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New Zealand declares a climate change emergency

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 7:42pm

Jacinda Ardern calls climate change ‘one of the greatest challenges of our time’ and pledges carbon-neutral government by 2025

New Zealand has declared a climate change emergency and committed to a carbon-neutral government by 2025, in what the prime minister Jacinda Ardern called “one of the greatest challenges of our time”.

A motion tabled in parliament on Wednesday recognised “the devastating impact that volatile and extreme weather will have on New Zealand and the wellbeing of New Zealanders, on our primary industries, water availability, and public health through flooding, sea level rise, and wildfire”.

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Categories: Environment

UN climate summit president thanks Australian states – but not Morrison government – for backing net zero

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 7:03pm

UK energy minister Alok Sharma urges ‘all of you who have not already done so to join the race’ to net zero emissions by 2050

The British president of the next major UN climate change summit has pointedly thanked Australia’s states and territories for backing a goal of net zero emissions by 2050 while urging unnamed others – including the Morrison government – to join them.

In a speech to an Australian audience on Wednesday, Alok Sharma, the president-designate of the COP26 summit in Glasgow and a member of Boris Johnson’s Conservative cabinet, said more than 120 countries had announced carbon neutrality or net zero emissions targets and urged others to follow.

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Categories: Environment

No-kill, lab-grown meat to go on sale for first time

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 5:01pm

Singapore’s approval of chicken cells grown in bioreactors is seen as landmark moment across industry

Cultured meat, produced in bioreactors without the slaughter of an animal, has been approved for sale by a regulatory authority for the first time. The development has been hailed as a landmark moment across the meat industry.

The “chicken bites”, produced by the US company Eat Just, have passed a safety review by the Singapore Food Agency and the approval could open the door to a future when all meat is produced without the killing of livestock, the company said.

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Categories: Environment

rooting another cutting...

The Field Lab - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 4:29pm



Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

Whitebark pine trees are dying across the US west. Could a federal proposal protect them?

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 2:13pm

The high-elevation tree – a key source of food for grizzly bears – is vulnerable to climate crisis, beetles and disease

Climate crisis, voracious beetles and disease are imperiling the long-term survival of a high-elevation pine tree that’s a key source of food for some grizzly bears across the US west.

Whitebark pine trees can live up to 1,000 years and are found at elevations up to 12,000 feet (3,600 meters), conditions too harsh for most trees to survive. The trees grow in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada and western Canada, but have been all but wiped out in some areas.

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Categories: Environment

Climate Case Against Shell Begins In The Netherlands

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 1:01pm

The case was brought by a group of environmental organizations and more than 17,000 Dutch citizens. They demand that Shell be forced to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 45% by 2030.

(Image credit: Koen van Weel/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Wildflower meadows to line England's new roads in boost for biodiversity

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 8:43am

Highways England scheme to encourage species-rich grasslands could create hundreds of miles of rare habitats after decades of loss

Native wildflower meadows will line the verges of all new large-scale road projects under an initiative by Highways England, the Guardian can reveal.

Nodding blue harebells, clusters of yellow kidney vetch and flashes of bird’s-foot-trefoil could soon become the norm on stretches of the road network in England with the infrastructure provider committing to the creation of biodiverse grasslands as standard on all new major schemes.

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Categories: Environment

Photographer confirms humans removed mysterious Utah monolith

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 8:41am
  • Four men destroyed metal pillar, saying: ‘Leave no trace’
  • Monolith had sparked intense interest and wild theories

A mysterious monolith that baffled officials and adventurers when it appeared and then swiftly disappeared in the remote Utah desert was removed by four men – not aliens, as many around the world might have hoped.

A group of friends who were photographing the monolith captured the removal last Friday night, then shared the images on Instagram.

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Categories: Environment

Climate crisis to triple flooding threat for low-income US homes by 2050

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 3:00am

A new study has found that affordable housing in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and California will be at particular risk

The amount of affordable housing in the US vulnerable to coastal flooding is set to triple over the next 30 years, a new study has found in a further sign of the escalating hardships faced by low-income Americans amid an unraveling climate crisis.

Affordable housing in New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and California is at particular risk of flooding from worsening storms or even high tides pushed on by rising sea levels, according to research conducted by Climate Central, a New Jersey-based science organization.

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Categories: Environment

Trump’s border wall construction threatens survival of jaguars in the US

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 2:44am

Wall is going up in four sections in Arizona’s mountain ranges spanning the US-Mexico border where the cats had reappeared

By the 1960s, the North American jaguar had vanished from the southern US borderland after being hunted to extinction.

Yet in the mid-1990s, there was a remarkable discovery: the jaguar had reappeared in the Sky Islands of Arizona, a region of rugged linked mountain ranges spanning the US and Mexico border that boasts the highest biodiversity in inland North America. Since then, the large cats have been seen over a dozen times in the region, reviving hopes of a full return of the elusive predators to the US.

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Categories: Environment

Queensland budget: coal and petroleum forecasts labelled 'delusional' as royalties dive

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2020/12/01 - 1:39am

An expert questions the state government betting heavily on a coal and gas-fired recovery after the global slump in fossil fuels hits the 2020-21 budget

Queensland’s coal and petroleum royalties income has collapsed, wiping more than $2bn – about half the revenue initially forecast – from the state’s budget bottom line.

But while the global slump in the fossil fuel industry has impacted the pandemic-delayed Queensland 2020-21 budget, the state is betting heavily on a coal and gas-fired recovery in the coming years.

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Categories: Environment

Pacific leaders condemn Australia's 'weak' climate target in open letter to Scott Morrison

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/11/30 - 9:12pm

Fourteen eminent signatories urge Canberra to commit to net-zero emissions by 2050

Pacific leaders have condemned Australia’s Paris climate target as “one of the weakest”, urging Canberra to commit to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and abandon its Kyoto carryover credits.

Fourteen Pacific leaders, including former presidents and prime ministers, foreign ministers, archbishops and other church leaders, have penned an open leader to the prime minister, Scott Morrison, “as Pacific Islander leaders whose homelands and cultures face certain devastation from climate change”.

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Categories: Environment

Amazon deforestation surges to 12-year high under Bolsonaro

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/11/30 - 4:43pm

An area seven times larger than Greater London has been lost in what one activist called a ‘humiliating and shameful’ destruction

A vast expanse of Amazon rainforest seven times larger than Greater London was destroyed over the last year as deforestation surged to a 12-year high under Brazil’s far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.

Figures released by the Brazilian space institute, Inpe, on Monday showed at least 11,088 sq km of rainforest was razed between August 2019 and July this year – the highest figure since 2008.

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Categories: Environment

Kensington and Chelsea council criticised for scrapping cycle lane

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/11/30 - 10:04am

Separated bike lane in Conservative-run borough to be removed after seven weeks

A Conservative-run council has been accused of favouring the convenience of car drivers over the wellbeing of local people by scrapping a popular cycle lane after opposition from 0.2% of the borough’s population.

Kensington and Chelsea council, which last year vetoed its section of a cross-London bike route, has said it will remove the separated cycle lane along Kensington High Street, seven weeks after it was installed.

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Categories: Environment

Field Lab Salon...

The Field Lab - Mon, 2020/11/30 - 9:26am
Categories: Sustainable SW Blogs

New Zealand Charges 13 Parties Over Deaths At White Island Volcano

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2020/11/30 - 8:59am

A work safety agency says last year's eruption, which killed 22 people, was unexpected, but it wasn't unforeseeable. The tragedy struck at New Zealand's most active volcano.

(Image credit: New Zealand Defence Force/ via Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Shell in court over claims it hampered fossil fuels phase-out

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/11/30 - 4:12am

Environmentalists say firm broke Dutch law by expanding its fossil fuel operations

A court in The Hague will hear claims that Royal Dutch Shell has broken Dutch law by knowingly hampering the global phase-out of fossil fuels, in a case that could force the company to reduce its CO2 emissions.

Lawyers for a consortium led by Friends of the Earth Netherlands will argue on the first of four days of public hearings on Tuesday that Shell has been aware for decades of the damage it has inflicted and is acting unlawfully by expanding its fossil fuel operations.

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Categories: Environment

Scottish homes to be first in world to use 100% green hydrogen

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2020/11/30 - 2:00am

Some 300 homes in Fife to be fitted with free boilers, heaters and cooking appliances

Hundreds of homes in Scotland will soon become the first in the world to use 100% green hydrogen to heat their properties and cook their meals as part of a new trial that could help households across the country replace fossil fuel gas.

Some 300 homes in Fife will be fitted with free hydrogen boilers, heaters and cooking appliances to be used for more than four years in the largest test of whether zero carbon hydrogen, made using renewable energy and water, could help meet Britain’s climate goals.

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Categories: Environment

Australia's emissions fell 3% in year to June amid Covid shutdown

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/11/29 - 8:30pm

Angus Taylor hails data – but experts say much of fall not related to government action

Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions fell 3% in the year to June due to the Covid-19 shutdown, the ongoing impact of drought and an influx of cheap solar and wind power, according to government figures.

The government said it meant Australia had beaten its international 2020 target – widely regarded among experts as an unambitious goal.

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Categories: Environment

Australia’s food waste skyrockets amid Covid panic buying

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/11/29 - 6:12pm

Households are now wasting nearly 13% of their groceries and spending more on food delivery services, the Rabobank 2020 Food Waste Report shows

Australians wasted more food during the Covid-19 pandemic, largely thanks to panic buying and food delivery services.

The annual bill for the country’s wasteful food choices skyrocketed to an estimated $10.3bn after the coronavirus reached our shores, according to Rabobank’s 2020 Food Waste Report.

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Categories: Environment
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