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Paying coal and gas plants to supply back-up energy a ‘retrograde step’, Clean Energy Council says

Mon, 2022/06/27 - 3:15pm

‘It’s the wrong policy debate at the wrong time,’ industry says of capacity mechanism

Australia’s peak renewable industry groups say paying coal and gas plants to remain in the electricity market as back-up capacity would be “a retrograde step”, and a lengthy debate about changes could stall much-needed new investment.

Kane Thornton, the chief executive of the Clean Energy Council, said his organisation had “real concerns” about the proposal by the Energy Security Board for a so-called capacity mechanism to be introduced after 2025. Such a scheme would charge consumers for idle generation or supply to reduce risks of potential power shortages, as experienced across eastern Australia this month.

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Categories: Environment

Cyclone numbers have fallen since start of 20th century, study suggests

Mon, 2022/06/27 - 10:30am

Scientists warn that while total number of cyclones may be decreasing, global heating will see a higher proportion of more damaging storms

Global heating has coincided with fewer tropical cyclones forming each year around the globe compared with the second half of the 19th century, according to a new study.

The average annual number of cyclones fell by 13% across the 20th century, with steeper declines seen after 1950.

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Categories: Environment

Australia ‘ill-prepared’ for food insecurity driven by war and climate crisis, former defence leaders say

Mon, 2022/06/27 - 10:30am

Former military heads warn of risks to food supply ahead of report from Australian Security Leaders Climate Group

Australia is badly prepared for food insecurity fuelled by the climate crisis and war, former military leaders have warned.

A new report, to be released on Tuesday, describes Australia and the Asia-Pacific as a “disaster alley” for climate change, but says governments in Canberra have not properly planned for the impact of “cascading and compound events”.

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Categories: Environment

Return of the big beast: in search of Romania’s wild bison – in pictures

Sun, 2022/06/26 - 11:30pm

After becoming extinct in the wild, European bison were reintroduced to Poland in 1954 and Romania in 2012. Photographer Alexander Turner went in search of Europe’s largest land mammal with rangers from Foundation Conservation Carpathia

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Categories: Environment

Tanya Plibersek declares environment ‘is back front and centre’ in Australia at UN ocean conference

Sun, 2022/06/26 - 7:40pm

Environment minister receives enthusiastic welcome in Lisbon and flags five blue carbon projects to safeguard ocean health

Australia’s new environment minister, Tanya Plibersek, has received an enthusiastic welcome in Lisbon at the UN ocean conference after flagging five new blue carbon projects and declaring that “under the new Australian government, the environment is back – front and centre”.

Plibersek opened her contribution at the conference by telling delegates: “For those of you who don’t follow Australian politics very closely, we’ve just had an election, there’s a new government, the whole world has changed.”

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Categories: Environment

Blockade Australia protest: 11 activists arrested as car rams into protesters in Sydney CBD

Sun, 2022/06/26 - 6:41pm

Direct action group starts week of ‘disruption’ to ‘resist climate destruction’ as NSW police pledge crackdown

A woman who locked herself to the steering wheel of her car and blocked the harbour tunnel is one of 11 climate protesters arrested in Sydney.

The protesters were among a group of 50 to 60 activists who kicked off a week of disruption in Sydney with a march through the city centre on Monday.

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Categories: Environment

Harsher anti-protest laws targeting environmentalists are putting greed before green | Bob Brown

Sun, 2022/06/26 - 6:35pm

Penalties for peaceful action are now the same as for aggravated assault

Last Friday dozens of armed New South Wales police officers raided a camp near Sydney and arrested two environmentalists. One was Aunty Caroline Kirk, an Aboriginal elder. She was charged with “wilfully obstructing and intimidating police”.

“I can’t run, I can’t climb,” she said. “All I can do … is teach my culture. Why are they doing this?”

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Categories: Environment

Seville to name and classify heatwaves in effort to protect public

Sun, 2022/06/26 - 8:54am

Spanish city becomes first in the world to adopt measure as periods of hot weather become more frequent

The southern Spanish city of Seville is to become the first in the world to name and classify heatwaves – much in the way that tropical storms or hurricanes are named – in an effort to better shield residents as periods of excessively hot weather become more frequent.

The year-long pilot project in one of Spain’s hottest cities will classify heatwaves into three categories and named from a list that include Xenia and Wenceslao.

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Categories: Environment

Go wild in these countries: five exciting rewilding projects to visit

Sun, 2022/06/26 - 1:15am

From Montana’s prairies to Kazakhstan’s steppes, vast tracts of land are being enriched. Here’s how to witness those changes

Mozambique’s civil war (1977-1992) and the poaching connected to it decimated wildlife in Gorongosa national park. Since 2006, the Gorongosa restoration project has set out to bring back nature, starting with buffalo, wildebeest, eland, zebra and other animals being trucked in.

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Categories: Environment

Greta Thunberg makes surprise appearance at Glastonbury festival

Sat, 2022/06/25 - 11:01am

19-year-old activist warns world faces ‘total natural catastrophe’ unless citizens take urgent action

Greta Thunberg has warned that the world faces “total natural catastrophe” unless citizens take urgent action as she made a surprise appearance at Glastonbury festival.

The 19-year-old activist led chants of “climate … justice” after delivering a rousing speech from the Pyramid stage which painted an apocalyptic picture of the future of the planet.

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Categories: Environment

Thousands protest against G7 in Munich as leaders gather for summit

Sat, 2022/06/25 - 7:18am

Demands include end to fossil fuels, preservation of biodiversity and greater social justice

About 3,500 protesters have gathered in Munich as the G7 group of leading economic powers prepare to hold their annual gathering in the Bavarian Alps in Germany, which holds the rotating presidency this year.

Police said earlier that they were expecting a crowd of about 20,000, but initially fewer people showed up for the main protest, which started at midday on Saturday, the German news agency dpa reported.

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Categories: Environment

Officials rule out suspected foot and mouth case in Norfolk

Sat, 2022/06/25 - 4:25am

Control zone had been enforced around a pig farm near Feltwell after possible case reported

Officials have ruled out a suspected case of foot and mouth disease in Norfolk.

Movement restrictions and a temporary six-mile (10km) control zone for animals were enforced around a pig farm near Feltwell in west Norfolk, according to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

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Categories: Environment

Ready for takeoff: curlews from eggs rescued at airfields set for release

Sat, 2022/06/25 - 12:00am

Nearly 100 birds are being ‘headstarted’ to boost numbers as species vanishes from lowland England

An evocative peeping echoes across a large, sunny aviary. The distinctive call of the curlew comes from dozens of chicks, who strut through long grass squabbling over a much-prized worm.

The scruffy-looking chicks with the beautiful voices may be the best hope for the endangered species, whose numbers have halved in the past 25 years as it vanishes from lowland England.

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Categories: Environment

‘It keeps on going’: driving the world’s first production-ready solar car

Fri, 2022/06/24 - 11:00pm

Makers of the €250,000 Lightyear 0 hope to convince drivers it can be a viable climate-friendly alternative

Winding past the ochre-coloured plateaux of the Bardenas Reales natural park in northern Spain, Roel Grooten nudged me to take my foot off the accelerator.

The car continued to barrel down the open stretch of road, its speed dipping only slightly. “It keeps on going,” said Grooten, the lead engineer for the Dutch car company Lightyear, as we whizzed through the lunar-like landscape. “What you feel is nothing holding you back. You feel the aerodynamics, you feel the low-rolling resistance of the tyres, of the bearings and the motor.”

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Categories: Environment

Rewilding the Galápagos can be a model for a new way to coexist with nature | Danny Rueda Córdova and Leonardo DiCaprio

Fri, 2022/06/24 - 10:00pm

We must work with local communities to restore key species on a global scale if we are to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises gripping the world

There are few places in the world as majestic and full of wonder as Ecuador’s Galápagos Islands. From the rosy-hued pink iguanas on the northern rim of Wolf Volcano to the iconic Pinzón giant tortoise on Pinzón Island to the black-tipped reef sharks feeding off Floreana Island, we have both found boundless inspiration in exploring the islands that led Charles Darwin to develop his groundbreaking theory of evolution nearly two centuries ago.

We have both also witnessed a more recent rapidly evolving process in the Galápagos based on a shared vision of restoring the profusion of life that the archipelago is renowned for. This process is rewilding, a positive reframing for nature conservation. There is an idea that rewilding involves restoring nature at the expense of people, but we believe it is all about effectively integrating ourselves within the ecosystems that sustain us – to work with, rather than against, nature to create thriving and resilient ecosystems for the benefit of all.

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Categories: Environment

Breeding at age 73: new details of endangered orange roughy’s life cycle prompt calls to limit fishing

Fri, 2022/06/24 - 1:00pm

Australian fisheries management says there are regional differences and new data only applies to population in New Zealand

Ocean campaigners say that a New Zealand fishing fleet that trawls for orange roughy in waters off Tasmania should be “sent back” in light of new data about the vulnerable species.

Orange roughy is an endangered deep-sea species which, under Australia’s environmental laws, can still be fished in approved fisheries.

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Categories: Environment

Banks and UK supermarkets accused of backing deforestation in Brazil

Fri, 2022/06/24 - 11:05am

By funding and stocking products from Brazilian meat giant JBS, firms have also supported land-grabbing, investigation claims

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Categories: Environment

US to proceed with production of biofuels despite global food crisis

Fri, 2022/06/24 - 10:16am

Campaigners call to prioritise grain for human consumption over its use as a fuel

The US will press ahead with biofuels production, the deputy secretary for agriculture has said, despite increasing concerns over a global food crisis, and calls from campaigners to prioritise grain for human consumption over its use as a fuel.

Jewel Bronaugh, the deputy secretary of agriculture, said US farmers could continue to produce biofuels without harming food production. “We are keeping food security top of mind, but at the same time we also want to remain steadfast in the support and promotion of biofuel,” she told journalists in London, where she met the UK government to discuss a possible trade deal and cooperation on food issues.

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Categories: Environment

Energy treaty update fails to address climate crisis, activists say

Fri, 2022/06/24 - 9:01am

1994 agreement allows investors to sue governments for changes in energy policy that harm their profits

Climate activists have said a deal to update a “dangerous” energy treaty has failed to make the agreement compatible with the urgency of the climate crisis.

After more than four years of talks, 52 countries and the EU on Friday struck a deal to “modernise” the energy charter treaty, a 1994 agreement that allows investors to sue governments for changes in energy policy that harm their profits.

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UK gave airlines 4.4m free pollution permits in 2021, study finds

Fri, 2022/06/24 - 4:59am

Government generosity meant industry could pollute for free, and airlines were left with 900,000 excess permits they could keep or sell

The UK government gave airlines nearly a quarter of a billion pounds in free pollution permits in a single year, enough for the entire industry to dodge a carbon emissions cap and trade scheme entirely, according to research.

In 2021 the UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS), which charges polluters per tonne of carbon emitted, handed airlines 4.4m free allowances and the industry only surrendered 3.4m back. In effect, UK taxpayers covered the entire cost of aviation industry emissions, plus some to spare.

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Categories: Environment