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Winter swimming has been my greatest discovery of this coronavirus pandemic | Alison Rourke

The Guardian - Fri, 2020-07-03 03:30

Getting into the ocean every morning has been a reminder of what a tiny speck I am on this planet

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little freaked out the first time I saw a shark on my swim out of Sydney’s Manly Beach. Time almost stood still as the sleek figure weaved below me. Disbelieving, I thought: “That looks like a shark.” No one around me in the water even blinked an eye, and the baby grey nurse drifted off into the deep blue.

I have been a swimmer all of my life, but the idea of a shark encounter had pretty much kept me out of anything beyond the surf. That was until the Covid-19 lockdown. I had been covering the pandemic for the Guardian since the virus first emerged in China in January. At times I had found myself overwhelmed by the story’s immensity and the grim reality of how it had taken over our lives.

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The Guardian view on France's green wave: seizing the moment | Editorial

The Guardian - Fri, 2020-07-03 03:27

The march of Europe Ecology is yet another example of how parties of the environment are steadily acquiring power and influence across the continent

Lyon, Strasbourg and Bordeaux; Besançon, Poitiers and Tours: the list of powerful cities that turned green, after France’s municipal elections last weekend, was long and impressive. Marseille has been a conservative fiefdom for decades. But a leftwing alliance propelled Michèle Rubirola, the candidate of Europe Ecology – France’s Green party – to the mayoralty. These were totemic victories, turning the once-peripheral Green party into a significant player in urban France.

Sunday’s polls should have taken place in March but were postponed as France locked down. Perhaps because of that delay, and the lingering presence of Covid-19, turnout was low. That may have disproportionately helped Green candidates, whose voters tend to loyally turn out for local elections, and Europe Ecology is still well down the pecking order in national polls. But these caveats aside, the “green wave” in France offers heartening evidence that environmental priorities are truly beginning to shape and influence politics in Europe.

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Tamaulipas becomes latest Mexican state to approve a carbon tax

Carbon Pulse - Fri, 2020-07-03 03:00
The Tamaulipas Congress passed an $11/tonne carbon tax this week that will take effect in 2021, continuing the growing trend of Mexican states installing CO2 levies in response to the federal government's energy policy.
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Arizona reels as three of the biggest wildfires in its history ravage state

The Guardian - Fri, 2020-07-03 02:10

Extreme weather has contributed to the vast blazes – with the pandemic complicating the emergency response

For residents of Tucson in southern Arizona, the Santa Catalina Mountains in the Coronado national forest are known as a hub for hiking, mountain biking and other outdoor recreation.

But on 5 June lightning ignited a wildfire that has grown to engulf over 118,000 acres. The fires are still only 58% contained. Called the Bighorn fire, it is the eighth-biggest in state history, and it has transformed the Catalinas into a hub for the study of the impacts of climate change. Nasa satellite photos show large scar marks left by the fire.

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Boris 'the Builder' Johnson has found a new scapegoat: the humble newt | Jules Howard

The Guardian - Fri, 2020-07-03 02:06

The PM says counting these protected amphibians is a barrier to economic recovery. But there’s room in the pond for both

First, I should lay down my cards and show my hand. My name is Jules, and I am a card-carrying fan of newts. I have a pond. I once ran an amphibian helpline for people with questions about newts. I have worn a newt costume at family events. I can’t stress this enough: I genuinely like newts.

Earlier this week, newts featured in Johnson’s Build, build, build speech – where plans were announced to revive Britain’s flagging economy with a programme of construction – housing, hospitals, prisons, roads, schools. But this wasn’t a star turn for newts. Far from it.

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Coronavirus: Testing sewage an 'easy win'

BBC - Fri, 2020-07-03 02:00
Wastewater analysis could provide localised Covid-19 test results much earlier than at present.
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EU Market: EUAs hold above €27, retaining gains despite supply bump

Carbon Pulse - Fri, 2020-07-03 01:26
EUAs recovered from an early drop to hold above €27 on Thursday, staying in touch with the previous session's 11-month high and shrugging off news of a supply injection over the rest of the year.
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$10bn of precious metals dumped each year in electronic waste, says UN

The Guardian - Fri, 2020-07-03 00:01

A fast growing mountain of toxic e-waste is polluting the planet and damaging health, says new report

At least $10bn (£7.9bn) worth of gold, platinum and other precious metals are dumped every year in the growing mountain of electronic waste that is polluting the planet, according to a new UN report.

A record 54m tonnes of “e-waste” was generated worldwide in 2019, up 21% in five years, the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor report found. The 2019 figure is equivalent to 7.3kg for every man, woman and child on Earth, though use is concentrated in richer nations. The amount of e-waste is rising three times faster than the world’s population, and only 17% of it was recycled in 2019.

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Revealed: raw sewage poured into Olympic Park wildlife haven

The Guardian - Fri, 2020-07-03 00:00

Thames Water overflow pipe pumped waste for 1,000 hours into London wetlands last year

Raw sewage was discharged for more than 1,000 hours from a Thames Water overflow pipe into an environmental wetland at the Olympic Park last year, the Guardian can reveal.

The combined sewer overflow (CSO) at Mulberry Court pumped untreated waste 91 times into the waterway that feeds into the River Lea. To April this year, the same CSO has so far discharged for 34 hours in 20 incidents.

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MP calls for crackdown on raw sewage discharges in English rivers

The Guardian - Fri, 2020-07-03 00:00

Tory Philip Dunne says he wants to ‘introduce water firms to polluter pays’ principle and launches private member’s bill

A fresh attempt to change the law to stop water companies from releasing raw sewage into rivers has been launched by a senior Conservative MP.

Philip Dunne, the chair of the environmental audit committee, is seeking in a private member’s bill to place a duty on water companies to ensure untreated sewage is not discharged into rivers and inland waterways.

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UK gives go-ahead to giant windfarm project off Norfolk coast

The Guardian - Thu, 2020-07-02 23:19

1.8GW Vanguard project gets greenlight, with approval on 2.4GW Hornsea 3 expected in autumn

The construction of two giant offshore windfarms is poised to go ahead off the Norfolk coast in what the renewable energy industry claims could provide a “huge boost” to the UK economy.

The business secretary, Alok Sharma, gave the green light on Wednesday evening to the Norfolk Vanguard project and said he was “minded to approve” the Hornsea 3 proposal later this year.

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Nasa Mars rover: Perseverance launch pushed back again

BBC - Thu, 2020-07-02 21:57
The launch of Nasa's Mars rover Perseverance is delayed again to 30 July at the earliest.
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Amazon fires at 13-year high in June

BBC - Thu, 2020-07-02 20:52
This early peak indicates a potentially devastating dry season ahead - perhaps even worse than 2019.
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Reported Japan coal shutdown could make major dent in CO2 emissions

Carbon Pulse - Thu, 2020-07-02 20:23
Japan is planning to close or mothball up to 100 coal-fired power plants, according to unconfirmed media reports Thursday, a move observers say could slash the nation’s CO2 emissions as much as 9%.
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UK government's development bank to end fossil fuel financing

The Guardian - Thu, 2020-07-02 19:22

CDC Group’s climate strategy will end support for most polluting projects in developing countries

The UK government’s development bank has bowed to calls to end fossil fuel financing abroad by promising to invest only in companies that align with the Paris climate agreement.

The CDC Group revealed its new climate strategy, which will end support for the most polluting fossil fuel projects, including the production of oil and coal, and channel almost a third of its spending towards climate finance.

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Invest in the green economy and we'll recover from the Covid-19 crisis | Joseph Stiglitz

The Guardian - Thu, 2020-07-02 19:09

We must target public spending on green, labour intensive projects which have far more bang for their bucks than tax cuts

Although it seems like ancient history, it hasn’t been that long since economies around the world began to close down in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Early in the crisis, most people anticipated a quick V-shaped recovery, on the assumption that the economy merely needed a short timeout. After two months of tender loving care and heaps of money, it would pick up where it left off.

It was an appealing idea. But now it is July, and a V-shaped recovery is probably a fantasy. The post-pandemic economy is likely to be anaemic, not only in countries that have failed to manage the pandemic (namely, the US), but even in those that have acquitted themselves well. The International Monetary Fund projects that by the end of 2021 the global economy will be barely larger than it was at the end of 2019 and that the US and European economies will still be about 4% smaller.

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Phil Evans: Briton to take top weather satellite agency job

BBC - Thu, 2020-07-02 18:22
Phil Evans, formerly at the UK Met Office, will be the new director general of Eumetsat.
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NSW mine could face multi-million dollar fine for allegedly breaching water law

The Guardian - Thu, 2020-07-02 18:01

The NSW independent water regulator has charged Whitehaven Coal over alleged breaches of the Water Management Act at its Maules Creek coalmine

A mine operator in north-west New South Wales could be facing a multi-million dollar fine after allegedly taking water without a licence over three years.

The state’s independent water regulator on Thursday said it commenced prosecution in the Land and Environment Court against Whitehaven Coal over two alleged breaches of the Water Management Act at its Maules Creek coalmine.

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Market Trading Risk Manager, Genesis Energy – Auckland

Carbon Pulse - Thu, 2020-07-02 15:50
Genesis is looking for a trader for the team managing electricity derivatives, carbon obligations, and fuel hedges.
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German renewables surge to 55.8% of net generation for first half 2020

RenewEconomy - Thu, 2020-07-02 15:30

Canva - Environment friendly solar panels - optimised germanyRenewables in Germany surge past 55 per cent market share for first half of 2020, including a new monthly record set in February of 61.8 per cent.

The post German renewables surge to 55.8% of net generation for first half 2020 appeared first on RenewEconomy.

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