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Environment : NPR


Breaking news on the environment, climate change, pollution, and endangered species. Also featuring Climate Connections, a special series on climate change co-produced by NPR and National Geographic.

Breaking news on the environment, climate change, pollution, and endangered species. Also featuring Climate Connections, a special series on climate change co-produced by NPR and National Geographic.


Washington, DC




Breaking news on the environment, climate change, pollution, and endangered species. Also featuring Climate Connections, a special series on climate change co-produced by NPR and National Geographic.




1111 North Capitol St NE Washington, DC 20002


A federal judge canceled major oil and gas leases over climate change

The ruling revokes leases sold in the Gulf of Mexico in the largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history. It says the Interior Department failed to consider the greenhouse gases it would produce.


The NIH is 'largely finished' moving its former research chimps to a sanctuary

All chimps managed by the National Institutes of Health that are currently eligible to go to a sanctuary have been moved there, but animal welfare advocates say more should be allowed to go.


Gas stoves leak climate-warming methane even when they're off

A study finds tiny leaks from loose fittings added up to more emissions than when stoves were in use. The impact of U.S. gas stoves on climate change amounts to the same effect as a half-million cars.


Can Pacific Gas and Electric operate without starting wildfires?

Power company PG&E is in the spotlight again for starting the massively destructive 2021 Dixie Fire in California. The company's fire record raises questions about whether it can ever operate safely.


Why Tonga is opting for 'contactless' humanitarian aid

It's a pandemic predicament. With only 1 recorded case of COVID-19 in their island nation, Tongans are desperate for help after the volcanic eruption — but eager to keep the virus out.


Why Russia's thawing permafrost is a global problem

NPR's Michel Martin speaks with Joshua Yaffa, Moscow correspondent for the New Yorker, about a major climate change threat confronting Russia.


Could the world become too warm to hold Winter Olympics?

If nations don't address high greenhouse gas emissions, by the 2080s, all but one of the 21 cities that previously hosted the Winter Games wouldn't be able to do so again, a new study has found.


Colorado looks to expand building codes as climate change increases risk of wildfires

There are new calls for stronger building codes in Colorado after devastating suburban wildfires. The towns weren't considered at high risk for fire, but the warming climate is changing that calculus.


22 tips for 2022: Ditch fast fashion by choosing clothes that will outlast trends

This simple trick can help you decide if an item of clothing is worth investing in, or if it's a passing trend you'd be better off passing on.


Biden's climate agenda is stalled in Congress. In Hawaii, one key part is going ahead

Hawaii gets most of its electricity from oil and coal. So the state is trying an experiment to get the utility off fossil fuels - and becoming a model for regulators across the US.


Congo Basin peatlands have trapped years' worth of carbon. How can they be protected?

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with journalist John Cannon about the dangers of destroying a hidden peatland in the Congo Basin that has locked in as much carbon dioxide as the world emits in three years.


From living rooms to landfills, some holiday shopping returns take a 'very sad path'

It's peak season for returns, which are setting a new record. Some end up back on shelves or get resold to other merchants, and some wind up in landfills or sail overseas.


The Biden administration says it has a plan to clean up toxic coal ash

Even as coal plants shut down, they leave behind massive piles of toxic coal ash. About half that coal ash is unregulated, and environmental groups want the Biden administration to change that.


U.S. greenhouse gas emissions jumped in 2021, a threat to climate goals

The spike was attributed to a slew of causes, including behavior changes after COVID-19 vaccines became widely available, but environmental advocates say it's worrisome.


22 tips for 2022: To cut back on plastic, you need to audit how much you use

The first step in cutting back on plastic is understanding what you're using and how much of it. Do an audit of the plastics in your home to get a sense of how much plastic you use.


An album made entirely of endangered bird sounds beat Taylor Swift on a top 50 chart

Songs Of Disappearance is an entire album of calls from endangered Australian birds. Last month, it briefly perched at No. 3 on the country's top 50 albums chart – ahead of Taylor Swift.


Ryan Phelan: How gene technology can save species on the brink of extinction

What if we could rescue endangered species before they disappear? Biotech entrepreneur Ryan Phelan explores how genetic engineering tools can save species that would otherwise go extinct.


The 'Great Animal Orchestra' brings the wild rumpus of nature to art museums

An evocative museum exhibition from a legendary electronic musician and naturalist encourages audiences to connect with nature through a "great animal orchestra."


Florida cities ask: Are there too many palms?

Tree experts say Florida communities preparing for climate change should plant more shade trees and fewer palms. Palm lovers are objecting.


Fires outside of Denver were the most destructive in Colorado history

Wildfires this week burned hundreds of homes in Colorado. Affected communities are taking stock of their losses and trying to make sense of a disaster that no one expected would occur in winter.