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

A round-up of the top stories this morning from ENDS, including Southern Water confirming a Kent sewage spill that shut 14 beaches, and the campaigners calling for Ofwat’s policy statement to include explicit reference to climate change.

Wednesday’s environment news in 60 seconds

Southern Water confirms Kent sewage spill that shut 14 beaches

An equipment fault at a Southern Water sewage pumping station in Kent has resulted in the discharge of a quantity of sewage into the waters off a popular beach, the firm has confirmed. READ MORE

Ofwat policy statement must include ‘explicit reference to climate change', say campaigners 

The government’s new policy statement for utilities regulator Ofwat should include climate change adaptation and mitigation as a “strategic priority”, and the document should be “more ambitious” in a range of areas including support for nature-based solutions.  READ MORE

COP26: $100bn climate fund ‘now within touching distance’, says Sharma

The UK COP26 president has said that the delivery of a $100bn climate fund promised as part of the Paris Agreement is “now within touching distance”, in a speech addressed to world leaders. READ MORE

Climate change denier group rebrands as Net Zero Watch

The long-time climate science denial group the Global Warming Policy Foundation has rebranded online as the Net Zero Watch campaign. READ MORE

High Court upholds BEIS decision to block major new incinerator

The High Court has dismissed a bid to overturn a decision from BEIS which blocked plans for a new energy-from-waste plant in Kent on grounds that the scheme could undermine the waste hierarchy. READ MORE

Poultry firm accepts a ‘level of responsibility’ for pollution in the river Wye

A major chicken supplier to UK supermarkets has for the first time admitted that excrement from its farms is polluting the river Wye. READ MORE

In other news…

‘Overwhelming’ backing for strong climate action, UK study shows

The Guardian reports the findings of the biggest analysis of policy preferences ever published, which says that the UK public backs a carbon tax on polluting industries, higher levies on flying, and grants for heat pumps in order to tackle the climate crisis. Almost 22,000 people chose their favoured mix of policies to hit the government’s 2030 target for emissions cuts. A speed limit of 60mph on motorways and a campaign to reduce meat eating by 10% were also among the most popular measures, says the newspaper, all of which had between 77% and 94% public support.

China launches $232.47m biodiversity protection fund for developing countries

Reuters reports that Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the launch of a $232.47m (£170m) fund on Tuesday to support biodiversity protection in developing countries, as talks continue on a new post-2020 global pact to tackle species loss. Xi was virtually addressing the COP15 biodiversity summit in Kunming, China, where diplomats, scientists, and conservationists are meeting to lay the groundwork for a global agreement to halt and reverse the destruction of nature, set to be finalised in May next year.

Climate pact on methane advances as 24 nations join US and EU

Bloomberg reports that two dozen more countries have joined a global pact to pare methane emissions. The US and the European Union made the announcement yesterday as world leaders seek to galvanize momentum against the potent greenhouse gas before COP26. With the addition of Canada, France, Germany and others, nations backing the pledge now represent about 30% of global methane emissions and 60% of the global economy, said the news outlet.