Sadiq Khan proposes journey charge for motorists in London

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/01/17 - 5:01pm

Mayor says air pollution and climate crisis are issues of ‘social justice’ in capital and across the globe

Motorists across the whole of London could be charged for every journey from 2024 under plans being drawn up to reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality.

The mayor, Sadiq Khan, said London should be a global leader in introducing smart road pricing, as a report found car journeys in the capital needed to be cut by more than a quarter to meet net zero emissions targets by 2030.

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Categories: Environment

Climate crisis could wipe 1% a year off UK economy by 2045, say ministers

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/01/17 - 12:22pm

Global heating of 2C would cause billions in damage each year by 2050, according to risk assessment

The climate crisis will wipe at least 1% a year off the UK’s economy by 2045 if global temperatures are allowed to rise by 2C, the government has said.

More action would be needed on key areas such as flood defences, restoring natural protections such as peatlands and wetlands, and making the built environment more resilient to extreme weather, ministers said.

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Categories: Environment

‘Kill the bill’ protests: new legislation is proportionate, says Buckland

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/01/17 - 9:15am

Former justice secretary defends police and crime bill as it reaches final stages in parliament

The police, crime, sentencing and courts bill that has sparked “kill the bill” demonstrations across the country is a “proportionate” response to recent protests such as those by Insulate Britain, the former justice secretary Robert Buckland has said.

Protesters took to the streets in cities across the UK at the weekend to rally against the police and crime bill, which is reaching its final stages in parliament and will be considered by the House of Lords on Monday.

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Categories: Environment

China’s coal production hit record levels in 2021

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/01/17 - 8:21am

In blow to climate campaigners, state encourages miners to ramp up output to avert winter gas crisis

China’s coal production reached record levels last year as the state encouraged miners to ramp up their fossil fuel output to safeguard the country’s energy supplies through the winter gas crisis.

The world’s biggest coal producer and consumer mined 384.67m tonnes of the fossil fuel last month, easily topping its previous record of 370.84m tonnes set in November, after the government called for miners to work at maximum capacity to help fuel the country’s economic growth.

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Categories: Environment

Scottish government in line for near-£700m payday after windfarm auction

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/01/17 - 5:14am

Seabed permits given to 17 projects from companies including Scottish Power, Shell, BP and SSE

The Scottish government is in line for a windfall of almost £700m after the largest ever auction of the country’s seabed plots attracted bids from big oil and renewable energy companies hoping to build next generation windfarms.

Crown Estate Scotland has awarded oil companies including BP and Shell, and renewable energy veterans Scottish Power and SSE, permission to lease the Scottish seabed where they plan to build enough windfarms to power the equivalent of 23m UK homes a year.

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Categories: Environment

‘We started eating them’: what do you do with an invasive army of crayfish clones?

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/01/17 - 12:45am

It’s been dubbed the perfect invader, but the marbled crayfish may offer a sustainable food source and even help prevent disease

Small, bluish-grey and speckled, it would be easy to overlook the marbled crayfish. Except for the fact it is likely to be coming to a pond or river near you soon – if it is not already there. The all-female freshwater crustacean has become a focus of fascination for scientists in recent years, due to its unique ability among decapods – the family that includes shrimps, crabs and lobsters – to clone itself and quickly adapt to new environments, as well as the fact that it has spread exponentially.

The marbled crayfish was first recognised in 1995, when a biology student bought a bag of crayfish – sold to him as “Texas crayfish” – from American traders at a pet fair in Frankfurt. After becoming a burden to their new owner due to their inexplicably rapid rate of reproduction, he distributed them to friends who, in turn, dumped them in rivers, lakes and toilets, from where they spread rapidly, throughout Germany, much of mainland Europe and most profusely, the island of Madagascar, home to unique but extremely delicate freshwater ecosystems.

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Categories: Environment

Scottish auction for offshore windfarm permits expected to raise £860m

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/01/16 - 11:29am

Crown Estate Scotland hopes amount of electricity generated in Scottish waters will double over next decade

Scotland’s largest-ever auction of permits to construct offshore windfarms is expected to raise up to £860m when the results are announced on Monday.

Crown Estate Scotland, which is running the auction, hopes that windfarms with as much as 10 gigawatts of new generating capacity will be built over the next decade, effectively doubling the amount of electricity generated in Scottish waters in a transition which has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs.

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Categories: Environment

22 tips for 2022: Ditch fast fashion by choosing clothes that will outlast trends

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2022/01/16 - 4:00am

This simple trick can help you decide if an item of clothing is worth investing in, or if it's a passing trend you'd be better off passing on.

(Image credit: Becky Harlan/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Panic as Kosovo pulls the plug on its energy-guzzling bitcoin miners

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2022/01/16 - 1:30am

Speculators rush to sell off their kit as Balkan state announces a crypto clampdown to ease electricity crisis

For bitcoin enthusiasts in Kosovo with a breezy attitude to risk, it has been a good week to strike a deal on computer equipment that can create, or “mine”, the cryptocurrency.

From Facebook to Telegram, new posts in the region’s online crypto groups became dominated by dismayed Kosovans attempting to sell off their mining equipment – often at knockdown prices.

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Categories: Environment

Bulldozers, violence and politics crack an Indian dream of utopia

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/01/15 - 11:15pm

A blueprint based on ‘sacred geometry’ was designed to build Auroville, a perfect city of unity. But 50 years on the Galaxy Plan has created anger and division

Nestled deep in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, cocooned from the world by a young forest, lies a community that wants to change the world. Ask the residents, of Auroville, who come from more than 60 countries, what they are doing there and the answer will be much the same as it has been for more than five decades: “The purpose of Auroville is to realise human unity.”

Auroville was founded in 1968, with a vision to build an international city to upend rigid class and caste systems and be free of the pollution, traffic, chaos, rubbish, social isolation and suburban sprawl that have poisoned modern urban environments.

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Categories: Environment

‘Very hard life now’: 12 years after the Montara oil spill, Indonesians are still fighting to be heard

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/01/15 - 12:00pm

The spill in the Timor Sea was one of Australia’s worst environmental disasters, with thousands of seaweed farmers claiming it destroyed their livelihoods

The oil came without warning.

One morning in September 2009 it was there, coating Daniel Sanda’s modest seaweed farm on the Indonesian island of Rote: a dark sheen across the water, waxy yellow-grey blocks floating in the sea.

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Categories: Environment

Biden's climate agenda is stalled in Congress. In Hawaii, one key part is going ahead

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2022/01/15 - 5:59am

Hawaii gets most of its electricity from oil and coal. So the state is trying an experiment to get the utility off fossil fuels - and becoming a model for regulators across the US.

(Image credit: Julia Simon)

Categories: Environment

Love meat too much for Veganuary? Try Regenuary instead

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/01/15 - 4:15am

Proponents say the ‘regenerative farming’ eating challenge encourages consumption of more sustainable animal products – but is it just greenwash?

With Veganuary expected to reach more than 2 million sign-ups globally since its launch in 2014, the 31-day plant-based pledge is once again making headlines this January as food manufacturers, supermarkets and restaurants cater to the movement. But for people wanting to eat more sustainably, yet not willing to cut out meat completely, there is another consumer challenge to try: Regenuary.

The idea for people to source as much food as possible from producers who use regenerative farming methods was hatched three years ago by Glen Burrows, co-founder of the Ethical Butcher, who was a vegetarian for 25 years because he didn’t like the way meat was produced. “Back in 1989, being a vegetarian was basically like being a Martian,” he says. “I became that awkward guy at dinner parties and slightly enjoyed that moral smugness, but then after a long period of time, I wasn’t that well. It wasn’t suiting me.”

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Categories: Environment

Finland, Sweden and Norway to cull wolf population

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/01/15 - 1:00am

Conservation groups appeal to EU to take action against slaughter they allege flouts rules

Finland is joining Sweden and Norway in culling wolves this winter to control their population, as conservation groups appeal to the European Union to take action against the slaughter.

Hunters in Sweden have already shot dead most of their annual target of 27 wolves, while Finland is to authorise the killing of 20 wolves in its first “population management cull” for seven years.

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Categories: Environment

‘It’s wonderful to be here’: snowdrop festival returns to Devon village

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/01/15 - 1:00am

Galanthophiles flock to Buckland Monachorum for 375 varieties of the flower that tells us spring is on the way

In the winter sunshine they glinted and gleamed, bright white flowers dotted around the lawns and wooded slopes of a glorious garden on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon.

And within minutes of opening its doors, the Garden House was busy with hordes of galanthophiles – snowdrop lovers – taking in the sight of a beloved flower that at this time of year provides a vivid reminder that warmer, cheerier seasons are ahead.

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Categories: Environment

Global heating linked to early birth and damage to babies’ health, scientists find

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/01/15 - 1:00am

Exclusive: Studies show high temperatures and air pollution during pregnancy can cause lifelong health effects

The climate crisis is damaging the health of foetuses, babies and infants across the world, six new studies have found.

Scientists discovered increased heat was linked to fast weight gain in babies, which increases the risk of obesity in later life. Higher temperatures were also linked to premature birth, which can have lifelong health effects, and to increased hospital admissions of young children.

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Categories: Environment

Thank you for giving generously to the Guardian and Observer charity appeal

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2022/01/15 - 12:00am

This weekend is the last chance to donate to our 2021 appeal supporting those on the frontline of the climate emergency

In this year’s Guardian and Observer charity appeal we have supported communities and individuals hit hardest by the climate emergency, people who have seen their lives upended and livelihoods lost by extreme weather. It’s a topical issue, and not going away – and there is still time to donate: so far we have raised over £800,000.

Our appeal is shaped by vivid stories of climate emergency: floods, drought and wildfires; from reindeer killed by unnatural arctic heat to chronic crop failure by the shores of Lake Victoria. At its heart, however, lies inequality and poverty: the stark truth is the countries least responsible for global emissions have by far suffered worst from climate-induced disasters.

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Categories: Environment

Congo Basin peatlands have trapped years' worth of carbon. How can they be protected?

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2022/01/14 - 2:47pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with journalist John Cannon about the dangers of destroying a hidden peatland in the Congo Basin that has locked in as much carbon dioxide as the world emits in three years.

Categories: Environment

‘Another hellish day’: South America sizzles in record summer temperatures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2022/01/14 - 1:42pm

Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay are reeling from a historic heatwave with temperatures as high as 113F

Cities and towns across southern South America have been setting record high temperatures as the region swelters during a historic heatwave.

“Practically all of Argentina and also neighboring countries such as Uruguay, southern Brazil and Paraguay are experiencing the hottest days in history,” said Cindy Fernández, meteorologist at the official National Meteorological Service.

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Categories: Environment

The bald eagle population slowly recovers, but lead ammo hampers their resilience

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2022/01/14 - 1:18pm

Bald eagles, hailed an "American success story" were removed from the endangered species list in 2007. Now, researchers have found that lead ammunition has reduced their population growth.

(Image credit: Pat Wellenbach/AP)

Categories: Environment
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