Guardian Environment News

Syndicate content The Guardian
Latest environmental news, opinion and analysis from the Guardian.
Updated: 1 day 23 min ago

Wentworth won't prompt climate rethink, says Frydenberg

Sat, 2018/10/20 - 7:25pm

Treasurer says government does not intend to ‘reduce emissions at the expense of people’s power bills’

Josh Frydenberg has played down the need for a significant shift in the Morrison government’s stance on climate change before the next federal election after the strong protest vote in the seat of Wentworth.

The treasurer and former energy and environment minister Josh Frydenberg told Sky News on Sunday people in Sydney’s eastern suburbs were concerned about climate change, but he said the government did not intend to “reduce emissions at the expense of people’s power bills”.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Tasmanian salmon should be off the menu for now, says conservation group

Sat, 2018/10/20 - 3:22pm

Fish eaters advised to ‘Say No’ due to environmental concerns surrounding Tasmania’s salmon farming industry

It’s one of Australia’s – and the world’s – favourite fish but Tasmanian Atlantic salmon should be off the menu for now, according to the Australian Marine Conservation Society, publishers of Australia’s independent sustainable seafood guide.

On Wednesday, the AMCS downgraded the farmed fish’s rating from an amber “Think Twice” to a red “Say No” due to ongoing environmental concerns. The previous review was in 2015.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Minor earthquakes detected near fracking site in Lancashire

Sat, 2018/10/20 - 5:01am

One tremor was magnitude 0.3, the level beyond which experts say fracking has to proceed with caution

A series of small earthquakes have been detected in Lancashire close to the site where fracking operations began this week.

The British Geological Survey (BGS), which provides impartial advice on environmental processes, recorded four tremors in the vicinity of the energy firm Cuadrilla’s site on Preston New Road near Blackpool on Friday.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

£7m crowdfunding bid for Orkney tidal energy turbine launches

Sat, 2018/10/20 - 4:21am

Scheme launched by ethical investment platform Abundance offers 12% interest

A “green” investment that pays 12% interest and involves putting your money into a major tidal energy project was launched this week.

But that high rate indicates this is a great deal riskier than putting your money into a high street savings account, with no compensation if things go wrong. So this is not one for the risk-averse.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Plastic recycling industry's problems costing councils up to £500,000 a year

Fri, 2018/10/19 - 10:00pm

Chinese ban on waste imports is significantly affecting UK councils’ ability to collect and recycle plastic

Major problems in the plastic recycling industry are costing local councils in England up to £500,000 extra a year, as they struggle to deal with the continuing fallout from import bans imposed by countries who are no longer able to take the UK’s waste.

A survey by the Local Government Association (LGA) revealed nearly half of councils who responded (52) say China’s ban is having a significant impact on their ability to collect and recycle plastic, due to rising costs. Fourteen councils across the country say their recycling costs have increased by an average of half a million pounds a year, in part because of rising processing charges per tonne.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Benny the beluga whale forces firework display postponement

Fri, 2018/10/19 - 2:18pm

Council in Kent told that disturbing the whale would breach wildlife law

It has attracted plenty of spectators during its stay. But Benny the lost beluga whale, who took up residence in the Thames last month, may end up leaving the crowds disappointed after it was announced that a fireworks display would have to be postponed to protect him.

About 15,000 people were expected to gather for the annual bonfire night celebrations in Gravesend, Kent, on 2 November to see a display set off from a barge on the river.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Trump wades into California's 'water wars' with environmental standards memo

Fri, 2018/10/19 - 1:28pm

President will sign memo directing agencies to review standards that conservatives argue are keeping water from farmers

The Trump administration is wading into California’s “water wars” on behalf of embattled Republicans and agricultural interests weeks before the November midterm elections.

Donald Trump signed a memo on Friday directing agencies to review and revise or rescind environmental standards that conservatives argue are keeping water from flowing to farmers in the Central Valley. He is also setting deadlines for biological assessments of regional projects.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Scottish Power to invest in solar energy for the first time

Fri, 2018/10/19 - 8:19am

Big six firm to focus exclusively on renewables, adding solar power to its windfarms

Scottish Power, one of Britain’s biggest energy companies, has said it will invest in solar power for the first time as part of its move away from fossil fuels.

The big six firm sold off its last gas-fired power stations to Drax Group this week to focus exclusively on renewables, which today consists of onshore and offshore windfarms.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

UK is endangering people's health by denying their right to clean air, says UN

Fri, 2018/10/19 - 7:17am

World body urges Conservative government to ‘step up and show leadership’ on the air pollution crisis

The UK government is putting the health of millions of its citizens at risk by failing to tackle the country’s air pollution crisis, according the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and the environment.

David Boyd said people’s right to breathe clean air was being violated in the UK and warned the crisis was responsible for up to 50,000 deaths – and devastating the lives of “many millions” more in towns and cities across the country.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Fri, 2018/10/19 - 5:54am

A 1,000-metre spider web and a hellbender devouring a snake are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Politicians say nothing, but US farmers are increasingly terrified by it – climate change

Fri, 2018/10/19 - 5:00am

Research forecasts Iowa corn yields could drop in half within the next half-century thanks to extreme weather – yet it’s not part of the political conversation

Farmers around here are itching to go after that amber wave of soya beans, but there was that 5in rain a couple of weeks ago and then a 7in rain, and it drives even the retired guys batty.

Those beans aren’t worth much at the elevator thanks to a Trump trade war with China, but they’re worth even less getting wet feet in a pond that was a field which the glacier made a prairie bog some 14,000 years ago – until we came along and drained it.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Seven years of protest: inside the fracking resistance – photo essay

Fri, 2018/10/19 - 1:00am

Photographer Christopher Thomond has been documenting protests over fracking in the north of England since 2011

After years of protest, hyperbole and delays, fracking has returned to the UK. After seeing off a last-minute legal challenge, shale gas firm Cuadrilla began fracking near Blackpool on Monday.

The drive to extract gas from the rocks beneath the UK has catalysed the environmental movement in recent years, uniting concerned local residents and climate campaigners.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

UK plastics recycling industry under investigation for fraud and corruption

Thu, 2018/10/18 - 11:37pm

Exclusive: Watchdog examining claims plastic waste is not being recycled but left to leak into rivers and oceans

The plastics recycling industry is facing an investigation into suspected widespread abuse and fraud within the export system amid warnings the world is about to close the door on UK packaging waste, the Guardian has learned.

The Environment Agency (EA) has set up a team of investigators, including three retired police officers, in an attempt to deal with complaints that organised criminals and firms are abusing the system.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

The Highway Code review is good news for cyclists but should just be the start

Thu, 2018/10/18 - 11:00pm

Close passing and dooring are serious concerns but there is more to be done to make our streets safer and cleaner, from funding boosts to road planning

The announcement of a Highway Code review for walking and cycling is a forward step for active travel and road safety. It may not be the millions of pounds of investment needed, but it’s a start.

The Department for Transport (DfT) review will cover issues such as how to safely overtake cyclists, guidance on preventing car-dooring of cyclists, and giving pedestrians and cyclists the right of way at side roads.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

MPs call for ban on petrol and diesel car sales by 2032

Thu, 2018/10/18 - 4:01pm

UK risks falling behind global switch to electric vehicles with ‘unambitious’ target of 2040, says committee

MPs have urged ministers to bring forward their ban on new petrol and diesel car sales by eight years to 2032, to avoid the UK being left “in the passenger seat” in the global switch to electric vehicles.

Government plans for a 2040 ban on fossil fuel-powered cars and vans across Britain were unambitious and did not even show leadership within the UK, given Scotland has set itself an earlier target, the business, energy and industrial strategy committee said.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Bahrain applies to Green Climate Fund to help clean up waste from fossil fuels

Thu, 2018/10/18 - 9:43am

Oil-rich kingdom says money is needed to protect against water scarcity but request sparks strong criticism and fears over the fitness of the public fund

Bahrain – one of the world’s most oil-rich nations – has applied to the international Green Climate Fund for $9.8m for its National Oil and Gas Authority, raising questions over whether taxpayer-funded assistance for poor countries is reaching its intended targets.

The kingdom has requested funding for water conservation work to be carried out by its national oil and gas company, which it says is necessary to protect against water scarcity in future – a problem that is likely to grow worse around the world as a consequence of climate change.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Turkey’s plastic waste imports from the UK are booming – but at what cost?

Thu, 2018/10/18 - 9:00am

Uncontrolled imports spark ‘garbage dump of the world’ fears and raise fears over how much is ending up in landfill

Itinerant garbage pickers run down the hilly streets of Istanbul, their trolleys packed with plastic and other waste.

Their haul is a boon for the recycling industry in Turkey. “We collect 80% of the waste from the streets,” said Recep Karaman, head of the street waste collectors association.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

'This is just the beginning': freed activists return to fracking site

Thu, 2018/10/18 - 8:02am

Trio of activists freed from prison after appeal get hero’s welcome at site of anti-fracking protest

On Thursday morning, the day after being released from prison, three environmental activists who became the first people to be jailed for an anti-fracking protest in the UK returned to the Preston New Road fracking site near Blackpool.

Related: I’m out of jail after my fracking protest. But justice has not been done | Simon Roscoe Blevins

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

I was jailed for my fracking protest. But others face much worse | Simon Roscoe Blevins

Thu, 2018/10/18 - 6:47am

The injustice of my time in prison is dwarfed by the profound inequities that inspired my action in the first place

This morning I woke up outside of prison for the first time since 26 September. I was jailed for 16 months after being convicted of causing a public nuisance for a four-day protest on top of a lorry at the UK’s first fracking site. On Wednesday the verdict was quashed by the court of appeal, on grounds that the sentence was, as the lord chief justice, Lord Burnett, put it, “manifestly excessive”.

Many people are saying justice has been served – but we know there is still a long way to go before we get there.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Revealed: US moves to keep endangered species discussions secret

Thu, 2018/10/18 - 3:00am

In a confidential document obtained by the Guardian, officials say releasing records could have a ‘chilling effect’ on their deliberations

The Trump administration is moving to restrict the release of information about its decisions on endangered species, according to a confidential internal document obtained by the Guardian.

It comes as wildlife advocates and scientists accuse the government of attempting to weaken protections for wildlife, including wolves, grizzly bears and sage grouse, while boosting domestic energy production and mining in crucial animal habitat.

Continue reading...
Categories: Environment