Category Archives: general

Brazilian forest conservationist Silva wins Norway prize

Reuters: Brazilian senator and former environment minister Marina Silva won Norway’s $100,000 Sophie Prize for her work to protect the Amazon rainforest, the prize foundation announced on Wednesday. The Sophie Prize is awarded annually for environmental protection and sustainable development. It was set up in 1997 by Norwegian author Jostein Gaarder and is named after the main character of his book "Sophie’s World." Silva, who was environment minister in 2003-2008, clamped down on …

United Kingdom: Boris Johnson to slash London environmental team in half

Business Green: The team in charge of London’s bid to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase recycling and biodiversity is to be cut in half in a major shake-up that calls into question the commitment to the environment of the mayor, Boris Johnson. Leaked documents seen by The Guardian show that the Greater London Authority plans to reduce the total number of 40 staff working on environmental issues in the capital to 20. The cuts will reduce the climate change and energy team from 10 to three, …

United Kingdom: Ministers delay introducing major assessment of carbon emissions

Herald: Scottish Government ministers have delayed introducing a major assessment exercise intended to monitor the environmental impact of key transport policies and help cut emissions. The Herald has learned that the Carbon Balance Sheet, which will assess emissions caused by all major transport projects and programmes over the last five years and was due to be published by 2008, is now not expected to be ready until the end of 2010. The revelation has sparked an angry response from …

Study finds 6,000 rare Irrawaddy dolphins off Bangladesh

Independent: Thousands of rare Irrawaddy dolphins have been found in Bangladeshi waters, a wildlife advocacy group said today, a hopeful sign for a vulnerable species found only in small numbers elsewhere. However, the newly discovered population is already threatened by climate change and fishing nets, the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society said. Nearly 6,000 Irrawaddy dolphins, which are related to orcas or killer whales, were found living in freshwater regions of Bangladesh’s …

United Kingdom: Tesco tells shoppers: too much packaging? Leave it with us

Guardian: Tesco is to encourage customers to discard unwanted and excessive packaging near the tills, in an experiment along the lines of a similar "take-back" scheme in Germany. The supermarket chain has already cut back on what it regards as "wasteful" packaging, such as bulky dog food bags and unnecessary plastic wrapping on food. A regional trial will now try to find out which kinds of packaging consumers are prepared to do without. Common customer gripes include the amount of plastic, …

Canada: Oil sands company now says 1,606 ducks died

Associated Press: Eleven hundred more ducks died after landing on a toxic waste pond in northern Alberta last year than was originally estimated, a Canadian oil sands official acknowledged Tuesday. The carcasses of 1,606 ducks were collected from the oily waters, compared to the 500 originally counted, Syncrude Canada chief executive Tom Katinas said. The deaths of the mallards last April drew widespread attention and prompted Prime Minister Stephen Harper to lament that Canada’s international …

U.S. needs another year to test higher ethanol blend

Reuters: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday it will take another year to complete government testing on whether higher levels of ethanol can be blended into gasoline without harming engines. Ethanol is now approved to make up 10 percent of gasoline in cars and trucks. Producers are pushing the government to allow higher ethanol blend levels, as more ethanol will be required each year under federal law. Congress required 9 billion gallons of ethanol and other …

Northeast compact inspired climate change bill

Boston Globe: A groundbreaking climate change bill unveiled yesterday by leading House Democrats takes some inspiration from a pact among 10 Northeastern states that was the first in the United States to place a mandatory cap on carbon emissions and begin trading pollution allowances. The bill would set strict new limits on greenhouse gases, cutting emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and by 85 percent by 2050. Pollution credits would be given or auctioned off to utilities and businesses, and would …

UN climate talks: Save the forests — but how?

Agence France-Presse: Deforestation, one of the main drivers of global warming, has barged its way to the heart of UN climate talks, which resumed in Bonn this week. But which makes the better incentive for saving the carbon-absorbing tropical woodlands: market mechanisms or public funding? This question has split nations, divided green groups and tossed in yet another factor to bedevil efforts to agree a pact by year’s end for tackling climate change. Reducing emissions from deforestation …

U.S. court upholds power plant cooling water rule

Reuters: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency can compare costs with benefits to determine the technology that must be used at power plant water-cooling structures, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday in a setback for those seeking greater protection for aquatic life. By a 6-3 vote, the high court handed a victory to the EPA, Entergy Corp, units of Public Service Enterprise Group Inc and the Utility Water Act Group, which consists of individual energy companies that operate power …