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Orangutan in Sumatra. Tbachner / Wikimedia Commons

Norway to Ban Deforestation-Linked Palm Oil Biofuels in Historic Vote

The Norwegian parliament voted this week to make Norway the world's first country to bar its biofuel industry from importing deforestation-linked palm oil starting in 2020, The Independent reported.

Environmentalists celebrated the move as a victory for rainforests, the climate and endangered species such as orangutans that have lost their habitats due to palm oil production in Indonesia and Malaysia. It also sets a major precedent for other nations.

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Oceans
Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Steve Parish/ Lock the Gate Alliance / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Scientists Discover 'Most Diverse Coral Site' on Great Barrier Reef

Australian scientists have found the "most diverse coral site" on the Great Barrier Reef, observing at least 195 different species of corals in space no longer than 500 meters, The Guardian reported.

The non-profit organization Great Barrier Reef Legacy and marine scientist Charlie Veron, a world expert on coral reefs, confirmed the diversity of the site, also known as the "Legacy Super Site" on the outer reef.

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Politics
Bernard McNamee testified before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on Nov. 15. Ron Wyden / YouTube screenshot

'Conceivably the Worst': Groups, Lawmakers Blast Confirmation of Climate Denier to FERC

Bernard McNamee, a climate change denier who helped write the Trump administration's failed coal and nuclear bailout plan, was confirmed Thursday as a commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The Senate approved the nominee on a straight party-line vote of 50-49 after Sen. Joe Manchin, the pro-coal Democrat of West Virginia, withdrew his support due to his concerns about McNamee's stance on climate change.

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Animals
The greater sage grouse is the largest grouse species in North America. Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images

Feds Move to Slash Sage Grouse Protections For More Oil & Gas Development

The Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management published proposals on Thursday designed to roll back critical measures that protect the imperiled greater sage grouse on public lands in order to boost fossil fuel development and mining in the American West.

The spectacular bird once numbered 16 million and roamed across 13 Western U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. But rampant oil and gas development and other factors have cut its habitat in half. Its population has significantly plunged to an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 individuals across 11 western states and southern Alberta.

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Renewable Energy
Solar panel being installed on a rooftop in San Francisco. brian kusler / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

California Becomes First State to Require Solar on New Homes

Sunny California is officially the first state in the nation to require solar panels on most new homes.

The California Building Standards Commission unanimously confirmed the standards during a vote on Wednesday, The Mercury News reported.

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Climate
A public bus in Luxembourg. pxhere

In World First, Luxembourg to Make All Public Transportation Free

Luxembourg is about to become the world's first country to make all its public transportation free under the new government's efforts to curb traffic congestion and benefit the environment, The Guardian reported.

The initiative, which will end all fares for trains, trams and buses by summer 2019, is a plan under the environmentally minded coalition government headed by Xavier Bettel, who was reappointed as prime minister on Wednesday.

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PETA

PETA Wants Us to Stop Using 'Anti-Animal Language'

Instead of bacon, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) wants us to "bring home the bagels." Instead of "killing two birds with one stone," why not feed them a scone?

In a tweet on Tuesday, the animal rights group called out the "speciesism" of our everyday conversations in order to encourage compassion for animals. They also included an infographic of their suggested alternatives.

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Energy
maxpixel

Trump's EPA Wants to Build More Coal Plants as U.S. Consumption Falls to Lowest Level in 39 Years

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is currently overseen by ex-coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, is expected to announce a plan to end a climate regulation on coal-fired power plants on Thursday, the New York Times reported, citing four unnamed sources.

The move would lift an Obama-era rule that required newly built coal-fired plants to use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, ultimately removing a hurdle to build new plants, the publication said.

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Renewable Energy
150-megawatt energy storage system (ESS) for Korea Zinc. Hyundai Electric

Hyundai to Leapfrog Tesla With World's Largest Battery

South Korea's Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems will soon complete a massive lithium ion battery in the industrial city of Ulsan.

When it goes live in three months, Hyundai's 150-megawatt system will overtake Tesla's 100-megawatt facility in South Australia as the world's largest industrial energy storage system, Independent.ie reported. Sorry, Elon Musk.

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