Guardian Environment News

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Updated: 12 hours 32 min ago

Krill fishing firms back Antarctic ocean sanctuary

Mon, 2018/07/09 - 2:00pm

Creation of the world’s largest marine reserve comes a step closer as major companies add support

The creation of the world’s biggest ocean sanctuary, protecting a huge tract of remote seas around Antarctica, has come a step closer after major fishing companies came out in favour of the plan.

A global campaign – spearheaded by Greenpeace and backed by 1.7 million people – had put massive pressure on the krill fishing industry and retailers amid fears it was endangering one of the world’s last great wildernesses, undermining the global fight against climate change.

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Categories: Environment

Illegal land clearing in NSW may be accelerating, complaints data suggests

Mon, 2018/07/09 - 11:00am

Exclusive: Data obtained by the Guardian suggests land clearing may be accelerating under Biodiversity Conservation Act

Complaints about suspected illegal land clearing to a government hotline have increased sharply under the New South Wales government’s new Biodiversity Conservation Act, suggesting the rate of land clearing may be accelerating.

Data obtained by the Guardian under freedom of information laws after an eight month battle with the Department of Environment shows that reports of suspected illegal land clearing have increased by nearly 30% in the months since August last year when the new laws came into force.

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Categories: Environment

Banks court buyers for 49% stake in UK nuclear power stations

Mon, 2018/07/09 - 8:43am

EDF Energy thought to have piggybacked on plans by Centrica to sell off some of nuclear power stake

Three international banks have begun courting buyers for a 49% stake in Britain’s eight nuclear power stations, starting the process of a major shakeup of the sector’s ownership.

UK-listed Centrica said in February it was looking to sell its 20% stake in the nuclear plants, which UBS and Goldman Sachs are understood to be handling.

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Categories: Environment

Stunning coral forests discovered around Sicily's deep sea volcanoes – in pictures

Mon, 2018/07/09 - 5:26am

Scientists find a spectacular forest of bamboo coral, rare carnivorous sponges, and species never before seen in the region

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Categories: Environment

There are genuine climate alarmists, but they're not in the same league as deniers | Dana Nuccitelli

Mon, 2018/07/09 - 3:00am

Deniers have conservative media outlets and control the Republican Party; climate alarmists are largely ignored

Those who debunk climate change misinformation often face a dilemma. We’re flooded with such a constant deluge of climate myths, where should we focus our efforts? Climate misinformation is propagated via congressional climate hearings, conservative media outlets, denial blogs, and even from some genuine climate alarmists.

Specifically, there has recently been a debate as to whether Skeptical Science – a website with a database of climate myths and scientific debunkings, to which I’m a primary contributor – would be more useful and effective if it called out misinformation from ‘alarmists,’ and if it eliminated or revised its Climate Misinformers page.

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Categories: Environment

One in three fish caught never makes it to the plate – UN report

Mon, 2018/07/09 - 12:00am

Global fish production is at record levels thanks to fish farming, says the UN FAO, but much is wasted and many species are worryingly overfished

One in three fish caught around the world never makes it to the plate, either being thrown back overboard or rotting before it can be eaten, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Its biannual report on the state of the world’s fisheries, released on Monday, also shows that total fish production has reached a record high thanks to more fish farming, particularly in China, with over half the fish eaten in the world now coming from aquaculture.

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Categories: Environment

Lost rivers could heat London to cut capital's emissions

Sun, 2018/07/08 - 4:01pm

Campaigners propose using buried rivers as source of fossil fuel-free heat

Boris Johnson’s team wanted to uncover them for Londoners. The Environment Agency explored turning them into wildlife paradises.

Now campaigners are targeting London’s lost rivers, water courses that have been gradually buried over the centuries, as a source of fossil fuel-free heat.

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Categories: Environment

Mysterious source of illegal ozone-killing emissions revealed, say investigators

Sun, 2018/07/08 - 4:01pm

On-the-ground investigation finds use of banned CFC-11 is rife in China’s plastic foam industry

A mysterious surge in emissions of an illegal ozone-destroying chemical has been tracked down to plastic foam manufacturers in China, according to an on-the-ground investigation published on Monday.

The chemical, trichlorofluoromethane or CFC-11, has been banned around the world since 2010 and is a potent destroyer of ozone, which protects life on Earth from UV radiation, and strong greenhouse gas. A shock rise in the gas in recent years was revealed by atmospheric scientists in May, but they could only narrow the source to somewhere in East Asia.

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Categories: Environment

Electric avenues: UK streets to get more car charging points

Sun, 2018/07/08 - 4:01pm

Chris Grayling to unveil plans to increase take-up of ultra-low emission vehicles

Plans to install hundreds of thousands of additional charging points for electric vehicles are to be announced by the transport secretary.

Chris Grayling will unveil proposals aimed at making it easier to recharge electric vehicles than refuel those running on petrol or diesel, in an attempt to increase the take-up of ultra-low emission vehicles.

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Categories: Environment

Leadbeater's possum: conservationists say draft report proves endangered status

Sun, 2018/07/08 - 11:00am

Forestry industry and Barnaby Joyce have been pushing to downgrade species’ status

Conservation groups say the Leadbeater’s possum should retain its conservation status as a critically endangered Australian species, based on new advice from the government’s scientific advisory body.

In a draft consultation document, the threatened species scientific committee says the Victorian possum meets at least one of the criteria to make it eligible for listing as critically endangered.

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Categories: Environment

China looking to buy stake in UK nuclear plants, say reports

Sun, 2018/07/08 - 9:26am

Chinese state-run firm eyeing up multibillion-pound deal for majority share in eight sites

The Chinese government has emerged as a potential buyer of a multibillion-pound stake in Britain’s nuclear power plants.

The talks will reignite debate about China’s involvement in the UK nuclear power industry. Two years ago, the government paused approval for the £18bn Hinkley Point C project because of security concerns over China’s stake.

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Categories: Environment

High streets will go on suffering until the digital economy pays more tax

Sat, 2018/07/07 - 11:00pm
Shopkeepers are essentially correct: business rates are pre-internet and have become archaic

House of Fraser, Mothercare, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams. The list of major retailing names that have announced plans to close stores this year is long, and will undoubtedly lengthen. That is before you count the chains that have gone the way of Woolworths and packed up altogether – the likes of Toys R Us and Maplin. And nobody has a reliable tally of the independent shops that have disappeared.

No retailer has a right to survive and some of the headline-grabbing retreats owe much to outdated formats, lack of investment or bad management. Yet talk of a “crisis” on our high streets is legitimate. At least 35,000 retail jobs have been lost or put at risk of redundancy this year, which represents a brutal readjustment even at a time of high rates of general employment.

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Categories: Environment

Waste crisis: spot the excessive plastic packaging – in pictures

Sat, 2018/07/07 - 5:11pm

Australia is drowning in a tsunami of plastic pollution and excessive packaging is one of the culprits. Boomerang Alliance asked supporters to send in pictures of the worst examples

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Categories: Environment

Plastic packaging pictures – send us your best worst examples

Sat, 2018/07/07 - 5:08pm

Reducing and recycling our plastic waste will help the plastic crisis, but it won’t solve the problem. Corporations must take responsibility for the problems they are creating

Australia’s oceans, beaches and nature reserves are drowning in plastic pollution and excessive packaging is one of the culprits. While reducing our plastic consumption and recycling the waste will help, it won’t solve the problem. Corporations must take responsibility for the problem they are creating.

So this weekend we want to invite readers to snap and send us pictures of excessive plastic packaging. Apples in tubes, bananas in bags, and plastic in plastic in plastic. Send it through and we’ll publish the worst examples next week. See the images readers have contributed so far.

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Categories: Environment

National Trust buys two wildflower sites to protect wildlife

Fri, 2018/07/06 - 11:30pm

The £2.15m deal will protect 460 acres of nature-rich farmland in the Peak District

Hundreds of acres of flower-rich farmland have been bought by the National Trust to throw a lifeline to declining wildlife.

The £2.15 million deal to buy 186 hectares (460 acres) of land in the Peak District – an area equivalent to 260 football pitches – is the biggest farmland acquisition by the Trust since it bought Trevose Head in Cornwall in 2016.

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Categories: Environment

'In the days around Ella's death, there were big spikes in air pollution'

Fri, 2018/07/06 - 11:00pm

Rosamund Kissi-Debrah believes poor air quality in London contributed to her daughter’s death

The evening before she died, Ella Kissi-Debrah picked the outfit she wanted to wear to her primary school disco the following day: new jeans and a checked top. Her mother laid them out next to her school uniform, but a few hours later the nine-year-old suffered an acute asthma attack. She never made it to the party.

“We ended up burying her in the clothes instead,” said her mother, Rosamund. “I didn’t know whether it was the right thing to do, but it felt right at the time.”

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Categories: Environment

Pope Francis warns against turning Earth into vast pile of 'rubble, deserts and refuse'

Fri, 2018/07/06 - 5:17pm

Francis also denounces ‘sterile hypocrisy’ of those who turn a blind eye to the world’s poor

Pope Francis urged governments on Friday to make good on their commitments to curb global warming, warning that climate change, continued unsustainable development and rampant consumption threatens to turn the Earth into a vast pile of “rubble, deserts and refuse”.

Francis made the appeal at a Vatican conference marking the third anniversary of his landmark environmental encyclical “Praise Be.” The document, meant to spur action at the 2015 Paris climate conference, called for a paradigm shift in humanity’s relationship with Mother Nature.

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Categories: Environment

Adani says it could start works at Abbot Point without traditional owners' input

Fri, 2018/07/06 - 4:29pm

Exclusive: new construction work at coal terminal scheduled to begin as Juru group of traditional owners seeks stop order

Adani says it will proceed with new construction work at its Abbot Point coal terminal with or without the involvement of Juru local traditional owners, amid an escalating dispute about the protection of sacred sites.

On Thursday a group of traditional owners, Juru Enterprises Ltd, lodged an application for a stop order that could force Adani to cease work in the vicinity of Abbot Point and along part of the proposed rail link to the Carmichael mine.

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Categories: Environment

Is it a panther? Is it a puma? No, just a cat and a huge claws of frustration

Fri, 2018/07/06 - 3:26pm

Rangers are sick of mistaken panther sightings, which detract from the fight against feral cats

A large cat in Western Australia that was mistaken for a panther is the latest in a long line of mythical big cat sightings that wildlife rangers say are unhelpful.

The large black feline – estimated to be 50% larger than a house cat – was spotted in the town of Coorow, 275km north of Perth, in late June, and reported to wildlife authorities as a potential panther or big cat.

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Categories: Environment

Gulls in Devon and Dorset 'showing signs of drunkenness'

Fri, 2018/07/06 - 10:48am

RSPCA has collected a large number of gulls exhibiting signs of disorientation, confusion and loss of balance

Gulls in Devon and areas of Dorset have been portraying signs of drunkenness, the RSPCA has said.

The animal welfare charity has collected a large number of gulls exhibiting signs of disorientation, confusion and loss of balance. The first incidents were reported on 21 June.

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Categories: Environment