Skip to main contentSkip to main content
Updating results

Pollution

  • Updated

Two high-level speakers at the World Economic Forum gathering say Afghanistan’s most urgent need is saving its economy from complete collapse. U.N. Development Program administrator Achim Steiner said Monday in Davos that “we cannot abandon 40 million Afghans simply on the principle of moral outrage.” The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan nine months ago and the hasty U.S. withdrawal of its troops triggered economic fallout. Some argue that aid to Afghanistan should be made conditional to ensure the protection of women’s rights. Pakistani Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar says that while her country views Taliban curbs to women’s rights as a threat, she asked what would happen to Afghans “in order to appease our conscience.”

A longtime contractor for Shell has accusing the oil and gas company of “double talk” by saying it wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions while working on tapping new sources of fossil fuel. Safety consultant Caroline Dennett said Monday that she was ending her links with the company and urged others in the fossil fuel industry to do likewise. She claimed in a public post on LinkedIn that Shell wasn't winding down on fossil fuels. Shell insisted it was committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. The company is due to hold its annual general meeting for shareholders Tuesday. It said it has set targets for the short, medium and long term and is already investing billions of dollars in low-carbon energy.

  • Updated

Australians awoke to a new prime minister in Anthony Albanese, the center-left Labor Party leader whose ascension to the nation’s top job from being raised in social housing by a single mother on a disability pension was said to reflect the country's changed fabric. It's unclear whether Albanese’s party could form a majority government or will have to rely on an increased number of independents and minor party candidates who won seats in Saturday’s election. With counting set to continue for many days as postal votes are tallied, one prospect is for Albanese to be sworn in as acting prime minister to attend Tuesday’s Quad summit in Tokyo with U.S., Japanese and Indian leaders. President Joe Biden congratulated Albanese in a phone call Sunday.

  • Updated

Australia’s Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese is a politician molded by his humble start to life as the only child of a single mother who raised him on a pension in gritty inner-Sydney suburbia. He is also a hero of multicultural Australia, describing himself as the only candidate with a “non-Anglo Celtic name” to run for prime minister in the 121 years that the office has existed. He has promised to rehabilitate Australia’s international reputation as a climate change laggard with steeper cuts to greenhouse gas emissions. His financially precarious upbringing in government-owned housing in suburban Camperdown fundamentally formed the politician who has lead the center-left Australian Labor Party into government for the first time since 2007.

  • Updated

Australia’s center-left opposition party has toppled the conservative government after almost a decade in power. Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese in his Saturday election victory speech promised sharper reductions in greenhouse gas emissions while he faces an early foreign policy test. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he quickly conceded defeat despite millions of votes yet to be counted because an Australian leader must attend a Tokyo summit on Tuesday with U.S. President Joe Biden and leaders from Japan and India. Albanese has described himself as the only candidate with a “non-Anglo Celtic name” to run for prime minister in the 121 years that the office has existed. He referred to his own humble upbringing in the Sydney suburb of Camperdown.

  • Updated

The federal government is investing in machines that suck giant amounts of carbon dioxide out of the air in the hopes of reducing damage from climate change. The Department of Energy says it will release $3.5 billion to groups developing direct air capture and other technologies that remove carbon dioxide, which when released into the atmosphere causes global warming. Climate scientists say humans have already allowed too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to prevent dangerous rises in global temperatures. They say on top of curbing emissions we must also remove carbon dioxide from the air that’s already been released.

  • Updated

New Zealand’s government says it will hand out an extra few hundred dollars to more than 2 million lower-income adults to help them navigate what it describes as “the peak of the global inflation storm.” The payments are part of a package of new measures announced in the government’s annual budget. Other plans include increasing health spending by a record amount, putting more money into reducing greenhouse gas emissions and boosting defense spending. A report by Treasury painted a rosy picture of the nation’s economy through next year but warned growth would slow markedly from 2024 due to rising interest rates, a reduction in the government’s pandemic spending, and supply issues made worse by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • Updated

President Joe Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to speed production of infant formula and has authorized flights to import supply from overseas. He is facing mounting political pressure over a domestic shortage caused by the safety-related closure of the country’s largest formula manufacturing plant. The Defense Production Act order requires suppliers of formula manufacturers to fulfill orders from those companies before other customers. Biden is also authorizing the Defense Department to use commercial aircraft to fly formula supplies that meet federal standards from overseas to the U.S., in what the White House is calling “Operation Fly Formula.”

  • Updated

President Joe Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to speed production of infant formula and has authorized flights to import supply from overseas. He is facing mounting political pressure over a domestic shortage caused by the safety-related closure of the country’s largest formula manufacturing plant. The Defense Production Act order requires suppliers of formula manufacturers to fulfill orders from those companies before other customers. Biden is also authorizing the Defense Department to use commercial aircraft to fly formula supplies that meet federal standards from overseas to the U.S., in what the White House is calling “Operation Fly Formula.”

  • Updated

Danish media say four European Union countries plan to build North Sea wind farms capable of producing at least 150 gigawatts of energy by 2050. Under the plan, wind turbines would be raised off the coasts of Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark, daily Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten reported. The project would mean a tenfold increase in the EU’s current offshore wind capacity. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo are scheduled to attend a North Sea Summit on Wednesday in Esbjerg, 260 kilometers (162 miles) west of Copenhagen.

  • Updated

Australia’s opposition leader Anthony Albanese says he will begin rebuilding trust in his nation if he wins weekend elections and attends a summit with U.S., Indian and Japanese leaders in Tokyo just three days later. Albanese says he would be “completely consistent” with the current administration on Chinese strategic competition in the region if he travels to the summit of the Indo-Pacific strategic alliance known as the Quad. Prime Minister Scott Morrison will not say who might represent Australia in Tokyo. Morrison said there were “conventions in place” to deal with the election but it's not clear what happens if the results are close. Albanese said he'd want to take office as soon as Sunday or Monday in order to attend the summit.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is launching a five-point plan to jump-start broader use of renewable energies as the U.N. weather agency reported that greenhouse gas concentrations, ocean heat, sea-level rise, and ocean acidification hit new records last year. The World Meteorological Organization issued its State of the Climate Report for 2021. It said the last seven years were the seven hottest on record. The impacts of extreme weather have led to deaths and disease, migration, and economic losses in the hundreds of billions of dollars — and the fallout is continuing this year.

  • Updated

A co-owner of the Boston Celtics is donating $2 million toward protecting the Florida manatees and their habitat following two seasons of record-breaking manatee mortalities in the state. Fox Rock Foundation will give $1 million each to the nonprofits Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida and Save the Manatee Club. The foundation is a family charity overseen by Celtics co-owner Rob Hale and his wife, Karen. Last year, a record 1,100 manatees died largely from starvation because water pollution from agricultural, septic tank, urban runoff and other sources has diminished their main winter food source along Florida’s east coast.

A new study says pollution of all types is killing 9 million people a year. About three quarters of that is air pollution. Tuesday’s study says overall pollution deaths haven’t changed much from 2015 to 2019. But that’s because household old-fashioned pollution from primitive stoves and waste-filled water pollution is down. Air pollution deaths from cars, trucks and industry is up 55% from 2000. Scientists say pollution deaths are increasing especially in poorer nations. While pollution deaths are dropping in the United States, dirty air, water, lead and pollution at work still kills 140,000 Americans a year, more than in any other industrialized nation.

  • Updated

Many questions remain about the shuttered Abbott baby formula plant at the center of a nationwide shortage. Although U.S. officials have a deal with Abbott to restart production, it’s not yet clear how soon the site will be up and running. Even bigger questions remain unanswered, including what caused the contamination. The Food and Drug Administration also faces scrutiny over whether it could have alleviated the current shortage by stepping in sooner. The FDA hasn’t released a final ruling on the problems at the plant or an accounting of the steps it took ahead of the shutdown.

  • Updated

Duke Energy Corp.’s electricity-generating subsidiaries for North Carolina have offered regulators several energy mixes to comply with a state law demanding significant greenhouse gas reductions by the end of the decade. Monday's filings with the North Carolina Utilities Commission come months after Gov. Roy Cooper signed legislation that directed the utility to lower carbon dioxide emissions 70% from 2005 levels by 2030. Zero-net CO2 emissions also must be met by 2050. Three of the four portfolios that Duke Energy offers would actually reach the 70% threshold by 2032 or 2034, which is permitted under the law. The commission must decide on a path by year's end.

  • Updated

President Joe Biden's administration has announced new steps to ease the national shortage of baby formula, including allowing more imports from overseas. Officials also reached an agreement to restart a shuttered baby formula factory from Abbott, the largest in the U.S.. Neither step will have an immediate effect on tight supplies that have left many parents searching for formula online or in food banks.  After getting the FDA’s OK, Abbott said it will take eight to ten weeks before new products begin arriving in stores. The company didn’t set a timeline to restart manufacturing. 

  • Updated

Major energy producing states from Alaska to Pennsylvania are reaping a windfall from soaring oil and natural gas prices, stoked by the war in Ukraine and the U.S.-led ban on Russian oil imports. The boost threatens to increase state and local governments' entrenched reliance on fossil fuels in their budgets, revenue that pays for schools, roads and policing. Officials say they realize the need to move toward cleaner energy sources that don’t contribute to climate change, but also say they will need a way to replace the tax revenue their states and communities receive from fossil fuel extraction.

  • Updated

New Zealand will help pay for lower-income families to scrap their old gas guzzlers and replace them with cleaner hybrid or electric cars as part of a sweeping plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The government said it plans to spend 569 million New Zealand dollars ($357 million) on the trial program. It's part of a larger plan that includes subsidies for businesses to reduce emissions, a switch to an entirely green bus fleet by 2035 and curbside food-waste collection for most homes by the end of the decade. The plan represents a step toward the pledges the nation made under the 2016 Paris Agreement on climate change.

  • Updated

The owner of an oil pipeline that spewed thousands of barrels of crude oil onto Southern California beaches in 2015 has agreed to pay $230 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by fishermen and property owners. According to court documents Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline has agreed to pay $184 million to fishermen and fish processors and $46 million to property owners in the settlement reached Friday. The company didn’t admit liability in the agreement that will end seven years of legal wrangling. The agreement still must undergo a public comment period and needs federal court approval. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for June 10.

  • Updated

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has tested positive for COVID-19 but said she still plans to travel to the U.S. later this month for a trade trip and to give the commencement speech at Harvard University. Ardern on Saturday posted a photo of her positive test result on Instagram and said she was disappointed to miss several important political announcements over the coming week, including the release of the government’s annual budget and a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ardern is the latest in a long list of world leaders to contract the virus.

  • Updated

Scuba divers at Lake Tahoe are sorting through their haul after an unprecedented, yearlong effort to remove litter from the alpine lake's entire 72 miles of shoreline atop the Sierra Nevada. They found no trace of a mythical sea monster and no sign of mobsters in cement shoes or long-lost treasure chests. But their hope is the 25,000 pounds of junk they gathered will prove much more valuable. Since last May, they've meticulously sorted and logged the types and GPS locations of the waste. It’s part of a first-of-its-kind effort to learn more about the potential harm caused by plastics and other pollutants in the waters on the California-Nevada line.

  • Updated

Two University of Michigan researchers are putting the “pee” in peony. Rather, they’re putting pee on peonies. Environmental engineering professors Nancy Love and Krista Wigginton are regular visitors to the Ann Arbor school’s Nichols Arboretum, where they've been applying urine-based fertilizer to the heirloom peony beds ahead of the flowers’ annual spring bloom. It’s all part of an effort to educate the public about their research showing that applying fertilizer derived from nutrient-rich urine could have environmental and economic benefits. Love is co-author of a study published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal that found urine diversion and recycling led to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and energy. 

Three companies that operate more than 600 school buses in New York City are being sued by the state attorney general’s office on allegations they repeatedly violated bus idling laws and polluted the city’s air since 2019. Attorney General Letitia James announced the lawsuit Thursday. She says the state is seeking monetary relief and a court order for the companies to fully comply with city and state idling laws. The companies being sued are Jofaz Transportation, 3rd Avenue Transit and Y&M Transit Corp. No one at the companies could be reached for comment. The lawsuit alleges the companies' buses were left idling longer than state and city laws allow.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

News Alert