Jonathan Watts
Jonathan Watts
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‘Negotiating with your worst enemy’: Biden in risky talks to pay Brazil to save Amazon

‘Negotiating with your worst enemy’: Biden in risky talks to pay Brazil to save Amazon

Activists fear billion-dollar climate deal will bolster Bolsonaro and reward illegal forest clearance – but US says action can’t waitSun 11 Apr 2021 04.00 EDTLast modified on Sun 11 Apr 2021 10.13 EDTThe US is negotiating a multi-billion dollar climate deal with Brazil that observers fear could help the reelection of president Jair Bolsonaro and reward in the Amazon.That is the concern of indigenous groups, environmental campaigners and civil society activists, who say they are being shut out of the most important talks on the future of the rainforest since at least 1992.Senior US officials...

Apr 11
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'A real bad precedent': Australia criticised for Antarctica airport plan

'A real bad precedent': Australia criticised for Antarctica airport plan

Australia is planning to build Antarctica’s biggest infrastructure project: a new airport and runway that would increase the human footprint in the world’s greatest wilderness by an estimated 40%.The mega-scheme is likely to involve blasting petrel rookeries, disturbing penguin colonies and encasing a stretch of the wilderness in more than 115,000 tonnes of concrete.The government in Canberra says the project on the Vestfold Hills of Princess Elizabeth Land is necessary for scientists and emergency teams to Davis research station, Australia’s most southerly base in Antarctica. Strategic...

Dec 31
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MPs urge government to create a 'minister for the dark sky'

MPs urge government to create a 'minister for the dark sky'

Group suggests 10 policies to reduce ‘night blight’, including commission to regulate excess lighting Global environment editorWed 9 Dec 2020 13.14 ESTLast modified on Wed 9 Dec 2020 14.17 ESTMPs have called for urgent action to reduce light pollution, promote “dark towns” and restore a sense of wonder in the night sky.Supported by the astronomer royal, a cross-party group urged the government to designate a “minister for the dark sky” and to establish a statutory commission to regulate excess lighting.These are among 10 policy recommendations to prevent “night blight” and to dim human by...

Dec 9
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European states ordered to respond to youth activists' climate lawsuit

European states ordered to respond to youth activists' climate lawsuit

European court of human rights case could result in countries being bound to take greater action Mon 30 Nov 2020 03.54 ESTLast modified on Mon 30 Nov 2020 04.17 ESTThe has ordered 33 European governments to respond to a landmark climate lawsuit lodged by six youth campaigners, the Guardian has learned.The plaintiffs’ British barrister says it could be the most important case ever tried by the Strasbourg-based judges.In a sign of the urgency of the climate crisis, the court will announce on Monday that it has green-lighted , which . It has already confirmed it will be treated as a priority,...

Nov 30
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Revealed: UK supermarket and fast food chicken linked to deforestation in Brazil

Revealed: UK supermarket and fast food chicken linked to deforestation in Brazil

Supermarkets and fast food outlets are selling chicken fed on imported soya linked to thousands of forest fires and at least 300 sq miles (800 sq km) of tree clearance in the Brazilian Cerrado, a joint cross-border investigation has revealed.Tesco, Lidl, Asda, McDonald’s, Nando’s and other high street retailers all source chicken fed on soya supplied by trading behemoth Cargill, the US’s second largest private company. The combination of minimal protection for the Cerrado – a globally important carbon sink and wildlife habitat – with an opaque supply chain and confusing labelling systems,...

Nov 25
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1% of farms operate 70% of world's farmland

1% of farms operate 70% of world's farmland

Researchers warn land inequality is rising with farmland increasingly dominated by a few major companies Global environment editorTue 24 Nov 2020 03.00 ESTLast modified on Tue 24 Nov 2020 08.44 ESTOne per cent of the world’s farms operate 70% of crop fields, ranches and orchards, according to a report that highlights the impact of land inequality on the climate and nature crises.Since the 1980s, researchers found control over the land has become far more concentrated both directly through ownership and indirectly through contract farming, which results in more destructive monocultures and...

Nov 24
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Climate heroes: the countries pioneering a green future

Climate heroes: the countries pioneering a green future

From Spain to South Korea, there are several global success stories in the drive to become carbon neutral Wed 11 Nov 2020 05.00 EST Photograph: Manuel Bruque/EPAUnder the coalition of its socialist prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, Spain has picked up the pace from a jog to a run in its break from fossil fuels this year, and is now one of the countries leading the European pack.Last week, the government was the latest to to go carbon neutral by 2050 and it is undergoing one of the fastest shifts away from coal the world has seen.Over the coming three years, Spain has committed €27bn to green...

Nov 11
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'Sleeping giant' Arctic methane deposits starting to release, scientists find

'Sleeping giant' Arctic methane deposits starting to release, scientists find

Exclusive: expedition discovers new source of greenhouse gas off East Siberian coast has been triggered Global environment editorTue 27 Oct 2020 11.40 EDTLast modified on Tue 27 Oct 2020 20.01 EDTScientists have found evidence that frozen methane deposits in the Ocean – known as the “sleeping giants of the carbon cycle” – have started to be released over a large area of the continental slope off the East Siberian coast, the Guardian can reveal.High levels of the potent greenhouse gas have been detected down to a depth of 350 metres in the Laptev Sea near , prompting concern among...

Oct 27
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Alarm as Arctic sea ice not yet freezing at latest date on record

Alarm as Arctic sea ice not yet freezing at latest date on record

For the first time since records began, the main nursery of sea ice in Siberia has yet to start freezing in late October.The delayed annual freeze in the Laptev Sea has been caused by freakishly protracted warmth in northern and the intrusion of Atlantic waters, say climate scientists who warn of possible knock-on effects across the polar region.Ocean temperatures in the area recently climbed to more than 5C above average, following and the unusually early decline of last winter’s sea ice.The trapped heat takes a long time to dissipate into the atmosphere, even at this time of the year when...

Oct 22
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Oil firm bosses’ pay ‘incentivises them to undermine climate action’

Oil firm bosses’ pay ‘incentivises them to undermine climate action’

Lucrative pay and share options linked to continued extraction of fossil fuels by ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell and BPThu 15 Apr 2021 00.00 EDTLast modified on Thu 15 Apr 2021 08.47 EDTLucrative pay and share options have created an incentive for oil company executives to resist climate action, according to a study that casts doubt on recent net-zero commitments by and Shell.Compensation packages for CEOs, often in excess of $10m (£7.2m), are linked to continued extraction of fossil fuels, exploration of new fields and the promotion of strong market demand through advertising, lobbying and...

Apr 15
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