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Fossil fuel plant outages pose main threat to summer power supply as renewables bolster grid

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 9:30am

Australian Energy Market Operator says risks of insufficient supply during summer peak load periods remain despite La Niña bringing cooler temperatures

The addition of almost 5 gigawatts of renewable energy capacity will improve the resilience of Australia’s main electricity grid this summer, with outages from fossil fuel plants the main threat to supplies, the Australian Energy Market Operator says.

In its 2021-22 Summer Readiness Plan, released on Friday, AEMO said the advent of a La Niña in the Pacific reduced the risk of high temperatures. Still, “extreme hot days during summer, particularly if coupled with high humidity, create the highest stress on the electricity grid”, it said.

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Categories: Environment

California water districts to get 0% of requested supplies in unprecedented decision

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 8:38am

Only water required for health and safety will be allowed as drought continues to grip the state

Water agencies in drought-stricken California that serve 27 million residents and 750,000 acres of farmland won’t get any of the water they have requested from the state heading into 2022 other than what’s needed for critical health and safety, state officials announced on Wednesday.

It’s the earliest date the department of water resources has issued a 0% water allocation, a milestone that reflects the dire conditions in California as drought continues to grip the nation’s most populous state and reservoirs have dropped to historically low levels.

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Categories: Environment

Report says fixing plastics' pollution in the oceans requires a new approach

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 3:03am

Millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the ocean every year. Scientists are calling on the federal government to come up with a comprehensive policy to stop it.

Categories: Environment

‘They can’t silence us’: the female lawyers defending Colombia’s environment

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 3:00am

Legal team faces daily threats as it works to protect displaced families from landowners, ecosystems from mining and indigenous groups from oil companies

Julia Figueroa never leaves her house without security. She travels with two bodyguards and an armoured vehicle. Her home and office are watched around the clock. She carefully monitors any devices that might contain compromising information about her clients.

As the director of the Luis Carlos Pérez Lawyers Collective Corporation (CCALCP), threats to her life are a daily occurrence. The all-female group of lawyers provides legal representation to small-scale farmers and indigenous communities affected by the armed conflict in Colombia. Their work includes defending displaced peoples and victims of state crime, but also defending environmental rights, including fighting mining companies that seek to extract resources, often at the expense of the local water supply and the surrounding environment.

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Categories: Environment

‘Like putting a lithium mine on Arlington cemetery’: the fight to save sacred land in Nevada

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 1:30am

Thacker Pass is rich in lithium deposits but is also a place of historical and cultural significance to the Paiute people

On a windy afternoon in northern Nevada, where her family has lived for generations, Daranda Hinkey stood before one of the largest lithium deposits in the world – the place where, as she puts it, “there’s so much lithium it makes people foam at the mouth,” she says.

The area is known as Peehee Mu’huh – or Thacker Pass – and while it could be a lucrative resource for companies hoping to cash in on the electric vehicle revolution (lithium can be used to power rechargeable batteries), Hinkey and her peers say large-scale mining operations could irreversibly damage one of her community’s most sacred sites.

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Categories: Environment

UK must ‘walk the talk’ on climate action, say official advisers

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2021/12/02 - 12:41am

As Cop26 president, UK must act on meat, fossil fuels and overseas aid, says Climate Change Committee

The UK must “walk the talk” on climate action over the next 12 months, which will be critical in tackling the climate emergency, according to an assessment of the Cop26 summit by the Climate Change Committee.

The UK has one of the most ambitious 2030 emissions targets in the world, according to the government’s official advisers, but it does not have all the policies in place to deliver it.

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Categories: Environment

Climate cost study authors accuse Bjørn Lomborg of misinterpreting results | Temperature Check

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/01 - 6:52pm

A key claim in a column by the Danish thinktank head frustrates scientists who modelled reducing emissions

What will it cost to get greenhouse gas emissions down to net zero by mid-century, and are people around the world prepared to pay it?

This was a question posed by the Danish thinktank head Bjørn Lomborg for a column in the Australian on Saturday.

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Categories: Environment

Six Australian birds you may never have heard of … and may not be heard from again

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/01 - 5:00pm

A landmark study has found one in six Australian birds are now threatened. Here are some of the species most likely to be headed to a museum, unless more is done

There seems to be a perversity to human nature, in that we don’t really care about wild creatures until there are so few left that we can put a name to them. Think Martha, the last passenger pigeon, or the haunting images of Benjamin the last thylacine, pacing around its cage at Hobart zoo in 1936.

The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2020 (released this week by CSIRO Publishing) bandies a lot of names of birds you may never have heard of, which are now classified as on the path to extinction – 214 to be exact, around one in six of Australia’s bird species and subspecies. It can all be too much to take in. So here is a guide to six birds of which there are so few left in the wild that we could easily remember them all if they had individual names.

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Categories: Environment

Poverty, not climate breakdown, caused Madagascar’s food crisis, finds study

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/01 - 4:01pm

But scientists say ‘moral imperative’ remains to prepare vulnerable populations for increasingly extreme weather

Poverty and a heavy reliance on annual rains are the key factors behind the devastating food crisis in southern Madagascar not climate breakdown, a new study finds.

A million people in the region are struggling for food following the worst drought in 30 years. But the scientific analysis did not show a convincing link to global heating, despite the World Food Programme describing it as the “world’s first climate-induced famine”.

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Categories: Environment

New grill after 6 years...

The Field Lab - Wed, 2021/12/01 - 3:18pm
75,82,48,0,B

Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

‘Deluge of plastic waste’: US is world’s biggest plastic polluter

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/01 - 9:00am

At 42m metric tons of plastic waste a year, the US generates more waste than all EU countries combined

The US is the world’s biggest culprit in generating plastic waste and the country urgently needs a new strategy to curb the vast amount of plastic that ends up in the oceans, a new report submitted to the federal government has found.

The advent of cheap, versatile plastics has created “a global scale deluge of plastic waste seemingly everywhere we look”, the report states, with the US a leading contributor of disposable plastics that ends up entangling and choking marine life, harming ecosystems and bringing harmful pollution up through the food chain.

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Categories: Environment

Drax is expected to profit from UK energy crisis until 2023

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/01 - 8:28am

Company’s shares hit seven-year high after revealing plans to invest £3bn despite questions over biomass

The owner of the Drax power station is expected to profit from Britain’s energy crisis until 2023 and will plough billions into doubling its production of wood pellets for burning by 2030 despite mounting opposition from environmentalists.

The FTSE 250 energy company’s shares hit seven-year highs on Wednesday after it told investors it aimed to invest £3bn by 2030. Part of that investment would be directed towards doubling production and sales of biomass pellets, which Drax uses at its North Yorkshire power plant as an alternative to burning coal.

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Categories: Environment

Data storage, mining and wind: oceans seen as new frontier but at what cost?

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/01 - 6:00am

Industries gazing out to sea for more space, more cold, clean water and more wind offer a glimpse of the future and its risks

In September 2017, a giant, floating fish farm capable of raising 1.5 million salmon was installed in central Norway. Besides its vast size – the circular structure is roughly the equivalent of two baseball fields – what set SalMar’s Ocean Farm 1 apart was its location three miles off the coast. It was hailed as the world’s first offshore salmon farm.

Four years later, there have been two production cycles with better growth and survival of salmon compared with inshore farms, according to the company, hence less food waste and a lower carbon footprint. Energy demand was also reduced compared with traditional inshore farms because seawater naturally flows through the nets, oxygenating salmon with no need for the pumps used on traditional inshore farms.

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Categories: Environment

Essex mega-prisons pose threat to rare wildlife, warn environmentalists

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2021/12/01 - 3:41am

Government accused of reneging on environmental pledges with plan to build on old airfield near Braintree

Campaigners have criticised plans to develop two mega-prisons on the site of a rare bird and amphibian habitat in England.

The government has been accused of reneging on commitments in the Environment Act to stop the decline of wildlife by proposing the development on the old Wethersfield airfield, which has become an important space for nature near Braintree, Essex.

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Categories: Environment

Shipping industry is pressured to cut pollution caused by merchant fleet

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2021/12/01 - 3:05am

The global shipping industry is coming under increasing pressure to cut the pollution created by the world's merchant fleet. The effort to reduce ship emissions isn't going well.

Categories: Environment

More bigger badder laws are coming to stop climate activists | First Dog on the Moon

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/11/30 - 11:04pm

We are going to need more bigger badder climate activists

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Categories: Environment

England green homes scheme was ‘slam dunk fail’, says public accounts committee

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/11/30 - 11:00pm

Dame Meg Hillier says scheme cost £50m and delivered only a fraction of objectives

The government’s green homes grant scheme underperformed badly and risks damaging future efforts to deliver net zero, the public accounts committee (PAC) said.

Hailed by the prime minister, Boris Johnson, as a key plank in his green industrial revolution, the grants only upgraded about 47,500 homes out of the 600,000 originally planned. They also delivered a small fraction of the expected jobs.

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Categories: Environment

Renewable energy has ‘another record year of growth’ says IEA

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/11/30 - 11:00pm

Renewables will account for about 95% of growth in global power-generation capacity up to the end of 2026, finds energy agency

It has been another record year for renewable energy, despite the Covid-19 pandemic and rising costs for raw materials around the world, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

About 290GW of new renewable energy generation capacity, mostly in the form of wind turbines and solar panels, has been installed around the world this year, beating the previous record last year. On current trends, renewable energy generating capacity will exceed that of fossil fuels and nuclear energy combined by 2026.

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Categories: Environment

Australia’s biggest privately funded battery under construction at Hazelwood power station site

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/11/30 - 7:47pm

Engie closed the coal-fired plant in 2017 and expects its new $150m battery to be operating by November 2022

Australia’s biggest privately funded “big battery” is being built on the site of the former Hazelwood power station in Victoria’s Latrobe valley, Macquarie Group and Engie say.

The 150MW battery will use existing infrastructure at the Hazelwood site to connect to the electricity grid, the companies said in a statement.

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Categories: Environment

Auckland homeowners to pay $1.10 a week under ‘climate tax’ plan to green the city

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2021/11/30 - 6:58pm

The levy will raise $NZ574m over 10 years and will pay for 15,000 mature trees, 4,000 saplings, electric ferries, and new cycle paths

Homeowners in New Zealand’s largest city will have to chip in around a dollar a week to plant urban forests, pave cycle lanes and reduce Auckland’s emissions, under the city’s proposal for one of the world’s first climate-targeted rates.

Auckland’s mayor, Phil Goff, announced plans on Wednesday for a billion-dollar climate package to reshape the city’s infrastructure and reduce its carbon emissions, investing in electric ferries, cycling and walkways, and urban forests.

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Categories: Environment
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