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The Guardian Climate Change

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Latest Climate crisis news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice
Updated: 3 hours 13 min ago

‘It’s nonsensical’: how Trump is making climate the latest culture war

July 3, 2024 - 06:00

The ex-president is ranting about low water pressure and attacking mundane rules and technologies – and Republicans in Congress are now following his lead

When Donald Trump embarked upon a lengthy complaint at a recent rally about how long it takes to wash his “beautiful luxuriant hair” due to his shower’s low water pressure, he highlighted the expanding assault he and Republicans are launching against even the most obscure environmental policies – a push that’s starting to influence voters.

In his bid to return to the White House, Trump has branded Joe Biden’s attempt to advance electric cars in the US “lunacy”, claiming such vehicles do not work in the cold and that their supporters should “rot in hell”. He’s called offshore wind turbines “horrible”, falsely linking them to the death of whales, while promising to scrap incentives for both wind and electric cars.

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Categories: Climate

From the archive: Ten ways to confront the climate crisis without losing hope – podcast

July 3, 2024 - 00:00

We are raiding the Guardian Long Read archives to bring you some classic pieces from years past, with new introductions from the authors.

This week, from 2021: It’s easy to despair at the climate crisis, or to decide it’s already too late – but it’s not. Here’s how to keep the fight alive. By Rebecca Solnit

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Categories: Climate

Queensland coalmine fire a ‘disaster’ for climate say environmental groups

July 2, 2024 - 19:43

The fire at Anglo American’s Grosvenor coalmine in Moranbah broke out after methane ignited

Conservation groups say a fire that has been burning since Saturday at an underground coalmine is Queensland is an “environmental disaster” that highlights the risks of methane gas to workers, community health and the climate.

The fire at Anglo American’s Grosvenor coalmine in Moranbah broke out after methane ignited on the longwall coalface. It was still burning on Tuesday.

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Categories: Climate

Google’s emissions climb nearly 50% in five years due to AI energy demand

July 2, 2024 - 16:20

Tech giant’s goal of reducing climate footprint at risk as it grows increasingly reliant on energy-hungry data centres

Google’s goal of reducing its climate footprint is in jeopardy as it relies on more and more energy-hungry data centres to power its new artificial intelligence products. The tech giant revealed Tuesday that its greenhouse gas emissions have climbed 48% over the past five years.

Google said electricity consumption by data centres and supply chain emissions were the primary cause of the increase. It also revealed in its annual environmental report that its emissions in 2023 had risen 13% compared with the previous year, hitting 14.3m metric tons.

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Categories: Climate

The Guardian view on Britain’s green future: where was the debate? | Editorial

July 2, 2024 - 13:38

The climate emergency should have been a more prominent theme during an underwhelming election campaign

For all the many televised encounters between party leaders, one huge subject has largely flown under the radar during this underwhelming election campaign. In 2019, at a time when the Brexit crisis had overwhelmed national politics, Channel 4 nevertheless devoted an entire pre-election debate to the climate emergency. Boris Johnson didn’t turn up. But, sensing the mood of the times, as prime minister he was soon committing to a “green industrial revolution”. Climate action was high-profile and it mattered.

Contrast that with last week’s final leaders’ debate between Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer. None of the questions selected from the audience addressed the environment. Aside from one attempt by Mr Sunak to suggest that Labour’s green plans will lead to higher taxes – feeding into the Conservative party’s wider attack strategy – both leaders focused their energy and political capital elsewhere. It has been much the same throughout the campaign. Economists, industrial leaders and environmental campaigners are united in their desire for more proactive green government. But the politics has become difficult.

Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a response of up to 300 words by email to be considered for publication in our letters section, please click here.

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Categories: Climate

‘It’s the future of sugar’: new technology feeds Vermont maple syrup boom amid climate crisis

July 2, 2024 - 12:00

The season to tap trees is now earlier and longer, but new processes and generations are helping the industry thrive

On a warm May Monday, more than three dozen high school students took to the forest behind a former dairy barn at Vermont State University in Randolph.

In teams of four, they ran blue plastic tubing from tree to tree, racing to connect the tubes across three trees in 30 minutes. One student leaned back and pulled it taut with his body weight while another secured tube to tree. Quickly, they dashed to the next in what appears to be a twisted tug-of-war.

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Categories: Climate

Shell to pause construction of huge biodiesel plant in Rotterdam

July 2, 2024 - 11:55

Technical difficulties blamed for new blow to firm’s sustainable energy plans

Shell has paused the construction of one of Europe’s largest biofuel plants which was expected to convert waste into green jet fuel and biodiesel by the end of the decade.

The oil company said on Tuesday it would “temporarily pause” work on one of its biggest energy transition projects to address the technical difficulties that have delayed its progress so far.

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Categories: Climate

Labour is putting its plans for Britain in the hands of private finance. It could end badly | Daniela Gabor

July 2, 2024 - 11:30

Handing vital infrastructure to private investment companies will generate windfalls for investors and leave the rest of us worse off. We need a better plan

  • Daniela Gabor is professor of economics and macrofinance at UWE Bristol

The Labour party has a plan for returning to power: it will get BlackRock to rebuild Britain. Its reasoning is straightforward. A cash-strapped government that wants to avoid tax increases or austerity has no choice but to partner with big finance, attracting private investment to rebuild the infrastructure that is crumbling after years of Tory underinvestment. Labour has already done the arithmetic: to mobilise £3 of private capital from institutional investors, you need to offer them £1 in public subsidies. But every time you hear Labour announce such an infrastructure partnership, think of the hidden politics. BlackRock will privatise Britain – our housing, education, health, nature and green energy – with our taxpayer money as sweetener.

BlackRock has long peddled the idea of public-private partnerships for infrastructure, climate and development. Yet its political momentum has recently accelerated. When its chair, Larry Fink, the world’s most powerful financier, sat with world leaders at the G7 summit last month, he promised the following: rich countries need growth, infrastructure investment can deliver that growth, but public debt is too high for the state alone to invest the estimated $75tn (£59tn) necessary by 2040. Trillions, however, are available to asset managers who look after our pensions and insurance contributions (BlackRock, the largest of these firms, manages about $10tn, as a shrinking welfare state pushes us – future pensioners – into its arms).

Daniela Gabor is professor of economics and macrofinance at UWE Bristol

Do you have an opinion on the issues raised in this article? If you would like to submit a response of up to 300 words by email to be considered for publication in our letters section, please click here.

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Categories: Climate

Port infrastructure delays threaten UK’s transition to net zero, industry says

July 2, 2024 - 07:54

Dropoff in government approvals put billions of investment in offshore wind schemes at risk, ports bodies warn

The UK’s transition to net zero is under threat as delays in approving new infrastructure put billions of pounds of investment in offshore wind schemes and other vital upgrades at risk, big ports have said.

The British Ports Association (BPA) has written to the government and Labour calling for action to clear the backlog of harbour orders, the legislation needed for ports to make infrastructure changes to support offshore wind projects.

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Categories: Climate

Wind, rain and floods as Hurricane Beryl tears through Caribbean – video

July 2, 2024 - 05:36

Hurricane Beryl has strengthened to a category 5 storm as it hit islands in the south-eastern Caribbean. Beryl ripped off doors, windows and roofs of homes on the island of Carriacou in Grenada on Monday, after making landfall and becoming the earliest category 4 storm in the Atlantic, fuelled by record warm waters

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Categories: Climate

Biden unveils rules to protect millions of US workers from extreme heat

July 2, 2024 - 05:00

Proposal would create first federal standard for workplace exposure to extreme heat, which kills dozens each year

The Biden administration has unveiled a long-awaited proposal to protect workers from extreme temperatures. If finalized, the rule will establish the nation’s first-ever federal safety standard for excessive heat exposure in the workplace and protect as many as 36 million indoor and outdoor workers.

Announced on Tuesday amid temperature warnings across the country, the rule would require employers to establish heat safety coordinators, undergo extreme heat safety training, create and regularly update emergency heat response plans, and provide workers with shade and water.

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Categories: Climate

‘My escape is going north’: heatwaves begin to drive tourists in Europe to cool climes

July 2, 2024 - 04:00

Whether it’s swapping southern France or Mallorca for the UK or Scandinavia, rising temperatures are changing habits

Like many Parisians, Mathilde Martin used to escape to the south of France at the height of the summer. But three years ago, a blistering heatwave made her rethink trips to the region where she grew up and her parents live.

“Rising temperatures have been a gamechanger,” the 51-year-old teacher said, after an experience a couple of summers ago: “We were near Perpignan during the summer and suffered scorching heat. That week was anything but enjoyable. It felt difficult to breathe at times. My parents, who live in Nice, have repeatedly told me at times in a worried tone that it hasn’t rained for months.”

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Categories: Climate

Growth is enriching an elite and killing the planet. We need an economy based on human rights | Olivier De Schutter

July 2, 2024 - 01:00

Economic growth allows the few to grow ever-wealthier. Ending poverty and environmental catastrophe demands fresh thinking

Economic growth will bring prosperity to all. This is the mantra that guides the decision-making of the vast majority of politicians, economists and even human rights bodies.

Yet the reality – as detailed in a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council this month – shows that while poverty eradication has historically been promised through the “trickling down” or “redistribution” of wealth, economic growth largely “gushes up” to a privileged few.

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Categories: Climate

Brutal California heatwave to coincide with Fourth of July wildfire risks

July 1, 2024 - 20:42

Sweltering conditions and power shutoffs may overlap with errant fireworks or badly tended campfires

A brutal and long-lasting heatwave is threatening to wreak havoc across California this week, as sweltering conditions, power shutoffs and a severe uptick in wildfire risks coincide with 4th of July celebrations.

The dangerous weather event is expected to stretch for days with little reprieve. Starting Wednesday, parts of the state will be subject to “extreme” levels of heat risk – reaching the highest level on the National Weather Service’s index – that will last until Sunday or longer. In some areas, life-threatening triple-digit temperatures could linger for longer than a week.

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Categories: Climate

Hurricane Beryl: Caribbean leader calls out rich countries for climate failures as ‘horrendous’ storm makes landfall

July 1, 2024 - 16:32

Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines calls Cop ‘largely a talk shop’ and beseeches west to honor commitments

The prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) has decried a lack of political will in western Europe and the US to tackle global climate change as Hurricane Beryl has made landfall as an “extremely dangerous” category 4 storm.

Speaking from his residence in SVG on Monday, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves described the unfolding catastrophe as the “monster” storm ripped off rooftops, including that of the 204-year-old St George’s Anglican cathedral in the country’s capital, Kingstown.

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Categories: Climate

Labour will take global lead on climate action, Ed Miliband vows

July 1, 2024 - 16:08

Exclusive: shadow energy security secretary promises to fill ‘vacuum’ left by Rishi Sunak’s U-turn on net zero

Labour will promise to take the lead on global efforts to tackle the climate crisis, filling a “vacuum of leadership” on the world stage and proving Rishi Sunak’s U-turn on net zero has been a “historic mistake”, Ed Miliband has said.

The shadow energy security and net zero secretary said the UK needed to change course and was “off track”.

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Categories: Climate

North Sea oil decline: ‘We can’t have a repeat of what happened to 80s miners’

July 1, 2024 - 06:43

Unlikely alliance of unions and climate groups call for ‘clear and funded’ transition plan for communities reliant on dwindling industry

“In this city, everyone feels the decline of the North Sea,” says Chris Douglas, 39, who has lived in Aberdeen his whole life and began working as a taxi driver in the Granite City 20 years ago. He now has his own cab company, which in the past was entirely reliant on bookings from the oil and gas industry – today it’s “maybe 50%”, he says.

“You only have to look around: there are industrial estates decimated, hotels no longer trading. The good days are long gone,” he says. “And no political party is coming along to say they are going to rejuvenate the industry. There are just different plans for how to close it down.”

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Categories: Climate

Earth is dying you say? Whatever. Let's build a Mars rocket! | First Dog on the Moon

July 1, 2024 - 02:44

Life on this planet is becoming er … awkward anyway

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Categories: Climate

At least 30 Reform candidates have cast doubt on human-induced global heating

July 1, 2024 - 01:00

Exclusive: Analysis of social media posts, including by candidates projected to win seats, finds multiple mentions of ‘hoaxes’ and ‘the Illuminati’

At least 30 Reform UK candidates have posted material or made statements that cast doubt on the validity of human-induced global heating, a Guardian analysis can reveal.

A suite of the party’s prospective parliamentary candidates have publicly cast doubt on the existence of the emission-caused climate crisis.

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Categories: Climate

‘We can’t let the animals die’: drought leaves Sicilian farmers facing uncertain future

July 1, 2024 - 01:00

Rainfall is down 40% since 2003 and experts predict a third of Sicily will be desert by 2030

Every morning, as soon as he wakes up, Luca Cammarata looks to the sky in the hope that some clouds on the horizon will bring a few drops of water. On his farm in the Sicilian interior, it hasn’t rained for months. Cammarata’s 200 goats graze on a parched landscape resembling a lunar surface, forced to eat dry weeds and drink from a muddy pond.

The 53-year-old has never experienced a drought like it. “If things continue like this,” he said, “I will be forced to butcher my livestock and close down my farm.”

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Categories: Climate