Frydenberg defends decision to query if he had power to weaken grasslands protections

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/07/05 - 5:00pm

Former environment minister says Angus Taylor made inquiries on behalf of farmers in his electorate

Josh Frydenberg has defended a decision when he was environment minister to query whether he had the power to water down federal protections for critically endangered grasslands, and establish if any change had to be published, saying he was just investigating the process.

The Senate this week passed a Greens motion forcing the government to explain the conduct of two of its senior ministers – Angus Taylor and Frydenberg – in relation to critically endangered grasslands at the centre of an investigation involving companies part-owned by Taylor.

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Categories: Environment

Puerto Rico Harnesses The Power Of The Sun For A Renewable Energy Future

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/07/05 - 11:58am

Puerto Rico has a plan to rebuild its energy grid and move to 100% renewable power by 2050. Many communities are working toward that themselves, without help from the government.

(Image credit: Greg Allen/NPR)

Categories: Environment

It Was A Balmy 90 Degrees In Anchorage — For The First Time On Record

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2019/07/05 - 8:52am

The Alaskan city just had its hottest and driest June ever, with average daily temperatures 5 degrees above normal. Crews are also battling wildfires across the state.

(Image credit: Lance King/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Toxic caterpillars spark health scare across Germany

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/07/05 - 8:51am

People suffer rashes and breathing difficulties as warm weather brings infestation

Marauding caterpillars with toxic hairs have brought parts of Germany to a standstill, leading to closures of swimming pools, restaurants, public parks and sections of the motorway.

Oak processionary moth caterpillars, named after the nose-to-tail processions they form to travel between the oak trees they devour, have fine, long hairs with an irritating toxin that can cause blistering rashes, feverish dizzy spells and asthma attacks.

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Categories: Environment

Ancient city of Babylon heads list of new Unesco world heritage sites

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/07/05 - 8:44am

UN also names national park in Iceland among sites protected for their value to humanity

The ancient city of Babylon and an Icelandic national park replete with glaciers, ice caves and volcanoes are among the sites that have been added to Unesco’s world heritage list.

More than 1,000 sites around the world – some cultural, some natural, some both – are protected by listing. Landmarks or areas are chosen for their value to humanity.

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Categories: Environment

'Biggest compliment yet': Greta Thunberg welcomes oil chief's 'greatest threat' label

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/07/05 - 8:13am

Activists say comments by Opec head prove world opinion is turning against fossil fuels

Greta Thunberg and other climate activists have said it is a badge of honour that the head of the world’s most powerful oil cartel believes their campaign may be the “greatest threat” to the fossil fuel industry.

The criticism of striking students by the trillion-dollar Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) highlights the growing reputational concerns of oil companies as public protests intensify along with extreme weather.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2019/07/05 - 6:25am

This week: a seal is released back into the wild and sparrows enjoy tarte flambée leftovers

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Categories: Environment

Chick flick: cockatoo gives anti-nesting spikes the bird in viral video

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/07/04 - 7:36pm

Footage shows Australian parrot breaching building’s defences with delight

Footage capturing a rebellious sulphur-crested cockatoo’s triumph over bird guard spikes has gone viral on Facebook.

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Categories: Environment

Python reunited with Cambridge owner after four days 'on the run'

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/07/04 - 2:01pm

The 9ft snake, missing since Sunday, was spotted up a tree near its home by a neighbour

A 9ft reticulated python that was on the loose for more than four days has been found. The missing snake, called Turin, has been reunited with its owner, Cambridgeshire constabulary said.

The BBC said the animal was spotted up a tree on Thursday evening by one of its owner’s neighbours about 50m away from its home on Lovell Road on the northern edge of Cambridge.

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Categories: Environment

6.4 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Southern California, Rattling Large Swath Of State

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2019/07/04 - 1:46pm

Officials did not immediately report any deaths or major injuries in connection with the earthquake.

(Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Pollutionwatch: diesel restrictions will not hit poorest most

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2019/07/04 - 1:30pm

Less well-off areas have least to lose and most to gain from clean-air zones, study finds

Those who object to low emission or clean-air zones often say restricting old vehicles and diesel cars in city centres will hit the poorest most. A study challenges this.

Researchers from the University of the West of England combined UK census and air pollution data with information from annual vehicle safety (MOT) inspections.

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Categories: Environment

Lord of the Rain: one man's fight against climate catastrophe – video

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/07/03 - 11:00pm

Doyte lives in South Omo, Ethiopia, one of the most remote areas in the world and hard hit by the climate crisis. As Lord of the Rain, it’s Doyte’s job to summon the rains, but for five years they haven’t come. Ethiopia’s economy is booming, fuelled by green power and climate-resilient policies. But neither the government, nor Doyte, can reverse the catastrophic change that’s devastating their environment

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Categories: Environment

UN concerns about Warragamba dam plan labelled ‘extreme embarrassment’ for NSW

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/07/03 - 7:47pm

Unesco committee says proposal to raise wall incompatible with Blue Mountains world heritage listing

Traditional owners and the Blue Mountains mayor have welcomed Unesco’s world heritage committee raising concern about a proposal to raise the wall of the Warragamba dam, saying it should be an embarrassment to the New South Wales government.

The committee has asked Australia to submit an environmental impact statement for the controversial project before any decision is made.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil: huge rise in Amazon destruction under Bolsonaro, figures show

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/07/03 - 1:42pm
  • Monthly deforestation up 88.4% compared with a year ago
  • Brazil pressured to protect Amazon under trade deal terms

Deforestation in Brazil’s portion of the Amazon rainforest rose more than 88% in June compared with the same month a year ago, the second consecutive month of rising forest destruction under the rightwing president Jair Bolsonaro.

According to data from Brazil’s space agency, deforestation in the world’s largest tropical rainforest totaled 920 sq km (355 sq miles).

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Categories: Environment

Locals Support Trump's Decision To Allow Drilling In Alaska's Arctic Refuge

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/07/03 - 1:33pm

The Trump administration will soon let oil companies bid on land to drill in Alaska's Arctic Refuge. Despite decades of opposition, many in the refuge's one small village think it will bring opportunity.

Categories: Environment

Trump to claim US is environmental leader in spite of ripping up protections

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/07/03 - 11:38am

Exclusive: On Monday president will likely tout America’s clean air and water, even though he’s rescinded rules to cut pollution

Donald Trump plans to go on the offensive against criticism of his industry-friendly rollbacks of environment protections in a speech on Monday, according to three sources familiar with the plans.

Trump will tout America’s clean air and water, although his administration has advanced many efforts that experts say have undercut the country’s environmental record.

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Categories: Environment

California sunflower farmers ask visitors to stop trampling fields for selfies

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/07/03 - 10:57am

‘Selfie seekers’ are causing ‘noticeable concern and damage’ to several properties, according to sheriff’s department

Farmers in one California county are asking visitors to stop taking selfies in their scenic sunflower fields and be more respectful of their crop.

“Selfie seekers” are causing enough “noticeable concern and damage” to several properties that the Solano county sheriff’s department posted a warning about the issue on social media.

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Categories: Environment

Brazil sent one million salmonella-infected chickens to UK in two years

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/07/03 - 8:06am

A fifth of Brazilian chicken exports are contaminated with the potentially life-threatening food poisoning bug salmonella

Brazil is the largest exporter of frozen chicken in the world, exporting $750m-worth of the meat to Europe last year. But about one in five of its birds are contaminated with the food poisoning bug salmonella.

An investigation by the Guardian, Repórter Brasil and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found that thousands of tonnes of salmonella-contaminated chicken have been exported from Brazil during the past two years, including more than one million birds sent to the UK.

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Categories: Environment

As Oil Drilling Nears In Arctic Refuge, 2 Alaska Villages See Different Futures

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2019/07/03 - 4:00am

The Trump administration will soon let oil companies bid on land to drill in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Some Alaska Natives fear harm to migrating caribou, others see opportunity.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Harball/Alaska's Energy Desk)

Categories: Environment

Gas and oil firms reclassified under non-renewables on LSE

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2019/07/03 - 3:26am

Trade group says change may have opposite intended effect towards low carbon future

Oil and gas companies listed on the London Stock Exchange have been reclassified under a non-renewable energy category in a move designed to distinguish between heavily polluting companies and greener producers.

The change has been made by the index provider FTSE Russell, which now groups companies such as BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Cairn Energy, Petrofac, Premier Oil and Tullow Oil, formerly labelled oil and gas producers, in the non-renewable energy sector. Coal companies, previously classified under basic materials/mining, also now come under non-renewable energy.

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