Suffocating rivers exposed

Barry White

A ‘chemical cocktail’ of sewage, agricultural waste, and plastic is polluting the waters of many of the country’s rivers according to a report published on 13 January by the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, see: https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/8460/documents/85659/default/ . It points out that water companies appear to be dumping untreated or partially treated sewage in rivers on a regular basis, often breaching the terms of permits that on paper only allow them to do this in exceptional circumstances.

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COP26: A just transition?

Barry White

Last November, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) held two just transition workshops at a fringe meeting in Glasgow City Chambers during COP26. The workshops examined national just transition examples from around the world and projects that emphasise community engagement and participation. The nine speakers from England, Wales, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, the US and Kenya told the in-person and online audiences about their projects, highlighting what helped them succeed and the obstacles they had to overcome.

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Government face legal challenges over inadequate climate strategies

Barry White

Friends of the Earth is taking the government to court over two of its climate strategies which it considers inadequate and filed papers on 12 January see: https://friendsoftheearth.uk/climate/government-taken-court-over-inadequate-climate-strategies. The Judicial Review, brought to the High Court by the environmental campaign group, will challenge both the government’s Net Zero Strategy (NZS) and its Heat and Buildings Strategy. It will do so on the basis that the NZS does not comply with the Climate Change Act 2008, which Friends of the Earth was central to devising and securing. The group also contends that the Heat and Buildings Strategy should have considered the impacts of its policies on protected groups, as part of ensuring a fair energy transition where climate action aligns with social responsibility.

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Past seven years the hottest on record

Barry White

Along with other news outlets, the BBC web site https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-59915690 reports that the past seven years have been the hottest on record by a clear margin, according to new data from the European Union’s satellite system. The Copernicus Climate Change Service https://climate.copernicus.eu/ which provides information about the past, present and future climate, as well as tools to enable climate change mitigation and adaptation, reported that 2021 was the fifth-warmest year, with record-breaking temperatures in some regions. Their data is gathered from a constellation of Sentinel satellites that monitor the Earth from orbit, as well as measurements taken at ground level.

They also warn that the amount of warming gases in our atmosphere continued to increase.

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