Caribbean coral findings may influence Barrier Reef studies

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Corals may be better equipped to tolerate climate change than previously believed, according to research led by Griffith University's Dr Emma Kennedy.

Working with scientists from the University of Exeter in the UK, Dr Kennedy says the findings -- published in the journal Coral Reefs -- relate to an extensive study of Caribbean corals, but could influence future analysis of Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

New hopes that tar sands could be banned from Europe

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A landmark directive with the potential to ban tar sands oil from Europe has been reprieved, the Guardian has learned.

The EU’s most senior energy official confirmed that the fuel quality directive (FQD) to encourage greener road fuels will not be scrapped at the end of the decade, as had been thought.

Around 15% of Europe’s carbon emissions come from road transport and ambitious plans for cutting emissions from vehicles are expected to form a significant chunk of the bloc’s ‘Energy Union’ proposals next week.

World's coral reefs face major bleaching event this year

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2015 could see coral bleaching on a global scale for the third time in history – and the first in the absence of an El Niño.

That is the latest prediction from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), which has just launched a model to forecast threats facing the colourful reefs.

Thailand failing to tackle fishing industry slavery

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Thailand has made wholly inadequate progress in its efforts to eliminate human trafficking in its multi-billion dollar fishing industry, and has failed to combat both endemic corruption and the involvement of state officials in trafficking despite repeated promises to do so, a rights group claims.

Trafficking victims are still vulnerable to abuse and attack in Thai government shelters, while government inspections of fishing vessels consistently fail to identify abuse or perpetrators of abuse, the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) says in a briefing paper, Broken Promises (pdf). These failures, among a litany of others, prove that the government’s efforts over the past year have failed to meet even the most minimum of standards for eradicating slavery, the group says.