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Revealed: the report on the Great Barrier Reef that Australia didn't want the world to see

Guardian climate change - 1 hour 4 min ago

Exclusive: This draft chapter for a Unesco report on the Great Barrier Reef warned that it was ‘poor and deteriorating’ and ‘assailed by multiple threats’ but the Australian government asked for it to be pulled

Australia scrubbed from UN climate change report after government intervention

This description of the Great Barrier Reef, obtained by Guardian Australia, was written by experts for a Unesco report on tourism and climate change but removed after objections from the Australian government. This draft would have been subject to minor amendments after being peer-reviewed. The lead author, Adam Markham, is deputy director of climate and energy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Significance: World’s largest coral reef system; marine biodiversity; evolutionary processes; spectacular underwater landscapes.

Rising sea temperatures, accelerating rates of sea level rise, changing weather patterns and ocean acidification

Related: Australia scrubbed from UN climate change report after government intervention

Concern has continued to grow that … [the reef's] biodiversity and natural beauty may lose its World Heritage values

Related: Great Barrier Reef: advisers call for cap on farm pollution

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Trump's climate claims: experts analyze Republican's energy policy remarks

Guardian climate change - 2 hours 7 min ago

Trump told North Dakota oil executives that they were standing at the ‘forefront of a new energy revolution’ powered by deregulation and protectionism

For his first major energy policy remarks, Donald Trump would quote, almost verbatim at times, from an op-ed published in the Grand Forks Herald earlier that morning. But Trump was not the author.

The byline belonged to local congressman Kevin Cramer, the longtime champion of his state’s oil and gas industries. North Dakota has boomed and busted right along with the price of gas. Trump would start his speech by telling the state’s oil executives that they were standing at the “forefront of a new energy revolution” powered by Trumpian deregulation and protectionism.

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Donald Trump would allow Keystone XL pipeline and end Paris climate deal

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2016/05/26 - 10:48pm

Republican nominee took veiled shots at those who are concerned about global warming and endorsed drilling off the Atlantic coast in a speech on energy policy

Donald Trump pledged to cancel the Paris climate agreement, endorsed drilling off the Atlantic coast and said he would allow the Keystone XL pipeline to be built in return for “a big piece of the profits” for the American people.

Related: Trump reaches delegate count needed to clinch Republican nomination

There are pools of oil industry waste water that are deeper than Trump’s grasp of energy

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Senators demand US halt inquiries into climate denial by oil companies

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2016/05/26 - 9:02pm

Five hardline conservatives tell Department of Justice to stop any investigations into whether companies lied to the public about climate change

Five hardline conservative senators, including former presidential candidate Ted Cruz, have demanded the US justice department stop all investigations into whether oil and gas companies lied to the public and shareholders about climate change.

“We write today to demand that the Department of Justice (DoJ) immediately cease its ongoing use of law enforcement resources to stifle private debate on one of the most controversial public issues of our time,” the senators wrote in a letter dated 25 May.

Related: ExxonMobil CEO: ending oil production 'not acceptable for humanity'

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French minister warns of mass climate change migration if world doesn't act

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2016/05/26 - 4:20pm

Hundreds of millions of people could be displaced by the end of the century due to conflict caused by global warming, says Ségolène Royal

Global warming will create hundreds of millions of climate change migrants by the end of the century if governments do not act, France’s environment minister has warned.

Ségolène Royal told ministers from 170 countries at the UN environment assembly in Nairobi that climate change was linked to conflicts, which in turned caused migration.

Related: Morocco poised to become a solar superpower with launch of desert mega-project

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Statue of Liberty and Venice under climate change threat, says UN

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2016/05/26 - 3:23pm

‘Urgent and clear need’ to limit temperature rises to protect key sites from warming, rising seas and harsher weather

Some of the world’s most famous heritage sites – from the Statue of Liberty and Venice to the Galapagos Islands – could be irreversibly damaged by climate change, a report has warned.

Historic and natural world heritage sites are already feeling the brunt of increasing temperatures, with rising seas, erosion and storms hitting Orkney’s neolithic coastal treasures and important tropical coral reefs being “bleached” by warmer seas.

Related: Ikea and Nestle call for new EU laws to cut truck emissions

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Ikea and Nestle call for new EU laws to cut truck emissions

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2016/05/26 - 1:19pm

Increase fuel efficiency of heavy good vehicles that cause a quarter of Europe’s traffic carbon emissions to meet climate targets, says clean corporate alliance

An alliance of companies including Ikea, Nestle and Heathrow airport have called on the EU to pass new laws cutting truck emissions within two years, to meet promises made at the Paris climate conference.

Heavy duty vehicles make up less than 5% of Europe’s road traffic but chug out a quarter of the sector’s carbon emissions – more than airplanes – and their fuel efficiency has hardly changed in two decades.

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Donald Trump wants to build a wall – to save his golf course from global warming | Dana Nuccitelli

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2016/05/26 - 11:00am

On climate change, is Trump uninformed, or playing his voters?

Donald Trump has consistently expressed his conspiratorial and misinformed beliefs that global warming is a hoax.

Ice storm rolls from Texas to Tennessee - I'm in Los Angeles and it's freezing. Global warming is a total, and very expensive, hoax!

The New York billionaire is applying for permission to erect a coastal protection works to prevent erosion at his seaside golf resort, Trump International Golf Links & Hotel Ireland, in County Clare.

A permit application for the wall, filed by Trump International Golf Links Ireland and reviewed by POLITICO, explicitly cites global warming and its consequences — increased erosion due to rising sea levels and extreme weather this century — as a chief justification for building the structure.

To sum it up, the knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task—and if one lacks such knowledge and intelligence, one remains ignorant that one is not good at that task.

This syndrome may well be the key to the Trump voter—and perhaps even to the man himself. Trump has served up numerous illustrative examples of the effect as he continues his confident audition to be leader of the free world even as he seems to lack crucial information about the job .… some voters, especially those facing significant distress in their life, might like some of what they hear from Trump, but they do not know enough to hold him accountable for the serious gaffes he makes. They fail to recognize those gaffes as missteps.

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Our democracy has been bought. To win on climate, we have to take it back | Christine Milne

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2016/05/26 - 3:41am

A majority of voters are in support of more government action on climate change – and yet somehow it’s not an election issue. Let’s make it one

The current dissonance between election campaign rhetoric and the facts of climate change is unfathomable, that is, until you dig a little deeper.

This month, the world passed a disastrous tipping point from which there will be no return: the Cape Grim Air Quality Monitoring Station registered a count of 400 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere. Climate scientists have acknowledged that there is basically no going back from this point. We are in a climate emergency.

Related: Great Barrier Reef bleaching made 175 times likelier by human-caused climate change, say scientists

Related: Larissa Waters: Ban donations from mining companies and stop ministers working for them

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Hazelwood power station may be closed or sold off, French owner says

Guardian climate change - Thu, 2016/05/26 - 12:04am

Engie tells French Senate committee that it plans to withdraw from coal-fired power generation and is looking at possible shutdown of Victorian power station

The Hazelwood coal-fired power plant in Victoria may be closed or sold off by its owner, French utility Engie, as part of its move away from operating any coal-fired plants, the company said on Wednesday.

Engie’s chief executive, Isabelle Kocher, told a French senate committee on Wednesday that the utility planned a gradual withdrawal from coal-fired power generation in the coming years and that following the sale announced earlier this year of two plants in Indonesia and India the share of coal in its energy mix would fall to about 10% from 15%.

Related: Labor proposes two emissions trading schemes costing $355.9m

Related: Latrobe coalmines not paying enough for cleanup: Hazelwood fire inquiry

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ExxonMobil CEO: ending oil production 'not acceptable for humanity'

Guardian climate change - Wed, 2016/05/25 - 8:25pm

Shareholders win vote that could support board candidates concerned about climate as Rex Tillerson faces turbulent annual meeting

Rex Tillerson, the boss of oil giant ExxonMobil, said cutting oil production was “not acceptable for humanity” as he fought off shareholders’ and activists’ attempts to force the company to fully acknowledge the impact of climate change on the environment and Exxon’s future profits.

During a long and fractious annual meeting in Dallas on Wednesday, Tillerson, who serves as Exxon’s chairman and chief executive, beat back several proposals to force the company to take more action on climate change.

Related: ExxonMobil tried to censor climate scientists to Congress during Bush era

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Hypersensitive Exxon bans Guardian from AGM

Guardian climate change - Wed, 2016/05/25 - 12:23pm

Oil firm accuses newspaper of ‘lack of objectivity’ on climate change reporting in ‘campaign’ against energy companies

Keep it in the ground, this newspaper has argued for ages on fossil fuels. Then keep out of our annual meeting, replies ExxonMobil.

Or, to quote Exxon’s media relations manager, Alan Jeffers: “We are denying your request [to attend Wednesday’s meeting] because of the Guardian’s lack of objectivity on climate change reporting demonstrated by its partnership with anti-oil and gas activists and its campaign against companies that provide energy necessary for modern life, including newspapers.”

Related: Exxon investors aim to force reckoning with impact of climate change policies

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My father warned Exxon about climate change in the 1970s. They didn't listen | Claudia Black-Kalinsky

Guardian climate change - Wed, 2016/05/25 - 12:00pm

Perhaps 2015 wouldn’t have broken all temperature records had they acted then – but it’s not too late to do something now

Related: Let's give up the climate change charade: Exxon won't change its stripes | Bill McKibben

At Wednesday’s ExxonMobil shareholders meeting, CEO Rex Tillerson will have to answer tough questions about the company’s role in causing climate change, including one from my family.

Related: Exxon investors aim to force reckoning with impact of climate change policies

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ExxonMobil tried to censor climate scientists to Congress during Bush era

Guardian climate change - Wed, 2016/05/25 - 11:00am

Exclusive: 2001 intervention adds to evidence that oil company was aware of the science and its implications for government policy and the energy industry

ExxonMobil moved to squash a well-established congressional lecture series on climate science just nine days after the presidential inauguration of George W Bush, a former oil executive, the Guardian has learned.

Exxon’s intervention on the briefings, revealed here for the first time, adds to evidence the oil company was acutely aware of the state of climate science and its implications for government policy and the energy industry – despite Exxon’s public protestations for decades about the uncertainties of global warming science.

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Great Barrier Reef: advisers call for cap on farm pollution

Guardian climate change - Wed, 2016/05/25 - 5:39am

Taskforce head reportedly tells Queensland government ‘we’re stuffed with a capital S’ if water quality isn’t improved

A cap on pollution from farms close to the Great Barrier Reef has been proposed by advisers to the Queensland government.

The Great Barrier Reef water science taskforce, which advises the Queensland government on how to meet pollution targets on the reef, said sugar cane, grazing and other sectors should be given pollution load limits for their industries in each catchment. It also called for incentives such as auctions for pollution reduction, greater monitoring and regulation, along with “significantly more investment” in the problem.

Related: Great Barrier Reef needs $10bn for chance of survival, scientists say

'We're stuffed with a capital S' if we don't manage run off on the reef says Qld Chief Scientist #greatbarrierreef pic.twitter.com/M8AzPmlk7q

Related: Great Barrier Reef: who's profiting from the destruction and devastation?

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Coastal flooding: a sign of the damage our economy is wreaking on our fragile environment

Guardian climate change - Wed, 2016/05/25 - 5:00am

A report ranking cities most at risk from coastal flooding is a stark reminder that the old paradigm of economic development and prosperity no longer holds true

In January this year, I visited friends in Miami. One of the most urgent topics of conversation was about what they saw as the greatest problem faced by the city – rising water levels, and a long-standing reluctance on the part of government and business to take the necessary steps to control the extensive damage.

From inundated homes, shops and roads, to fresh water pollution and sewage being forced upwards, the impacts are widespread. In a Christian Aid report (pdf) published last week, Miami ranked ninth in a list of cities most at risk from future coastal flooding as a result of sea level rises. Supported by data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, projections for the year 2017 suggest that Kolkata and Mumbai, both in India, are most exposed to coastal flooding. Bar Miami, the top ten cities are all in Asia.

It is not a demand for economic stagnation, nor a matter of having some sort of anti-business agenda

Related: Philippines investigates Shell and Exxon over climate change

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