Experts Say U.S. Power Grid Needs To Change Before Shifting To All Renewable Energy

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/07/08 - 1:45pm

More cities, states, and even utilities are pledging to shift to all renewable energy. But experts say the nation's power grid needs a lot of changes to make that happen.

Categories: Environment

Weatherwatch: heatwaves test limits of nuclear power

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/07/08 - 1:30pm

Global heating is threatening supplies of water needed in large volumes to cool reactors

Enthusiasts describe nuclear power as an essential tool to combat the climate emergency because, unlike renewables, it is a reliable source of base load power.

This is a spurious claim because power stations are uniquely vulnerable to global heating. They need large quantities of cooling water to function, however the increasing number of heatwaves are threatening this supply.

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Categories: Environment

Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez move to declare climate crisis official emergency

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/07/08 - 12:57pm

Exclusive: Democrats to introduce resolution in House on Tuesday in recognition of extreme threat from global heating

A group of US lawmakers including the 2020 Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders are proposing to declare the climate crisis an official emergency – a significant recognition of the threat taken after considerable pressure from environment groups.

Related: Donald Trump's five most dangerous attacks on the environment

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Categories: Environment

How A Grocery Store's Plan To Shame Customers Into Using Reusable Bags Backfired

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2019/07/08 - 12:41pm

A Canadian grocery store put embarrassing slogans, such as "Wart Ointment Wholesale" and "Into the Weird Adult Video Emporium," on plastic bags to get customers to use reusable shopping bags.

(Image credit: Courtesy of East West Market)

Categories: Environment

Australia's emissions reach the highest on record, driven by electricity sector

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/07/08 - 11:00am

Fugitive emissions from LNG are also fuelling rising national emissions, Ndevr Environmental figures show

Australia’s emissions are again the highest on record, driven this time by an increase in emissions from the electricity sector, which rose to their highest levels in two years, according to new figures.

Fugitive emissions from Australia’s LNG industry also continue to fuel rising national emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Donald Trump's five most dangerous attacks on the environment

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/07/08 - 9:30am

Trump’s administration has pursued cuts in environmental protections that are critical to the health of all Americans

Donald Trump is set to hail his administration’s “environmental leadership” on Monday in a speech in which he is expected to declare the US a world leader on the issue.

But since taking office two and a half years ago, the US president has been at the helm of an administration that has pursued numerous cuts in environmental protections and last year saw a rise in greenhouse gases of 3.4% – the biggest rise in emissions since 2010.

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Categories: Environment

Indoor carbon dioxide levels could be a health hazard, scientists warn

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/07/08 - 8:00am

CO2 in bedrooms and offices may affect cognition and cause kidney and bone problems

Indoor levels of carbon dioxide could be clouding our thinking and may even pose a wider danger to human health, researchers say.

While air pollutants such as tiny particles and nitrogen oxides have been the subject of much research, there have been far fewer studies looking into the health impact of CO2.

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Categories: Environment

BP solar firm blazes ahead in search for UK's shiniest grass

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/07/08 - 6:00am

Lightsource BP hopes ‘bi-facial’ panels will boost renewable energy at its solar farms

BP’s solar subsidiary is on the hunt for Britain’s shiniest grass to help make the most of new double-sided solar panels that can harness light reflected off the ground.

Lightsource BP hopes the “bi-facial” solar panels will boost the amount of renewable energy generated at its solar farms and could make them more economic in gloomier parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland.

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Categories: Environment

Ban government investment in fossil fuels, urges cross-party group of MPs

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/07/08 - 5:43am

UK aid projects ‘actively undermine’ efforts to tackle climate crisis, MPs and campaign groups warn

A cross-party group of MPs, backed by campaign groups, has called for an immediate ban on all investment in fossil fuels and for all UK aid to be “nature positive”.

The 28 MPs, led by Tory Zac Goldsmith and Labour’s Kerry McCarthy, with support from Amnesty International, WWF and other organisations, criticised the UK for “actively undermining” its own investment in tackling the climate emergency by continuing to fund fossil fuels through aid and export finance.

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Categories: Environment

Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/07/08 - 4:53am

New rightwing council fails to reverse policy of former mayor Manuela Carmena

Barely a week after Madrid’s rightwing council began rolling back the city’s low emissions zone, a judge has ruled that the traffic restrictions must be maintained.

As of Monday, drivers of non-exempt vehicles will once again be fined €90 if they enter the 1.8 sq mile zone in the centre of the Spanish capital.

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Categories: Environment

'Protesters as terrorists': growing number of states turn anti-pipeline activism into a crime

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/07/08 - 3:00am

Conservative lawmakers have put forward laws criminalizing protests in at least 18 states since 2017 that civil liberties advocates say are unconstitutional

From the Standing Rock camps in North Dakota to tree-sits in Texas, activists have attempted to stop pipeline construction with massive shows of civil disobedience. Now they could be forced to change those tactics, or face heavy penalties under a wave of new anti-protest laws that civil liberties advocates say violate the first amendment.

Conservative lawmakers have put forward laws criminalizing protests that disrupt the construction and operation of pipelines in at least 18 states since 2017.

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Categories: Environment

It's high time to create a World Carbon Bank | Kenneth Rogoff

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/07/08 - 2:56am

We could use a global carbon tax to give developing countries incentives to phase out coal

Although much derided by climate-change deniers, not least Donald Trump, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal hits the nail on the head with its urgent call for the US to lead by example on global warming. But the sad truth is that, for all the needless waste produced by Americans’ gluttonous culture, emerging Asia is by far the main driver of the world’s growing carbon dioxide emissions. No amount of handwringing will solve the problem. The way to do that is to establish the right incentives for countries such as China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

It is hard to see how to do this within the framework of existing multilateral aid institutions, which have limited expertise on climate issues and are pulled in different directions by their various constituencies. For example, to the dismay of many energy experts, the World Bank recently rather capriciously decided to stop funding virtually all new fossil-fuel plants, including natural gas. But replacing dirty coal plants with relatively clean natural gas is how the US has managed to reduce emissions growth dramatically over the past decade (despite Trump’s best efforts), and is a centrepiece of the famous “Princeton wedges” pragmatic options for minimising climate risk. One cannot let the perfect become the enemy of good in the transition to a carbon-neutral future.

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Categories: Environment

Channel 5's nonsense will make me and other cyclists less safe

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/07/07 - 11:00pm

Cyclists: Scourge of the Roads? isn’t just as bad as the title indicates – it’s irresponsible

On Wednesday morning, I’ll be a little bit more wary when I cycle into work. I’m always hugely careful, anyway – the trip involves sharing space with tonne-plus lumps of speeding metal – but this time I’ll be particularly on my guard. Why? Because Channel 5 are putting me, and others, at risk.

At 9.15pm on Tuesday, a reasonably sizeable number of people, the majority of whom probably drive motor vehicles, will sit down to watch what is undoubtedly the worst, most scaremongering, inaccurate, downright irresponsible programme on cycling I’ve ever seen.

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Categories: Environment

British Gas and SSE to purge petrol and diesel from fleets by 2030

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/07/07 - 4:01pm

Two of big six energy companies sign up to pledge organised by the Climate Group

Two of Britain’s biggest energy suppliers are accelerating the drive towards greener vehicles by pledging to replace their existing fleet of vans with all-electric models by 2030.

British Gas owner Centrica and SSE have committed to switch to electric cars and vans a decade ahead of the government’s ban on the sale of new combustion engine vehicles.

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Categories: Environment

UNESCO Adds 8 Frank Lloyd Wright Buildings To Its List Of World Heritage Sites

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2019/07/07 - 3:35pm

The Guggenheim Museum in New York and Fallingwater in Pennsylvania now belong to a list that includes Machu Picchu and the pyramids of Egypt.

(Image credit: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Fossil fuel exports make Australia one of the worst contributors to climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/07/07 - 11:00am

Australia looking to become an emissions superpower, the Australian Conservation Foundation says

Australia is responsible for 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions and could be contributing as much as 17% by 2030 if the pollution from its fossil fuel exports is factored in, research says.

Under climate accounting rules that record carbon dioxide released within a country, Australia is responsible for about 1.4% of global emissions. The analysis by science and policy institute Climate Analytics found more than twice that, another 3.6%, are a result of Australia’s coal, oil and gas exports.

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Categories: Environment

UK car industry future hinges 'not on Brexit, but on batteries'

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/07/07 - 8:00am

Jaguar Land Rover boss says UK needs batteries made in Britain - or carmakers will leave

The feeling of relief in the British car industry was almost palpable on Friday, when Jaguar Land Rover said it would invest billions in producing new electric vehicles in the UK. After the recent closure of two other UK automotive factories in five months – Honda in Swindon and Ford in Bridgend – JLR boss Ralf Speth was clearly pleased to have good news for the 2,500 workers at the Castle Bromwich plant.

Yet amid the congratulations, Speth also struck a note of warning. Not on Brexit this time, but on the future of the car sector in the absence of a British battery industry. “One thing is clear: if batteries go out of the UK, then also the automotive production will go out of the UK,” he said.

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Categories: Environment

To ensure a green future the UK cannot rely on free markets alone | Richard Partington

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/07/07 - 5:58am

The scale of the climate emergency requires nothing less than full government engagement

With just 11 years left to prevent irreversible damage caused by the climate emergency, there are still options to wean the world’s economy off its reliance on fossil fuels. However, anything less than putting Britain on a war footing will not be enough.

The government response so far has been timid. Theresa May introduced a net-zero carbon emissions target for 2050, but there are reasons why the Conservatives haven’t gone further: her party is hard-wired to fail. Clinging to a belief in the power of free markets, it neglects the fact that to decarbonise the economy greater investment from the state is required.

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Categories: Environment

One climate crisis disaster happening every week, UN warns

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2019/07/07 - 4:00am

Developing countries must prepare now for profound impact, disaster representative says

Climate crisis disasters are happening at the rate of one a week, though most draw little international attention and work is urgently needed to prepare developing countries for the profound impacts, the UN has warned.

Catastrophes such as cyclones Idai and Kenneth in Mozambique and the drought afflicting India make headlines around the world. But large numbers of “lower impact events” that are causing death, displacement and suffering are occurring much faster than predicted, said Mami Mizutori, the UN secretary-general’s special representative on disaster risk reduction. “This is not about the future, this is about today.”

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Categories: Environment

To Build Resilience, Puerto Rico Communities Embrace Grassroots Partnerships

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2019/07/06 - 2:30pm

Across Puerto Rico, communities have partnered with foundations and charities to become more resilient against future natural disasters.

Categories: Environment
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