Environment

The week in wildlife - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2016/11/25 - 7:01am

A newborn Sitatunga calf and an orange-bellied parrot are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Why melting Arctic ice can cause uncontrollable climate change – video report

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2016/11/25 - 7:00am

Arctic scientists have reported that the speed at which the northern ice cap is melting risks triggering 19 climate tipping points, with disastrous consequences. It could also affect ecosystems elsewhere on Earth, perhaps irreversibly. The Arctic Resilience Report says it is crucial to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

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Government commits £15m to natural flood management

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2016/11/25 - 5:45am

Natural management is ‘vital’ as well as other flood defences says environment secretary, reports The Ends Report

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will spend £15m on natural flood management projects, the environment secretary has announced.

On Thursday, Andrea Leadsom confirmed to parliament that, although flood defences such as concrete barriers are “very important”, natural flood management is “vital” as well.

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Categories: Environment

Black Friday May Start Looking A Little Greener With These Alternatives

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2016/11/25 - 5:42am

People often reflect on what they're grateful for on Thanksgiving, but then go crazy for Black Friday deals in stores and online. But for some people a family hike is better than a store's deal.

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Business secretary says electric vehicles at heart of industrial strategy

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2016/11/25 - 5:23am

Greg Clark signals post-Brexit policy as Jaguar Land Rover confirms it plans to create 10,000 jobs in the UK

Greg Clark, the business, energy and industrial strategy secretary, has said making Britain a world-leading hub for next-generation electric vehicles will be at the heart of the government’s new industrial strategy, providing one of the clearest indications yet of the sectors it wants to focus on in a post-Brexit economy.

Clark said the automotive sector, particularly electric vehicles, driverless cars and battery storage, will be a “emblematic area of focus” and is going to be “one of the big features of the world and Britain’s industrial policy during the weeks, months and years ahead”.

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Harland and Wolff wins East Anglia One offshore windfarm contract

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2016/11/25 - 4:41am

Belfast shipyard that built the Titanic safeguards 200 jobs with order for 65-metre high steel foundation jackets

The Belfast shipyard that built the Titanic has won a contract believed to be worth £20m to expand a huge windfarm off the East Anglian coast.

Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries Ltd has secured the manufacturing of 60 steel foundation jackets for the East Anglia One offshore windfarm, which will safeguard 200 jobs.

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Categories: Environment

Who Invented Agriculture First? It Sure Wasn't Humans

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2016/11/25 - 4:00am

Ants in Fiji farm plants and fertilize them with their poop. And they've been doing this for 3 million years, much longer than humans, who began experimenting with farming about 12,000 years ago.

Categories: Environment

Is this the beginning of the end for coal?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2016/11/25 - 3:52am

Canada has joined a growing list of countries phasing out the most polluting fossil fuel and global demand has fallen. Is this the start of a low-carbon energy era or just a blip in coal’s dominance?

This week Canada joined the growing list of major developed countries saying they will phase out coal power.

The announcement comes against the backdrop of global demand for coal falling last year for the first time in nearly two decades, a development that could presage a new era of lower-carbon energy generation – or merely a blip in the long-term dominance of the highly polluting fuel.

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Heathrow third runway 'may break government's climate change laws'

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2016/11/25 - 2:56am

Airport expansion plans may breach climate change legislation if other sectors do not make big cuts to emissions, warns Committee on Climate Change

Plans to build a third runway at Heathrow may breach the government’s own climate change legislation if other sectors do not make big cuts to emissions, an independent advisory body has warned.

The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said it had “concerns” over how the Department for Transport (DfT) had presented its case for expanding the hub in relation to greenhouse gas emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Government accused of 'dirty tricks' over controversial fracking report

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 11:01pm

Ministers deliberately delayed a report showing fracking could affect house prices, health and the environment until after a crucial planning decision, documents reveal

Ministers deliberately delayed a controversial fracking report it was being forced to publish until after crucial council decisions on planning permission, according to newly revealed documents.

The documents also show ministers acknowledged they were open to a charge of double standards, having granted local communities the final say over windfarm applications but overruling fracking decisions.

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Categories: Environment

Berries festoon the quarry reserve

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 10:30pm

Ketton Quarry, Rutland Withered stems of white bryony lash together clumps of little red globes hanging in garlands, and hedges blush with hawthorn berries

The incoming polar air mass and clear night sky produces this year’s heaviest frost. Water crystallises into bristly masses on every surface. The blazing morning sun rapidly scorches most of it away, but in the deepest still hollows of Ketton quarry the thick, white, dusting endures into the afternoon.

Related: Birds and berries: A fertile feast

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Environmental challenge to Carmichael coalmine dismissed by supreme court

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 10:12pm

Queensland Resources Council chief executive welcomes decision and tells activists to get out of Adani’s way

Adani’s Carmichael coalmine has passed its latest legal hurdle – the Queensland supreme court has dismissed a challenge against grants of a mining lease and environmental authority for the $21m project in the state’s Galilee Basin.

Environmental groups had challenged the move on legal grounds, saying the Queensland government had erred in granting the approvals for the Indian mining group’s huge project.

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Arctic ice melt could trigger uncontrollable climate change at global level

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 10:01pm

Scientists warn increasingly rapid melting could trigger polar ‘tipping points’ with catastrophic consequences felt as far away as the Indian Ocean

Arctic scientists have warned that the increasingly rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 “tipping points” in the region that could have catastrophic consequences around the globe.

The Arctic Resilience Report found that the effects of Arctic warming could be felt as far away as the Indian Ocean, in a stark warning that changes in the region could cause uncontrollable climate change at a global level.

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Minister defends coal industry after call to ban new mines to save reef

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 8:34pm

Josh Frydenberg says coal ‘vitally important’ after former Great Barrier Reef official calls said its future depended on an end to mining

Josh Frydenberg has defended Australia’s coal industry as “vitally important” days after a former Great Barrier Reef authority chief called for a ban on new mines.

Speaking after a forum on the reef with state and territory ministers in Sydney on Friday, the federal environment minister said other countries would simply “fill the void” if Australia did not export coal.

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Categories: Environment

Queensland to ban plastic shopping bags from 2018

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 7:04pm

Opposition leader had earlier pledged to phase out the bags from shopping centres if LNP elected at next state poll

The Queensland government plans to ban single-use plastic bags from 2018 but the public will have its say first.

On Friday the environment minister, Steven Miles, released a public discussion paper on the ban of lightweight single-use plastic shopping bags.

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Dakota Access Pipeline Protests Continue On Thanksgiving Day

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 2:29pm

Opponents of a 1,200-mile oil pipeline from North Dakota are marking this Thanksgiving Day at the site of a planned river crossing near Lake Oahe. Protesters say the pipeline could damage local drinking water sources and Native American heritage sites. The pipeline's developers say the project will have big economic benefits.

Categories: Environment

Clean Energy Analyst: Renewables Are 'Here To Stay' Under Trump Presidency

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 2:29pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks to Amy Myers Jaffe, executive director of energy and sustainability at the University of California, Davis, about the future of renewable energy under the Trump administration.

Categories: Environment

Hottest year ever – but no mention of climate change by Hammond | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 11:56am

It is staggering that in 2016, the hottest year on record, the chancellor can present a budget that has no mention of climate change (Report, 24 November). Indeed, most policies and spending plans are heading in the wrong direction. We have more money for new roads and fracking keeps its subsidy, but cuts to the local authorities who subsidise bus services. 

The freeze on fuel duty is another backward step and shows that the government cares nothing about climate change, air pollution or public health. Last year saw a record number of vehicles on our roads, especially in rural areas where bus services have been decimated. The government could bring us healthier air and less congestion by raising fuel duty and using the money to reverse the devastating cuts to buses. We need to give people the choice of travelling by public transport, walking and cycling, but that can only happen if we make the polluter pay and use the money raised to invest in things that are good for our health and our environment.
Jenny Jones
Green party, House of Lords

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Hurricane Otto: Costa Rica and Nicaragua evacuate as storm grows

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 11:21am

Hurricane makes landfall on Nicaraguan coast just north of border with Costa Rica

Hurricane Otto strengthened to a category two storm as it made landfall on the sparsely populated Caribbean border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica as an unusually strong late-season event.

The US National Hurricane Center said Otto hit land near the town of San Juan de Nicaragua with winds of 110 mph around midday local time.

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Categories: Environment

Greece among best performers in emission reductions | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/11/24 - 10:46am

The claim that Greece may receive an unfair exemption to increase lignite use (Report, 3 November, theguardian.com) is not justified – it is based on misinterpretations:

1) Greece is not trying to “revive its lignite-based model”. In fact, retirements of fossil fuel plants in 2014-23 amount to 4,095MW, including 2,671MW of lignite capacity.

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