Brexit would be bad for bees, say campaigners

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/15 - 2:36am

Green groups warn of UK’s opposition to EU bans on harmful pesticides and promises by the Leave campaign to cut nature protection laws

Brexit would be bad for Britain’s bees, according to campaigners, who point to the UK government’s opposition to EU bans on harmful pesticides and the desire of figures in the Leave camp to cut nature protections.

Bees and other pollinators are vital to producing food but have been harmed by loss of habitat, disease and pesticides. The EU banned three neonicotinoid pesticides in 2013 in the face of strong opposition from UK ministers.

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Categories: Environment

Norway pledges to become climate neutral by 2030

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/15 - 2:16am

Parliament approves radical proposal of accelerated emissions cuts and carbon offsetting to achieve climate goal 20 years earlier than planned

Norway’s parliament has approved a radical goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2030, two decades earlier than planned.

On Tuesday night MPs voted for an accelerated programme of CO2 cuts and carbon trading to offset emissions from sectors such as Norway’s oil and gas industries, which are unlikely to be phased out in the near future.

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Categories: Environment

Experts warn of explosion in numbers of 'super-pest moth'

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/15 - 1:39am

Exceptionally high numbers of the diamondback moth, that attacks crops such as cabbages and cauliflowers, have been recorded arriving in the UK

Experts have warned of a potential explosion in numbers of an invasive “super-pest” moth that attacks crops such as cabbages and cauliflowers.

Rothamsted Research, in Hertfordshire, issued a warning that exceptionally high numbers of the diamondback moth are arriving in the UK, after reports from a network of moth traps around the country.

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Categories: Environment

Could we set aside half the Earth for nature?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2016/06/15 - 1:05am

Renowned biologist E.O. Wilson wants to set aside half of the planet as protected areas for nature. But is this possible? And, if so, how would it work?

As of today, the only place in the universe where we are certain life exists is on our little home, the third planet from the sun. But also as of today, species on Earth are winking out at rates likely not seen since the demise of the dinosaurs. If we don’t change our ways, we will witness a mass extinction event that will not only leave our world a far more boring and lonely place, but will undercut the very survival of our species.

So, what do we do?

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Categories: Environment

Climate scientists urge Obama to rule out more Arctic oil and gas exploration

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 9:01pm

Letter asking the president to prevent future hunting for oil in the waters follows a series of new heat and melting records in the Arctic, which stunned researchers

Nearly 400 international scientists called on Barack Obama to rule out further expansion of oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters under US control.

The letter, signed by prominent Arctic, marine and climate specialists – including a former member of Obama’s administration, urges the president to rule out any future hunting for oil in the waters of the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

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Categories: Environment

Boost renewable energy target to 50% and get 28,000 extra jobs, says report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 6:32pm

Modelling shows Australian RET of 50% by 2030, rather than current trajectory of 34%, would almost double number of jobs created

Boosting renewable energy in Australia from the current trajectory of 34% of total energy by 2030 to 50% would double the number of new jobs created, according to modelling by Ernst & Young and the Climate Council.

The results come following a similar report from The Australia Institute this week comparing the employment implications of renewable energy policies of the three main parties, showing Labor and Greens policies would cause job growth in the sector, while Coalition policies would see a decline.

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Categories: Environment

Can incineration and landfills save us from the recycling crisis?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 8:35am

In many parts of the US, it now costs more to recycle old plastic than to make new products. So what are the alternatives for getting rid of our waste?

It’s been a tough year for plastic recycling, and the culprit is oil.

Over the past two years, petroleum prices have plummeted, at one point dropping to 70% below June 2014 levels. As prices have fallen, they’ve dragged down the cost of virgin plastic, which is made from oil. In many areas, it now costs more to recycle old plastic than to make new containers.

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Categories: Environment

Lessons from London's failing 'quietways' cycle scheme

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 7:33am

The troubled trajectory of the capital’s backstreet bike routes has repercussions for cycling policy across the country

It has arrived with less fuss than the segregated superhighways, but as of this week London has the first in its new generation of officially designated cycling “quietways”.

Quietway 1 runs for just over five miles from Greenwich to Waterloo in south-east London, eschewing main roads for a combination of back streets, traffic-free paths and cyclist-only contraflows. The quietway programme, led by Transport for London, is meant to provide seven of these routes by this time next year, intended in part for less experienced or gung-ho riders who prefer to go at a more leisurely pace.

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Categories: Environment

This Fijian Eco-Activist Is Not Going To Let Climate Change Win

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 6:33am

Betty Barkha is from Fiji, where rising sea levels and record cyclones are rattling the populace.

Categories: Environment

May marks one more record hot month for the world

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 6:15am

May was the fifth record warm month this year, upping the odds that 2016 will be the hottest year on record, reports Climate Central

The streak continues: May was record warm for the globe, according to NASA data released Monday.

It’s now even more likely that 2016 will be the hottest year ever recorded, despite the demise of one of the strongest El Niños on record.

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Categories: Environment

Millions of animal 'trophies' exported across borders, figures show

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 5:00am

At least 200,000 of the nearly 2m trophies collected from animal hunts were endangered species, according to report revealing the scale of the industry

Around 1.7m animal “trophies” have been exported across borders by hunters in the last decade, with at least 200,000 of them endangered species, according to a new report.

US hunters are by far the largest killers of trophy animals, including half of all the 11,000 lions shot in the last decade, the report found. The issue came to global attention in July 2015, after a US dentist paid more than $50,000 to kill a lion called Cecil, who was being tracked by conservation scientists.

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Categories: Environment

Scotland beats climate emissions reductions target six years early

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 4:40am

2020 target of 42% cut reached earlier than expected, but climate campaigners sceptical about government’s role

Scotland’s climate emissions have broken through a landmark reductions target six years early after a warm winter helped drive down energy use.

The Scottish climate change secretary, Roseanna Cunningham, said she was delighted that the country’s emissions had fallen by nearly 46% between 1990 and 2014, surpassing the government’s 2020 target of a 42% cut far earlier than expected.

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Categories: Environment

Minister says UK government 'fully backs' microbeads ban

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 4:29am

Environment minister George Eustice tells MPs’ committee that the government supports a ban on polluting plastic microbeads in cosmetics

The UK government now fully backs a legal ban on polluting plastic microbeads in cosmetics and toiletries, environment minister George Eustice said on Tuesday.

A ban across the EU could be passed as early as 2017, he said, to stop the tiny particles entering the seas and harming wildlife.

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Categories: Environment

It's the economy that needs to be integrated into the environment - not the other way around | Andrew Simms

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 1:55am

BP’s call for a ‘meaningful carbon price’ is the latest example of wrongly trying to apply economic theories and tools to the environment

BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy is a standard industry reference document. It’s a useful indicator of trends, if occasionally the victim of politics.

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Categories: Environment

Pressure mounts over 'suppression' of UK fracking impacts report

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2016/06/14 - 12:00am

Campaigners accuse the government of sitting on a potentially explosive report from its official advisers on the impact of fracking for shale gas

Pressure is growing on the UK government to release a report into the impacts of shale gas fracking, which campaigners have accused ministers of suppressing.

The Committee on Climate Change, which advises parliament on meeting the UK’s carbon targets, submitted the report in March. It covers the expected impact of exploiting the UK’s onshore oil and gas resources on nationally set greenhouse gas targets.

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Categories: Environment

'It's so beautiful': Indigenous rangers spot rare golden-coloured mole in desert

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 9:26pm

Rarely seen and barely studied, the kakarratul, or northern marsupial mole, spends most of its life burrowing through sand dunes

A little golden creature darted across a dirt track in the Gibson desert, just in front of the four-wheel drive.

Pintupi woman Yalti Napaltjari, travelling with a group of Aboriginal rangers from the Kiwirrkurra Indigenous protected area, gave a yell and jumped out.

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Categories: Environment

Hedgehogs continue to disappear from British gardens, wildlife survey shows

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 9:01pm

RSPB campaign urges gardeners to do one thing to help wildlife this summer after survey reveals rise and fall of familiar species

Gardeners are being urged to do more to help hedgehogs this summer after new figures showed that fewer people than ever are seeing the once-familiar species.

Results from the from the RSPB’s citizen science survey showed that only 25% of people see hedgehogs in their garden at least once a month, around three percentage points less than last year and than in 2014.

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Categories: Environment

Revealed: first mammal species wiped out by human-induced climate change

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 8:44pm

Exclusive: scientists find no trace of the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that was the only mammal endemic to Great Barrier Reef

Human-caused climate change appears to have driven the Great Barrier Reef’s only endemic mammal species into the history books, with the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that lives on a tiny island in the eastern Torres Strait, being completely wiped-out from its only known location.

It is also the first recorded extinction of a mammal anywhere in the world thought to be primarily due to human-caused climate change.

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Categories: Environment

How swifts survive a wet British June

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 1:30pm

Long-distance flights enable aerial hunters to feed their young whatever the weather

For Britain’s breeding birds – especially those migrants that spend only a short time here before heading back to their winter home in Africa – June is a crucial month.

Plentiful sunshine – June is usually the sunniest month of the year in England and Wales, thanks to the long hours of daylight – provide the vast amounts of insects and invertebrates that these birds require to feed their young.

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Categories: Environment

Here's Really Where Zika Mosquitoes Are Likely In The U.S.

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2016/06/13 - 1:14pm

A few months ago, health officials published a map that made it look like a big part of the U.S. was at high risk for Zika. Now they've released a new map that paints a very different picture.

Categories: Environment
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