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Beware what lies beneath! Green / EFA MEPs supporting hundreds of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), 4th February 2015. Photo: greensefa via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

TTIP: MPs demand transparency and 'right to regulate'

Kyla Mandel & Oliver Tickell

26th March 2015

British MPs have rebuked the government for its secretive and apathetic response to public concerns over the TTIP EU-US trade deal, demanding that nations' 'right to regulate' for health, environment and the wider public interest must stand at the heart of any future agreement. more...
Local impacts matter too! Fracking fluid and other drilling wastes are dumped into an unlined pit located right up against the Petroleum Highway in Kern County, California. Photo: Faces of Fracking via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Policy makers warned on UK shale gas - assume there won't be any

The Ecologist

25th March 2015

High ranking academics have issued a stark warning to policy makers on the future of Britain's shale gas - your best bet is that we have none that can be recovered consistent with policy objectives. more...
An annual 'natural resource budget' complete with green box? Why ever not! Photo: HM Treasury via Flickr as partially colour-adjusted by TE (CC BY-NC-ND).

We must 'green' the government machine - and here's how

Duncan Brack

27th March 2015

A culture of environmental denialism is deeply embedded in the institutions of government, writes Duncan Brack. So how to put that right? How about a powerful new Office for Environmental Responsibility? And an annual 'natural resource budget' complete with bright green box? more...
Education not Trident! Burghfield Blockade May 19th, 2014. Photo: AWEAction.

Love, hope and beauty against nuclear weapons

Angie Zelter

24th March 2015

The UK's Trident nuclear missile system has the power of 1,500 Hiroshima bombs, writes Angie Zelter - and to use it would be a monstrous and probably suicidal crime against humanity. Should we spend £130 billion renewing it? Or on schools, hospitals, libraries, social care and cycleways? The inspiring ActionAWE campaign is waking people up to the choice we face. more...
The work is hard, but the seed is free - for now! Men and women harvest the Ethiopian staple grain teff in a roadside field between Axum and Adwa in Northern Ethiopia. Photo: Alan via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Carving up Africa - aid donors and agribusiness plot the great seed privatization

Ian Fitzpatrick & Oliver Tickell

26th March 2015

An elite group of aid donors and agribusiness corporations met in London this week to plan the takeover of Africa's seeds, writes Ian Fitzpatrick, replacing traditional seed breeding and saving by small farmers with a corporate model of privatized, 'improved', patented, genetically uniform and hybrid seeds in a profit-driven market. more...
Humpback whales in the Pacific Ocean near Pitcairn Island. Photo: Robert Irving / Darwin Initiative via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Clear blue water! Pitcairn Islands reserve is Britain's biggest conservation initiative ever

Nick Hurd and Zac Goldsmith

20th March 2015

The the creation of almost a million sq.km of the South Pacific as a fully protected marine area builds on a long Conservative tradition of protecting the natural environment, write Nick Hurd & Zac Goldsmith - and as factory trawlers close in on Pitcairn's pristine waters, the initiative could not have been more timely. more...
Pitcairn, one of four islands in the Pitcairn Islands British Overseas Territory, is to be become the centre of a vast marine protected areas protecting 830,000 sq.km of ocean. Photo: doublecnz via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

World's greatest marine reserve around Pitcairn Islands

The Ecologist

19th March 2014

The UK is to create a fully protected marine in the South Pacific more than three times bigger than the UK itself, covering some 830,000 square kilometres. The move may herald further huge designations in the UK's 'overseas territories' which encompass over 6 million square kilometres of ocean. more...
Ban Fracking! Anti-fracking demo in London, 26 January 2015, at which a 360,000-signature petition was handed in to Parliament. Photo: The Weekly Bull via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Engineering consent for fracking: Chris Smith and the 'astroturf' consultancy

Paul Mobbs

18th March 2015

Edelman, the global PR group, has a history of aggressive 'consent engineering' for the fossil fuel industry in North America, writes Paul Mobbs. So what are they doing running 'impartial' UK bodies including a Parliamentary group on unconventional oil and gas, and the 'independent' Task Force on Shale Gas? Are they really US-style 'astroturf' bodies designed to fool us all? more...
A pack of Bayer's 'Calypso' pesticide that contains the bee-toxic neonicotinoid Thiacloprid, complete with the 'not harmful to bees' logo - as sold in Germany.

Bees victory in pesticide battle - Bayer libel action dismissed

Oliver Tickell

12th March 2015

Chemical giant Bayer has failed in its attempt to sue Friends of the Earth Germany over its claims that its pesticide Thiacloprid harms bees. Now pressure is growing on the EU to add the neonicotinoid to the three already banned. more...
A swamp forest in Louisiana, of the same kind that's already being clear-felled and chipped to supply fuel to Drax power station in Yorkshire on a fatuous 'low carbon' promise. Photo: J E Theriot via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

UK plans first new coal power station since 1974 - and it burns forests too!

Almuth Ernsting

17th March 2015

A new coal and biomass-fired power station could soon be built at Drax in Yorkshire, already the UK's biggest coal burner, writes Almuth Ernsting. It comes with a weak promise of possible 'carbon capture and storage' - an expensive, inefficient technology shunned elsewhere. As the Government's nuclear dream fades, could this be its equally flawed replacement? more...
Victory! Global Divestment Day City Hall action by Divest London, 14th February 2015. Photo: 350 .org via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

London Assembly votes for £5 bn fossil fuel divestment - listen up, Boris!

Divest London

12th March 2015

Members of the London Assembly yesterday voted for the London Pension Fund Authority, worth £4.8 billion, to ditch all its fossil fuel investments over a 5-year period. The vote is non-binding, but the huge 15-3 margin puts strong pressure on London Mayor Boris Johnson to follow through. more...
Sunset over Hinkley Point. Photo: Joe Dunckley via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The end is nigh: last rites for Hinkley C

Jonathon Porritt

11th March 2015

The Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant never made sense, writes Jonathon Porritt, but as legal challenges gather, finance fails to materialize, the cost of renewable energy keeps on falling, and the 'dead duck' EPR design is prepared for burial, even nuclear fanatics are turning against the doomed project. more...

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In happier times, a Kwegu family on a maize field next to the Omo river. Photo: via Survival International.

Ethiopia: Kwegu tribe starves, victims of dam and land grabs

Oliver Tickell

13th March 2015

The Kwegu people of Ethiopia's Lower Omo Valley are facing starvation because of the loss of their land to a huge sugar plantation, the destruction of their forest and the damming of the Omo river - supported by a UK, EU and World Bank funded 'aid' program. more...
Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader, addressing her party's spring conference. Photo: Daniel Tierney /  Green Party of England & Wales.

Join the politics of the future!

Natalie Bennett

9th March 2015

The #GreenSurge - which has seen the Green Party's membership quadruple in a year - has happened for good reasons, says Natalie Bennett: a deep disgust and frustration at 'mainstream' politics and its subservience to vested interests; and the growing yearning for a better, greener, fairer future. more...
The Tetcott Hunt is now required to stay well clear of foxes and other wildlife. A future Labour government will keep it that way. Photo: Rob Franksdad via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Wildlife protection depends on enforcement

Angus Nurse

10th March 2015

The Labour Party has launched a new manifesto for wildlife protection, writes Angus Nurse - and a good thing too! But turning the tide for nature will take more than stricter laws and penalties. Ultimately it's about enforcement. And that means prioritising wildlife crime, committing expert officers, and providing resources. more...
Doggerland - the perfect place for the world's biggest offshore wind farm? Photo: NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

Why a submerged island is the perfect spot for the world's biggest wind farm

Xavier Lemaire

27th March 2015

Way out in the turbulent North Sea, the Dogger Bank may seem like an unlikely place to site a large part of Britain's energy infrastructure. But given the stable sea floor, consistent winds, and distance from sensitive neighbours, it could be the perfect place. Even the fish could come to like it! more...
A female Blackcap caught in a mistnet on the UK's Cyprus military base. Photo: Graham Madge / RSPB.

UK allows songbird slaughter on Cyprus military base

The Ecologist

9th March 2015

The illegal killing of songbirds on the UK's military base on Cyprus has reached record levels, a study by RSPB has shown, with an estimated 900,000 birds trapped, killed and eaten in autumn 2014. more...
Building Hinkley C will damage renewable energy projects like this: Greenpeace Energy's Buchhain wind park. Photo: © Marc-Oliver Schulz / Greenpeace Energy eG.

Greenpeace Energy to launch legal challenge to UK nuclear subsidies

Oliver Tickell

5th March 2015

The UK's troubled Hinkley C nuclear power station faces a legal challenge from Germany's biggest energy co-op, which claims that the subsidy package will distort energy markets across Europe and disadvantage renewable generators and vendors. more...
The Westmill renewable energy cooperative in Oxfordshire - a new model for the UK's energy future? Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

With corporate energy, we're stuck in the dark ages - let's switch to public ownership

Calum McGregor

23rd March 2015

Britain's corporate energy oligarchy has failed us, writes Calum McGregor. It's given us widespread fuel poverty, unfair tariffs, constant price hikes, billions siphoned off to shareholders, and chronic under-investment in renewables. Now is the time for a new model: public and co-operative ownership of energy infrastructure under participative democratic control. more...
M&S's brand new 6MW solar array at its Castle Donington distribution centre is the largest roof-mounted system in the UK.

After UK's record solar year, government tries to kill the sector

Oliver Tickell

3rd March 2015

The UK will soon complete a record year for solar installations, almost doubling the nation's solar capacity. But drastic and overtly discriminatory changes to support for renewables may see solar installations collapse to 1% of current levels. more...
Oil pipelines in Kuwait during Operation Desert Storm. Photo: Tim Moore via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Where there's war, oil, gas and pipelines are never far away

John Foster

4th March 2015

Look beneath the surface of the wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, and what do you find? Oil, gas, and contested pipeline transit routes. Never mind high-sounding talk of human rights, national sovereignty, international law and UN Resolutions, writes John Foster - fossil energy is the world's main driver of armed conflict. more...
The Welsh government's plans for the M4 'bypass' around Newport across the Gwent Levels SSSIs represent a £1 billion orgy of destruction. Photo: FoE Cymru.

Legal challenge to SSSI wetland-bashing M4 bypass begins

The Ecologist

10th March 2015

A Friends of the Earth Cymru legal challenge to the Welsh Government's 'irrational' plan to drive a new branch of the M4 motorway across the highly protected Gwent Levels wetlands begins in the High Court today. more...
Would the US tolerate a hostile military presence in Tijuana? So why do we expect Russia to welcome the advance of NATO to its borders in Ukraine? Photo: Jesus overlooks Tijuana from a hillside above the city; by Nathan Gibbs via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

Ukraine and the Cuban missile crisis - we must choose peace over annihilation

William R. Polk

28th February 2015

As tensions grow between US-dominated NATO and Russia, former cold warrior William R. Polk hears the echoes of the Cuban missile crisis - only this time, it's Russia that feels forced to fight for its vital strategic interests. We must hear the lessons of 1962 Cuba - and negotiate a just and durable peace, before we sleep-walk into a world-destroying war. more...
As for whether we want GMO crops ... who cares? A field of wheat (non-GM) neat Templecombe, England. Photo: Helen ST via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

MPs' GMO report is a scandalous cave-in to corporate demands

Rupert Read

26th February 2015

A report published by MPs today displays a shocking ignorance of scientific logic and the nature of risk, writes Rupert Read. Confusing inconclusive evidence of harm from GMOs, with conclusive evidence of safety, they reach a false and dangerous conclusion - that the EU should give free rein to pro-GMO governments. more...
MPs may make the law - but that does not make them above the law. Photo: UK Parliament via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking: MPs and Lords have derelicted their legal duties - now they must pay the price!

Jojo Mehta

26th February 2015

The rushed passage of the Infrastructure Bill with all its pro-fracking provisions and toothless 'safeguards' is an abuse of democracy. And as it's manifestly against the national and public interest, it's also in breach of both MPs' and Lords' legally binding Codes of Conduct. Now Jojo Mehta intends to hold them to account - in Court. more...

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