As dieticians increasingly focus on the environment, they’re finding that what’s better for the earth is usually also better for the body

Dieticians and food companies are awaiting the US Department of Agriculture’s highly anticipated new dietary guidelines by the end of this year with one key question in mind: will they include environmental considerations?

The USDA updates its guidelines on what’s healthy for Americans to eat and what’s not every five years. This year, for the first time, the USDA’s advisory panel recommended that those guidelines should also include sustainability. The government agency is being asked to factor in whether or not a food is good for the planet when deciding whether its healthy.

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Categories: Environment

US supreme court strikes down Obama's EPA limits on mercury pollution

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2015/06/29 - 11:09am

Justices invalidate new rules in move that could make Environmental Protection Agency more vulnerable to challenges to new regulations on carbon emissions

The US supreme court struck down new rules for America’s biggest air polluters on Monday, dealing a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to set limits on the amount of mercury, arsenic and other toxins coal-fired power plants can spew into the air, lakes and rivers.

The 5-4 decision was a major setback to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and could leave the agency more vulnerable to legal challenges to its other new carbon pollution rules, from industries and Republican-led states.

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Categories: Environment

Babblers speak to the origin of language

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2015/06/29 - 11:00am

Australian babblers are capable of phoneme structuring, the first time this has been demonstrated in any non-human animal

“Holy shit, man!”

Andy Russell had entered the lecture hall late and stood at the back, listening to the close of a talk by Marta Manser, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Zurich who works on animal communication.

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Categories: Environment
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