Environment

Why Russia's thawing permafrost is a global problem

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2022/01/22 - 3:04pm

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Joshua Yaffa, Moscow correspondent for the New Yorker, about a major climate change threat confronting Russia.

Categories: Environment

Tennis Australia ends partnership with Santos after one year

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/01/22 - 12:00pm

The multiyear deal with the fossil fuel company had been the target of a campaign against ‘sportswashing’

Tennis Australia appears to have dumped Santos one year into a “multiyear” partnership deal after a campaign targeting the fossil fuel company for “sportswashing”.

Circumstances surrounding the termination of the agreement are unclear as neither party are commenting but the decision to part ways took place before 5 November 2021.

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Categories: Environment

Tax on parking: UK cities to impose levy on cars in bid to cut pollution

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/01/22 - 7:00am

Leicester politicians hope levy on local firms will help cut pollution in city

Councils across the UK are using radical strategies to cut the number of polluting vehicles on their streets in response to the climate emergency.

Leicester city council hopes a new charge on workplace parking will improve air quality, fund public transport and incentivise walking and cycling.

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Categories: Environment

‘We’re basically starting from zero’: Restoring Finland’s river ecosystems

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/01/22 - 1:00am

Rewilding teams are facing a huge task to encourage the return of wildlife after decades of damage by the forestry industry

Chopping down trees is not how most people would expect a river restoration project to begin, but Janne Raassina – who is expertly using a chainsaw to take down four or five earmarked trunks around the Särkkäjoki River in remotest eastern Finland – explains that the rotting wood will be hugely useful to the ecosystem.

“This is a huge buffet for insects, and it’s something that has been missing in our nature for 100 years,” he says. “We are creating the food chain from scratch.”

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Categories: Environment

A teen's solo transatlantic flight calls attention to wasteful 'ghost flights'

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2022/01/21 - 2:59pm

Kai Forsyth relished being the only passenger on a flight from London to Orlando. But his solo trip highlights the wastefulness of near-empty flights that environmentalists are trying to ban.

(Image credit: Frank Augstein/AP)

Categories: Environment

Could the world become too warm to hold Winter Olympics?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2022/01/21 - 2:27pm

If nations don't address high greenhouse gas emissions, by the 2080s, all but one of the 21 cities that previously hosted the Winter Games wouldn't be able to do so again, a new study has found.

(Image credit: Alessandro Trovati/AP)

Categories: Environment

Ineos faces legal challenge over plans for plastics plant in Antwerp

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/01/21 - 12:44pm

Project does not meet EU’s requirement for environmental impact assessment, NGOs say

The British petrochemicals company Ineos is facing a legal challenge over plans to build a giant plastics plant in Antwerp.

The legal NGO ClientEarth, acting with 13 other NGOs, on Friday launched an appeal against Antwerp’s decision to grant Ineos a permit to build a chemicals installation to make ethylene from fracked US shale gas, the Guardian has learned.

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Categories: Environment

Locals ‘devastated’ after Whitehaven Coal allowed to bury used tyres at Maules Creek mine

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/01/21 - 12:00pm

NSW government’s approval compromises ‘environmental integrity of the operation’, say campaigners

Locals and advocates have been left “devastated” and concerned about the environmental impacts of the New South Wales government’s decision to allow Whitehaven Coal to bury used tyres onsite at the Maules Creek coalmine.

The government approved Whitehaven’s modification application on 14 January to allow off-the-road (OTR) tyres that can no longer be used at the mine to be buried within the mine’s waste rock emplacement areas, “subject to appropriate environmental controls”.

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Categories: Environment

Los Angeles may ban urban oil and gas fields after decades of complaints

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/01/21 - 11:35am

City council expected to vote to ban new oil and gas wells, and phase out existing ones, which residents have blamed for chronic health issues

The University Park neighborhood of Los Angeles has a lot in common with urban areas across the US: a dense population with lots of businesses and housing. A cluster of car dealerships. A row of restaurants. Schools and a community center.

But nestled in the predominantly Latino community is something rarely found in urban areas outside California: an oil field.

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Categories: Environment

Oil industry board members to testify to Congress on climate disinformation

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/01/21 - 7:34am

Officials from Exxon, Shell, Chevron and BP have been summoned to appear before the House oversight committee in February

A US congressional committee has invited board members at four large oil companies to testify in February about the industry’s role in the climate crisis and spreading “disinformation”, turning up the heat on big oil after lawmakers grilled their CEOs last year.

The hearing of officials from Exxon, Shell, Chevron and BP, scheduled for 8 February, is the next phase of the House oversight committee’s investigation into the role of fossil fuel companies in blocking action on climate change and misrepresenting the industry’s efforts to address it.

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Categories: Environment

Nanoplastic pollution found at both of Earth’s poles for first time

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/01/21 - 5:00am

Tiny particles including tyre dust found in ice cores stretching back 50 years, showing global plastic contamination

Nanoplastic pollution has been detected in polar regions for the first time, indicating that the tiny particles are now pervasive around the world.

The nanoparticles are smaller and more toxic than microplastics, which have already been found across the globe, but the impact of both on people’s health is unknown.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/01/21 - 5:00am

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including beluga whales, a ‘snow fairy’ and two egrets hitching a lift

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Categories: Environment

‘Just a new fossil fuel industry’: Australia to send first shipment of liquefied hydrogen to Japan

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/01/20 - 9:56pm

Morrison government hails engineering milestone but researchers raise concerns and say it could increase emissions

Australia will export its first load of liquefied hydrogen made from coal in an engineering milestone which researchers say could also lock in a new fossil fuel industry and increase the country’s carbon emissions.

Under the $500m Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain (HESC) pilot project, hydrogen will be made in Victoria’s LaTrobe valley from brown coal and transported aboard a purpose-built ship to Japan, where it will be burned in coal-fired power plants.

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Categories: Environment

Britishvolt gets £100m boost to build UK’s first large-scale ‘gigafactory’

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/01/20 - 5:01pm

The deal to build an electric car battery plant near Blyth will bring up to 3,000 jobs to the area by 2028

The UK government will invest £100m in Britishvolt as the car battery manufacturing startup seeks to build Britain’s first large-scale “gigafactory” in the north-east of England.

The government’s Automotive Transformation Fund will invest alongside asset management company Abrdn and its majority-owned property investment arm, Tritax, to fund a sale and leaseback deal for the huge building that will house the electric car battery factory, near Blyth in Northumberland.

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Categories: Environment

More than 30,000 jobs at risk if insulation levy cut from fuel bills

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/01/20 - 5:01pm

Government considers scrapping scheme that pays for energy efficiency measures for poorer households

More than 30,000 jobs would be put at risk if the government were to scrap the energy bill levy that pays for home insulation improvements for poor households, the industry has warned.

Ministers are mooting an end to the Energy Company Obligation (ECO), a £1bn levy on energy bills that pays for energy efficiency measures for people on low incomes. The energy price cap is expected to rise by about £700 to £2,000 for the average household bill in April, after a surge in gas prices.

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Categories: Environment

Paybacks from UK renewables could cut £27 from bills by end of winter

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/01/20 - 1:21pm

£140 might have been knocked off typical bill if rollout of projects had happened sooner, says industry

Britain’s wind and solar farms could help to reduce households’ energy bills by paying back almost £800m to consumers by the end of the winter after gas and electricity market prices rocketed above their set subsidy levels.

Households earned a £157m windfall from renewable energy generators for the first time in the final quarter of last year following record high market prices, according to official figures.

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Categories: Environment

UK energy industry urges ministers to stick with net zero plan

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/01/20 - 11:01am

Some rightwingers claim renewables have increased costs, but Energy UK blames over-reliance on gas

Energy companies want the government to implement policies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, the industry’s leader has said, despite claims from some on the political right that high energy prices should spark a rethink.

Emma Pinchbeck, chief executive of Energy UK, which represents the industry, said: “The government should press on with net zero policies. That’s something they still need to do. We are missing the carbon budgets.”

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Categories: Environment

‘Like a work of art’: rare stretch of pristine coral reef discovered off Tahiti

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/01/20 - 4:40am

Scientists say find shows importance of mapping deep ocean where coral can escape effects of global heating

A huge coral reef has been discovered off the coast of Tahiti in the Pacific Ocean’s “twilight zone”, offering hope that more pristine ecosystems are waiting to be discovered at unexplored depths.

Stretching along the ocean floor for nearly 2 miles, the reef, covered in rose-shaped corals, is one of the largest such discoveries at depths of more than 30 metres, where sunlight levels are much lower.

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Categories: Environment

‘Like witnessing a birth in a morgue’: the volunteers working to save the Joshua trees

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/01/20 - 4:00am

If carbon emissions stay at current levels, just 0.02% of the desert trees would survive. Volunteers are now banding together to plant seedlings

The trees are not exactly imposing. Slim and spiny, with limbs that grip small poms of sharp leaves, they look like something a child might dream up. Or maybe Salvador Dalí. Even the name, Joshua tree, sounds kind of awkward.

On a wet and chilly December morning, I stood at a makeshift encampment in the Mojave national preserve in San Bernardino county, California, listening as a group of strangers fretted over the trees’ precarious future. Within the preserve is Cima Dome, a broad-sloping mound that, until recently, contained the densest Joshua tree forest in the world.

The August 2020 Dome Fire in the Mojave national preserve burned more than 1m Joshua trees to varying degrees.

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Categories: Environment

Crow-plagued California city turns to lasers and boomboxes to clear the air

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/01/20 - 4:00am

More than a thousand crows roost in Sunnyvale every night, ruffling locals’ feathers with caws and droppings

Each night, more than a thousand crows descend on Sunnyvale, California. In recent years a growing contingency of corvids have been roosting in the Silicon Valley town’s downtown district, filling the night air with a chorus of caws and painting the roads, Pollock-esque, with droppings.

The spectacle has failed to charm residents and local business owners. Vice-Mayor Alysa Cisneros said constituents had been complaining about the crows since she began campaigning for office in 2019. “In terms of the kinds of complaints I get on a consistent basis, crows are a top concern, right after speeding drivers,” she said.

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Categories: Environment
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