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Bid to drill shale wells in Nottinghamshire 'should get green light'

Officials say IGas application to drill two wells at Springs Road, former cold war missile launch site, should be approved

A planning application to drill two exploratory shale gas wells at a former cold war missile launch site in north Nottinghamshire should go ahead, officials have said.

In a report hundreds of pages long, planning officers for Nottinghamshire county council said the bid by shale company IGas to drill at Springs Road, Mission, should be granted.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Mining in Malawi brings forced evictions and ruined crops, report says

Human Rights Watch claims the government is failing to protect local communities from environmental impact of mining around Lake Malawi

Villagers in Malawi have been forcibly evicted from their homes to make way for coal and uranium mines and consequently face serious problems accessing safe water, according to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, which claims that the government lacks adequate safeguards to protect those affected.

Villagers told HRW that they were given little to no notice that mining would begin in their area, and unsatisfactory or zero compensation for resettlement, the report said. It also claimed the villagers had suffered problems with their crops and water sources, and were worried about the effect the mining was having on their health.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Brexit ‘could trigger’ UK departure from nuclear energy treaty

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU could also force it to exit the Euratom treaty on nuclear energy, ENDS has learned

The UK’s withdrawal from the EU could also force it to exit the Euratom Treaty on nuclear energy, ENDS has learned.

The Euratom Treaty, which applies to all EU member states, seeks to promote nuclear safety standards, investment and research within the bloc. Although it is governed by EU institutions, it has retained a separate legal identity since its adoption in 1957.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Council asks for child’s birth certificate before it will collect nappies

Anger in Anglesey after parents told they must prove their child is under three if they want binmen to collect dirty nappies

A local authority in north Wales has told parents they must show their children’s birth certificates if they want binmen to collect dirty nappies.

Waste management teams at Anglesey council have introduced the rules in an effort to cut waste, meet recycling targets and avoid fines from the Welsh government.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Shale gas ban 'would cement decline of UK manufacturing'

As Ineos takes first shale gas shipment from US, its CEO Jim Ratcliffe says without fracking UK manufacturing’s future is ‘gloomy’

The billionaire hoping to become Britain’s biggest fracker has said banning shale gas would cement the decline of UK manufacturing, as he brushed off environmental concerns about the hotly disputed energy source.

Speaking as his petrochemicals firm Ineos took delivery of the first ever shipment of shale gas from the US, Jim Ratcliffe addressed Labour’s announcement that it would ban fracking, which he insists could create jobs in some of the party’s former industrial heartlands.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Revealed: how senior Laos officials cut deals with animal traffickers

Evidence obtained by the Guardian shows how treasury coffers swelled with 2% tax on trades worth up to $45m including tigers, rhinos and elephants

Officials at the highest level of an Asian government have been helping wildlife criminals smuggle millions of dollars worth of endangered species through their territory, the Guardian can reveal.

In an apparent breach of current national and international law, for more than a decade the office of the prime minister of Laos has cut deals with three leading traffickers to move hundreds of tonnes of wildlife through selected border crossings.

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Source: Guardian Environment

China accused of defying its own ban on breeding tigers to profit from body parts

Beijing faces pressure at global summit to close 200 farms where tigers are bred for luxury goods and end its obstructive tactics

China has been accused of deceiving the international community by allowing a network of farms to breed thousands of captive tigers for the sale of their body parts, in breach of their own longstanding ban on the trade.

The Chinese government has allowed about 200 specialist farms to hold an estimated 6,000 tigers for slaughter, before their skins are sold as decoration and their bones are marinated to produce tonics and lotions. Campaigners say this has increased demand for the products and provoked the poaching of thousands of wild tigers, whose global population is now down to just 3,500.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Can the aviation industry finally clean up its emissions?

With biofuel potential limited and emissions rising, the need for industry to act is urgent. Hopes rest on a global UN carbon offset scheme to be negotiated at the ICAO summit this week – but critics remain unconvinced

When a South Africa Airways scheduled flight flew from Johannesburg to Cape Town last month, it carried nearly 300 passengers.

Neither the passengers or the pilots would have noticed any difference between that flight and any other.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Great Barrier Reef: Unesco pushes for tree-clearing controls

UN agency recognises ‘importance of strengthening our vegetation protection laws’, Queensland’s Jackie Trad says

Unesco has acknowledged the importance of stymied tree-clearing controls in Queensland to efforts to protect the Great Barrier Reef, according to the state’s deputy premier, Jackie Trad.

Trad has emerged from a meeting in Paris with a Unesco official, Fanny Douvere, to declare the state Labor government would restore clearing controls, one of its “key commitments” to the reef, if it won another term of office.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Climate change challenge to Gina Rinehart’s Alpha mine dismissed by court

Queensland court of appeal finds ‘proposed mining would not detrimentally affect global greenhouse gas emissions’ because Asian power stations would buy coal elsewhere if Alpha blocked

Miners could run afoul of Queensland’s environmental protection laws if the burning of their export coal overseas were shown to negatively impact global carbon pollution, the state’s highest court has ruled.

But the court of appeal has dismissed a challenge to Gina Rinehart’s Alpha mine because of an earlier land court finding that it would “not detrimentally affect global greenhouse gas emissions” because Asian power stations would simply buy coal elsewhere if the mine were blocked.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Tony Abbott at odds with Mike Baird over shark nets after teenager attacked

Former prime minister says commercial shark fishery should be considered for north coast of New South Wales

Tony Abbott has called for nets to be put in place to protect beachgoers in regional New South Wales, saying he is on the side of people rather than sharks, after a teenager was bitten while surfing.

The former prime minister has argued that it was unfair nets were in place off metropolitan beaches but not regional ones.

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Source: Guardian Environment

Climate chief: UK must not use Brexit to water down environment laws

Committee on Climate Change chair urges UK to bring in new laws to replace EU legislation and says Scotland must do more to prepare for global warming

The UK must not water down its environmental laws as it leaves the European Union, one of the government’s most senior advisers on climate change has warned.

Lord Krebs, chairman of the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), told the Guardian: “It will be absolutely crucial that governments in the UK replace European legislation and don’t see this as an opportunity to say we can now have dirtier vehicles or less efficient household appliances.”

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Source: Guardian Environment

Kea simply takes its share of nature’s bounty | Brief letters

NZ parrots | iPhone 7 | Pictures of autumn | Eating dirt | Bootle accents | Welsh signage

From your report (22 September) on the endangered New Zealand parrot the kea: “its destructive habits such as … attacking stock and habitually stealing food”. A wild creature has no concept of harm or property, so both “attacking” and “habitually stealing” are demonising anthropomorphism. The kea, like any other predator species, is simply and instinctively taking its share of nature’s bounty, the only way it could have survived until now. By any rational criterion, a wild animal is beyond human conceits of blame and responsibility.
Alex Watson
North Nibley, Gloucestershire

• Samuel Gibbs fingers a poor battery as the iPhone 7’s big weakness (Technology review, 24 September). This after five hours’ music, three hours’ browsing, photos, emails, etc. Allowing for seven hours sleep where do, you know, people, fit in?
Bill Steedman
Edinburgh

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Source: Guardian Environment

Labour's pledge to ban fracking in the UK is 'madness', says GMB

Party’s union donor says Britain would be forced to rely on ‘henchmen, hangmen and headchopper’ dictators for gas

Labour’s third biggest union donor has attacked the party’s decision to pledge a ban on fracking in the UK as “nonsense” and “madness”.

The GMB, which backed Owen Smith for the party leadership, criticised the move, saying it would force the UK to rely on foreign dictators – “henchman, hangmen and headchoppers” – for gas, as well as needlessly stop the creation of high-skilled jobs.

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Source: Guardian Environment

South Africa: 'Saving endangered species is the responsibility of everyone'

As the 17th world wildlife conference opens, South Africa’s environment minister Edna Bomo Molewa explains the country’s commitment to protecting wildlife

Over the next two weeks, South Africa will welcome an estimated 3,500 delegates to Cop17, the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).

Related: Saving Africa’s elephants: ‘Can you imagine them no longer existing?’

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Source: Guardian Environment