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News In Brief

Rising Up! protest blockades Heathrow airport

The Ecologist

21st February 2017

The blockaded tunnel to Heathrow airport this morning, 21st February 2017. Photo: Rising Up! A direct action protest by Rising Up! today blocked access to three Heathrow terminals to press their demand for no third runway at the UK's biggest airport. The activists included both climate campaigners and local people fearful of increased pollution, loss of homes and green space and entire villages destroyed. more...

New protection of Canada's ‘Sea of Glass' bans fishing near the reefs

Ecologist Reporter

20th February, 2017

The last living remains of an ancient European species - the 9,000-year-old fragile glass sponge reefs off the coast of Canada - will now be offered further protection more...

Shell, Eni hit with Nigerian oil deal corruption charges

Joe Sandler Clarke / Energydesk

13th February 2017

Shell's Kora Kora oil field, Nigeria. Photo: Tim Lambon / Greenpeace. Weeks after a major legal victory in London's High Court over oil-polluted communities in Nigeria, writes Joe Sandler Clarke, Shell has suffered a dramatic reversal of fortunes as Italian prosecutors charge the company, and Italy's Eni, on corruption charges over a $1.3 billion oil deal. more...

Monarch butterflies down over a quarter in one year

The Ecologist

10th February 2017

Monarch butterfly sipping nectar from milkweed. Photo: Sherri VandenAkker via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). It's been another disastrous year for North America's Monarch butterflies, with the insect's population down 27% in a single year. The sudden decline is blamed on severe winter storms in Mexico, and the impacts of GMO crops, herbicides and insecticides on US farms. more...

Vaquita going extinct as Mexico, China, dither

Aron White / EIA

6th February 2017

Vaquita caught in a gillnet. Photo: Cristian Faezi & Omar Vidal via IUCN. The world's smallest porpoise is fast heading to extinction, writes Aron White thanks to Mexico's failure to ban the use of gillnets in its range, and China's illegal imports of totoaba fish swim bladders, used in Chinese medicine. Without urgent and effective action the vaquita will soon disappear for good. more...

MEPs may veto 'dirty Britain' Brexit deal

Charlotte Burns, University of York

2nd February 2017

EU countries don't want British pollution blowing their way! London air pollution - view from Hackney 10th April 2015. Photo: DAVID HOLT via Flickr (CC BY). MEPs have signalled that any Brexit deal that allows Britain to scrap the environmental laws it has signed up to as an EU member faces veto, writes Charlotte Burns. They are not prepared to countenance a bad neighbour 'dirty Britain' just off the EU's shores, nor to see the EU's environmental progress undermined by unfair competition. more...

Heathrow: Government may ignore its own climate advisors

Damian Kahya / Greenpeace Enerrgydesk

30th January 2017

Coming in to land at Heathrow Airport. Photo: Roy via Flickr (CC BY-NC). Newly published letters show that the UK Government may ignore the Committee on Climate Change, its official advisor on climate, and allow emissions from aviation to soar at an expanded Heathrow airport, writes Damian Kahya. Instead it would rely on buying widely condemned 'carbon offsets'. more...

Trump: Dakota, KXL pipelines go ahead; corporate tax cuts and deregulation

Patrick Martin / WSWS

26th January 2017

Showdown at Standing Rock: Donald Trump is pushing ahead with the widely opposed Dakota Access pipeline, stalled under Obama. Indigenous resisters are determined to protect their lands, waters and sacred sites. Photo: Dark Sevier via Flickr (CC BY-NC). Donald Trump defined the future of his presidency this week with a series of executive orders and speeches that promised corporations everything they ever wanted, writes Patrick Martin: the scrapping of environmental, energy and labour regulations, massive tax cuts, and approval of two fiercely resisted oil pipelines. more...

Lawsuit challenges Monsanto's 'back to the future' toxic herbicide

Center for Food Safety

25th January 2017

Mark VanGessel identifies Palmer Amaranth - now a superweed resistant to Roundup herbicides - in a field of soybeans. But how long before it also develops resistance to dicamba as well? Photo: University of Delaware Carvel REC via Flickr (CC BY). A coalition of farmer and public interest groups are suing the US Environmental Protection Agency for unlawfully approving the use of Monsanto's highly toxic herbicide dicamba on its dicamba-resistant GMO soybeans and cotton, without consulting wildlife and fisheries agencies. more...

Blood and fire: mining and militarization in the Ecuadorian Amazon

Jake Ling / Intercontinental Cry

24th January 2017

Shuar communities are under oppressive military occupation. Photo: via Intercontinental Cry. The opposition of Ecuador's Shuar People to large scale mining and hydroelectric development in their ancestral forests has triggered a full-scale military occupation of their lands in the Amazon cloud forest, writes Jake Ling, accompanied by a surge in state-sponsored murder and violence - for which Chinese and Canadian mining companies must share responsibility. more...

New map shows way to reducing roads' destruction of nature

Tim Radford

18th January 2017

The roadless areas map developed by Roadfree.org and partners. The map referred to in this article is behind Science's paywall! Scientists are calling for the urgent protection of ecologically valuable roadless areas, writes Tim Radford, as a new global map shows that roads lead to loss of biodiversity and damage to ecosystems by fragmenting habitat and providing access to exploiters. more...

World's biggest tropical carbon sink found in Congo rainforest

Tim Radford

16th January 2017

Riverside rainforest in the Congo basin. Photo: Paul Godard via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND). A 145,000 sq km area of peatland swamp forest has been discovered in the Congo Basin, writes Tim Radford, and it holds a record 30 Gt of carbon, equivalent to 20 years of US fossil fuel emissions. Now the race is on to protect it from damaging development that would emit that carbon over coming decades. more...

OECD takes up complaint that WWF has funded abuses of Cameroon's forest peoples

Chris Lang / Conservation Watch

12th January 2017

Evicted from their forests for a flawed model of conservation: Baka 'Pygmies' in the Cameroon forest. Photo: ..zuzu.. via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA). The OECD is pursuing a complaint that WWF has funded abuses against the indigenous forest-dwelling Baka or 'Pygmy' peoples of Cameroon, after determining that its human rights guidelines do apply to WWF owing to the 'commercial nature' of its conservation activities. more...

London breaches air pollution limit for all 2017

Oliver Tickell

6th January 2017

The Brixton Road in South London, already in breach of its NO2 pollution limits for 2017 on the 6th January. Photo: Nico Hogg via Flickr (CC BY-NC). Days into the 2017 pollution limits on the Brixton Road in Lambeth, South London, has already breached EU pollution limits for NO2 for the entire year. Meanwhile UK sales of diesel cars - one of the main causes of NO2 pollution - reached record levels in 2016, reflecting the government's failure to tackle the problem in spite of numerous court orders. more...

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson new US Secretary of State?

Steve Horn / DeSmogBlog

12th December 2016

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin meets with Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation Rex W. Tillerson. Photo: premier.gov.ru via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY). President-elect Trump's widely anticipated appointment of Exxon's CEO Rex Tillerson as new US Secretary of State is creating a government of, by, and for the oil and gas industry, writes Steve Horn. more...

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