Environment and Climate Change

Greens unveil push for 90% target for renewable energy by 2030

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Policy proposes new authority to oversee $5bn of construction in clean energy generation and a 15-year pipeline of projects through direct investment The Guardian – Daniel Hurst Political correspondent @danielhurstbne The Greens will seek to build momentum for more ambitious action on climate change by calling for the creation of a new government authority to help Australia reach a 90% target for renewable energy by 2030. The leader of the Greens, Richard Di Natale, said the policy to be released ... Read More »

Germany Abandons Nuclear Power, Increases CO2 Emissions

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Germany is set to abandon nuclear power entirely by 2022 in favor of solar and wind, significantly increasing the country’s carbon dioxide emissions due to increased coal use. The Daily Caller – Andrew Follett, Energy Reporter “Germany’s retreat from nuclear should serve as an important lesson as to what can happen when reliable, carbon-free nuclear energy is taken out of the energy mix. The country, which once was a leader in green energy innovation, is now lagging behind its emissions targets, a ... Read More »

Six sites shortlisted for Australia’s first nuclear waste dump; Government faces battle to convince locals worried over safety

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The Federal Government is facing brewing community discontent about some of the sites that have been shortlisted to host Australia’s first permanent nuclear waste dump. ABC – By political reporters Matthew Doran and Anna Henderson Key points: Six key sites shortlisted for nuclear waste dump Three sites located in South Australia Landholders stand to cash in if dump goes ahead Overnight the Government released the shortlist of six sites nominated to store low and intermediate level nuclear waste. It wants ... Read More »

European Union asks member countries to investigate after Volkswagen fuel consumption, emissions scandal

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The European Commission has written to all 28 European Union member countries urging them to widen their investigations into potential breaches of vehicle emissions rules after Volkswagen admitted it had understated carbon dioxide levels. Europe’s biggest motor manufacturer admitted in September it had rigged US diesel emissions tests to mask the level of emissions of health-harming nitrogen oxides. In a growing scandal, the German company said on Tuesday it had also understated the fuel consumption — and so carbon dioxide ... Read More »

Obama’s Rejection of Keystone XL Is Victory, But That’s Not the Whole Story

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‘The black snake, Keystone XL, has been defeated and best believe we will dance to our victory!’ Common Dreams – by Common Dreams staff President Obama’s official rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday was met with grand applause from those who opposed the project and organizers who worked tirelessly, despite long odds, to force the adminstration’s hand. However, even as celebrations were enjoyed and an evening rally was scheduled outside the White House, there’s more to this story ... Read More »

Why we should go it alone on climate change

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Opinion What if the negotiations in Paris later this month matter less than we think? There are lots of good reasons unilateral action to combat climate change might be a better option. Christian Downie and Peter Drahos write. TheDRUM – By Peter Drahos and Christian Downie In less than a month world leaders will gather in Paris in the latest attempt to address climate change. But what if the negotiations matter less than we think? What if all the hype ... Read More »

Australian doctors call for Health Minister to attend Paris climate talks

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The “increasingly unmanageable” threat of climate change  on children’s health has prompted an open letter from doctors around Australia to the government, calling for Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley to attend the United Nations Paris climate summit this December. Brisbane Times – Lucy Cormack, Environment Reporter In the letter, from  independent organisation Doctors for the Environment Australia, leading doctors warn of the “health emergency” climate change presents for children, who have the least capacity to act. “More bushfires, floods and ... Read More »

Climate pledges leave room for improvement

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A new UN report assesses the collective impact of countries’ plans to combat climate change. With the key Paris climate summit just weeks away, DW asks the experts: how serious is the world about staying cool? Deutsche Welle – The United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres and Jochen Flasbarth from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment presented a report synthesizing the effects of countries’ intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) in Berlin on Friday. INDCs are national climate action plans, ... Read More »

Indonesia is burning. So why is the world looking away?

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A great tract of Earth is on fire and threatened species are being driven out of their habitats. This is a crime against humanity and nature The Guardian – George Monbiot @GeorgeMonbiot I ’ve often wondered how the media would respond when eco-apocalypse struck. I pictured the news programmes producing brief, sensational reports, while failing to explain why it was happening or how it might be stopped. Then they would ask their financial correspondents how the disaster affected share prices, ... Read More »

Is it time for reform at the IPCC?

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Germany Climate Publishers Network Potsdam-based economist Ottmar Edenhofer on the piecemeal nature of climate policy, in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung The Guardian – Joachim Müller-Jung for Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, part of the Climate Publishers Network How well can the new head of the IPCC, Hoesung Lee, manage the huge reforms that you and others have publicly asked for? We’ve put forward suggestions for a feasible programme of reform, but we will see how Hoesung Lee will make this his ... Read More »

Bernie Fraser says Government’s moral case for coal mines argument is ‘nonsense’

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Bernie Fraser, the former head of the Reserve Bank and Climate Change Authority, says it is “nonsense” and “obscene” for the Federal Government to argue there is a moral case to open new coal mines. ABC – By political reporter Naomi Woodley Mr Fraser has joined 60 other public figures in signing an open letter which calls for a global moratorium on new coal mines to be negotiated at the United Nations climate talks in Paris at the end of ... Read More »

Morocco poised to become a solar superpower with launch of desert mega-project

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World’s largest concentrated solar power plant, powered by the Saharan sun, set to help renewables provide almost half the country’s energy by 2020 The Guardian – Arthur Neslen in Ouarzazate The Moroccan city of Ouarzazate is used to big productions. On the edge of the Sahara desert and the centre of the north African country’s “Ouallywood” film industry it has played host to big-budget location shots in Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy, The Living Daylights and even Game of Thrones. ... Read More »

Nepal earthquake continues to drive aftershocks through the lives of women

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Marginalised long before their country suffered a devastating earthquake, Nepalese women have borne a disproportionate burden in its aftermath The Guardian – Natalie Curtis Global development is supported by: About this content A tremendous international aid effort has helped save thousands of lives in earthquake-struck Nepal. But six months on, as the rubble is cleared and the debris settles, longer term impacts are starting to emerge – not least for Nepal’s women, who are facing significant challenges. Six months ago, ... Read More »

Activist stunts make good headlines, but no long-term difference

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If we want to avoid an endless cycle of protest and corporate resistance, then campaigners need to aim for long-term collaboration with their foes The Guardian – Deborah Doane Imagine the scene: the chairman of Shell UK, Erik Bonino, sitting alongside Lee-Anne Barraclough, Shell’s VP of communications, over a Pret a Manger takeaway at Shell’s offices in London. They look out the window at the giant mechanical polar bear that’s been parked there since the morning, “I think we need ... Read More »

Trudeau victory may not signal a U-turn in Canada’s climate policy

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Those hoping the new PM will be a climate champion willing to fix the damage done by his predecessor Stephen Harper could be in for a reality check The Guardian – Suzanne Goldenberg @suzyji Well before his stunning victory in Canada’s elections, Justin Trudeau, the Liberal party leader, telephoned David Suzuki, the country’s best-known science broadcaster, environmentalist – and a national treasure – to ask for his endorsement. The conversation did not go well. Suzuki admitted to journalists he called ... Read More »

Australia approves controversial Carmichael coal mine

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Australia’s government has given its approval for one of the world’s biggest coal mines to be built by India’s Adani Mining in Queensland. BBC – In August, a court temporarily blocked the project because of environmental concerns. But the approval has now been granted subject to “36 of the strictest conditions in Australian history” environment minister Greg Hunt said. Critics say the decision was “grossly irresponsible”. The approval was signed on Wednesday by Mr Hunt and follows a long running ... Read More »