Scientists develop motion-powered health monitors for cows

Cows on farms could soon have their health, reproductive readiness and location monitored by smart technology powered by the kinetic energy of the animal’s movements. Devices that monitor the health of each cow or keep them within invisible fences are already used on farms but these smart tools are often powered by chemical batteries, which add to energy used by an emissions-intensive industry. Alternatives such as solar-powered monitors – deployed in Britain to create fenceless grazing for cows – may depend on the weather. But researchers from China writing in…

Warning signs: inside the 2 December Guardian Weekly

Discontent over China’s zero-Covid suppression policy came to a head last weekend in a series of unprecedented protests across the country. The civil disobedience – remarkable just for the fact it was happening at all in a state where such behaviour is rarely tolerated – seemed to have been smothered by police by the start of the week. Even so it revealed to the world signs of a hitherto unseen fracture in China’s totalitarian political system. The magazine’s cover design this week reflects the power of blank paper and the…

Sizewell C ‘confirmed’ again – this time it might be the real deal | Nils Pratley

Another day, another “confirmation” that the government plans to build the Sizewell C nuclear power plant in Suffolk – surely the “most announced” project in UK infrastructure history. The latest update, though, contained a genuine sign of seriousness: the Chinese are being paid to go away. China General Nuclear (CGN), a state-backed firm, owned a 20% stake in the fledgling project and had, in effect, a right to subscribe to maintain its holding through the various funding rounds – just as it did at Hinkley Point C in Somerset. In…

Evidence grows of forced labour and slavery in production of solar panels, wind turbines

The Australian clean energy industry has warned of growing evidence linking renewable energy supply chains to modern slavery, and urged companies and governments to act to eliminate it. A report by the Clean Energy Council, representing renewable energy companies and solar installers, has called for more local renewable energy production and manufacturing and a “certificate of origin” scheme to counter concerns about slave labour in mineral extraction and manufacturing in China, Africa and South America. Released on Tuesday, the paper said slavery in all supply chains was a global problem.…

No 10 signals Rishi Sunak no longer committed to blocking all new onshore windfarm developments – UK politics live

From 3h ago No 10 signals Sunak no longer committed to blocking all new onshore windfarm developments At the Downing Street lobby briefing the PM’s spokesperson signalled that Rishi Sunak is no longer trying to block new onshore windfarm developments. The spokesperson did not accept that Grant Shapps’ comments in interviews this morning showed that the government had already implemented a U-turn. He claimed that Shapps’ references to community consent were a description of rules that are in force now. And the spokesperson would not commit the government to accepting…

Gordon Brown says China must pay into climate fund for poor countries

China must pay into a new fund for poor countries stricken by climate-driven disaster on the basis of its high greenhouse gas emissions and large economy, the former UK prime minister Gordon Brown has said. “America and Europe will have to provide most, but China will have to contribute more too,” he told the Guardian. Last week, at the Cop27 UN climate summit, rich governments finally agreed to a fund for poor countries suffering the impact of extreme weather, known as “loss and damage”. But there is no agreement yet…

China’s 26-storey pig skyscraper ready to slaughter 1 million pigs a year

On the southern outskirts of Ezhou, a city in central China’s Hubei province, a giant apartment-style building overlooks the main road. But it is not for office workers or families. At 26 storeys it is by far the biggest single-building pig farm in the world, with a capacity to slaughter 1.2 million pigs a year. This is China’s answer to its insatiable demand for pork, the most popular animal protein in the country. The new skyscraper-sized farm began production at the start of October when the company behind the facility…

US receives stinging criticism at Cop27 despite China’s growing emissions

The US, fresh from reversing its 30 years of opposition to a “loss and damage” fund for poorer countries suffering the worst impacts of the climate crisis, has signaled that its longstanding image as global climate villain should now be pinned on a new culprit: China. Following years of tumult in which the US refused to provide anything resembling compensation for climate damages, followed by Donald Trump’s removal of the US from the Paris climate agreement, there was a profound shift at the Cop27 UN talks in Egypt, with Joe…

A deal on loss and damage, but a blow to 1.5C – what will be Cop27’s legacy?

On the eve of the Cop27 climate conference that has just finished in Sharm el-Sheikh, the UN secretary general, António Guterres, warned of the stark consequences of failure. “There is no way we can avoid a catastrophic situation, if the two [the developed and developing world] are not able to establish a historic pact,” he said, in an interview with the Guardian. “Because at the present level, we will be doomed.” In the end, after two weeks of fraught and often bitter negotiations, the “historic pact” Guterres wanted was finally…

China and US renew commitment to tackling climate crisis but differences remain

China and the US have renewed their partnership to tackle the climate crisis, and are working closely and productively on ways of bringing down greenhouse gas emissions, China’s head of delegation has said. The surprise news from Xie Zhenhua, who briefed a small group of journalists at the Cop27 UN climate summit in Egypt on Saturday, comes as a rare moment of progress amid a conference mired in stalemate and bitter fighting between developed and developing countries. Xie said he and John Kerry, the US special presidential envoy for climate,…