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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...
We need renewable energy deployment now! Simpa Networks technicians in Sonsa Village, Mathura Uttar Pradesh. Photo: Asian Development Bank via Flickr (CC BY).

World needs energy transition now! Not breakthroughs in ten years time

Ambuj D Sagar, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

11th December 2015

What's not to like about the promise of billions of dollars for clean energy R&D? It's that we need to get the global energy transition moving right now, writes Ambuj D Sagar, not ten years hence. The billions should go into the immediate global deployment of the renewable technologies we have already got. more...
Delegates rise from a hard negotiating session at COP21 in Paris. Photo: UNclimatechange via Flickr (CC BY).

COP21 to investors: 'the end of fossil fuels is nigh!'

Kyla Mandel

10th December 2015

Coal prices are in terminal decline, writes Kyla Mandel, oil giant Statoil is calling for the strongest possible agreement, and the world's energy bosses are planning for a decarbonised future. COP21 is marking the definitive tipping point in the demise of fossil fuels. more...
Nothing wrong with nuclear fusion - but let's just keep it gravitationally contained, and 150 million kilometres away! A solar tower in Nevada, USA, harnessing the power of the sun. Photo: Rick Bolin via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Nuclear fusion is great - gravitationally contained, and 150 million km away

Linda Pentz Gunter

9th December 2015

ITER, the elusive and multi-million dollar fusion fantasy, was yet another nuclear chimera introduced at the Paris COP21 climate talks as a 'solution' to our climate crisis, writes Linda Pentz Gunter. But the idea is pure fantasy: long before it can be made to work, if it ever can, it will have been made obsolete by harnessing the power of our giant fusion reactor in the sky: the Sun. more...

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Tiger cub on the Sundarbans, Bangladesh. Photo: Arindam Bhattacharya via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Coal plant threatens world's largest mangrove forest - and Bangladesh's future

Mowdud Rahman & Greig Aitken

10th December 2015

As COP21 reaches its endgame, there are plans to build 2,440 coal-fired power plants around the world, write Mowdud Rahman & Greig Aitken. Their completion would send global temperatures, and sea levels, soaring. Yet Bangladesh, the world's most 'climate vulnerable' large country, has plans for a 1.3GW coal power plant on the fringes of its World Heritage coastal wetlands. more...
School children from Kembu primary school holding solar lights, Longisa, Bomet county, Kenya. Photo: Corrie Wingate Photography / SolarAid via Flickr (CC BY).

To protect human rights means 100% renewable energy for all by 2050

Greenpeace & Amnesty International

9th December 2015

In this joint statement to COP21 Amnesty International and Greenpeace International call on all governments to protect human rights by including making respect for human rights an explicit purpose of any agreement, while agreeing to phase out fossil fuels and deliver 100% renewables for all by 2050. more...
Minister Gregory Barker visits what was then the UK's largest rooftop solar array at Bentley Motors in Crewe, October 2013. Photo: DECC via Flickr (CC BY-ND).

EU renews 70% 'solar tax' on Chinese PV

Oliver Tickell

7th December 2015

The EU's decision to renew 'punitive' tariffs on imports of PV modules and cells from China will cost the EU's solar installers an extra £700 million, writes Oliver Tickell - just as the UK industry is reeling from 87% government cuts. more...
Exactly what kind of breakthrough does the club of billionaires have in mind? Photo: vintage ad for Union Carbide by James Vaughan via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA).

Is Gates's 'Breakthrough Energy Coalition' a nuclear spearhead?

Linda Pentz Gunter

6th December 2015

Last week a new billionaires club strode into COP21 in Paris promising big money for 'clean energy': the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. But most of its members are nuclear obsessives, writes Linda Pentz Gunter, from Bill Gates to Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson. And what the the world needs is not 'patient investment' into nuclear research, but impatient investment into renewables deployment. more...
View of the west side of the Brighton Earthship. Photo: Mischa Hewitt.

Saving Earthship Brighton - to inspire and educate for decades to come

Phil Moore

2nd December 2015

Earthship Brighton, an award-winning off-grid community centre set in an organic farm within the South Downs National Park, has hosted hundreds of events and inspired tens of thousands of visitors over the last decade, writes Phil Moore, demonstrating green technologies and energy-efficient living. But now it's in need of a refit. more...
The UK government is lavishing billions of pounds of subsidies on North Sea gas and oil - while cutting renewable energy to the bone. Photo: Thistle Alpha oil rig in the North Sea roughly halfway between the Shetland islands and Norway by snapper via Flic

COP21: Time to end fossil fuel subsidies!

Tony Juniper

30th November 2015

The theme at COP21 today has been the urgent need to cut fossil fuel subsidies that favour dirty energy over renewables, writes Tony Juniper. Sadly the UK is setting all the wrong examples - ramping up its spending on fossil fuels, while slashing its much smaller renewable energy budgets. more...
Responding to climate change is all about replacing or adapting our established energy infrastructure. Photo: Jes via Fliclr (CC BY-SA).

How fast can the world transition to a low-carbon energy system?

Paul N Edwards, University of Michigan

30th November 2015

As world leaders convene in Paris for the COP21 climate summit, the major task before them is to replace fossil energy generation with renewables, writes Paul N Edwards - and with the right incentives, it could happen fast. For developing countries it's different: they could skip over fossil fuels much as they have gone straight for mobile telephony. But will they seize the opportunity? more...
A Greenland glacier breaks up into pieces into Ilulissat Icefjord. With rising sea levels and warming temperatures, such events are becoming ever more frequent. Photo: Tim Norris via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

WMO: record warming rises into danger zone

Alex Kirby

28th November 2015

A climate negotiators gather in Paris for COP21, the WMO say that a combination of human and natural causes will make 2015 temperatures the hottest ever - half way to the 2C 'safety threshold'. But despite the ever falling price of solar and wind, many newly industrialising countries are insisting on coal-fired development. more...
Solar and wind power are everywhere in Germany, putting the country on course for a 100% renewable electricity system by 2020. Photo: Tim Fuller via Flickr (CC BY).

Goodbye fossil fuels, goodbye nuclear. We can 'Get it from the Sun' - all of it!

Keith Barnham

30th November 2015

New research shows that wind and solar can meet 80% of Germany's power demand, with biogas and hydropower providing the balance, writes Keith Barnham. And if Germany can do it, so can other countries, many of them even more easily - with no need for fossil fuels or nuclear power. COP21 should raise its ambitions and commit to a 100% renewable electricity future, everywhere. more...
HM Chancellor George Osborne gazing happily at his vision of the future, courtesy of Ealing Studios. Sadly, the device has a fault - and it's actually taking him back to the 1950s. Photo: PA / HM Treasury via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Osborne's systematic devastation of the UK's sustainable future

David Lowry & Oliver Tickell

26th November 2015

The 'Autumn Statement' delivered with such aplomb by the Chancellor is yet another attack on the UK's sustainable future, write David Lowry & Oliver Tickell - cutting energy efficiency funds just as tens of thousands are set to die of cold this winter, betting £250m on pointless nuclear research, and raiding the renewables budget to fund subsidies to nuclear power and fossil fuels. more...
The UK's pioneering community energy project, Westmill Solar Park and Wind Farm in Oxfordshire, England. Photo: Richard Peat via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND).

Osborne's community renewables tax 'unlawful'

The Ecologist

27th November 2015

The surprise removal of tax benefits for investors in community renewable energy schemes - effective from Monday - is unlawful and must be reversed, states a legal letter to the Treasury. But meanwhile, investments in the sector have hit record levels, with two days still to go. more...
The growing gap between the projections of fossil energy companies, and the 450ppm of CO2 path to a 2C world. Image: Carbon Tracker.

Investors face $2.2 trillion loss on 'risky' fossil fuel assets

Alex Kirby

25th November 2015

A new report warns that coal, oil and gas assets will be stranded if the world is to limit temperature rise to 2C. Losses are projected to reach $2.2 trillion over the next decade, with coal taking the biggest hit, while oil demand peaks in 2020. Yet fossil energy companies are ignoring the very innovations that will put them out of business. more...
A Russian Su-24 of the type shot down today at Welzow, Germany, January 2014. Photo: Rob Schleiffert via Fliclr (CC BY-NC).

Russia's shot down jet is sending us a powerful message: keep well out of Syria!

Oliver Tickell

24th November 2015

Turkey's shooting down of a Russian jet near its border with Syria has just revealed the real nature of the war, writes Oliver Tickell, and sharply illustrates the dangers of getting involved in a conflict that is driven more by a battle of two gas pipelines than a clash of ideologies. The message for the UK - keep well out! Or if we are serious about crushing IS, best join in with Assad and Putin. more...

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