6-29-15 US Supreme Court blocks new toxic pollution changes
US Supreme Court blocks new toxic pollution changes
The US Supreme Court has blocked a key government attempt to limit pollution from the country's power plants. In a 5-4 split, the court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency failed to factor in the full financial cost to industry of the changes. The government introduced new rules to restrict emissions of toxins, including mercury, three years ago. The government has made several attempts to strengthen the Clean Air Act, but the court said this latest move must include costs as well as health risks. (Webmaster's comment: So breath deeply America! Your health doesn't matter. Just the cost of cleaning up the air for the greedy conservatives and rich executives, who created the problem in the first place by irresponsibly dumping the toxic stuff in everyone's air because it was cheaper to do than cleaning it up in the first place.)
6-30-15 China climate change plan unveiled
China climate change plan unveiled
China - the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases - has announced details of its climate action plan. The office of Prime Minister Li Kegiang said that emissions "will peak by around 2030" and China would work hard to achieve the target even earlier. China aims to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65% by 2030, from 2005 levels. The carbon intensity target builds on a previous plan to cut carbon intensity by 40-45% by 2020. China also aimed to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in its primary energy consumption to about 20% by 2030, the statement added. Beijing previously set a goal of getting around 15% of its energy from clean sources by 2020. (Webmaster's comment: And the U.S. plan? Don't worrry, the greedy conservatives and rich executives have no intention of allowing any plan that will cut into their corporate profits or personal wealth. They are rich after all so they can just say screw the rest of America!)
6-30-15 China ready to set out climate pledges, says Li
China ready to set out climate pledges, says Li
China is set to reveal how much it intends to cut its carbon emissions by beyond 2020, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has said. Last November, China - the world's top greenhouse gas emitter - committed for the first time to limit its output. Chinese President Xi Jinping said the country would target 2030 for its emissions to peak.
6-29-15 China's carbon crunch
China's carbon crunch
There are growing expectations that China will soon give details of its pledge to cut carbon emissions ahead of key UN climate talks at the end of the year in Paris. As the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, China's contribution is of global significance. China announced last November, in a joint declaration with the US, that it would peak its carbon emissions by 2030. This target forms the blueprint for China's offer.
6-26-15 Heat-tolerant genes could help corals adapt to climate change
Heat-tolerant genes could help corals adapt to climate change
Evidence from the Great Barrier Reef suggests corals that are tolerant of high temperatures can pass the trait to the next generation through their genes. Coral reefs still have some fight left in them. In the face of climate change, recent discoveries are giving us hope that some corals can hang on longer than researchers imagined by resisting both rising temperatures and ocean acidification. This growing evidence on the surprising resilience of reefs has gained more support today, with news of lab experiments that demonstrate some corals able to withstand rising temperatures can pass the trait on to their offspring through their genes.
6-25-15 Illegal not to act: Could courts save world from climate change?
Illegal not to act: Could courts save world from climate change?
A landmark legal ruling ordering the Dutch government to cut emissions could be the first of many – and they might do what global treaties have so far failed to. All governments have a legal duty to protect their citizens from harm. They must therefore do their part to prevent dangerous global warming. And if they fail to act, their citizens can take them to court to compel them. This legal argument has been tested for the first time in the Netherlands. A court ruled yesterday that the government must do much more than it is currently doing. The Netherlands was aiming to cut its greenhouse emissions by 17 per cent by 2020, but the court has ordered that they must be cut by 25 per cent in the same time frame.
6-24-15 Climate change: Is the Dutch court ruling 'a game changer'?
Climate change: Is the Dutch court ruling 'a game changer'?
It reads like the script of a movie. Climate change campaigners go to court to force their government to take tougher action on greenhouse gas emissions. But it became reality in a Dutch court on Wednesday, when a judge ruled that The Netherlands must do more to combat the threat of climate change." The Dutch court's ruling should encourage courts around the world to tackle climate change now," said James Thornton. The case is thought to be the first in Europe in which citizens try to hold a state responsible for lack of action on climate change.
6-24-15 Dutch government loses world's first climate liability lawsuit
Dutch government loses world's first climate liability lawsuit
In a landmark ruling, a court in the Hague has ordered the Dutch government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 per cent by 2020. The environmental group Urgenda brought a class action suit over climate change on behalf of some 900 citizens, including children. The suit claimed that the government's action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is insufficient, and is therefore "knowingly exposing its own citizens to dangerous situations".
6-24-15 Netherlands ordered to cut greenhouse gas emissions
Netherlands ordered to cut greenhouse gas emissions
A Dutch court has ordered the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020, in a case environmentalists hope will set a precedent for other countries. Campaigners brought the case on behalf of almost 900 Dutch citizens. They argued the government had a legal obligation to protect its citizens from the dangers of climate change.
6-24-15 EU climate chief criticises UK wind farm policy
EU climate chief criticises UK wind farm policy
The UK's decision to stop subsidising new onshore wind farms will make it harder to meet renewable energy targets, the EU's climate chief says. Miguel Arias Canete said the EU had already calculated that the UK was not on track to meet legally binding goals. They said onshore wind was by far the cheapest way to hit the target of 15% of all energy from renewables from 2020.
6-23-15 Fighting climate change is opportunity to improve public health
Fighting climate change is opportunity to improve public health
Making changes to slow down climate change would also improve the health of millions worldwide, and could cut healthcare costs. The Climate Health Commission report, published on 23 June, cites huge health advantages as a reason for switching from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power. Doubling the proportion of renewable energy from its 2010 level of 18 per cent to 36 per cent could save US$230 billion in healthcare costs worldwide annually by 2030, according to the report – a saving of about 3 per cent. This is because a large amount of ill health is directly or indirectly caused by burning coal, oil and gas. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution kills an estimated 7 million people every year, while 88 per cent of the world's population breathes air that falls short of its quality guidelines.
6-23-15 IUCN list shows no new extinctions – but they loom large
IUCN list shows no new extinctions – but they loom large
The latest IUCN Red List update shows 14 more species have become critically endangered, as other research says the sixth mass extinction is starting. Evidence is growing that the world is entering another period of mass extinction. The IUCN now has information on nearly 80,000 animal and plant species, of which almost 23,000 are threatened with extinction.
6-20-15 Earth 'entering new extinction phase' - US study
Earth 'entering new extinction phase' - US study
The Earth has entered a new period of extinction, a study by three US universities has concluded, and humans could be among the first casualties. The report, led by the universities of Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley, said vertebrates were disappearing at a rate 114 times faster than normal. Climate change and deforestation are among the reasons we may be facing an extinction event.
6-18-15 'Once in generation' chance to reform climate insurance
'Once in generation' chance to reform climate insurance
Policymakers have a "once in a generation" chance to reform insurance to help those most at risk from climate change impacts, say researchers. A Cambridge University team is calling for insurance reforms to be explicitly mentioned in the UN's forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals. They outlined their proposals at an insurance summit at the UN, New York.
6-18-15 Pope Francis encyclical calls for end to fossil fuels
Pope Francis encyclical calls for end to fossil fuels
The Pope has issued an encyclical, calling for fossil fuels to be "progressively replaced without delay". Pope Francis urges the richer world to make changes in lifestyle and energy consumption to avert the unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem. Environmentalists hope the message will spur on nations ahead of the UN climate conference in Paris in December. But parts of the document, leaked earlier this week, have already been criticised by some US conservatives. It has been dismissed by two Republican presidential candidates. (Webmaster's comment: The greedy executives in the US are circling the wagons.)
6-17-15 CO2 emissions stall thanks to China's passion for renewables
CO2 emissions stall thanks to China's passion for renewables
China leads way in breaking link between economic growth and rising carbon emissions, as investments in green energy beat fossil fuel spending for fifth year. New energy policies in China are being heralded as the source of a potentially historic break in the link between global economic growth and rising carbon dioxide emissions. China is the world's biggest installer of hydroelectric, wind, and solar power plants, has 23 nuclear power plants under construction, and last year for the first time it reduced coal burning.
6-17-15 Bioenergy can deliver cleaner future, says global report
Bioenergy can deliver cleaner future, says global report
A global bioenergy assessment has said biofuels could meet up to a third of the world's transportation fuel needs by the middle of the century. Bioenergy crops, like willow, could play a key role in delivering a low carbon future, the report says. The report - involving experts from 24 nations - said bioenergy had the potential to be a key driver in delivering a low-carbon future. It added that concerns that growth in the sector would increase food insecurities were misplaced.
6-16-15 Pope's moral mission on global warming to shift US climate wars
Pope's moral mission on global warming to shift US climate wars
An emotive call for action on environmental issues by Pope Francis will shake up climate politics in the world's most powerful nation. A leaked draft of the encyclical – a special type of edict used to define key priorities for the Catholic church and its 1.3 billion adherents – emphasises moral responsibilities to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and calls for changes in lifestyle and energy use to avoid the "unprecedented destruction of the ecosystem". It highlights human release of greenhouse gases and warns that failure to act would have "grave consequences". It also calls for a new global political authority to reduce pollution and help poor countries and regions develop. The message could have particular impact in the US, home to 78 million Catholics and vital to international climate talks, but where moves to reduce carbon emissions remain highly divisive. Coming months will see coordinated sermons, homilies, and media outreach by US bishops as part of a Vatican-led campaign setting the stage for the pope's September visit.
6-16-15 Pope urges action on global warming in leaked document
Pope urges action on global warming in leaked document
An Italian magazine has published a leaked draft of the Pope's encyclical on climate change, which is due for release on Thursday. In it, Pope Francis puts much of the blame for global warming on human activity and calls on all humans, not just Roman Catholics, to prevent the destruction of the ecosystem before the end of the century.
6-16-15 Pope to urge swift action on global warming
Pope to urge swift action on global warming
Pope Francis will call for swift action to protect the Earth and fight global warming, according to a leaked draft of the pontiff's encyclical. The document - published by Italy's L'Espresso magazine - says global warming is directly linked to human activities and the intensive use of fossil fuels.
6-15-15 China ‘deserves more credit’ for renewable energy effort
China ‘deserves more credit’ for renewable energy effort
China should be given more credit for its investment in clean electricity, the head of the International Energy Agency says. Maria van der Hoeven says most people think that China is frantically building coal-fired power stations. The reality, she says, is that China is spending as much as the US and Europe put together on clean power. She says its coal-fired power stations are state of the art - and should be copied in other developing countries. "They are now the largest wind power market in the world. They have increased their power generation from renewables from really nothing 10 years ago - and now it's 25%." China spent more than $80bn in new renewables generating capacity; higher than the EU ($46bn); Japan ($37bn) and the USA ($34bn). China's commitment to renewables has benefited the rest of the world by creating a mass market that prompted a 70% reduction in the cost of solar panels in recent years. The country is also building 50 new nuclear power stations and creating economies of scale in nuclear too, the IEA says, at a time when the industry is moribund in Europe and in the USA.
6-15-15 Green awareness in US states linked to success in emissions cuts
Green awareness in US states linked to success in emissions cuts
A nationwide study finds a clear association between each state's emissions track record and the environmental voting record of its senators and representatives. In the US, states with higher support for the environmental movement have lower carbon emissions, and the strength of these movements over time in each state affects their emissions.
6-13-15 California drought: Farmers ordered to cut water usage
California drought: Farmers ordered to cut water usage
Californian lawmakers have ordered farmers to reduce their water consumption, representing the largest cuts in the US state's history. State officials have told more than 100 irrigation districts they must stop pumping supplies from drought-starved rivers. The conservation move has been prompted by the worsening four-year drought in the state.
6-12-15 California orders historic water cuts for farmers
California orders historic water cuts for farmers
California lawmakers have ordered farmers to reduce their water consumption - the largest cuts in the US state's history. State officials announced on Friday they would be telling nearly 100 water rights holders to stop pumping from three separate waterways.
6-12-15 Wind turbines with owl wings could silently make extra energy
Wind turbines with owl wings could silently make extra energy
Some wind farms are speed-limited to prevent annoying noise, but owl stealth technology might help them run faster.
6-12-15 Can the divestment movement tame climate change?
Can the divestment movement tame climate change?
An increasingly popular tool in the fight against climate change is emerging - "divestment". The term refers to the shedding of stocks, bonds or other investments, in this case that are held in companies that produce or burn fossil fuels. As the world's leaders prepare for a make-or-break climate summit in November, will divestment change our relationship with fossil fuels - and what might the dangers be?
6-12-15 Climate change causing a headache for Assam tea growers in India
Climate change causing a headache for Assam tea growers in India
Farmers in the world's largest tea-growing area are struggling to adapt to climate change, but are testing fresh production methods for the future.
6-12-15 The pain of producing a global climate change deal
The pain of producing a global climate change deal
Environment correspondent Helen Briggs assesses the progress being made towards a meaningful deal on climate change. After almost two weeks of negotiations in the German city, progress towards a new international climate deal, set for inking in Paris, appears to be moving slowly. And although failure is not a palatable option, the complexity of the task ahead presents enormous challenges. (Webmaster's comment: The biggest challenge for the representatives is creating an illusion. They must create language that sounds like governments are intending to do something, but in fact not meaning anything substantive and preserving profits and no new regulations on all the fossil fuel industries involved.)
6-11-15 Alarm sounded over progress towards key climate summit
Alarm sounded over progress towards key climate summit
International talks towards a new global climate deal are due to end on Thursday, amid concern that progress has been slow. Negotiators have been accused by charities and NGOs of not moving fast enough at interim talks in Germany. Countries are working towards options to limit greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 ahead of a crunch December summit.
6-11-15 Climate change progress 'too slow'
Climate change progress 'too slow'
International talks in Bonn have made progress towards a new global deal on climate change, says the UN, amid calls from NGOs for a faster pace. Countries are working towards options to limit greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 in time for a crunch Paris summit. The UN said progress had been made towards streamlining the text of a new agreement at talks in Bonn. Environmental groups said ''difficult issues'' such as finance and emissions cuts had yet to be addressed.
6-10-15 Latest numbers show at least 5 metres sea-level rise locked in
Latest numbers show at least 5 metres sea-level rise locked in
It's too late to stop the seas rising at least 5 metres and only fast, drastic action will avert a 20-metre rise, New Scientist calculates based on recent studies. WHATEVER we do now, the seas will rise at least 5 metres. Most of Florida and many other low-lying areas and cities around the world are doomed to go under. If that weren't bad enough, without drastic cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions – more drastic than any being discussed ahead of the critical climate meeting in Paris later this year – a rise of over 20 metres will soon be unavoidable. (Webmaster's comment: You reap what you sow. That's how nature works. We put all that carbon dioxide up there over the last 150 years, and there's no way to get it back down much faster than we put it up. And we still haven't even slowed down the rate at which we are still putting it up there. much less stopped its increase. Greed is going to win this one. And we all have to pay the price for it.)
6-10-15 UN climate conference: Silence over emissions targets
UN climate conference: Silence over emissions targets
Politicians at a UN climate conference in Bonn, Germany are refusing to discuss whether their polices will actually protect the climate. Nations have jointly promised to keep the global temperature rise below the 2C danger threshold. They are informing the UN how they will each cut their domestic emissions of greenhouse gases. But key countries are refusing to discuss whether the sum of these cuts will do the job. The EU, supported by African nations, wants to make countries face up to the fact that their collective cuts won't keep the climate within the 2C threshold.
6-10-15 Norway's coal disinvestment is still just a drop in the ocean
Norway's coal disinvestment is still just a drop in the ocean
Norway's sovereign wealth fund is to sell off its $5 billion of coal holdings, but has no immediate plans to get rid of its larger oil and gas assets. The campaign to persuade big investors to sell off fossil fuel holdings has had its greatest triumph yet. Norway's sovereign wealth fund must sell off its $5 billion of coal holdings, the country's parliament voted last week. The fund is the largest stockholder in Europe, worth an astounding $900 billion. But coal stocks account for just 5 per cent of fossil fuel stocks worldwide, which are worth an estimated $5 trillion.
6-9-15 G7: End of fossil fuel era?
G7: End of fossil fuel era?
The G7 has called for a transformation of electricity generation towards clean sources by 2050. They said fossil fuel emissions should not be allowed in any sector of the economy by the end of the century. Their targets are not binding - but they send a clear message to investors that in the long term economies will have to be powered by non-polluting energy. (Webmaster's comment: The CO2 levels in the atmosphere continue to rise every year and at an ever increasing rate without even an hint of slowing down. So far all the talk is just talk, there has been little or no action, so it has made little or no difference. When the CO2 levels actually stop rising, or even just begin to slow down, then we can say we may be at the end of the fossil fuel era, but not until then.)
6-8-15 China greenhouse gases: Progress is made, report says
China greenhouse gases: Progress is made, report says
China's greenhouse gas emissions could start to decline within 10 years, according to a report from the London School of Economics. This would be five years earlier than expected and would offer a boost towards efforts to protect the climate. The shift has been partly caused by a massive commitment to renewables. China is the world's top investor in wind and solar power. It has also been replacing old coal plants with cleaner new stations.
6-8-15 G7 summit: Climate and extremism lead day two talks
G7 summit: Climate and extremism lead day two talks
Climate change and terrorism are top of the agenda on the second day of the G7 summit of economic powers in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel wants the group to reach an agreement on limiting global temperature rises. She is also calling on the G7 members to contribute to a fund for poor countries suffering the worst consequences of climate change.
6-8-15 Researchers find sweet source for aviation biofuel
Researchers find sweet source for aviation biofuel
Researchers have identified a new way to produce aviation fuel from sugarcane biomass that could deliver substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The source crops could be grown on marginal land, avoiding displacing food production, the team observed. They added the development of renewable liquid fuels was critical to reduce global reliance on petroleum and help mitigate climate change.
6-5-15 Africa debate: Can Africa lead the way on renewable energy?
Africa debate: Can Africa lead the way on renewable energy?
There are a lot of sources of renewable energy like strong winds in many parts of Africa. In a report published on World Environment Day, the Africa Progress Panel makes the case for Africa to emerge as a "global renewable energy superpower". So could this be the solution to Africa's power trouble?
6-5-15 New offshore wind farm: Will the price go up or down?
New offshore wind farm: Will the price go up or down?
ScottishPower are building a wind farm around 40km off the coast of East Anglia - at a cost of £2bn - to power around half a million homes. But wind power isn't cheap - so will we end up paying more or less?
6-4-15 US scientists: Global warming pause 'no longer valid'
US scientists: Global warming pause 'no longer valid'
US researchers say new evidence casts doubt on the idea that global warming has "slowed" in recent years. A US government laboratory says the much talked about "pause" is an illusion caused by inaccurate data. Updated observations show temperatures did not plateau, say National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) scientists. The warming rate over the past 15 years is "virtually identical" to the last century, they report in Science.
6-2-15 New Apollo programme wants moonshot budget to boost renewables
New Apollo programme wants moonshot budget to boost renewables
An international effort is being launched in London to get governments to fund storage technology that will finally make green energy as cheap as coal. If renewable energy were cheaper than coal, it would be a major help in achieving the crucial target of keeping global warming below 2 °C. This week a worldwide initiative is being launched in London to achieve just such a transformation in energy costs within 10 years.
6-2-15 'Moon shot' call on clean energy
'Moon shot' call on clean energy
A group of scientists and economists is calling for the equivalent of the Apollo space programme to produce cheap, clean energy. The academics say a similar effort is needed to make renewables cheaper than coal within a decade in what they call the biggest scientific challenge of the century. They say they have generated interest from major nations in their plan for an investment of 0.02% of their GDP into research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of clean electricity. (Webmaster's comment: 0.02% of GDP is nothing. The military spends more than that researching ways to kill more people.)
6-2-15 Small atoll islands may grow, not sink, as sea levels rise
Small atoll islands may grow, not sink, as sea levels rise
Climate change may spare the inhabitants of some tiny islands as storms can help atolls to swell, although other islands remain at risk. Some of the world's most threatened islands have grown despite experiencing dramatic sea level rise. Over the past 60 years the sea has risen by around 30 centimetres locally but 18 out of 29 islands have actually grown. As a whole, the group grew by more than 18 hectares, while many islands changed shape or shifted sideways.