Environment

Green economy plans fuel new metals and energy 'supercycle'

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/01/10 - 10:50am

Chinese growth and plans for post-Covid recovery powering commodities boom, say analysts

The global economy could be on the brink of a new commodity “supercycle” as governments prepare to use a green industrial revolution to kickstart growth following the coronavirus pandemic.

The price of commodities, such as energy and metals, have reached record highs in recent weeks despite the ongoing spread of Covid-19 and are expected to climb further as countries embark on plans for a green economic recovery.

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Categories: Environment

Shareholders push HSBC to cut exposure to fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/01/10 - 6:43am

Europe’s second-largest financier of fossil fuels faces a vote to ramp up its climate commitments

HSBC could be forced to slash its exposure to fossil fuels – starting with coal – from next year, after an influential group of investors filed a shareholder vote urging the bank to ramp up its climate commitments.

Fifteen pension and investment funds are pushing HSBC to reduce the loans and underwriting services offered to clients which rely heavily on fossil fuels within a timeline consistent with Paris climate goals.

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Categories: Environment

Wild deer set to wreak havoc in UK woodlands as venison demand plunges

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/01/10 - 2:15am

Unmanaged animals from Britain’s largest herds for 1,000 years are no longer needed with restaurants in lockdown

Unmanaged wild deer herds could soon pose a threat to woodlands and important wildlife habitats in Britain because the commercial market for venison has collapsed during the pandemic.

Many in the game industry as well as conservationists fear too few deer are being culled to keep the estimated two-million-strong wild herd, the largest for 1,000 years, at a sustainable size.

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Categories: Environment

‘There’s a red flag here’: how an ethanol plant is dangerously polluting a US village

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2021/01/10 - 2:00am

Situation in Mead, Nebraska, where AltEn has been processing seed coated with fungicides and insecticides, is a warning sign, experts say

For the residents of Mead, Nebraska, the first sign of something amiss was the stench, the smell of something rotting. People reported eye and throat irritation and nosebleeds. Then colonies of bees started dying, birds and butterflies appeared disoriented and pet dogs grew ill, staggering about with dilated pupils.

There is no mystery as to the cause of the concerns in Mead, a farming community so small that its 500 residents refer to it as a village and not a town.

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Categories: Environment

Government breaks promise to maintain ban on bee-harming pesticide

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/01/09 - 5:31am

Farmers ‘relieved’ as chemical sanctioned for emergency use, despite EU-wide ban backed by UK

A pesticide believed to kill bees has been authorised for use in England despite an EU-wide ban two years ago and an explicit government pledge to keep the restrictions.

Following lobbying from the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and British Sugar, a product containing the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam was sanctioned for emergency use on sugar beet seeds this year because of the threat posed by a virus.

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Categories: Environment

Capitol attackers have long threatened violence in rural American west

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/01/09 - 3:30am

Three Percenters and the Oath Keepers have threatened federal employees and institutions that steward public lands

When the full story of the 6 January storming of the US Capitol building is told, historians will have to make sense of what might seem an odd footnote. The two most prominent rightwing militia groups that participated in the mob onslaught on Congress – the Three Percenters, based in Idaho, and the Oath Keepers, based in Nevada – cut their teeth in obscure corners of the American west, where for close to a decade they have threatened violence against federal employees and institutions that steward the nation’s public lands.

Related: 'It was just a free-for-all': my day photographing the Capitol attack

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Categories: Environment

Norway's electric car drive belies national reliance on fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/01/09 - 1:00am

Two-thirds of sales at end of 2020 were battery electric vehicles despite dependence on oil and gas drilling

Norway became the first country to sell more electric cars than petrol, hybrid and diesel engines put together last year, new data shows, with battery electric vehicles (BEVs) accounting for two-thirds of sales in the final months of 2020.

Norway has one of the world’s most ambitious green targets, planning to phase out sales of all new fossil-fuel vehicles by 2025, five years earlier than the UK.

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Categories: Environment

Bill Gates joins Blackstone in bid to buy British private jet firm

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2021/01/09 - 1:00am

Gates’ Cascade Investment fund teams up with US private equity firm on offer for Signature Aviation

Bill Gates has joined a £3bn bidding war to buy the world’s largest private jet operator just as he prepares to publish his new book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster.

Cascade Investment, the fund that manages much of Gates’s $134bn personal fortune, announced on Friday it had teamed up with US private equity firm Blackstone in a bid for British private jet operator Signature Aviation.

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Categories: Environment

Remembering Nature Writer Barry Lopez

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2021/01/08 - 11:40am

Lopez, who died Dec. 25, won the 1986 National Book Award for Arctic Dreams, an account of his travels in the far north over a period of four years. Originally broadcast in 1989 and 2013.

Categories: Environment

22 disasters, 262 dead, $95bn in damages: US saw record year for climate-driven catastrophes

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/01/08 - 11:11am

Report shows US was battered by punishing extreme weather on both the east and west coasts in 2020

The US was battered by a record number of weather and climate-driven disasters in 2020 as extensive wildfires scorched the west, hurricanes in quick succession pummeled the east and extreme heat swept across the heart of the country, a new federal government report has shown.

A total of 22 major disasters, defined as each causing at least $1bn in damage, swept the US last year, six more than the previous record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

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Categories: Environment

Alok Sharma to work full-time on Cop26 climate conference preparation

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/01/08 - 10:51am

Decision to move business secretary follows pressure from environment experts due to scale of role

Boris Johnson has moved his business secretary, Alok Sharma, to work full-time on preparations for the Cop26 climate conference in Glasgow this November, a change urged by environmental experts given the scale of the role.

For the past 11 months, Sharma has combined being Cop26 president with his job as business secretary. He will now undertake the Cop role full-time, with Kwasi Kwarteng taking the business brief.

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Categories: Environment

Animal rescues by London fire brigade rise 20% in pandemic year

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/01/08 - 4:34am

Firefighters called to 755 animal incidents in 2020, with cats most commonly in need of help

London firefighters encountered a surge in callouts to rescue animals in 2020, figures show.

The London fire brigade (LFB) was involved in 755 such incidents – more than two a day. The number of rescues rose by 20% compared with 2019 when there were 602, with the biggest rise coming in the number of non-domestic animals rescued, according to the data.

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Categories: Environment

'Let's get rid of friggin' cows' says creator of plant-based 'bleeding burger'

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/01/08 - 4:30am

Impossible Foods working on milk and fish substitutes as Patrick Brown pledges to put an end to animal agriculture industry

Patrick Brown is on a mission: to eradicate the meat and fish industries by 2035. The CEO of Impossible Foods, a California-based company that makes genetically engineered plant-based meat, is deadly serious. No more commercial livestock farming or fishing. No more steak, fish and chips or roast dinners, at least not as you know them.

In their place, his company’s scientists and food technicians will create plant-based substitutes for every animal product used today in every region of the world, he promises.

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Categories: Environment

Hope grows that Biden will restore US national monuments shrunk by Trump

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/01/08 - 3:45am

Indigenous peoples say that resurrecting the two Utah monuments should be the start of a sea change in how US treats tribal nations

It was one of Donald Trump’s most controversial early moves as president: to radically shrink two national monuments in the American west.

Now indigenous peoples are hopeful that Joe Biden will undo that decision – and more broadly effect a sea change in how the US treats the interests of tribal nations.

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Categories: Environment

More than 1,000 Extinction Rebellion activists taken to court

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/01/08 - 2:00am

People may have to travel to London despite pandemic in one of biggest protest crackdowns in UK legal history

More than 1,000 people who took part in environmental direct action organised by Extinction Rebellion have been taken to court in what experts say is one of the biggest crackdowns on protest in British legal history.

Hundreds of cases are ongoing and lawyers say that despite the pandemic, some defendants may still be asked to travel to court in London from across the UK to appear in person.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/01/08 - 2:00am

The best of the week’s wildlife pictures from around the world including sparring elk, dove v chipmunk and a playful elephant

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Categories: Environment

Climate crisis: 2020 was joint hottest year ever recorded

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2021/01/08 - 12:00am

Global heating continued unabated despite Covid lockdowns, with record Arctic wildfires and Atlantic tropical storms

The climate crisis continued unabated in 2020, with the joint highest global temperatures on record, alarming heat and record wildfires in the Arctic, and a record 29 tropical storms in the Atlantic.

Despite a 7% fall in fossil fuel burning due to coronavirus lockdowns, heat-trapping carbon dioxide continued to build up in the atmosphere, also setting a new record. The average surface temperature across the planet in 2020 was 1.25C higher than in the pre-industrial period of 1850-1900, dangerously close to the 1.5C target set by the world’s nations to avoid the worst impacts.

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Categories: Environment

Last decade hottest on record for Australia with temperature almost 1C above average

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/01/07 - 11:00am

Maximum and minimum temperatures were above average for all states and territories, Bureau of Meteorology says

The last decade was the hottest on record for Australia with the temperature almost 1C above average and one third of a degree warmer than the previous decade, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

On Friday the bureau released its annual climate statement, confirming preliminary data previously reported by the Guardian revealing 2020 was the fourth warmest year on record.

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Categories: Environment

Guatemala mine's ex-security chief convicted of Indigenous leader's murder

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/01/07 - 10:05am
  • Mynor Padilla pleaded guilty over death of Adolfo Ich in 2009
  • Mining firms accused of litany of abuses in Central America

A judge in Guatemala has accepted a guilty plea by the former head of security at Central America’s largest nickel mine who was on trial for killing an Indigenous leader, in a rare conviction over human rights violations allegedly linked to Canadian-owned mining companies in the region.

Mynor Padilla was found guilty on Wednesday of homicide for the 2009 fatal shooting of Adolfo Ich, a Maya Q’eqchi’ teacher and community leader who opposed the Fenix mine outside the town of El Estor.

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Categories: Environment

UK's beef herds could be key to sustainable farming, says report

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/01/07 - 12:00am

Cattle can fertilise land but consumption of other meat, milk and eggs must fall by 50%

The UK’s beef herd could be at the heart of a sustainable farming system that tackles both the climate and wildlife crises while producing sufficient healthy food, according to a report.

However, production and consumption of other meat, milk and eggs would have to fall by half, and large forests of new trees would have to be planted, the analysis from the Food, Farming and Countryside Commission charity (FFCC) found.

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