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Climate change: Used cooking oil imports may fuel deforestation

Climate change: Used cooking oil imports may fuel deforestation

Science
Imports of a "green fuel" source may be inadvertently increasing deforestation and the demand for new palm oil, a study says.Experts say there has been a recent boom in the amount of used cooking oil imported into the UK from Asia. This waste oil is the basis for biodiesel, which produces far less CO2 than fossil fuels in cars. But this report is concerned that the used oil is being replaced across Asia with palm oil from deforested areas.Cutting carbon emissions from transport has proved very difficult for governments all over the world. Many have given incentives to speed up the replacement of fossil-based petrol and diesel with fuels made from crops such as soya or rapeseed. These growing plants absorb CO2 from the atmosphere...
Climate change: UK government ‘like Dad’s Army’

Climate change: UK government ‘like Dad’s Army’

Science
The UK has been dealt a "brutal reality check" on its climate change ambitions, environmentalists have said.The government's official climate change advisers warn ministers are failing to cut emissions fast enough, and adapt to rising temperatures.Committee on Climate Change chair John Gummer likened them to the hapless characters in 1970s comedy Dad's Army.The government said it would soon set out plans to tackle emissions from aviation, heat, energy and transport.The prime minister recently announced that the UK would lead the world by cutting almost all greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 - so-called net zero. Theresa May also aspired to the UK hosting a hugely important global climate summit next year.But the CCC said that the U...
Climate change: Heatwave made ‘at least’ five times more likely by warming

Climate change: Heatwave made ‘at least’ five times more likely by warming

Science
Last week's record breaking heatwave across much of Europe was made "at least five times" more likely to happen by climate change, say scientists.Their rapid attribution study says that rising temperatures "super-charged" the event, making it more likely to happen than through natural variability alone. Heatwaves in June are now about 4C hotter than they used to be, the researchers said. Globally, the average temperature for June was the highest on record.Heatwaves naturally occur in summertime but last week's event in many European countries was unprecedented because it happened so early, and the recorded temperatures were so high. Records were broken at locations in France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and Spain.The new French record, established at Ga...
‘Triple whammy’ threatens UN action on climate change

‘Triple whammy’ threatens UN action on climate change

Science
A "triple whammy" of events threatens to hamper efforts to tackle climate change say UN delegates.At a meeting in Bonn, Saudi Arabia has continued to object to a key IPCC scientific report that urges drastic cuts in carbon emissions. Added to that, the EU has so far failed to agree to a long term net zero emissions target.Thirdly, a draft text from the G20 summit in Japan later this week waters down commitments to tackle warming. One attendee in Bonn said that, taken together, the moves represented a fierce backlash from countries with strong fossil fuel interests.There was controversy last December at the Katowice COP24 meeting in Poland, when Saudi Arabia, the US, Kuwait and Russia objected to moves to welcome the findings of the IPCC Special Report on ...
Climate change: UK government to commit to 2050 target

Climate change: UK government to commit to 2050 target

Science
Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to almost zero by 2050, under the terms of a new government plan to tackle climate change.Prime Minister Theresa May said reducing pollution would also benefit public health and cut NHS costs.Britain is the first major nation to propose this target - and it has been widely praised by green groups.But some say the phase-out is too late to protect the climate, and others fear that the task is impossible.The UK already has a 2050 target - to reduce emissions by 80%. That was agreed by MPs under the Climate Change Act in 2008, but will now be amended to the new, much tougher, goal. The actual terminology used by the government is "net zero" greenhouse gases by 2050.That means emissions from homes, transport, farm...