Environment

Stella McCartney launches A-Z sustainability manifesto

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/08 - 9:59am

Project aims to find meaning in age of greenwashing in collaboration with artists such as Jeff Koons

Stella McCartney has launched a sustainability manifesto in collaboration with artists including Jeff Koons, Ed Ruscha and Cindy Sherman.

Peter Blake, Olafur Eliasson, Alex Israel, Sam Taylor-Johnson, Joana Vasconcelos, Chantal Joffe and Rashid Johnson also took part in the project, which takes the form of an A-Z and seeks, in part, to drill down on the meaning of certain terms – from A for accountable to Z for zero waste – in an age of mass greenwashing.

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Categories: Environment

How Trump's Supreme Court Pick Might Hinder Climate Action

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2020/10/08 - 9:00am

Climate and environment policies nearly always end up in court these days. They may have a harder time surviving if Amy Coney Barrett cements a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

(Image credit: Graeme Jennings/AP)

Categories: Environment

Opec rejects projection that global demand for oil has peaked

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/08 - 7:44am

Cartel of oil-exporting nations expects demand to continue rising until late 2030s

The world’s most powerful oil-producing nations have denied that oil demand may have already reached its peak and have claimed the world will continue to consume more fossil fuels for almost 20 years.

A report from the Opec oil cartel, which represents the interests of countries including Saudi Arabia and Iran, has predicted that the global appetite for oil will continue to rise before reaching a plateau in the late 2030s.

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Categories: Environment

Singapore launches Covid-secure luxury cruises ... to nowhere

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/08 - 6:55am

City state follows Qantas in offering jaunts with no destination with ships half full and masks mandatory

Singapore is launching Covid-secure cruise holidays to nowhere, in the latest attempt to offer a long-distance travel experience with no stops.

Australian airline Qantas drew criticism from environmental groups last month after advertising a seven-hour round trip from Sydney including fly-pasts of famous sights including Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef.

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Categories: Environment

How will the pandemic affect the sprint away from fossil fuels? | Daniel Yergin

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2020/10/08 - 1:30am

The challenges of re-engineering the global economy by 2050 were already immense, even before the advent of Covid-19

In terms of energy, we are living in an “after-Paris” world. For, in the half-decade since the Paris climate agreement, its impact has only continued to grow. The idea of an energy transition to what is called “net zero carbon” by 2050, which is at the heart of the agreement, is becoming embedded in the strategies of investors and companies and in the policies of governments. There are widespread calls for large green stimuli while interest rates are low. If elected, Joe Biden’s wide-ranging climate plan would put the US on the same path as Britain and European governments.

Yet no one at that Paris conference in 2015 could have imagined that a pandemic would sweep the world in 2020 and impose an economic dark age on people across the globe. What does that mean for mapping the path towards the energy transition?

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Categories: Environment

UK 'will take 700 years' to reach low-carbon heating under current plans

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/07 - 11:15pm

Energy experts say record rise in new gas boilers installed shows UK going in wrong direction

Ministers must come forward with stringent new plans for low-carbon heating, as targets to insulate homes and generate more power from offshore wind are inadequate and sales of gas boilers showed a record rise last year, energy experts warned.

At current rates, it will take 700 years for the UK to move to low-carbon heating, and at least 19,000 homes a week must be upgraded between now and 2050. There was a record rise last year of 1.8% in the number of new gas boilers installed, showing that the UK is going in the wrong direction.

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Categories: Environment

Are the world's national parks failing nature? (part two) – podcast

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/07 - 9:00pm

In this second episode of our age of extinction takeover, Patrick Greenfield and Phoebe Weston explore the impact that conservation and national parks can have on Indigenous communities and the biodiversity surrounding them

If you haven’t already, go back and listen to Tuesday’s episode on the history of national parks and some of the challenges they face

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Categories: Environment

September breaks global and European records for hottest ever

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/07 - 3:47pm

Air temperatures hit all-time highs for month and Arctic sea ice level was ‘particularly low’

The world this year experienced its hottest September on record, scientists have reported.

Surface air temperatures last month were 0.05C warmer than in September 2019, making it the hottest September on record globally, experts from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said.

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Categories: Environment

How Nomination Of Amy Coney Barrett To Supreme Court Might Affect U.S. Climate Action

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2020/10/07 - 1:52pm

Climate and environment policies nearly always end up in court these days. They may have a harder time surviving if Amy Coney Barrett cements a conservative majority on the Supreme Court.

Categories: Environment

4 Million Acres Have Burned In California. Why That's The Wrong Number To Focus On

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2020/10/07 - 1:06pm

Wildfires in California have set a new record, but some fire scientists say focusing on that number is doing more harm than good.

(Image credit: JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

'He really packed on the pounds': Fat Bear Week crowns 747 the winner

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/07 - 11:50am

747, one of more than 2,200 brown bears roaming Alaska’s Katmai national park and preserve, won after a week of online voting

In Alaska’s annual battle of furry heavyweights, a salmon-chomping bruin nicknamed 747 – like the jumbo jet - has emerged as the people’s choice as the most fabulously fat.

The bear, one of more than 2,200 brown bears roaming Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve, was victorious late on Tuesday after a week of frenzied online voting (by humans) in what has become an international sensation: Fat Bear Week.

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Categories: Environment

Goldmining having big impact on indigenous Amazon communities

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/07 - 11:42am

Study calls for more rights for indigenous reserves as rising gold price attracts more miners

A new report has exposed the scale and impact of mining on indigenous reserves in Amazon countries as gold prices soared during the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 20% of indigenous lands are overlapped by mining concessions and illegal mining, it found, covering 450,000 sq km (174,000 sq miles) – and 31% of Amazon indigenous reserves are affected.

The report, released on Wednesday by the World Resources Institute, said indigenous people should be given more legal rights to manage and use their lands, and called for better environmental safeguards. As pressure mounts over the issue, a leading Brazilian thinktank has called for regulations tracing gold sold by financial institutions.

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Categories: Environment

Thinning forests doesn't reduce bushfire risk and could make some blazes worse, study finds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/07 - 9:30am

Across most forest types and ages, thinning had little impact on the severity of Black Saturday fires in Victoria, ANU study suggests

Removing trees to thin out forests is unlikely to cut the risk of severe bushfires despite the claims of forest industry groups, according to the authors of a new study.

Analysis of forests that burned in Victoria’s Black Saturday fires in 2009 found in most cases areas that had been thinned did not see less severe burning and, depending on the type of trees, such intervention sometimes made fires more intense.

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Categories: Environment

Counting the species: how DNA barcoding is rewriting the book of life

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/07 - 3:38am

We do not know how many species live on Earth. Barcoding could change that – and open the way for incredible discoveries

Guanacaste conservation area in north-west Costa Rica is the most DNA barcoded place on Earth. On its western frontier, jaguars hunt turtles from the mangrove swamps that line the Pacific coast. Endangered spider monkeys swing through dry tropical forest, the remnants of a rapidly disappearing ecosystem that once ran from northern Mexico to Panama.

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Categories: Environment

Carbon capture 'moonshot' moves closer, as billions of dollars pour in

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/07 - 1:19am

While some say CO2 capture is part of the problem, big projects are being invested in as a part solution to the climate crisis

As the world dices with the climate emergency, businesses and governments are starting to push funding towards technology that aims to trap planet-heating gases rather than let them saturate the atmosphere.

Carbon capture is a controversial idea, attacked as a costly distraction from stopping emissions occurring in the first place.

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Categories: Environment

More offshore wind is welcome, but we have to keep the jobs it creates in the UK | Chaitanya Kumar

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2020/10/07 - 1:00am

In the past, although windfarms were located just off the coast of Scotland, manufacturing work was outsourced to Indonesia

Yesterday’s speech to the virtual Conservative party conference was classic Boris: amusing metaphors, whimsical slogans and grand rhetoric. The prime minister has pledged to usher in a “green industrial revolution” that will help us “bounce back greener” from Covid-19.

One of the most significant announcements was the scaling up of the offshore wind sector. The government intends to quadruple offshore wind capacity by 2030, with a promise to power all our kettles, lights and electric cars from clean, “guilt-free” electricity.

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Categories: Environment

BHP and Origin suspend membership of Queensland Resources Council over 'vote Greens last' campaign

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/10/06 - 8:53pm

Mining giant and energy compny say they object to advertising targeting individual parties and had asked for campaign to be halted

Australia’s largest miner, BHP, and the largest energy company, Origin Energy, have suspended their membership of the Queensland Resources Council over state election advertisements urging people to “vote the Greens last”.

Several other major resource companies are understood to have raised concerns about advertisements, which the mining industry peak body says were approved by its board.

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Categories: Environment

Trump report touts oil and gas as 'energy security' amid US climate disasters

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/10/06 - 1:00pm

The document, which cost about $200,000, fails to mention either the realities of climate crisis or the downsides of the energy industry

The Trump administration’s energy department is rolling out a lengthy report touting oil and gas as “providing energy security and supporting our quality of life”, without acknowledging that fossil fuels are the main cause of the climate crisis.

Released a month before the election, the report is strikingly at odds with the realities of climate change that the American public has been coping with over the past few months, from huge wildfires to destructive derecho storms and a series of intense hurricanes.

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Categories: Environment

Powering all UK homes via offshore wind by 2030 'will need £50bn'

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/10/06 - 11:01am

Aurora Energy Research calculates investment would have to quadruple capacity

Boris Johnson’s bold new vision for offshore wind to power every home in the UK by 2030 would require almost £50bn in investment and the equivalent of one turbine to be installed every weekday for the whole of the next decade.

The huge investment, calculated by Aurora Energy Research, an Oxford-based consultancy, would increase the UK’s offshore wind power capacity by four times what it is today, to reach 40GW by 2030.

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Categories: Environment
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