Government returns to court over air quality plans

UK government once again forced to defend its plans to tackle air pollution in face of ClientEarth legal challenge

The UK government is back in court once again today to defend its plan to cut air pollution across England against a challenge from environmental law firm ClientEarth.

It is the third time the UK government has faced a legal challenge over the same issue, with previous cases resulting in rulings forcing the government to rewrite the plan to make it stronger and more ambitious.

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Source: Business Green

Theresa May proposes plastic-free supermarket aisles in green strategy

PM declares war on scourge of plastic waste as she unveils much-heralded 25-year environmental plan.

Theresa May has announced a war on plastic waste, with proposed policies including plastics-free aisles in supermarkets and a tax on takeaway containers.

The prime minister set out her ambition to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years in a speech on Thursday in which she promised the UK would lead internationally on environmental issues. But campaign groups said the aspirations would need to be backed up by legislation.

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Source: The Guardian

Non-carbon-emitting electricity generation in UK hits new highs

Government figures showing over half of electricity generation by renewables and nuclear in the third quarter of 2017 prove renewables are viable, says think tank

Statistics released by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) shortly before Christmas reveal that low-carbon generation accounted for 54.4 per cent of all electricity contributed to the National Grid in the third quarter of 2017, with renewables’ share accounting for 30 per cent of the total, a record for this period of the year. Renewables’ share was up almost 5 per cent year on year, owing to increased generation capacity, BEIS added.

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Source: Engineer

Iceland’s fightback against climate change turns Carbon Dioxide into rock

Seven miles outside the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik, a remarkable fight back against climate change is starting to take shape.

To tackle Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere, some scientists want to suck it from the air using special filtering boxes.

These machines can take CO2 from the air and turn it into rock underground.

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Source: ITV News

Political watershed’ as 19 countries pledge to phase out coal

New alliance launched at Bonn climate talks hopes to signal the end of the dirtiest fossil fuel that kills 800,000 people a year with air pollution

A new alliance of 19 nations committed to quickly phasing out coal has been launched at the UN climate summit in Bonn, Germany. It was greeted as a “political watershed”, signalling the end of the dirtiest fossil fuel that currently provides 40% of global electricity.

New pledges were made on Thursday by Mexico, New Zealand, Denmark and Angola for the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which is led by the UK and Canada.

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Source: The Guardian


Zero emissions winery possible in 15 years, says Torres

Miguel Torres Snr, president of Bodegas Torres and with operations across Spain, US and Chile, was speaking at a Torres & Earth presentation in Penedes, Catalonia, this month to showcase new and emerging technologies that could help wineries mitigate the effects of climate change.

‘In 10-15 years, I think it is perfectly possible we will see wineries which are carbon neutral with zero carbon emissions,’ he said.

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Source: Decanter

BusinessGreen 10 Years On: Corporate sustainability has entered the mainstream, but where does it go next?

BusinessGreen charts the rise of corporate engagement with sustainability over the last decade and unwraps the challenge facing the next decade of green business development

 “Darwin has always been misquoted in saying that ‘it’s the survival of the fittest’. But he didn’t say that.”

Rodney Irwin, managing director of Redefining Value at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), has a theory about green business. Or more accurately, a theory about the challenge facing businesses as global economies transition to models which can thrive in a low-carbon world.

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Source: Business Green

Carbon emissions from warming soils could trigger disastrous feedback loop

26-year study reveals natural biological factors kick in once warming reaches certain point, leading to potentially unstoppable increase in temperatures.

Warming soils are releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than previously thought, suggesting a potentially disastrous feedback mechanism whereby increases in global temperatures will trigger massive new carbon releases in a cycle that may be impossible to break.

The increased production of carbon comes from the microbes within soils, according to a report in the peer-review journal Science, published on Friday.

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Source: Guardian

Mars in strategic push to eradicate slavery from its entire value chain

The confectionary giant’s new Sustainable in a Generation plan includes a commitment to work with Verité on tackling human rights and sharing results with competitors

Human rights issues will be as important as climate change in Mars, Inc’s new $1bn sustainability strategy announced this week, its Sustainable in a Generation plan.

Most press coverage of the new plan, launched by CEO Grant Reid ahead of the UN General Assembly and Climate Week in New York City, surrounded Mars’ commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain by 67% by 2050 (compared to 2015), and to eliminate GHG from its 420 sites across the world by 2040, a dramatic increase on its previous commitment, which focused only on its direct operations.

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Source: Ethical Corporation