Environment

Gas industry and Coalition reach for a get-out-of-catastrophe-free card in climate crisis Monopoly | Temperature Check

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/05/18 - 5:26pm

Carbon capture and storage isn’t working close to a scale that would significantly lower emissions – despite billions in taxpayers’ cash thrown at it

Scott Morrison’s loving embrace and financial backing of the gas industry has been a defining feature of his prime ministership.

Hit with a historical pandemic, Morrison chose gas – not renewables – to fire an economic recovery.

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Categories: Environment

Australia’s climate data to UN questioned as study finds land clearing in Queensland underreported

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/05/18 - 10:30am

If national emissions data is incorrect then Australia less likely to be on track to meet Coalition’s target of a 26-28% cut by 2030

Queensland forests are being cleared at almost twice the rate reflected in national greenhouse gas emissions, new analysis suggests, prompting questions about the climate data that Australia reports to the United Nations.

The study of data from Queensland’s statewide landcover and tree study (Slats) shows 455,756 hectares of forests were cleared across the state in 2018-19.

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Categories: Environment

Australia’s tropical rainforests have been dying faster for decades in ‘clear and stark climate warning’

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/05/18 - 10:30am

Scientists compare findings of tree study to mass coral bleaching in Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s tropical rainforest trees have being dying at double the previous rate since the 1980s, seemingly because of global heating, according to new research that raises concerns tropical forests could start to release more carbon dioxide than they absorb.

The study, published in the journal Nature, found the average life of tropical trees in north Queensland had been reduced by about half over the past 35 years . The finding was consistent across different species and rainforests.

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Categories: Environment

Foresters hope 'assisted migration' will preserve landscapes as the climate changes

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2022/05/18 - 9:01am

Foresters responding to climate change are experimenting with planting trees in Vermont that typically are found further south. They hope the trees will survive hotter and drier conditions to come.

(Image credit: Emma Jacobs for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Drought and soaring food prices from Ukraine war leave millions in Africa starving

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2022/05/18 - 8:52am

A report finds 23 million people are experiencing extreme hunger in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya, which face their worst drought in 40 years. Food prices hit record highs after Russia attacked Ukraine.

(Image credit: Brian Inganga/AP)

Categories: Environment

EU plans ‘massive’ increase in green energy to help end reliance on Russia

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/05/18 - 6:24am

European Commission says extra €210bn needed over next five years to pay for phasing out of Russian fossil fuels

The EU plans a “massive” increase in solar and wind power, and a short-term boost for coal, to end its reliance on Russian oil and gas as fast as possible.

In a plan outlined on Wednesday, the European Commission said the EU needed to find an extra €210bn (£178bn) over the next five years to pay for phasing out Russian fossil fuels and speeding up the switch to green energy.

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Categories: Environment

Green spaces are not accessible for 2.8m people in UK, finds study

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/05/18 - 6:00am

Fields in Trust charity finds about one in 24 people in Britain live 10 minutes walk from nearest park

Nearly 2.8 million people in the UK live more than 10 minutes walk from a public park, garden or playing field, according to research.

Fields in Trust, which protects and campaigns for public green spaces, found just four out of the 11 regions in Great Britain met its “six-acre standard” for green space provision.

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Categories: Environment

Extinction obituary: the sudden, sad disappearance of the Christmas Island forest skink

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/05/18 - 2:00am

Gump was the last lizard of her kind when she died in 2014, and her demise should be ‘a scar on our conscience’

The last Christmas Island forest skink was named Gump. She lived in a spacious cage filled with rocks, soil, logs and a ready supply of fresh invertebrate food in the island’s national park. She wasn’t particularly active, but then again it’s impossible to know what goes on in the mind of a skink. Her namesake was Forrest Gump – they were both solitary individuals who, despite being mild and unassuming, experienced momentous events while remaining quite unaware of the exceptional courses their lives had taken.

The Christmas island forest skink (or whiptail skink) used to thrive on its island home, an Australian territory off the coast of Indonesia. In 1979, researchers documented that they were its most abundant skink. These lizards were, visually, fairly nondescript. Not too small, but by no means large, they averaged about 20cm (8in) in length, with a slim body covered in brown-yellow scales. They were practically the default image that comes to mind when you think “lizard”.

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Categories: Environment

Carbon bombs: Inside the 20 May Guardian Weekly

Guardian Environment News - Wed, 2022/05/18 - 1:00am

Uncovering the oil and gas mega-projects. Also: anger in Buffalo
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At last year’s Cop26 conference, when nations grappled with closing the gap between emissions and targets to limit global heating to 1.5C, one key variable was unclear. Major oil and gas firms had numerous large-scale extraction projects planned or under way, but measurable data on the problem was not available. So, with several other journalists, the Guardian’s environment editor, Damian Carrington, set about finding it.

A “carbon bomb” is an oil or gas project that will result in at least a billion tonnes of CO2 emissions over its lifetime. “Getting hold of solid information about them is an absolute nightmare,” says Damian. “We’re talking about future projects, and that means you’re dealing with uncertainty. And the big oil and gas companies are … not all that open about it.”

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Categories: Environment

The ‘carbon bombs’ set to blow up the world’s climate pledges

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/05/17 - 7:00pm

A Guardian investigation has revealed 195 oil and gas projects known as ‘carbon bombs’ that could trigger catastrophic climate breakdown if allowed to continue. Damian Carrington reports

During emotional scenes in Glasgow last year, world leaders came together to agree to “phase down” the use of coal. But absent from the UN climate summit was any similar pledge about oil and gas, the fossil fuels that make up more than half of the world’s energy production.

The environment editor, Damian Carrington, tells Michael Safi that a Guardian investigation has laid bare the reality of what those oil and gas projects add up to: 646 gigatonnes of additional carbon dioxide that would be pumped into the atmosphere unless they are halted. The investigation uncovered 195 “carbon bombs” – projects that would each result in at least 1bn tonnes of CO2 emissions over their lifetimes – and found that the dozen biggest oil companies were on track to spend $103m a day for the rest of the decade, exploiting new fields of oil and gas that could not be burned if global heating was to be limited to well under 2C.

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Categories: Environment

Pollution responsible for one in six deaths across planet, scientists warn

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/05/17 - 3:30pm

Toxic air, water and soil are ‘existential threat to human and planetary health’, says global review

Pollution is killing 9 million people a year, a review has found, making it responsible for one in six of all deaths.

Toxic air and contaminated water and soil “is an existential threat to human health and planetary health, and jeopardises the sustainability of modern societies”, the review concluded.

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Categories: Environment

Mexican farmers demand redress for illegal mining and violence on their land

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/05/17 - 10:56am

Owners of community land bought shares to join annual meeting of Fresnillo, a Mexican FTSE 100 company

Mexican farmers have travelled to London to demand that a FTSE 100 company compensates them for illegal mining on their land and explain violence against anti-mining activists.

Penmont mining, a subsidiary of Fresnillo, was ordered by an agrarian court in Mexico in 2013 to pay members of El Bajío community, co-owners of common land in Sonora, north-west Mexico, for the gold extracted and to restore the land to its original state.

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Categories: Environment

‘Community’ group linked to mining company New Hope presses ALP candidate on coalmine support

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/05/17 - 10:30am

Group previously accused of being part of ‘astroturfing’ campaign says ‘community deserves clarity’ on position of Labor candidate in Queensland seat of Groom

Last Monday morning, two weeks before election day, journalists in Toowoomba began calling and emailing the Labor candidate for the seat of Groom, Gen Allpass, to ask whether she supported the expansion of the controversial New Acland coalmine.

“I had all the media after me that day, and some online trolling as well,” Allpass said.

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Categories: Environment

Élisabeth Borne: France’s new PM faces immediate pressure to act on climate

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/05/17 - 9:21am

First female prime minister in 30 years faces calls to act fast after ‘five lost years’ on tackling global heating

The new French prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, has immediately come under pressure from environmentalists on the left who warned “hopes were low” that she would drastically cut France’s carbon emissions or move fast enough to address global heating, despite Emmanuel Macron’s election promise to make France a world-leader on the climate emergency.

Borne’s first comments after taking office were to promise to “act faster and stronger” to deal with climate challenges, after the newly re-elected centrist president, Macron, promised his prime minister special oversight powers to plan France’s transition to become “the first major nation to abandon gas, oil and coal.”

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Categories: Environment

Industry call for Australia to ‘unlock wealth’ of new oil and gas fields at odds with IEA warning

Guardian Environment News - Tue, 2022/05/17 - 3:16am

Increasing supply is ‘absolutely part of the solution’ to decarbonising the economy, Appea chair tells conference

Fossil fuel representatives have joined the Morrison government in rejecting scientific warnings that no new oil and gas fields should be opened if the world is to deal with the climate crisis, with a national conference hearing Australia should be “smart enough” to back continued expansion.

Increased gas and oil supply was “absolutely part of the solution” to decarbonising the economy, the annual conference of gas industry group the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) was told.

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Categories: Environment

Shut down fossil fuel production sites early to avoid climate chaos, says study

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/05/16 - 11:00pm

Exclusive: Nearly half existing facilities will need to close prematurely to limit heating to 1.5C, scientists say

Nearly half of existing fossil fuel production sites need to be shut down early if global heating is to be limited to 1.5C, the internationally agreed goal for avoiding climate catastrophe, according to a new scientific study.

The assessment goes beyond the call by the International Energy Agency in 2021 to stop all new fossil fuel development to avoid the worst impacts of global heating, a statement seen as radical at the time.

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Categories: Environment

Buffalo suspect may be latest mass shooter motivated by ‘eco-fascism’

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/05/16 - 11:00pm

Buffalo suspect allegedly calls himself ‘eco-fascist’ and blames migration for harm to the environment in document posted online

The suspected perpetrator of the deadly shooting in Buffalo, New York, on Saturday may have been the latest mass killer to be motivated by a growing fixation of rightwingers – environmental degradation and the impact of overpopulation.

The attack, that left 10 people shot dead and three wounded, has been described as a “hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism” by the FBI.

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Categories: Environment

‘It’s a bribe’: the coastal areas that could become the UK’s nuclear dump

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/05/16 - 11:00pm

Promises of jobs and investment are doing little to convince a remote Lincolnshire community to agree to hosting the country’s nuclear waste

On the unspoilt Lincolnshire coast, where dog walkers enjoy the five miles of golden sandy beach and families take holidays in the caravan parks beyond the dunes, the efforts of British politicians to persuade the public nuclear energy is green, safe and clean do not seem to be gaining traction.

A skull glowers down from the sand dunes on to Mablethorpe Beach, a portent of death and destruction, and a throwback to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament protests of the 1980s.

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Categories: Environment

The wildfires burning in the Southwest are bad but 'not unprecedented'

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2022/05/16 - 12:36pm

Experts say the Southwestern U.S. is drier than it's been in some 1,200 years, which is one of, but not the only, drivers of the large infernos burning in New Mexico.

(Image credit: New Mexico National Guard via AP)

Categories: Environment

Australian Conservation Foundation names Mount Isa the most polluted postcode in the country

Guardian Environment News - Mon, 2022/05/16 - 10:30am

Mount Isa Mines responsible for 91% of emissions in the outback city despite having an ‘industry-leading air quality management framework’

Mount Isa has been named the most polluted postcode in Australia in a new report from the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF).

The ACF said the outback city is one of four Queensland locations listed among the Top 10 most polluted postcodes in the country, alongside Gladstone, Stanwell and Tarong.

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Categories: Environment
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