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Count international flights from UK in emissions targets, urges thinktank

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/06/04 - 2:22am

Transport and Environment says airline industry bailout should have green conditions attached

International flights taking off from the UK must be taken into account in the government’s calculations on reaching net zero emissions as part of a “green” recovery for the airline industry, a transport thinktank has urged.

The government has given loan bailouts to airlines totalling £1.5bn since the coronavirus outbreak, with no environmental conditions attached.

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Categories: Environment

US ranks 24th in the world on environmental performance

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/06/04 - 12:00am

Analysis by Yale and Columbia universities shows US lagging far behind other industrialized countries in a range of categories

The US is far behind other industrialized nations on environmental performance and now ranks 24th in the world, according to a new analysis by Yale and Columbia universities. 

Related: US lets corporations delay paying environmental fines amid pandemic

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Categories: Environment

Coronavirus crisis could cause $25tn fossil fuel industry collapse

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/06/03 - 4:01pm

Value of reserves could fall by two-thirds as Covid-19 hastens peak in demand, study shows

The coronavirus outbreak could trigger a $25tn (£20tn) collapse in the fossil fuel industry by accelerating a terminal decline for the world’s most polluting companies.

A study has found that the value of the world’s fossil fuel reserves could fall by two-thirds, sooner than the industry expects, because the Covid-19 crisis has hastened the peak for oil, gas and coal demand.

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Categories: Environment

Putin orders state of emergency after huge fuel spill inside Arctic Circle

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/06/03 - 11:23am

President lambasts power plant owner ‘for not reporting earlier’ incident bigger than Kerch spill

Vladimir Putin has ordered a state of emergency after 20,000 tonnes of diesel fuel spilled into a river inside the Arctic Circle.

The spill occurred when a fuel reservoir at a power plant near the city of Norilsk collapsed on Friday.

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Categories: Environment

tank to tank...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2020/06/03 - 10:58am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Pandemic is chance to reset global economy, says Prince Charles

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/06/03 - 10:40am

Prince of Wales unveils a five-point plan to stimulate sustainable economic growth

The recovery from the coronavirus crisis represents an opportunity to reset the global economy and prioritise sustainable development without further damaging the planet, Prince Charles said at the opening of a World Economic Forum (WEF) virtual meeting.

Outlining a five-point plan to rebuild economies following a global recession, the 71-year-old prince said the pandemic was the result of a breakdown in the link between humanity and nature that could be corrected by recognising “the interdependence of all living things”.

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Categories: Environment

Calls for review of forestry exemption laws after VicForests conservation breaches

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/06/03 - 10:30am

The judgment against the agency could lead to forestry operations being assessed under national environmental laws for the first time in 20 years

A landmark court judgment that a government forestry agency repeatedly breached conservation regulations has sparked calls for a review of an industry-wide exemption for logging under national environment laws.

Last week the federal court found VicForests, a body owned by Victorian taxpayers, breached a code of practice in a regional forestry agreement (RFA) between the federal and state governments covering the state’s central highlands.

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Categories: Environment

Chevron could be forced to pay $100m for failure to capture carbon emissions

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/06/03 - 10:30am

The Western Australian government rules against the oil and gas company over emissions at the Gorgon LNG project

Oil and gas company Chevron could be required to pay for offsets worth more than $100m for carbon dioxide emissions released at a delayed carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in northern Western Australia, an analysis suggests.

The state government last week ruled against Chevron over an emissions condition that applies to the company’s large Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) development on Barrow Island in the Pilbara.

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Categories: Environment

The perils of being black in public: we are all Christian Cooper and George Floyd | Carolyn Finney

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/06/03 - 6:16am

Too often, by default, black people are perceived as threats to white people’s physical safety. We need fundamental, consequential and absolute change

In the summer of 1997, I lived in Seattle. I worked at a temp job while preparing to start my master’s degree in the fall. I was walking to a bus stop after a day at the office, when I stepped into a pothole on the street and heard my ankle crack. 

Feeling lightheaded and fearing I would black out, I limped in search of a payphone, and found that when I looked to passersby for help, no one stopped. I reached a corner and saw a young white man and woman with two kids. With tears in my eyes, I asked for their help. But like everyone else, they backed away and left me alone.

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Categories: Environment

Living near oil and gas wells linked to low birthweight in babies

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/06/03 - 6:00am

Risk is greater in rural areas, according to study of nearly 3 million births over 10 years

Living near active oil and gas wells during pregnancy increases the risk of low-birthweight babies, especially in rural areas, according to the largest study of its kind.

Researchers analysed the records of nearly 3 million births in California to women living within 6.2 miles (10km) of at least one oil or gas well between 2006 and 2015. It is the first such study to look at birth outcomes in rural and urban areas, and to women living near active and inactive oil and gas sites. 

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Categories: Environment

Renewables surpass coal in US energy generation for first time in 130 years

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/06/03 - 3:15am

‘We are seeing the end of coal,’ says analyst as energy source with biggest impact on climate crisis falls for sixth year in a row

Solar, wind and other renewable sources have toppled coal in energy generation in the United States for the first time in over 130 years, with the coronavirus pandemic accelerating a decline in coal that has profound implications for the climate crisis.

Not since wood was the main source of American energy in the 19th century has a renewable resource been used more heavily than coal, but 2019 saw a historic reversal, according to US government figures.

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Categories: Environment

Making GDP the focus of a post-coronavirus economy would be a mistake | Carys Roberts

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/06/03 - 2:00am

Growth often doesn’t benefit the people who need it – a green economy could create 1 million jobs

The UK lockdown might be easing, but the path ahead for the economy will be long and difficult. Unemployment this quarter is likely to rise twice as fast as it did following the global financial crisis. Almost half of businesses that have taken up one of the government’s bounce-back loans do not expect to be able to pay it back.

It’s tempting in a crisis to want to do whatever it takes to get economic activity – measured by GDP – back to where it was before. But an overwhelming and singular focus on increasing GDP would be a mistake. GDP figures do not tell us who is benefitting from growth. GDP does not tell us whether environmental resources – and nature – are being dangerously depleted, and does not reflect the value of caring, much of which is performed by women.

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Tue, 2020/06/02 - 4:12pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Terrawatch: could granite solve the hard problem of nuclear waste storage?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/06/02 - 1:30pm

Researchers have found the rock has a self-sealing mechanism that keeps fluids locked away

We need to find somewhere safe to dispose of high-level nuclear waste; a place where we can be confident it will be isolated and contained for hundreds of thousands of years. And if we want to keep a lid on global warming then we may well need to find a similar place to store carbon dioxide too. But where?

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Categories: Environment

'Look up at the trees, think about wood': government logging ad uses images of pristine native forests

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/06/02 - 10:30am

Agriculture department spent $95,000 on campaign for the Australian forestry industry promoting wood as ‘the ultimate renewable’

A government promotion for the forestry industry that encourages Australians to “look up at the trees, think about wood” should be taken down after a recent federal court ruling on native forest logging, the Greens say.

The department of agriculture paid a production company $94,875 last year to produce a series of videos aimed at promoting Australia’s logging industry as environmentally sustainable.

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Categories: Environment

Coal - free first for electricity in Great Britain

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/06/02 - 9:25am

Coronavirus slump and sunniest spring on record send green energy soaring in England, Wales and Scotland

Great Britain’s electricity system recorded its “greenest” ever month in May after running without coal-fired electricity for a full calendar month.

The National Grid, the energy system operator, said the country’s sunniest spring on record helped generate enough solar power to reduce the carbon intensity of the grid to its lowest level ever recorded.

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Categories: Environment

UK coalmines operator Hargreaves Services to end mining next month

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/06/02 - 7:57am

Durham-based firm says decision has been made because coal has ‘limited future’ in UK

One of Britain’s last remaining coalmine operators will put an end to all mining operations from next month because it is clear that coal has “a limited future” in the UK.

Durham-based Hargreaves Services, one of the largest remaining operators of surface mines in the UK, told investors on Tuesday that it plans to wind down its UK mining operations in line with its long-term strategic plans.

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Categories: Environment

Six elephants killed in one day by poachers in Ethiopia

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/06/02 - 6:30am

The deaths in Mago National Park are unprecedented, say officials

Poachers have killed at least six elephants in a single day in Ethiopia, wildlife officials said on Tuesday, the largest such slaughter in memory in the east African nation.

The elephants died last week, when they ventured out of the Mago National Park in the far south of Ethiopia to drink water, Ganabul Bulmi, the park’s chief warden, told reporters.

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Categories: Environment

Assam oil well still leaking gas one week after blowout

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/06/02 - 5:29am

About 2,500 people evacuated, amid fears that leaking oil and gas has killed river dolphins and birds

An oil well in the Indian state of Assam is still leaking gas “uncontrollably” after a blowout a week ago that it is feared has killed endangered river dolphins and birds and forced 2,500 people to evacuate their homes.

For days authorities have failed to plug the leak from the well in the village of Baghjan after the incident on 27 May. The blowout – an uncontrolled release of oil and gas due to the failure of pressure control systems – sent a fountain of crude oil into the air, “unleashing a hell”, according to local accounts.

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Categories: Environment

Electric cars gain market share in Europe despite Covid-19 crisis

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/06/02 - 5:07am

Data suggests that carmakers are making progress towards meeting emissions reductions targets

Electric and hybrid cars gained traction among European buyers in April despite coronavirus lockdowns stalling the market, suggesting carmakers are likely to avoid potential fines potentially worth billions of euros if they fail to reduce average emissions.

Battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid cars accounted for 17% of sales across all European markets, including the UK, in April, according to data collated by industry analysts Jato Dynamics. That was more than double the 7% market share achieved in April 2019.

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Categories: Environment
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