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Walmart invests billions to buy from women-owned businesses – but is it enough?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 4:08pm

Women-owned suppliers make up just 2% of the retailer’s global purchases – but Walmart will join Coca-Cola, Pepsi and others in committing to buy more

Walmart announced Wednesday it has achieved its goal to buy $20bn worth of goods and services from women-owned businesses in the US over five years. The company also conceded that it’s failed to reach another goal set around the same time: to double the amount of products and services sourced from women-owned companies outside of the country.

Related: Why employers' efforts to support pregnant workers can backfire

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Categories: Environment

Number of robins visiting UK gardens hits 20-year high

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 4:01pm

British gardens also saw a ‘waxwing winter’ in this winter’s Big Garden Birdwatch, conservationists say

The number of robins visiting gardens hit a 20-year high in this winter’s Big Garden Birdwatch, conservationists said.

Average numbers of the robin seen in gardens were up to their highest levels since 1986, making it the seventh most commonly seen bird in the citizen science survey in January.

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Categories: Environment

Climate-Friendly Coal Technology Works But Is Proving Difficult To Scale Up

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 2:56pm

Capturing carbon emissions from coal plants would reduce coal's effect on climate change. But high costs and other factors have stymied efforts to use that technology at more U.S. power plants.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Mississippi Power)

Categories: Environment

Renewables roadshow: how Canberra took lead in renewable energy race

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 2:30pm

In the latest in our series on Australian green energy projects, we find out how the ACT is transitioning to 100% renewable energy, aided by the country’s largest community-owned solar farm

• How the ‘nonna effect’ got Darebin’s pensioners signing up to solar
• How Daylesford’s windfarm took back the power

As Australia remains mired in a broken debate about the supposed dangers of renewable energy, some states and territories are ignoring the controversy and steaming ahead.

While Australia is far from the renewable capital of the world, the Australian Capital Territory may soon be among the world’s top renewable energy regions. And as it transitions, the ACT is demonstrating the benefits of the renewables boom to the rest of the country.

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Categories: Environment

Renewables roadshow – Canberra: '100% renewable by 2020. It will happen' – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 2:30pm

Helped by the country’s largest community-owned solar farm, Australia’s capital is making plans to provide all its energy from renewables. Wind turbines now being built around Canberra and the 1.2MW community-owned solar farm will ensure the ACT meets its 2020 goal. About 600 locals have a share in the scheme

Renewables roadshow: how Canberra took lead in renewable energy race

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Categories: Environment

Where Levees Fail In California, Nature Can Step In To Nurture Rivers

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 2:20pm

After devastating floods, California is looking to spend billions on dams and levees. Some are calling for a new approach to flood control, one that mimics nature instead of trying to contain it.

(Image credit: Lauren Sommer/KQED)

Categories: Environment

EPA Decides Not To Ban A Pesticide, Despite Its Own Evidence Of Risk

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 1:02pm

New EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has decided not to ban chlorpyrifos, a pesticide widely used on produce. That's despite evidence previously compiled by EPA showing it could pose risks to consumers.

(Image credit: Jim West/Science Source)

Categories: Environment

'Climate change is real': companies challenge Trump's reversal of policy

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 12:06pm

Mars Inc, Staples, The Gap and others speak out against Trump’s sweeping executive order that begins to dismantle Obama’s Clean Power Plan

In 2015, when Barack Obama signed the nation’s clean power plan, more than 300 companies came out in support, calling the guidelines “critical for moving our country toward a clean energy economy”. Now, as Donald Trump moves to strip those laws away, Mars Inc, Staples and The Gap are just a few of those US corporations who are challenging the new president’s reversal on climate policy.

Related: Trump's order signals end of US dominance in climate change battle

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Categories: Environment

Senate coal inquiry's split result blamed on 'squabbling' parties

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 12:00pm

Australian Conservation Foundation says Coalition and Labor failing workers and risking the country’s energy security

A major environment group has blasted Australia’s political parties for squabbling while energy security suffers after a Senate inquiry into the retirement of coal-fired power stations split three ways.

The Senate’s environment and communications references committee has been inquiring into mechanisms for an orderly transition away from coal-fired power to lower emissions energy sources for several months.

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Categories: Environment

Calls Mount For Ban On 'Cyanide Bombs' After Death Of Family Pet

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 11:15am

An M-44, which sprays predators with sodium cyanide, detonated on a teen and his dog earlier this month in Idaho. Now the family and others are petitioning the USDA to end its use of the devices.

(Image credit: Bannock County Sheriff's Office)

Categories: Environment

Thousands of pollution deaths worldwide linked to western consumers – study

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 10:00am

Study shows extent to which US and western European demand for clothes, toys and mobile phones contributes to air pollution in developing countries

Western consumers who buy cheap imported toys, clothes and mobile phones are indirectly contributing to tens of thousands of pollution-related deaths in the countries where the goods are produced, according to a landmark study.

Nearly 3.5 million people die prematurely each year due to air pollution, the research estimates, and about 22% of these deaths are associated with goods and services that were produced in one region for consumption in another.

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Categories: Environment

Ray Collier obituary

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 5:16am
Country Diarist who adopted the wilds of Scotland as his home and inspiration

Ray Collier, who has died aged 79, was devoted to the wildlife and landscape of Scotland, and used his years of experience, depth of knowledge and lively writing to kindle a similar love in others. A longstanding member of the Guardian’s band of Country Diarists, he also wrote for a sheaf of Highland newspapers, took eagerly to blogging when the world went online and was the author of two respected books.

Born in Gloucestershire, he adopted the magnificent wilds of Scotland as his home and inspiration when his work for the Nature Conservancy took him north in the 1960s. When he retired in 2002, he was the chief warden for Scottish Natural Heritage, and so absorbed in his patch that he let his passport lapse and never renewed it. The scenery and wildlife on his doorstep were more than ample, especially as the doorstep extended from his porch in Strathnairn, near Inverness, to the Western Isles, Cape Wrath and the English border.

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Categories: Environment

Dead Sea evidence of unprecedented drought is warning for future

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 4:48am

A 30-metre layer of salt discovered beneath Dead Sea reveals drought worse than any in human history – and it could happen again

Far below the Dead Sea, between Israel, Jordan and Palestinian territories, researchers have found evidence of a drought that has no precedent in human experience.

From depths of 300 metres below the landlocked basin, drillers brought to the surface a core that contained 30 metres of thick, crystalline salt: evidence that 120,000 years ago, and again about 10,000 years ago, rainfall had been only about one fifth of modern levels.

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Categories: Environment

Soybeans could surpass corn plantings amid solvency concerns for US farmers

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 4:00am

Department of Agriculture survey of planting intentions hints at record acreage for soybeans as agricultural community worries over low crop prices

Is “king corn” finally dead? For decades, corn has been the US’s most profitable crop, but after three straight years of low prices its dominance is being challenged and, this week, could officially end.

On 31 March, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) will release its highly anticipated prospective plantings report, the government’s survey of US farmer spring-planting plans. It’s the first major forecast for the 2017 growing season, with the USDA releasing acreage intentions for all major row crops such as corn, soybeans, spring-planted wheat, cotton and other smaller grains.

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Categories: Environment

Rare Indochinese tigers caught on camera in Thai jungle – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 2:57am

Critically endangered Indochinese tigers are captured on sensor-triggered cameras throughout 2016, set up in Thailand’s Eastern Forest Complex by the Forest Department and wildlife NGOs Freeland and Panthera. Conservationists say it gives hope for the survival of an animal whose total population is estimated at 221, spread across Myanmar and Thailand

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Categories: Environment

Mount Everest climbers enlisted for canvas bag clean-up mission

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 2:40am

Recreational climbers and Sherpas asked to help remove hundreds of kilograms of litter after series of deadly quakes on world’s highest peak

The government of Nepal and Everest expedition organisers have launched a clean-up operation at 21,000ft to remove rubbish left on the world’s highest peak after a series of deadly avalanches.

Sherpas and other climbers have been given 10 canvas bags each capable of holding 80kg (176lbs) of waste to place at different elevations on Mount Everest.

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Categories: Environment

Passengers Take Flight To View Southern Lights

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 2:07am

The Aurora Australis is a display of neon green lights that dance across the southern skies. A plane took off from New Zealand to get a special view.

Categories: Environment

Measuring The Impact Of Rolling Back Environmental Regulations

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 2:07am

President Trump's environmental order proposes rolling back regulations. David Greene speaks with John Larsen of the Rhodium Group about the impact those rollbacks could have on emissions levels.

Categories: Environment

California Doubles Down On Efforts To Slow Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 2:07am

The Trump administration said it would review tail pipe emissions and fuel standards. But the state of California is doing more to curb emissions from cars.

Categories: Environment

Former Rep. Bob Inglis On Trump Environmental Regulation Rollbacks

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2017/03/29 - 2:07am

President Trump has signed an executive order intended to roll back climate change regulations. David Greene speaks with former Republican Rep. Bob Inglis about the implications.

Categories: Environment
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