Make big polluters pay for mass tree planting, officials say

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/01/22 - 11:00pm

Oil companies and airlines could fund 100m trees a year, says Committee on Climate Change

The planting of 100m trees a year in the UK to tackle the climate emergency could be paid for by new carbon levies on oil companies and airlines, the government’s official climate adviser has proposed.

The Committee on Climate Change also recommends banning the burning of grouse moors and the sale of peat compost to protect the nation’s bogs, which can store huge amounts of carbon. Voluntary measures have failed, it said.

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Categories: Environment

Monarch butterfly population critically low on California coast – again

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/01/22 - 7:03pm

Study finds 29,000 butterflies, compared with 4.5 million during the 1980s, as experts point to habitat destruction

The western monarch butterfly population wintering along California’s coast remains critically low for the second year in a row, a count by an environmental group released Thursday showed.

The count of the orange-and-black insects by the Xerces Society, a not-for-profit environmental organization that focuses on the conservation of invertebrates, recorded about 29,000 butterflies in its annual survey. That’s not much different than last year’s tally, when an all-time low 27,000 monarchs were counted.

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Categories: Environment

Out cold: unseasonal temperatures litter south Florida with stunned iguanas

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/01/22 - 4:19pm

The weather forecast warned it would be raining reptiles and Floridians recorded encounters with lizards feeling the chill

It truly was the night (and day) of the iguana.

After the National Weather Service (NWS) sent an unusual alert to south Florida residents on Tuesday night warning them of possible “falling iguanas” in light of unseasonably low temperatures, residents were indeed treated to a show of rigid reptiles out of the sky (or, actually, the trees).

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Categories: Environment

Malcolm Turnbull criticises Scott Morrison for 'downplaying' bushfire crisis

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/01/22 - 4:01pm

Former Australian prime minister says the PM did not act in ‘the way a prime minister would and should’

The former prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has said he “can’t explain” Scott Morrison’s behaviour during Australia’s unprecedented bushfire crisis and that his successor had “downplayed” the catastrophe and had not behaved the way a prime minister should.

Turnbull made the extraordinary criticism of Morrison during an interview with the BBC on Wednesday, in which he also blamed News Corp and rightwing thinktanks in Australia for promoting climate change denialism.

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Categories: Environment

President Trump, Climate Change And 1 Trillion Trees

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2020/01/22 - 2:28pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with Janet Ranganathan of the World Resources Institute about the Trillion Trees initiative which President Trump said the U.S. would contribute to at Davos.

Categories: Environment

Non-violent groups on UK counter-terror list threaten legal action

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/01/22 - 12:43pm

Animal Aid, CND and Extinction Rebellion among those saying rights violated

Peaceful protest groups listed in a counter-terrorism guide used as part of anti-extremism briefings are threatening legal action unless it is withdrawn.

The Guardian revealed on Friday that Greenpeace, Peta and other non-violent groups were listed alongside neo-Nazis in the document used as part of training for Prevent, the anti-radicalisation scheme designed to catch those at risk of committing terrorist violence.

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Categories: Environment

'This is Dunkirk. This is 9/11': Al Gore implores Davos to tackle climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/01/22 - 12:18pm

Former US presidential candidate tells global elite that crisis is a ‘challenge to our moral imagination’

Former US vice-president Al Gore has tried to mobilise the global elite to fight the climate crisis by comparing it to some of history’s greatest battles, from Agincourt to Dunkirk.

Gore told delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos that the scale of the climate emergency was much worse than people recognise, and getting worse much faster than people recognise.

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Categories: Environment

US drinking water contamination with ‘forever chemicals’ far worse than scientists thought

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/01/22 - 11:08am

Highest levels of PFAS in Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans, report by environmental watchdog finds

The contamination of US drinking water with manmade “forever chemicals” is far worse than previously estimated with some of the highest levels found in Miami, Philadelphia and New Orleans, said a report on Wednesday by an environmental watchdog group.

The chemicals, resistant to breaking down in the environment, are known as perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. Some have been linked to cancers, liver damage, low birth weight and other health problems.

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Categories: Environment

Rising temperatures put more US workers at risk of dying from heat

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/01/22 - 1:00am

As the climate crisis worsens, there are currently no federal safety protections for workers in extreme temperatures

It was more than 100F (38C) in the attic where telephone technician Brent Robinson was working.

The 55-year-old, who had worked for 30 years at Verizon, was installing a phone service for a residential customer in Rancho Cucamonga, 40 miles east of Los Angeles in southern California.

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Categories: Environment

Great Australian Bight: Wilderness Society launches legal challenge to Equinor's oil drilling approval

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/21 - 9:15pm

Conservation group say the Norwegian energy giant refused to formally consult with affected groups

The Wilderness Society has launched legal action challenging the environmental approval granted to Norwegian energy giant Equinor to explore for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

The conservation group had flagged a possible court case after the proposal to deepwater drill in the Great Australian Bight Marine Park was approved by the federal offshore petroleum regulator in December. It was the second, and most significant, of four regulatory hurdles Equinor needs to clear before it can drill.

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Categories: Environment

UK climate scientist corrects Australian MP Craig Kelly's 'blatant misrepresentation'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/21 - 7:36pm

Prof Sandy Harrison tells the Liberal on his Facebook page that his misuse of her study should not go unchallenged

A leading UK climate scientist has used the Facebook page of the MP Craig Kelly to correct his “blatant misrepresentation” of a study she co-authored on a 70,000-year history of bushfires in Australia.

Kelly, a serial denier of climate change, has been using the 2011 study to claim rising CO2 in the atmosphere can’t be linked to Australia’s bushfire crisis, because the study had shown total area being burned was going down while CO2 is rising.

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Categories: Environment

Former Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull says Trump is the world's 'leading climate denier'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/21 - 6:33pm

Turnbull says US president is ‘actively working against global action to reduce emissions’

Donald Trump is the world’s “leading climate denier”, the former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has said.

Turnbull, who lost the prime ministership in August 2018 in part because of his own party’s opposition to his plans to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, made the comments to BBC Newsnight on Tuesday (Wednesday morning, Australian time).

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Categories: Environment

Supreme Court Allows Flint Water Lawsuits To Move Forward, Officials Not 'Immune'

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/01/21 - 6:08pm

In refusing to take up two cases involving the 2014 water crisis, the higher court has upheld earlier rulings saying neither city nor state officials are protected from being sued.

(Image credit: Carolyn Kaster/AP)

Categories: Environment

Great Barrier Reef group severs ties with Greyhound over Adani contract

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/21 - 5:57pm

Exclusive: Bus company’s CEO Alex de Waal resigns from board of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation after support for coal project declared ‘clear conflict’

A Great Barrier Reef conservation organisation has ended its partnership with bus company Greyhound just hours after Guardian Australia revealed the company’s contract at the controversial Adani coal project in Queensland.

Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation held an emergency board meeting at 8am today, where its chairman Alex de Waal, who is the chief executive of Greyhound Australia, resigned.

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Categories: Environment

Frozen iguanas forecast to shower south Florida as temperatures drop

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/21 - 4:10pm

National Weather Service warned of reptiles falling from trees as iguanas are susceptible to freezing once temperatures fall to 40F

The National Weather Service (NWS) took the unusual step on Tuesday of warning that frozen iguanas are expected to shower south Florida as temperatures drop to unusually low levels for the region overnight.

Iguanas, as it turns out, are susceptible to freezing once temperatures drop to around 40F (4.44C). When frozen, these cold-blooded creatures lose their grip on the cozy trees they call home and slip. But the experts informed the public to be aware that the chilled reptiles may be stiff and appear lifeless – but they are not dead.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil prosecutors charge 16 people with murder in dam collapse that killed 270

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/21 - 4:05pm
  • Former CEO of mining giant Vale among those charged
  • Vale ‘acted directly to create false impression of safety in dams’

Brazilian prosecutors have charged 16 people – including the former CEO of mining giant Vale – with murder and environmental crimes over the collapse of a tailings dam which killed 270 people on 25 January 2019.

The charges were announced by state prosecutors in Minas Gerais days before the first anniversary of the disaster, which sent a torrent of liquid mining waste across the picturesque countryside, flattening Vale’s plant, offices and canteen, and killing guests at a nearby countryside guesthouse.

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Categories: Environment

UK could tap into Africa's $24bn market for off-grid solar power

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/21 - 11:12am

Rapidly growing sector could prove lucrative as Britain seeks post-Brexit trade opportunities

UK investors could seize a $24bn investment opportunity by helping to connect millions of people without access to electricity to off-grid home solar power systems.

The market for pay-as-you-go home solar packages is expected to boom in Africa, where millions of homes are using mobile technology to rent low-cost solar panels.

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Categories: Environment

Greyhound warns staff they could be 'in the crossfire' over Adani contract

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/21 - 9:30am

Exclusive: anti-Adani campaigners may protest bus company’s involvement in controversial mine, email tells workers

The boss of the Australian bus company Greyhound has warned its workers they could be caught “in the crossfire” after signing a contract to help build the Adani coal project in Queensland.

The email from the chief executive, Alex de Waal, seen by Guardian Australia, asked staff not to “undermine your colleagues or brand” by sharing internal updates or posting to social media.

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Categories: Environment

Lloyds set to halve carbon emissions it finances in 10 years

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/21 - 7:33am

Bank vows to create ‘green products and services’ such as energy efficiency mortgages

Environmental campaigners have welcomed a pledge by Lloyds Banking Group to halve the amount of carbon emissions it finances through personal and business loans by 2030.

The commitment comes as lenders face heightened criticism over their role in fuelling the climate crisis by funding projects and companies that rely heavily on fossil fuels.

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Categories: Environment

Writers and scientists celebrate UK's 67 most endangered birds

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/21 - 6:30am

Book aims to raise awareness of conservation – and some much-needed funding

From stories about capercaillies strutting around like “cocksure” hedge fund managers to corn buntings shrieking like old fruit sellers, Britain’s nature writers, artists and scientists have flocked together to create an illustrated book celebrating 67 of the country’s most endangered birds.

Red Sixty Seven is an elegy to the growing number of British birds on the red list” of highly vulnerable species drawn up by conservation scientists for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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Categories: Environment
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