Breaking Waves: Ocean News

06/12/2019 - 13:47
Exclusive: Louisiana agency poised to sue companies associated with neoprene plant over alleged Clean Air Act violations Louisiana’s environment agency is poised to sue the two chemical companies associated with America’s only neoprene plant in the town of Reserve, the Guardian has learned. The legal action relates to alleged violations of the Clean Air Act and Louisiana state environmental laws. The news comes a month after the Guardian launched a year-long reporting project from Reserve, called Cancer Town, that tracks residents’ struggle for clean air and reports from other parts of the New Orleans-Baton Rouge corridor known colloquially as Cancer Alley. Continue reading...
06/12/2019 - 12:24
Announcing a target to cut greenhouse gases by at least 100% below 1990 levels in 2050 is a necessary step to tackle the climate emergency. But it won’t be enough on its own One of Theresa May’s most consequential decisions of her unhappy premiership is to set a legally binding target for the UK to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. If it were to be achieved, this would mark the end of Britain’s contribution to global warming, apart from the those emissions “exported” by buying products made abroad. It is undoubtedly a very good thing that her successor will not only be left with draft laws to enact, but also with raised public expectation that they do so. Mrs May’s decision comes not a moment too soon. The influential BP review of worldwide energy use estimates that global CO2 emissions grew by 2% in 2018, the fastest growth for seven years. This country ought to reach net-zero emissions before the middle of the century. Clear policy direction is essential to change the way we produce, distribute and consume energy. The cleaning of the British economy can be traced back to the landmark decision by the European Union in 2007 to implement “20-20-20” green targets: reducing greenhouse gases by at least 20% below 1990 levels by 2020; for 20% of energy consumption to come from renewables; and 20% reduction in energy use. The impact has been dramatic. Continue reading...
06/12/2019 - 12:06
We will have to change almost everything, from our homes to our meals The net zero carbon target will require sweeping changes to almost every aspect of British life, affecting our homes, food and the way we get around, as well as jobs and businesses across the board. Ministers hope there will be health benefits and improvements to the natural environment along the way, as well as helping to stave off the global climate emergency. On some of the key areas where rapid change is needed, however, the signals so far have been mixed. Continue reading...
06/12/2019 - 11:30
The northern pitcher plants, also known as turtle socks, devour juvenile spotted salamanders Biologists have discovered evidence that carnivorous plants in Canada feast on young salamanders, in what is believed to be the first instance of vertebrate consumption by plants in North America. In study published in the journal Ecology, a pair of biologists in the province of Ontario found that northern pitcher plants – also known as turtle socks – devour juvenile spotted salamanders. Continue reading...
06/12/2019 - 10:56
Norway’s Government Pension Fund Global gets go ahead to divest $13bn of investments The world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, which manages $1tn (£786bn) of Norway’s assets, has been given the go ahead for the largest fossil fuel divestment to date by dropping more than $13bn of investments. Norway’s parliament voted plans into law on Wednesday for the fund to dump investments in eight coal companies and an estimated 150 oil producers. Continue reading...
06/12/2019 - 10:12
Thirty people aged 15-24 will assess how commitment made by Theresa May should be implemented Young people will advise ministers on how the UK should meet the target of ending carbon emissions by 2050, to which prime minister Theresa May committed the nation on Wednesday. The commitment to net zero greenhouse gas emissions was described as “historic” by leading figures. But the UK is not yet on track to meet its 2025 and 2030 goals, so a huge transformation of energy, transport and buildings is urgently required. Continue reading...
06/12/2019 - 05:00
Many of those permitted since far-right president took power are banned in Europe Brazil has approved hundreds of new pesticide products since its far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, took power in January, and more than 1,000 since 2016, a study has found. Many of those approved are banned in Europe. Of 169 new pesticides sanctioned up to 21 May this year, 78 contain active ingredients classified as highly hazardous by the Pesticide Action Network and 24 contain active ingredients banned in the EU, according to the study published on Wednesday by Greenpeace UK’s news agency Unearthed. Another 28 pesticides not included in the report were approved in the last days of 2018. Continue reading...
06/12/2019 - 04:23
Australian Conservation Foundation says case shows federal government hasn’t scrutinised Carmichael project The federal government will have to reassess water infrastructure for Adani’s Carmichael coalmine after conceding in a legal challenge that was lodged with the federal court. The Australian Conservation Foundation has succeeded in its appeal against the government’s assessment of Adani’s north Galilee water scheme, with the federal government admitting it failed to properly consider public responses to the proposal and even lost some submissions. Continue reading...
06/12/2019 - 03:29
Consultants say 60% will be grown in vats or plant-based products that taste like meat Most of the meat people eat in 2040 will not come from slaughtered animals, according to a report that predicts 60% will be either grown in vats or replaced by plant-based products that look and taste like meat. The report by the global consultancy AT Kearney, based on expert interviews, highlights the heavy environmental impacts of conventional meat production and the concerns people have about the welfare of animals under industrial farming. Continue reading...
06/12/2019 - 01:37
Energy minister dodges questions about how Australia will meet its Paris emission reduction targets The energy minister, Angus Taylor, has not ruled out the Morrison government reversing the nuclear energy ban, if a “clear business case” showed the economics were sound as he dodged questions about how Australia would meet its Paris agreement targets. The first energy battle of the new parliament comes from within the party room, with a group of Queensland MPs, emboldened by that state’s strong showing for the Coalition in the May election, leading a push to have nuclear energy reconsidered as part of Australia’s power plan. Continue reading...