PSI sustainability news round-up

Our fortnightly primer on the latest environment and sustainability news. If you would like to receive this newsletter via email, sign up to our mailing list here.

PSI NEWS
As this is the final PSI newsletter of 2017, we would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy and successful new year!

CLIMATE CHANGE
President Trump to reverse Obama’s recognition of climate change as a national security threat
TIME, 18 December 2017
Obama in 2015 said climate change presents an ‘urgent and growing threat to our national security’, but new plan will instead note the ‘importance of environmental stewardship’.

Global warming’s worst-case projections look increasingly likely
MIT Technology Review, 6 December 2017
A new study based on satellite observations finds that temperatures could rise nearly five degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

CIRCULAR ECONOMY
Michael Gove ‘haunted’ by plastic pollution seen in Blue Planet II
Guardian, 19 December 2017
Environment secretary’s action plan, due in new year, may include plastic bottle deposit scheme and standardised recycling policy.

How the Chinese could disrupt global recycling markets
Pacific Standard, 15 December 2017
Most Western nations send their unwanted scrap materials to China for reuse, but what happens if China stops accepting the waste?

New research challenges countries reporting highest recycling rates
EEB, 11 December 2017
A new report by environmental consultancy Eunomia Research & Consulting Ltd with the support of the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) reveals that the world’s leading recycling nations may be overstating the level of real recycling they are achieving.

BEHAVIOUR CHANGE
Consumer acceptance analysis of Korea’s Home Energy Management System
Sustainability, 18 December 2017
How can government persuade consumers to take full advantage of next-generation smart meters?

Meat tax ‘increasingly probable’ to keep within Paris agreement
Farmers Guardian, 16 December 2017
Negative environmental and health impacts of high meat consumption ‘put meat on the same pathway to taxation’ as sugar, carbon and tobacco, according to a farm investor initiative.

ENERGY
Global coal consumption forecast to slow
Guardian, 18 December 2017
International Energy Agency says burning of fossil fuel is falling fast, driven by drop-off in use by EU, China and US.

Renewable energy goal ‘not on the table’ at EU ministerial
Euractiv, 12 December 2017
Some countries like Germany and Sweden are concerned that a 27% target for 2030 will not be sufficient to spur action early enough into the next decade while others such as Poland are wary of setting the bar too high.

CLIMATE LOBBYING
BHP Billiton, acknowledging climate change, to quit coal group
New York Times, 19 December 2017
The British-Australian mining company plans to withdraw from the World Coal Association, an international lobbying group, because of differences in climate and energy policies.

How big oil is tightening its grip on Donald Trump’s White House
Guardian, 12 December 2017
The oil industry has stalled action on climate change from the inside and sold America on fossil fuels – and its influence goes back further than people realise.