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UK's biggest carbon capture project is step-change on emissions

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/06/26 - 4:01pm

Tata-owned Cheshire plant to turn 40,000 tonnes of CO2 a year into useful products

The UK’s biggest carbon capture project will soon block thousands of tonnes of factory emissions from contributing to the climate crisis, by using them to help make the chemicals found in antacid, eyedrops and Pot Noodle.

Within two years a chemical plant in Cheshire could keep 40,000 tonnes of carbon from the air every year, or the equivalent of removing 22,000 cars from the UK’s roads.

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Categories: Environment

US generates more electricity from renewables than coal for first time ever

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/06/26 - 2:21pm
  • In April, renewables provided 23% compared to coal’s 20%
  • ‘The fate of coal has been sealed. The market has spoken’

The US generated more electricity from renewable sources than coal for the first time ever in April, new federal government data has shown.

Related: Shell is not a green saviour. It’s a planetary death machine | George Monbiot

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Categories: Environment

What To Expect As The 2020 Democratic Candidates Debate Climate Change Policies

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/06/26 - 1:50pm

Climate change is a top issue for Democratic primary voters. As the 2020 presidential candidates prepare for their first debates, a look at what to expect from the many candidates.

Categories: Environment

Top Clean-Air Official Plans To Step Down From EPA Post Amid Ethics Probe

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/06/26 - 12:32pm

Bill Wehrum, who last week scored a victory for coal industry supporters by rolling back Obama-era power plant emissions rules, is leaving his post at the end of the month.

(Image credit: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Time Is Now thousands march in London for urgent climate action

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/06/26 - 10:22am

Climate Coalition and Greener UK rally urges MPs to act over critical loss of nature

Thousands of people, including primary school children and members of the Women’s Institute, have lobbied MPs, calling for urgent action to tackle the climate emergency and critical loss of nature.

About 12,000 people gathered in Westminster on Wednesday to put pressure on politicians, according to the organisers the Climate Coalition and Greener UK, whose members include aid agencies, social groups and conservation organisations.

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Categories: Environment

Climate crisis, tree planting and new left economics | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/06/26 - 9:20am
Scotland’s major environment and conservation bodies call for legislation to tackle the climate emergency. Plus letters from Penelope Maclachlan, Charles Young, Dr Joseph Hanlon and Neil Blackshaw

Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has acknowledged that our planet faces a climate emergency. Inextricably linked to this is the growing ecological crisis. We must not let Brexit derail us from tackling these global challenges head-on. Whatever the outcome of the political uncertainties, we need robust, binding targets for the recovery of Scotland’s natural environment to safeguard both nature and people. This is why we have come together from across Scottish society to ask the first minister to bring forward a new Scottish environment act.

Ensuring our world is rich in nature is the best insurance we have against dangerous climate heating. Protecting, restoring and enhancing Scotland’s natural environment would help limit temperature rises and help us adapt to changes that we cannot avoid. It would also give us so much more.

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Categories: Environment

Europe heatwave: cities take steps to limit effects of record temperatures

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/06/26 - 8:55am

Germany imposes speed limits on highways while schools in France remain closed

European cities are taking exceptional steps to limit the impact of a historic early summer heatwave as temperatures across the continent approached monthly and, in some places, all-time records.

Authorities have warned that temperatures could pass 40C and reach 45C in parts of the continent by Saturday as a plume of hot air moves north from the Sahara, sucked northwards by a stalled storm over the Atlantic and high pressure in central Europe.

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Categories: Environment

Brexit is political poison, and it’s green policies that are suffering | Molly Scott Cato

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/06/26 - 1:00am
The spat over VAT on solar batteries shows how Brussels-bashing is taking precedence over urgent social priorities

• Molly Scott Cato is a Green MEP

As pro-European MEPs we grow weary of the government claiming credit for European achievements while blaming Brussels for its own inaction or mismanagement. The capping of credit card charges is a sterling example. We battled for this in the European parliament while our government tried to block the move in the European council. Once passed, and finding that customers rather liked the idea of lower bills, ministers claimed the credit, suggesting that “rip-off charges have no place in a modern Britain”.

Conversely, finger wagging at Brussels to deflect from British government failure is a well-rehearsed strategy. The latest blame game is about household solar batteries, which HMRC claims must be subject to the higher rate of VAT because of EU state aid rules. So let’s firmly hit the off switch on the misinformation being peddled on this issue and get to the truth of the matter.

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Categories: Environment

Residents of America’s Cancer Town confront chemical plant owner in Japan

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/25 - 11:00pm

Residents of Reserve, Louisiana, met with environmental groups and stakeholders in Denka in their campaign for clean air

Residents of Reserve, Louisiana, have travelled to Tokyo to confront the executives and shareholders of a Japanese company which runs a chemical plant they say is responsible for a spike in cancers and a litany of other diseases in their home town – the town at the highest risk of cancer due to airborne toxicity anywhere in the US, according to the Environment Protection Agency (EPA).

Their trip involved a series of public and private meetings with environmental groups and stakeholders in the chemicals giant Denka, which operates the Pontchartrain Works facility in Reserve. It marks a significant escalation in the residents’ campaign for clean air.

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Categories: Environment

Shell is not a green saviour. It’s a planetary death machine | George Monbiot

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/25 - 10:00pm
Don’t buy the greenwash. Shell’s initiatives, which have won over many conservation groups, are dwarfed by its investment in oil and gas

It is hard to believe it needs stating, but it does. The oil industry is not your friend. Whatever it might say about its ethical credentials, while it continues to invest in fossil fuels, it accelerates climate breakdown and the death of the habitable planet. You would think this point was obvious to everyone. But over the past few weeks, I have spoken to dozens of environmentalists who appear to believe that Shell is on their side. I’ve come to the bizarre conclusion that there is more awareness of the oil industry’s agenda within the arts than there is among conservation groups.

Related: With its links to BP, I can’t stay in the Royal Shakespeare Company | Mark Rylance

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Categories: Environment

Action on air pollution works but far more is needed, study shows

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/25 - 10:00pm

UK’s dirty air still ‘a public health emergency’ despite dramatic fall in death rates

Government action can cut air pollution, a long-term study has shown, with early deaths linked to dirty air in the UK falling by half between 1970 and 2010.

But toxic air remains the number one environmental health hazard, with one in 20 deaths still attributable to small particle pollution alone. The researchers said urgent action was needed to deal with a public health emergency that caused harm comparable to alcohol.

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Categories: Environment

Super funds and investors with $34tn urge leaders to speed up climate action

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/25 - 8:17pm

Fund managers call on world leaders to bring in carbon pricing and phase out coal power ahead of G20

Superannuation funds and investors representing US$34tn in assets – nearly half of the total under management across the globe – have called on world leaders to bring in carbon pricing and phase out coal power to limit global heating to 1.5C.

Released ahead of a G20 leaders meeting in Osaka, Japan, the statement by 477 institutional investors urges world leaders to accelerate their response to the climate crisis to ensure the goals of the 2015 Paris climate deal can be met.

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Categories: Environment

Young protesters at DNC headquarters demand debate on climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/25 - 2:26pm

DNC has declined to hold a climate-specific debate even as Democratic voters rank rising temperatures as a top priority

Dozens of young climate protesters crowded outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington DC on Tuesday, demanding a debate focused on the crisis as presidential candidates prepare to face off this week over two nights in Florida.

The DNC has declined to hold a climate-specific debate, even as Democratic voters rank rising temperatures – and the worse disasters and economic instability they bring – as a top priority.

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Categories: Environment

Yearly kill....

The Field Lab - Tue, 2019/06/25 - 2:18pm
In 11 years at TFL, I have averaged one rattlesnake kill per year.  Was last night's the only one for 2019?  And FYI - if you tell me I shouldn't kill them because they keep down the rodent population - you have no idea what you are talking about.  69,96,71,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

How The Push For Renewable Energy Is Changing Southwest Georgia

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2019/06/25 - 1:31pm

In the south of Georgia, land and sunshine are plentiful, making it prime territory for solar developers. The dramatic drop in the cost of solar is bringing new opportunities to longtime landowners.

Categories: Environment

France failing to tackle climate emergency, report says

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/25 - 1:30pm

Stark warning comes as UK commits to net zero emissions target for 2050

France is falling behind on tackling the climate emergency despite ambitious promises to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a new report has found, saying Paris is worryingly far from delivering its goals.

The stark warning from France’s independent advisory council on climate comes at a key moment, as the eurozone’s second-biggest economy attempts to present itself as a world leader on the climate emergency.

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Categories: Environment

UK waste firm exported 'offensive' materials including used nappies

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/25 - 9:11am

Biffa Waste Services found guilty of exporting unsorted waste to China it said was paper

One of the UK’s biggest waste firms has been convicted of sending used nappies and other contaminated materials to China illegally.

Biffa Waste Services Ltd was found guilty of exporting unsorted household waste that it said was paper. The company was prosecuted by the Environment Agency after investigators stopped seven 25-tonne containers from leaving Felixstowe in Suffolk over suspicions about the content.

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Categories: Environment

Climate crisis: global economy needs major upgrade … fast

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2019/06/25 - 6:30am

Ex-US vice-president says only big solutions can offset impact of systemic shifts and avert disaster

Al Gore has said the global economy requires a fundamental upgrade to become more sustainable in order for the world to survive an environmental crisis and widening social divides.

The environmentalist and former US vice-president said the world was in the early stages of a “sustainability revolution” that had “the magnitude of the Industrial Revolution and the speed of the digital revolution”.

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Categories: Environment

Banning dangerous chemicals could save the US billions | Leonardo Trasande

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/24 - 10:00pm

It’s a myth that environmental regulations stifle economic productivity. Harmful chemicals cost the US $340bn a year

The Trump administration has argued that environmental regulations hold back economic productivity. Yet history suggests that the opposite is the case.

Look at phasing out lead in gasoline. To this day, the US receives a $200bn annual economic stimulus package each year because lead levels in children plummeted when the US Environmental Protection Agency moved to protect children.

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Categories: Environment

A parent's guide to avoiding potentially toxic chemicals

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2019/06/24 - 10:00pm

Exposure to potentially toxic substances that are part of modern life only adds to the many anxieties of parenting. Here’s what action you can take

From strapping zip ties on to cabinets to popping plastic covers into outlets, new parents do what they can to control their newborn’s environment. But beyond the visible, there are more obscure health concerns from additives and contaminants found in unexpected places.

Exposure to our environment begins even before birth. Studies have shown that some chemicals, like PFAS and flame retardants, in everyday products can pass from mother to fetus through the umbilical cord, and after birth through breast milk. Socioeconomic status and race also affect lifetime exposure. Minority and low-income individuals are disproportionately affected by pollution and toxic chemicals.

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Categories: Environment
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