West of England coalmines to be mapped for renewable energy potential

West of England coalmines to be mapped for renewable energy potential

Regional mayor Dan Norris launches project to explore potential for former mines to produce low-carbon heat

When Bryn Hawkins worked in coalmines through the 1960s and early 1970s he says few understood the impact the burning of fossil fuels would have on the planet.

Now, public officials are hoping disused mines that provided millions of tonnes of fossil fuels could be used as a potential source of renewable energy across the country.

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Climate scientists hail 2023 as ‘beginning of the end’ for fossil fuel era

Climate scientists hail 2023 as ‘beginning of the end’ for fossil fuel era

Cautious optimism among experts that emissions from energy use may have peaked as net zero mission intensifies

Global efforts to slow a runaway climate catastrophe may have reached a critical milestone in the last year with the peak of global carbon emissions from energy use, according to experts.

A growing number of climate analysts believe that 2023 may be recorded as the year in which annual emissions reached a pinnacle before the global fossil fuel economy begins a terminal decline.

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London Ulez averts more air pollution than that caused by capital’s airports, report shows

London Ulez averts more air pollution than that caused by capital’s airports, report shows

Air quality improvements 2019-2022 from lowering vehicle emissions came even before scheme’s expansion to whole of city

More toxic air pollution has been averted by London’s ultra-low emission zones than is produced by the capital’s airports or its river and rail transport combined, according to a new analysis of the effects of the Ulez.

The report showed that improvements in air quality between 2019 and 2022 from lowering motor vehicle pollution – even before the expansion of the Ulez throughout the capital since August – rivalled the potential savings from entirely cleaning up London’s aviation or industrial and commercial heat and power generation.

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From tree planting to ‘sponge cities’: why nature-based solutions are crucial to fighting the climate crisis

From tree planting to ‘sponge cities’: why nature-based solutions are crucial to fighting the climate crisis

Nature could hold the key to protecting humanity as the planet heats, but scientists say it is still an underused option

The natural world underpins human civilisation on every corner of the planet. From oceans to rainforests, grasslands to mangrove swamps, ecosystems feed billions of humans, produce clean water and provide materials for shelter. As the planet heats, scientists and conservationists are urging the world to harness and restore nature to maintain a habitable planet.

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From grey to green: the plan to turn Paris’s zinc rooftops into gardens

From grey to green: the plan to turn Paris’s zinc rooftops into gardens

Architecture trio says adding roof terraces to French capital’s buildings could boost biodiversity and tackle summer heat

From the roof of the eight-floor residential building in Paris’s 16th arrondissement, you can see the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. It’s the space between these icons, however, that the Roofscapes team have marched me up the stairs to see; the zigzagging roofs that make up a vast area of unused, ignored and mostly unseen space.

This is what Eytan Levi, Tim Cousin and Olivier Faber believe could be key to preventing the city from overheating after a series of sweltering summers when temperatures in the French capital reached a record high of 42.6C.

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‘We’re not doomed yet’: climate scientist Michael Mann on our last chance to save human civilisation

‘We’re not doomed yet’: climate scientist Michael Mann on our last chance to save human civilisation

The renowned US scientist’s new book examines 4bn years of climate history to conclude we are in a ‘fragile moment’ but there is still time to act

“We haven’t yet exceeded the bounds of viable human civilisation, but we’re getting close,” says Prof Michael Mann. “If we keep going [with carbon emissions], then all bets are off.”

The climate crisis, already bringing devastating extreme weather around the world, has delivered a “fragile moment”, says the eminent climate scientist and communicator in his latest book, titled Our Fragile Moment. Taming the climate crisis still remains possible, but faces huge political obstacles, he says.

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Carbon credit speculators could lose billions as offsets deemed ‘worthless’

Carbon credit speculators could lose billions as offsets deemed ‘worthless’

Many credits in the voluntary market going unused, with study finding some offsetting could make global heating worse

Carbon credit speculators could lose billions as scientific evidence shows many offsets they have bought have no environmental worth and have become stranded assets.

Amid growing evidence that huge numbers of carbon credits do nothing to mitigate global heating and can sometimes be linked to alleged human rights concerns, there is a growing pile of carbon credits equivalent to the annual emissions of Japan, the world’s fifth largest polluter, that are unused in the unregulated voluntary market, according to market analysis.

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UK to gain first lithium mine in Cornwall in boost to electric car industry

UK to gain first lithium mine in Cornwall in boost to electric car industry

British Lithium in joint venture with French mining company Imerys, aiming to extract 20,000 tonnes

The UK is to gain its first lithium mine in Cornwall after a British startup agreed a deal with a French mining company that could supply much of the country’s need for the crucial electric car battery mineral.

British Lithium has agreed to start a joint venture with Paris-listed Imerys that aims to extract 20,000 tonnes of lithium ore, the companies said on Thursday.

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Toxins hidden in plastics are the industry’s dirty secret – recycling is not the answer | Charlotte Lloyd

Toxins hidden in plastics are the industry’s dirty secret – recycling is not the answer | Charlotte Lloyd

We need to know more about what goes into plastics in the first place and better regulation of how recycled products are used

  • Dr Charlotte Lloyd is a researcher in environmental chemistry at the University of Bristol

Sometimes it feels like we are simply drowning in plastic. Over the past five decades plastic products have found their way into almost every aspect of our daily lives. Global plastic production has reached a total of 8bn tonne – that’s 1 tonne for every person currently on the planet – with plastic pollution expected to triple by 2060.

Current best estimates are that only about 10% of plastic ever produced has been recycled. Despite this, the idea of circular economy in the plastics industry is often cited as the magic bullet: we will simply reuse the plastic we have already made and reduce the impact of plastic pollution. But new evidence points to the flaws in this plan. A report by Greenpeace has found that recycled plastic can be even more toxic, and is no fix for pollution.

Dr Charlotte Lloyd is a researcher and lecturer in environmental chemistry at the University of Bristol

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Electric cars: could your employer help you save thousands?

Electric cars: could your employer help you save thousands?

People are waking up to the benefits of using salary sacrifice schemes to buy greener vehicles

If you have been thinking about switching to an electric car but are worried about the cost, talk to Bill Hopkinson. Until four months ago, the sales and marketing director was driving more than 30,000 miles a year in a diesel BMW and spending about £800 a month on lease payments, fuel, insurance and maintenance.

Fast-forward to today, and he is now behind the wheel of a new, fully electric Audi Q4 e-tron. His total monthly expenditure on the car, including the use of public charging points, has fallen to £611 – meaning he is on course to save more than £2,200 a year, while, at the same time, slashing his carbon footprint.

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