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News In Brief

Brazil: Increase in land killings as political crisis threatens Amazon

Joe Sandler Clarke & Sam Cowie / Greenpeace Energydesk

7th June 2017

The 14th 'Free Terra' Camp in Praça dos Ipês, Brasília, during April 24-28 2017. Over 4,000 representatives from 200 indigenous peoples from all regions of the country were present in a large demonstration of strength of the indigenous movement. Photo: Impunity reigns in the Amazon, write Joe Sandler Clarke & Sam Cowie, and the indigenous peoples of the forest are the big losers as they suffer repeated killings and land grabs. Big cuts to Funai, the agency meant to protect Brazil's indigenous tribes, have encouraged land barons to expand their land holdings into indigenous territories and murder any who resist. more...

Exxon shareholders back resolution requiring the oil major to disclose the impact of climate policies on its business

Remo Bebié, Finance Dialogue

1st June, 2017

As we wait to learn whether (later today) Trump will pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, Remo Bebié of Finance Dialogue shares his briefing report of the what is being seen as growing demands that oil companies incorporate the international deal in their business models more...

Ecuador rips up 16 toxic trade treaties

Nick Dearden / Global Justice Now

31st May 2017

Ecuador's 'free trade' agreement with the US only undermined their ability to get justice for Texaco's toxic legacy of oil pollution, and did little to attract investment. Now it has been dumped along with 15 others. Photo of Lago Agrio by Caroline Bennet Ecuador is the latest country to tear up 'free trade' agreements that have so far cost the country $21 billion in damages awarded to foreign companies by 'corporate courts', and yielded next to nothing in return, writes Nick Dearden. So the outgoing President Correa did the only sensible thing: in one of his final executive acts this month, he scrapped 16 toxic trade and investment treaties. more...

Revealed: May's secret EU mission to weaken climate and energy targets

Zachary Davies Boren / Greenpeace Energydesk

30th May 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May signed her Article 50 setting out the UK's intention to withdraw from the European Union, 28th March 2017. Photo: Jay Allen / Number 10 via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). When Prime Minister Theresa May went to Brussels to hand in her 'Article 50' Brexit notice, she was also pursuing a separate, covert objective, writes Zachary Davies Boren. Leaked papers show that the UK was lobbying to gut new EU rules and targets on renewable energy and energy efficiency - even though they will only come into force after Brexit. more...

'Make Hunting History' march on Downing Street this Bank Holiday Monday

The Ecologist

26th May 2017

Fox at Nether Edge, Sheffield. Photo: Edwyn Anderton via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Prime Minister Theresa May has made several serious mistakes in her election campaign, but her biggest 'unforced error' of all could be her public support for foxhunting, opposed by 17 in 20 voters. Now a huge march to her Downing Street residence is planned for next Monday to 'Make Hunting History!' more...

Only Conservatives and UKIP back fracking in GE2017

Mat Hope / DeSmog.uk

18th May 2017

No, that's not Theresa May leading this 'police against fracking' demo, it's veteran anti-fracking campaigner Tina Rothery. Photo: Rev'd Peter Doodes via Fracking Hell (UK) on Facebook With the major party manifestos all published it's not just the Greens that oppose fracking, writes Mat Hope. It's also Labour and the Libdems. So who's left? The Tories of course, who are holding fast to the fracking faith, and even want to create a new special purpose regulator for the industry. Oh yes, and UKIP, which is also committed to abolishing the Climate Change Act. more...

Australia axes climate change adaptation research

Tayanah O'Donnel & Josephine Mummery, University of Canberra

16th May 2017

Who needs research into climate change adaptation? Flooding in Brisbane, Queensland, 11th January 2011. Photo: Angus Veitch via Flickr (CC BY-NC). Natural disasters like flood and drought have cost the Australian government more than A$12 billion since 2009, write Tayanah O'Donnel & Josephine Mummery, with even harsher weather events predicted for coming decades. Clearly, it's just the time for Australia to eliminate funding for research on adapting to climate change. more...

Oil industry's sunset years: low prices, weak demand, poor outlook

Paul Brown

15th May 2017

Sunset years ... power plant and Exxon Mobil oil refinery in Joliet, Illinois. Photo: Greg Wass via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). With oil prices remaining low, the world's oil industry is facing bleak years ahead, writes Paul Brown. The global push to decarbonise the economy, combined with surging renewable energy and the trend to more efficient and electric vehicles, is denting investor confidence and pointing to the shrinking away of a once mighty and profitable industry. more...

Corbyn's green vision wins: leaked manifesto promises huge environmental gains

Oliver Tickell

11th May 2017

Jeremy Corbyn at a political rally in North London, 15th August 2016. Photo: Steve Eason via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). A huge raft of environmental reforms is promised in the Labour Party's draft manifesto, writes Oliver Tickell. Among the highlights: a ban on fracking; a clean energy policy based on renewables and efficiency; no commitment to new nuclear power; to meet our Paris Agreement obligations on climate; to give companies a legal obligation to protect the environment; to retain all EU environment laws post-Brexit; and multilateral nuclear disarmament. more...

Brazil: Amazon's Indians, rainforest under attack

Jan Rocha / Climate News Network

10th May 2017

Mural in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in celebration of indigenous culture by the artist Eduardo Kobra. Photo: Stefano Ravalli via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). Attacks on Amazon Indians and on their land rights are threatening vital areas of rainforest, writes Jan Rocha. Meanwhile FUNAI, the agency responsible for safeguarding indigenous tribes is being forced to withdraw from key conflict zones due to underfunding, while Indians' attempts to assert their rights are met with state violence. more...

Monsanto's new 'glyphosate-free' Roundup is vinegar!

Claire Robinson / GMWatch

8th May 2017

Spot the difference: Monsanto's new 'Glyphosate-free' Roundup product, now on sale in Germany, and a bottle of vinegar. Photo: Dr Helmut Burtscher / GMWatch. Has Monsanto, dubbed the 'world's most evil corporation', turned a new leaf? It has taken the 'probably carcinogenic' glyphosate out of a new version of its market leading 'Roundup' herbicide, and replaced it with vinegar. The bad news is it's only available in Austria. That, and it may still contain toxic 'adjuvants' to increase its effectiveness. more...

Brazil: Government to abandon tribes to 'genocide' by loggers and ranchers

Oliver Tickell

26th April 2017

Seen here in 2008, this uncontacted indigenous community in Brazil's Amazon may be fierce in defence of its lands. But they don't stand a chance in the face of bulldozers, chainsaws, automatic weapons, and the new diseases brought by loggers, miners and f Brazil's extreme right wing government is preparing to open up the rainforest territories of dozens of uncontacted indigenous tribes to 'free for all' development by defunding the protection they currently receive, according to information received by Survival International, which warns: 'The reality is these cuts could sanction genocide.' more...

Fracking kills newborn babies - polluted water likely cause

Oliver Tickell

25th April 2017

Judy Eckert holding water contaminated with arsenic drawn from her private well 450ft from a fracking rig in Pennsylvania, which she believes contaminated her water supply. Photo: Public Herald via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). A new study in Pennsylvania, USA shows that fracking is strongly related to increased mortality in young babies. The effect is most pronounced in counties with many drinking water wells indicating that contamination by 'produced water' from fracking is a likely cause. Radioactive pollution with uranium, thorium and radium is a 'plausible explanation' for the excess deaths. more...

We can do it! 'Mission 2020' bid to get emissions falling in three years

Joe Ware

13th April 2017

Never mind the climate idiocy that has gripped the USA! Global emissions are already flatlining, writes Joe Ware, and a new initiative just launched in London aims to start pulling them down by 2020. Sure it's ambitious, but it's possible - because the future is unlike the past, and it's already happening, right now. Are you up for the challenge? more...

Permafrost thaw threatens flood of carbon, methane emissions

Alex Kirby

12th April 2017

There's carbon in the world's permafrost soils, like these at Summit Lake, Mount Evans/ Mount Spalding, Colorado - more than in the entire atmosphere!  Photo: Wally Gobetz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). Permafrost is much more sensitive to warmer temperatures than previously known, writes Alex Kirby. A new study shows that every 1C of warming could melt 4 million sq.km of frozen soil, releasing huge amounts of methane and carbon dioxide to add to the warming. It's time to start meeting those Paris targets! more...

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