The Eco News Roundup brings stories and commentary about issues related to climate change, renewable energy and the environment.
GREAT FALLS, Mont. – A federal judge issued an order Thursday blocking construction of the $8 billion Keystone XL Pipeline until further environmental analysis is conducted.
The decision comes as TransCanada is preparing to build the oil pipeline beginning in northern Montana, with pipe being shipped to the state by train and trucked to locations along the line.
Environmental groups that sued TransCanada and the U.S. Department of State in federal court in Great Falls called the decision to overturn the Trump administration-issued permit a landmark ruling.
Scientists in Canada have warned that massive glaciers in the Yukon territory are shrinking even faster than would be expected from a warming climate – and bringing dramatic changes to the region.
After a string of recent reports chronicling the demise of the ice fields, researchers hope that greater awareness will help the public better understand the rapid pace of climate change.
The rate of warming in the north is double that of the average global temperature increase, concluded the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in its annual Arctic Report Card, which called the warming “unprecedented”.
You’ve probably heard of the Keystone XL pipeline. But what about Line 67, also known as the Alberta Clipper?
Nine years ago, both were controversial proposals to ship oil from Canada’s tar sands into the United States. But while Keystone XL is still awaiting approval and continues to draw protests, Line 67 quietly secured a federal permit last week to ship even more crude than Keystone would.
On Oct. 13, the State Department approved a long-awaited permit that allows Enbridge, which owns the pipeline, to pump up to 890,000 barrels per day across the border between Canada and North Dakota, en route to Superior, Wisconsin.
The Arctic is no longer the safe haven it once was for nesting birds, a new scientific report warns.
Having nests raided by predators is a bigger threat for birds flocking to breed than in the past, it shows.
This raises the risk of extinction for birds on Arctic shores, say researchers.
They point to a link with climate change, which may be changing the behaviour and habitat of animals, such as foxes, which steal eggs.
Prof Tamás Székely of the Milner Centre for Evolution at the University of Bath, UK, described the findings as “alarming”.
When Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin filed suit against 21 oil and gas companies in July, it became the first such lawsuit filed by a state. According to experts, though, it could spark a wave of climate change-related lawsuits filed by states.
Until Rhode Island filed, the more than one dozen suits filed attempting to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for climate related impacts had all come from cities or counties. Almost all are in a jurisdictional battle, striving to stay in state courts where they believe the law will be more favorable, instead of federal court, where the industry would like them tried. And they are splintered across the country, ranging from New York City to Boulder, Colo., to San Francisco and Oakland.
“Because of their position in the federal system and their ability to make legal arguments that others can’t, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the states are soon leading the way with climate suits like they’ve done in past with tobacco and pharmaceutical companies,” said Paul Nolette, a political science professor at Marquette University. “I expect a flood of litigation here, ultimately led by the states.”
The green economy now holds roughly the same market share as the fossil fuel sector, according to market analysts FTSE Russell.
In a report released last week, 6% of globally listed equity was derived from renewable and alternative energy, energy efficiency, water, waste and pollution services. This ‘green economy’ was now worth approximately $4 trillion, roughly the same as the fossil fuel sector.
The green economy is also growing, the analysts said, in contrast to fossil fuels, which has shrunk.
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