Israel to cut 85% of emissions by mid-century

Israel will cut carbon emissions by 85% from 2015 levels by the middle of the century, its government says. Its prime minister said the decision would help the country gradually shift to a low-carbon economy. Targets include cutting the vast majority of emissions from transport, the electricity sector and municipal waste. But critics want more ambitious targets for renewable energy and bigger economic incentives for change. The world has already warmed by about 1.2C since the industrial era began, and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to emissions. But Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said … Continue reading Israel to cut 85% of emissions by mid-century

Update: Australia attacks sweeping EU climate plan to tax imports

Australia, one of the world’s biggest fossil fuel exporters, has strongly criticized the European Union’s proposal to enact a carbon border tax. The measure was confirmed yesterday in the EU’s sweeping new climate plan. Such a tax would make exporters to the EU pay more for goods like steel and cement, to level the playing field for European firms paying carbon permits. But Australia has argued that such a tariff would be “protectionist” and could breach trade rules. Trade Minister Dan Tehan said Australia would be “looking very closely” at how it would be imposed, with a view to any … Continue reading Update: Australia attacks sweeping EU climate plan to tax imports

EU unveils sweeping climate change plan

The European Union has announced a raft of climate change proposals aimed at pushing it towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. A dozen draft proposals, which still need to be approved by the bloc’s 27 member states and the EU parliament, were announced on Wednesday. They include plans to tax jet fuel and effectively ban the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars within 20 years. The proposals, however, could face years of negotiations. The plans triggered serious infighting at the European Commission, the bloc’s administrative arm, as the final tweaks were being made, sources told the … Continue reading EU unveils sweeping climate change plan

Four killed in Cyprus as ‘most destructive’ forest fire rages

Four people have been found dead as a huge fire raged for a second day in Cyprus, razing tracts of forest in a blaze one official called the worst on record. The blaze, fanned by strong winds, affected at least 10 communities over an area of 50 square km (19 square miles) and destroyed several homes in the foothills of the Troodos mountain range, an area of pine forest and densely vegetated shrubland. The victims, thought to be Egyptian nationals and agricultural workers, were found dead close to Odou, a mountainous community north of the cities of Limassol and Larnaca. … Continue reading Four killed in Cyprus as ‘most destructive’ forest fire rages

Hundreds of sea animals washed ashore after ship disaster in Sri Lanka

Hundreds of dead sea animals have washed up in Sri Lanka, weeks after a cargo ship carrying dangerous chemicals caught fire and sank. The X-Press Pearl sank in early June off the coast of Colombo after it had been on fire for days. The remains of 176 turtles, 20 dolphins and four whales have washed ashore since, a court has heard. Experts fears the ship, which carried tonnes of oil in its tanks, will remain an environmental hazard for decades. The X-Press Pearl had had been carrying 278 tonnes of bunker fuel oil and 50 tonnes of gas oil when … Continue reading Hundreds of sea animals washed ashore after ship disaster in Sri Lanka

Paris seeks to ban through traffic in city centre by 2022

A plan to drastically reduce car traffic in the centre of the French capital Paris by 2022 has been put forward by the city council. The scheme would ban through traffic in four central districts, giving priority instead to cyclists, pedestrians, and public transport. The low-traffic zone will result in a “less polluted, greener, more peaceful and safer city”, the council says. During the pandemic, Paris added hundreds of kilometres of cycle lanes. Mayor Anne Hidalgo was re-elected last year on a platform of creating the “15-minute city”, making it easier for residents to access shops, schools and services within … Continue reading Paris seeks to ban through traffic in city centre by 2022

170 endangered seals found dead on Russia’s Caspian coast

At least 170 endangered seals have washed up dead over the course of several days on the shores of the Caspian Sea in Russia’s republic of Dagestan, according to researchers. “These are the dead animals that we saw, photographed and whose GPS coordinates we noted,” Viktor Nikiforov of the Moscow Marine Mammals research centre told the AFP news agency on Thursday. Images shared with the AFP showed several seal carcasses washed up on the beach. The deaths may have been caused by “industrial pollution, fishing or poaching when seals get caught in the nets”, Nikiforov said. “Maybe this is the … Continue reading 170 endangered seals found dead on Russia’s Caspian coast

Crews start clean-up of oil spill off China’s Qingdao port

Clean-up crews started work on Wednesday to contain an oil spill in the Yellow Sea near the Chinese port city of Qingdao, a day after a collision between a tanker carrying around a million barrels of bitumen mix and a bulk vessel in thick fog.Cranes are seen at the port of Qingdao The size of the spill has yet to be determined. “There are oil spill experts on the scene that have started clean-up operations,” said a spokesman for Goodwood Ship Management, manager of the Liberia-flagged tanker, A Symphony, which was at anchor when involved in the collision with shipping … Continue reading Crews start clean-up of oil spill off China’s Qingdao port

Elon Musk gives carbon removal $100m boost

Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk has offered inventors $100m in prize money to develop ways to fight global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or ocean. “Right now we’ve only got one planet,” said Musk, the CEO of electric carmaker Tesla Inc. “Even a 0.1 percent chance of disaster – why run that risk? That’s crazy!” In January, Musk announced his intention to offer $100m in prizes and set out the contest rules on Thursday, Earth Day. What organisers called the “largest incentive prize in history” will last for four years through Earth Day, 2025. Carbon capture and storage … Continue reading Elon Musk gives carbon removal $100m boost

Lego’s billionaire owners look for investments to reduce plastic

The billionaire owners of Lego are set to shift more of their wealth into ventures that figure out how to reduce surplus plastic in environmentally friendly ways. Kirkbi, which oversees about $20 billion in assets on behalf of the family behind toymaker Lego, is looking for at least one new plastic project to invest in this year. That’s after first testing the market in 2020 with its purchase of a stake in Quantafuel AS, a Norwegian company that transforms old plastic into energy. In an interview, Chief Investment Officer Thomas Lau Schleicher singled out plastic waste as a key focus … Continue reading Lego’s billionaire owners look for investments to reduce plastic

NZ to launch world-first climate change rules

New Zealand is to become the world’s first country to bring in a law forcing its financial firms to report on the effects of climate change. The country wants to be carbon neutral by 2050 and says the financial sector needs to play its part. Banks, insurers and fund managers can do this by knowing the environmental effect of their investments, says its Climate Change Minister James Shaw. Legislation is expected to receive its first reading this week. “This law will bring climate risks and resilience into the heart of financial and business decision making,” said Mr Shaw. About 200 … Continue reading NZ to launch world-first climate change rules

Climate Change Hypocrisy: Japan approves releasing wastewater into ocean

Japan has approved a plan to release more than one million tonnes of contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea. The water will be treated and diluted so radiation levels are below those set for drinking water, but some locals, those in the fishing industry, as well as China and South Korea, have opposed the plan. Tokyo says work to release water used to cool nuclear fuel will begin in about two years, the final approval comes after years of debate and is expected to take decades to complete. Currently, the radioactive water is treated in … Continue reading Climate Change Hypocrisy: Japan approves releasing wastewater into ocean