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Still life – with shadowy footprints

Guardian Environment News - 4 hours 15 min ago

Millyford Bridge, New Forest The sunlight shows up the small circular indentation made by the pond skaters’ feet in the surface of the water, and this is slightly magnified as the shadow is cast on the bed below

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Categories: Environment

Can Peru stop ‘ethical chocolate’ from destroying the Amazon?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 4:38pm

NGOs allege illegal deforestation of primary rainforest to plant cacao and oil palm

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Categories: Environment

As Lake Mead Levels Drop, The West Braces For Bigger Drought Impact

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 1:29pm

Near Las Vegas, levels in the nation's largest reservoir have dropped 140 feet since 2000. Water deliveries to Nevada, Arizona and California may soon be rationed — and farmers would feel it first.

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Categories: Environment

Cornel West warns of 'Planetary Selma' at Harvard fossil fuel divestment protest

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 12:24pm

Activist joins ‘heat week’ calling for full fossil fuel divestment and says ‘Ecological catastrophe is as evil as white supremacist catastrophe’

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Categories: Environment

Watch barrel jellyfish swarm off the coast of Cornwall - video

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 10:23am
Footage shows swarms of barrel jellyfish (Rhizostoma pulmo) off the coast of Cornwall in the UK. The video, taken by a local wildlife enthusiast Ross Wheeler on Wednesday from a boat near Falmouth Harbour, shows the jellyfish gliding through calm water. This swarm of barrel jellyfish, which can grow up to six feet long, was reportedly a mile long Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

Why fossil fuel divestment is a misguided tactic

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 9:42am

A divestment campaign may raise awareness but this gesture politics does not constitute an effective policy to deal with the risks of climate change

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Categories: Environment

Green news roundup: the latest from our climate campaign, dolphins and the elections

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 9:22am

The week’s top environment news stories and green events. If you are not already receiving this roundup, sign up here to get the briefing delivered to your inbox

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Categories: Environment

Norway approves mine's controversial plan to dump waste into fjord

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 8:48am

Activists promise protests after government green lights plan for mineral mine to dump millions of tonnes of tailings at spawning grounds for cod and salmon

Environmentalists promised civil disobedience after Norway’s government approved a controversial plan for a mining company to dump millions of tonnes of waste into a fjord.

“This is a fjord full of life – to smother it with toxins is insane,” said Arnstein Vestre, president of Young Friends of the Earth Norway, which has been part of protests against the plan. “We have 600 people ready to do civil disobedience actions, and we will not stop until the fjord is safe,” he said.

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Categories: Environment

Can Japan's climate policy get back on track after Fukushima?

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 8:13am

At the Kyoto summit Japan was a global leader in the fight against climate change, but post-Fukushima its emissions are rising and its reduction policy is in tatters, overshadowed by the debate over nuclear power

Less than two decades ago, Japan positioned itself in the vanguard of the global fight against climate change when it helped broker the Kyoto protocol.

Now, though, it is Fukushima, not Kyoto, that has come to define Japan’s energy policy, and with potentially grim consequences for its already stalled attempts to reduce CO2 emissions.

The threat of a nuclear meltdown overrides concerns about an increase in CO2 emissions

The utilities are saving grid space for nuclear, which effectively blocks suppliers of renewable energy

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 7:27am

A playful sea lion, a rare black flamingo and a huge jellyfish are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Whale gatecrashes underwater video stream – video

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 6:33am
A sperm whale interrupts the live stream of an underwater robot carrying out research off the coast of Louisiana on Wednesday. Researchers controlling the robot are initially alarmed when the giant mammal swims past. 'The heck is that?' says one scientist. But the crew soon become ecstatic as they are given a close-up view as the whale circles the machine Continue reading...
Categories: Environment

World Bank fossil fuel financing leapt in 2014 despite its calls to end subsidies

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 5:41am

New analysis reveals funding of over $3bn for fossil fuel-related projects last year, despite repeated calls by bank’s president to scrap such ‘harmful’ global subsidies

The World Bank increased its financing for fossil fuel projects in the last financial year, according to a new analysis, despite repeated calls by its president to end the global subsidies for oil, coal and gas.

In a report released on Friday, Oil Change International (OCI) identified $3.4bn (£2.3bn) of loans, grants, guarantees, risk management and equity for fossil fuel-related projects in the developing world in the 2013-14 financial year. This was the highest recorded in four years and up 23% on the year before although the bank said it disagreed with lumping in both direct and indirect funding.

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Categories: Environment

Scotland's plastic bag usage down 80% since 5p charge introduced

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 4:57am

Dramatic reduction reflects similar falls in single-use carrier bag consumption in Wales and Northern Ireland, with England to bring in charge this year

Plastic bag usage in Scotland has plummeted following the introduction of a 5p charge.

Early figures from retailers show that single-use carrier bag usage has fallen by more than 80% since the charge was introduced on 20 October 2014.

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Categories: Environment

Mary Robinson: Developing nations must move rapidly beyond fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 4:13am

Rich world must support poorest countries to transition from fossil fuels much faster than they have to keep unburnable reserves in the ground, says UN climate change envoy

Tackling climate change will require developing countries to move beyond fossil fuels far more quickly than the rich world has managed, the United Nations envoy on climate change has warned.

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and ex-UN human rights chief, said: “It may seem contradictory, but to be fair all countries must be enabled to participate in the transition away from fossil fuels together and at the same time. If not, we will exceed the carbon budget and consign countries without the means to participate in the transition to renewable energy to a future based on expensive, obsolete and polluting fossil fuels.”

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Categories: Environment

Fossil fuel investments are an issue on which fair-minded people will disagree

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 2:58am

People who share environmental goals will often reach different conclusions on divesting from fossil fuels, says Wellcome Trust director

Dear colleagues and friends,

You may well be aware that the Guardian recently launched a campaign urging the Wellcome Trust and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to end investments in fossil fuel companies. While we support the campaign’s ultimate aim of reducing carbon emissions to restrict global warming to 2C, we do not believe this is the strongest contribution we can make to this important goal.

Divestment would remove a strong voice that takes climate seriously

Related: Fossil-fuel divestment is not the way to reduce carbon emissions | Jeremy Farrar

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Categories: Environment

Supreme Court hears call to force UK government to meet air quality laws

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 2:03am

Green law group pushes for courts to issue a mandatory order requiring the environment department to comply with EU air pollution limits in the shortest timespan possible

The Supreme Court has been asked to issue a legal order forcing the British government to comply with European air quality limits intended to curb the 29,000 deaths that are caused by pollution every year.

A 2015 deadline set by the EU to reduce concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide and particulate matter has already been missed, and the government has refused to guarantee that an alternative plan it is working on will be ready before the year’s end.

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Categories: Environment

India, China Seek To Capitalize On Nepal's Water Wealth

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 2:03am

China and India are each spending billions of dollars on infrastructure, especially hydroelectric dams, in Nepal. Steve Inskeep talks to journalist Donatella Lorch about what China and India want.

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Categories: Environment

Five years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we are closer than ever to catastrophe

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 1:53am

Important changes have been made since 2010, but the oil and gas industry has not learned from the historic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

In the five years since the Deepwater Horizon accident, the oil and gas industry has not retreated to safety. Instead, it has expanded its technological horizon in ways that make it harder to foresee the complex interactions between drilling technologies, inevitable human errors and the ultra-deepwater environment.

Before its sinking, Deepwater Horizon had drilled one of the deepest oil and gas wells. That depth has since been surpassed, and exploration continues to new frontiers. Not far from the Deepwater Horizon accident site, Royal Dutch Shell is now developing the deepest offshore oil field in history. In the Caspian Sea, an international consortium is exploring the Kashagan oil and gas field, a mega-project that the consortium itself describes as an enormously challenging endeavour. And the hunt for Arctic oil takes place in some of the most inhospitable waters in the world.

Related: Working for Shell didn’t stop me having morals or accepting climate change

Related: Oil company employees should consider quitting their jobs | Jonathon Porritt

Related: We need to attack the morality of fossil fuel investment

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Categories: Environment

Edward Norton and Caroline Lucas back Guardian climate campaign

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2015/04/17 - 1:39am

The Keep it in the Ground campaign hit the headlines this week and printed 180,000 reasons for the Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust to divest from fossil fuels

Edward Norton, the actor and director known for films such as American History X, Birdman and Fight Club, has joined the Guardian’s campaign to keep fossil fuels in the ground. He told us why: “it’s time to change the paradigm and stop ruining the world for our kids”.

Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP in Brighton Pavillion agrees, paying tribute to the campaign at our You Talk They Listen election event at the University of Sussex on Wednesday. We were also delighted to discover a Sussex University divestment campaign in the audience. Lucas told us: “this is a bold and urgent campaign and I urge everyone to join it. It’s about climate and social justice right now – and, ultimately, the home we plan to leave for our children and theirs to inhabit. What can be more important?”

You're using the Guardian App and want to add our #keepitintheground project to your app's home screen? Here is how: pic.twitter.com/AWxfDTnE5r

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Categories: Environment
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