Climate Newsprint

Climate change is 'single biggest threat' to polar bear survival

Guardian Environment - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 00:01

‘High probability’ of a 30% decline in polar bear numbers by 2050 due to retreating sea ice, IUCN study finds

Global warming is now the single most important threat to the survival of the polar bear with retreating sea ice set to decimate populations, according to a new study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

It found a “high probability” that the planet’s 26,000 polar bears will suffer a 30% decline in population by 2050 due to the loss of their habitat, which is disappearing at a faster rate than predicted by climate models.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Bullying tactics: brands can't squeeze suppliers if they're serious about sustainability

Guardian Environment - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 00:00

A more sustainable supply chain is needed, but will only emerge when the breakdown in trust between suppliers and buyers is resolved

Majestic Wine this week announced the removal of its chief buyer after its pre-tax profits dropped by almost half. Supply chain relations at the ailing retailer have been tense ever since it asked suppliers to stump up cash towards its new warehouse.

Regrettably, such practices are all too common. Global brewer Carlsberg is also facing animosity from suppliers after following the likes of Diageo, Halfords and Mars and extending its payment terms to 93 days.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Congress to vote on bill to ban microbead hygiene products in US

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 22:06

House committee unanimously approves proposed legislation to phase out such personal care products, whose exfoliants can end up in rivers and lakes

US lawmakers are to decide whether to ban personal care products containing microbeads – minuscule pieces of plastic considered harmful to the environment – after proposed legislation was approved by a bipartisan committee.

Microbeads, typically under 5mm in size, are used as abrasive exfoliants in products such as toothpastes and facial cleaners. They often evade water filtration systems and flow into rivers, lakes and streams, where they can be mistaken for food by fish. Pollutants can bind to the plastic, causing toxic material to infect fish and, potentially, the humans that consume them.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Kipper Williams on the 'new energy model'

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 20:22

Gas-fired power given a big boost at the expense of coal … and renewables

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

The Guardian view on Paris, terror and climate change: shaping the future | Editorial

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 19:38
It is hard for France’s capital to look beyond the terror attack, but the decisions taken at the UN climate change conference may in the end matter more

While Europe is on high alert against another murderous terrorist attack, it will be hard for Paris to look beyond the next 24 hours. But soon delegates start arriving in the French capital for preliminary meetings ahead of COP21, the United Nations climate change summit which will be launched on 30 November with all the grandeur attendant on a gathering of global leaders. There is a certain symmetry to the two events that goes beyond the nightmare task facing France’s overstretched security forces. As the UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond pointed out in an important speech in the US only days before the Paris attacks last Friday: “Unchecked climate change … could have catastrophic consequences – a rise in global temperatures … leading in turn to rising sea levels and huge movements of people fuelling conflict and instability.”

There are reasons to be optimistic about a useful outcome from these negotiations, not least the determination of President Barack Obama’s team to deliver a deal with some kind of legal force. But any deal will mark the start rather than the end of the process.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

HS2’s impact on urban homes and hedgehogs | Letters

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 19:32

Patrick Barkham’s article about the HS2 route through the countryside (The long read, 17 November) was excellent – a compelling overview of its effect on rural communities. But, though any article about the omnishambles that is HS2 is welcome, it was incomplete. Perhaps Patrick could also now wander around Camden to see and record the devastation that HS2 will bring to urban residents: 24/7 working with all the associated noise and pollution that goes with such work through a conservation area; fragile houses – part of John Nash’s scheme for Regent’s Park – being drilled under for the purpose of installation of concrete staves; roads closed for years; tower blocks destroyed; Drummond Street (known for its Asian restaurants) destroyed; London Zoo car park taken over by HS2’s HGVs, which threatens the endangered hedgehog community.

Small local businesses will be jeopardised due to noise and lack of access, and there will be no compensation in any form for those living within the M25. An article on HS2’s effects on Camden would surely be an equally depressing but irresistible read.
Lorely Burkill
London

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Planning permissions and ancient woodland | Letters

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 19:31

I note the reference to my practice, Forbes-Laird Arboricultural Consultancy, in an article on your Opinion pages (Notebook: The animals of Smithy Wood, 18 November).

Any decision to grant planning permission affecting ancient woodland is taken after careful scrutiny of the proposals, with matters of need, benefits and harm – and whether this latter can be mitigated against or compensated for – all being considered.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Will the UK ever get a truly free market energy model? Pull the other one

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 18:47

The energy secretary’s announcement of a ‘new energy model’ leaves just as many questions as there were before

Amber Rudd’s “new model” for the UK’s energy market looks very like the old model. It is a mix of the legally necessary, the uncertain and the expensive.

At least it was served with an amusing garnish – the idea that government will one day be able to step back and let market forces supply the nation’s energy needs. Pull the other one. In the age of nuclear, renewables and internationally binding targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, energy infrastructure only gets built when the government agrees subsidies and sets economic incentives. Energy secretaries will be in the “reset” game for years.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Coal and renewable firms criticise government energy plans

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 18:42

Rival energy suppliers have joined forces in attacking Amber Rudd’s announcement that gas is future of British power

Coal and renewable power firms have formed an unlikely alliance to criticise government plans to put gas and nuclear at the centre of UK energy supply.

The energy secretary, Amber Rudd, has claimed she will resetUK policy and has promised to shut down polluting coal-fired power stations by 2025.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Iran starts dismantling nuclear programme, says UN watchdog

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 18:05

IAEA says country has broken up 4,500 centrifuges under landmark deal but has some way to go until all commitments are met

Iran has begun dismantling parts of its nuclear programme, as agreed in a landmark deal with major powers, the UN atomic watchdog has said.

Iran has started removing centrifuges and related infrastructureat the Natanz and Fordo enrichment facilities, the International Atomic Energy Agency quarterly report said on Wednesday.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Antarctic ice sheet collapse will cause sea levels to rise. So what's new?

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 18:00

The results of our study might be surprising to some. But although it rules out very high rises, climate sceptics certainly shouldn’t be dancing in the aisles

The past, present and long term future of the Antarctic ice sheet and its surrounding ice shelves have been news over the past few months. I’m part of a team with a new study published in Nature predicting its future. You might think: what’s new?

Our understanding of Antarctica is changing at an ever faster rate. For most of the time since discovering the continent we’ve thought of the ice sheet at the end of the world as a sleeping giant, stretching herself out over long ice ages but unmoved on fluttering human time scales. So when scientists began to predict the effects of global warming in the late 1970s most thought Antarctica, imperious, would take thousands of years to respond.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Pesticides stop bumblebees from pollinating apple trees, research shows

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 18:00

New findings on neonicotinoids have important implications as many food crops and wildflowers rely on bee pollination to reproduce

The world’s most widely used insecticides harm the ability of bumblebees to pollinate apple trees, scientists have discovered. The finding has important implications for agriculture and the natural world, say the researchers, as many food crops and wildflowers rely on bee pollination to reproduce.

There is good evidence that neonicotinoids harm bees but the new research, published in the journal Nature, is the first to show a negative impact on the vital pollination services bees provide.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Canada ends 19-year ban on British beef imports

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 16:38

Canada has opened its market to imports of British beef alongside 19 EU member states

Canada has formally reopened its market for imports of British beef for the first time since 1996 as part of a deal that includes 19 EU member states.

The environment secretary, Elizabeth Truss, said she welcomed the move as recognition of the world-class reputation of British beef and the UK’s welfare standards.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

UK climate and energy policy: hypocritical or incompetent? | Craig Bennett

Guardian Environment - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 16:23

Renewable energy ‘must stand on its own two feet’ yet subsidies for nuclear and fossil fuels continue unabated, and energy efficiency policies are axed with no thought as to what might replace them

It’s difficult to decide which characteristic best describes the government’s approach to climate and energy policy since 8 May; hypocrisy or incompetence.

If that seems harsh on a day when the energy secretary has announced a phase-out of coal, the most polluting of fossil fuels, then let me explain.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Protest threatened over memorial 20 years after Ken Saro-Wiwa execution

Guardian Environment - Sat, 11/07/2015 - 20:21

Twenty years after ‘judicial murder’, Nigeria’s Ogoni people highlight international storm over oil spillage pollution

Leaders of Nigeria’s Ogoni people have threatened to disrupt the country’s oil industry if the government does not release a British artwork commemorating the 20th anniversary of the execution of the writer Ken Saro-Wiwa.

The memorial, in the form of a large bus, has been impounded by customs in Lagos for six weeks because it is considered politically inflammatory. A quote from the writer on the side of the bus accuses the oil companies of “practising genocide against the Ogoni” .

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

You’re failing on green energy, Tory ex-minister warns Cameron

Guardian Environment - Sat, 11/07/2015 - 15:54
John Gummer, PM’s climate change adviser, fears impact of subsidy cuts to solar and wind power

David Cameron’s chief climate change adviser has warned that the government is “clearly failing” in key policy areas and needs to regain the confidence of investors in green technology, in the runup to next month’s crucial global summit in Paris.

Lord Deben, chairman of the UK’s independent committee on climate change, told the Observer of his concerns, particularly regarding the continued waste of energy from draughty homes and the failure to exploit the potential of renewable heat technology.

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Canadians 'disappointed' by Keystone XL pipeline decision but not surprised

Guardian Environment - Sat, 11/07/2015 - 13:54

Prime minister looks forward but some have accused the US of ‘hypocrisy’, as shale oil production sent US production soaring by four million barrels per day

The Obama administration’s decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline met with disappointment and derision – though little surprise – in Calgary, the boomtown-turned-bust capital of Canada’s oil industry. It also induced some provincial angst as Alberta attempts to open new markets for a product that floats rough 50% of its economy.

Related: Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline and hails US as leader on climate change

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

Keystone XL pipeline rejection signals US taking lead on climate change fight

Guardian Environment - Sat, 11/07/2015 - 13:31

Obama said approving project would undercut global leadership as climate change is a diplomatic imperative that overrides traditionally domestic interests

The symbolism was everything. Standing before a portrait of Teddy Roosevelt, the conservationist president who 104 years ago busted the Standard Oil monopoly, Barack Obama made his own tilt at an environmental legacy.

Related: Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline and hails US as leader on climate change

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

The 20 photographs of the week

Guardian Environment - Sat, 11/07/2015 - 11:16

The Sharm el-Sheikh plane crash, Europe’s refugee crisis, Sonny Bill Williams at the Rugby World Cup Final 2015 – the best photography in news, culture and sport from around the world this week

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Categories: Climate Newsprint

The hidden lives of car parts revealed - interactive

Guardian Environment - Sat, 11/07/2015 - 09:00

In a circular economy, everything is designed so that nothing is sent to landfill. Use this interactive to learn what this means for the design of different car parts

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Categories: Climate Newsprint
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