Australia’s most-polluting coal plant to shut decade earlier than planned

Australia’s dirtiest power plant, responsible for more than 3% of the country’s emissions – will shut a decade earlier than planned. The coal-fired Loy Yang A power station in Victoria will close in 2035, its owner AGL Energy said. Australia – one of the world’s biggest emitters per capita – has long been considered a climate policy laggard. AGL is the nation’s biggest electricity generator and polluter and has come under pressure to limit fossil fuels. Loy Yang A emitted 16.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gas in 2019-20, according to most recent data. Australia in total emitted 513.4 tonnes during … Continue reading Australia’s most-polluting coal plant to shut decade earlier than planned

Dutch city of Haarlem may be world’s first to ban most meat ads

Haarlem in The Netherlands is set to ban most meat ads from public spaces because of the food’s climate impact. In what is thought to be the first such move by a city, it will enforce the ban from 2024. The motion drafted by GroenLinks – a green political party – has faced opposition from the meat sector and some who say it stifles free speech. The UN says livestock generate more than 14% of all man-made greenhouse gases, including methane. “Meat is very harmful to the environment. We cannot tell people that there is a climate crisis and encourage them … Continue reading Dutch city of Haarlem may be world’s first to ban most meat ads

California to ban sales of petrol-only vehicles by 2035

California is to ban the sale of new petrol-only vehicles by 2035, marking a historic step in the state’s attempts to tackle climate change. The new rules are aimed to force car makers to accelerate the introduction to the market of cleaner vehicles. It comes after Governor Gavin Newsom set a target in 2020 to speed up the shift away from fossil fuels. The move is important as California is the most populous state in the US and one of the world’s biggest economies. Under the rules, issued by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), 35% of new vehicles sold … Continue reading California to ban sales of petrol-only vehicles by 2035

Peru to sue Repsol for $4.5bn over oil spill

Peru’s consumer protection agency is suing Spanish oil firm Repsol over a huge oil spill which blackened beaches off the coast of Lima in January. The spill, which Peru called the worst ecological disaster around Lima in recent memory, leaked more than 10,000 barrels into the Pacific Ocean. The civil lawsuit seeks $3bn (£2.54bn) for environmental damage and $1.5bn (£1.27bn) for damages to locals. Repsol has denied responsibility. The company initially said the spill was caused by “sudden and extraordinary anomalous waves produced by the volcanic eruption in Tonga”. However, it later blamed the oil tanker. On Tuesday, a Peruvian judge … Continue reading Peru to sue Repsol for $4.5bn over oil spill

Leaders meet to try to pass a UN treaty to protect oceans

World leaders will meet at the UN in New York later for more talks to save the world’s oceans from overexploitation. The UN High Seas Treaty has been through 10 years of negotiations but has yet to be signed. If agreed, it would put 30% of the world’s oceans into conservation areas by 2030. Campaigners hope it will protect marine life from overfishing and other human activities. Two-thirds of the world’s oceans are currently considered international waters, which mean all countries have a right to fish, ship and do research there. But only 1.2% of this high seas, as they are … Continue reading Leaders meet to try to pass a UN treaty to protect oceans

France air-conditioned shops told to shut doors to cut waste

Shops in France will be ordered to close doors when using air conditioning and limit neon lighting in a bid to cut energy waste, a minister has said. These rules, already in place in some areas, will be rolled out across France, Minister of Ecological Transition Agnes Pannier-Runacher told the Journal du Dimanche newspaper. Energy costs in Europe have spiralled since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Shops will be fined up to €750 (£640) for breaking the air-conditioning rule. Leaving doors open when air conditioning is on is “absurd”, Ms Pannier-Runacher told local radio station RMC. She will issue two … Continue reading France air-conditioned shops told to shut doors to cut waste

EU agrees to ending sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2035

The European Union approved to end the sale of vehicles with combustion engines by 2035 in Europe, the 27-member bloc announced early Wednesday, in a bid to reduce CO2 emissions to zero.  The proposal was raised in July 2021, and this decision will mean a de facto halt to sales of petrol and diesel vehicles and a complete shift to electric engines in the European Union from 2035.  The measure is intended to help achieve the continent’s climate objectives, in particular carbon neutrality by 2050. At the request of countries including Germany and Italy, the EU-27 also agreed to consider a future green light for … Continue reading EU agrees to ending sales of combustion engine vehicles by 2035

Spanish firefighters on alert after huge wildfire tamed

Wildfires continue in Spain’s Navarre province Emergency planes dumped water over part of rural western Spain on Monday to prevent flames reigniting from a huge wildfire that had ravaged about 30,000 hectares of land during a heatwave, the region’s environmental service said. The fire, which broke out last week during the country’s worst mid-June heatwave in over 40 years, would be the largest in terms of surface area damage over the past two decades if estimates are confirmed, according to Environment Ministry data. “Even though there are no flames anymore, the work continues,” the service said. “Weather conditions are improving … Continue reading Spanish firefighters on alert after huge wildfire tamed

Some Greenland polar bears adapt to hunt without sea ice

Polar bears have long been seen as a symbol of global warming’s damaging impact on the natural world. The bears rely on Arctic sea ice to hunt seals – so its decline puts the species at risk of extinction. However, in a rare piece of hopeful news for the ice bears, scientists say several hundred in southeast Greenland have now adapted to hunt using freshwater platforms. Researchers found the animals were using ice that breaks off glaciers. “They survive in fjords that are sea ice-free more than eight months of the year because they have access to glacier – freshwater … Continue reading Some Greenland polar bears adapt to hunt without sea ice

Couple fined for driving SUV on sand dunes

A couple has been fined for driving an SUV on the ecologically sensitive sand dunes of Nubra Valley in northern India. Police said that the couple from Jaipur city were on a vacation in Ladakh. They were found driving over the sand dunes in Hunder, a picturesque village in Leh district known for its cold desert landscape. A fine of 50,000 rupees ($643; £512) was imposed on them for “violating prohibitory orders”. “District police Leh requests tourists not to ply on sand dunes as you damage the natural landscape,” the police said in a Facebook post on Thursday. The federally … Continue reading Couple fined for driving SUV on sand dunes

New Zealand plan to tax cow and sheep burps

New Zealand has unveiled a plan to tax sheep and cattle burps in a bid to tackle one of the country’s biggest sources of greenhouse gases. It would make it the first nation to charge farmers for the methane emissions from the animals they keep. New Zealand is home to just over five million people, along with around 10 million cattle and 26 million sheep. Almost half the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture, mainly methane. However, agricultural emissions have previously not been included in New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme, which has been criticised by those calling for … Continue reading New Zealand plan to tax cow and sheep burps

World’s biggest plant discovered off Australian coast

The largest known plant on Earth – a seagrass roughly three times the size of Manhattan – has been discovered off the coast of Australia. Using genetic testing, scientists have determined a large underwater meadow in Western Australia is in fact one plant. It is believed to have spread from a single seed over at least 4,500 years. The seagrass covers about 200 sq km (77 sq miles), researchers from the University of Western Australia said. The team stumbled upon the discovery by accident at Shark Bay, about 800km north of Perth. They had set out to understand the genetic … Continue reading World’s biggest plant discovered off Australian coast