Environment

President Trump And Allies Push To Save A Very Specific Coal Plant

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/02/12 - 2:59pm

President Trump and other Republicans are pressuring the Tennessee Valley Authority not to close a coal plant in Kentucky. A major Trump backer supplies the plant with most of its coal.

(Image credit: Dylan Lovan/AP)

Categories: Environment

Ogoni widows testify at The Hague over Shell's alleged complicity in killings

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/12 - 12:34pm

Four Nigerian women bring landmark case over state executions of nine activists in a military court

Four Nigerian women at the centre of a long-running legal battle against oil giant Royal Dutch Shell saw their historic case reach the Hague on Tuesday.

The company is accused of complicity in the state execution of nine Ogoni protesters and human right abuses dating back to 1993. The allegations concern the 1990s violent government crackdown in Ogoniland, in the oil-rich Niger delta region, where oil spills inflicted environmental damage on a huge scale.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil environment minister's dismissal of slain Amazon defender stirs outrage

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/12 - 12:09pm

Ricardo Salles’ comments fuel criticism of administration’s stance, which environmentalists say is excessively pro-business

Brazilian environmental groups have blasted Jair Bolsonaro’s environment minister after he dismissed the murdered Amazon rain forest defender Chico Mendes as “irrelevant”.

Related: Climate change a 'secondary' issue, says Brazil's environment minister

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Categories: Environment

Fracking firm Cuadrilla loses planning appeal for second UK site

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/12 - 12:08pm

Communities secretary James Brokenshire cited traffic issues in rejecting plans for four wells

Campaigners have welcomed the government’s decision to reject a planning appeal by shale gas firm Cuadrilla to frack at a second site in Lancashire, capping a week of bad news for the industry.

James Brokenshire, the communities secretary, said he was turning down the appeal for planning permission to develop four fracking wells in the Fylde area because of traffic concerns.

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Categories: Environment

Australia won’t meet the Paris targets despite what recent research claims | Bill Hare

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/12 - 10:00am

There’s no way we’ll achieve the targets five years early without major policy changes, which are unlikely under the current government

The Australian National University has been making headlines for its analysis that, with the current rate of renewable energy growth, Australia will achieve its Paris agreement targets five years early – by 2025. Unfortunately, after a careful review, we find their analysis doesn’t stack up.

The ANU briefing note has surprised, if not shocked, many in the expert and analytical community with detailed knowledge of Australia’s climate and energy policy.

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Categories: Environment

After six years of drought, Mount Isa residents prayed for rain. Then it flooded

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/12 - 10:00am

For graziers who sweated to keep their herds alive, praying for rain, the scale of the flood is hard to take

Satellite images before and after the floods reveal devastation

Out the back of Mount Isa, in late January, the locals marked a wry milestone.

For an unbroken stretch of 43 stinking afternoons, the temperature at Cloncurry and Camooweal had topped 40C. The herds of cattle in Queensland’s north-west, the ones that had survived through six years of drought, started to show signs of severe heat stress. They became thinner, weaker.

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Categories: Environment

Harrison Ford: leaders who deny climate change are 'on the wrong side of history'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/12 - 7:23am

Actor attacked Trump and other leaders at World Government Summit for denying science to justify not facing the ‘moral crisis’

Harrison Ford has launched a scorching attack on Donald Trump and other world leaders, for denying science in order to justify doing nothing to face the “moral crisis” of climate change.

Related: European colonization of Americas killed so many it cooled Earth's climate

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Categories: Environment

Solar energy sector lost 8,000 jobs in US last year, but future looks bright – report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/02/12 - 3:00am

Despite second consecutive year of declines, report concludes the long-term outlook for solar energy production is positive

The solar energy sector lost 8,000 jobs in the US last year, the second consecutive year of declines, hit by uncertainty over the Trump administration’s energy and trade policies and a 30% tariff on imported solar panels, according to a report released on Tuesday.

But according to the Solar Foundation the future is still bright for solar. Despite the two-year dip, solar employment has grown 159%, from just over 93,000 to more than 242,000 jobs in all 50 states over the past nine years and the report concludes the long-term outlook for solar energy production is positive.

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Categories: Environment

Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/02/11 - 9:55am

High hopes for Hornsea One as developer says its output could fill the gap left by nuclear

An offshore windfarm on the Yorkshire coast that will dwarf the world’s largest when completed is to supply its first power to the UK electricity grid this week.

The Danish developer Ørsted, which will be installing the first of 174 turbines at Hornsea One, said it was ready to step up its plans and fill the gap left by failed nuclear power schemes.

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Categories: Environment

Critics attack secrecy at UN body seeking to cut global airline emissions

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/02/11 - 9:41am

Body in charge of cutting aviation’s carbon footprint meets behind closed doors

A UN body tasked with cutting global aircraft emissions is covertly meeting this week for discussions dominated by airline industry observers.

The environment committee of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) meets on Monday in Montreal behind closed doors to discuss measures to reduce emissions from international aircraft. Domestic and international flights emitted 895m tonnes of CO2 last year – 2.4% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, according to Carbon Brief. In terms of emissions, if aviation were a country it would be the sixth largest in the world.

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Categories: Environment

The Green New Deal offers radical environmental and economic change | Ann Pettifor

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/02/11 - 5:55am

The proposal is incredibly ambitious, both on climate change and with its reimagining of society

The revival of the Green New Deal framework (first developed in a report published in 2008) and popularized by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Justice Democrats in the US, is a huge advance for green campaigners and, hopefully, for our threatened species. That is because it has a single radical ask: an ecological and economic transformation of the current system to end our addiction to fossil fuels and endless consumption of the earth’s finite assets.

Related: What is the Green New Deal and how would it benefit society?

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Categories: Environment

What is the Green New Deal and how would it benefit society?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/02/11 - 5:43am

Republicans call it a ‘social manifesto’, environmental groups hail it, and some say it doesn’t go far enough

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, along with dozens of co-sponsors, have introduced a vision for the Green New Deal. One Republican called it a “socialist manifesto”. Many environmental advocacy groups have hailed it, but some say it doesn’t go far enough. Others warn that its broad scope and the long list of progressive social programs it endorses could hinder its climate efforts.

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Categories: Environment

Russian islands declare emergency after mass invasion of polar bears

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/02/11 - 4:04am

Experts deployed to remove dozens of hungry bears besieging Novaya Zemlya

Analysis: what the polar bears reveal about the climate crisis

Russian environmental authorities have deployed a team of specialists to a remote Arctic region to sedate and remove dozens of hungry polar bears that have besieged the people living there.

The move came after officials in the Novaya Zemlya archipelago, with a population of about 3,000 people, appealed for help.

“There’s never been such a mass invasion of polar bears,” said Zhigansha Musin, the head of the local administration. “They have literally been chasing people.”

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Categories: Environment

Bourke cotton farmers to challenge water laws they are accused of breaching

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/02/11 - 1:09am

Trial of Peter and Jane Harris, accused of illegal pumping from Barwon-Darling river, set to become a test of NSW regime

A landmark trial of prominent Bourke cotton farmers accused of illegal pumping from the Barwon-Darling when the river was low is set to become a test of the robustness of New South Wales’s water laws.

Michael Elliott SC foreshadowed in the NSW Land and Environment Court today that the defendants, Peter and Jane Harris, would challenge every aspect of the state’s water laws they are accused of breaching, including the accuracy of the government’s water gauges and administrative procedures followed.

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Categories: Environment

Hunter Valley coalmine ruling buoys other anti-mine campaigners

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/02/11 - 12:17am

Bylong Valley residents hope Rocky Hill decision will sway state commission to reject proposed open-cut mine

Activists and residents fighting against a proposed coalmine in central New South Wales are hoping last week’s historic judgment in the Rocky Hill case will sway the state’s Independent Planning Commission to reject the project.

The NSW land and environment court ruled last week Gloucester Resources’ Rocky Hill coalmine in the state’s Hunter Valley should not go ahead, in part because of its social impact on the town of Gloucester and because a new coalmine was not compatible with Australia’s commitments under the Paris agreement.

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Categories: Environment

The barefoot engineers of Malawi – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/02/11 - 12:00am

Eight women from rural Malawi travelled to India to train as solar engineers. Now they are lighting the way for their communities, in a country where just 10% of households are powered by electricity

Photographs by Peter Caton/VSO

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Categories: Environment

The win to stop the Rocky Hill coalmine happened in the right place and just in time | Elaine Johnson

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/02/10 - 7:51pm

The reasons the mine was rejected have made international news. So how did we get here?

On Friday, as Tasmanian forests continued to burn, Queensland faced unprecedented floods, and New South Wales remained in drought, a crowd quietly gathered in a Sydney court room.

Nervous excitement filled the room as it overflowed with people eager to hear the outcome of our client’s case. Tears began to flow as the court delivered its verdict – the Rocky Hill coalmine planned for the beautiful Gloucester Valley was refused.

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Categories: Environment

Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/02/10 - 11:00am

Exclusive: Insects could vanish within a century at current rate of decline, says global review

The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.

More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered, the analysis found. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century.

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Categories: Environment

How To Get Meat Eaters To Eat More Plant-Based Foods? Make Their Mouths Water

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2019/02/10 - 5:00am

Vegetable-based dishes may be better for the Earth but don't always sound seductive on menus. Marketers, researchers and food chains think they know how to get meat lovers to make the swap more often.

(Image credit: Westend61/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Coalition warned its energy 'big stick' could scare away genuine investors

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/02/10 - 3:00am

‘Cool heads’ not ‘politicking’ needed to bolster Australia’s electricity network, Grattan Institute says

“Cool-headed policy” not “panic and politicking” is the answer to Australia’s future energy issues, a new report has found.

But government underwriting of new power-generation investment – a key Coalition energy policy – could hinder, not help the bid to bolster network reliability, the researchers warned, by scaring away “genuine potential investors”.

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Categories: Environment
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