Environment

Can the advertising industry sell us waste-free living?

Guardian Environment News - 7 hours 20 min ago

The founder of WWF’s Earth Hour, Andy Ridley, believes the creative industries are key to building support for the circular economy

It was diving in the Great Barrier Reef in Australia that sparked Andy Ridley’s interest in environmental issues. Shocked at its state, he joined WWF and went on to launch Earth Hour in 2007, the huge climate change awareness campaign that sees buildings in 7,000 cities turn off their lights.

Now, in his new role as CEO of Circular Economy, a Netherlands-based social enterprise, Ridley wants to build a similar global grassroots movement to accelerate the circular economy.

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Categories: Environment

Call for NSW land-clearing laws to be dropped after losing support of farmers

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/27 - 8:15pm

With Labor and the Greens already opposed, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party says it will take advice from the farmers’ lobby not to support the laws

Drastic changes to land-clearing laws in NSW, which have been fiercely opposed by conservationists, have now also lost the support of farmers, leading to renewed calls for them to be dropped.

The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party told Guardian Australia it would take advice from the farmers’ lobby group not to support the laws in their current form. With Labor and the Greens opposed, the bill will have trouble passing the state’s upper house.

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Categories: Environment

US, Canada and Mexico pledge 50% of power from clean energy by 2025

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/27 - 5:41pm

Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Enrique Peña Nieto to announce new ‘aggressive but achievable’ goal at ‘Three Amigos’ summit in Ottawa

Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Enrique Peña Nieto will commit to a new regional clean power goal at a summit this week in Ottawa, the White House has said.

The leaders of the US, Canada and Mexico, meeting on Wednesday at the so-called “Three Amigos” summit, will pledge to have their countries produce 50% of their power by 2025 from hydropower, wind, solar and nuclear plants, carbon capture and storage, as well as from energy efficiency measures.

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Categories: Environment

Voters approve controversial French airport relocation

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/27 - 3:50am

Majority in the local referendum on the Nantes Atlantique airport ends long battle between environmental activists and the government

Voters in western France gave the go-ahead Sunday to a controversial airport development that has been at the centre of a years-long battle between environmental activists and the government.

The local referendum on the new Nantes Atlantique airport passed with a 55% majority, ending a 50-year argument that saw the government’s environment advisers resign in 2014.

Authorities argue that the new airport will provide a major boost to tourism in western France, but environmental campaigners have fiercely opposed the plans to build it on protected swampland just outside Nantes.

Related: Nantes airport: thousand-strong protest over farmer eviction court hearings

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Categories: Environment

The inter-generational theft of Brexit and climate change | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/27 - 3:00am

Youth will bear the brunt of the poor decisions being made by today’s older generations

In last week’s Brexit vote results, there was a tremendous divide between age groups. 73% of voters under the age of 25 voted to remain in the EU, while about 58% over the age of 45 voted to leave.

How does Thursday's referendum vote break down? #Brexit #EURefResults https://t.co/ArbedCgHDr pic.twitter.com/XPIdg0s8HP

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Categories: Environment

VW Faces Tuesday Deadline For Diesel Emissions Settlement

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2016/06/27 - 2:00am

Volkswagen admitted last September to intentionally cheating on emissions tests. A federal judge has set a Tuesday deadline for VW to work out a plan for making amends.

Categories: Environment

Unfettered heathlands of the New Forest

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/06/26 - 9:30pm

Country diary: Dibden Purlieu Dusty paths of sun-baked sand provide firm routes into the heathland, widened by walkers seeking peace in the green lung of the forest


West of Dibden Purlieu, isolated from the invasive residential tendrils of the Waterside communities by the teeming bypass, the heathland of the New Forest spreads away almost unfettered. If you choose, as I often have, you can roam for a dozen miles without encountering more than a few minor roads.

A few hundred metres from the village you are already in mature woodland – conifers planted in the 1960s are now being selectively felled, allowing the understorey of holly and birch to break upwards into the canopy. The fences around the plantation have gone now, the edges blurred – managed but no longer strictly linear. Dusty paths of sun-baked sand provide firm routes on into the heathland, some much widened since my last visit by the traffic from walkers seeking peace in the green lung of the forest.

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Categories: Environment

Spring spread more slowly across UK in 2016 – Woodland Trust

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/06/26 - 4:01pm

Spawning frogs, arrival of swallows and first oak leaves took four weeks rather than three to spread from south to north

Signs of a British spring including spawning frogs, the arrival of migrating swallows and the first leaves on oak trees took a week longer to spread across the UK this year than in the last two decades, according to nature watchers.

A mild winter saw spring flowers out earlier than usual, and signs of spring such as hawthorn leafing and red admiral butterflies on the wing on Christmas Day.

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Categories: Environment

Global air pollution crisis 'must not be left to private sector'

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/06/26 - 4:01pm

Energy authority says governments must take responsibility, and investment would pay for itself in health benefits

The global air pollution crisis killing more than 6 million people a year must be tackled by governments as a matter of urgency and not just left to the private sector, a report from the world’s leading energy authority says.

An increase of investment in energy of about 7% a year could tackle the problem, and would pay for itself through health benefits and better social conditions, the International Energy Agency estimates.

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Categories: Environment

Winds and heavy showers take their toll of insect life: Country diary 100 years ago

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/06/26 - 2:30pm

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 1 July 1916

Surrey, June 30
The chill west winds and heavy showers take their toll of insect life. You miss the small blue butterflies on the downs, most delicate of the lesser things that fly in dozens, with slight wings that the sun shines through and tinges with all kinds of hues; two or three come carried along by the wind and escape the big drops for fifty yards or so. Then they are struck down on to the dripping bents and there is nothing left in the air but groups of gnats which seem able to enjoy summer in any kind of weather. But lift the wild clematis that just here covers all the hedge, and there are all kinds of live things sheltering in warmth. A meadow pipit goes out twittering, while a robin merely perches a little distance off and eyes you; speckled butterflies chase away, stag beetles crawl, and a brown lappet moth, disturbed before its hour, sails as best it can over the hedge.

An hour later, when the clouds and the wind have gone, everything changes. Insects on the wing seem to have recovered life, they are so many; the cuckoo spit appears as if from nowhere in the hollows of a hundred budding flowers and frosts the honeysuckle bloom; gauze-flies are in the thistles; the light fluffy fruit of the dandelion wafts across and settles on the wild convolvulus; the quaking grass shivers, although the leaves of the overgrown stitchwort betray no sign of a breeze; and the swallows go higher and higher as they circle in the red light of coming sundown. Now song breaks out again; you hear it coming up from the small wood beside the broad field where the wheat is just losing its flower.

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Categories: Environment

Michael Eavis laments muddiest ever Glastonbury festival

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/06/26 - 11:44am

Founder says he hasn’t seen anything like it in the music event’s 46-year history, and says it highlights climate change

Glastonbury has suffered the worst rain and mud since the festival began 46 years ago, consuming the region’s entire supply of woodchip in the process.

Founder Michael Eavis said he will not consider moving the festival to later in the summer to avoid the wet, and blamed the torrential rain that hit the site in the weeks before the gates opened on global warming.

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Categories: Environment

Locals Provide Disaster Assist After West Virginia Floods Kill At Least 24

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2016/06/26 - 4:59am

Search and rescue operations are underway in West Virginia after flooding killed at least 24 people. Clean up has begun but some things can't be saved.

Categories: Environment

UK food prices set to rise after Brexit vote

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2016/06/26 - 1:31am

Plunging pound and Britain’s reliance on imports will mean higher prices, says farmers’ leader

Food prices are likely to go up as a short-term consequence of Britain’s voting to leave the EU, owing to the UK’s dependence on imports, according to the president of the National Farmers Union.

Meurig Raymond said the EU referendum result had been a “political car crash” and that UK farmers who receive up to £3bn in subsidies from the EU each year were headed into “uncharted waters”.

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Categories: Environment

How the dormouse is returning to England’s hedgerows after 100 years

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2016/06/25 - 11:30pm

Moves to save the tiny woodland mammal from extinction could herald the reintroduction of larger lost species such as the wolf and sea eagle

More than 100 years after they were last recorded by Victorian naturalists in Yorkshire’s Wensleydale valley, rare dormice have returned to a secret woodland location there.

Last Thursday, 20 breeding pairs of rare hazel dormice (Muscardinus avellanarius) were reintroduced in the Yorkshire Dales national park as part of a national scheme to reverse the decline of one of Britain’s most threatened mammals.

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Categories: Environment

Climate change: John Hewson accuses Coalition of 'national disgrace'

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2016/06/25 - 10:04pm

Former Liberal leader says climate should be dominant issue of election campaign rather than ‘short-term politicking’

The former Liberal leader John Hewson addressed an estimated 2000 people protesting in the Sydney suburb of Double Bay – minutes from Malcolm Turnbull’s harbourside mansion – calling on the prime minister to take stronger action on climate change.

Speaking at the same time as Turnbull addressed the party faithful at the Coalition’s campaign launch, Hewson told protesters the Coalition’s lack of action on climate change was a “national disgrace”.

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Categories: Environment

The eco guide to having a drink

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2016/06/25 - 10:00pm

Is having a pint ethically unconscientious? What’s the carbon footprint of getting drunk? Time to uncork the issues

At the risk of channelling Al Murray’s Pub Landlord, the great British boozer is brilliantly ethical in some respects. In fact, the New Economics Foundation says your local is one of the top places in which to spend money on the high street if you want it to stay local. And now, in an effort to make watering holes ethical powerhouses, the Greener Retailing Publicans Guide has just launched. The report, which also identifies ways in which pubs, restaurants and bars can become more profitable, goes strong on tackling food waste, which costs UK pubs £357m a year. It reckons they easily waste at least £1,000 each year in spilled pints, too.

This matters not just because it’s waste, but because a lot of water and energy is required to convert one gallon of water into one gallon of beer, whisky or wine. Brands are looking to do something to address these environmental pressures. Heineken recently opened the world’s first “major zero-carbon brewery” in Austria, and everyone from whisky makers to cideries is trying to curtail their demand for clean water.

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Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef: scientists ask Malcolm Turnbull to curb fossil fuel use

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2016/06/25 - 9:46pm

International Society for Reef Studies presidents say prime minister should prioritise reef after ‘devastating’ damage

As the largest international gathering of coral reef experts comes to a close, scientists have written to the Australian prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, calling for action to save the world’s reefs.

The letter was sent to Turnbull on Saturday imploring his government to do more to conserve the nation’s reefs and curb fossil fuel consumption.

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Categories: Environment

Hardwood from illegal logging makes its way into UK stores

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2016/06/25 - 4:05pm
Deforestation is rife in the Amazon, Colombia and the Philippines, say environmental groups

British shoppers could be unknowingly buying wooden furniture, flooring and even food items that are byproducts of destructive illegal logging in the Amazon, environmental campaigners are warning.

Friends of the Earth is calling on ministers to make companies reveal the source of their products in order to stop the black market trade. Last week human rights watchdog Global Witness revealed that 185 environmental activists were killed in 2015, many of whom had been trying to stop illegal logging in the Amazon. An estimated 80% of Brazilian hardwood is illegally logged.

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Categories: Environment

Hebden Bridge flood victims finally get their Christmas dinner

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2016/06/25 - 3:41pm
People in the Calder valley are picking up where they left off before their homes were inundated last December

People in West Yorkshire enjoyed their Christmas dinner yesterday, six months after floods inundated homes along the Calder valley.

After unprecedented rainfall last December the river Calder burst its banks, flooding the market town of Hebden Bridge and the village of Mytholmroyd, forcing residents to abandon their Christmas festivities.

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Categories: Environment

23 Killed In Historic West Virgina Flooding

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2016/06/25 - 5:32am

Some of the worst flooding in the state in 100 years is being blamed for the deaths of more than 20 people. Reporter Ashton Marra tells Scott Simon that many died trapped in their cars and homes.

Categories: Environment
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