Heat pumps without home insulation could raise bills and overload the grid – here’s what the government can do

Heat pumps without home insulation could raise bills and overload the grid – here’s what the government can do Infrared imaging reveals where most heat is lost from a house. Ivan Smuk/Shutterstock The UK aims to replace 1.7 million gas boilers a year by the mid-2030s, as part of its plan to reach net zero. This will require rapidly scaling up the installation of heat pumps which can run on renewable electricity. Just 67,000 were installed in 2021. But without consistent action to improve home insulation, newly installed heat pumps could struggle to heat a building adequately, burden homes with…

Waste pickers risk their lives to stop plastic pollution – now they could help shape global recycling policies

Waste pickers risk their lives to stop plastic pollution – now they could help shape global recycling policies International waste pickers and allies visiting a sorting plant in Montevideo, Uruguay. Patrick O'Hare, Author provided Globally, waste pickers are responsible for collecting and recovering – from homes, businesses and landfills – up to 60% of all plastics which are then recycled. These workers do more than any other people to prevent plastic contaminating the environment, yet their work is rarely valued and they struggle to earn a decent living. Despite recycling the waste of others, waste pickers often lack waste collection…

Big polluters given almost €100bn in free carbon permits by EU

Free allowances ‘in direct contradiction with the polluter pays principle’, WWF report saysBig polluting industries have been given almost €100bn (£86bn) in free carbon permits by the EU in the last nine years, according to an analysis by the WWF. The free allowances are “in direct contradiction with the polluter pays principle”, the group said.Free pollution permits worth €98.5bn were given to energy-intensive sectors including steel, cement, chemicals and aviation from 2013-21. This is more than the €88.5bn that the EU’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) charged polluters, mostly coal and gas power stations, for their CO2 emissions. Continue reading… Source…

U-turn on onshore windfarms likely after Tory rebellion

Culture secretary says potential ‘tweaks’ to levelling up bill will be considered because of MPs’ concernsUK politics live – latest news updatesMinisters will make an announcement on a ban on onshore windfarms in the coming days, including potential “tweaks” to the levelling up bill, in the face of a growing rebellion by Conservative MPs.The culture secretary, Michelle Donelan, gave the strongest hint yet that the government is preparing to lift the de facto onshore wind ban after the number of public rebels grew to 34 on Monday night. Continue reading… Source – Full Article U-turn on onshore windfarms likely after…

Here are some crucial issues we’re covering in 2023 – with your help | Betsy Reed

The new Guardian US editor sets out some of our key priorities for 2023, including abortion rights, the climate crisis and investigations into the powers shaping American lifeThis Giving Tuesday, please consider a year-end gift to the Guardian to support our journalism in the coming yearOn election night this November, the Guardian’s reporters fanned out across the country, keeping close watch on key races targeted by the election-denial movement instigated by Donald Trump. Candidates who embraced Trump’s “big lie” about the 2020 election sought control over pivotal offices that would allow them to tip the balance toward Trump when he……

Our US$10 trillion global energy bill dwarfs what’s needed to limit global heating

Our US$10 trillion global energy bill dwarfs what’s needed to limit global heating William Potter / shutterstock The world’s energy bill for 2022 is set to be the highest ever, topping US$10 trillion (£8.3 trillion). This is the total price paid for all forms of energy across all sectors by all people. Something like 80% of this bill is for coal, oil or gas, or for electricity generated from these fossil fuels. Our addiction to energy is equivalent to more than 10% of global GDP. Infuriatingly, a lot of the energy we buy goes up in smoke or wasted heat…

Mussels are disappearing from the Thames and growing smaller – and it’s partly because the river is cleaner

Mussels are disappearing from the Thames and growing smaller – and it’s partly because the river is cleaner The population of River Thames freshwater mussels has declined by almost 95% since 1964. BadPixma/Shutterstock Freshwater ecosystems, including rivers, are home to 10% of all known animal species. Yet at the same time, they are losing their species diversity faster than any other ecosystem type globally. Because species of animals respond to different threats in various ways, it makes it difficult to assess the health of these river systems. But the population status of species such as freshwater mussels can reveal wider…

Tories will not reach ‘embarrassingly poor’ nature targets by 2030, Labour says

Opposition to unveil plan to reverse biodiversity loss rather than simply halting it, which is government’s current targetThe government will not be able to achieve its nature targets by 2030, even though they are “embarrassingly poor”, the shadow environment minister and leading wildlife groups have said.Next week at the Cop15 biodiversity conference in Montreal, Alex Sobel will be discussing Labour’s “science-led, joined-up plan to tackle the climate and ecological emergency”. The plan will aim to reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, rather than simply halting it, which is the government’s current target. Continue reading… Source – Full Article Tories will not…

Great Barrier Reef should be placed on world heritage ‘in danger’ list, UN-backed report says

Experts from Unesco and IUCN find climate change threatens reef’s values and work to improve water quality is too slowGet our morning and afternoon news emails, free app or daily news podcastA UN-backed mission to the Great Barrier Reef has concluded the world’s biggest coral reef system should be placed on a list of world heritage sites in danger.The long-awaited report on the 10-day mission that took place in March said climate change was presenting a “serious challenge” to the values that saw the reef inscribed as a global wonder in 1981.Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon……

Rowan Williams urges wealthy to stump up cash for climate fund

Former archbishop of Canterbury says richest nations and individuals must take lead on ‘loss and damage’Rich countries and wealthy individuals must urgently consider how to come up with the cash needed to help poor countries afflicted by climate disaster, the former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has said.At the Cop27 UN climate summit in Egypt, which finished a week ago after a marathon final session ran more than 50 hours over deadline, the first steps were taken to establish a “loss and damage” fund for vulnerable countries stricken by extreme weather. Continue reading… Source – Full Article Rowan Williams urges…

Go less frequently, stay longer: how I learned to embrace slow travel

The antithesis of whistle-stop world tours, single-destination holidays offer sustenance and sustainabilityGet our weekend culture and lifestyle emailI came late to a love of travel. A combination of early marriage, child rearing and a focus on my own front yard were to blame for the delay. But I recovered from all three and started to focus on the horizon instead. Being well into my 50s, I knew my chances of ticking off all the usual tourist destinations were slim. And, for me, there was only one other horizon I absolutely had to see for myself. It belonged to a country……

Who will foot the bill for global climate disasters?

Developing countries had a win at this year’s international climate summit Cop27, with developed countries agreeing to chip in to a fund to cover loss and damage from climate disasters. Jane Lee speaks to environment and climate editor Adam Morton and Vanuatu’s climate change minister Ralph Regenvanu about what this means for countries vulnerable to climate disasters and the path ahead for international climate talks Read more: Continue reading… Source – Full Article Who will foot the bill for global climate disasters?

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