November 8, 2018
Hundreds of government workers who protect biodiversity and enforce environmental regulations in the UK have been moved to work on Brexit planning, The Guardian reports. The workers have been moved from the Environment Agency, which is responsible for enforcing environmental regulations, and Natural England, which protects habitats and species.
November 7, 2018
Democrats will now have the numbers to put climate change issues back on the congressional agenda as they take control of the U.S. House. Clean energy advocates were also elected governor in multiple states, and voters displayed a mixed verdict on reining in fossil fuel companies. The results highlight steep challenges that remain at a time when the world's scientists are emphasizing the need for more rapid action on climate change.
Washington state appears to have voted down what would have been the nation's first carbon fee, but supporters aren't giving up. Big Oil spent over $30 million to convince voters to defeat the proposal, which was an attempt to make polluters pay environmental costs.
Climate Change Isn't Usually a Big Issue for Voters. But the UN Report Gave Some Democrats a Talking Point.
Dire warnings from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change helped to move climate change into political conversations in a meaningful way this election cycle, the Washington Post reports.
Just before Hurricane Michael made landfall last month, a ferocious "red tide" toxic algae bloom that had troubled Florida's Gulf Coast for a year had finally started to wane. But in the weeks following the storm, red tide that is already considered the worst in a decade has roared back.
Hundreds of records have been submitted as part of the court proceedings for a climate lawsuit brought against the federal government by children. Among the documents: evidence that every single U.S. president since John F. Kennedy was made aware of the threats of climate change, to some degree.
Nationwide, states and local governments are asking voters to approve billions of dollars of debt for environmental projects, including those aimed at protecting against the impact of rising global temperatures.
November 6, 2018
If Democrats win the House, it could become harder for the Trump administration to continue giving boosts to the oil industry and rolling back environmental regulations. Oil and gas companies are strategizing on how to navigate what could be an altered political environment.
The ozone layer is showing signs of continuing recovery as chemicals blamed for the damage are phased out, and it is likely to heal fully by 2060, new evidence suggests. Some of the gases that caused the ozone layer to thin also play a role in global warming.
Despite pledging to recuse himself from family foundation business, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appears to have continued to engage in discussions about property owned by the foundation in 2017, the Washington Post reports.
Tesla produced its biggest profit yet last quarter, surprising some analysts. The Financial Times breaks down the electric car maker's revenue sources. A lot of it was from regulatory credits, but not all.
As Texas continues to add more wind power, new estimates suggest that renewable energy reduced wholesale power costs by hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years. In addition to making wholesale power cheaper, wind and solar are also dampening price volatility, the Wind Solar Alliance says.
The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is challenging new government conclusions that the Dakota Access oil pipeline poses no significant environmental threats to American Indian tribes in the Dakotas, the Associated Press reports.
Britain's renewable electricity capacity has overtaken that of fossil fuel generators such as gas and coal, a new report says. Britain aims to increase its renewable output and close its coal-fired power plants by 2025 as part of efforts to meet climate targets, Reuters reports.
South Korea said it would cap operations of some coal and oil-fired power plants at 80 percent on Wednesday as most cities issued an air pollution advisory. Seven coal-fired power plants and four oil-fired power plants will lower their operations during the daytime, the energy ministry said.
November 5, 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court has lifted its temporary stay in a climate lawsuit brought by children and young adults against the federal government, but the move doesn't ensure a clear road ahead for the lawsuit.
Environmental groups are split over a few races this election involving Republicans with pro-climate records. Do they support the Republican in hopes of building bipartisan action for the future, or do they focus on flipping control of the House to Democrats?
An environmental group says it has new evidence showing that China is responsible for a resurgence of trichlorofluoromethane, a banned industrial gas that destroys the planet's ozone layer and also contributes to global warming. The gas is supposed to be phased out under the Montreal Protocol.
An early draft of a New York City proposal to reduce pollution from big buildings could lead to rent hikes, some critics say. They say that by mandating a reduction in carbon emissions in the way the draft suggests, renovation costs will be passed on to residents.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has signed an executive order calling for a "Coastal Resilience Master Plan" to protect the state's coastline from flooding and other weather impacts. According to Chesapeake Bay Foundation, coastal Virginia has seen the highest rate of relative sea level rise on the Atlantic coast.
Coal is in decline, even with efforts by the Trump administration to assist the industry. The Northern Indiana Public Service Company is the latest utility to announce plans to switch to renewable energy. It expects to see cost savings from the switch.
Years of energy policy flip-flops due to competing political visions are holding up billions of dollars of investment in new generation and transmission in Australia. Investors are nervous about putting up money for badly needed power projects.
A landmark wind power law, passed ten years ago, has spurred substantial growth in wind power in the Maine. But developers say the state is likely to see a slowdown of wind power development.
At least 29 people have died in widespread flooding in Italy. Flooding in some parts of the country has become more common because of climate change — a problem that's likely to continue to worsen as seas rise because of increasing temperatures and melting ice sheets, CNN reports.
November 2, 2018
The Mid-Atlantic power grid operator PJM says the coal and nuclear power plant retirements currently planned over the next five years won't harm its grid reliability, even if it loses natural-gas pipelines during winter cold snaps. Its "fuel security" report further undermines the Trump administration's arguments for emergency measure to bail out coal.
As Puerto Rico rebuilds from last year's hurricanes, its lawmakers have introduced an ambitious clean energy bill to get 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2050. But it also includes measures that would boost natural gas in the short-term, and that's worrying clean energy advocates.
The Trump EPA and Department of Agriculture are promoting the burning of trees and other biomass to produce energy in a letter to congressional leaders. Scientists and the EPA's own science advisors warn that biomass emissions are a climate problem. Read more from ICN on the science and pushback to a similar effort in Europe.
The job of state land commissioner doesn't usually draw a lot of attention, but in New Mexico, oil and gas companies are pouring millions of dollars into this year's close race and environmental groups are pushing back. The winner will oversee approval of developments like oil and gas drilling.
Some Republican candidates who are facing strong challengers have started pulling back their climate denial, even if slightly. Read more from ICN on how scientists running for office have forced their GOP opponents to try to rebrand themselves to appeal to voters concerned about the environment.
Climate change has led to an increase in extreme weather in the UK, including higher average temperatures, hot nights that don't cool off and extreme rainfall, according to a new report from the UK's Met Office tracking trends in weather extremes.