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Windfarms in Great Britain break record for clean power generation. Blustery winter weather helped Great Britain’s windfarms set a record for clean power generation, which made up more than 40% of its electricity on Friday.

Windfarms in Great Britain break record for clean power generation

Wind turbines generated 17.3GW on Friday afternoon, according to figures from the electricity system operator, narrowly beating the previous record set in early January this year. High wind speeds across the country helped wind power’s share of the electricity mix remain above 40% through Saturday. Coal and gas plants made up less than a fifth of electricity generated. Celebrities rooting for ‘Veganuary’ in UK to combat new rise in meat sales. A host of musicians, actors and sports stars have joined up with businesses and environmental groups in what they hope will be a successful push to get more people to ditch meat, fish and dairy in the new year.

Celebrities rooting for ‘Veganuary’ in UK to combat new rise in meat sales

Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace have written an open letter, signed by celebrities including Sir Paul McCartney, Ricky Gervais, Lily Cole and Alan Cumming, calling for people to change their diet for “Veganuary” next month. “We cannot tackle climate change while we farm and eat animals on an industrial scale,” the group has said. Other signatories include Chris Packham, the environmental campaigner and TV presenter, Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, cricketer Jason Gillespie, businesswoman Deborah Meaden and comedians John Bishop, Sara Pascoe and Jon Richardson.

Packham said there was a clear link between the climate crisis, large-scale meat-eating and coronavirus. India’s robots are taking on Covid patient care. $427 bn lost to tax havens every year - Tax Justice Network, Nov 2020. The equivalent of one nurse’s annual salary is lost to a tax haven every second Countries are losing a total of over $427 billion in tax each year to international corporate tax abuse and private tax evasion, costing countries altogether the equivalent of nearly 34 million nurses’ annual salaries every year – or one nurse’s annual salary every second.1 As pandemic-fatigued countries around the world struggle to cope with second and third waves of coronavirus, a ground-breaking study published today reveals for the first time how much public funding each country loses to global tax abuse and identifies the countries most responsible for others’ losses.

$427 bn lost to tax havens every year - Tax Justice Network, Nov 2020

Cooling: hidden threat for climate change and the SDGs. Growing international demand for cooling is set to drive one of the most substantial increases in greenhouse gas emissions in history – but the risks and benefits of sustainable cooling remain a global blind spot, according to research.

Cooling: hidden threat for climate change and the SDGs

The study, published in Nature Sustainability, also provides a framework for achieving sustainable cooling for all. "Cooling is essential to human well-being and health, from the food we eat, to the storage of medicine, to how comfortable and productive we are at home, school or the office," says Dr Radhika Khosla, senior researcher at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, and principal investigator of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Cooling. "The global community must commit to sustainable cooling, or risk locking the world into a deadly feedback loop, where demand for cooling energy drives further greenhouse gas emissions and results in even more global warming. " Full coverage: Bed nets for Benin - GatesNotes, Aug 2020. Global Peace Index 2020 - IIEP June 2020. 2020 Financing Sustainable Development - UNDESA, Apr 2020. Rightwing thinktanks use fear of Covid-19 to fight bans on plastic bags - Guardian, March 2020.

The fight to ban plastic bags, many of which end up polluting oceans and rivers, has taken a step backward as conservative US think-tanks exploit the fear of Covid-19, campaigners have said.

Rightwing thinktanks use fear of Covid-19 to fight bans on plastic bags - Guardian, March 2020

Articles warning that reusable cloth bags are worse than plastic ones for spreading coronavirus have been linked to major rightwing nonprofits such as the Manhattan Institute, and contain misinformation aimed at defeating or repealing plastic bag bans, said Greenpeace USA. The effort “risks further confusion” amid a global public health crisis, it said. Recent studies have found that Covid-19 could be stable on plastic and steel for up to three days, compared with 24 hours for cardboard and four hours for copper. Principles for a Just Recovery from COVID-19 - & others, Mar 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic demands swift and unprecedented action from national governments and the international community.

Principles for a Just Recovery from COVID-19 - & others, Mar 2020

Choices being made right now will shape our society for years, if not decades to come. As decision-makers take steps to ensure immediate relief and long-term recovery, it is imperative that they consider the interrelated crises of wealth inequality, racism, and ecological decline – notably the climate crisis, which were in place long before COVID-19, and now risk being intensified. Lab-grown food is about to destroy farming – and save the planet. It sounds like a miracle, but no great technological leaps were required.

Lab-grown food is about to destroy farming – and save the planet

In a commercial lab on the outskirts of Helsinki, I watched scientists turn water into food. Through a porthole in a metal tank, I could see a yellow froth churning. It’s a primordial soup of bacteria, taken from the soil and multiplied in the laboratory, using hydrogen extracted from water as its energy source. Victoria Falls dries to a trickle after worst drought in a century. Great Pacific Garbage Patch: giant plastic trap put to sea again. A floating device designed to catch plastic waste has been redeployed in a second attempt to clean up a huge island of garbage swirling in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii.

Great Pacific Garbage Patch: giant plastic trap put to sea again

Boyan Slat, creator of the Ocean Cleanup project, announced on Twitter that a 600-metre (2,000ft) long floating boom that broke apart late last year was sent back to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch this week after four months of repair. A ship towed the U-shaped barrier from San Francisco to the patch in September to trap the plastic. Greta Thunberg backs climate general strike to force leaders to act. Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist, has given her support for a general strike for the climate, saying the student movement she inspired needs more support from older generations to ensure politicians keep their promises under the Paris agreement.

Greta Thunberg backs climate general strike to force leaders to act

Speaking at a public event in London as Extinction Rebellion protests continued in the capital, the initiator of the school strike for climate movement was typically frank about the scale of the problem the world faces and the impact her campaign has made. “People are slowly becoming more aware, but emissions continue to rise. The destruction of the Earth is a crime. It should be prosecuted. Why do we wait until someone has passed away before we honour them?

The destruction of the Earth is a crime. It should be prosecuted

I believe we should overcome our embarrassment, and say it while they are with us. In this spirit, I want to tell you about the world-changing work of Polly Higgins. Thirteen million hits for trailer of film based on a Nestle baby milk whistleblower. Thirteen million hits for the Tigers trailer as the film based on a Nestle baby milk whistleblower is premiered worldwide. Over 11 million people have so far watched the youtube trailer for the eagerly awaited feature film Tigers, by Oscar-winning director Danis Tanovic (“No Man’s Land”), co-written with Andy Paterson (“Girl with a Pearl Earring”, “The Railway Man”) which premieres worldwide today on the Zee5 platform and is currently showing in selected UK cinemas. Tigers is based on the true story of a former Nestlé baby milk salesman in Pakistan called Syed Aamir Raza (played in the film by major Bollywood star Emraan Hashmi) taking on the industry with the help of Baby Milk Action and IBFAN (the International Baby Food Action Network) when he realises that babies are dying as a result of his work pressuring doctors to promote formula.

Banking on Climate Change 2019 - an NGO coalition, March 2019. Antibiotic Resistance a global development problem - DagHammarskjold Foundation, Mar 2019.

Climate change

Food & Agriculture. Pollution. ‘Worrying’ rise in global CO2 forecast for 2019. The level of climate-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is forecast to rise by a near-record amount in 2019, according to the Met Office. The increase is being fuelled by the continued burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of forests, and will be particularly high in 2019 due to an expected return towards El Niño-like conditions. This natural climate variation causes warm and dry conditions in the tropics, meaning the plant growth that removes CO2 from the air is restricted.

Levels of the greenhouse gas have not been as high as today for 3-5m years, when the global temperature was 2-3C warmer and the sea level was 10-20 metres higher. Climate action must be increased fivefold to limit warming to the 1.5C rise above pre-industrial levels that scientists advise, according to the UN. World's 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%, says Oxfam. Climate threat dominates 2019 global risk rankings. Four of the five most impactful global risks in 2019 relate to climate change, with extreme weather the most pressing risk facing the planet, according to annual survey of risk experts.

Services publics ou fortunes privées (Rapport sommaire 40 pages) - Oxfam, Jan 2019. Public good or private wealth (Summary Report 40 pages) - Oxfam, Jan 2019. US Economists' statement on carbon tax - Climate Leadership Council, Jan 2019. We need high-fibre (not low carb) diets. Eating more fibre, found in wholegrain cereals, pasta and bread as well as nuts and pulses, will cut people’s chances of heart disease and early death, according to a landmark review commissioned by the World Health Organization. Pistes pour remplacer la viande - 24 heures, Suisse, Jan 2019. Risks of 'domino effect' of tipping points greater than thought. ADB launches a new Inclusive Green Growth Index (IGGI) - ADB, Oct 2018.

No country is achieving sustainability and well-being! Brazil records worst annual deforestation for a decade. Climate-warming El Niño very likely in 2019, says UN agency. There is a 75-80% chance of a climate-warming El Niño event by February, according to the latest analysis from the UN’s World Meteorological Organization. Global economic cost of violence is at its highest level on record – Vision of Humanity, Oct 2018. Today the Institute of Economics and Peace released its annual Economic Value of Peace report showing the global cost of violence is at its highest level on record at $14.8 trillion in 2017, or 12.4 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Amazon indigenous groups propose Mexico-sized 'corridor of life' The world's best building? A remote Brazilian school made out of wood. Urgent call to protect child health from harmful trade rules. The other COP: the plan to save the world’s biodiversity - GreenPeace, 16 Nov 2018.

La Semaine Européenne de la Réduction des Déchets, 17-25 novembre 2018. International Mountain Day Photo contest. Stop biodiversity loss or we could face our own extinction, warns UN.