Environment

UK set for burst of vivid autumn colours after sunny September

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/10/05 - 4:01pm

National Trust encourages people to get out into nature to enjoy spectacular displays

A spectacular and prolonged autumn display of colour is predicted for the UK’s parks and gardens thanks to good sunny spells in the spring and September and some nurturing dampness in the summer.

The golds, reds, purples, russets and oranges that provide a burst of joy before the winter months are likely to be particularly vivid this year, the National Trust said.

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Categories: Environment

Boris Johnson to unveil plan to power all UK homes with wind by 2030

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/10/05 - 2:30pm

PM vows to make Britain world leader in low-cost clean power with ‘Build Back Greener’ drive

Boris Johnson will promise to power every home in the UK with offshore wind energy within a decade, pledging to make the coronavirus pandemic a catalyst for green growth.

In a speech to the virtual Conservative party conference on Tuesday, he will say that the government will invest in a clean energy future to create “hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs” in the next decade.

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Categories: Environment

California fires set bleak record as 4m acres destroyed

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/10/05 - 2:17pm
  • 4m figure double the previous record for most land burned
  • Officials warn season ‘far from over and fire potential high’

The wildfires that have ravaged California have reached a bleak new milestone, having consumed 4m acres in a fire season that shows little sign of ending.

Related: ‘We just had to get home’: the Californians who rebuild despite the danger of wildfires

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Categories: Environment

Medical Residents To Receive Education On Health Effects Of Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2020/10/05 - 1:16pm

Few medical residents learn about the health effects of climate change. Now as wildfires sweep the West and hurricanes flood the Gulf Coast, the first published guidelines offer a way to start.

Categories: Environment

Now is the time for big infrastructure projects, says the IMF

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/10/05 - 9:35am

Higher public spending urged as way of boosting employment and GDP at relatively low cost

The International Monetary Fund has told its member governments they can create millions of jobs and boost recovery prospects if they use higher public investment to respond to the severe economic challenge posed by Covid-19.

Before its annual meeting this month, the Washington-based fund said historically low interest rates meant it was a good time to borrow for long-term infrastructure projects and said the spending would help tackle rising unemployment.

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Categories: Environment

Washington state officials hunt murder hornet nests before ‘slaughter phase’

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/10/05 - 9:00am

Frantic search under way in the state before Asian hornets embark on a murderous rampage among honeybees

Officials in Washington state are conducting a frantic search for a nest containing Asian giant hornets, also known as murder hornets, before the creatures enter what is known as their “slaughter phase”.

Related: ‘Murder hornets’: race to protect North America's honeybees from giant invader

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Categories: Environment

What China's plan for net-zero emissions by 2060 means for the climate | Barbara Finamore

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/10/05 - 5:00am

Though the country is a huge polluter, it leads the world in the clean technologies that could make this feasible

When I first moved to China in 1990, winter meant coal. The moment Beijing turned on the municipal heating system, our faces would become covered with soot. People stockpiled loose coal in huge piles outside their homes for heating and cooking. I could see the smokestacks of four large coal power plants and the country’s largest steel mill in the distance. China’s addiction to this most carbon-intensive of fossil fuels made the prospect of a country dedicated to fighting climate change seem fanciful.

Now, in perhaps the most important news of 2020 that you may have missed, China has stepped up on its own as a climate leader. On 22 September, President Xi Jinping announced in a video address to the UN general assembly that China would aim to become “carbon neutral” before 2060 – Beijing’s first long-term target. In so doing it joins the European Union, the UK and dozens of other countries in adopting mid-century climate targets, as called for by the Paris agreement.

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Categories: Environment

3,000 articles, 100m readers: a year of our best environment journalism

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/10/05 - 1:00am

With a piece of environmental journalism published every three hours, the Guardian is a leading voice in the fight to save the planet

Since the Guardian pledged a year ago to give the climate crisis even greater priority, we have published a piece of environmental journalism on average every three hours. Greenhouse gas emissions, heatwaves, wildfires, melting polar ice, floods, droughts, the annihilation of wildlife, air pollution … the problems grow more severe every year.

Of course, 2020 has been dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, but even here the correlation with environmental destruction is clear.

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Categories: Environment

Global heating: the vital statistics from a warming world

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 11:00pm

As the climate crisis intensifies, we publish a regularly updating dashboard of key indicators measuring the health of the planet

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Categories: Environment

How the Guardian plans to reach net zero emissions by 2030

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 11:00pm

Since we launched our climate pledge last year, we have been working hard to make it a reality

Last year was the easy bit – we made a lot of promises to reduce our carbon footprint and become a more sustainable business. Since then we have been trying to figure out how to make good on these commitments. While Guardian journalism remains our best tool for confronting the climate emergency, we are doing everything we can in our business too to ensure that we practise what we preach.

We said we would undertake a full audit of our carbon emissions, and have now been through this exercise twice, starting with our 2018-19 financial year and then trying to improve our understanding and the accuracy of our data for our 2019-20 figures.

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Categories: Environment

Our world is facing irreversible destruction – and still there's no urgency in Australian climate policy | Lenore Taylor

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 11:00pm

The Guardian is prioritising the environment both in editorial and commercial decisions. We know the situation is dire but that the worst can yet be averted

For Australians, the national trauma of fires burning through 18 million hectares of bushland earlier this year is raw and ongoing. But since then the US west coast and Siberia have also burned. China, Bangladesh, India and parts of Africa have suffered catastrophic flooding. Death Valley recorded possibly the highest ever temperature on Earth, at 54.4C. In February the Antarctic temperature rose above 20C for the first time. In March the Great Barrier Reef suffered its third mass bleaching in five years. In June it was 38C inside the Arctic Circle.

None of these events can be attributed entirely to global heating, but scientists are clear that their frequency and ferocity are signs of impending climate catastrophe, of irreversible destruction. What they have warned of for decades is coming to pass.

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Categories: Environment

The Guardian's climate promise: we will keep raising the alarm

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 11:00pm

Global heating is the emergency of our times. So we are taking action to confront it

The global climate crisis is the emergency of our times. Amid all the fear and sadness of 2020, it remains the overwhelming long-term threat to our planet and to everyone’s health and security.

That is why we promise to keep reporting on it, raising the alarm and investigating the crisis and possible solutions, until we begin to see genuine systemic change.

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Categories: Environment

Papillon the bear: how the 'escape genius' sparked a national debate in Italy

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 10:30pm

Once one of Europe’s ‘most wanted’ wild animals, the now incarcerated bear has become symbolic of the conflict over the reintroduction of large predators

The prisoner is in a cage measuring two by six metres, surrounded by three 7,000-volt electric fences, a four-metre-high barrier, CCTV and a number of rangers. From afar, the structure resembles a maximum-security prison or even the T rex enclosure in Jurassic Park. The inmate is not, however, an oversized reptile or a Sicilian mafia boss, but a bear. His code name is M49, AKA Papillon, and until his capture last month, he was Europe’s most wanted wild animal, accused of having slaughtered dozens of cows and sheep in the mountains of northern Italy.

Papillon, weighing 149kg (23st), is considered by the authorities to be an “escape genius”. He was recaptured by Italian rangers on 7 September having fled six weeks earlier from his enclosure at the Casteller wildlife centre, south of the city of Trento. The enclosure had previously been reinforced after Papillon escaped. Another escape would be a public embarrassment for the authorities, which means that since 7 September, Papillon has been locked up, an official source told the Guardian.

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Categories: Environment

'Tech unicorn' Octopus Energy to create 1,000 new UK jobs

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 10:01pm

Firm says it wants to help Britain become ‘best place to invest in clean energy’

Octopus Energy plans to create 1,000 new technology jobs across sites in London, Brighton, Warwick and Leicester, and a new tech hub in Manchester, as part of its vision to make the UK the “Silicon Valley of energy”.

The supplier will employ graduates at the new sites to help develop the proprietary green energy technology platform which has helped to make Octopus one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK.

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Tasmanian devils released into sanctuary north of Sydney in step towards 'rewilding'

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 8:00pm

If the 30 animals thrive in the predator-free area in the Barrington Tops, it could be a step towards reintroduction on Australia’s mainland

Conservationists working with disease-free Tasmanian devils have taken the next step in what they hope will be a “rewilding” project that could eventually see the species reintroduced to the Australian mainland.

About 30 devils, free of devil facial tumour disease, have been released into a 500ha, predator-free sanctuary in the Barrington Tops national park, north of Sydney.

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Categories: Environment

California Wildfires Have Burned 4 Million Acres And The Season Isn't Over Yet

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 5:06pm

"The 4 million mark is unfathomable. It boggles the mind, and it takes your breath away," a spokesperson for Cal Fire said.

(Image credit: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee On How To Stay Optimistic On Fighting Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 3:13pm

Climate change was a question in last week's presidential debate, after not being asked about in 2016 debates. Inslee made climate change the focus of his brief presidential bid.

(Image credit: Elaine Thompson - Pool/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Seven bodies found near France-Italy border after 500mm of rain falls in 10 hours

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 1:10pm

Torrential rains sweep away houses and roads, and 21 people are reported missing

Seven bodies have been found in a region straddling the French-Italian border near Nice after torrential rains swept houses and roads away, officials in both countries said.

Five of the bodies were discovered on Sunday in northwestern Italy, including four washed up on the shore between the towns of Ventimiglia and Santo Stefano al Mare, near the French frontier. Some of the corpses might have been swept down the coast from France.

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Categories: Environment

Activists try to stop autobahn being built through German forest

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 7:42am

Dannenröder tree felling will be a catastrophe, say environmental campaigners

Thousands of climate activists gathered in a stretch of woodland north of Frankfurt on Sunday as a planned motorway extension through the Dannenröder forest pits the autobahn against 250-year-old oak trees.

About 27 hectares (67 acres) of forest are to supposed to cleared by next February to make way for a new 3km stretch of the A49 dual carriageway. Police in the state of Hesse are preparing for months of stand-offs with protesters, who say the erosion of a healthy mixed forest makes a mockery of the German government’s ambitious climate targets.

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'This is the Everest of zero carbon' – inside York's green home revolution

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/10/04 - 7:00am

The city plans to build Britain’s biggest zero-carbon housing project, boasting 600 homes in car-free cycling paradises full of fruit trees and allotments. When will the rest of the UK catch up?

Joseph Rowntree, Yorkshire’s chocolatier-philanthropist, had a dream. He wanted to build “improved houses” for working people and, in 1902, revealed his plans for the experimental village of New Earswick, on the edge of York. The village would make the most of the existing natural landscape, setting little terraces of arts and crafts houses along streets edged with grass verges. Not only would their interiors would be flooded with fresh air, natural light and “a cheerful outlook”, they would also have the modern luxury of indoor loos. Designed by garden city doyens Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker, the development went on to inspire the national Homes Fit for Heroes programme after the first world war, paving the way for the birth of council housing.

More than a century on, York is set to break the mould once again. Plans have just been submitted for the first stage of arguably the UK’s most ambitious council-led housing programme in a generation. The city is planning to build at least 600 homes across eight sites within the ring road, each designed to have a net carbon emissions figure of zero. Every element of the scheme, from the front door out into the transport network, is tuned to tackle the climate emergency head on.

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