Breaking Waves: Ocean News

10/24/2021 - 19:03
Despite pushing ahead with dozens of new coal power plants, China has a new plan to increase wind and solar power in its march towards carbon neutrality China is targeting a clean energy goal of reducing fossil fuel use to below 20% by 2060, according to an official plan published by state media. The cabinet document, released on Sunday, follows a pledge by President Xi Jinping to wean the world’s biggest polluter off coal, with a target of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality 30 years later. Continue reading...
10/24/2021 - 18:01
Net zero strategy should have defined what green jobs are so that progress can be measured, says committee The government has come under fire from the environmental audit committee of MPs for its “inconsistent” policy on green jobs. The committee said that despite pledging millions of pounds to green jobs initiatives, ministers are yet to define what a “green job” is. “The workforce of the future is being undermined by a lack of evidence-based government policies on how jobs will be filled in green sectors,” said Philip Dunne, the committee chairman. “Encouraging announcements of investment in green sectors of the economy are very welcome but the government admits that claims about green jobs lack explanation and data on how the targets will be achieved.” Continue reading...
10/24/2021 - 15:27
Keith Pitt added to cabinet ahead of question time; Origin Energy fined $5m after allegedly charging prohibited exit fees; Morrison government will sign off on a regional transition package in exchange for Nationals’ support for climate emissions target; Victoria records 1,461 Covid cases, NSW 294. Follow the day’s developments live Nationals agree to net zero target by 2050 despite Barnaby Joyce’s opposition Most Victoria restrictions to lift next month, but ‘vaccinated economy’ to stay for 2022 Vaccine rollout tracker; cases and data tracker Get our free news app; get our morning email briefing Oh good. Just a reminder that he will be acting prime minister for the week Scott Morrison is in Glasgow. Continue reading...
10/24/2021 - 11:43
Readers respond to letters from readers who were sceptical about the practicality of replacing gas boilers with heat pumps Your correspondents are too gloomy about heat pumps for houses and flats (Letters, 20 October). Heat pumps may be unusual in Britain, but they are a major industry and very widespread in Europe and elsewhere. They are used in Canada, where outside temperatures drop very low. Individual units may not be suitable for high-rise blocks – although they might be installed on balconies. But high-rise buildings make up a small fraction of the housing stock, and blocks can have communal heating and cooling with large centralised heat pumps. Older heat pumps were noisy, but new makes are on the market that are much quieter. It is not true, except in the worst cases, that installing heat pumps requires dwellings to be insulated first. The great majority of houses and flats in the UK are already reasonably insulated, and heat pumps can be run for longer and at lower temperatures than gas boilers. Better insulation of existing gas-heated houses and flats will by itself only produce modest cuts in carbon emissions. To meet climate goals, we have to stop using gas. Continue reading...
10/24/2021 - 09:00
Researchers call for new firefighting techniques that focus on managing landscapes, as global heating sees increase in blazes ‘It still gives me nightmares’: the firefighters on the frontline as the world burns Read more in the Harmed by heat series A new approach is urgently needed to tackle global wildfires as current methods are no longer working, draining the public purse and placing lives at risk, according to experts. This summer saw some of the worst wildfires in history and underscored the destructive impacts of global heating. As Cop26 approaches and is expected to shine a light on the importance of protecting ecosystems and building defences to avoid loss of homes and lives, experts say a lack of foresight and funding worldwide means harmful wildfires will continue to rage, putting communities and firefighters in danger. Continue reading...
10/24/2021 - 07:34
Climate finance plan needed to gain backing of developing nations for any deal at Glasgow talks The world’s poorest countries are set to benefit from a new climate funding plan to help them cope with the impacts of climate breakdown, in an effort to break the impasse between developed and developing countries at the UN Cop26 climate summit The UK government, as Cop26 host, will unveil the proposals on Monday along with ministers from Germany and Canada, who have been charged with drawing up a plan for climate finance, needed to gain the backing of scores of developing countries for any deal at the talks, which open in Glasgow next Sunday. Continue reading...
10/24/2021 - 05:31
There is no longer any population or place on earth untouched by PFAS contamination. We are living through a toxic experiment with no control group This week the EPA announced a new roadmap to research, restrict, and remediate PFAS – a group of industrial “forever chemicals” that have been linked to cancer and are found in our food, water, and even our blood. President Biden is requesting $10bn in the infrastructure bill to address PFAS. But this new attention still falls short of what’s required to confront an unprecedented crisis that affects the health of the entire United States and countless people across the world. Today, toxic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are everywhere we’ve thought to look for them. As engineered, these synthetic chemicals glide through air and water with ease, evade all natural processes of decay, and inflict debilitating injuries even at exceedingly low levels of exposure. The petrochemical industry has its fingerprints all over the ubiquity of PFAS, yet that very ubiquity is now being used as an excuse against doing anything about it. PFAS are becoming too toxic to fail. Continue reading...
10/24/2021 - 02:40
Fresh wave of direct action is planned before Cop26 summit opens Climate protest group Insulate Britain has revealed its “absolute disbelief” that its members have been allowed to repeatedly disrupt the motorway network, saying it had originally expected its campaign of direct action to last just two days. As the group prepares for a fresh wave of protests this week, organisers admit they are baffled over why the police have effectively allowed them to keep closing major routes. Continue reading...
10/24/2021 - 01:00
The UK rushed out its climate plan just days before Cop26 – and it shows. The planet can’t afford further bluster and delay In politics, timing is everything. Last week the government set out its strategy for meeting its net zero carbon targets: this came a year later than expected, and less than a fortnight before the UK finds itself front and centre on the global stage as host of the Cop26 UN climate talks in Glasgow. The long-awaited climate blueprint covered wide-ranging “net zero” ambitions from renewable energy and electric vehicles to carbon capture and electric heat pumps – and yet still offered too little, if not entirely too late. Continue reading...
10/24/2021 - 01:00
In the run-up to the global summit in Glasgow, we revisit families with children – now teenagers – born at the time of the 2009 climate conference They are entering their teenage years and aspire to bring about positive change when they grow up. But the dreams of these three children, each born in different corners of the world in the weeks leading up to the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009, are beset by worries of how global heating might shape their futures. Following their births, and again in 2015 ahead of the Paris climate summit, the Observer heard from the families of Maria, Olomaina and Denislania about how they were coping with the impacts of climate change. Continue reading...