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'Wrong signal': Norfolk coast windfarm planning delayed by up to five months

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/05/20 - 5:57am

Swedish developer Vattenfall says hold-up could call into question UK’s green resolve

The government has delayed the planning process for a major new windfarm off the Norfolk coast because of the coronavirus lockdown, with its developer to warning the move could “send the wrong signal” to the renewables industry.

The Swedish energy company Vattenfall said delaying a decision on the 1.8GW Norfolk Boreas windfarm by up to five months was “regrettable” and might call Britain’s green ambitions into question.

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Categories: Environment

EU pledges to raise €20bn a year to boost biodiversity

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/05/20 - 3:30am

New strategy to protect nature includes far-reaching habitat protections, and restrictions on pesticide use – but campaigners warn enforcement is key

The European Commission has committed to protecting 30% of the EU’s land and oceans by 2030 as part of the European Green Deal, in a plan tentatively welcomed by environment groups who warned far-reaching ambitions must not only exist “on paper”.

The 10-year plan, published on Wednesday, includes commitments to reduce the use of chemical pesticides by 50%, plant 3bn trees by 2030 and reverse the decline in pollinators. Within the 30% protected areas, a third of land and sea will be under “strict protection”, meaning there should be no human intervention besides minimal management to keep the area in good condition for wildlife.

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Categories: Environment

Detroit families still without clean water despite shutoffs being lifted

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/05/20 - 3:30am
  • Families say city has not made them aware water is back on
  • City turned off taps under criticized debt-collection plan

Officials in Detroit have claimed the city has restored the water supply to its residents, but a number of families are still without clean running water and have had their bills paid by a charity, the Guardian has learned.

Water shutoffs were introduced in Detroit in 2014, as part of a widely condemned debt-collection program that critics said has unfairly affected minority communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Categories: Environment

He opposed public lands and wildlife protections. Trump gave him a top environment job

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/05/20 - 2:30am

Under the leadership of William Perry Pendley, the Bureau of Land Management is failing to fulfill its most basic duties of safeguarding America’s public lands, his critics say

In July 2017, William Perry Pendley, a crusading conservative attorney, delivered a speech to a group of rightwing activists in North Carolina in which he was completely candid about his ideological commitments.

He accused “the media” of selling “their soul to the greens”. And after criticizing the Endangered Species Act, he made light of killing endangered species.

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Categories: Environment

Coronavirus fallout to slow global growth in renewable energy

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 10:00pm

Pace will slow for first time in 20 years with fewer windfarms and solar plants being built but rebound possible in 2021

The global growth of renewable energy will slow for the first time in 20 years due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, which will “hurt but not halt” the rise of clean energy.

The world’s energy watchdog has warned that developers will build fewer wind farms and solar energy projects this year compared with a record roll out of renewables in 2019.

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Categories: Environment

Millions of Americans lack access to quality parks, report reveals

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 9:01pm

Low-income households and people of color in cities are least likely to live near decent green spaces

Years of patchy investment in public parks has left 100 million Americans, including 27 million children, without access to decent nearby green spaces during the coronavirus lockdown, a new report reveals.

Local parks have been a godsend to many people during the pandemic as schools, gyms and walking trails have closed to minimize physical contact and curtail the spread of the virus.

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Categories: Environment

Marsh can no longer sit on the fence: it must rule out brokering insurance for Adani | John Hewson

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 7:33pm

Marsh talks the talk when it comes to climate risk, but by working with Adani it is walking us all into a dangerous future

The conservative International Energy Agency in May warned against governments developing Covid-19 recovery plans that back fossil fuels for fear they’d expose nations to “escalating financial, health and social risks”. The thinking is sound.

Unfortunately, governments seem incapable of learning from past catastrophes, or thinking long term and strategically to prepare better for those to come. Covid-19 is very much a dress rehearsal for what awaits us with climate if governments continue to ignore the science, and the policy demands for an effective response.

Last summer’s devastating bushfires proved Australians are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. So too are our insurers. As of 23 January the Insurance Council of Australia had tallied 20,000 bushfire-related claims, with insured losses estimated at A$1.65bn.

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Categories: Environment

Rare UK wildlife thriving in lockdown, reveals National Trust

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 4:01pm

Orca, cuckoo and peregrine falcon some of species enjoying breathing space of quieter world

First came the goats. During the first days of lockdown the bearded, ghostly white creatures wandered down from their north Wales clifftop home into the town of Llandudno and made headlines around the globe.

Now the National Trust is reporting that emboldened wildlife, from raptors and warblers to badgers, otters and even orcas, appear to be enjoying the disappearance of humans from its gardens, castles and waterways across the UK.

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Categories: Environment

State of The Rainwater Supply Address

The Field Lab - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 2:20pm
So far this year I've had .67" of rain.  Out of a total storage capacity of 21,000 gallons - I have 10,850 gallons on tap.  90,105,69,0,B
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

'Not a mask in sight': thousands flock to Yellowstone as park reopens

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 11:01am

With support of the Trump administration, Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks have partially reopened after Covid-19 closures

On Monday, thousands of visitors from across the country descended on Yellowstone national park, which opened for the first time since its closure in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have been cooped up for weeks,” Jacob Willis told the Guardian near a crowd of onlookers at the Old Faithful Geyser. “When the parks opened, we jumped at the opportunity to travel,” said Willis, who had arrived from Florida.

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Categories: Environment

Fossil fuel industry applauds Coalition climate measures that support carbon capture and storage

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 10:30am

Environmentalists say the Morrison government is directing emissions reduction funding to polluting companies

Fossil fuel industry groups and companies have applauded new climate change measures proposed by the Morrison government, including support for carbon capture and storage developments.

The government has agreed to 21 of 26 recommendations made by an expert panel review headed by the former gas industry executive and business council president Grant King, who was asked to come up with new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at low cost.

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Categories: Environment

UK businesses urge PM to seal post-Brexit EU free trade deal

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 10:02am

Government sets out plan to cut tariffs, with farming and car industry to be protected

Business has warned Boris Johnson that he must clinch a free trade deal with the EU after the government released details of the tariffs Britain will impose from the start of next year.

With talks between London and Brussels stalled, employers organisations said they welcomed arrangements that will provide protection for farmers and carmakers but stressed the need for progress in talks with the UK’s biggest trading partner.

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Categories: Environment

'Cyclone In The Time Of COVID-19': Amphan Bears Down On Bangladesh And India

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 10:00am

The massive storm now churning over the Bay of Bengal is expected to make landfall Wednesday local time, deeply complicating both countries' responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

(Image credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System via AP)

Categories: Environment

Judge approves plan to retrieve telegraph on Titanic that sent distress signals

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 9:11am

Unmanned submersible will descend nearly 2.5 miles to bottom of the ocean to get radio, believed to still be near grand staircase

A federal judge in Virginia has ruled that a salvage firm can retrieve the Marconi wireless telegraph machine that broadcast distress calls from the sinking Titanic.

The order is a big win for RMS Titanic, the court-recognized salvor, or steward, of artifacts from the doomed ocean liner.

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Categories: Environment

Lockdowns trigger dramatic fall in global carbon emissions

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 8:00am

Responses to coronavirus crisis cause sharpest drop in carbon output since records began

Carbon dioxide emissions have fallen dramatically since lockdowns were imposed around the world due to the coronavirus crisis, research has shown.

Daily emissions of the greenhouse gas plunged 17% by early April compared with 2019 levels, according to the first definitive study of global carbon output this year.

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Categories: Environment

Steep fall in emissions during coronavirus is no cause for celebration

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 8:00am

Brief hiatus will make little difference to catastrophic levels of global heating, experts say

The sudden sharp fall in greenhouse gas emissions recorded in the early part of this year may seem like an environmental blessing, a breathing space as the world fights climate breakdown. Skies clear of aeroplanes and streets free of cars have encouraged the return of nature and brought visions of a cleaner world.

Carbon dioxide emissions had fallen by 17% on average by early April, according to a definitive study published in Nature Climate Change on Tuesday, as a result of the lockdown measures put in place around the world to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

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Categories: Environment

EU plan for 3bn trees in 10 years to tackle biodiversity crisis

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 5:44am

Concern that new strategy, which also includes protecting primeval forests, ‘lacks tools’

The European commission will launch a sweeping effort to tackle the global biodiversity crisis on Wednesday, including a call for 3bn trees to be planted in the EU by 2030 and a plan to better protect the continent’s last primeval forests.

The draft policy document, published online by an environmental NGO, admits that to date in the EU, “protection has been incomplete, restoration has been small-scale, and the implementation and enforcement of legislation has been insufficient”.

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Categories: Environment

Can renewed interest in nature bring more funds to UK wildlife?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/05/19 - 4:43am

Key to ensuring policymakers see nature’s relevance is to show its physical and mental health benefits

A perfect storm appears to loom over any attempt to restore wildlife and environmental health to one of the most nature-depleted countries in the world.

British conservationists were already facing the loss of EU funding and environmental regulations after Brexit. Now, as a deep recession bites, conservation funding is likely to be further hit as donors and philanthropic funders channel money towards human health.

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Categories: 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.

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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
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