MPs object to attempts to water down UK carbon budget

A summary of today’s top climate and clean energy stories.
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Source: Flickr / Jim Trodel

UK: An influential group of MPs has weighed into the simmering row over the UK’s carbon budgets, warning that the carbon reduction targets for 2022 and beyond will be missed, because of poor government policy on energy and the environment. (Guardian)

Research: A campaign to persuade investors to take their money out of the fossil fuel sector is growing faster than any previous divestment campaign and could cause significant damage to coal, oil and gas companies, according to a study from the University of Oxford. (Guardian)

Research: The Asian needle ant no longer lives in just Asia. In the 1900s, the bugs reached eastern North America and quickly spread. In Asia, the venomous pokes have been reported to cause severe allergic reactions. Since ants are sensitive to climate, researchers wondered how global warming would affect the spread of this unpleasant species. Their computer models suggest that by 2050, the species’ potential habitat will expand by 29 percent, the team reports in PLOS ONE. (Conservation)

Finance: Over 100 organisations from the developing world have written to the Green Climate Fund, demanding integrity and transparency in the allocation of funds promised by the developed world to tackle climate change. (RTCC)

Congo: WWF today has filed a complaint alleging that British oil company Soco International PLC has breached international corporate social responsibility standards. WWF contends that, in the course of Soco’s oil exploration activities in and around Virunga National Park, the company has violated environmental and human rights provisions of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development  Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. (WWF)

Israel: Israeli firm Applied CleanTech has developed a sewage mining system that picks out and recycles useful fibers from raw urban and industrial wastewater, increasing the efficiency of treatment plants and reducing the amount of unwanted sludge. (Reuters)

US: FirstEnergy Corp said on Monday a small area of degradation found in the steel containment liner in one of the reactors at Pennsylvania’s Beaver Valley nuclear power plant poses no harm to the public, workers or the environment. (Reuters)

UK: The chances of expanding Heathrow and other airports in the south-east has increased substantially as Sir Howard Davies, the chairman of the Airports commission, affirmed for the first time that Britain will need new runways. Davies said there needed to be a mechanism to manage carbon emissions, but signalled that he believed new runways could prove less damaging on a national level – if not for the local environment. (Guardian)

Italy: Pollution with plastic waste is not confined to the oceans but poses a growing threat to lakes as well.That is the view of researchers who found significant concentrations of the substance in Italy’s Lake Garda. (BBC)

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