Victoria faces more hazardous air as East Gippsland residents shelter on beach from bushfire

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/14 - 2:55pm

Rain forecast to bring relief from smoke haze in afternoon as 12 people remain at Tamboon, which is cut off by fire

Environmental authorities have warned much of Victoria is set for another smoky day on Wednesday, but conditions are expected to improve with rain forecast for large parts of the state by the afternoon.

The forecast comes after small group of residents still in a town cut off by bushfire were forced to shelter on the beach after a blaze in Victoria’s East Gippsland flared.

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Categories: Environment

World's Largest Asset Manager BlackRock To Build Around Sustainability In Investments

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/01/14 - 2:14pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Larry Fink — CEO of BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager — about his plan to put climate sustainability at the center of the company's investment strategy.

Categories: Environment

World's Largest Asset Manager Puts Climate At The Center Of Its Investment Strategy

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/01/14 - 1:22pm

"We believe that sustainability should be our new standard for investing," BlackRock CEO Larry Fink says. The investment giant's move puts pressure on companies to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

(Image credit: Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Racist Housing Practices From The 1930s Linked To Hotter Neighborhoods Today

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/01/14 - 12:38pm

A study of more than 100 cities nationwide shows neighborhoods subjected to discriminatory housing policies nearly a century ago are hotter today than other areas.

(Image credit: Ian Morton for NPR)

Categories: Environment

World's biggest fund manager vows to divest from thermal coal

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/14 - 9:27am

BlackRock CEO says climate crisis will now dictate investments but environmentalists remain wary

BlackRock, the world’s largest fund manager, has announced it will put sustainability at the heart of its investment decisions.

In his annual letter to chief executives, the BlackRock boss, Larry Fink, writes that the climate emergency is altering how investors view the long-term prospects of companies. “Awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

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Categories: Environment

Can air purifiers improve students' academic performance?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/01/14 - 4:00am

After purifiers were installed in southern California classrooms following a gas leak, students saw gains on math and English tests

A 2015 gas leak that belched toxic chemicals into the air and spread panic may have indirectly led to higher student test scores.

In the days after a gas leak was discovered in Aliso Canyon, 30 miles north of Los Angeles, thousands of residents were evacuated from the area, many of whom reported headaches, nausea, stomach aches, dizziness or breathing problems. Students from two nearby schools were relocated and 18 other schools were impacted.

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Categories: Environment

Hopi Look To Tourism, Ranching For Income After Coal Power Plant Closure

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/01/14 - 3:00am

The coal power plant that provided about 80% of the Hopi Nation's budget closed last month. Tribal leaders are now trying to figure out how to replace the revenue, which was their economic lifeline.

(Image credit: Laurel Morales/KJZZ)

Categories: Environment

Melbourne's air quality 'worst in the world' as bushfires continue to burn across Victoria

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/01/13 - 6:38pm

Authorities warn people to take health precautions as firefighters spend night responding to alarms triggered by smoke haze

Victorians started Tuesday by breathing in the worst air in the world due to smoke blowing down from bushfires in the state’s east and New South Wales.

The city centre recorded hazardous levels of fine particles in the air from 12am to 4am and had since been categorised as very poor by the Environmental Protection Authority.

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Categories: Environment

Australia bushfires are harbinger of planet’s future, say scientists

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/01/13 - 5:01pm

Apocalyptic scenes give glimpse of what would be normal conditions in 3C world

The bushfires ravaging Australia are a clear sign of what is to come around the world if temperatures are allowed to rise to dangerous levels, according to scientists.

“This is what you can expect to happen … at an average of 3C [above pre-industrial levels],” said Richard Betts, professor of geography at Exeter University. “We are seeing a sign of what would be normal conditions in a 3C world. It tells us what the future world might look like. This really brings home what climate change means.”

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Categories: Environment

'Heat islands': racist housing policies in US linked to deadly heatwave exposure

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/01/13 - 12:54pm

Deadly ‘heat islands’ which have fewer green spaces and tree canopy linked to racist policies in urban neighborhoods, study finds

Deadly urban heatwaves disproportionately affect underserved neighbourhoods because of the legacy of racist housing policies which have denied African Americans home ownership and basic public services, a landmark new study has found.

Extreme heat kills hundreds of people in the US every year – more than any other hazardous weather event, including hurricanes, tornadoes and flooding, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Heatwaves have been occurring more frequently since the mid-20th century, and are expected to become more common, more severe and longer-lasting due to the climate crisis.

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Categories: Environment

Vanguard refuses to sign up to climate crisis commitment

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/01/13 - 10:37am

US asset manager that built up fossil fuel portfolio fails to join rivals in engaging with climate

Vanguard, the world’s second largest asset manager, has refused to sign up to a group of major investors demanding that polluters respond to the climate crisis, despite its rival BlackRock relenting to pressure to do so.

The US investment manager’s decision leaves it increasingly isolated after BlackRock last week joined Climate Action 100+ (CA100+), a group of asset managers that pushes the largest fossil fuel producers to show how they will meet carbon dioxide reduction targets.

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Categories: Environment

Climate activist turns down Siemens' offer of seat on energy board

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/01/13 - 10:03am

Protest group leader Luisa Neubauer says she would lose right to criticise the company

The leader of Germany’s Friday for Future climate protests has said she turned down a seat on the board of Siemens’ new energy business amid growing anger over its role in a controversial coalmining project in Australia as she feared she would lose the right to criticise the company.

Luisa Neubauer, 23, the German face of the campaign group inspired by Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who has campaigned alongside her, said on Monday the position would jeopardise her independence if she had taken up the offer from its chief executive, Joe Kaeser, made at a meeting in Berlin on Friday.

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Categories: Environment

Just one new onshore windfarm started under current UK policies in 2019

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/01/13 - 8:07am

Rollout of new turbines is in decline amid Tory subsidy cuts, jeopardising climate targets

The government’s current energy policies have led to a sharp decline in the number of new onshore windfarms, raising fears that the UK may fall short of the renewable energy it needs to generate to meet its climate targets.

Industry data shows the ­rollout of new onshore windfarms fell dramatically after the ­government scrapped subsidy schemes four years ago.

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Categories: Environment

UN draft plan sets 2030 target to avert Earth's sixth mass extinction

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/01/13 - 4:41am

Paris-style proposal to counter loss of ecosystems and wildlife vital to the future of humanity will go before October summit

Almost a third of the world’s oceans and land should be protected by the end of the decade to stop and reverse biodiversity decline that risks the survival of humanity, according to a draft Paris-style UN agreement on nature.

To combat what scientists have described as the sixth mass extinction event in Earth’s history, the proposal sets a 2030 deadline for the conservation and restoration of ecosystems and wildlife that perform crucial services for humans.

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Categories: Environment

Revealed: US listed climate activist group as ‘extremists’ alongside mass killers

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/01/13 - 3:00am

DHS listed activists engaged in non-violent civil disobedience targeting oil industry alongside white supremacists in documents

A group of US environmental activists engaged in non-violent civil disobedience targeting the oil industry have been listed in internal Department of Homeland Security documents as “extremists” and some of its members listed alongside white nationalists and mass killers, documents obtained by the Guardian reveal.

The group have been dubbed the Valve Turners, after closing the valves on pipelines in four states carrying crude oil from Canada’s tar sands on 11 October 2016 which accounted for about 15% of US daily consumption. It was described as the largest coordinated action of its kind and for a few hours the oil stopped flowing.

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Categories: Environment

Volcanic Eruption In Philippines Causes Thousands To Flee

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2020/01/13 - 1:25am

Some 13,000 people were evacuated from the area surrounding Taal Volcano, about 45 miles south of the capital, Manila. Authorities warned that a second explosive eruption could come in hours or days.

(Image credit: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Half of UK universities have committed to divest from fossil fuel

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/01/13 - 12:00am

78 out of 154 universities joined campaign in blow to big oil’s ‘social licence’, campaigners say

Half of UK universities have signed up to divest from fossil fuels in what campaigners say is a significant blow to the “social licence” of big oil.

Seventy-eight of the UK’s 154 public universities have joined the divestment campaign, either divesting or pledging to divest hundreds of millions from the fossil fuel industry.

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Categories: Environment

Avoid UK recession by kickstarting green economy, says thinktank

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

New Economics Foundation calls for £50bn to reboot economy on greener footing

The government fightback against the next recession should include pumping as much as £50bn into green projects, in a move that would help reboot the economy and tackle the climate emergency, according to a left-leaning thinktank.

Against a backdrop of concern among economists that Britain is ill-equipped to combat another downturn on the scale of the 2008 financial crisis, the New Economics Foundation thinktank said a green plan to beat a future slump was required.

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Categories: Environment

'Like a bomb going off': why Brazil's largest reserve is facing destruction

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/01/12 - 11:00pm

Gold prospectors are ravaging the Yanomami indigenous reserve. So why does President Bolsonaro want to make them legal?

Deep in the Yanomami indigenous reserve on the northern reaches of the Brazilian Amazon, the ruins of an illegal goldminers’ camp emerge after an hour in a small plane and two in a boat. No roads reach here.

Wooden frames alongside the Uraricoera River that once supported shops, bars, restaurants, a pharmacy, an evangelical church and even brothels are all that is left of the small town. The army burned and trashed it as part of an operation aimed at stamping out wildcat mining on the reserve.

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Categories: Environment

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
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