Adani coalmine: Siemens CEO has ‘empathy’ for environment but refuses to quit contract

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/12 - 6:27pm

Joe Kaeser says he must balance stakeholder interests as climate change activists protest company’s decision

Global engineering company Siemens will not pull out of a contract at the new Adani coalmine in Australia, rejecting calls from climate campaigners including Greta Thunberg.

President and CEO of Siemens, Joe Kaeser, announced Monday that after reviewing the rail signalling contract the company had “a legally binding and enforceable fiduciary responsibility.”

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Categories: Environment

New Zealand schools to teach students about climate crisis, activism and 'eco anxiety'

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/12 - 6:07pm

Changes to the curriculum will put the country at the forefront of climate crisis education worldwide

Every school in New Zealand will this year have access to materials about the climate crisis written by the country’s leading science agencies – including tools for students to plan their own activism, and to process their feelings of “eco-anxiety” over global heating.

The curriculum will put New Zealand at the forefront of climate change education worldwide; governments in neighbouring Australia and the United Kingdom have both faced criticism for lack of cohesive teaching on the climate crisis. The New Zealand scheme, which will be offered to all schools that teach 11 to 15 year-old students, will not be compulsory, the government said.

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Categories: Environment

Air pollution could kill 160,000 in next decade – report

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/12 - 5:26pm

British Heart Foundation predicts current total of 11,000 particulate-related deaths per year will continue to rise

More than 160,000 people could die over the next decade from strokes and heart attacks caused by air pollution, a charity has warned. That is the equivalent of more than 40 heart and circulatory disease deaths related to air pollution every day.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF), which compiled the figures, said there are an estimated 11,000 deaths per year at the moment, but that this will rise as the population continues to age. It wants the UK to adopt World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on air pollution and meet them by 2030.

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Categories: Environment

Australian Prime Minister To Launch Inquiry Into Handling Of Wildfires

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/01/12 - 1:22pm

"There are things that I could have handled on the ground much better," the PM said. Many have linked the deadly fires to climate change and blamed conservative Australian governments for inaction.

(Image credit: David Mariuz/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Community-generated green electricity to be offered to all in UK

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/12 - 12:47pm

Power provided on new tariff to come exclusively from small-scale wind and solar farms

UK homes will soon be able to plug into community wind and solar farms from anywhere in the country through the first energy tariff to offer clean electricity exclusively from community projects.

The deal from Co-op Energy comes as green energy suppliers race to prove their sustainability credentials amid rising competition for eco-conscious customers and “greenwashing” in the market.

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Extinction Rebellion guidance raises fresh concerns over Prevent

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/12 - 11:50am

Latest controversy comes at a problematic time for UK anti-radicalisation scheme

The now recalled guidance issued by counter-terror police that placed Extinction Rebellion alongside the likes of jihadists and neo-Nazis emerged at a problematic time for the government’s flagship anti-radicalisation programme, Prevent.

The voluntary initiative is supposed to be under independent review after years of concerns about its impact on certain communities and on freedom of expression.

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Categories: Environment

Australia's Wildfires Are Releasing Vast Amounts Of Carbon

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/01/12 - 5:00am

The Australian bushfires are emitting huge amounts of climate warming carbon into the atmosphere. Normally, new vegetation that grows back would recapture it, but that may be changing.

(Image credit: Cassie Trotter/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

How bad can the climate crisis get if Trump wins again?

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/12 - 2:00am

US greenhouse gas emissions are up since 2017 and Trump’s administration has ripped up curbs on climate polluters

Climate pollution in the US is up under Donald Trump and threatens to undermine international efforts to stall the crisis, especially if he wins re-election this year and secures a second term in the White House.

While US climate emissions fell 2.1% in 2019, they rose significantly in 2018, according to estimates from the economic analysis firm Rhodium Group. On net, emissions are slightly higher than in the beginning of 2017, when Trump’s administration began enacting dozens of environment rollbacks aimed at helping the oil and gas industry.

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Categories: Environment

Deadly Storms Sweep Through Southern United States, Leaving At Least 11 Dead

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2020/01/11 - 4:52pm

Violent thunderstorms got underway in Texas and Oklahoma on Friday, dumping rain and bringing high winds before moving east and northeast. Deaths were reported in five states.

(Image credit: Bill Davis/AP)

Categories: Environment

Guardian and Observer charity appeal passes £850,000 to fight climate emergency

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/01/11 - 3:15pm

Over 11,000 readers have already donated to groups battling global heating. You still have time to join them
• Please donate to our appeal here

There is still time to donate to the Observer and Guardian climate emergency charity appeal, which has raised more than £875,000 for projects designed to plant, protect and renew trees, woodlands and forests.

More than 11,000 readers have so far given to the appeal, which promotes environmental and social justice through natural climate solutions, from safeguarding rainforests in the Amazon basin to rewilding the Scottish Highlands and greening Britain’s towns, cities and countryside. The appeal closes at midnight on Sunday 12 January.

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Categories: Environment

See a show and help save the planet as the West End turns green

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/01/11 - 9:09am
Performers join forces with experts for two-month Climate Change festival in a London theatre

After Extinction Rebellion’s call for urgent action on the streets of London last year, the issue of climate change is to stage another major London takeover. From 23 March, the wider environmental debate will dominate proceedings inside a West End theatre for eight weeks.

Performers including Alistair McGowan, Rob Brydon, Gaby Roslin and Jason Manford are to join experts in the field at the Charing Cross theatre, alongside the double Olivier award-winner and West End leading lady, Janie Dee, for the inaugural London Climate Change festival.

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Categories: Environment

From human composting to decluttering glassware: the latest trends in design

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/01/11 - 7:00am

The freshest developments and innovations, from ethical clothing to quizzical furniture

When Philippe Malouin was asked by Finnish glass manufacturer Iittala to create vessels that could be used to declutter people’s living spaces, he began by taking a critical look at his own home.

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Categories: Environment

With Their Land In Flames, Aboriginals Warn Fires Show Deep Problems In Australia

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2020/01/11 - 6:42am

As massive fires continue to consume Australia, aboriginal elders like Noel Butler say officials need to listen to natives about fire control.

(Image credit: Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Australians Debate What To Do About Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2020/01/11 - 5:48am

In the midst of the devastating wildfire season, Australians are still having a hard time finding common ground on what to do about climate change.

Categories: Environment

Mushrooms and orange peel: could biotech clean up the building industry?

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/01/11 - 5:00am

A biotech startup is researching building materials that could revolutionise construction. Not only are they biodegradable – some also absorb toxins

Cocoa husks, dried orange peel, ground blue pea flowers: the ingredients read like a tasting menu. They are, in fact, waste products that are used to make Orb – a sustainable building material that is carbon neutral. It’s versatile enough to be used for furniture or as a substitute for a wood-based sheet material

Orb is produced by Biohm, a startup founded in 2016 by Ehab Sayed. Sayed grew up in Doha, Qatar, and says his home town is one of the “biggest motivators” for him to inspire change. “Although it is the richest country in the world, it is likely one of the least sustainable and a contributor to the climate crisis,” he says. “Growing up in this environment resulted in a resentment towards the impact we are having on our planet.”

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Categories: Environment

California Reservation's Solar Microgrid Provides Power During Utility Shutoffs

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2020/01/11 - 5:00am

California utility PG&E continues planned power outages to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires. One Native tribe's solar-powered microgrid is proving to be a lifeline for rural communities.

(Image credit: Courtesy of the Blue Lake Rancheria)

Categories: Environment

Rare salt formations in Utah could offer clues about life on Mars

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/01/10 - 6:15pm

Tiny crystals found on edge of Great Salt Lake may offer insight about similar structures on the red planet, scientists say

Rare salt formations have been documented for the first time on the shores of the Great Salt Lake, and they could yield insights about salt structures found on Mars before they disappear for good.

They are showing up now in part because water levels at the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi have been lowered by drought and water diversion, exposing more shoreline. It’s a story that’s playing out throughout the American west as a growing population puts more demand on scarce water resources.

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Categories: Environment

How Australian Wildfire Emissions May Impact Global Climate

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2020/01/10 - 2:13pm

The Australian bushfires have released an enormous amount of climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions. But emissions from wildfires have a complicated effect on the broader global climate.

Categories: Environment

Belgian police cars fall foul of tighter controls on urban emissions

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/01/10 - 10:02am

Federal force unable to afford to bring fleet into line with new regulations in major cities

Belgium’s federal police have fallen foul of tighter emissions controls that come into force at the start of the year, with some of its cars and vans now too dirty to enter the cities of Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent.

The force said it was unable to afford to renew its entire fleet of several thousand vehicles and had already told the authorities about the situation.

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Categories: Environment

Terrorism police list Extinction Rebellion as extremist ideology

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/01/10 - 10:00am

Exclusive: Police scramble to recall guide issued to teachers putting climate activists alongside far-right groups

Counter-terrorism police placed the non-violent group Extinction Rebellion (XR) on a list of extremist ideologies that should be reported to the authorities running the Prevent programme, which aims to catch those at risk of committing atrocities, the Guardian has learned.

The climate emergency campaign group was included in a 12-page guide produced by counter-terrorism police in the south-east titled Safeguarding young people and adults from ideological extremism, which is marked as “official”.

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