Environmental News

Greta Thunberg: ‘I really see the value of friendship. Apart from the climate, almost nothing else matters’

The world’s most famous teen activist opens up about how she’s been transformed since she started her school climate strike in 2018

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Ministers close to deal that could end China’s role in UK nuclear power station

Exclusive: deal in which UK government would take stake in Sizewell C would risk inflaming geopolitical tensions

Ministers are closing in on a deal that could kick China off a project to build a £20bn nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast and pump in tens of millions of pounds of taxpayer cash instead – a move that would heighten geopolitical tensions.

The government could announce plans to take a stake in Sizewell C power station, alongside the French state-backed power giant EDF, as early as next month, ahead of the Cop26 climate summit.

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Reintroducing wolves to UK could hit rewilding support, expert says

Head of Scotland’s natural heritage body says there is too much focus on reintroducing apex predators

Demands to reintroduce predators such as wolves and bears could significantly damage public support for rewilding the British countryside, a senior conservationist has said.

Francesca Osowska, chief executive of NatureScot, a government conservation agency, said rewilding could only succeed if it won support from people living in and managing the countryside, including farmers and Highland estate managers who are worried about losing their livelihoods.

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Call of the wild: planned Dartmoor crackdown ‘will penalise campers’

Move to restrict where people can sleep under canvas will reverse the public’s hard-won right to enjoy the national park

Shamus McCaffery, 53, who lives in the heart of Dartmoor and wild camps there three or four times a month, is among many who are worried about an imminent threat to their freedoms.

Dartmoor National Park Authority (DNPA) has launched a consultation on new bylaws that could reduce the areas where people can legally wild camp in England and Wales by 2,400 hectares, as well as ban activities involving more than 50 people without the agreement of landowners. People caught by the moor’s rangers camping in the wrong spot or gathering in large groups without permission could be fined £500. “Our hard-won freedoms to spend nights on the moor surrounded by nature are at risk,” said McCaffery. “This will criminalise law-abiding users of the countryside.”

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Sweden’s green dilemma: can cutting down ancient trees be good for the Earth?

The country’s model for managing its trees is bad for biodiversity… and political unity

Forest-owner Lars-Erik Levin doesn’t seem like an environmental villain. As he walks through his 80 hectares (198 acres) of woodland in southern Sweden, he identifies goldcrests by their song, points out a cauliflower fungus and shows off the aspen in his wood that grouse feed on. This year he’s picked more than 100kg of chanterelles, and even more bilberries.

But this is the part of the property he manages by so-called continuous cover forestry, where he claims he only fells trees with trunks so thick his arms no longer reach around them. On the other side of his farmhouse is a wide-open space the size of two football pitches, where, five years ago, he cut the forest to the stumps. Little now remains but grass, brambles and young, waist-high spruce. “Animals and birds have legs and wings, they can move a little,” he protests when asked what happened to the wildlife.

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