Democrats to unveil bold new climate plan to phase out emissions by 2050

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/06/29 - 2:30pm
  • Report to outline aim to reduce emissions to 88% of 2010 levels
  • Huge sums for public transport and proposals for green vehicles

House Democrats will unveil an aggressive climate crisis “action plan” on Tuesday to nearly eliminate US emissions by 2050, according to summary documents reviewed by the Guardian.

The net-zero emissions goal is what United Nations leaders and the scientific community say the world must achieve to avoid the worst of rising temperatures, and it’s what the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, says he would pursue if he were to win the White House in November.

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Categories: Environment

Minnesota Attorney General Sues Exxon Over Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2020/06/29 - 1:00pm

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison tells All Things Considered he thinks Minnesota can prove its case alleging that Exxon Mobil and others knew about the damage of climate change decades ago.

(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

UK ministers send mixed messages over climate commitments, says fund manager

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/06/29 - 11:59am

Nigel Wilson criticises ‘confusion’ created by prioritising HS2 and Heathrow expansion

The head of the UK’s largest fund manager has criticised the UK government for creating “confusion” around the country’s climate commitments by prioritising projects such as expanding Heathrow airport and pushing ahead with HS2.

Nigel Wilson said government priorities were “not necessarily consistent” with climate crisis objectives and sending mixed messages to investors and the financial services industry.

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Categories: Environment

America's coalminers call for urgent help amid Covid-19 and industry decline

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/06/29 - 11:58am
  • Thousands of jobs lost as economy shifts to renewable energy
  • ‘Our workforce has the skills needed to transform the economy’

Coalmining communities have called for immediate action to stem the economic devastation wrought by the decline of coal, rising job losses and the coronavirus pandemic.

More than 84 organizations, including the Just Transition Fund, Appalachian Voices, Center for Coalfield Justice, Native Renewables and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, released a National Economic Transition platform on Monday in an effort to help coal communities adapt to climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Chesapeake bankruptcy seen as turning point for oil industry

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/06/29 - 11:24am

Analysts predict more struggling shale energy firms could fold or be bought up by rivals

The bankruptcy of Chesapeake, the pioneer of using fracking to mine shale gas and oil, could mark a new, straitened era for the oil industry, according to analysts.

The Oklahoma City-based company said on Sunday that it had been forced to enter chapter 11 protection to reduce the size of its debt pile from $9bn (£7.3bn) to $2bn. A grace period for paying bondholders had been due to expire on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

BP sells petrochemical business to Ineos for $5bn

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/06/29 - 9:40am

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s firm will initially pay $400m deposit for plastics and chemicals units

BP has sold its petrochemicals business for $5bn (£4.1bn) to Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos, in a deal that will boost the oil company’s under-pressure balance sheet.

Ineos will pay BP a deposit of $400m, followed by $3.6bn when the deal completes and then another $1bn in three instalments by June 2021.

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Categories: Environment

Emmanuel Macron pledges €15bn to tackle climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/06/29 - 6:38am

French president announces measures following ‘green wave’ in local elections

Emmanuel Macron has promised an extra €15bn (£13.7bn) for measures to combat the climate crisis over the next two years and a referendum on whether to introduce the crime of “ecocide” for harming the environment.

The measures were announced just hours after environmental candidates sparked a green wave across France with major gains in local elections in which the president’s governing party failed to make its mark.

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Categories: Environment

Florida manatee deaths up 20% as Covid-19 threatens recovery

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/06/29 - 3:00am

Unsafe boating activity, delays to environmental projects and changes in public policy are putting the gentle giants at risk

The apparent environmental upside of Covid-19, such as lower pollution and emissions, isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Just ask manatee conservationists in Florida.

Keeping this threatened species safe has increasingly been an uphill battle – especially since manatees were controversially downgraded from “endangered” in 2017. But conservationists are facing unexpected challenges in the face of coronavirus. So far, the pandemic has led to more unsafe boating activity, delays to environmental project launches and even changes in public policy – none of which favor these gentle giants.

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Categories: Environment

Russian mining giant admits pumping wastewater into Arctic tundra

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/06/28 - 6:16pm

Norilsk Nickel suspends workers at metals plant who dumped the water in ‘flagrant violation of operating rules’

A Russian mining giant said on Sunday it had suspended workers at a metals plant who were responsible for pumping wastewater into nearby Arctic tundra.

Independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta published videos from the scene showing large metal pipes carrying wastewater from the reservoir and dumping foaming liquid among nearby trees.

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Categories: Environment

Chesapeake Energy, fracking pioneer, files for bankruptcy owing $9bn

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/06/28 - 5:08pm

The Oklahoma City-based company helped turn the US into a global energy powerhouse but ran up huge debts in the process

Chesapeake Energy, the shale gas drilling pioneer that helped to turn the United States into a global energy powerhouse, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Oklahoma City-based company said on Sunday that it had been forced to enter chapter 11 protection because its debts of $9bn were unmanageable.

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Categories: Environment

Just 6% of UK public 'want a return to pre-pandemic economy'

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/06/28 - 2:30pm

Exclusive: Poll comes as 350 union, business and religious leaders issue call for fair and green recovery

Only 6% of the public want to return to the same type of economy as before the coronavirus pandemic, according to new polling, as trade unions, business groups and religious and civic leaders unite in calling for a fairer financial recovery.

The former head of the civil service Bob Kerslake, the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the heads of the Trades Union Congress, Confederation of British Industry and the British Chambers of Commerce are among 350 influential figures wanting a “fairer and greener” economic rebuilding, and believe there is no going back to the past.

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Categories: Environment

Australia could create hundreds of thousands of jobs by accelerating shift to zero emissions – report

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/06/28 - 10:30am

Decarbonising the economy by investing in renewable energy, clean buildings, clean transport and manufacturing could help fight the recession

Hundreds of thousands of jobs could be created in Australia by hurrying the shift to zero greenhouse gas emissions, a study backed by business and investment leaders has found.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics estimates 835,000 jobs have been lost since the coronavirus pandemic shutdown began in March. A report by Beyond Zero Emissions, an energy and climate change thinktank, says practical projects to decarbonise the economy could create 1.78m “job years” over the next five years – on average, 355,000 people in work each year – while modernising Australian industry.

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Categories: Environment

Hydrogen fuel bubbles up the agenda as investments rocket

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/06/28 - 9:01am

Governments and carmakers press on with hydrogen fuel cells to power cars, buses, trains and even aircraft

More than 50 years ago hydrogen fuel cells helped put Neil Armstrong on the moon, but mainstream usage of the technology has remained elusive since.

Now there are signs that may be changing, with a spate of new investments even amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Categories: Environment

France's oldest nuclear reactor to finally shut down

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/06/27 - 11:34pm

Environmentalists have welcomed news that the 43-year-old Fessenheim reactor will close, nine years after it was first planned

France’s oldest nuclear power plant will shut down on Tuesday after four decades in operation, to the delight of environmental activists who have long warned of contamination risks, but stoking worry for the local economy.

The Fessenheim plant, opened in 1977 and already three years over its projected 40-year life span, became a target for anti-nuclear campaigners after the catastrophic meltdown at Fukushima in Japan in 2011.

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Categories: Environment

Greta Thunberg hits out at leaders who use her fame to 'look good'

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/06/27 - 12:12pm

Climate change campaigner said after UN summit, Angela Merkel queued up for a selfie

Environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg has hit out at world leaders for wanting to be pictured with her to “look good”.

The 17-year-old became a global star thanks to her activism, and gave a powerful speech at the United Nations climate change summit in September in which she told world leaders: “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words … how dare you!”

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Categories: Environment

Ireland to form new government after Green party votes for coalition

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/06/26 - 2:03pm

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will now have a working majority in Irish parliament

Ireland’s next government will be formed on Saturday after the Green party voted resoundingly to enter a coalition with two larger rivals.

Members of the environmental party decided by a 76% majority to form an administration with Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, a party statement on Friday evening said.

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Categories: Environment

Federal Agency Tells Employees 'No Reference To Anything COVID Related'

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2020/06/26 - 1:10pm

In an internal memo this week, the National Marine Fisheries Service bars references to the coronavirus pandemic without preapproval. It suggests alternatives such as "in these extraordinary times."

(Image credit: Nat Herz/Alaska's Energy Desk)

Categories: Environment

If the PM spurns Albanese's climate peace offer, Labor will be left with a painful problem | Katharine Murphy

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/06/26 - 1:00pm

If the ALP loses Eden-Monaro next Saturday, it will be a significant blow to morale and a green light for internal mischief

We are going to track back to the week’s developments on energy policy, but I want to open this weekend in Eden-Monaro, with voters in the seat heading to the polls next Saturday.

The truisms of federal byelections are well known. Governments don’t normally win. Usually, voters use these contests as an opportunity to “send a message to Canberra” – often the message is “up yours”.

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Categories: Environment

Morrison government urged to fix flawed environmental offsets leaving threatened species at risk

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/06/26 - 1:00pm

Audit of offsets to approve developments suggests usage is worsening impact of endangered species, not reducing it

The Morrison government is being urged to fix the use of environmental offsets to approve developments after an audit found major flaws in a system supposed to help protect threatened species from extinction.

Scientists said the scathing audit of how the federal environment department administered national conservation laws suggested the use of offsets was worsening the impact on endangered species, not reducing it.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife - in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/06/26 - 9:02am

The pick of the world’s best flora and fauna photos, including a perky grasshopper and a sleepy turtle

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Categories: Environment
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