‘Reckless’ coal firms plan climate-busting expansion, study finds

Guardian Environment News - 18 hours 57 min ago

Coal is the most polluting of all fossil fuels and investors must stop funding it, say campaigners

Hundreds of coal companies around the world are developing new mines and power stations, according to a study. The researchers said the plans were “reckless and irresponsible” in the midst of the climate emergency.

Coal is the most polluting of all fossil fuels and its use must be quickly phased out to end the climate crisis. However, almost half the 1,000 companies assessed are still developing new coal assets, and just 27 companies have announced coal exit dates consistent with international climate targets.

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Categories: Environment

Foundation backed by Mike Cannon-Brookes invests $10m in bid to cut secondhand electric car cost

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/10/05 - 6:40pm

Good Car Company plans to run a batch-buy program that would source cars from Japan and the UK

A philanthropic foundation backed by Mike Cannon-Brookes has invested $10m into Tasmanian startup the Good Car company to help slash the cost of secondhand electric vehicles in Australia.

The announcement from Boundless on Thursday follows months of signalling by Cannon-Brookes that he was prepared to invest large sums into businesses addressing aspects of the carbon transition.

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Categories: Environment

The old men and the CPAC: conservatives regaled with tired tales of climate misinformation | Temperature Check

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/10/05 - 6:24pm

The Australian conference supposedly devoted to ‘bold action’ from the right spent much of its time pouring scorn on any form of climate action

Climate science is a fraud, according to one speaker; renewable energy has pushed up electricity prices for Australians and the case that carbon dioxide drives global warming is unproven, according to others.

Those were just some of the themes at last weekend’s annual conference in Sydney of the Conservative Political Action (CPAC) network – billed as the “largest and most prominent conference for conservatives and liberty lovers in Australia”.

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Categories: Environment

Pakistani PM says he should not have to beg for help after catastrophic floods

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/10/05 - 6:00pm

Shehbaz Sharif says he wants ‘climate justice’ from rich polluting countries after monsoons put a third of his country under water

Shehbaz Sharif, the prime minister, has said Pakistan should not be forced to go out with a “begging bowl” to rich polluting nations after the floods that have devastated the country and said he would be seeking “climate justice” from the international community.

Speaking from his home in Lahore, Sharif warned that Pakistan is facing an unprecedented crisis of health, food security and internal displacement after the “apocalyptic” monsoons which put a third of Pakistan’s regions under water. Some areas were hit by 1.7m of rainfall, the highest on record.

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Categories: Environment

World Bank ‘has given nearly $15bn to fossil fuel projects since Paris deal’

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/10/05 - 4:01pm

A group of 50 NGOs found that bank and subsidiaries had funded oil refinery and gas processing

The World Bank has provided nearly $15bn of finance directly to fossil fuel projects since the Paris agreement was signed in 2015, and is likely to have spurred far greater investment indirectly, new research has found.

Funding for “upstream” oil and gas projects from the World Bank was meant to stop from 2019, but the Big Shift Global, a coalition of more than 50 NGOs, has found the bank and its subsidiaries funding oil refinery and gas processing since then.

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Categories: Environment

Toxic air pollution particles found in lungs and brains of unborn babies

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/10/05 - 3:30pm

Particles breathed by mothers pass to their vulnerable foetuses, with potentially lifelong consequences

Toxic air pollution particles have been found in the lungs, livers and brains of unborn babies, long before they have taken their first breath. Researchers said their “groundbreaking” discovery was “very worrying”, as the gestation period of foetuses is the most vulnerable stage of human development.

Thousands of black carbon particles were found in each cubic millimetre of tissue, which were breathed in by the mother during pregnancy and then passed through the bloodstream and placenta to the foetus.

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Categories: Environment

Unlike Jacob Rees-Mogg, Britain won’t take fracking lying down | Letter

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/10/05 - 10:15am

Caroline Lucas responds to the business secretary’s claim that only she and ‘the socialists’ do not support his plans

If Jacob Rees-Mogg really believes that the only people who don’t like fracking are “the socialists and Caroline Lucas”, he’s clearly not been paying attention (Rees-Mogg tells Tories he’d welcome fracking in his back garden, 3 October)

This may come as no surprise since, until recently, his most memorable position on the green benches at Westminster has been horizontal. But if he couldn’t see the large numbers of his own party’s backbench MPs queueing up to voice their outrage at his proposal to restart fracking when he made his announcement a few weeks ago then he should certainly have been able to hear them.

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Categories: Environment

Truss’s policy on environment seems to be: don’t think about it

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/10/05 - 7:33am

The RSPB, National Trust, green farmers and anti-frackers all got it in the neck at the Conservative conference

In the middle of Liz Truss’s speech, at the end of a chaotic and divisive conference, a protest by Greenpeace activists was perhaps inevitable given the frustration and concern that has been brewing among environmentalists over the direction of government policy.

The prime minister’s words will have only heightened their anxiety.

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Categories: Environment

2 groups plan to focus on carbon credits from urban forests

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2022/10/05 - 2:07am

A Seattle nonprofit recently got some of the highest prices ever for carbon credits from urban forests. (Story first aired on All Things Considered on Oct. 4, 2022.)

Categories: Environment

Brisbane 2032 Olympics organiser defends sitting on board of fossil fuel company

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/10/05 - 1:26am

Andrew Liveris says his position at Saudi Aramco means he ‘knows the solutions’ as he presides over climate-positive games

Andrew Liveris has defended sitting on the board of the most polluting company in history at the same time as presiding over the organisation of an Olympic Games being billed as “climate positive”, saying: “If you emit, you actually know the solutions.”

Liveris is on the board of directors of the world’s biggest oil company, Saudi Aramco, which is 95% owned by the Saudi Arabian government.

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Categories: Environment

A Michigan judge drops felony charges against 7 people in Flint water scandal

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2022/10/05 - 1:04am

The dismissal for 7 people was significant but not a surprise after the Michigan Supreme Court earlier said a different judge acting as a one-person grand jury had no authority to issue indictments.

(Image credit: Carlos Osorio/AP)

Categories: Environment

Animals we’ve lost: the vivid ‘waving’ frog that vanished suddenly

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/10/04 - 10:00pm

Chiriquí harlequin frogs went extinct in 1996 due to a fungal disease that has driven the decline of 501 amphibian species

It was a remarkably elaborate mating ritual. When a male Chiriquí harlequin frog found its mate, it would climb on to the female’s back, grip its armpits with its forelimbs and hug it. Females of the species were often twice as large as the males, and they would remain in this mating clasp for days or even months – depending on when the female was ready to lay her eggs. During this time, the male might forgo eating and lose up to 30% of its body weight, but it was willing to wait.

It has been almost 30 years since a scientist last witnessed this act. In 2019, with little fanfare, the species was declared extinct.

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Categories: Environment

A tiny fish that once caused an epic conservation fight is no longer under threat

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2022/10/04 - 6:54pm

The snail darter, a tiny Southeastern fish that derailed a federal dam during an epic battle over Endangered Species Act protection in the '70s, is no longer considered imperiled, officials announced.

(Image credit: Joe Howell/AP)

Categories: Environment

‘People before plants’: NSW premier commits to raising Warragamba Dam wall 14 metres

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/10/04 - 6:27pm

Government deems controversial project critical state infrastructure in order to have it approved ‘as quickly as possible’

The New South Wales premier, Dominic Perrottet, has declared he will put “people before plants” as he announced the Warragamba Dam will be raised 14 metres, despite the project not having environmental approval or funding.

Speaking at the western Sydney catchment on Wednesday, Perrottet announced the dam wall raising had been declared a critical state significant infrastructure project, handing final state approval to the planning minister, Anthony Roberts.

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Categories: Environment

Farmers across eastern Australia brace for ‘wet drought’ as rain threatens major crop loss

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/10/04 - 4:00pm

‘Bizarre’ weather patterns are deterring farmers from planting crops and forcing others to sell livestock earlier than usual, says NSW grazier

Farmers across eastern Australia are preparing for the possibility of a “wet drought” and major crop losses as parts of New South Wales and southern Queensland brace for more wet weather and flash flooding.

“A wet drought is the same as a drought, you don’t get any crop because of weather reasons. But unfortunately, it’s because everything’s got too wet. So basically, the crops get washed out,” the Grain Growers Limited chairman, Brett Hosking, said.

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Categories: Environment

Two groups want to put focus on carbon credits from urban forests

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2022/10/04 - 1:11pm

Carbon credits for urban forests by a Seattle nonprofit recently got some of the highest prices ever. The buyer hopes it's the start of a new marketplace that will fetch more from smaller projects.

Categories: Environment

The American EV boom is about to begin. Does the US have the power to charge it?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/10/04 - 12:02pm

States have plans to ban gas-powered cars and the White House wants chargers along highways, but implementation is a challenge

Speaking in front of a line of the latest electric vehicles (EVs) at this month’s North American International Auto Show, President Joe Biden declared: “The great American road trip is going to be fully electrified.”

Most vehicles on the road are still gas guzzlers, but Washington is betting big on change, hoping that major federal investment will help reach a target set by the White House for 50% of new cars to be electric by 2030. But there are roadblocks – specifically when it comes to charging them all. “Range anxiety,” or how far one can travel before needing to charge, is still cited as a major deterrent for potential EV buyers.

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Categories: Environment

Rees-Mogg’s neighbours fail to share ‘delight’ at back garden fracking

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/10/04 - 9:46am

Few in Somerset MP’s constituency share his enthusiasm but some do agree with need for ‘unpopular measures’

The sun was shining and the wind blowing steadily across Jacob Rees-Mogg’s manicured garden and the Somerset hills beyond.

“It’s obvious on a day like this, isn’t it?” said Gary Marsh, a stonemason and a neighbour of the business secretary and Conservative MP for North East Somerset. “We should be putting more money into solar and wind energy. Plus tidal power on the coast at places like Burnham-on-Sea and Weston-super-Mare. Not fracking, messing with the earth and water.”

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Categories: Environment

Rees-Mogg seeking to evade scrutiny of new fracking projects, email shows

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/10/04 - 9:45am

Exclusive: Note setting out business secretary’s views looks for ways to accelerate schemes, including streamlining HSE requirements

Ministers are actively examining ways to evade legal, environmental and public scrutiny of new oil and gas projects including fracking, the Guardian has learned, sparking a furious reaction from green groups and opposition parties.

Senior staff working on energy projects in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have been instructed to look into ideas raised by Jacob Rees-Mogg, the business secretary, to escape potential judicial review of policies or public consultation.

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