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Rise in harvesting could affect ability to combat climate crisis due to carbon absorption capacity reducing
Europe has lost a vastly increased area of forest to harvesting in recent years, data suggests, reducing the continent’s carbon absorption capacity and possibly indicating wider problems with the EU’s attempts to combat the climate crisis.
Many of the EU’s forests – which account for about 38% of its land surface area – are managed for timber production, and thus harvested regularly. But the loss of biomass increased by 69% in the period from 2016 to 2018, compared with the period from 2011 to 2015, according to satellite data. The area of forest harvested increased by 49% in the same comparison, published in the journal Nature Research.Continue reading...
The paltry £5bn pledged bears no comparison to Roosevelt’s programme. Britain needs far more ambitious, green investment
Prime minister Boris Johnson’s speech promised to “build, build, build” as he invoked the spirit of Franklin Roosevelt, but his plans fell far short of matching the US president’s legacy. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on Britain’s longstanding problems. Vital frontline services such as health and social care have been stripped bare, our weakened social security system has left millions without an adequate safety net, and the contributions of key workers have been underpaid and devalued. None of this was addressed in Boris Johnson’s speech.Continue reading...
Critics say utilities borrowing to pay shareholders instead of improving infrastructure
English water companies have handed more than £2bn a year on average to shareholders since they were privatised three decades ago, according to analysis for the Guardian.
The payouts in dividends to shareholders of parent companies between 1991 and 2019 amount to £57bn – nearly half the sum they spent on maintaining and improving the country’s pipes and treatment plants in that period.Continue reading...
Untreated effluent flowed into waterways for more than 1.5m hours, data shows
Water companies in England discharged raw sewage into rivers on more than 200,000 occasions last year, according to data obtained by the Guardian.
The analysis reveals untreated human waste was released into streams and rivers for more than 1.5m hours in 2019.Continue reading...
Firms including Anglian Water respond to data on their practices and policies
Thames Water: “We invested more than £1bn again in 2019-20, leading to a total of £15bn in the past 15 years, and we will continue to spend wisely on improving resilience, service and efficiency, as well as provide more support for customers in vulnerable circumstances.
“Our shareholders are in it for the long term and have not taken a dividend for three years to prioritise investment in improving service for customers and to protect the environment.”Continue reading...
Botswana’s government is yet to test the remains of the dead animals in what has been described as a ‘conservation disaster’
More than 350 elephants have died in northern Botswana in a mysterious mass die-off described by scientists as a “conservation disaster”.
A cluster of elephant deaths was first reported in the Okavango Delta in early May, with 169 individuals dead by the end of the month. By mid June, the number had more than doubled, with 70% of the deaths clustered around waterholes, according to local sources who wish to remain anonymous.Continue reading...
Experts say further investigation of link is urgently required and may be relevant to managing pandemic
Air pollution is likely to be increasing the number and severity of Covid-19 infections, according to the UK government’s expert advisers.
In a report published on Wednesday, the experts said further investigation of the link between dirty air and the coronavirus pandemic was “urgently required” and may be relevant to how the pandemic is managed.Continue reading...
Solar-powered mini-grids can play a “critical role” in delivering universal electricity access across the globe, as they present smarter, cheaper options to main grid.
The post Solar mini-grids smarter, cheaper option for many global communities with no power appeared first on RenewEconomy.
From the climate crisis to Covid-19: can journalism focus on the stories that matter? | Mark Hertsgaard and Kyle Pope
Newsrooms should know: the disaster is here. It is raging now. Our job is to cover it with the urgency it deserves
To hear many journalists tell it, the spring of 2020 has brought a series of extraordinary revelations. Look at what the nation has learned: that our healthcare system was not remotely up to the challenge of a deadly pandemic. That our economic safety net was largely non-existent. That our vulnerability to disease and death was directly tied to our race and where we live. That our political leadership sowed misinformation that left people dead. That systemic racism and the killing of Black people by police is undiminished, despite decades of protest and so many Black lives lost.Continue reading...
Luxury car tax on low and zero emissions cars in Australia is quietly relaxed, giving EVs bigger break than fossil fuel cars for first time in decade.
The post Australia’s luxury car tax threshold quietly lifted for electric vehicles appeared first on RenewEconomy.
Today, the Kyoto climate deal ends and Australia's Paris cop-out begins. That's nothing to be proud of, Mr Taylor
A new report published this week has shown how solar-powered mini-grids could play a “critical role” in delivering universal electricity access across the globe.
The post Solar mini-grids to play “critical role” in delivering universal electricity access appeared first on RenewEconomy.