Investors that manage US$47tn demand world’s biggest polluters back plan for net-zero emissions

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/13 - 10:01pm

Climate Action 100+ group put 161 fossil fuel, mining, transport and other big-emitting companies on notice in latest campaign by shareholders

A group representing investors that collectively manage more than US$47tn in assets has demanded the world’s biggest corporate polluters back strategies to reach net-zero emissions and promised to hold them to public account.

Climate Action 100+, an initiative supported by 518 institutional investor organisations across the globe, has written to 161 fossil fuel, mining, transport and other big-emitting companies to set 30 climate measures and targets against which they will be analysed in a report to be released early next year.

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Categories: Environment

UK must become global leader in tackling climate crisis, says CBI

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/13 - 4:01pm

Carolyn Fairbairn calls for more green jobs to help economy recover from Covid-19

Britain needs to step up and become a global leader in climate action, creating a number of green jobs and boosting productivity to help the economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic, the CBI will say on Monday.

Launching the organisation’s “green recovery roadmap”, the CBI’s director-general, Carolyn Fairbairn, will call on the government to take ambitious steps nationally and use the rest of this year to reignite global efforts to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

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Categories: Environment

Global oil demand may have passed peak, says BP energy report

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/13 - 4:01pm

Oil will be replaced by clean electricity, BP predicts, as demand may never recover from Covid-19 pandemic

BP has called time on the world’s rising demand for fossil fuels after finding that demand for oil may have already reached its peak and faces an unprecedented decades-long decline.

Demand for oil may never fully recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the oil firm, and may begin falling in absolute terms for the first time in modern history.

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Categories: Environment

'Lost decade for nature' as UK fails on 17 of 20 UN biodiversity targets

Guardian Environment News - Sun, 2020/09/13 - 4:01pm

UK government said it failed on two-thirds of targets, but RSPB analysis is bleaker – and suggests UK is moving backwards in some areas

The UK has failed to reach 17 out of 20 UN biodiversity targets agreed on 10 years ago, according to an analysis from conservation charity RSPB that says the gap between rhetoric and reality has resulted in a “lost decade for nature”.

The UK government’s self-assessment said it failed on two-thirds of targets (14 out of 20) agreed at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Nagoya, Japan, in 2010, but the RSPB analysis suggests the reality is worse. On six of the 20 targets the UK has actually gone backwards. The government’s assessment published last year said it was not regressing on any target.

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Categories: Environment

It's Not Just Wildfires. Climate Change Is Making The Air More Hazardous

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/09/13 - 2:12pm

Even beyond wildfire smoke, the air this summer has been more dangerous for millions of Americans. That's because of the warming climate, which threatens to roll back decades of improving air quality.

Categories: Environment

Smoke, Dense Fog Complicate Oregon Firefighting Efforts

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/09/13 - 2:08pm

In Oregon, better weather could help as firefighters battle ongoing blazes. Tens of thousands are displaced, others missing, and hazardous smoke continues to blanket much of the state.

Categories: Environment

As Wildfires Grow More Intense, Iconic Western Forests May Not Come Back

NPR News - Environment - Sun, 2020/09/13 - 4:00am

Extreme fires are more likely with climate change, and they're making it harder for some tree species to regenerate. Ecologists say this could transform large areas of Western forest into grassland.

(Image credit: Michael Elizabeth Sakas/CPR News)

Categories: Environment

Scientists baffled by orcas ramming sailing boats near Spain and Portugal

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/12 - 11:27pm

From the Strait of Gibraltar to Galicia, orcas have been harassing yachts, damaging vessels and injuring crew

Full story: ‘I’ve never seen or heard of attacks’ – scientists baffled by orcas harassing boats

Scientists have been left baffled by incidents of orcas ramming sailing boats along the Spanish and Portuguese coasts.

In the last two months, from southern to northern Spain, sailors have sent distress calls after worrying encounters. Two boats lost part of their rudders, at least one crew member suffered bruising from the impact of the ramming, and several boats sustained serious damage.

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Categories: Environment

Trump doesn't care if wildfires destroy the west – it didn't vote for him | Robert Reich

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/12 - 10:00pm

The climate crisis is upon us all but the president pursues more rollbacks. This election offers an existential choice

The air outside my window is yellow today. It was orange yesterday. The Air Quality Index is over 200. The Environmental Protection Agency defines this as a “health alert” in which “everyone may experience more serious health effects if they are exposed for 24 hours”. Unfortunately, the index has been over 200 for several days.

Related: Wildfires are striking closer and closer to cities. We know how this will end | Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano

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Categories: Environment

Wildfires Latest: Helpful Weather; Oregon Official Warns Of 'Mass Fatality Incident'

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2020/09/12 - 2:58pm

A change in weather conditions is being seen as a needed assist for nearly 30,000 fire personnel battling blazes. Authorities are also attempting to debunk online rumors about the cause of the fires.

(Image credit: Nic Coury/AP)

Categories: Environment

Voices Of Southern Oregon Wildfire Evacuees

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2020/09/12 - 2:05pm

People in an Oregon evacuation shelter talk about fleeing the flames and what's ahead for them, including the head of a retirement home that was destroyed.

Categories: Environment

Longtime Climate Science Denier Hired At NOAA

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2020/09/12 - 12:55pm

David Legates, a professor whose research has been supported by fossil fuel companies, has been hired for a top position at the federal agency that oversees weather and climate forecasting.

(Image credit: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

UK move to classify Extinction Rebellion 'organised crime group' comes under fire

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/12 - 7:55am

Letter signed by 150 public figures hits back at move to scapegoat protesters

Stephen Fry, Mark Rylance and a former Archbishop of Canterbury are among 150 public figures to hit back at government moves to classify the climate protesters of Extinction Rebellion as an “organised crime group”. In a letter to be published in the Observer on Sunday, XR is described as “a group of people who are holding the powerful to account” – who should not become targets of “vitriol and anti-democratic posturing”.

It comes in response to the prime minister and home secretary’s reported move to review how the group is classified in law after it disrupted the distribution of four national newspapers, including the Sun and the Daily Mail, last Saturday.

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Categories: Environment

Opinion: The California Dream, A Catastrophic Wake-Up Call

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2020/09/12 - 4:52am

NPR's Scott Simon recounts what life in California, once the stuff of dreams, has become for too many residents as wildfires, mudslides, earthquakes seem to happen with increasing frequency.

(Image credit: Katelynn & Jordan Hewlett/AP)

Categories: Environment

As fires burn the west, top Democrats stay quiet on the climate crisis

Guardian Environment News - Sat, 2020/09/12 - 1:30am

Nancy Pelosi has been notably tepid on green legislation – so are the Democrats serious about fighting climate change?

With hundreds of thousands of Americans forced to evacuate their homes in the western US, Donald Trump hasn’t said a word about the wildfires blazing across multiple states in nearly three weeks.

Related: Oregon fires force hundreds of thousands to flee as deaths rise

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Categories: Environment

California Bill Clears Path For Ex-Inmates To Become Firefighters

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2020/09/11 - 8:47pm

"Inmates who have stood on the frontlines, battling historic fires should not be denied the right to later become a professional firefighter," Gov. Gavin Newsom said upon signing the bill on Friday.

(Image credit: Paul Kitagaki Jr./AP)

Categories: Environment

Coronavirus closures threaten future of Papua New Guinea's only animal rescue centre

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/11 - 3:46pm

Port Moresby nature park may not survive the impact of pandemic shutdowns

From the heat and dust of the city’s noisy, crowded streets, the Port Moresby Nature Park is an oasis, for the city’s residents as well as the animals it keeps.

Home to more than 500 creatures and spread over 30 verdant acres, the park has spent years rescuing injured, orphaned or trafficked animals from across the country, and protected and nurtured native species, including the endangered pig-nosed turtle, and the magnificent riflebird.

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Categories: Environment

Rio Tinto: why the sacking of three executives isn't enough for mining investors

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/11 - 1:00pm

Australia’s biggest superannuation funds also demand the miner guarantee the protection of culturally important sites

Rio Tinto has sacked three senior executives, including the global CEO, as penance for destroying a 46,000-year-old archaeological and sacred site in Western Australia’s Pilbara, but shareholder and Indigenous groups insist the move must signal the start of a major overhaul of the way all mining companies operate in the region.

One of Australia’s biggest superannuation funds says the departure of CEO Jean-Sébastien Jacques, head of iron ore Chris Salisbury, and corporate affairs chief Simone Niven won’t be enough to restore investor confidence.

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Categories: Environment

Climate Change May Wipe Out Large Mangrove Forests, New Research Suggests

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2020/09/11 - 12:57pm

Mangroves help protect coastal areas from flooding and sequester more carbon than tropical forests. But new studies suggest they may be wiped out by the rise of sea levels.

Categories: Environment

The week in wildlife – in pictures

Guardian Environment News - Fri, 2020/09/11 - 10:15am

The best of the week’s wildlife pictures from around the world, from mountain lion cubs in California to an orca with her new calf

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