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Easter weekend weather off to a sunny start as butterflies and bluebells abound

Guardian climate change - 5 hours 4 min ago
Warm spring after mild winter proves a boon for wildlife across Britain but Met Office warns of more unsettled weather moving in

Good Friday and Easter Saturday will bring the best weather of the Easter bank holiday weekend, with forecasters predicting dry and sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-teens across the UK.

But the outlook on Sunday and the bank holiday Monday is for cloudier conditions with the chance of rain across England and Wales.

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Mining lobby may join industry push to ban environmental boycotts

Guardian climate change - 11 hours 11 min ago

Opposition to escalating grassroots movement calling for banks and super funds to divest from fossil fuel companies

The powerful mining lobby is considering whether to join the push by resource industries to ban environmental boycott campaigns as it battles an escalating grassroots movement calling for banks, superannuation funds and institutions to ditch fossil fuel investments.

The Minerals Council of Australia, which this week began its own Australians for Coal social media and lobbying campaign to argue the benefits of continued coalmining, has previously attacked green extremists who have moved from genuine protest to dangerous and unlawful civil disobedience, saying the "extremists" would be facing the full force of the law if they were not exempted from the ban on so-called secondary boycotts under competition laws.

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Meet the women trading Sudan's first carbon credits

Guardian climate change - Thu, 17/04/2014 - 16:40
Cleaner stoves have saved Sudan over 36,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and earned the country its first carbon credits

While attention in the sector has recently been focused on the IPCC's latest report on climate change, in Sudan women have been quietly making breakthroughs by issuing the country's first carbon credits. In a country blighted by conflict and drought, the Women's Development Association Network (WDAN) representing over 50,000 women in Sudan, is driving economic growth and reversing deforestation.

The town of El Fasher, the capital of the North Darfur region, is an area considered high risk by international markets because of its history of civil war, conflict and reliance on humanitarian aid. It is here that the Darfur Low Smoke Project, financed entirely by private sector money, was launched in 2007 by the WDAN, the international NGO Practical Action and the UK-based company Carbon Clear.

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The first climate justice summit: a pie in the face for the global north

Guardian climate change - Wed, 16/04/2014 - 16:16
An alternative summit held during Cop 6 brought the idea of climate justice onto the global stage. How pivotal was this moment for how the climate change movement progressed?

Today it is accepted, but 20-30 years ago campaigners were struggling to even get an acknowledgement that climate change was happening, let alone that it was manmade. It would have been hard to imagine that one day we might hold the developed nations responsible and start talking about redress for victims of climate change, as we did in 2000.

The nub of "climate justice" is the idea that the developed world made the mess and therefore the developed world should pay the price for fixing the problem.

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Pope Francis urged to back fossil fuel divestment campaign

Guardian climate change - Wed, 16/04/2014 - 15:00
Letter from religious groups in Australia and North America says it is 'immoral' to profit from fossil fuels

Read the full text of the letter to the Pope

Religious groups have urged Pope Francis to back a campaign to encourage millions of people, organisations and investors to pull their money out of the fossil fuel industry.

Multi-faith groups in Australia and North America have sent a letter to the pope saying it is "immoral" to profit from fossil fuels.

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Keystone XL cops incompetent at all levels | John Abraham

Guardian climate change - Wed, 16/04/2014 - 14:00
US Department of State report on Keystone XL climate impacts displays shocking incompetence

Recently, the US State Department released yet another report on the environmental impacts of building the Keystone pipeline. The report is shocking in its ironic juxtaposition of real greenhouse gas emissions and the potential impact on the Earth's climate. It is also shocking because the State Department tells us the pipeline will be made to withstand climate change, but won't be responsible for those changes. The report reflects an incompetence of the authors of the report and a divorce of the report from common sense. It isn't just me who feels this way, other groups concur the State Department report is faulty.

First, the report does identify the equivalent greenhouse gas emissions which would travel through the pipeline. With an estimated 830,000 barrels per day, my calculations (reinforced by multiple published and white-paper studies) are that the associated emissions would be approximately 480 million kg CO2 per day. If you include the byproduct petcoke, which is being burned as a coal replacement (but is dirtier than coal), the numbers are even worse (520 million kg CO2 per day). There is some uncertainty because we are not certain what the actual transported product will be, how many barrels of bitumen, what the diluent is made from, what the mix of extraction methods are, etc.

All of this is equivalent to approximately 35-40 million passenger vehicles or 50-57 coal-powered plants. During a time we need to reduce emissions, exploitation of the tar sands and construction of the Keystone pipeline would do the reverse. We would be locked in for years of enormous greenhouse emissions. People who think Keystone is a minor issue don't understand science and they sure don't understand economics. The tar sands contain reserves equivalent to seven times Saudi Arabia. Full exploitation of that tar will raise world temperatures by 0.75°F.

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