Environment

Billionaire investor Křetínský and trader Vitol eye fortune in British power plant subsidies

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2023/02/05 - 9:00am

Exclusive: Looming auction to earmark £1.5bn to put power generators on standby and keep the lights on

The billionaire West Ham United investor Daniel Křetínský and Swiss commodities giant Vitol are among bidders hoping to land hundreds of millions of pounds in subsidies to keep the lights on in Great Britain.

National Grid’s electricity system operator is preparing to announce successful bidders in a “capacity market” auction this month for 2026.

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Categories: Environment

Labor plan for nature repair market rehashes old proposal and risks failure, experts say

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2023/02/05 - 7:00am

Private sector is not seen to be ready to act as main buyer and draft is similarly worded to a Morrison-era bill

An Albanese government environment plan to encourage companies to invest in nature merely expands a Coalition proposal under Scott Morrison and is at risk of failing due to a lack of business interest, experts say.

The federal government is consulting on legislation to establish a scheme to incentivise investment in nature restoration by creating tradable certificates for projects that protect and restore biodiversity.

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Categories: Environment

Despite billions to get off coal, why is Indonesia still building new coal plants?

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2023/02/05 - 5:01am

World leaders recently announced a $20 billion deal to help get Indonesia off coal power. But there are doubts about the deal, because -for one thing- the country is building brand new coal plants.

(Image credit: Adek Berry/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Why a Swedish town is on the move – one building at a time

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2023/02/05 - 4:00am

Subsidence from the world’s biggest iron ore mine threatens to swallow up the Arctic town of Kiruna. But what does its relocation mean for the local Sami reindeer herders?

In the far north of Sweden, 125 miles above the Arctic Circle, sits the church of Kiruna, once voted the most beautiful old building in the country. The cosy terracotta-coloured church, with its fairytale rooftop points, is designed to resemble a hut of the indigenous Sami people. It opened in 1912, with almost no religious symbols, and is described by the vicar, Lena Tjärnberg, as “the living room of the community”. But if Kiruna church is to stay the same, it must go.

In 2026, the entire 600-tonne wooden building will be loaded on to trailers and moved to a new spot near the local graveyard. It’s just one large – and technically tricky – piece of a project to move Kiruna to a new home, three kilometres (1.9 miles) east of the old town. Billed as the world’s most radical relocation project, Kiruna is moving because subsidence from the local iron ore mine is threatening to swallow the town. Cracks have already appeared in the hospital; a school is no longer safe for its pupils.

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Categories: Environment

We asked for wishes, you answered: Send leaders into space, free electricity, dignity

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2023/02/05 - 3:00am

Send leaders into space for perspective, tap solar power to offer electricity for all, make "dignity" a priority — those are some of the wishes readers have for 2023.

(Image credit: The Friends School of Atlanta)

Categories: Environment

Clue to rising sea levels lies in DNA of 4m-year-old octopus, scientists say

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2023/02/04 - 3:46pm

Genes of Turquet’s octopus hold memories of melting of previous Antarctic ice sheet, raising fears of what another thawing could bring

Deep in the DNA of an Antarctic octopus, scientists may have uncovered a major clue about the future fate of the continent’s ice sheet – raising fears global heating could soon set off runaway melting.

Climate scientists have been struggling to work out if the ice sheet collapsed completely during the most recent “interglacial” period about 125,000 years ago, when global temperatures were similar to today.

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Categories: Environment

Blackpool struck by 1.5-magnitude earthquake

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2023/02/04 - 11:41am

Tremor hit at depth of 1.2 miles outside the village of Weeton just after 7.30pm on Friday

Blackpool has been struck by a 1.5-magnitude earthquake, according to the British Geological Survey (BGS). The tremor struck at a depth of 1.2 miles (2km) outside the village of Weeton just after 7.30pm on Friday.

Residents within Blackpool, as well as in the neighbouring villages of Little Plumpton and Westby, reported feeling the tremor.

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Categories: Environment

Gas stove makers have a pollution solution. They're just not using it

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2023/02/04 - 5:00am

Gas utilities and cooking stove manufacturers knew for decades that burners could be made that emit less pollution in homes, but they chose not to. That may may be about to change.

(Image credit: Sean Gladwell/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Two bald eagles nested in a pine for years. A utility company tried to chop it down

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2023/02/04 - 4:00am

The fight to save the birds’ habitat ignites old frustrations over California’s engagement with tribal communities

Up a winding northern California highway, beneath a 120ft ponderosa pine tree, a group of environmentalists gathered for some high stakes bird-watching.

Everyone was waiting for a pair of bald eagles to swoop into their nest, an orb of twigs and branches balanced amid the tree’s scraggly branches. The elusive raptors have nested here for years, renovating and upgrading it each year in preparation for hatchlings in the spring.

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Categories: Environment

Egg-mageddon: breakfast spots and bakeries suffer due to high egg prices

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2023/02/04 - 4:00am

Prices of the essential ingredient have forced several eateries to begrudgingly pass on the increase in rates to the customer

As egg prices have climbed steadily over the last year, consumers have the choice of forking over $14 for a carton of large brown eggs or attempting to go eggless to save some money at the grocery store. But for many breakfast spots and bakeries around the country, saying no to eggs is a much harder, if not impossible, task.

At Juan in a Million, a popular Tex-Mex breakfast spot in Austin, Texas, “There’s no way around it,” said Juan Meza, the restaurant’s general manager. “That’s part of breakfast.”

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Categories: Environment

Brazil sinks aircraft carrier in Atlantic despite presence of asbestos and toxic materials

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2023/02/04 - 12:11am

Environmental activists had sought to halt the planned scuttling of the warship, warning that it could pollute the marine food chain

Brazil has sunk a decommissioned aircraft carrier despite environmental groups claiming the former French ship was packed with toxic materials.

The “planned and controlled sinking occurred late in the afternoon” on Friday, 350km off the Brazilian coast in the Atlantic Ocean, in an area with an approximate depth of 5,000 meters (16,000 feet), the navy said in a statement.

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Categories: Environment

Experts explain why humpback whales are washing up on the East Coast

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2023/02/03 - 4:04pm

Humpback whales are washing up on east coast beaches. Boats, fish, and their growing population may be to blame.

(Image credit: Seth Wenig/AP)

Categories: Environment

Visions splendid: Australian photographer of the year awards – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/03 - 7:00am

The annual photographer of the year winners were chosen from more than 3,000 entries across nine categories. The top prize goes to images captured in the deep south of New Zealand, an area the photographer says she enjoys for its wonderful light and colour

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Categories: Environment

Teals and other NSW independents seek to kill controversial Pep-11 gas permit

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/03 - 7:00am

Exclusive: Candidates hoping to hold the balance of power to push for state-level development bans

The “kingmaker” Sydney MP, Alex Greenwich, and a coalition of independent political hopefuls will attempt to kill the controversial Pep-11 gas exploration licence by banning development of the area through a change in New South Wales law.

The six independents, who could hold the balance of power in under two months, will on Saturday unveil a bill that would amend the State Planning Act to ban certain types of development on land and at sea, negating possible future federal approval.

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Categories: Environment

World’s biggest investment fund warns directors to tackle climate crisis or face sack

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/03 - 5:46am

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund threatens to vote against boards on firms it holds investments with over lax climate and social targets

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, the world’s single largest investor, has warned company directors it will vote against their re-election to the board if they do not up their game on tackling the climate crisis, human rights abuses and boardroom diversity.

Carine Smith Ihenacho, the chief governance and compliance officer of Norges Bank Investment Management, which manages more than 13tn Norwegian kroner (£1tn) on behalf of the Norwegian people, said the fund was preparing to vote against the re-election of at least 80 company boards for failing to set or hit environmental or social targets.

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Categories: Environment

UAE oil company employees given roles in office hosting Cop28

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/03 - 5:36am

Exclusive: at least 12 officials at body hosting Cop28 appear to have come straight from fossil fuel industry

At least a dozen employees from the United Arab Emirate’s state-owned oil company have apparently taken up roles with the office of the UAE’s climate change special envoy, who will host this year’s Cop28 UN climate summit.

The revelation adds to growing concerns over the potential for blurred lines between the team hosting this year’s crucial summit and the oil-rich country’s influential fossil fuel industry.

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Categories: Environment

Radishes and rainbows: the LGBTQ growers reimagining the traditional family farm

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/03 - 4:00am

Their fight for diversity and inclusion in farming culture echoes the womyn’s land movement from the 60s and 70s

At Ashokra farm in New Mexico, in the heart of Albuquerque’s fertile North Valley, lush fields of kabocha squash and heirloom corn grow alongside beds of tomatoes, onions and 13 varieties of okra. The team’s four farmers tend four fields spread across two and a half acres of leased plots on private residences and in a community garden, hauling their tools between each field in a mobile shed.

But the bountiful harvest is only one of Ashokra’s goals. As a queer-, trans- and people-of-color-owned vegetable farm, Ashokra is “trying to embody values and create a space that we haven’t seen on farms that we’ve worked at”, says farmer Anita Adalja. “A place where we have dignity, where we can feel safe, where we can feel like we can be our authentic selves”, protected from the threats of homophobia, transphobia, racism and sexism.

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Categories: Environment

Carbon capture project is ‘Band-Aid’ to greenwash $10bn LNG plant, locals say

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/03 - 3:05am

Texas community fights to save its coastline as the developers of Rio Grande LNG regain interest over claims of carbon capture

As the Mexican Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, festivities drew to a close, Dina Nuñez called to order a meeting of women grassroots activists in a modest home in the heart of Port Isabel, Texas. Top of her agenda: how to stop a Houston-based oil and gas company from building a $10bn project to export liquefied natural gas on a nearby stretch of coast.

For Nuñez and her friends, the fight against the scheme – known as Rio Grande LNG – is about protecting their community from air pollution; preserving shrimping and tourism; and defending habitats for pelicans, endangered ocelots and aplomado falcons at the project site on unspoiled wetlands between Port Isabel and the larger city of Brownsville.

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Categories: Environment

The man in charge of how the US spends $400bn to shift away from fossil fuels

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/03 - 2:00am

The Department of Energy’s loan programs office was ‘essentially dormant’, says Jigar Shah, its head – but now it’s ready to bankroll clean energy projects

Deep in the confines of the hulking, brutalist headquarters of the US Department of Energy, down one of its long, starkly lit corridors, sits a small, unheralded office that is poised to play a pivotal role in America’s shift away from fossil fuels and help the world stave off disastrous global heating.

The department’s loan programs office (LPO) was “essentially dormant” under Donald Trump, according to its head, Jigar Shah, but has now come roaring back with a huge war chest to bankroll emerging clean energy projects and technology.

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Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2023/02/03 - 1:00am

The best of this week’s wildlife pictures, including snow monkeys, beavers and a selfie-crazy bear

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Categories: Environment
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