Groundhog day for a keystone cop-out?

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Image caption Sections of the pipeline prepared but not yet used for Keystone XL

According to Donald Trump, the Keystone XL will be an "incredible pipeline", but could it be that the official signing of the permit in the Oval Office will be the high point for this long-winded process?

Let's look at some of the issues that might see TransCanada, the company behind the project, eventually walk away.

First, making oil from the bitumen-rich Canadian tar sands is a messy and expensive business.

Separating the liquid from the sand requires huge amounts of water and heat, and environmentalists say the process causes about 17% more greenhouse gas emissions than standard oil extraction.

However, both Democrats and Republicans have over recent years supported, however reluctantly, this massive project, which would send more than 800,000 barrels of the tarry oil from Alberta, Canada, to the US Gulf Coast every day.

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Trump's 'drain the swamp' budget to hit swamp dwellers

mangrove Image copyright World Neighbors
Image caption Members of the local community have planted thousands of mangrove trees to help fight rising tides

"We're not spending money on climate change any more," said Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director.

"We consider that to be a waste of your money to go out and do that."

Read full article Trump's 'drain the swamp' budget to hit swamp dwellers

Oil change? Fossil fuel advocate to run State department

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Image caption Rex Tillerson is set to become Secretary of State in the Trump administration

Good news for environmental campaigners: President-elect Trump has finally nominated someone to his cabinet who actually believes in climate change science.

The bad news for those same campaigners is that this true believer happens to be CEO of Exxon Mobil, and also sees fossil fuels as critical to humanity's survival.

Read full article Oil change? Fossil fuel advocate to run State department

Trump nominee to rekindle climate battle?

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Image caption Oklahoma's attorney general Scott Pruitt has been nominated to head the EPA

The nomination of Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to be the next head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has two important ramifications.

The first is a clear signal from the incoming Trump administration that environmental regulations, especially as they apply to the production of energy, are set for fundamental reform.

Read full article Trump nominee to rekindle climate battle?

Trump: The best thing ever for climate change?

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Image caption On the campaign trail Mr Trump repeatedly called for the renegotiation of the Paris Climate Agreement

Since the US election result, there has been consternation among climate campaigners and many environment ministers, especially those attending the annual Conference of the Parties (COP) in Marrakech.

The fear, and fury of the green response to Donald Trump is understandable.

Read full article Trump: The best thing ever for climate change?

The environmental costs of Heathrow expansion

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Image caption There are environmental concerns about noise, air pollution and climate change

Significant questions about the environmental impacts of Heathrow's new runway remain unanswered in the wake of the government's announcement.

Opponents say that the expansion will make air quality and noise pollution much worse.

Read full article The environmental costs of Heathrow expansion

Are celebs the best hope for saving endangered species?

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Image caption Can the influence of celebrities really achieve a breakthrough in reducing demand for endangered species?

As the Cites meeting in Johannesburg ends, Matt McGrath asks whether celebrities are having a bigger impact on saving species than the international body tasked with regulating the trade in threatened animals and plants.

The poor old peregrine falcon must feel like a total loser at this point.

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CITES species meeting: 'The only game in town'

Nile crocodile Image copyright PASCAL GOETGHELUCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Image caption Poster boy: Between the 1940s and 1970s, the Nile crocodile suffered from over-zealous hunting

A big hand for the Nile Crocodile, the poster animal for the argument that regulated international trade can save endangered species.

Though perhaps a gentle round of applause from a suitable distance might be a tad more appropriate.

Read full article CITES species meeting: 'The only game in town'

Exxon: An inconvenient truth

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Image caption An ice sculpture suggests Exxon knew about the science of climate change but failed to act

In the hot and humid conditions of downtown Dallas, the #Exxonknew ice sculpture - erected by environmental campaigners to suggest the company had known about the science of climate change but had failed to act - did not last too long.

And the activists were hoping the same thing would happen to Exxon, a company that has fended off efforts to make it toe the line on climate change for a quarter of a century.

Read full article Exxon: An inconvenient truth

First big test for Paris climate deal

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and French President Hollande (Image: Reuters) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and French President Hollande join in the celebrations

Do you remember the day we saved the world?

When COP President Laurent Fabius smacked down his gavel on December 12, it signalled that agreement had been reached at the UN climate conference in Paris on one of the world's most intractable environmental and economic problems.

Read full article First big test for Paris climate deal