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Make ecocide an international crime and other legal ideas to help save the planet | Steven Donziger

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/11/22 - 4:09am

A list of the five most promising legal steps we can take to help fight climate change

The world has reached an acute point in the “highway to climate hell”. Talks at Cop27 barely achieved anything, despite the fact that almost one-third of Pakistan’s territory was submerged during unprecedented flooding; record heat over the summer killed nearly 25,000 in Europe; and almost 200,000 people in a major US city have not had clean water for months.

It’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of such widespread catastrophe. But we as citizens can do something right now. There are many interesting and entirely workable legal ideas percolating around the world from some very thoughtful people. Together, alongside increased citizen activism, these ideas can begin to provide a coherent and comprehensive legal framework for all of us to help save the planet.

Steven Donziger is a human rights lawyer and environmental justice advocate. He is also a Guardian US columnist

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Categories: Environment

US receives stinging criticism at Cop27 despite China’s growing emissions

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/11/22 - 12:00am

The country is highlighting China’s status as top polluter after being called out for climate inaction

The US, fresh from reversing its 30 years of opposition to a “loss and damage” fund for poorer countries suffering the worst impacts of the climate crisis, has signaled that its longstanding image as global climate villain should now be pinned on a new culprit: China.

Following years of tumult in which the US refused to provide anything resembling compensation for climate damages, followed by Donald Trump’s removal of the US from the Paris climate agreement, there was a profound shift at the Cop27 UN talks in Egypt, with Joe Biden’s administration agreeing to the new loss and damage fund.

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Categories: Environment

What happens when humans meddle with nature?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/11/22 - 12:00am

Seven ways in which our destruction of the natural world has led to deadly outcomes

In the early 1990s, vultures across India started dying inexplicably. Long-billed, slender-billed and oriental white-backed vultures declined to the brink of extinction, with the number of India’s most common three vulture species falling by more than 97% between 1992 and 2007. Six other species were in sharp decline too. Scientists started testing the dead birds and worked out they had been exposed to diclofenac, an anti-inflammatory drug routinely given to cattle in south Asia at the time. The vultures fed on the carcasses of cows and were poisoned.

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Categories: Environment

Fears over oil producers’ influence with UAE as next host of Cop climate talks

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/11/21 - 11:00pm

More than 630 fossil fuel lobbyists attended Cop27, and the Emirates, where Cop28 will be held, is a major oil and gas exporter

Fears are growing among climate experts and campaigners over the influence of fossil fuel producers on global climate talks, as a key Gulf petro-state gears up to take control of the negotiations.

The United Arab Emirates, one of the world’s biggest oil exporters, will hold the presidency of Cop28, the next round of UN climate talks that will begin in late November next year.

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Categories: Environment

Australia politics live: first Nauru refugees resettled in New Zealand; Victorian MP cleared over Daniel Andrews ‘red mist’ comments

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/11/21 - 9:54pm

Follow all the day’s news

David Pocock was asked how he would vote on the IR bill, if he was made to vote for it today while on ABC radio RN.

He said he couldn’t “in good conscience” vote for the bill, if it came to the crunch today (which it won’t, it was a hypothetical).

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Categories: Environment

‘Where have you been?’: PM receives mixed reception as Eugowra counts cost of inland ‘tsunami’

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/11/21 - 8:03pm

As Anthony Albanese and Dominic Perrottet walk through the disaster zone, residents remind them of the prohibitive costs of flood insurance

In flood-ravaged Eugowra, not long after Anthony Albanese’s whirlwind visit, local mechanic Greg Agustin is moving slowly through his ruined workshop, picking through the debris.

His livelihood is strewn across the yard.

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Categories: Environment

Mercedes-Benz sued in class action over alleged diesel emission ‘cheat devices’

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/11/21 - 7:40pm

The action in the Victorian supreme court mirrors another in the US that was recently settled for $1.3bn

A class action against car company Mercedes-Benz is seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages over the alleged use of “cheat devices” to manipulate diesel emissions.

The action, filed in the Victorian supreme court on Tuesday, covers thousands of vehicles sold in Australia over a 10-year period.

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Categories: Environment

rover plant pic

The Field Lab - Mon, 2022/11/21 - 5:22pm

49,62,39,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

In the strawberry fields of Spain, migrants from Africa work in hope of a better life

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2022/11/21 - 2:26pm

Spain a prolific producer of strawberries, and the jurisdiction of Huelva is where 80% of the country's berries are grown, in an industry that is increasingly demanding.

(Image credit: Ricci Shryock for NPR)

Categories: Environment

‘The ghost that haunts Monteverde’: how the climate crisis killed the golden toad

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/11/21 - 2:15am

The loss of the amphibian from Costa Rica’s cloud forest was one of the first linked to global heating, say scientists

Deep in Costa Rica’s mist-shrouded cloud forest, hundreds of bright golden toads would appear suddenly each April to mate. It was a spectacular sight for those who witnessed it: the dazzling, mostly subterranean amphibians gathered en masse around pools of rainwater and fought aggressively for the right to copulate with the females before heading back underground.

“It was one of the truly great wildlife spectacles of the American tropics,” says ecologist Alan Pounds, resident scientist at the Tropical Science Center’s Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Preserve, standing at the centre of the toads’ former habitat. “It somehow looked unreal.”

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Categories: Environment

‘We’ve got no choice’: locals fear life as lab rats in UK hydrogen heating pilot

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/11/20 - 11:00pm

In Whitby, just outside Ellesmere Port, residents wait to hear whether their village will be chosen

On the site of an old leisure centre, a U-shaped trio of temporary offices sit alongside a neat lawn and fledgling shrubs. Named the “hydrogen experience centre”, this unassuming place is at the heart of a testy tussle that could have implications for how homes across the country are heated.

The site, in the village of Whitby, just outside Ellesmere Port on the south bank of the Mersey, could become the UK’s first “hydrogen village”. It is being analysed, along with Redcar in the north-east, for potential conversion to 100% hydrogen heating, using the existing gas network and new appliances to update up to 2,000 properties.

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Categories: Environment

Australia politics live: Albanese accuses Dutton of ‘dog-whistling’ over Cop27 climate damage fund

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/11/20 - 9:58pm

Follow the day’s news live

Buy now, pay later review has been coming for a while

The last time the issue was examined, under the previous government, it was decided the industry could regulate itself.

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Categories: Environment

Deniliquin evacuates ahead of major flooding with severe weather warnings across NSW

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/11/20 - 7:26pm

Showers, storms and damaging winds forecast for NSW and ACT as recovery assistance points set up for flood-affected communities

A severe weather warning has been issued for Sydney and much of New South Wales as another evacuation is ordered in a flood-struck Riverina town.

The State Emergency Services has asked people in Deniliquin to leave their homes by Wednesday.

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Categories: Environment

Australia’s new approach was a rare positive at Cop27 – but now the need for action is all the more acute | Adam Morton

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/11/20 - 5:59pm

Qualified victory was snatched from defeat at the climate summit with a genuine and surprising agreement on loss and damage. But there’s still no plan to get to 1.5C

The Cop27 climate summit ended in a desperate and confused flurry more than 40 hours late with a qualified victory clutched from the jaws of complete failure, but with the big issues unresolved.

If this sounds familiar, like so many climate summits before it, well … yes. There were genuine developments over the past week, some of which could reshape the global response to the crisis. But there was also intransigence and blocking where it mattered most. Some of that is getting worse.

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Categories: Environment

meekness and fear

The Field Lab - Sun, 2022/11/20 - 5:04pm

1 Peter 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 13 And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; 15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

World still ‘on brink of climate catastrophe’ after Cop27 deal

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/11/20 - 1:43pm

Experts say biggest economies must pledge more cuts to carbon emissions but hail agreement to set up loss and damage fund

The world still stands “on the brink of climate catastrophe” after the deal reached at the Cop27 UN climate summit on Sunday, and the biggest economies must make fresh commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions, climate experts and campaigners have warned.

The agreement reached in Sharm el-Sheikh early on Sunday morning, after a marathon final negotiating session that ran 40 hours beyond its deadline, was hailed for providing poor countries for the first time with financial assistance known as loss and damage. A fund will be set up by rich governments for the rescue and rebuilding of vulnerable areas stricken by climate disaster, a key demand of developing nations for the last 30 years of climate talks.

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Categories: Environment

The Guardian view on Cop27’s outcome: a real achievement, but too far to go | Editorial

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/11/20 - 11:30am

The creation of a loss and damage fund is a milestone, but a 1.5C limit to the global temperature rise looks even further out of reach

The Cop process often seems to encapsulate the broader global reaction to climate breakdown. Leaders make grand but vague pledges of action; fossil fuel lobbyists (600 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, this year) schmooze and press governments into maintaining the status quo; and scientists, civil society groups and those most affected by the climate emergency have to scream to be heard at all. The results are predictable: indecision, evasion, obstruction and buck-passing followed by desperately needed – but desperately inadequate – last-minute action.

Given the utter disarray evident as late as Saturday evening, the final outcome of Cop27 is a relief, and in one regard even a cause for celebration. The agreement to establish a loss and damage fund is a historic breakthrough, demanded for three decades by developing countries. The devil will as usual lie in the detail: who will fund it? But it should help to provide the financial assistance poorer nations need for rescuing and rebuilding as extreme weather pummels their populations and infrastructure. And it comes despite the sustained opposition of the US and (until the eleventh hour) the EU.

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Categories: Environment

A deal on loss and damage, but a blow to 1.5C – what will be Cop27’s legacy?

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/11/20 - 10:32am

Anger at western hypocrisy heated to boiling point in Sharm el-Sheikh, but after intense talks the impasse was finally broken

On the eve of the Cop27 climate conference that has just finished in Sharm el-Sheikh, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, warned of the stark consequences of failure.

“There is no way we can avoid a catastrophic situation, if the two [the developed and developing world] are not able to establish a historic pact,” he said, in an interview with the Guardian. “Because at the present level, we will be doomed.”

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Categories: Environment

‘We can do the impossible’: how key players reacted to end of Cop27 climate summit

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/11/20 - 8:15am

World leaders, diplomats and activists respond to signing of ‘historic’ deal as climate talks wrap up

World leaders, diplomats, activists and experts have been reacting to the end of the Cop27 climate conference, which produced a groundbreaking agreement on climate finance for poorer countries but failed to make significant progress on many other matters. Here are some of the reactions from major players.

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Categories: Environment

In a win for local tribes, major dams along the Klamath River in Oregon will be removed

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2022/11/20 - 6:04am

Federal regulators have cleared the way for the removal of major dams along the Klamath River in Oregon. Local tribes and environmental groups have worked for decades to bring the dams down.

Categories: Environment
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