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UK Guardian - Environmental News

Environment news, comment and discussion on key green, environmental and climate change issues from the Guardian

The Guardian

  • Climate change is not just about science – it’s about the future we want to create
    Climate scientist Chris Rapley and his co-author of the acclaimed play 2071 explain why the 2015 Paris climate summit cannot be allowed to fail – for all our sakes

    • Graphic: consequences of climate change

    • Six steps world leaders must agree to take to protect Earth

    Next December, 196 nations will meet in Paris to agree a course of action to respond to climate change. They will do so under the auspices of the UN framework convention on climate change. This is an international treaty negotiated at the Earth summit in Rio in 1992 with the objective to “stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system”.

    The discussions in Paris in 2015 will be informed by the latest climate science. In our play 2071, which recently completed its inaugural run at the Royal Court theatre in London, directed by Katie Mitchell, we explore the science, its implications and the options before us. A key aim is to leave the audience better placed to participate in the public discourse, in which we all need to play a part.

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  • London must move faster on air pollution

    The UK needs to speed up improving air quality and the capital must take a stronger lead

    Thanks to European judges, the UK government may be taking a closer interest in Boris Johnson’s strategy for cleaning London’s air. A case won in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) by environmental group Client Earth has increased the legal pressure for Britain’s big cities to bring down the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) spewed in them by diesel engines and inhaled in them by human beings. The capital is a serious NO2 offender. It needs to do more if both the city and the nation are to be brought into line.

    At a recent air quality conference organised by London Councils and the City of London Corporation, the seriousness and costs of air pollution in all its forms were laid out with alarming clarity. Dr Gary Fuller of King’s College, who monitors the stuff, said NO2 exceeds EU limits by “factors of between two and three” in some London locations, including far from central hotspots, such as next to Brixton tube station and on Putney High Street.

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  • Andrew Robb: Obama misinformed in 'unnecessary' Great Barrier Reef speech

    ‘I don’t think others should be coming and lecturing us on climate change,’ trade minister says of US president’s comments

    Trade minister Andrew Robb has slammed US president Barack Obama’s call for Australia to do more to save the Great Barrier Reef, saying the speech was unnecessary and Obama was misinformed.

    Robb is the latest high-profile minister to criticise the climate change speech, which Obama made on the sidelines of last weekend’s G20 meeting in Brisbane.

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  • Why the Scottish wildcat is threatened by its ‘saviour’
    Scottish National Heritage would like us to believe it is winning the battle to save the species – it is doing nothing of the sort

    In a pathetic little enclosure in Edinburgh Zoo, risibly done up to resemble a scrap of rural China, the suffering of the giant pandas continues. The two are not even a third of the way through a multimillion pound, 10-year stretch wrought solely for the twisted pleasure of gawping visitors stupid enough to swallow the fiction that they are somehow assisting in the conservation of these poor beasts and their kind.

    Perversely, 150 miles north-west of Edinburgh, one of Scotland’s very few indigenous mammals and iconic of this country, struggles daily to retain a foothold on its very existence. The Scottish wildcat is down to the last few dozen of its kind, owing to a mixture of complacency, astonishing incompetence by the government agency tasked with its protection and, now, claims of a cover-up. Such are the defining physical and instinctive attributes of this gorgeous and ferocious predator that it must have been made for Scotland just as surely as Scotland was made for it. We have failed this creature, though, and it seems that few of us care enough to save it: we’d much rather pay nearly a tenner a pop to gaze through a glass darkly at two pitiful Chinese pandas.

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