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The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/12/03 - 5:00am

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including sunbathing monkeys, a pygmy possum and a new home for white rhinos

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Categories: Environment

Fashion must stick to climate pledges to prevent waste crisis, says UK economist

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/12/03 - 4:47am

Dame Vivian Hunt warns of overproduction at summit attended by Tommy Hilfiger and Kris Jenner

The fashion industry is facing a waste and overproduction crisis if it continues on its current trajectory, one of the UK’s leading economic experts has warned.

Dame Vivian Hunt, a managing partner at the consulting firm McKinsey and Company, said “fashion has a long way to go to demonstrate its commitment to achieving net zero emissions”.

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Categories: Environment

Shell to go ahead with seismic tests in whale breeding grounds after court win

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/12/03 - 3:45am

Judgment rules company can blast sound waves in search for oil along South Africa’s eastern coastline

Royal Dutch Shell will move ahead with seismic tests to explore for oil in vital whale breeding grounds along South Africa’s eastern coastline after a court dismissed an 11th-hour legal challenge by environmental groups.

The judgment, by a South African high court, allows Shell to begin firing within days extremely loud sound waves through the relatively untouched marine environment of the Wild Coast, which is home to whales, dolphins and seals.

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Categories: Environment

US lags in electric vehicle sales despite Biden administration’s push

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/12/03 - 3:00am

Electric cars will make up just 4% of American sales in 2021, compared with 9% in China and 14% in Europe

The Biden administration, in the midst of a major push to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles, has been provided a sobering reminder of how badly the US is lagging in the adoption of zero-emission cars.

The White House has set a goal for electric vehicles to make up 50% of all new car sales by the end of this decade in order to slash planet-heating emissions and help avert disastrous climate change.

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Categories: Environment


The Field Lab - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 3:52pm


contemplating the renovation...73,78,51,0,C

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Victorian government pressed to deliver promised funding for threatened plants and animals

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 2:18pm

Critically endangered grasslands on Melbourne’s outskirts should be immediately protected, parliamentary inquiry says

Underfunding of environmental initiatives by the Victorian government is pushing plants and animals across the state toward extinction, a state parliamentary inquiry has found.

The Greens-led inquiry, examining the decline of habitats and wildlife in Victoria tabled its final report, calling for changes to how the state funds and enforces protection of endangered wildlife and a massive increase to the national parks budget.

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Categories: Environment

British Airways looks to recycled cooking oil fuel to cut jet emissions

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 1:00pm

Airline signs deal with UK refinery but questions remain over sustainable aviation fuel’s net zero credentials

British Airways has signed a deal for aircraft fuel made from recycled cooking oils and other household waste to be produced at scale in the UK and to be in use as early as 2022 to help power its flights.

The airline revealed on Thursday evening it had reached the agreement with a refinery in north Lincolnshire to purchase thousands of tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), which it said would add up to the equivalent of 700 transatlantic flights on a Boeing 787 with net zero carbon emissions.

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Categories: Environment

Shell pulls out of Cambo oilfield project

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 12:49pm

Green campaigners welcome oil giant’s decision not to go ahead with controversial project off Shetland

Shell has pulled out of a controversial new oilfield off the Shetland Islands, plunging the future of oil exploration in the area into doubt.

Shell, which was planning to exploit the field along with the private equity-backed fossil fuel explorer Siccar Point, cited a weak economic case as its reason for deciding not to go ahead with the project.

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Categories: Environment

Sex ratio of babies linked to pollution and poverty indicators

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 12:00pm

Study finds some pollutants are correlated with higher levels of boys and others with more girls

A swathe of pollutants and indicators of poverty have been linked to changes in the ratio of baby boys to girls born to millions of parents.

A study of half the US population and the entire Swedish population examined more than 100 possible factors and found, for example, that mercury, chromium and aluminium pollution correlated with more boys being born, while lead pollution increased the proportion of girls. Proximity to farming also affected the sex ratio, possibly due to higher chemical exposures.

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Categories: Environment

These Portuguese kids are suing 33 European countries to force them to cut emissions

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 11:08am

Adults "can see us as serious or they can see us as a joke," one of the kids says. "A lawsuit is not a joke," her brother adds. The European Court of Human Rights has fast-tracked their 2020 lawsuit.

(Image credit: Claire Harbage/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Plans to mine Ecuador forest violate rights of nature, court rules

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 10:40am

Landmark ruling says mining permits issued in Los Cedros protected area breach Ecuador’s constitution

Ecuador’s highest court has ruled that plans to mine for copper and gold in a protected cloud forest are unconstitutional and violate the rights of nature.

In a landmark ruling, the constitutional court of Ecuador decided that mining permits issued in Los Cedros, a protected area in the north-west of the country, would harm the biodiversity of the forest, which is home to spectacled bears, endangered frogs, dozens of rare orchid species and the brown-headed spider monkey, one of the world’s rarest primates.

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Categories: Environment

Proximity to green space may help with PMS, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 9:47am

Research adds to growing evidence of the health benefits associated with natural environments

Living near green space could reduce the physical and psychological symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), researchers have found.

A first-of-its-kind study of more than 1,000 women aged 18 to 49 living in cities in Norway and Sweden found that women who across their lifetime live in neighbourhoods with more green space are less likely to experience PMS symptoms than those living in less green neighbourhoods.

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Categories: Environment

Fossil fuel plant outages pose main threat to summer power supply as renewables bolster grid

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 9:30am

Australian Energy Market Operator says risks of insufficient supply during summer peak load periods remain despite La Niña bringing cooler temperatures

The addition of almost 5 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity will improve the resilience of Australia’s main electricity grid this summer, with outages from fossil fuel plants the main threat to supplies, the Australian Energy Market Operator says.

In its 2021-22 Summer Readiness Plan, released on Friday, AEMO said the advent of a La Niña in the Pacific reduced the risk of high temperatures. Still, “extreme hot days during summer, particularly if coupled with high humidity, create the highest stress on the electricity grid”, it said.

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Categories: Environment

California water districts to get 0% of requested supplies in unprecedented decision

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 8:38am

Only water required for health and safety will be allowed as drought continues to grip the state

Water agencies in drought-stricken California that serve 27 million residents and 750,000 acres of farmland won’t get any of the water they have requested from the state heading into 2022 other than what’s needed for critical health and safety, state officials announced on Wednesday.

It’s the earliest date the department of water resources has issued a 0% water allocation, a milestone that reflects the dire conditions in California as drought continues to grip the nation’s most populous state and reservoirs have dropped to historically low levels.

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Categories: Environment

Report says fixing plastics' pollution in the oceans requires a new approach

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 3:03am

Millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year. Scientists are calling on the federal government to come up with a comprehensive policy to stop it.

Categories: Environment

‘They can’t silence us’: the female lawyers defending Colombia’s environment

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 3:00am

Legal team faces daily threats as it works to protect displaced families from landowners, ecosystems from mining and indigenous groups from oil companies

Julia Figueroa never leaves her house without security. She travels with two bodyguards and an armoured vehicle. Her home and office are watched around the clock. She carefully monitors any devices that might contain compromising information about her clients.

As the director of the Luis Carlos Pérez Lawyers Collective Corporation (CCALCP), threats to her life are a daily occurrence. The all-female group of lawyers provides legal representation to small-scale farmers and indigenous communities affected by the armed conflict in Colombia. Their work includes defending displaced peoples and victims of state crime, but also defending environmental rights, including fighting mining companies that seek to extract resources, often at the expense of the local water supply and the surrounding environment.

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Categories: Environment

‘Like putting a lithium mine on Arlington cemetery’: the fight to save sacred land in Nevada

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 1:30am

Thacker Pass is rich in lithium deposits but is also a place of historical and cultural significance to the Paiute people

On a windy afternoon in northern Nevada, where her family has lived for generations, Daranda Hinkey stood before one of the largest lithium deposits in the world – the place where, as she puts it, “there’s so much lithium it makes people foam at the mouth,” she says.

The area is known as Peehee Mu’huh – or Thacker Pass – and while it could be a lucrative resource for companies hoping to cash in on the electric vehicle revolution (lithium can be used to power rechargeable batteries), Hinkey and her peers say large-scale mining operations could irreversibly damage one of her community’s most sacred sites.

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Categories: Environment

UK must ‘walk the talk’ on climate action, say official advisers

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 12:41am

As Cop26 president, UK must act on meat, fossil fuels and overseas aid, says Climate Change Committee

The UK must “walk the talk” on climate action over the next 12 months, which will be critical in tackling the climate emergency, according to an assessment of the Cop26 summit by the Climate Change Committee.

The UK has one of the most ambitious 2030 emissions targets in the world, according to the government’s official advisers, but it does not have all the policies in place to deliver it.

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Categories: Environment

Climate cost study authors accuse Bjørn Lomborg of misinterpreting results | Temperature Check

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/01 - 6:52pm

A key claim in a column by the Danish thinktank head frustrates scientists who modelled reducing emissions

What will it cost to get greenhouse gas emissions down to net zero by mid-century, and are people around the world prepared to pay it?

This was a question posed by the Danish thinktank head Bjørn Lomborg for a column in the Australian on Saturday.

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Categories: Environment

Six Australian birds you may never have heard of … and may not be heard from again

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/01 - 5:00pm

A landmark study has found one in six Australian birds are now threatened. Here are some of the species most likely to be headed to a museum, unless more is done

There seems to be a perversity to human nature, in that we don’t really care about wild creatures until there are so few left that we can put a name to them. Think Martha, the last passenger pigeon, or the haunting images of Benjamin the last thylacine, pacing around its cage at Hobart zoo in 1936.

The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2020 (released this week by CSIRO Publishing) bandies a lot of names of birds you may never have heard of, which are now classified as on the path to extinction – 214 to be exact, around one in six of Australia’s bird species and subspecies. It can all be too much to take in. So here is a guide to six birds of which there are so few left in the wild that we could easily remember them all if they had individual names.

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Categories: Environment
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