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David Pocock criticises official’s ‘inappropriate’ conduct after she confronted scientific group over carbon credit evidence

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/12/01 - 9:45pm

Shayleen Thompson of the Clean Energy Regulator had ‘robust’ exchange with Wentworth Group director

The independent senator David Pocock has criticised a senior government official’s conduct as “troubling and inappropriate” after parliament heard she was involved in a “robust” conversation with a scientific group about its evidence to an independent inquiry into Australia’s carbon credit scheme.

Shayleen Thompson, the executive general manager of government agency the Clean Energy Regulator, told Senate estimates she contacted the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists to raise what she considered “factual issues” with its submission to the Chubb review into the carbon credit system.

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Categories: Environment

Canada accused of putting its timber trade ahead of global environment

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/12/01 - 4:11pm

Weeks before Cop15 in Montreal, leaked letter to EU shows host tried to water down deforestation regulations

The Canadian government has been accused of putting its domestic timber industry ahead of the global environment, following a leaked attempt to water down the world’s most ambitious regulations on deforestation-free trade.

Weeks before the United Nations biodiversity conference, Cop15 in Montreal, the host nation sent a letter to the European Commission asking for a reconsideration of “burdensome traceability requirements” within a proposed EU scheme that aims to eradicate unsustainably sourced wood products from the world’s biggest market.

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Categories: Environment

Mild November keeps UK on track for warmest year on record

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/12/01 - 10:33am

Eleventh month in a row of above-average temperatures means 2022 almost certain to set new mark

The UK remains on track for its warmest year since records began, after November became the 11th month in a row of above-average temperatures.

In order not to break the record, temperatures in December would have to drop to almost unprecedented lows, after an average mean temperature of 8.2C over November, the Met Office said.

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Categories: Environment

Lost and found: twitchers delight at sweet song of the black-browed babbler

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/12/01 - 9:00am

Since the bird was ‘rediscovered’ by accident in Borneo in 2020, ornithologists have returned to study the melodious species last documented more than 170 years ago

For more than 170 years, and despite its name, scientists and birdwatchers heard no babbling, chirping, tweeting or any other sounds from the black-browed babbler. The bird was long assumed to be extinct, until an accidental discovery by two local men, Muhammad Suranto and Muhammad Rizky Fauzan, in the forests of Borneo’s South Kalimantan province.

“I was out looking for forest products at the limestone hill just behind my home,” recalls Suranto. “I often look for birds and leftover wood to sell. We caught one of these birds on 5 October 2020. I’d seen it for a while, but I was never able to know its species.”

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Categories: Environment

Victoria’s bold emissions target could be a turning point. Now here’s what we have to do | Jono La Nauze

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/12/01 - 7:00am

What flew under the radar during the election campaign is actually one of the most ambitious climate goals of any place in the world

During the final weeks of the Victorian election campaign, Daniel Andrews took to wearing a State Electricity Commission jacket at press conferences, using it to highlight Labor’s flagship policy of supplying publicly owned renewable energy through a revived SEC.

It got a lot of airtime, that jacket, and the promise it represented – a return to an era when governments owned big energy assets and jobs were for life. The premier spruiked the idea in his victory speech, adding that greedy energy companies were leaving the industry and “goodbye to them”, while volunteers in red shirts chanted “S-E-C! S-E-C!” – surely one of the more obscure political chants in memory.

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Categories: Environment

States are waiting for a solid plan to lower Australian energy bills, but fear an excuse

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/12/01 - 7:00am

One official says the commonwealth is ‘flailing around in the dark’ while seeking a way to lower bills

With less than a week before the Albanese government is due to reveal its “comprehensive plan for energy price relief”, the states might be satisfied with one that is merely comprehensible.

At their most recent gathering in October, energy ministers were told to expect an outline of the plan by 1 December.

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Categories: Environment

Nature positive and 30x30 – just soundbites or the foundations of a Cop15 deal?

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2022/12/01 - 5:35am

As participants arrive in Montreal to negotiate this decade’s targets for protecting biodiversity, two themes are getting the lion’s share of attention

After more than two years of delays, Cop15, the once-in-decade global biodiversity summit, is about to begin. More than 10,000 participants from across the planet will start arriving in Montreal at the weekend to negotiate crucial goals for protecting biodiversity.

There has been a coordinated push behind some targets, namely from a group of countries that want to protect 30% of land and sea for nature (30x30) by the end of the decade. The idea of “nature positive” is another theme being promoted in the pre-Cop15 rhetoric from NGOs and governments.

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Categories: Environment

3 tribes dealing with the toll of climate change get $75 million to relocate

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2022/12/01 - 3:01am

The Biden administration gave $75 million in aid to the three communities in Alaska and Washington. Eight other Tribal communities received an additional $40 million.

(Image credit: Emily Farnsworth/AP)

Categories: Environment

Back online: the retired gas storage site now able to power 1m homes

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/11/30 - 11:00pm

Rough, a 37-year-old Centrica facility off east Yorkshire, has been reopened to prop up the energy grid

“Do you hear that?” asks Chris O’Shea, putting a finger in the air and looking out over a tangle of pipes and workers in orange hi-vis overalls.

A deep whirr punctures the calm of the east Yorkshire coast, as a huge engine powers up and prepares to suck thousands of cubic metres of gas from deep beneath the North Sea.

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Categories: Environment

Fossil fuel recruiters banned from three more UK universities

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/11/30 - 11:00pm

Exclusive: one university cites the industry as a ‘fundamental barrier to a more just and sustainable world’

Three more UK universities have banned fossil fuel companies from recruiting students through their career services, with one citing the industry as a “fundamental barrier to a more just and sustainable world”.

The University of the Arts London, University of Bedfordshire, and Wrexham Glyndwr University join Birkbeck, University of London, which was the first to adopt a fossil-free careers service policy in September.

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Categories: Environment

‘A possible extinction event’: the UK’s worst bird flu outbreak – podcast

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/11/30 - 10:00pm

The UK is in the middle of its worst outbreak of bird flu. The current strain of H5N1 avian influenza has devastated wild bird populations, killing thousands and affecting threatened species such as puffins and hen harriers. Bird flu has also been wreaking havoc on poultry, and since 7 November, all captive birds in England have been kept indoors to prevent them catching the virus.

How are both wild and captive bird populations coping with the current strain of avian flu? And is the UK prepared to deal with another major animal disease outbreak? Ian Sample speaks with Phoebe Weston, a biodiversity writer for the Guardian, and Paul Wigley, a professor in animal microbial ecosystems at the University of Bristol.

Archive: BBC News, Sky News

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Categories: Environment

Australia politics live: question time tributes to ‘bravery’ of Sean Turnell after release from Myanmar

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/11/30 - 9:59pm

Follow the day’s news live

The government services minister Bill Shorten was on ABC radio RN Breakfast when he learned the Medibank hackers had released all the customer information on the dark web.

Josh Taylor has reported on that here.

Our democracy is precious, our federal government is crucial to the success of the nation, and I know, as you do, that trust in our parliament, in our commonwealth, in politicians, has been falling dramatically. That’s a real problem and I really hope this begins to restore the trust.

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Categories: Environment

Plibersek’s ‘determination’ alone won’t save the Great Barrier Reef – here’s what needs to happen | Temperature Check

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/11/30 - 9:08pm

And scientist Dr Peter Ridd from the IPA accuses the BoM and CSIRO of ignoring what he claims are the benefits of global heating

Keeping global heating as close to 1.5C as possible is critical for all ecosystems and societies, including the viability of Australia’s ocean jewel, the Great Barrier Reef.

The federal environment minister, Tanya Plibersek, this week launched a strong defence of the government’s climate targets after UN-backed scientists outlined the steps they said were needed to give the reef the best chance of retaining its status as a world heritage area.

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Categories: Environment

Homeless family who lost almost all their possessions in Victoria floods denied relief funds

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/11/30 - 8:55pm

Jess Jeffery and family were looking for rentals when their belongings stored in Rochester were destroyed by floods, and have been excluded from relief as they lack fixed address

A homeless family who were keeping everything they owned in a shipping container in Rochester have been rejected from flood relief funding despite the recent disaster destroying all their possessions.

Jess Jeffery, 27, her partner, Aaron, and their young son had been living in the garage attached to her mum’s house about 25 minutes’ drive out of Rochester while they looked for rental properties.

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Categories: Environment

Skills shortage could hamper new mining developments in North Queensland, industry says

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/11/30 - 6:48pm

Australia has 18% of the world’s supply of vanadium, an element used in steelmaking and battery storage, but lacks the workforce to expand

A plan to create a global minerals hub in north-west Queensland could be undermined by a lack of highly skilled workers, industry experts have warned.

Queensland resources minister Scott Stewart travelled to the UK last week with the aim of promoting Queensland as a global minerals hub to investors, focusing on the expansion of the vanadium industry, a mineral that is used in steel alloys and creating batteries for renewable energy.

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Categories: Environment

For rover fans only...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2022/11/30 - 2:22pm

47,56,41,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

US justice department sues city of Jackson over water crisis

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/11/30 - 1:56pm

City and Mississippi health department sign order agreeing to federal oversight of the failing water system

The US justice department has taken drastic action regarding the crisis in Jackson, Mississippi, that has affected drinking water for its 150,000 residents for several months.

On Tuesday, the city of Jackson and the Mississippi health department signed an order agreeing to federal oversight of the failing water system, in an attempt to restore clean and safe drinking water.

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Categories: Environment

Hawaii site that measures global CO2 shuts down after Mauna Loa volcano eruption

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/11/30 - 1:50pm

Scientists scramble to re-establish the crucial monitoring that has been situated on the volcano since 1958

The world’s premier measurement site for global carbon dioxide levels has been shut down because of a volcanic eruption in Hawaii, with scientists scrambling to re-establish the crucial monitoring that has been situated on the volcano since 1958.

Lava has been shooting more than 150ft into the air from Mauna Loa, the world’s largest active volcano, since Sunday night and a river of molten rock is now not only menacing the main highway on Hawaii’s big island but also the Mauna Loa Observatory, a scientific station situated on the northern flank of the volcano.

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Categories: Environment

Citing risk to endangered whales, Whole Foods hits pause on Maine lobster — for now

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2022/11/30 - 11:39am

Two seafood monitoring groups downgraded Maine lobster's sustainability ratings, prompting Whole Foods to pause purchases. Here's how environmental groups and state leaders are reacting.

(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

MPs urge Rishi Sunak to attend biodiversity summit in Canada

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/11/30 - 10:35am

Tory backbenchers are among 40 parliamentarians who asked PM to ‘stand up for nature’ at talks

Forty parliamentarians, including seven Conservative MPs, have privately written to Rishi Sunak imploring him to attend the Cop15 biodiversity conference, which starts next week.

In the letter, seen by the Guardian and organised by the all-party parliamentary group on the environment, the parliamentarians warn that a million species are facing extinction globally and that lack of high-level political buy-in could spell disaster for nature.

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Categories: Environment
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