President Donald Trump shrank two wilderness national monuments in Utah by at least half in the biggest rollback of public land protection in US history. Trump’s announcement followed months of review by the Interior Department after he ordered the agency in April to identify which of 27 monuments designated by past presidents should be rescinded or resized to give states and local governments more control of the land. “Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They’re wrong,” Trump said in the state capitol alongside Utah’s Republican governor, Gary Herbert, the Utah congressional delegation and local county commissioners. Unlike national parks that can only be created by an act of Congress, national monuments can be designated unilaterally by presidents under the century-old Antiquities Act, a law meant to protect sacred sites, artifacts … [Read more...] about Donald Trump sued by Native tribes after cancelling protection for national monuments in Utah
Environmental protection laws limit what
THE controlling European Court of Justice will have NO role in Britain after Brexit, David Davis has promised.The Brexit Secretary confirmed that the days of EU courts controlling decisions in Britain will finally be over when we quit the bloc.Revealing the Great Repeal Bill today, Mr Davis launched a mammoth bid to put all EU legislation into UK law.The minister said that 1,000 bits of legislation will automatically convert all laws into British ones on the day we leave - that's as many laws as are usually passed during an entire FIVE YEAR parliament.MPs will then be able to pick and choose which ones we want to keep, and which ones we can throw out.Mr Davis said this could "provide clarity and certainty for businesses on the day that we leave the EU".The Government will also repeal the European Communities Act of 1972, and create the powers to correct laws which don't work once we quit the bloc.And he added that it would put us in a stronger position to sign up for a trade deal with … [Read more...] about Brexit Secretary David Davis promises Great Repeal Bill will end the role of thousands of EU laws in the lives of Brits
"Quick, catch up, don't leave any gaps," demonstrators yelled to one another, running through muddy fields. Although it got off to a late start, things were suddenly happening very fast at the Ende Gelände ("End of the Road") action alliance protest march on Sunday morning. Hundreds of activists, clad in white protective overalls, ran charging toward the Hambach strip mine in North Rhine-Westphalia, past police and straight for the massive, 100-meter-tall (330-foot) coal excavator behind them. Their goal: To shut down work at Europe's largest strip mine. Environmental activists had called for the protest on the day before the UN's COP 23 climate change summit in Bonn as a way to send a strong message to politicians to end coal mining. The Hambach strip mine is one of the EU's biggest air polluters. Read more on COP 23 - Climate conference the 23rd: Bigger, greener ... better? - COP23: What's at stake? According to activist … [Read more...] about Environmental activists storm open-pit coal mine ahead of climate talks
Usually, the country holding presidency of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) hosts it's annual conference. But Fiji, the country with that honor in 2017, was in no position to accomodate the 25,000 negotiators, environmental activists and journalists converging on COP23 from around the world. Apart from anything, the South Pacific island nation doesn't have convention center anywhere near large enough. So, from November 6 to 17, the hordes are descending instead on Bonn, Germany — home of the UNFCCC headquarters. But Fiji will preside over the event — or more specifically, the country's president, former naval officer Frank Bainimarama, will. Fiji spotlights plight of island nations For Fiji, a county of more than 300 islands, climate change isn't just a talking point — it's a threat to islands' very existence. Environmentalists hope Bainimarama will bring together different interests at the conference and … [Read more...] about COP23: What’s at stake?
Air quality around the world is poor - according to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 90 percent of the earth's inhabitants suffer as a result. About 3 million people die from outdoor dirty air each year - the European Environment Agency estimates that some 430,000 Europeans die prematurely each year as a result. Traffic plays a major role, especially in cities. This is due above all to deadly particulate matter generated by tire, brake and street abrasion. Traffic also kicks up a lot of dust. And lastly, internal combustion engines generate large quantities of fine particles. "Many major studies, some of which included hundreds of thousands of participants, have shown that fine matter particles and diesel soot lead to health problems, including cardiovascular illnesses - such as heart attack and stroke, lung disease, diabetes, low birth weights among newborns and asthma in young children," explained Barbara Hoffmann, who heads the department of environmental epidemiology … [Read more...] about Diesel emissions kill. What is the car industry going to do about it?
The prospect of Donald Trump becoming the next president of the United States has been inching closer to reality as the billionaire reality TV star keeps winning crucial state primaries, locking up the popular vote to be the Republican Party's nominee. The developments have worried environmentalists, both within the United States and globally - because Trump has said he does not believe in manmade global warming. He has called measures to limit emissions a "money-making industry" and a hoax. He is also no fan of other environmental restrictions. More specifically, he has vowed to abolish the US agency that makes and enforces environment and climate laws. Were he to follow through with his promise to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), he could throw international efforts to reduce emissions into disarray. Disaster for climate effort "The US election is going to decide the extent to which the world can get to grips with the climate crisis," says Bert Wander, a … [Read more...] about What a Trump win would mean for the environment
President-elect Donald Trump has put forth his new cabinet - and environmentalists are up in arms about it. "Stop climate deniers! Tillerson, Pruitt, Perry, Zinke" read a poster at a rally in New York, where protesters gathered to convince senators to vote against those candidates at confirmation hearings. Numerous environmental organizations have called on supporters to urge their senators to do the same. Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, former Texas Governor Rick Perry and Montana Congressman Ryan Zinke are known as climate skeptics. Many fear they could roll back environmental protection measures. But what is their background - and what can we expect? Rex Tillerson Tillerson, who has been tapped by Trump to become Secretary of State, has worked for petroleum giant ExxonMobil for more than 40 years - he was CEO for a decade, until 2016. At his confirmation hearing last week, Tillerson dodged questions as to whether he believed … [Read more...] about The four horsemen of Trump’s ecopocalypse?
What is your response to the new legislation? Greenpeace finds that it does provide member states with a new right, but the law has some major flaws. The first is that it basically grants GM companies the power to negotiate with elected governments, which we criticize. Secondly, it excludes the strongest legal arguments to ban GM crops in national territories, which is evidence related to environmental impacts and risks. How does the law change GM regulation within Europe? It gives member states two new options: From now on they will be allowed to restrict the cultivation of GM crops in their territory, and they can decide whether to negotiate with companies and demand that companies exclude their territory from the request for authorization. The other option that member states have is to directly and pro-actively impose a national ban of the cultivation of GM crops in their territory. Could you explain what you perceive to be the limitations of the legislation? The concerns we … [Read more...] about Greenpeace: GMO food law has flaws
For the first time in years, China made amendments to the country's environmental protection laws in April last year as part of its efforts to tackle the increasingly worsening pollution problem. On January 1, China's amended Environmental Protection Law or EPL took effect. It significantly strengthened environmental enforcement provisions, most significantly introducing uncapped fines assessable daily for each day of non-compliance. More than three decades of industrialization and rapid economic growth have led to deteriorating air, water and soil quality in the world's second largest economy. However, according to a recently released analysis, air quality in China's coastal regions and cities has modestly improved over the past 12 months thanks in part to strict air pollution control policies. The Greenpeace report found that while Beijing still ranked in the top five worst polluted provincial-level regions in China, the capital's PM2.5 concentration improved more than 13 percent … [Read more...] about China’s new environmental measures ‘a step in the right direction’
Deutsche Welle: With the current case of Edward Snowden there's a lot of attention on whistleblowing across the world with the focus on the situation in the United States. There's a lot of public sympathy for Snowden - but what's the situation for whistleblowers actually in Europe? To which extent are people employed in the public or private sector protected from retaliation or being fired if they choose to uncover corruption, misconduct or crime in the company they work for? Mark Worth: The only country in the EU that has a strong whistleblower law and where there is a somewhat well functioning enforcement system is the UK. Britain has had a law on the books since 1998 that protects employees in the public and private and also the non-profit sectors. So if you follow the procedure to blow the whistle on wrongdoing, corruption, crime and so forth and it is in the public interest, then you'd be legally protected from being fired, demoted, harassed, or being transferred … [Read more...] about ‘Most of Europe has no whistleblower protection’