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Majority of European firms have no CO2 reduction targets

Only one in three firms have climate goals set to go beyond 2025, report finds

Most European companies have no target for reducing their greenhouse gas emissions even though 80% see climate change as a business risk, a survey has found.

Among those that have set climate goals, only one in three stretch beyond 2025, according to the annual Carbon Disclosure Project report.

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How the world got hooked on palm oil
It’s the miracle ingredient in everything from biscuits to shampoo. But our dependence on palm oil has devastating environmental consequences. Is it too late to break the habit? By Paul Tullis

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, there grew a magical fruit. This fruit could be squeezed to produce a very special kind of oil that made cookies more healthy, soap more bubbly and crisps more crispy. The oil could even make lipstick smoother and keep ice-cream from melting. Because of these wondrous qualities, people came from around the world to buy the fruit and its oil.

In the places where the fruit came from, people burned down the forest so they could plant more trees that grew the fruit – making lots of nasty smoke and sending all of the creatures of the forest scurrying away. When the trees were burned, they emitted a gas that heated up the air. Then everybody was upset, because they loved the forest’s creatures and thought the temperature was warm enough already. A few people decided they shouldn’t use the oil any more, but mostly things went on as before, and the forest kept burning.

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'Don't feed the monster!' The people who have stopped buying new clothes

A growing movement eschews fast fashion in favour of secondhand clothing. Is this the biggest personal change that can be made for the environment?

Lauren Cowdery is flicking through the rails of the Cancer Research charity shop in Goole, east Yorkshire. “Too bobbly!” she tuts at a ribbed top. “This skirt is big but it would be easy to take in … ” Cowdery appears to be shopping, but she is merely browsing. She is on a mission not to buy any new clothes, even ones that have recently belonged to someone else. “I think you have to pull back and ask: ‘Do I need this?’” she says.

Cowdery is one of a growing number of people who love clothes but try their hardest to resist buying them for reasons of sustainability. According to the charity Wrap, which promotes sustainable waste management, the average lifetime for a garment in the UK is just 2.2 years. An estimated £30bn of unused clothing hangs in UK wardrobes, and yet still we shop for more. “Each week we buy 38m items and 11m items go to landfill,” says Maria Chenoweth, chief executive of Traid, a charity working to stop clothes being thrown away. “We don’t have enough resources to keep feeding this monster.”

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Food waste bins should be collected weekly, says Michael Gove

Drive to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle and cut waste’ could include plastic tax and deposit scheme

Millions of homes could have their food waste bins collected weekly, if new proposals from the environment secretary are implemented in the wake of a government consultation on the UK’s waste system.

Michael Gove’s proposed measures to ensure consistent recycling collections come after a number of councils cut the frequency of collections, leaving residents with overflowing bins.

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UK government backs campaign for recycling bases in Pakistan

Scheme will match donations to NGO up to £2m to help reduce ocean plastic pollution

A UK government-backed campaign to build recycling bases in Pakistan could raise millions of pounds to help reduce ocean and river plastic pollution.

Related: 'I've never been to school': child waste pickers living on Pakistan's streets | Haroon Janjua

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