ICC widens remit to include environmental destruction cases

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 9:46am

In change of focus, Hague court will prosecute government and individuals for environmental crimes such as landgrabs

Environmental destruction and landgrabs could lead to governments and individuals being prosecuted for crimes against humanity by the international criminal court following a decision to expand its remit.

The UN-backed court, which sits in The Hague, has mostly ruled on cases of genocide and war crimes since it was set up in 2002. It has been criticised for its reluctance to investigate major environmental and cultural crimes, which often happen in peacetime.

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Categories: Environment

'It puts us on the map': Bridgwater business toasts Hinkley Point C

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 9:21am

Government go-ahead for nuclear plant excites residents eager for economic boost, but others fear for their safety

Malcolm Pyne, butcher and entrepreneur, cracked open a bottle of bubbly at his store and takeaway in Bridgwater to celebrate the announcement.

“This is fabulous news for the town and for Somerset. It really puts us on the map. I feel a bit tingly to be honest. We’ve been here before, thinking it’s going to happen but it really looks like this is it now. The lady [Theresa May] has spoken.”

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Categories: Environment

China plans central role in UK nuclear industry after Hinkley Point approval

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 9:07am

China General Nuclear aims to submit designs for Bradwell power station in Essex within weeks of Somerset approval, sources say

China is set for a central role in Britain’s nuclear industry after the government gave the go-ahead for a new power station at Hinkley Point.

The Chinese company involved in the £18bn project plans to submit a design for a nuclear power station in Essex within weeks. China General Nuclear agreed to take a 33% stake in Hinkley Point C in Somerset, alongside the French energy group EDF, in return for leading the project at Bradwell, Essex.

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Categories: Environment

Corbyn says vote to leave EU was 'decisive rejection of failed economic model' – as it happened

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 8:08am

Rolling coverage of all the day’s political developments as they happen

4.03pm BST

Our heavily-indebted societies are more vulnerable to financial shocks than they were.

All of this presents a deep challenge to the social democratic and socialist tradition that Labour, New or Old, has always been a part of.

Any deal with the EU must recognise that the old state aid rules are no longer valid.

When governments across the world are intervening, it makes no sense to tie a government’s hands here.

3.12pm BST

Anna Turley, one of the Labour MPs named on the list of anti-Corbyn MPs released by the Corbyn camp, has just told Sky News that she appreciates John McDonnell’s apology.

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Categories: Environment

Monsanto isn’t making life harder for smallholders – the Indian government is | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 8:02am

It’s refreshing to read a Guardian editorial describing the benefits of GM crops (The Guardian view on GM cotton: handle with care, 5 September). However, we disagree with the article regarding our relationship with farmers and technology pricing.

Related: The Guardian view on GM cotton: handle with care | Editorial

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Categories: Environment

Hinkley Point C nuclear power station gets government green light

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 8:00am

Labour and environmental groups say new safeguards for foreign investment are merely “window dressing”

Theresa May has been accused of backing down on security concerns about Chinese involvement in nuclear power after she gave the go-ahead to the £18bn Hinkley Point C plant following a six-week review.

The government insisted the new plant in Somerset was only being approved with “significant new safeguards” to make sure China and other foreign investors could not own stakes in British nuclear plants without UK government approval.

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Indonesia and EU announce historic deal on timber trade

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 7:02am

Indonesia will become the first country in the world to export wood products to the EU that meet new environmental standards to curb illegal logging

Indonesia will in November become the first country in the world to export wood products to the European Union meeting new environmental standards in a move aimed at bolstering transparency and curbing illicit logging.

Officials from both parties unveiled measures on Thursday to ensure timber exports to the trade bloc, valued at roughly $1bn a year, are sustainable and harvested within the law.

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Categories: Environment

UK to ban fishing from a million square kilometres of ocean

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 3:58am

Government creates marine protected areas around four islands in the Pacific and Atlantic, with commercial fishing banned in some areas

The UK is to ban commercial fishing from a million square kilometres of ocean around British overseas territories, the government said on Thursday.

In total, the government is creating marine protected areas around four islands in the Pacific and Atlantic, including the designation this week of one of the world’s biggest around the Pitcairn Islands.

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Categories: Environment

Lives in the balance: climate change and the Marshall Islands

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 3:00am

The numerous atolls that make up the island nation are now regularly swamped due to sea level rise. But as more people flee for the US, many fear their culture will be lost to a country that has already taken so much from them

There may be music in the roar of the sea, as Byron eulogized, but the waves can also bring creeping unease. On low-lying fragments of land like the Marshall Islands, the tides are threatening to take away what they previously helped support: life.

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Categories: Environment

Obama Designates 1st Marine National Monument In The Atlantic Ocean

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 2:22am

The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument off the coast of New England is the size of Connecticut and has been called an "underwater Yellowstone" and "a deep sea Serengeti."

Categories: Environment

Global investment in energy falls but renewables remain strong

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 2:20am

Energy investment fell 8% in 2015, reflecting low oil and gas prices, but falling costs and government policy shift spending towards clean energy, data shows

Global investment in energy fell by 8% last year to $1.8tn (£1.4), reflecting low oil and gas prices and cost falls in the sector, new data shows.

Nearly half of the decline was accounted for by the US, where plunging oil prices and a recent boom in shale gas, along with cost deflation in the energy sector, have played an increasing role.

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Categories: Environment

Mystery Of White Trees Among California's Redwoods May Be Solved

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 2:11am

Albino redwoods are white because of a genetic mutation. A researcher in California thinks he might have figured out what purpose the trees serve in the forest.

Categories: Environment

Outdated FEMA Flood Maps Don't Account For Climate Change

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 1:37am

Flood managers suspect August's big rainstorms and floods in Louisiana are becoming more common there and elsewhere because of climate change. One clue: Much of the damage was beyond the flood plain.

Categories: Environment

Obama to establish first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2016/09/15 - 1:29am

Move aims to protect nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains off the coast of New England

President Barack Obama will establish on Thursday the first national marine monument in the Atlantic, a move that’s designed to permanently protect nearly 5,000 square miles of underwater canyons and mountains off the coast of New England.

The White House said the designation will lead to a ban on commercial fishing, mining and drilling, though a seven-year exception will occur for the lobster and red crab industries. Also, recreational fishing will be allowed within the monument.

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Categories: Environment

The heavy price of Santiago's privatised water

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/09/14 - 10:41pm

With water availability to Chile’s capital predicted to fall 40% by 2070, legislators are being called on to prioritise human and ecological needs over profit

When it comes to water, Chile is failing its citizens. In Santiago, the nation’s capital, millions of people are regularly left without running water for days at a time and experts are warning of water scarcity to come across the country as temperatures rise and glaciers retreat.

“What we need is a transformation away from the private model of water ownership and to recognise water as a human right,” says Francisca Fernández, spokeswoman for the Movimiento por la Recuperación del Agua y la Vida which campaigns for public ownership of water. The organisation emerged four years ago at a time of mounting climatic stress in Santiago.

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Categories: Environment

Spain could be first EU country with national park listed as 'in danger'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/09/14 - 10:00pm

Doñana wetlands in Andalusia is home to thousands of species but has lost most of its natural water due to industry and faces ‘danger’ listing by Unesco

A Spanish wetland home to 2,000 species of wildlife – including around 6 million migratory birds – is on track to join a Unesco world heritage danger list, according to a new report.

Doñana is an Andalusian reserve of sand dunes, shallow streams and lagoons, stretching for 540 square kilometres (209 square miles) where flamingoes feed and wild horses and Iberian lynx still roam.

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Categories: Environment

A beetle with a taste for cadavers

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/09/14 - 9:30pm

Blanchland, Northumberland The sexton beetle can detect ‘the irresistible bouquet of death’ from a mile away

As we climbed the hill the low cloud thinned then became wisps of mist. Patches of blue sky began to appear. Soon the heat of the rising sun would dry the droplets of water clinging to hawkbit seed heads beside the path, and their parachute of hairs would expand, carrying them away to join a blizzard of downy thistle and willowherb seeds drifting on the breeze.

The aroma of September, of damp earth and decaying grass, hung in the air, though there was, as yet, no hint of autumn colour in the trees. Fungi, the great recyclers, were already at work.

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Categories: Environment

Angry clashes in Karnataka as India's water wars run deep

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/09/14 - 9:00pm

Bengaluru erupts in violence over water-sharing plans with neighbouring state Tamil Nadu, as country-wide shortages reach crisis levels

Scattered tyres, set alight, had already shut the road back into Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) when Javed Parvesh tried to return on Monday, after a morning at the Cauvery river with his son. Angry crowds were now saying they would die for the same waters in which the pair had been rafting. “We will give blood, but not Cauvery,” their banners read.

One man was dead and buildings and buses across Bengaluru had been torched and looted by the time a curfew calmed southern India’s largest city on Tuesday.

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Categories: Environment

Epic Climate Cartoon Goes Viral, But It Has One Key Problem

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2016/09/14 - 3:15pm

People talk a lot about the warming of the Earth by a few degrees. Now a cartoon shows you what it looks like.

Categories: Environment

Was that climate change? Scientists are getting faster at linking extreme weather to warming | Graham Readfearn

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/09/14 - 2:37pm

Attribution studies are letting researchers respond quickly to questions about human influence – before the news cycle turns elsewhere

Is it still true to say you can’t point to any single extreme weather event and claim you can’t link it to human-caused climate change?

Plenty of people seem to think this is still the case. But a rapidly evolving field of climate science suggests that it’s not.

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