Environment

How renewable energy could power Britain's economic recovery

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 4:13am

Harnessing power from sun, wind and sea could spur UK’s post-pandemic economy while tackling climate crisis, say experts

In the first months of 2020 Britain relied on renewable energy like never before. The power generated by clean energy projects eclipsed fossil fuels for the first time ever, making up almost half the electricity used to keep the lights on.

As the UK emerges from the financial maelstrom of the coronavirus pandemic, analysts, economists and environmentalists argue that the renewable energy industry could – and should – play a greater role, powering a green economic recovery too.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Are There Zombie Viruses — Like The 1918 Flu — Thawing In The Permafrost?

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 3:57am

As if the pandemic weren't enough, people are wondering whether climate change will cause pathogens buried in frozen ground to come back to life as the Arctic warms. How worried should we be?

(Image credit: Varham Muradyan for NPR)

Categories: Environment

‘I'm not a quitter’: lobstermen turn to kelp farming in the face of climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/05/18 - 10:00pm

Climate breakdown is causing the Gulf of Maine to heat up and that effect – in addition to the pandemic – is being felt across the lobster industry

Rocky shorelines and weathered saltbox homes dot the landscape of South Thomaston on the coast of Maine. Lobster traps take up frontyard real estate and lobster shacks, still shuttered for the season, are common sightings. Back from a day of scalloping, lobsterman Bob Baines has docked his boat, the FV Thrasher, at the Spruce Head Fishermans Co-op. His sternman, David McLellan, clad in waterproof overalls like Baines, shucks the last few hauls, tossing the meats into a bucket and the shells overboard.

It’s the last week of scallop season, but there is a new venture on the horizon. Baines, 64, steers the Thrasher back out toward Hewett Island on Penobscot Bay to check on the underwater kelp farm that he “planted” in December. It’s a willowy structure made up of moorings, buoys and ropes that hovers 7ft underwater and spans 1,000ft wide, like a monster cat’s cradle.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Angus Taylor says it is not Australian government policy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/05/18 - 7:30pm

Energy minister says Coalition’s approach is ‘not to have a target without a plan’ to achieve it

Angus Taylor says it is not Australia’s policy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, despite signing up to the Paris agreement, because the Morrison government will not adopt a mid-century target in advance of a plan to achieve it.

The energy minister said on Tuesday that signatories to the Paris agreement, including Australia, had agreed to hit net zero “in the second half of the century”. But scientists say in order to meet the central Paris goal of keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5C – a commitment Australia adopted in 2015 – signatories need to hit net zero by 2050.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Renewable energy investors increasingly look to UK, says report

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/05/18 - 4:01pm

Decision to lift blocks on wind and solar projects has boosted ‘attractiveness’ ranking

The UK has become more attractive to renewable energy investors following the government’s decision to lift its block on financial support for onshore wind and solar projects.

Related: New renewable energy capacity hit record levels in 2019

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Weatherwatch: Covid-19 lockdown boosts UK solar power

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/05/18 - 1:30pm

Fall in air pollution and abundant sunshine resulting in bumper output

The disappearance of aeroplane contrails and a reduction in air pollution has allowed much stronger sunlight to reach the ground and resulted in bumper production of solar power.

Falling demand due to the Covid-19 lockdown and the increase in renewable energy means that EDF, the owner of the Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk, is being paid millions of pounds to run it at 50% capacity to avoid blackouts from oversupply.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Coalition reveals new emissions reduction measures, including paying polluters to stay under cap

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/05/18 - 10:30am

Morrison government also plans to allow businesses to bid for carbon capture projects via the $2.55bn emissions reduction fund

The Morrison government has promised new measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including introducing an incentive scheme to allow big industrial polluters to earn revenue by emitting less than an agreed limit.

It also plans to allow businesses to bid for funding from its main climate policy, the $2.55bn emissions reduction fund, for projects that capture emissions and either use them or store them underground.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Legal case launched over UK's 'outdated' energy policies

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/05/18 - 9:51am

Climate campaigners issued proceedings for review of rules supporting fossil fuel projects

The government faces a legal challenge over a set of “outdated” energy policies which are being used to approve fossil fuel projects even after it vowed to end Britain’s contribution to the climate crisis.

Climate campaigners issued proceedings for a judicial review of the energy planning policies on Monday after officials refused to overhaul the rules, which could be used to support major fossil fuel power plants, open cast mines or fracking.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

‘In crisis’ Natural England granted £15m additional funding

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/05/18 - 8:10am

One-off rise not enough to counteract harm caused by budget cuts of £180m since 2009, say critics

The government has allocated £15m in additional funding to Natural England for this financial year after a decade of cuts that have left England’s wildlife agency “in crisis”.

Natural England’s chairman, Tony Juniper, said the funding marked a “significant change of trend” in the financing of the government body, which has seen its budget slashed by £180m since 2008.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Dust bowl conditions of 1930s US now more than twice as likely to reoccur

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/05/18 - 8:00am

Climate breakdown means conditions that wrought devastation across Great Plains could return to region

The agricultural conditions known as a “dust bowl”, which helped propel mass migration among drought-stricken farmers in the US during the great depression of the 1930s, are now more than twice as likely to reoccur in the region, because of climate breakdown, new research has found.

Dust bowl conditions in the 1930s wrought devastation across the US agricultural heartlands of the Great Plains, which run through the middle of the continental US stretching from Montana to Texas. The conditions are caused by a combination of heatwaves, drought and farming practices, replacing the native prairie vegetation.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Anti-Adani coalmine activists target insurance broker with virtual protest

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/05/17 - 10:55pm

Marsh, understood to be working on the Carmichael project, is being hit with online campaign amid coronavirus

Anti-Adani activists will bombard the world’s largest insurance broker with calls, emails and social media messages in a virtual protest on Tuesday ahead of its annual general meeting in New York.

Campaigners have already managed to speak directly with Marsh executives, who are understood to be considering a new climate policy at this week’s meeting. The company is understood to be working for Adani to find insurance policies for the Carmichael mine.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Is the Covid-19 crisis the catalyst for greening the world's airlines?

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/05/17 - 7:26am

Aviation is struggling and seeking support, but there are demands for it to give something in return

“The political moment is now” to address the climate risks posed by the aviation industry, analysts, insiders and campaigners say, as governments across the world weigh up bailouts for airlines grounded by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rescue packages need to come with green strings, such as reduced carbon footprints and frequent flyer levies, they warn, or the sector will return to the path that has made it the fastest rising source of climate-wrecking carbon emissions over the past decade.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Labour to plan green economic rescue from coronavirus crisis

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/05/17 - 7:00am

Exclusive: Ed Miliband calls for creation of ‘zero-carbon army’ for eco-friendly industries

Labour is drawing up ambitious proposals to rescue the post-coronavirus economy with a radical green recovery plan focused on helping young people who lose their jobs by retraining them in green industries.

Seeking to seize the initiative on the country’s future direction once the pandemic abates, Ed Miliband, the shadow business secretary, has called for the plans to include creating a “zero-carbon army of young people” doing work such as planting trees, insulating buildings and working on green technologies.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

BP chief says Covid has deepened commitment to net-zero emissions

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/05/17 - 5:55am

Pandemic only adds to the challenge that already exists for oil, says Bernard Looney

BP’s new chief executive said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has deepened his commitment to shrinking the oil giant’s carbon footprint to zero.

Bernard Looney, who took the helm of the oil firm in February, said he was “more convinced than ever” that BP must embrace the energy transition following the collapse of global oil markets.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Coal industry will never recover after coronavirus pandemic, say experts

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/05/17 - 3:01am

Crisis has proved renewable energy is now a safer investment, and accelerated the shift

The global coal industry will “never recover” from the Covid-19 pandemic, industry observers predict, because the crisis has proved renewable energy is cheaper for consumers and a safer bet for investors.

A long-term shift away from dirty fossil fuels has accelerated during the lockdown, bringing forward power plant closures in several countries and providing new evidence that humanity’s coal use may finally have peaked after more than 200 years.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The end of plastic? New plant-based bottles will degrade in a year

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/05/16 - 5:05am

Carlsberg and Coca-Cola back pioneering project to make ‘all-plant’ drinks bottles

Beer and soft drinks could soon be sipped from “all-plant” bottles under new plans to turn sustainably grown crops into plastic in partnership with major beverage makers.

A biochemicals company in the Netherlands hopes to kickstart investment in a pioneering project that hopes to make plastics from plant sugars rather than fossil fuels.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Wild white storks hatch in UK for first time in hundreds of years

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/05/16 - 3:29am

Birds born in one of three nests at Knepp estate in West Sussex as part of breeding project

White stork chicks have hatched in the wild in the UK for the first time in centuries.

Eggs in one of three nests at the Knepp estate in West Sussex have hatched, the White Stork Project announced.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Inside the orangutan forest school where the first lesson is survival

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/05/16 - 12:15am

Orphaned apes in the rainforest of Indonesian Borneo are taught all the skills they need in preparation for their eventual return to the wild

They were the lucky ones: Robin, Amalia, Eska; three orphaned orangutans unrelated but by circumstance, rescued from a private zoo in the East Kalimantan province of Indonesian Borneo in early 2017.

A wealthy businessman had amassed an extensive collection of animals – sun bears, gibbons, reptiles, birds of prey – then run into trouble. When staff from the local orangutan rescue centre, Jejak Pulang, arrived on site, the zoo was already being dismantled, with animals boxed up for transit to uncertain fates.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

How urban planners' preference for male trees has made your hay fever worse

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/05/16 - 12:00am

Horticulturists urge better sex mix of city trees to mitigate rising asthma and CO2 pollution levels

Eight years ago Tom Ogren, a horticulturist, was in Sacramento, California, when he noticed that the ground around the State Capitol building was covered in thick yellow pollen.

Scanning the trees along the street with his binoculars, he saw the trees were all deodar cedars (Cedrus deodara) and all cultivated males.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Lockdown-breakers dispersed from Scotland's hotspot, Loch Lomond

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/05/15 - 10:00pm

Police dealt with nearly 190 people at beauty spot, less than an hour’s drive from Glasgow, in one day

Politicians and police have urged the public to stay away from Loch Lomond after it emerged thousands of people had breached the lockdown around the beauty spot in recent weeks.

Police data shows the district which includes the villages of Balloch and Luss on the banks of the loch had the highest number of lockdown breaches of any in Scotland, with police ordering 2,291 people to go home in just 30 days.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment
Syndicate content