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Alice Hooker-Stroud, leader of the Wales Green Party, on a hill overlooking her home town of Machynlleth in West Mid-Wales. Photo: Alex Randall via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Communities at the heart of a Green Wales

Alice Hooker-Stroud

21st January 2016

This May the Greens are hoping to win their first seats in the Welsh Assembly, and become a strong force for social and ecological progress, writes Alice Hooker-Stroud, newly elected leader of the Wales Green Party. At the heart of the vision: sustainable, prosperous, empowered communities. more...
The aftermath of a tornado in Bridge Creek, Oklahoma, 7th May 2015. Photo: Dave Malkoff via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Mother Nature's 'invisible hand' strikes back against the carbon economy

JP Sottile / Truthout

20th January 2016

According to classical economics Adam Smith's 'invisible' hand' of free markets produces the greatest good for us all, writes JP Sottile. But what happens when rip-roaring 'external costs' are left out of the equations? Wars, repression, pollution, resource destruction and climate change. And because that invisible hand is connected to Mother Nature, it's coming back to strike us. more...
Chart 1: Electrical power by source, June 2015. Image: Grant Wilson / energy-charts.org.

2015: Renewable power breaks British records

Grant Wilson, University of Sheffield

18th January 2016

Wind, solar and hydro together generated 14.6% of Britain's electrical energy in 2015, the highest ever, writes Grant Wilson. They also peaked at 22% of electricity over the week of Christmas - another British record. more...
A schematic of how hydrogenase catalyst can be used reversibly to produce hydrogen, and 'burn' it in a fuel cell. Image: Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biology, Humboldt University, Berlin.

'Green platinum' catalyst promises cheap fuel cells, emission-free fuels

Tim Radford

11th February 2016

Advanced new catalysts are poised to stimulate a clean energy revolution, writes Tim Radford. An organic replacement for the precious metal platinum would allow surplus electricity to be cheaply converted into hydrogen fuel, then burnt in low cost fuel cells to propel 'green' vehicles and generate power on demand. more...
A survivor of Typhoon Haiyan, Leyte, Philippines, 10th November 2013. Photo: Arlynn Aquino / EU ECHO via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Are fossil fuel giants violating human rights? The Philippines will decide

Ellen Baker / ClientEarth

13th January 2016

The Philippines is taking a huge leap forward in the climate wars, writes Ellen Baker, with the world's 'top 50' energy giants standing accused of violating international human rights law as a result of their fossil fuel production. This is the first such investigation ever to take place anywhere in the world - and it just opened up a whole new front of corporate vulnerability. more...
D12: on Saturday 12th December thousands of protestors marched from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower for climate action and climate justice. Photo: Takver via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

After Paris, the year of Climate Insurgency

Jeremy Brecher

13th January 2016

The Paris Agreement provides a clear mandate to limit global warming, writes Jeremy Brecher. And with governments doing nowhere near enough, it's up to ordinary citizens - through civil disobedience if needs be - to make sure the world breaks free from fossil fuels. Let's make 2016 the year of 'Climate Insurgency'! more...
The Trident missile bearing nuclear submarine HMS Vanguard 'vents off' as she leaves HMNB Clyde in Scotland. Photo: Defence Images via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

Trident, nuclear submarines and the UK's nuclear power imperative

Andy Stirling & Phil Johnstone

15th January 2016

The UK's nuclear power programme is driven by military demands, write Andy Stirling & Phil Johnstone - but not in the way you might think. The most essential need is not for plutonium or tritium, but for a nuclear industrial sector to design, build and maintain the reactors that power nuclear submarines. Without them, the Trident missile system would have no military credibility. more...
'I shall show you Life in a handful of jewels'. A cut gemstone of Blue Apatite. Photo: Captain Tenneal via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

What Life is

Christopher Busby

29th January 2016

The origin of life has long been the deepest of mysteries, writes Chris Busby. But in fact, the spontaneous arising of life from molecules in Darwin's 'warm little pond' is the inevitable result of their selective energisation by quantized infra-red radiation. Now, some four billion years after life first developed, precisely the same processes continue to drive the operation of all living systems at a cellular level. more...
Photovoltaic power station Kosh-Agachsky District, Russia. Photo: Darya Ashanina via Wikimedia (CC-BY-SA).

Asia's low-cost path to 100% renewable power in 15 years

Paul Brown

11th January 2016

Renewable energy could supply Russia and Central Asian countries with 100% of their electricity needs by 2030, writes Paul Brown - and cut costs significantly compared to nuclear power and CO2-abated fossil fuels. more...
EPR nuclear plant under construction at Olkiluoto in Finland in 2009 - the year it was due for completion. It may finally be ready in 2018 - or then, it may not. Photo: kallerna via Wkimedia (Public Domain).

EDF may sell €3bn stake in UK nuclear to fund Hinkley C

Terry Macalister / the Guardian & Oliver Tickell

8th January 2016

The cash-strapped French energy giant EDF may sell off profitable stakes in its in its eight existing UK nuclear reactors to raise money for the Hinkley Point C project. But with no example of the EPR design planned for Hinkley even near completion, it may all prove a risk too far. more...
Choices choices.. Photo by Sabotrax (CC-BY)

The great bathroom debate: paper towel or hand dryer?

Simon Lockrey

6th January 2016

Which of hand dryers or paper towels have the greatest impact on the environment? asks Simon Lockrey. Are your paper towels recycled or tree-pulped, your dryers power-hungry and long-blowing or short-blast and power-saving. Only full Life-Cycle Analysis can reveal the true punches these seemingly harmless items can deliver to our environment. more...
Giant poster announcing the construction of the Yangjiang nuclear complex in China. Photo: panoramio via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA).

Nuclear power too slow for China's low carbon switch

Zhang Chun / China Dialogue

5th January 2015

Nuclear advocates take hope from China's plan for 58GW of new nuclear capacity, writes Zhang Chun. But nuclear's share of China's power supply is in long term decline, and the target is likely to be missed as faster, cheaper, nimbler renewables surge ahead. more...

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Coal mine in Datong, Shanxi province, one of China's main  coal mining provinces. Photo: Michael Chu via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

China clamps down on coal mining

Kieran Cooke

4th January 2015

Beijing has called a halt to new coal mines and will close hundreds of existing operations, writes Kieran Cooke. The move reflects the slowing economy, falling energy demand, concerns over air pollution and climate change, and the massive rollout of renewables. more...
From small beginnings ... local barefoot solar engineer cleaning PV panels in village outside Ajmer, Rajasthan, India, in December 2008. Photo: Knut-Erik Helle via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND)

India: solar head to head with coal, says KPMG, and getting cheaper all the time

Chris Goodall

3rd January 2015

A KPMG study shows that the cost of solar power in India, revealed by public auctions, is barely half a cent above that of cheap local coal , writes Chris Goodall, with generators bids falling well below 5p (UK) / 7¢ (US) per kWh. The idea put about at COP21 that India and other poor but sunny countries need coal to develop their economies is fast running out of steam. more...
The Uentrop nuclear plant in Germany cost €2 billion to build, but was closed in 1989 after just 423 days of operation following irreparable technical failures. Photo: IAEA Imagebank via Flickr (CC BY-SA).

After 60 years of nuclear power, the industry survives only on stupendous subsidies

Pete Dolack

4th January 2016

Almost 60 years since the world's first commercial nuclear power station began to deliver power to the UK's grid, the industry remains as far from being able to cover its costs as ever, writes Pete Dolack. But while unfunded liabilities increase year by year, governments are still willing to commit their taxpayers' billions to new nuclear plants with no hope of ever being viable. more...
Reactor at Qinshan: many experts doubt nuclear power can make a significant contribution to China's future electricity needs. Photo: Atomic Energy of Canada Limited via Wikimedia Commons.

COP21 leaves nuclear dream adrift

Paul Brown

1st January 2015

Charlatans, or planetary saviours? Post-Paris views on the nuclear industry suggest few experts believe it will bring closer a world rid of fossil fuels, writes Paul Brown. Despite the best efforts of nuclear lobbyists, no revival is due any time soon. more...
Salar de Uyuni: lithium-rich salt piled up by miners for sale. Photo: Hank via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Bolivia's coming 'lithium boom': economic miracle or environmental nightmare?

Rafael Sagárnaga López

1st January 2016

Lithium is a key global resource for the global energy transition thanks to its role in the lightweight, efficient batteries that will power cars and balance power grids, writes Rafael Sagárnaga López. But the booming demand threatens to contaminate one of the world's great wonders, the Salar de Uyuni, 12,000 feet high in the Bolivia's Andes, which holds 70% of the world's lithium reserves. more...
No Fracking protest in London outside Parliament, 26th January 2015. Photo: The Weekly Bull via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Fracking plans are driving an even more damaging ideological agenda

Paul Mobbs

21st December 2015

The UK's insistence on opening up the UK to fracking is symptomatic of a deeper malaise, writes Paul Mobbs. Of course we need a change of government, but more than that, we need a deeper, enduring change of the nation's governance if we are ever to effect the transition to sustainable policies on energy and environment. It's time for the UK to become truly democratic. more...
It's not just the climate: the Belyando River, which drains much of the Galilee Basin, will never be the same again if the water-guzzling coal mining goes ahead. Photo: Lock the Gate Alliance via Flickr (CC BY).

After COP21, Australia's moment in history: will it ban the Carmichael coal mine?

Justine Bell, The University of Queensland

18th December 2015

The Paris Agreement is facing its first big test in Queensland, Australia, writes Justine Bell. After a long process beset by legal challenges, the massive Carmichael coal mine is inching closer to approval - which would open up the entire 250,000 sq.km Galilee basin and its 28 billion tonnes of coal to exploitation. Both state and federal governments have the power to ban it. But will they? more...
Deep cuts to large scale solar in the UK have put an end to developments like this one: a 32MW solar farm on Long Island, NY, USA. Photo: Brookhaven National Laboratory via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Deep cuts and VAT bring ruin to UK solar industry

Oliver Tickell

17th December 2015

Less than a week ago Amber Rudd was basking in the glory of the Paris Agreement. Today, she's betraying all her high-flown rhetoric as she smashes up what's left of the UK solar industry with a deep cuts in incentives to solar generators and the imposition of 20% VAT. more...
Solar panels on the GLA building at Tower Hill, London. Photo: James Cridland via Flickr (CC BY).

Today's solar cut: government turns its back on the future

Doug Parr / Greenpeace Energydesk

17th December 2015

The government's decision to cut support for domestic solar by 64% reflects antiquated thinking, writes Doug Parr. Just as the rest of Europe is shifting to ever-cheaper renewable, low carbon, decentralised, participatory, employment generating energy systems, the UK is stuck in a the dirty past of nuclear and fossil fuels. more...
'Stop nuclear energy! - demonstration on the Champs de Mars, Paris, in front of the Eiffel Tower. Photo: GLOBAL 2000 via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

Nuclear lobbyists' epic COP21 fail. Our next job? Keep their hands off climate funds

Jim Green

16th December 2015

The nuclear industry has had a disappointing COP21, writes Jim Green. Lobbyists were there en masse desperately trying to get pro-nuclear wording into the Paris Agreement, and they failed. The word does not occur even once in the entire document. But we must prepare for the next battle: keeping nuclear power out of the $100 billion a year Green Climate Fund. more...
Greenpeace executive director Kumi Naidoo at COP21, 9th December 2015. Photo: UNclimatechange via Flickr (CC BY).

Kumi Naidoo: let the youth be our climate leaders!

Pavlos Georgiadis

18th December 2015

With COP21 out of the way there is absolutely no time to lose, Greenpeace director Kumi Naidoo told Pavlos Georgiadis: 'Because by tomorrow, there might be no tomorrow.' We need substantial, structural, systemic change - and this change can only be led by the youth, who are not infected by the political pollution of the past. And whose future is it anyway? more...
The La Rance tidal power station near Saint-Malo in France has been producing an average 62MW of power since 1966. Photo: Stephanemartin via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA).

Finally, Amber Rudd must drop her nuclear obsession

Paul Flynn MP

16th December 2015

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd's plan to deliver the UK's emissions reductions promised in COP21 rely on nuclear power as the main 'low carbon' energy source, writes Paul Flynn. But the high cost of nuclear, and the ruinous track record of current technologies, show that this path leads only to massive failure at public expense. more...
The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, turned into a giant symbol of the Sun after hundreds of bicycles dribbled yellow paint on the Etoile roundabout and surrounding avenues. Photo: Greenpeace.

COP21: the end of fossil fuels is near. We must speed its coming

Kumi Naidoo

13th December 2015

The Paris climate agreement contains plenty enough to get fossil fuel companies and exporters worried about their future, writes Kumi Naidoo. But it is lacking is in the mechanisms to deliver its aspirations. That's why the global climate movement has to escalate its fight against the carbon bullies, and for climate justice. more...

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