Australian court overturns teenagers’ case against minister

The Australian government has won an appeal against a ruling that it has a duty of care to protect children from harm caused by climate change. Last year, eight teenagers and an 87-year-old nun convinced a court that the government had a legal duty to children when assessing fossil fuel projects. The decision was hailed as a world first, but it has been successfully challenged by the environment minister. The teenagers could still take the case to Australia’s highest court. “Today’s ruling leaves us devastated, but it will not deter us in our flight for climate justice,” said 17-year-old Anjali … Continue reading Australian court overturns teenagers’ case against minister

Newly elected Honduras government to ban open-pit mining

The new government of Honduras has announced that it will ban open-pit mining in the Central American nation. The government, which was sworn in last month, also said that it would cancel environmental permits for mining operations across the country. It is not yet clear if the cancellation will apply only to new projects or also to those already operating. For decades, indigenous groups have complained of legal and illegal mining in their ancestral lands. Honduras mines gold, silver, copper, lead and zinc but on Monday the Ministry of Mining described “extractive exploitation” as “harmful to the state of Honduras”. … Continue reading Newly elected Honduras government to ban open-pit mining

Biggest power plant in coal-reliant Australia to close early

Australia’s largest coal-fired power station will close seven years earlier than planned, as its operator says it is increasingly unable to compete with the “influx of renewables”. The 2.88 gigawatt Eraring plant is located in the Hunter region north of Sydney and operated by Origin Energy. The plant will now close in 2025 and be replaced by a large-scale battery. It adds to a long list of coal plants forced shut by the growth of cheap wind and solar energy in the country. “Australia’s energy market today is very different to the one when Eraring was brought online in the … Continue reading Biggest power plant in coal-reliant Australia to close early

Australia to spend A$1bn to rejuvenate the Great Barrier Reef

Australia will spend A$1bn (£520m; $700m) over nine years on improving the water quality and other aspects of the ailing Great Barrier Reef, its PM says. Scientists have welcomed the money but warn it does not tackle the reef’s overriding threat of climate change. A climate laggard among rich nations, Australia is often criticized for not doing more to prevent coral bleaching caused by warmer seas. PM Scott Morrison argued the new investment would have broad benefits. It will fund projects that reduce erosion and pollutants entering the sea, and other conservation efforts – such as combating illegal fishing and … Continue reading Australia to spend A$1bn to rejuvenate the Great Barrier Reef

Belgium agrees to close controversial ageing nuclear reactors

The Belgian government has reached a deal to close seven ageing nuclear reactors by 2025. The reactors, housed at two plants in Doel and Tihange, have long been controversial. They have been shut down repeatedly for safety checks and have sparked fear in neighbouring countries. A compromise was reached after years of debate and overnight talks by government ministers. The plan in principle was confirmed at a press conference on Thursday. Closures will begin in 2022 with the aim of both plants being safely decommissioned and demolished by 2045, Reuters news agency reports. Some reactors at the plants, operated by … Continue reading Belgium agrees to close controversial ageing nuclear reactors

Germany plan to spend $68 billion on climate policies

Germany’s new Finance Minister Christian Lindner announced a plan on Friday to invest an extra $68 billion in climate policies. The financing comes from left-over, unused debt borrowed by the government in 2021 and it is expected to be passed as part of a supplementary budget on Monday. Christian Lindner has been finance minister since the new coalition government was sworn in on Wednesday. “I have handed the draft supplementary budget to the Cabinet today,” Lindner said in his first major appearance as finance minister. The lawmaker from the liberal pro-business Free Democrats Party (FDP) said the investment would be … Continue reading Germany plan to spend $68 billion on climate policies

Amazon sees worst deforestation levels in 15 years

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has hit its highest level in over 15 years, official data shows. A report by Brazil’s space research agency (Inpe) found that deforestation increased by 22% in a year. Brazil was among a number of nations who promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030 during the COP26 climate summit. The Amazon is home to about three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous people. It is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming. According to the latest data, some 13,235 sq km (5110 sq miles) was lost … Continue reading Amazon sees worst deforestation levels in 15 years

New Delhi air turns toxic after Diwali fireworks

India’s national capital, Delhi, woke up to grey skies as air quality dipped to hazardous levels following the festival of Diwali. Despite a ban, people across the city burst firecrackers late into Thursday night, worsening pollution levels. Vehicular and industrial emissions, dust and weather patterns make Delhi the world’s most polluted capital. The air turns especially toxic in winter when farmers in neighbouring states burn crop stubble. And fireworks during Diwali, which happens at the same time, only worsen the air quality as low wind speeds trap the pollutants in the lower atmosphere. The concentration of PM2.5 – dangerous tiny … Continue reading New Delhi air turns toxic after Diwali fireworks

Beijing shuts roads, playgrounds amid heavy smog after coal spike

Highways and school playgrounds in Beijing were closed Friday due to heavy pollution, as China ramps up coal production and faces scrutiny of its environmental record at make-or-break international climate talks. World leaders have gathered in Scotland this week for COP26 negotiations billed as one of the last chances to avert catastrophic climate change, though Chinese President Xi Jinping made a written address instead of attending in person. China, the world’s largest emitter of the greenhouse gases responsible for climate change, has ramped up coal output after supply chains in recent months were roiled by an energy crunch owing to strict … Continue reading Beijing shuts roads, playgrounds amid heavy smog after coal spike

What A Mockery: Jeff Bezos and other VIPS flew to a climate change conference on 400 private jets

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) US President Joe Biden, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and other world leaders took private jets to the summit. Private jets have a “disproportionate impact on the environment,” says European campaign group Transport and Environment. As hundreds of private jets ferry world leaders and top business executives to the United Nations’ COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, environmentalists are up in arms over the environmental damage caused by the travel. Scotland’s Sunday Mail, citing aviation sources, reported that more than 400 private jets are expected. They are shuttling over 1,000 … Continue reading What A Mockery: Jeff Bezos and other VIPS flew to a climate change conference on 400 private jets

Prince Charles says his Aston Martin runs on fuel made from wine and cheese

Prince Charles’ car is much like a fancy dinner party, it runs on wine and cheese. The Aston Martin gifted to him by Queen Elizabeth II on his 21st birthday uses a combination of English white wine and whey from cheese, the prince told the BBC in an interview Monday. The car, which Charles said he’s driven for more than 50 years, underwent a conversion in 2008 to change its fuel source to bioethanol made from wine and cheese. The prince asked Aston Martin himself to make the change, but the request was initially met with some skepticism, he said. “The engineers … Continue reading Prince Charles says his Aston Martin runs on fuel made from wine and cheese

Most trapped Canadian miners rescued after two days

Thirty-five miners trapped deep underground in eastern Canada have been brought to the surface, two days after an accident damaged the mine’s lift. The workers at the Totten mine in Sudbury, Ontario climbed about 4,000ft (1.2km) using a series of ladders, with the support of a rescue team. The rescued miners were in good health, according to Vale, the company responsible for the mine. A further four miners are still completing the climb, they are expected to reach the surface on Tuesday. The miners had been trapped since Sunday when the lift system became inoperable after a heavy scoop bucket … Continue reading Most trapped Canadian miners rescued after two days