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Emissions trading and refrigerated truck engines under scrutiny | Letters

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/11/10 - 11:05am
Emissions trading benefits big polluters, say Maxime Combes et al. And the UK Treasury continues to subsidise certain highly polluting diesel engines, say Matthew Farrow et al

While the EU is extolling its “climate leadership” at the UN climate talks in Bonn, in Brussels it has just agreed to prolong its emissions trading system – providing big polluters with billions of euros in subsidies.

Some EU member states could use a sizable chunk of these funds to carry on burning fossil fuels, with Poland, for instance, looking to prolong the lifespan of its ageing coal infrastructure. Using emissions trading revenues to extend the life of coal-fired power plants is extremely irresponsible and works directly against efforts to halt catastrophic climate change.

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Categories: Environment

US switches focus of its Bonn event from clean energy to fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/11/10 - 9:41am

One of US’s only public events, originally billed as promoting clean energy, has since been changed to favour coal and nuclear power

The US has changed the focus of one of its few public events at the Bonn climate talks to emphasise coal and nuclear power, in a sign of the Trump administration’s goals at the talks.

An event next Monday, opening the second week of the ongoing UN negotiations, was originally billed as promoting clean energy. However, it has since been changed to emphasise coal and nuclear power.

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Categories: Environment

Certain And Confident: Predicting The Future In A Climate-Changing World

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2017/11/10 - 7:39am

The Climate Science Special Report, released by the White House last week, is a valuable read — it's a primer on how science works when it overlaps with the need to make informed bets on our future.

(Image credit: Andrew Harnik/AP)

Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/11/10 - 7:00am

Pintail ducks, an elephant seal pup and an osprey in action are among this week’s pick of images from the natural world

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Categories: Environment

Man jailed after rhino horns and elephant tusks are found in attic

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/11/10 - 5:39am

Abbas Allawi is sentenced to 14 months for trying to sell on Instagram endangered animal parts worth up to £2m

A would-be trader in endangered animal parts has been jailed after rhino horns, elephant tusks and hippo teeth worth up to £2m were discovered by specially trained search dogs in a police raid.

Abbas Allawi, 52, was arrested when officers from the Metropolitan police’s wildlife crime unit searched his home in Gisburne Way, Watford, on 19 October last year.

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Categories: Environment

Nuclear accident sends 'harmless' radioactive cloud over Europe

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/11/10 - 4:07am

French institute says pollution suggests release of nuclear material in Russia or Kazakhstan in September

A cloud of radioactive pollution over Europe in recent weeks indicates that an accident happened in a nuclear facility in Russia or Kazakhstan in the last week of September, the French nuclear safety institute IRSN has said.

The IRSN on Thursday ruled out an accident in a nuclear reactor, saying it was likely to be in a nuclear fuel treatment site or centre for radioactive medicine. There has been no impact on human health or the environment in Europe, it said.

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Categories: Environment

Donald Trump cannot halt US climate progress, former Obama adviser says

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/11/10 - 2:12am

Paul Bodnar believes US president has ability to hamper progress towards a lower carbon economy – but that market forces will ultimately stop him

Donald Trump could slow down US progress towards a lower carbon economy, but he will be unable to halt it because businesses and local governments have committed to a low-carbon path, a former climate negotiator for the US has said.

Through measures such as slapping import tariffs on solar products, scrapping incentives to renewable energy and promoting coal power, the US president could try to alter the economics of pursuing low-carbon energy.

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Categories: Environment

‘Pretty gruesome’: giant coconut crab seen hunting birds

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/11/10 - 1:12am

Researcher in remote Chagos Islands says he saw crabs, previously thought to be scavengers, hunting and killing seabird

A large, land-dwelling crustacean known as a coconut or robber crab has been seen hunting and killing a seabird, the first time such behaviour has been observed in the species.

The phenomenon was witnessed by a researcher, Mark Laidre of Dartmouth College, while he was studying the giant crabs in the remote Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean, New Scientist reported.

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Categories: Environment

Direct democracy can offer a third way in the climate fight | John Gibbons

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/11/10 - 12:30am

With political agreement making slow progress and direct action becoming more dangerous, we must find alternatives

In the medieval legend made famous by the brothers Grimm, the German town of Hamelin is besieged by a plague of rats, until the mysterious pied piper appears and agrees, for a fee, to rid them of the infestation. The mayor then reneges on payment and the piper exacts a savage revenge on the town’s ingrates by luring away their children, who are never seen again.

The tale could also be an allegory for today’s grim intergenerational smash-and-grab – the global economy. As environmentalist Paul Hawken put it: “We have an economy where we steal the future, sell it in the present, and call it GDP.”

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Categories: Environment

How cargo bikes can help unclog London's congested roads

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2017/11/10 - 12:20am

Waltham Forest’s new zero-emissions delivery service aims to replace polluting trucks for local deliveries of food, online purchases and more

Each morning Oscar Godoy unlocks a door in a railway arch in north London, organises the day’s deliveries, and assigns jobs to his cargo bike riders. They manoeuvre the hefty bikes from the narrow lane out on to the road, past assorted vehicles from the MOT garage, the car wash and vehicle repair outfits at either end.

In the afternoons Godoy does the deliveries himself. Two weeks after the scheme’s launch he heads out, on an electric trike with a large white metal box across its rear axle, filled with the day’s first consignment from a local organic vegetable box scheme.

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Categories: Environment

Ribbiting stuff: museum app gives people chance to help in frog research

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 8:59pm

Australian Museum teams up with IBM to monitor the country’s native frog population by having their calls recorded

The Australian Museum has teamed up with IBM to count the country’s native frog population via a world-first app that records their calls and sends them to experts for identification.

App FrogID will give the public the chance to carry out Australia’s first such national count, which begins on Friday and is intended to support researchers’ efforts to save endangered native species. Australia has 240 named native species of frog, but the museum wants to identify what it believes are dozens more still ribbiting under the radar.

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Categories: Environment

Koala found dead with ears cut off in case of 'disgusting' animal cruelty

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 8:40pm

Marsupial’s body found on Hopkins Point Road at Warrnambool in Victoria’s south-west on Monday

A koala has been found dead with its ears cut off in Victoria’s south-west as police investigate a spate of animal mutilations in the area.

The koala’s body was found about two kilometres east of Hopkins bridge on Hopkins Point Road at Warrnambool on Monday by an SES worker.

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Categories: Environment

good to be home...

The Field Lab - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 4:44pm
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Fiji told it must spend billions to adapt to climate change

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 2:37pm

At COP 23 talks in Bonn, Fiji has called on developed nations to help the world’s most vulnerable build resilience to climate change

To prepare for the rising temperatures, strengthening storms and higher sea levels in the coming decades, Fiji must spend an amount equivalent to its entire yearly gross domestic product over the next 10 years, according to the first comprehensive assessment of the small island nation’s vulnerability to climate change, compiled by its government with the assistance of the World Bank.

Released half-way through the COP23 in Bonn, which Fiji is presiding over, the report highlights five major interventions and 125 further actions that it says are necessary to achieve Fiji’s development objectives, while facing the potentially devastating impacts of climate change. Combined those actions would cost about US$4.5bn over the next decade.

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Categories: Environment

Algae Toxins In Drinking Water Sickened People In 2 Outbreaks

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 2:16pm

In Ohio, more than 100 people got sick in 2013 and 2014 when municipal drinking water was contaminated with toxins from algae blooms in Lake Erie. The CDC says these are the first known instances.

(Image credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Algae Toxins In Drinking Water Sickened People In 2 Outbreaks

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 2:16pm

In Ohio, more than 100 people got sick in 2013 and 2014 when municipal drinking water was contaminated with toxins from algae blooms in Lake Erie. The CDC says these are the first known instances.

(Image credit: The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

One nation, two tribes: opposing visions of US climate role on show in Bonn

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 9:10am

Donald Trump has pulled the US out of the Paris accord – but other Americans are standing with the world to help fight the ‘existential crisis’ of global warming

Deep schisms in the US over climate change are on show at the UN climate talks in Bonn – where two sharply different visions of America’s role in addressing dangerous global warming have been put forward to the world.

Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement has created a vacuum into which dozens of state, city and business leaders have leapt, with the aim of convincing other countries at the international summit that the administration is out of kilter with the American people.

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Categories: Environment

UK's biggest solar farm planned for Kent coast

Guardian Environment News - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 8:55am

Subsidy-free plant would cover 900 acres of farmland near Great Expectations marshes at Faversham, dwarfing output of UK’s current largest solar site

An enormous solar power station is planned for the north Kent coast that would be the UK’s biggest and dwarf existing solar farms, providing a significant boost to an industry that has stalled since ministers halted subsidies 18 months ago.

Cleve Hill, a mile from the historic town of Faversham, would have five times the capacity of the UK’s current largest solar farm and provide enough power for around 110,000 households if it comes online in 2020 as proposed.

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Categories: Environment

As China Moves To Other Energy Sources, Its Coal Region Struggles To Adapt

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2017/11/09 - 8:52am

In Shanxi Province, coal is big business and a source of identity. Now China is closing and consolidating its coal mines under state ownership, and the region has not figured out how to rebound.

(Image credit: Alyssa Edes/NPR)

Categories: Environment
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