In a hurry? Friday’s environment news in 60 seconds

A round-up of the top stories this morning from ENDS and elsewhere, including raccoon dog on list of invasive species likely to reach the UK, scientists advise tackling the nature and climate crises together and green groups’ dismay over the Environment Bill’s species target.

Raccoon dog on list of invasive species likely to reach the UK

The raccoon dog and the raccoon have been identified as invasive species likely to reach the UK, posing a risk to native wildlife and biodiversity, according to a study funded by DEFRA. READ MORE

Tackle nature and climate crises in concert, say global experts

An unprecedented collaboration between ecologists and climate scientists has pleaded for the world’s governments to address biodiversity loss and global warming in concert. READ MORE

Environment Bill: Dismay from green groups over detail of species target amendment

Green groups have responded with dismay to the detail of a new government amendment to the Environment Bill on species abundance, claiming that the wording falls short of the environment secretary's promise of delivering a ‘net zero for nature’. READ MORE

Plans for controversial reservoir approved by second council

Proposals for a new reservoir, which would result in the loss of 14 hectares of ancient woodland and have the potential to harm species protected under the habitats directive, have been granted planning permission by a second council. READ MORE

‘Governance gap’: Net gain duty risks ‘delivering little’ for biodiversity

The Environment Bill’s proposed biodiversity net gain duty on developers could risk poor outcomes for biodiversity, with the bill’s provisions insufficient to ensure promised gains materialise, according to a paper published this week. READ MORE

‘Worrying, but not surprising’: Paucity of UK chemical compliance testing revealed

So far this year, British local authorities have barely reported any products as dangerous to the public due to breaching chemical safety rules – compared to hundreds made across the EU. READ MORE

New database aims to aid EIA for offshore wind

A UK-wide environmental evidence register for offshore wind farms was launched today, providing a list of evidence gaps and relevant research for impacts on the seabed, marine mammals and seabirds. READ MORE

In other news…

At their first meeting, ahead of the G7 meeting today, US president Joe Biden and prime minister Boris Johnson signed a new ‘Atlantic Charter’, echoing the name of the 1941 joint statement made by their predecessors Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt.

“Just as our countries worked together to rebuild the world following the Second World War, so too will we apply our combined strength to the enormous challenges facing the planet today – from global defence and security to building back better from coronavirus to stopping climate change,” said a statement from Downing Street.

The meeting, which ends on Sunday, will consider plan to ‘turbo-charge’ industrial decarbonisation. READ MORE

Meanwhile, Sky News reports that Johnson has defended his decision to travel to Cornwall via private jet, blasted as “plane stupid” by Labour.

“If you attack my arrival by plane, I respectfully point out that the UK is actually in the lead in developing sustainable aviation fuel. One of the points in the 10-point plan of our green industrial revolution is to get to jet zero as well as net zero,” said the prime minister.

Writing in the Times, former secretaries of state for energy and climate change Amber Rudd and Andrea backed establishing a California-style ‘zero-emission mandate’ for car makers, an idea put forward by the think tank Policy Exchange. The proposal would require manufacturers to meet binding targets for electric vehicle production, or pay for credits from rival firms.

It won support from transport secretary Grant Shapps last year. READ MORE

The mayor of Copeland has pleaded for employment interests to trump the climate in the debate over the opening of a metallurgical coal mine in Whitehaven, Sky News reports.

Referring to the G7 meeting, Mike Starkie, mayor of Copeland, said if the prime minister, “sets an objective in that conference to every other country to get to where this country is now environmentally we'll take a huge leap forward. But we've got to have a balanced approach”.

The planning application for the mine was called in by Communities secretary Robert Jenrick in March. The u-turn was forced by opposition from environmentalists and members of his own party. READ MORE

Meanwhile, a key session of the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee opened yesterday, aimed at cutting the carbon intensity of ships by 40% by 2030.

In a speech responding to the slow pace of the talks, secretary general Kitack Lim said, “No single stakeholder can make decarbonisation of shipping a reality by acting alone. [The] IMO will demonstrate that it is on the right pathway of GHG reduction consistent with the Paris Agreement temperature goals. It will also reinforce the message that IMO is the only global forum to address climate-friendly maritime transport to any sceptic who might think otherwise.”

The UK’s Sixth Carbon Budget will extend to both shipping and aviation. READ MORE

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