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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 7 min ago

The vanishing ozone layer – archive, June 1974

June 28, 2024 - 01:00

On 28 June 1974, chemists at the University of California published the first report that warned that CFCs could damage the Earth’s ozone layer

1 July 1974

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Categories: Climate

Sinkhole appears in soccer field above an Illinois mine: ‘out of a movie’

June 27, 2024 - 13:05

No one was present when the sinkhole, 100ft wide and 30ft deep, suddenly collapsed the field

A vast sinkhole has dramatically appeared in middle of an Illinois soccer pitch that was laid above a limestone mine, just days after amateur teams stopped using the grounds for practice.

The collapse happened at Gordon Moore Park in Alton, Illinois, about 18 miles (30km) north of St Louis, Missouri, on Wednesday. The sinkhole appeared to be 100ft (30m) wide and 30ft (9m) deep. No injuries have been reported but all sports have been cancelled.

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Categories: Climate

AI will be help rather than hindrance in hitting climate targets, Bill Gates says

June 27, 2024 - 10:36

Microsoft co-founder says efficiencies for technology and electricity grids will outweigh energy use by datacentres

Bill Gates has claimed that artificial intelligence will be more of a help than a hindrance in achieving climate goals, despite growing concern that an increase in new datacentres could drain green energy supplies.

The philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder told journalists that AI would enable countries to use less energy, even as they require more datacentres, by making technology and electricity grids more efficient.

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Categories: Climate

Visualized: the parts of the US where summer heat has risen the most

June 27, 2024 - 06:00

More than a third of Americans endure summers at least 1.5C hotter than the 1895 average, analysis shows

An onslaught of record-breaking heat across much of the US has provided yet another indicator of a longer-term issue – summers are progressively getting hotter for Americans in all corners of the country.

The US climate scientist Brian Brettschneider has analysed almost 130 years of federal data and it shows that from New York to Los Angeles there are hotspots where summers have got significantly hotter in that time compared with the average levels of warming brought about by the burning of fossil fuels.

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Categories: Climate

Sharp rise in number of climate lawsuits against companies, report says

June 27, 2024 - 01:00

About 230 cases filed against corporations and trade associations around world since 2015

The number of climate lawsuits filed against companies around the world is rising swiftly, a report has found, and a majority of cases that have concluded have been successful.

About 230 climate-aligned lawsuits have been filed against corporations and trade associations since 2015, two-thirds of which have been initiated since 2020, according to the analysis published on Thursday by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

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Categories: Climate

As the Coalition goes nuclear, Labor is free to ensure fossil fuels are burned with abandon and little scrutiny | Greg Jericho

June 26, 2024 - 11:00

How can Australia get to net zero by 2050 while approving projects that will run for decades beyond that date?

The sham of Australia’s climate change policy has been made clear in the past two weeks. No, not nuclear power. Last Friday, while everyone was racing down nuclear-powered rabbit holes, the environment department (led by the environment minister, Tanya Plibersek) approved a coal seam gas pipeline in Queensland. This approval “has effect until 30 June 2069”. And on Tuesday the department approved the Atlas stage 3 gas project in Queensland out to June 2080.

Those dates are rather beyond 2050 when we’re supposed to be at net zero emissions. They are also when temperatures will be well over 2C above the preindustrial average.

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Categories: Climate

Lawyers could charge big oil with homicide after 2023 Arizona heatwave

June 26, 2024 - 10:00

Charges are reasonable after July 2023 extreme weather event, prosecutors write in new memorandum

Prosecutors in Arizona could reasonably press homicide charges against big oil for deaths caused by a July 2023 heatwave, lawyers wrote in a new prosecution memorandum.

“[T]he case for prosecuting fossil fuel companies for climate-related deaths is strong enough to merit the initiation of investigations by state and local prosecutors,” the document says.

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Categories: Climate

Flatulent livestock to incur green levy in Denmark from 2030

June 26, 2024 - 09:55

World’s first emissions tax on agriculture will require farmers to pay for greenhouse gas pollution from livestock

Farmers in Denmark will have to pay for planet-heating pollutants that their cattle expel as gas, after the government agreed to set the world’s first emissions tax on agriculture.

The agreement – reached on Monday night after months of fraught negotiations between farmers, industry, politicians and environmental groups – will introduce an effective tax of 120 kroner (£14) per ton of greenhouse gas pollution from livestock in 2030, which will rise to 300 kroner per ton in 2035.

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Categories: Climate

Air freight greenhouse gas emissions up 25% since 2019, analysis finds

June 26, 2024 - 08:00

Boom in air cargo due to shoppers’ expectations of speedy delivery and shift in post-pandemic economy, researchers say

Air freight operators have increased their greenhouse gas emissions by 25% compared with 2019, analysis has found.

In 2023, air freight operators ran about 300,000 more flights than in 2019, an increase in flight volume of almost 30%. The US accounted for more than 40% of global air freight emissions, according to the report by campaign group

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Categories: Climate

German activists take government to court over climate policy

June 26, 2024 - 07:24

New law is too weak and has been made harder to enforce, while transport ministry has not taken sufficient action, groups say

German climate activists are taking the government to court for “unconstitutional” climate policy, seeking to build on a landmark victory three years ago that they had hoped would force Europe’s biggest polluter to clean up quickly.

The activists argue that the new climate law is too weak, that a recent update makes it harder to enforce, and that inaction from the transport ministry, which has repeatedly failed to meet its emissions targets, will force tough measures on poor groups in the future.

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Categories: Climate

Sarah Finch: climate activism ‘early adopter’ behind supreme court win

June 26, 2024 - 07:02

UK campaigner who fronted lawsuit on future impact of fossil fuel projects says she fears for future despite ruling

Sarah Finch considers herself an early adopter of environmentalism, even if she is not quite sure what the initial spark was. “I was only ever interested in the environment,” she says. “That’s all I wanted to do.”

She never expected her name to become part of legal history. Last week, the supreme court handed down a landmark ruling in a lawsuit that Finch fronted, ruling that the climate impact of burning coal, oil and gas must be taken into account when deciding whether to approve projects. It set an important legal precedent and threw doubt on the approval of new fossil fuel projects in the UK.

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Categories: Climate

‘You’re letting our generation down’: the green activists warning of a bad deal for young people under Labour

June 26, 2024 - 06:06

Green New Deal Rising is backing six of party’s candidates but says leadership cares more about business than climate

Rachel Reeves talks to business executives. She met some in December, after a £150,000 donation to Labour from a financial services firm. She met more in January, at capitalism’s annual jamboree in Davos. And just this week she told a meeting of City bankers their “fingerprints are all over” Labour’s manifesto.

But she does not talk so much to young people worried about the climate emergency. Or so 23-year-old Zak found when he tracked Reeves down to a cafe where she was campaigning on Wednesday morning. “I’m a young person with Green New Deal Rising,” he said, approaching her.

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Categories: Climate

‘Reform or go out of business,’ carbon offsetting industry told

June 26, 2024 - 05:00

Study finds carbon credits could raise billions for climate action but only with changes, such as rigorous standards

The carbon-credit market must reform or “go out of business”, leading scientists have concluded in an international review of the offsetting industry.

The market for carbon offsets shrank dramatically last year after a series of scientific and media reports found many offsetting schemes had little environmental impact.

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Categories: Climate

It doesn’t make sense: why US tariffs on Chinese cleantech risk the green transition | Jeffrey Frankel

June 26, 2024 - 00:00

Global demand for renewable energy is surging so why make solar panels, wind turbines and EVs dearer for western consumers?

With historic heatwaves sweeping across the US and other parts of the northern hemisphere, June is expected to be the 13th consecutive month of record-breaking global temperatures. The primary cause, of course, is the enormous amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Despite the existential threat posed by rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, emissions continue to increase at a faster pace than previously anticipated.

On one front, however, progress in the fight against the climate crisis has exceeded expectations. Amid the global shift from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles and the accelerated adoption of solar and wind power, demand for renewable energy is rapidly rising in the US and the EU.

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Categories: Climate

Australia politics live: two Coalition senators cross the floor to back Greens’ failed bid to break up supermarket duopoly

June 25, 2024 - 23:20

Ross Cadell and Matt Canavan both vote for Greens legislation giving the ACCC divestiture powers over the major supermarkets. Follow the day’s news live

The Queensland government plans to establish a new greater glider forest park as part of a $200m plan to reform the state’s timber industry.

The premier, Steven Miles, will today announce he will ban logging in between 50,000 and 60,000 hectares of high value ecosystem within the Eastern Hardwoods region in Wide Bay, north of Brisbane.

In addition, a new park to protect the greater glider will be established in the south-east Queensland bioregion.

The state government will also appoint an advisory group to develop a 30-year plan for the sector. It will include representatives from the timber industry, forestry experts, the conservation sector, First Nations peoples, the Australian Workers’ Union, construction sector and outdoor recreational groups.

Queensland’s timber industry is the backbone of the housing and building sectors.

That’s why I’m doing what matters to support timber workers and the industry to continue building our state, while also increasing our protected area estate.

The terms of reference released today map out our priorities as a government – that is, timber supply security, environmental protections, jobs and diverse employment opportunities.

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Categories: Climate

‘Most of it was dead’: scientists discovers one of Great Barrier Reef’s worst coral bleaching events

June 25, 2024 - 11:00

Analysis of high-resolution drone imagery concludes 97% of corals died at a Lizard Island reef between March and June this year

At least 97% of corals on a reef in the Great Barrier Reef’s north died during one of the worst coral bleaching events the world’s biggest reef system has ever seen, according to new analysis.

Scientists at several institutions used high-resolution drone imagery to track the bleaching and death of corals on a reef at Lizard Island.

Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup

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Categories: Climate

US pledges to be a climate finance leader but defends gas expansion

June 25, 2024 - 10:14

John Podesta, Biden’s top climate official, calls for other big economies to step in to help poorer states

The US will “continue to be a leader” in climate finance, the White House’s top climate official has promised, though without specifying how much it would provide to poor countries.

John Podesta, senior adviser to Joe Biden on international climate policy, also defended the large-scale US expansion of gas production, saying the world was fortunate America was strengthening its supply, given the demand for non-Russian sources after the invasion of Ukraine.

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Categories: Climate

Newly identified tipping point for ice sheets could mean greater sea level rise

June 25, 2024 - 05:00

Small increase in temperature of intruding water could lead to very big increase in loss of ice, scientists say

A newly identified tipping point for the loss of ice sheets in Antarctica and elsewhere could mean future sea level rise is significantly higher than current projections.

A new study has examined how warming seawater intrudes between coastal ice sheets and the ground they rest on. The warm water melts cavities in the ice, allowing more water to flow in, expanding the cavities further in a feedback loop. This water then lubricates the collapse of ice into the ocean, pushing up sea levels.

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Categories: Climate

Rising sea levels will disrupt millions of Americans’ lives by 2050, study finds

June 25, 2024 - 02:00

Floods could leave coastal communities in states like Florida and California unlivable in two decades

Sea level rise driven by global heating will disrupt the daily life of millions of Americans, as hundreds of homes, schools and government buildings face frequent and repeated flooding by 2050, a new study has found.

Almost 1,100 critical infrastructure assets that sustain coastal communities will be at risk of monthly flooding by 2050, according to the new research by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). The vast majority of the assets – 934 of them – face the risk of flood disruption every other week, which could make some coastal neighborhoods unlivable within two to three decades.

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Categories: Climate

EU-regulated ‘sustainable’ funds invest £14bn in biggest polluters

June 25, 2024 - 02:00

Investigation finds funds touting ethical credentials include fast fashion labels and fossil fuel companies

Fast fashion labels, fossil fuel companies and SUV-makers are present in EU-regulated “sustainable” funds that tout their ethical credentials in their names, the Guardian and media partners can reveal, with $18bn (£14bn) of their investments going to the 200 biggest polluters.

Investors hold more than $87bn (£68bn) in funds that disclose under environmental and social sections of EU sustainable finance rules while including some of the biggest emitters of planet-heating gas, an analysis of data from the last quarter of 2023 shows. About one-fifth of the $87bn investments come from funds that also market themselves using environmentally-friendly terms.

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Categories: Climate