UK bill payers are facing the worst effects of the energy crisis in western Europe. Within Britain’s shores, it is the northernmost isles of Shetland where the 80 per cent jump in the winter energy price cap will hit the hardest. Around 96 per cent of households in the region will be plunged into fuel poverty by April, new analysis from Shetland Islands Council (SIC) shows. It estimates that Shetlanders will face average energy costs of £10,300 (€11,900) per year – around double that of the rest of the UK – if prices rise as predicted. This means each household would need to earn £104,000 (€120,400) to avoid spending more than 10 per cent of their income on energy. “That’s just a completely ridiculous situation to be in,” Douglas Irvine, executive manager of the Council’s Future Energy team tells Euronews Green. Continue reading “Fuel poverty could hit anyone earning under €120k on these remote UK islands”
One-third of Pakistan has been engulfed by historic flooding. Officials estimate that 33 million Pakistanis – one in seven – have been affected by the climate-driven catastrophe, which has claimed the lives of at least 1,136 people since the “monster” monsoon began in June. Pakistan is dealing with “climate blow upon climate blow,” says Arif Jabbar Khan, country director of WaterAid, noting the country faced scorching heatwaves earlier this year. “It’s all one big ocean, there’s no dry land to pump the water out,” climate minister Sherry Rehman told AFP. “Literally, one-third of Pakistan is underwater right now, which has exceeded every boundary, every norm we’ve seen in the past.”
Climate change could make giant hailstones more common, research suggests. Apocalyptic, tennis-ball sized hailstones rained down on parts of Catalonia this week, shattering car windows and injuring dozens of people. Tragically, a 20-month-old baby died after being hit by a falling stone. The hailstones – some up to 11cm wide – are the largest recorded in the region for two decades. But changing weather patterns could make storms like this more common, a study indicates.
African and international leaders came together in Rotterdam this week to call on industrialised nations to deliver on their pledges and finance the continent’s climate adaptation. The African Adaptation Summit is being held in preparation for COP27 in Egypt’s Sharm-El-Sheikh in November. “Rotterdam is a test for Sharm-El-Sheikh. Are we going to do the usual talking or really mobilise financing? This is what would give us hope for COP27,” said President of Senegal and African Union chair Macky Sall.
Pakistan is in the midst a climate-driven disaster. The country has been hit by historic rains and floods in the last few weeks. The extreme weather has now killed more than 1,300 people and affected more than 33 million. Parts of Pakistan now seem “like a sea”, said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, after visiting some of the flood-hit areas. “You wouldn’t believe the scale of destruction there,” he told reporters after a visit to the southern province of Sindh. “There is water everywhere as far as you can see. It is just like a sea.” The devastation has left 100,000s homeless and caused losses of at least $10 billion (€10.1 billion), officials estimate.
Droughts and heatwaves fuelled by climate change have endangered food supplies across Europe this summer. Rice in northern Italy, olive oil in Spain and barley in the UK have all seen dramatic decreases in yield due to environmental conditions. With global warming increasing the likelihood of extreme weather, many foods across the planet are set to become more scarce. This means a lot of the basic staples people consume daily will become more expensive.
Earth’s ozone layer protects all life on Earth from the sun’s harmful radiation. But in the late 20th century, human emissions of certain damaging chemicals began to affect the number of ozone molecules in the atmosphere. This has resulted in a dramatic hole opening up over Antarctica every year caused by complex meteorological and chemical processes. In 1987, just seven years after scientists discovered man-made chemicals were damaging the ozone layer, the Montreal Protocol was signed to try and curb the amount of harmful chemicals in the atmosphere. Previously found in refrigerators, air conditioners, hair spray and industrial cleaning products these chemicals started to be phased out to protect the ozone layer. Agreed by all 197 parties, this was one of the first ever universally ratified treaties in United Nations history. Now, new research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US has found that concentrations of harmful chemicals that damage the ozone layer have dropped.
In Seychelles, an archipelago nation in the southwest Indian Ocean, fishing is the main source of food and income for many small communities like La Retraite on the island of Mahé.
Improvement in local facilities
Every afternoon, local fishers return with their catches to sell them fresh at their new marketplace. This clean and well-equipped facility was built thanks to agreements the European Union has been making with countries like Seychelles – which allow EU vessels to fish in their territorial waters, in return for support given to the fishing sector.
Greta Thunberg says it would be “a mistake” for Germany to switch off its nuclear power plants if that means the country must burn more climate-wrecking coal. The German government is still debating the future of its nuclear plants, long set to be shut down this year, given the spectre of a looming energy crisis due to the war in Ukraine. The climate activist told German public broadcaster ARD that it was “a very bad idea to focus on coal when this [nuclear power] is already in place.” But she acknowledged in the interview, aired today, that there was a strong debate over the issue in Germany.
Whether you’re conscious about your carbon emissions or just want to reduce your energy bills, moving away from traditional gas and oil is an increasingly attractive prospect. Unless you can afford to install a solar panel, choosing an energy supplier with an environmental pledge appears to be the only option for greener energy. That was until Sarah Merrick from Ripple Energy started helping people to co-own a wind turbine. “I could see that wind had become the UK’s cheapest source of electricity but there wasn’t really any way for anyone to get involved,” she tells Euronews Green. “Big projects are cheaper than small projects so that’s why buying a little bit of a wind farm is over two thirds cheaper than buying the equivalent rooftop solar scheme.” Continue reading “Want green energy but can’t afford solar panels? Buy a bit of a wind farm”