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Updated: 3 hours 7 min ago

UK taxpayers funding African fossil fuel projects worth $750m

Wed, 2020/02/05 - 5:01pm

Watchdog reveals huge sum ploughed into ‘world’s dirtiest fossil fuels’ despite climate vow

UK taxpayer funds totalling $750m (£577m) have been invested in new fossil fuel projects in developing African countries despite the government’s public commitment to tackling the climate crisis, according to an international watchdog.

Global Witness found that a London-based investment group raised $1bn from the UK government over 16 years and spent three-quarters of this supporting oil and gas projects in some of Africa’s poorest countries.

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Categories: Environment

Met chief: update public nuisance law to tackle Extinction Rebellion

Wed, 2020/02/05 - 10:41am

Cressida Dick says police need more powers to deal with protest groups such as XR

Police officers are looking to update the offence of “public nuisance” for the 21st century to ensure they have the necessary powers to tackle protest groups such as Extinction Rebellion, the Metropolitan police commissioner has said.

Cressida Dick told the London assembly she had been holding discussions with the Home Office to toughen up powers and legislation so police could clamp down on protests that aimed to “bring policing to its knees”.

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Categories: Environment

Barclays faces fresh investor revolt over fossil fuels

Wed, 2020/02/05 - 8:16am

Bank under pressure from UK’s powerful Investor Forum to adopt stricter climate policies

Barclays is facing a fresh revolt from the UK’s most powerful investor group amid mounting concerns over its role as the biggest European financier of fossil fuel companies.

The Investor Forum, which holds £18.5tn in assets and represents Britain’s largest investors, is understood to be pressing Barclays to adopt stricter policies on climate change before the bank’s annual shareholder meeting in May.

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Categories: Environment

Jeremy Corbyn: PM is 'failing spectacularly' on climate crisis

Wed, 2020/02/05 - 6:38am

Labour leader criticises COP 26 preparations and Johnson’s record on environment

Jeremy Corbyn has accused Boris Johnson of “failing spectacularly” to measure up to the scale of the climate crisis, after the sacked president of COP 26 revealed the UK was miles behind in getting ready for the November summit.

Speaking at prime minister’s questions, Corbyn raised the government’s failure to organise COP 26 properly, after Johnson’s team sacked Claire O’Neill as the summit’s president just days before its formal launch.

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Categories: Environment

Greenpeace blocks BP HQ with solar panels on new CEO's first day

Wed, 2020/02/05 - 5:19am

Activists also use oil barrels to make environmental point as Bernard Looney takes up role

Greenpeace members have blocked BP’s headquarters with solar panels and oil barrels to mark Bernard Looney’s first day as chief executive.

About 100 environmental activists took 500 solar panels to the central London building at 3am on Wednesday as Looney prepared to take up his new role. Some protesters sat underneath the solar panels after they were prevented from installing them on the pavements and roads near the office.

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Categories: Environment

When it comes to climate hypocrisy, Canada's leaders have reached a new low | Bill McKibben

Wed, 2020/02/05 - 3:30am

A territory that has 0.5% of the Earth’s population plans to use up nearly a third of the planet’s remaining carbon budget

Americans elected Donald Trump, who insisted climate change was a hoax – so it’s no surprise that since taking office he’s been all-in for the fossil fuel industry. There’s no sense despairing; the energy is better spent fighting to remove him from office.

Canada, on the other hand, elected a government that believes the climate crisis is real and dangerous – and with good reason, since the nation’s Arctic territories give it a front-row seat to the fastest warming on Earth. Yet the country’s leaders seem likely in the next few weeks to approve a vast new tar sands mine which will pour carbon into the atmosphere through the 2060s. They know – yet they can’t bring themselves to act on the knowledge. Now that is cause for despair.

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Categories: Environment

Ryanair accused of greenwash over carbon emissions claim

Tue, 2020/02/04 - 5:01pm

UK watchdog bans advert claiming lowest CO2 pollution of any major airline

Ryanair has been accused of greenwashing after the UK advertising watchdog banned an ad campaign claiming that the airline has the lowest carbon emissions of any major airline in Europe.

The budget airline, which was named last year as one of Europe’s top 10 carbon emitters in an EU report, later ran a TV, press and radio campaign claiming it was “Europe’s lowest fares, lowest emissions airline”.

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Categories: Environment

Johnson sets out his climate crisis vision as Cameron turns down talks role

Tue, 2020/02/04 - 4:28pm

PM reaffirms 2050 net-zero pledge but his predecessor declines offer to lead UK preparations for crucial summit

Boris Johnson has set out his vision for forging a new global consensus on the climate crisis promising “we will crack it”, amid news that he approached former prime minister David Cameron to lead the UK’s preparations for a crucial summit.

Johnson has brought forward the UK’s phaseout of diesel and petrol vehicles by five years to 2035, and hastened the phaseout of coal-fired power by a year to 2024. He reaffirmed the UK’s pledge to switch to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050, and urged other nations – without naming any – to do the same.

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Categories: Environment

Canadian court upholds Trans Mountain pipeline expansion approval

Tue, 2020/02/04 - 2:45pm

Federal court of appeals in a 3-0 decision rejected four challenges from First Nations to government’s approval of the project

Canada’s federal court of appeal has dismissed legal objections to the contentious Trans Mountain pipeline expansion that would nearly triple the flow of oil from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific coast.

In a 3-0 decision, the court rejected four challenges from First Nations in British Columbia to the federal government’s approval of the project.

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Categories: Environment

Holyrood and UK ministers in row about possible COP 26 venue

Tue, 2020/02/04 - 9:50am

Scottish government accused of behaving disgracefully over use of Glasgow science centre

Preparations for this year’s climate summit in Glasgow are being overshadowed by a bitter row between the UK and Scottish governments over a key building near the venue.

UK government sources have accused Scottish ministers of refusing to hand over a building the Scottish government wants to use as its base for the COP 26 climate talks in November.

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Categories: Environment

Trophy hunting event to auction 'dream hunt' with Donald Trump Jr

Tue, 2020/02/04 - 4:00am

Nevada convention to culminate with chance to hunt deer with ‘accomplished conservationist’ Trump Jr and son

A week-long “dream hunt” with the US president’s son Donald Trump Jr is being auctioned at an annual trophy hunting convention in Reno, Nevada alongside expeditions to shoot elephants, bears and giraffes.

The four-day event organized by Safari Club International (SCI) and advertised as a “hunters’ heaven”, will culminate on Saturday with an auction for a week-long Sitka black-tailed deer hunt in Alaska with Trump Jr, his son and a guide. At the time of writing, bidding for the yacht-based expedition stands at $10,000 (£7,685).

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Categories: Environment

Tourists flock to Chernobyl – in pictures

Tue, 2020/02/04 - 12:00am

The popular HBO series about the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster has led to a surge in tourists to the site and nearby town of Pripyat

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Categories: Environment

Chinese embassy condemns Australia's coronavirus ban – politics live

Mon, 2020/02/03 - 9:46pm

Michael McCormack sees off Nationals leadership challenge from Barnaby Joyce, while Adam Bandt elected Greens leader. All the day’s events, live

4.38am GMT

Greg Hunt has thanked New Zealand for its assistance in evacuating Australians from Wuhan:

Immediately prior to coming here, the advice I had at this stage we’re anticipating over 50 Australians. And again, special thanks to New Zealand for their cooperation. And the advice I have is that if they are to come to Australia, if they’re not housed in New Zealand, then again, prior to coming here, the anticipated plan is we’ll be supporting them on Christmas Island.

4.35am GMT

The UK’s foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, is on their way for a visit.

From Marise Payne:

It is Mr Raab’s first overseas trip since the UK left the European Union on Saturday, in a clear demonstration of the strength of the enduring partnership between our two countries.

With the UK’s exit from the EU, we enter a new era of strategic and economic cooperation. There is much to discuss, and to look forward to, in deepening our relationship, not least a comprehensive and ambitious free trade agreement.

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Categories: Environment

Indigenous envoy challenges Siemens in Germany over Adani mine

Mon, 2020/02/03 - 8:37pm

Indigenous representative will tell Siemens it is wrong to say traditional owners support Adani’s Carmichael mine

An envoy from an Australian Indigenous group has travelled to Germany to push for a meeting with the head of technology giant Siemens, claiming the company failed to properly check that traditional owners supported Adani’s controversial Carmichael coal project in Queensland.

The Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council, which has spent years challenging the Adani mine, says the company was wrong to claim the project had been approved by its people.

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Categories: Environment

Saving the planet: UK role vital if COP 26 climate talks to succeed

Mon, 2020/02/03 - 12:22pm

As PM announces Glasgow plan, much diplomatic work remains to be done

Boris Johnson’s first steps on the international stage after Brexit will be to hail Britain’s role in forging a new global consensus on the climate crisis – although he has not yet said who will lead that charge.

The UK will host the crunch UN climate talks, COP 26, this November in Glasgow, in what experts say is the last chance for international cooperation on the crisis. The prime minister, in launching the UK’s strategy for the talks on Tuesday, stops short of promising to “get climate done”, but in making his own involvement clear he will at least reassure climate activists and governments concerned at a hitherto confused and chaotic start to the UK’s presidency.

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Categories: Environment

Sea level rise accelerating along US coastline, scientists warn

Mon, 2020/02/03 - 11:34am
  • Inundation and flooding are steadily becoming more likely
  • Worldwide rise being driven by melting of large glaciers

The pace of sea level rise accelerated at nearly all measurement stations along the US coastline in 2019, with scientists warning some of the bleakest scenarios for inundation and flooding are steadily becoming more likely.

Of 32 tide-gauge stations in locations along the vast US coastline, 25 showed a clear acceleration in sea level rise last year, according to researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (Vims).

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Categories: Environment

The ‘forever chemicals’ fueling a public health crisis in drinking water

Mon, 2020/02/03 - 3:00am

About 700 PFAS-contaminated sites have been identified across the US while those exposed to enough chemicals can face devastating health consequences

In 2002, the French multinational Saint-Gobain boosted production of chemically weatherproofed fabrics that it produced in its Merrimack, New Hampshire, plant. Soon after, serious health problems began hitting residents living near the facility.

The Merrimack Citizens for Clean Water (MCCW) advocacy group says people there suffer from high levels of cancer, cardiovascular issues, autoimmune disorders, kidney disease and developmental disorders. That includes an alarming number of children facing rare and aggressive cancers, said MCCW’s Laurene Allen, who lives in the city of about 30,000 that sits an hour north of Boston.

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Categories: Environment

Loss of EU protections could imperil UK hedgehogs, report says

Mon, 2020/02/03 - 12:00am

New rules do not contain same level of safeguards as under common agricultural policy

Britain’s hedgehogs could be at greater risk after Brexit because hedges may no longer be protected by agriculture regulations, a report says.

Under EU law, hedgerows cannot be cut during the bird nesting season and two-metre wild “buffer” strips cannot be doused with pesticides or ploughed up. This is designed to protect hedgerow habitats that provide refuge for 80% of woodland birds and 50% of all mammals.

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Categories: Environment

Koala 'massacre': scores of animals found dead or injured after plantation logging

Sun, 2020/02/02 - 8:04pm

Victorian environment minister ‘appalled’ by allegations and her department is investigating

Scores of koalas have been found dead or injured after timber harvesting on privately-held land in southwest Victoria.

Authorities say it is understood at least 40 koalas either starved or were killed during logging at Cape Bridgewater, near Portland.

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Categories: Environment

Ofgem sets out nine-point plan to prioritise climate crisis

Sun, 2020/02/02 - 5:01pm

Regulator aims to support investment in low-carbon technology while protecting households from price rises

Britain’s energy regulator has said it will change how it governs the industry to help meet the government’s climate targets, after coming under fire for failing to prioritise the climate emergency.

The regulator published a wide-ranging climate action plan on Monday, which aims to help get 10m electric vehicles on our roads by 2030 and support a fourfold increase in offshore wind generation, while protecting homes from rising energy bills.

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Categories: Environment